Monday, June 10, 2013

Perseverar hasta el fin

       Just like every other week I've had in my mission, it's been a great week, and it ended with the baptism of Griselda and Delia. The baptism went great, the spirit was there, we had good attendance, and the water was warm. After the baptism, both Delia and Griselda told us they felt fresh and Griselda she felt the Spirit strongly as she got into the water to be baptized. Like mother like daughter, the first time we baptized them, both of them let their knees come out of the water, so they both got to be baptized twice. Double the blessings!

      We had 2 other investigators at church this last Sunday. Our English investigator Chris came to the American Ward, so we went with him. Then our investigator Rodolfo came to church as well and dressed so well that he looked like a member. In Sacrament, I got to give a short talk on how the Gospel changes people, and told stories of how I've seen people change during the mission. Since no one could make it to see my talk, I hope you can make it to my talk this Sunday. :)

      Elder Vance is going to take care of the Cherokee Spanish branch, wwwhhoooo! He'll do a great job. This branch has a lot of awesome members and I've enjoyed my time serving here.

Well, this is my last email as a missionary. :(

Nos vemos pronto!

Elder Clark

Trunky, who's trunky? !!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

No Driver

Wow, this is really the final countdown, and by that, I mean its the week before Griselda and Delia's baptism. It has nothing to do with me coming home next week. :)

I'm so excited for them! They've been making so much progress and have really come a long way, and they're going to be so blessed to receive the Gift the Holy Ghost. I love the gospel, it makes everything better! They're going to be great members. We've taught them everything they need to know, now we just have to make sure the baptismal font isn't cold, and we'll be all set. 

We had another awesome Miracle this week. We were teaching a investigator that was a referral from a member in a different area. We invited to the member to come teach with us and he was able to make it, right after we had finished teaching the whole lesson. Well, better later than never I guess. Anyways, he come in and we all shake hands, and then another van pulls into the driveway. Our investigator said "did you invite somebody else?" Well, we hadn't, and it turned out to be a surprise visit from a neighbor. The Neighbor had with him is brother-in-law, Luis, who nobody else knew. Well, Luis walks in the door, looks at us, walks up to us and says "I've been looking for you." No, he wasn't a cop and we weren't guilty of any crimes, Luis was just a less active member baptized 20 years ago. He had left the church, but has recently been looking to get back in it. Well, he had an honest desire in his heart, and the Lord put him in our paths in an answer to his desire. We sat down with him yesterday, and he has a sincere desire to change. He had read a little in the Book of Mormon, the first time in a real long time, and said he felt the peace of the Spirit. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the Lord's work.

I'll be privileged to give talk this coming Sunday for my last Sunday in Georgia, and I'll have the privilege of giving a talk next Sunday as well, for my first Sunday back in California. Those of you reading this are invited to attend either one, which ever one you wish to attend.  

Gracias amados hermanos mios 

Elder Clark

Monday, May 27, 2013

Guitarist in the woods

Yesterday while we were tracting, there was a man walking around in the street and the forest nearby playing the guitar and singing songs about Christ. (only in the south) He was really nice, gave us water, and let us come into his home and pray with him. 

The Griselda and Delia have been progressing poco a poco. One of the times we taught her this week, Griselda was not feeling too well due to allergies, so we gave her a priesthood blessing. We swung the next day just to see how they were doing, and she was feeling completely better. Now she has a testimony of the priesthood. 

Our English investigator, Chris, has also been going strong. He really wants to understand the Book of Mormon, and receive an answer through prayer that it's true. We'll be taking him on a church tour this week and he should come to church this week for the first time.

This week we also took the 140 mile round trip to visit our member that lives in the middle of nowhere, and we helped him paint. :)

Well, thats all folks. Until next time, 

Elder Clark


Monday, May 20, 2013

The Big Chicken

Well hello there.

We had a fantastic week. Our investigators, Griselda and Delia, are still going strong. We've had some awesome lesson with them this week, they're reading and praying daily, keeping their commitments, came to a baptism on Friday and came to church on Sunday. Griselda had a close call and almost drank coffee, but her son grabbed it out of her hand and poured it down the sink before she drank it. 

Another one of our investigators came to the baptism, and a different investigator came to church, so we've seen a lot of awesome things this week. Our English investigator, Chris, is also reading. We invited to be baptized, but he basically told he's not ready for that, or to come to church, but he's reading.

This week we also had Zone conference, where Elder Ellis of the 1st Quorum of the 70 came and spoke to us. For those of you who watched general conference, he was the one that cried a lot during his talk. Its always awesome to receive instruction from a general authority. 

I feel like the more time goes on, the worse I get at writing emails, I'm sorry. 

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We're in the hood

Hello wonderful people that read these letters.
Happy late Mothers day to all the mothers out there.
The subject line of this email is derived from the fact that our english investigator, Chris, called us brothers, they bye initiating us into the hood. We had a really good lesson with him this week, and Elder Vance was teaching with power and authority the whole lesson. We were teaching the plan of Salvation, and Chris had some doubts about his own faith and whatnot. The whole time, Elder Vance was being bold, and even shared a scripture that when Chris heard it, he said "ah, so you ganna put me in my place." He wasn't offended, but the Spirit definitely hit him and helped him get over his doubts and made him more committed to read the Book of Mormon.
We've also taught a lot this week Griselda and Delia, a mom and daughter, who agreed to be baptized. Its been great to see all the progression they've made as they're learning about the gospel. They're soaking it all up, and are keeping their commitments. Griselda always asks good questions showing that she really wants to understand. Everything has just been falling right into place with them. She got a new job where she doesn't have to work on Sundays and has time in the evening that we can come over and teach. The Lord works miracles. :)
Another exciting thing that happened is I became an uncle! That also means my parents are now grandparents.....
Anyways, thanks everybody
Enjoy your week!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I want to know more about this Nephi Cat

This Another awesome week down, and I know my parents are counting down the days.

So our top investigator doesn't actually speak Spanish. He's a 30 year old man that we found knocking. He's really interested in learning, but refuses to let us pass him to the English Elders. When we were talking to him about Nephi, he got excited to read the Book of Mormon. He "I want to learn more about this cat Nephi." 

We've also been teaching a whole lot this week, which has been awesome. We've even been able to get back in with people more than once! Unfortunately, nobody was able to come to church, so we're waiting for that, but we've seen a lot of progress this last week. :) 

I'm also extremely grateful that summer has not arrived and that the weather has stayed cool. Georgia is treating me my last transfer. :)

Thanks everybody!

que tengan un buen semana 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

There is somebody in your life right now

Good day to all.

Another fantastic week here in Georgia, Wednesday.  We went to the trainer/trainee meeting, which took up a good part of our day, but it was really motivational and gave me a little boost for the end of my mission.

Sunday was the day the real action happened though. On Sunday we had Brother Zeidner with us all day, he even drove us around day... in a Dodge Charger because the rental place didn't have anyother cars. Brother Zeidner is a Director at the Provo MTC.  He has done a little bit of traveling around, working with missionaries to research the impact of the shortened time the missionaries stay in the MTC on readiness to be in the field. It's not so bad for missionaries learning another language, because they're still in the MTC for 6 weeks, but English speaking only go in for 2 weeks now instead of 3, about only 12 days. So before he was with us, he was in Argentina a couple weeks ago, then in Kentucky, then came to our mission to go with a couple of sets of missionaries. Brother Zeidner was such a help, had so much good to say. The whole experience motivated me even more to work my tail off until the end of my mission. We had an interesting experience together when we went to visit an investigator, and another man waved us over. He was drunk, and said "other missionaries from our church  had called the cops on his friend and now his friend is in jail and might get deported. We assured  him about 100 times that it wasn't missionaries from our church, and he kept going on about how bad it was. He told us that "he had told everybody around to not open their doors to us" and that if we wanted  people to open their doors, we had to come over Monday (today) to his trailer and tell everybody it wasn't us. Well right after that, we went over to our investigators house and invited her to come to the meeting, but she didn't want to. Apparently his large group of friends doesn't include our investigator. :)

We also taught an awesome lesson together, we went to a person we had left the Savior's peace and blessings with the day before, but she wasn't there. We ended up being able to teach her daughter though, who at the age of 17 has such amazing faith in Christ. She firmly believed in needing to following Him to be able to live with Him, and everybody she knows can tell. In the end of the lesson, she was really unsure about praying to know if what we had taught was true, but brother Zeidner reminded us that we had done our best to invite her, so we had fulfilled our purpose. He told us that as long as we teach by the Spirit and with love, we've done our part. I'm going to be focusing on doing that for these last few weeks.

Thanks everybody!!

Elder Clark

to quote Elder Clark "This is what happens when lots of missionaries get together!"

Monday, April 15, 2013

They call me tater salad

Hello to all. 

We switched it up this week and went contacting on KSU (Kennesaw State University) with the Elders that work in the young single adult branch. It was an interesting experience. Definitely a lot more diverse than BYU. There are a lot of religious students because we're in the south, but so many different ideas all concentrated on one campus. There are also many who are still soul searching and willing to listen to anybody to learn. Although it didn't specifically benefit our area, it was still a good experience. 

The MTC is doing this program and where they follow up on the progress of missionaries and how they are applying what they've learned in the MTC. Elder  Vance and I have been selected to be evaluated, so we're going to be shadowed all day Sunday by a representative from the MTC. By Shadowed, I mean this guy is going to drive us around all day and go to church and teaching appointments with us. 

Elder Vance wins this week for best inspired moment. We were talking with a man on his porch, and I felt like the conversation wasn't really leading anywhere and that he wasn't really interested. So I ended the conversation and  started to turn and walk down the steps when Elder Vance was like "I have one more question." When he said that I knew the question he had was inspired. Elder Vance asked the man if he had ever been baptized, and the man responded that he hadn't, but he knew it was necessary and wanted to make sure what he was doing was right before he committed himself. Then, Elder Vance asked if him if he would be baptized by somebody with the authority of God, and the man said yes! Elder Vance saving the contact, Nice! We quickly set an appointment with him. 

Miracles happen, this is the Lord's work, God loves us.

Elder Clark

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Disobedient Cacahuates (English translation. . .peanuts)

Well hello my friends and family, and anybody else who may be randomly reading this. :)

The Clark/Vance family team has continued to leave members and nonmembers alike stunned with mouths open as we've moved swiftly and powerfully. We've been trying ask the all the members we've eaten with for referrals, which is one way to show the members we're serious. We've also already gotten on the good side of President Perez, our Branch President, and he's told everybody we're great missionaries. I'm bragging about us, because there are definitely way better missionaries out there than I, like Elder Vance. But the branch likes us, and that's important.

So, to tell y'al about our district  So there are 7 of us, 4 Elders and 3 Sisters, and 4 of the 7 are brand new, all came out this last transfer. There is 2 new Elders and 2 new Sisters. I am by far the oldest in our district, making me district dad. Of the other trainers in the district, The Elder Astle has been at for a year and Sister Paepaetaata has only been out for 7 months. Wow, its weird. 

This week has been another great week. We saw a little miracle as we were trying to visit somebody we talked to earlier in the week. We were talking to the wife for a few minutes, and a car pulled up near by to drop somebody off next door, and then just waited there. When the lady we were talking to walked inside to get a phone number, the lady waiting in the car called out to us and asked to talk to us. When we finished talking on the porch, we went down and talked to her in the car. She asked, (in Spanish) how should she could get a "Mormon bible." Well, since we always carry copies of the Book of Mormon with us, I held one out and said, "here you go." She was confused at first because she thought we just used a different version of the bible, but we explained that we use the bible just like everybody else, but that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. She told us that her cousin was going to marry a Mormon, and wanted to learn more. We're going to teach her tonight. 

Elder Vance doesn't have the deer in the headlights look anymore, and is doing better at speaking during contacts and lessons we have. He's probably going to train 5 missionaries and be Zone Leader and Assistant to the President.

This Easter Sunday was good, and I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes as we learned about the Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. In Preach my Gospel (The missionary manual  it says "God’s whole purpose—His work and His glory—is to enable each of us to enjoy all His blessings."  I love that quote because it helps me remember how much God loves me, and that he has so many blessings to bestow on us." The atonement of Christ is so crucial and central in that plan. With out it, we wouldn't be able to receive the greatest gift and blessing, Eternal Life, because of our short comings. I'm grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, His love for me, and to represent Him for 2 years.

Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark   

Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm my cousin's dad. Its like being a monkey's uncle.

For those of you who have not yet heard the wonderful exciting news, me and my cousin Elder Vance are companions. (comprimos if you want to call us that.) Thats right, we have Vance/Clark family taking over the Cherokee branch! I was excited when I found out for sure Wednesday just a few minutes before we all met our new trainees. President Wolfert told me, "Elder Clark, you new companion will be some guy called Brandon Vance." Elder Vance came to the mission with his hair parted and everything. :) We're are going have a blast together. He also speaks really good Spanish for only 6 weeks, even if he says other wise.
In the trainer, trainee, President Wolfert kept making jokes about how I was the oldest missionary in the room. Its weird to be considered old now. We get a pretty good reaction from people when we tell them that I've been out for 21 months, that Elder Vance has been in Georgia for 6 days, and then throw in that we're cousins. Everybody's like "no way!" and we're like "si." Elder Vance got to bear his testimony in Sacrament meeting when the second counselor conducting found out it was his first Sunday in Georgia.
So, about area. As I mentioned above, its the Cherokee Spanish branch, in the Marrietta stake. Its basically north east of Atlanta. Our branch covers the entire stake, which actually stretches all the way to the North border of the state. There is a Spanish member that lives way up there that goes to the English ward up there, but we're going to do the hour and a half drive to visit him this Wednesday. Talk about a miles killer. From the few days I've been in the branch, I love it. Its definitely the biggest, or maybe second biggest. I've been in, with about 100-110 active members. Keep in mind that my last branch had about 40. Our first night here Wednesday, we met with the branch President and ward mission leader since we didn't know anything about the area or the branch. We learned that this branch has a big focus on missionary work, and that they're expecting a lot from us, which is amazing. I'm excited to be here for my last few months. We spent most of last week figuring out what was going on and who was who and where to go, but this coming weeks are going to be filled with good stuff.
Thanks everybody!
Elder Clark   

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The 10 week shaft

Wow, CRAZY week this week.

So, as I said last week, Elder Neri went home on Tuesday. I talked to President Wolfert for a little bit when I dropped Elder Neri off, and he said he wanted me to get the branch baptizing again. Well, thats what I wanted to do to, but I knew I was going to have to wait a week until I got my new companion. I also asked him if I was going to be able to train Elder Vance, and he told me he wasn't sure yet if I was eve going to train at all. Well, later that afternoon, I was told I was going to be training! My son, Elder Rallison, is also training, so I'm going to have a Grandson! 

So this whole week, I've been with the Zone Leaders, so I haven't been able to visit the members in the branch or speak mush Spanish, but I figured I get the work up and going again this Wednesday when I get my new companion. Thursday was the meeting for all the missionaries who were going to be trainers, and there President Wolfert told me that I was going to be training, but not here in Yellow River. So, I'm white washing training again! The Yellow River Branch here is also going to get white washed with 2 new missionaries. I Sunday, I was able to bear my testimony right after the sacrament, and then had to split because the English Elders had to go. So, I walked off the stand, waved at everybody, and left, never to be seen again. That is until I look everybody on Facebook when I get home. I was here in Conyers for short 10 weeks, and boy has it been an adventure. 

I'll be training up in the Marrietta stake, which is pretty mush North of Atlanta. President Wolfert still isn't sure if I'll be training Elder Vance or not. He wont know until he meets with them on tomorrow after they fly in. 

As far other things that happened this week, which were many, there was a baptism! Brother George Porter was baptized, and the best part about it is that Elder Neri and I were the ones that found him. In the first or second week together, we knocked on his door, taught him the plan of Salvation, passed him the the English Elders, and now he's baptized! I was also privileged to do his baptismal interview. A funny thing that happened with him this week was we were reading in the Book of Mormon, and while he was reading, instead of saying the word "ye," he said the word "y'al." y'al shall keep my commandments. It means the same thing pretty much, just with a southern twang for added flair. I find myself using "y'al" sometimes now. I think I've been in the south to long. 

We also saw some cool miracles with the harvesting tool (or the blessing people's houses thing.) We had time to harvest one house before an appointment, and there was lady sitting on her porch outside, so we asked here if we could leave our Saviors peace and blessings in her home. She let us in, and it was an amazing spiritual experience. She told us she had felt the Spirit during the prayer, and that as we walked up to her on her porch, she felt the spirit telling her to let us in.

All in all, its being a crazy week. 

Thank you everybody! 

Elder Clark    

Monday, March 11, 2013

Jordan the 3rd Wheel

There was not a lot from Jordan this week.  Unfortunately his companion had been seriously ill still, and is actually going home a week early.  Jordan said that he will be with the English Elders for a week until his new companion arrives.  He felt very bad for his companion, but was glad that he would be able to get back to work after not being able to for a couple of weeks.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Independent Unity

Hello to all.

I'm am writing to you all one year older and wiser than the last email I wrote. Well, maybe not so much wiser, but anyways.

Its been a really rough week for Elder Neri because he's been sick all week, but he's still not giving up hope. He's determined to work hard until the end of his mission (17days) Elder Neri is really good at not taking a no for answer from people. Even if they don't want to hear what we have to say, he'll still ask them questions about their faith and encourage them to come closer to Christ. He's been a great example to me of the power of bearing testimony. In one conversation we had with lady, she said there could only be the bible. I told her that wasn't true because of this, this and that, but she still didn't accept the idea. Elder Neri then bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon and how he came to know that it was true. His testimony changed her attitude from not wanting to read it to having her want to take a copy to look at and share it with her dad. 

This past few weeks we've had a few people tell us that they've read part of the Book of Mormon and don't think its inspired. I've been thinking about that, and I have absolutely no idea what part they read. I've read every page in the Book of Mormon, and I know its inspired of God! I know that as we read it, because of its inspired words, and live according to the principles taught in, we will come unto Christ.

This last week, we had Zone Conference, which gave me the opportunity to see many old companions. Its also always uplifting and motivating to go to Zone Conference and hear from President Wolfert and other leaders. :)

Yesterday, Roberto and Dora, investigators from my last area called me. They wanted to see how I was doing, and asked why I hadn't talked to them since I left. I explained to them that we don't call people outside of our assigned area because we want to focus on what's happening here. I told them that we could write each other letters while I'm still a missionary. Roberto and Dora were so close to baptism when I left, but Roberto had to divorce his wife and Marry Dora. They still haven't been able to get that sorted out yet, but they still attend church everybody. Dora even shared the Gospel with her son, and he'll be getting baptized soon. It made me so happy to find that out. :)     

Thanks everybody!

Have a fantastic week!

Elder Clark  

Monday, February 25, 2013

You just got plumed

Hola Hola Hola!

Well, this is one of those weeks where we had a little bit more time than usual to contact new people because of lack of other things to do, but hey, its awesome to talk to new people. Its amazing to be able to walk up to somebody for the first time, sit down on their porch, and talk about faith in Jesus Christ. Some people can talk about it for a really long time. We've decided that we're going to use the quotes we read on church signs in our contacts, like "God doesn't forget the sinner, He forgets the sin," or "Sin is the disease, and Christ is the cure." 

Marcos crazy story continues. He ended up loosing his job this week and got kicked out of where he was living. We told him he should move back to Guatemala because he has family there and can get food. He said he was planning on it, and he started his Journey back yesterday. He's a good guy, and I hope he finds the missionaries, or they find him. 

Its just good to be a missionary. I love sharing my testimony with others, I love the Lord, and I love everybody! (well, almost) 

Thanks everybody

Elder Clark

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sleep over in the Hospital- Rated Pg 13

As you can tell by the title, we had an interesting week...

Thursday was a good day, we spent a lot of time knocking on doors talking to people, and we talked to A LOT of people that day. Around 6, we taught Marcos the Plan of Salvation, and he told us he had read a lot of the Book of Mormon. Well we went home happy that night. We settled down to plan, took off our shoes, and then came the phone call. Marcos was living at the house  of a brother-in-law to a less active Sister in our branch. She called us, and told us that her brother-in-law called her and told her that Marcos had fallen over in his chair, had a seizure, and was bleeding from his mouth. Well, we through on our shoes and were out the door at 9 PM to go back to see Marcos. We got there, and the man he lived with said he was in his room when he heard Marcos's head hit the floor and came out and saw him shaking on the floor. The ambulance came, and we translated for the paramedics what happened. They told us they were going to take him to the hospital, and that we needed to translate for the doctor. So at 9:30, we headed to the hospital, which gratefully located right down the street. The doctor said the Marcos had a seizure because of an Alcohol withdrawal. When people that are heavy drinkers stop drinking, the sudden lack of alcohol can cause a seizure. One more reason to not drink. :) So we were there at the hospital with Marcos until 2 in the morning, but when it was all over, he was fine. :) The seizure does mean that he has stopped drinking (or at least cut back a lot) since we started teaching him, so that's good. He was bleeding from his mouth because he bit his tongue

The sad news is he won't be baptized this coming week, the 23rd. He's made so much progress, but he still has a hard time understanding everything. One thing that makes it hard is that Spanish isn't his first language, some other dialect they speak in his part of Guatemala is. He learned Spanish when he came to the United States, but doesn't understand a lot of the gospel words, so we're going to have to wait a little bit longer.

Well, that story about takes the cake of the whole week. Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark    

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hispanics with southern accents

Howdy y'all. I'm fixin to write a good email today. 
Last week, I talked about Carlos and Marcos, and I'm going to do it again. 
Carlos's parents had been thinking about sending him to live with his aunt in Arizona because he was have problems in school and was causing some trouble. Well, we had another little chat with him this week, about being a better kid, and his parents are pleased with the change they're seeing in him. We just have to get them involved in being a good example to him and helping him stay out of trouble. 
Marcos disappeared to Alabama for a couple days this week looking for work, and we lost contact with him for a few days, but he came back and was able to come to church again. We visited last night and taught him about the Gospel. About 10 minutes into the lesson, Elder Neri felt inspired to ask him if he knew that what we were teaching is true, and he said he did! He said he feels good when he goes to church, and thinks about it all the time. We invited him to be baptized the 23rd of February, and he accepted. :) 
The English Elders also found us another amazing investigator named Jose. We've kind of taught a jumble of stuff, not a complete lesson yet, but he's committed to be baptized, and brought it up the second time we came over, talking about how he was ready and willing follow through with it. Jose just got out of jail last week, and he changed a lot in there. He told us about his past life, and about how his time in jail made him search for God, so he's really looking for the truth right now. 
This Saturday, a select few of us had an opportunity to go to Atlanta and hear from Elder Soares (pronounced Suarez), a president of the Quorum of the 70. So yes, it was a big deal. He talked about how we as missionaries are to build up, or edify, the church. That doesn't just mean baptizing people, but rather helping them become converted. We don't just baptize people then throw at the ward and say, "now you can deal with them." We need to help them stay converted, help them prepare for the temple. He also talked about the importance of being obedient and worthy as representatives of Jesus Christ, and talked about the importance of planning. All in all, it was an awesome week. 
Thanks everybody! 
Con amor, 
Elder Clark  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The escape plan

Jordan's birthday is on Feb. 27th. If you would like to send him birthday wishes, his current address is:

1126 Keswick Village Court
Conyers, GA 30012

No, the title is not referring to me escaping from the mission early.
(Note from Lisa, the title probably refers to the day the missionaries in Jordan's area all had to return to their apartments due to an approaching storm.  Quote from his letter to our family: "Don't feel like bad parents just because you didn't check the weather. At around 2:30, President Wolfert told all of us to get back to apartment because the storm was getting bad. We had just started teaching a lesson to, but we fled for our apartment. We got home before the rain and the wind picked up. Once we were in, we were told that the storm wasn't going to get bad for another 30 minutes, so we were in in plenty of time. All it did was rain hard where we were. I was on exchange with Elder Moore, and we got to spend more time together than planned because we weren't aloud to leave the our apartment the whole day.

Extra responsibilities I have as district leader is go on exchanges with each member in the district, collect key indicators (or numbers) Sunday night and report them to the Zone Leaders, plan district meeting, stuff like that.")

We had an amazing, fantastic, absolutely wonderful week. 

We've been teaching a young boy named Carlos, and this week we saw a big change. Last week we talked about things like not swearing at school, and he's completely stopped. This week, we showed him the video "Finding Faith in Christ." His friend happened to come over about halfway through the video and watched it with us. After the video, Carlos started crying! He felt the Spirit so strongly testifying to him that Christ was his Savior. I don't think he'd ever felt the spirit so strongly before, so it scared him just a little bit. We told him not to worry about crying, and asked him how he felt, and what he described to us was the Spirit. 

Another miracle happened with a new investigator named Marcos. The English missionaries found him, and he ended up calling us and telling us he wanted help to stop drinking. So we helped him, but from there his story and the miracles that followed just exploded. It turns out he was living in a really bad environment and was going to get kicked out on Sunday. He didn't have a job, didn't have a place to stay. Well we searched, but couldn't really find anything. On Saturday, a member invited him and a less active and part member family (Carlos's family actually) over for lunch. Turns out Marcos knew the part member family, and the less active family found him a placed to live. We ended up going on a wild goose chase to find him again that night after the lunch and tell him they had a place for him, and being guided by the spirit, we found him, and got him out the terrible place he lived in.

Both Marcos and Carlos came to church on Sunday. :)

Well, that was our awesome week.

Thanks Everybody!

Elder Clark

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baby elephants and broken chains


The best part about this week were the Talks Elder Neri and I gave in Sacrament Meeting. Ok, what wasn't the best part, but we gave some pretty awesome talks on missionary work, rallying the members to share the gospel. 

We've had some awesome days this week. On Friday, we got call from a member to go visit a less active family. Their son had just gone though a really difficult situation, and we were able to show up right when they needed help. We've been gaining a lot of trust with that family recently, so things are moving on. The same day, we taught an 11 year young man about not swearing and doing other similar things at school. It seemed to be a real problem from what his mom had told us, we were able to help him, and Elder Neir was so convincing that I'm pretty sure the young man is going to stop swearing. :) Elder Neri seems to have a lot in common with many of the people we teach, especially among the less actives. Its a great way for him to finish off his mission. 

I was also privileged to go on exchange this week with Elder Yellowplume (Isn't that an awesome name? He's native American) The exchange meant I got to be on bike and speak in English all day whooo!

This week, we had a couple of conversations with people that had me thinking a lot about the importance of prayer and receiving an answer from God about what the truth is. We had a couple of interesting discussions with people that believe differently than us based on just facts and research or bible verses. Well, I believe in what I believe because I prayed and asked God, and He told me it was true, and you can't really argue with somebody about that. I would much rather put my faith in God than humans. I'm also not saying bad about the bible either, but God is still the Ultimate source of truth. So if you have a question, do what Joseph Smith did, as directed by James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God..." and ask God.

Have a wonderful week everybody!   

Elder Clark

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yo no se porque el rio es amarillo

Hello to one and all from my new home for the next few months, Conyers Georgia! (Have you ever heard of it? No? Well that doesn't surprise me, because I didn't know existed until I got here. (Its basically south of Atlanta) :) Talk about more rural than my last area. We've got some true southerners down here.

My Companion is Elder N*** from Arizona, who's parents are from Mexico. Like I said last time, I lived in the same apartment with him 4 months at the beginning of my mission. He's got about 3 month left, and then he's off to home again. Me, I have 5 left, and then I go home. They stuck two old geasers together. Don't worry, we won't be getting trunky together or anything, especially since they made me district leader. I know, right? Giving Elder Clark authority and responsibility over other missionaries, weird.

Anyways. Elder N*** is awesome. He's has one of the biggest hearts I've ever seen. He wants to do so much good and help everybody, and he bears testimony with so much power and boldness its hard to tell him no. :)

The Yellow River Branch (the one I'm in) Is the smallest I've been in, with about 30 people or so, but that doesn't make it less special. I met about half of the members just going to dinner Wednesday through Saturday, and then I met the other half at church, so now I know everybody. Elder N*** and I are going to double the number of members! Well, that would be cool, but probably not.

We found this one trailer park here that is the biggest trailer park I have ever seen. Its is totally a mini Mexico in there, and we could knock doors in there for the next 6 weeks, but there would still be more doors! It made me so happy to find it. :) In that complex, we found this one English man named George. While we were teaching him a Spanish man, Jorge, came to take their dryer. He saw we were "Preaching the Word" and came into the room and started talking to us in Spanish about visions and dreams he's had. Meanwhile George is sitting on the couch without a clue of what Jorge is saying, so I start translating for him. Jorge shared his thoughts for about 10 minutes, and then we were able to wrap it all up and leave with a new investigator for the English Elders and for us. Talk about weird lessons.

Thanks everybody,

Que Dios les bendiga!

Elder Clark

enough said

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bye Bye Pollo

My time has come to an end here in Gainesville, the poultry capital of the world. It been a glorious 13 weeks, and a total of over 7 months in the same branch, my favorite branch of them all. Alas, the time has come to leave, and to continue my service in The Yellow River Branch. (La Rio Amarillo.) My companion is going to be Elder Neri, a native Spanish speaker! WHHOO! I lived in the same apartment as Elder Neri for the first 3 transfers of my mission, So I know him a little bit.

The whole last 2 transfers I've felt like we start seeing progressing investigators and people coming to church right before I left, and I was right. It is hard to leave these people behind, but that's all right. It was amazing to be answers to some of their prayers by knocking on they're door at the right time, or randomly arriving just in time to help them move, or to eat with them and talk about where we learned spanish and why we speak it so well (That topic comes up a lot.)

We'll sum it all up by saying. "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord."

Hasta luego!

Elder Clark