Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Week 3 from the CCM


This week has been the fastest week of my life! I feel like it was P-day just yesterday. This week my eyes have really been opened and my heart has been truly touched. I have felt the spirit very strong and have felt a desire to be the best missionary I can and repent of all the things I fall short on.

To start, the days get very long as there is not much variation during the week besides P-day and Sunday. Classes and teaching in the morning and then the same thing at night, but we are learning so  much. Saturday I asked our teacher, Hermano Romero to share a mission story. He served his mission in Los Angeles. He decided to share his conversion story instead of a mission story. He was baptized at age 11. The part of his conversion story that really touched me was that the elder who baptized him and his family is now inactive and into a lot of bad stuff. My teacher started tearing up and said it is really hard for him to see the very same testimony of an elder that converted you now falter. But then he said that he knows now that it is just an opportunity to share his testimony with him and help him. He told us to never, ever lose our faith after our mission and to endure to the end because you never know when your investigator is watching and the impact you can have on their salvation after your mission. Last Sunday we heard a talk from Elder Holland on a similar subject. It was a very powerful message.

Then that night my companion and I had a really good talk. We really bonded and I think we became much closer and now have a lot of Christlike love for each other. Things that may have bothered me before I can now easily shrug them off and we can focus on the work!! The spirit can truly work with you when you have no contention. We get along great and talk about sports and health and all types of crazy stories. And we work out hard! I am getting my shoulder back. I am up to 65 pushups so that is good!

Sunday was an amazing day!! The spirit is just so strong on Sunday! Sacrament meeting is great and I am understanding more and more. The best part of the day are the devotionals and the movie. They show talks from the apostles that only missionaries can see and they are the best talks ever! Elder Bednar was the speaker and he talked about being a preach my gospel missionary and it was a truly inspiring talk. He shared a story about meeting with someone who was struggling with an addiction and told him that he could overcome this and that God was with him. He then told us, "I know you can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS!! Jesus will walk with you every step of the way as you turn to Him and He knows you can do this." It was very powerful. 

The movie we watched was also amazing! It was about the Salt Lake Temple and how that came about and the construction and all the trials that occurred. It truly and clearly bore testimony about the sacredness and the joy we receive from temples. I am so excited to be able to go through one again, hopefully very soon. I have a unshakeable testimony that families are eternal and that God gave us families so that we could learn and grow and return to Him. Without a family, we have nothing. Death holds no bonds because we know there is life after this and if we live in this life how we need to be then all will be okay.

We are almost to Alma in the Book of Mormon in Spanish! I has been a lot of work to keep up with it but I know it is helping my Spanish a ton! 

So some funny stories to end!! The first one is like a week and a half ago we convinced these two newbies that we were from Mexico. We just started sprouting out Mexican tongue twisters. It is so funny because they still think we are from Mexico. With all the Latinos we talk to we always say, "soy de Whacka" which means I am from Whacka or however you spell it and they all just start laughing.

One of the Elders in my district is a rugby player which is really cool. He is going to the Reno mission. He has said some of the funniest things in Spanish. In his first week at a lesson he was trying to tell the investigator that happiness doesn't come from beer. He accidentally said "cervesa es no feliz navidad"  which translated is "beer is not merry Christmas". It was really funny.  The same Elder was talking to some Latin Hermanas and was trying to explain to them that another elder scares him every morning. To be scared is tener miedo but he was pronouncing it wrong and was saying tener miado which means to pee. So he was telling them this story in broken Spanish and said this elder pees on him every morning and that he pees himself. We were just rolling in laughter!!

Me and my comp booby trapped the classroom by putting tape across the door down by the feet. Our district leader came in and he saw it and stepped over it and had this look of triumph on his face. He then walked to his seat and as he was gloating he ran straight into another piece of tape we put by his chair. It was the funniest thing ever. He just started laughing and we were all dying because we got him so good!

It is pretty crazy in Mexico. A few people have been shot right outside the CCM and we hear all the cops going around. There is also some guy always yelling into a mega phone about tacos!! It's great!! Hasta Luego!! 

Elder Clark

Logan being normal:

Logan being Logan! 
All of these Elders would call him Clark Kent
so the Superman T-Shirt is very meaningful to all of them.

The gun show?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Week 2 from the CCM


Week number two is done and once again I don't even know where to start. I have been writing in my journal every night, so maybe next week I will bring that with me for a little refresher. The weeks feel like years!! We get so much stuff done in just one week it is crazy-but it flies by so, so fast!

This week was actually much harder for me then the first one but it was also more spiritual!! I think that is Heavenly Father's way of showing that our work does pay off and that we really do have to do all that we can do to see blessings in our life. He is so quick to bless us if we are obedient and humble ourselves and ask for help. 

Last Wednesday the lesson that I was preparing for and hoping to bring the spirit went very well. I bore my testimony from my heart just off the top of my head and the spirit was very strong. I could see in the eyes of our investigator tears forming and he wasn't a guy prone to show emotion. It was super awesome and then my comp bore his testimony from memory and at one point he told our investigator that we loved him like Heavenly Father did and that was very powerful!. 

So after you teach your first investigator five times he becomes your teacher. Ours is so so so cool. He is so funny but really spiritual too. He went to California for his mission. He just recently got home and so he has a lot of great advice for us!! 

Sunday was a very spiritual day! I love Sundays here. District meeting is the best! I have an awesome district and we really have the spirit during these meetings. We have great discussions and get to hear lots of amazing and very touching testimonies. We also have a movie we watch on Sunday nights and we watched The Restoration! I have such a strong testimony about Joseph Smith. He is truly one of my heroes. The things that he endured because he had faith in the Lord are just incredible. It shows me what my own faith can do in my life with my own struggles. 

Monday night our teacher challenged us to have a fast in our language. No speaking English for 24 hours!!! So we all decided as a district to do it the next day. So yesterday I didn't speak much English. We had a few slip ups and by dinner everyone had broken the fast, but it helped us think first in Spanish and try to say things. It was very difficult and I felt depressed all day-most likely because I like to talk and I couldn't. Haha!! 

Me and my companion have made a very large goal! We are reading the entire Book of Mormon in Spanish aloud before we leave the CCM! We are already in 2nd Nefi and have to read around 22 pages a day!! It is super hard but super rewarding. It brings us closer together. There is a talk by a general authority that says if you read the Book of Mormon in a foreign language you will be fluent in that language. So that is our goal and we are going on faith!! We are also memorizing 100 vocab words a day!! Lots of work!! See if you can find that talk; I would like to read it.

This morning we went to the temple! It was awesome. We couldn't go inside, but the visitor center was still amazing. It is so cool to see all that the church does for teaching people about our religion. It is such a nice place with lots of cool exhibits. Our tour guide was an Hermana in the area and she was super cool! She talked to us about how the spirit has guided her in learning English! We watched a movie about families that the church has and it was very, very touching. It made me miss you all so so much!! I know that families are eternal and that they are the center of God's plan for us. There was one part of the video I really liked it said, "God shows his love for us through families". I thought that was so so cool! I can't wait to teach people that they really can be with their families forever and find great joy in that. 

One thing that we have been learning a lot about is not teaching just about baptism but the temple as well. We should try and progress our investigators so that they will go to the temple in a year. An apostle said it is not endure to the end but "endure to the endowment". I thought that was really neat.

So Sunday was also a very sad day!! All of our Latino friends left. We took tons of pics with them and had a great last day with them. There are some pretty funny pics too. Unfortunately, they are not on my camera so I will have to get them from my comp soon! It was sad to see them go. They are some of the greatest people I have ever met. They have such strong testimonies and a great spirit about them - I just know that one is going to be a general authority!!! He is also a baker so he is making my cake for my wedding haha!! One was 25 and so I called him abuelo - which means grandpa! He was the coolest guy ever!

The classes surprisingly go by super super fast!! Four hours just flies. It is hard work and you have to really focus but it is a great thing!! The classes at night can get super long and we are all super tired but we learn a lot of amazing things. We get a lot of free study time which is spent reading the Book of Mormon and studying vocab and grammar and anything but Spanish! ha We don't always use our time wisely during the free study times, but you can blame us we get pretty worn out from studying. It has been hard for me because I have never been a big studier, but I know the Lord is blessing me.

It is super hard being with the same person all the time, but he is an awesome guy and I just pray to love him like my Savior does. We play rugby and he teaches me some basketball moves. I can do a cross over now and I have got around some people so that was pretty cool!! We are both pretty energetic guys so that is awesome!!

Oh, I forgot to mention the food!! It is, well, let's just say not bad, but not good. I haven't lost a ton of weight, but I haven't been enjoying every meal. Me and my comp do a lot of studying in the bathrooms! We will just leave it at that. They have pizza every Tuesday night so we eat a lot of that and we are learning how to add things to make the meals taste better. I have never had Nutella before now. I have a PB and Nutella sandwich in the mornings it is really good. Inside of the Nutella caps there are Spongebob stickers. You have to be fast to get them before other people but I already have three of the four!!!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!! 

Elder Clark

P.S. It is much better if you send letters through Dear Elder. It is a website that you just send an email to the Mexico MTC and they print it off and give it to me so I can read some more stuff from you guys during the week!!

Pictures of the Mexico City Temple




 Pictures from the Visitor's Center

For those in our family who might drive a little too far south!

Pictures from the streets of Mexico City

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Week Numero Uno

August 13, 2014


Well its been one week!!!! It feels like a lifetime. I don't even know where to start!! So much has happened and I want to tell you all of it!!!! Susan will probably say I am being long winded but there is just so much to share!

I love it here so, so much!! Everyone said the first week was super hard and that you just have to make it through that, but I love it so much! Like one of the best weeks of my life. My comp is super awesome. He is a really good basketball player and super ripped!! We go hard in work outs. My shoulder will be back to good in no time!! He is going to Vegas too so I will probably see him down the road. We have ten Elderes in my district and no Hermanas. 8 of us Elderes are going to Vegas so that is super cool!! They are all great guys. My district leader is a super spiritual guy from D.C. He's awesome!! The first night we were in a casa, but when we got back to go to bed there was a note saying we had been moved to the dorms and it was in Spanglish and we were like WHAT! ha and there were no keys or any way to get into the dorm and we had no idea who to talk to. We figured it out and it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. There are three dorm rooms that share a bathroom all in the same big room and only one of the other rooms is full. There are two Latinos. One is from Guatemala so that is super cool. He is super short. hahaha They are so sweet!!
Me and my comp hang with Latinos all the time. We sit with them at all the meals and they teach us all types of things!!! Their spirit is so strong. There is one Elder who is a baker. He is from Mexico and said he would make cakes for our weddings. But he is seriously the most spiritual guy I know!! He is like my hero. 

So some funny stories: (most are with the Latinos if not all-haha) 

They have taught us a bunch of tongue twisters. the best one is Parangaricutirimicuaro!!! Try saying that dad hahaha! So we walk around and say that to everyone and they are all like what? or if they are Mexican they freak out - ha. We also say que puchuca por tuluca which means WAZZZZ UP!! Our maestro always says. "who teaches you this" hahahaha he is a cool guy!

They made us eat chiles (peppers) one day and mix it with ice cream and it was good. They said we had souls of a Mexican. Then the next day this one Latino we are close with put these habanero chips on the table and the label had a warning because they were so hot. So me and my comp started eating them and all these Latinos started crowding around and going crazy!! I grabbed this huge handful of these chips and this one elder said in a very Mexican accent, "Elder Clark I am going to put your name on my door!!" haha I guess I was his hero. Then the same Elder slammed down a second bag on the table - we were like oh man!! ha But we ate it and they were like, "No, you are a Mexican!"

My comp's name is Elder Thorne. and all the Latinos say like Thor? The guy with the hammer? And for my name they say, Elder Clark, like Clark Kent. So they call us the super compenaros!!hahaha

They love us and say we are the coolest American missionaries. They save seats for us for meals and devotionals. We are some of the only missionaries that hang out with the Latinos but it is really good for our Spanish.

Another funny story was i was talking to this guy and he said he was from the Milwaukee area and it was cool because we are the only people from Wisconsin here.  But he started asking me if I knew people. Then as he was walking away he asked if I knew Maddie Clark? And I responded that yes, umm she is my sister. And then he tells me, "Oh yeah, I took her on a date once!" I think it was the mixer date!! hahahhahahaha Me and my comp started laughing so so hard!!!.

So i will end with some of the more spiritual stories from this week. There is just so much to share. The spirit is so strong here and it is so cool being with so many missionaries that all have the same purpose in mind. We have a lot of fun but we work so hard!! 

We teach an investigator and the first lesson was so so hard. We barely knew how to say anything and basically just laughed the whole time. It was very humbling to see how much work we have to do. Then our second lesson went great and we were able to say what we wanted even though we mostly just read from things we had translated before. Then our third lesson was good and he committed to baptism. He isn't a real investigator but he doesn't speak any English so it feels real. He is super awesome and crazy. He asked my comp to dance and was telling us he liked girls and said mujeres and did his hands in a motion of curves. haha-We lost it!! Today we have been praying really hard to have the spirit in our lesson. It is hard when you have to read so much and don't know what you are saying. I am going to try to bear my testimony from heart tonight and bring the spirit. Pray for me that i can do it!!! 

The second night we had a branch meeting with all the new people and the zonies and the sister trainers and a man sang If the Savior Stood Beside Me in Spanish and I had tears in my eyes. The spirit was so so strong. Every night me and my comp sing a hymn in Spanish with our roomies next door. The spirit is so strong when we sing hymns. That is my favorite thing. I love the hymns in Spanish. 

We had a seventy from Mexico speak to us last night and it was his first time ever giving a talk in English and it was awesome. It talked about how there is no reward for half hearted obedience! I thought that was so cool!! 

This is a great work and I am a representative of Jesus Christ! I feel the spirit so strong here and I know that this is the only place in the world that I am meant to be. To be surrounded by so many brothers and sisters in the Lord is a great thing. I have had a great week and I know it will only get better from here!! My district is great and they all have wonderful testimonies that help strengthen mine. I love this gospel so much. Yo se que el evangelio es verdadero. I love you all so much and I cant wait to write again in a week. Everyone send letters if you can. It would be great to get those from you. 

Elder Clark

Elder Clark acquired new Guatemala scripture covers from another Elder.

What a landscaper looks like in Mexico.

The view from the dorm.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Elder Clark is in Mexico City

August 6, 2014
Hey everyone.
I am safely here!! This is just so so crazy. The flight was good I got some sleep but hardly any food. My second flight was boarding when I landed so I had to hurry!! It has been fun talking to a bunch of missionaries. I have met some elders that are going to Vegas as well, so that is cool. One is in my district. He is from North Carolina. I love all you guys and hope all is well. I need an SD card so if you could check my camera stuff and see what I need and send it in a letter as soon as possible that would be great-like in a day or two so it gets here. Until then I will look around here for one maybe and see if I can get pics from other people. My camera only takes like three pictures ;(  Have a great week! My P-day is Wednesday so in a week I will be able to write again. I love you all. This is so crazy.
Hasta luego,

Elder Clark

Leaving on a Jet Plane

The flight to Mexico City left Madison at 6:00 a.m. We were at the airport at 4:30 a.m. to check his bags and to have a little time for a goodbye. I was really hoping that they would give us gate passes so we could be with him for as long as possible, but the ticket counter guy had no mercy on us. I was beyond sad, but when we went upstairs to where the security line starts we noticed that his gate was right in front of us (yes, Madison is a pretty small airport). What a tender mercy that was. We were able to watch him go from security, to his gate, to boarding the plane and then watching the plane taxi away. He had a connecting flight in Atlanta where it sounded like he met up with other missionaries going to Mexico City. This is the BEST decision that Logan could ever make in his life at this time, but it was still SO HARD to let go of that last embrace.

Walkin' away a winner!

How crazy is it that this lady has on a Las Vegas sweatshirt?!

About to board. 
Logan wondered how he would be able to tell if he ran into other missionaries. 
We just told him that he'd know!

We were able to watch a beautiful sunrise through some teary eyes.