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