Monday, February 23, 2015

In the Right Place at the Right Time

So, as always, the Lord blesses you after you remain faithful during times of adversity. This week has been a real blessing compared to the last couple weeks we have had. We were able to really see some amazing miracles.

We had tracted into this one couple and the wife was very interested. We have been teaching her pretty frequently. Although she didn’t make it to church, it was great to find someone new that we could begin teaching. She has just soaked up everything we say to her and so hopefully we will be able to help her progress. 

But the biggest miracle of the week happened a couple days later. We were out walking around the town talking to people and as we were almost back to our trailer to get a bite to eat this car pulled over and a lady in her 20s and this guy with her start talking to us from their car (miracle in itself that they were young!!!) and she said that she was a member and was wanting to go back to church and was wondering where to find it. And then after we talked a little more she said that her boyfriend wanted to join the church and so we set up an appointment with them. It was just amazing as we walked away and starting talking about what had just happened - we were truly in the right place at the right time. If we would have walked somewhere else or taken longer anywhere else during the day and hadn’t been right there as they drove by we may have never have met them. It’s just amazing how the Lord knows everything and He knows exactly how He needs things to be done. That is why it is so important we listen to the promptings and be obedient. We met with them the other day and he is being baptized March 14th! It’s just crazy how the Lord can bless us.

It is coming to the end of our transfer and it is just crazy how fast truly flies. Doing the Lord’s work just makes everything go faster. I remember that a month used to seem like a long time, but man it sure seems to fly by very quickly now and the people here tell me to wait until I am their age and I am sure they are right! I am not sure whether I will be here another transfer or if they will close the area down yet or if I stay. But either way it will be good. I love the people here so much. It’s just hard because now we are already saying goodbye to a lot of people that we really like. It’s weird being in a ward where they leave you and not the other way around.

We have lots of meetings this upcoming week and will be driving up to Vegas on Thursday so we will be very busy! I hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Clark
With the Cloward's

With the Petersen's


Monday, February 16, 2015

Children are Alive in Christ

As always, every week is filled with so much going on it is just hard to know where to start! This week has been really good, but also very challenging. It seems that no matter what part of life we are in, there are trials. But I know they all come for a reason.

Hearing of Lucy has really saddened my day, but I know all is well. We are in the hands of the Lord constantly and He gives us agency to choose, and at times, people choose wrong and that affects people. But other times, things just happen, like with Lucy and there is nothing no one could have done better. Heavenly Father knows everything that goes on in our life and Christ has suffered for all of these moments. So I hope Amanda and Robby, and all the family can take comfort in Christ’s atonement. It is real, more real then we may ever know at times. The Lord has a plan for Lucy and I know it’s where she needs to be. You guys are the most amazing family ever, how whenever anything happens you are all together. I have always loved this scripture and I know Lucy is on the recovery and that she will do just fine, but in Moroni 8: 22 it reads:

For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing—

I know all children whether in this life or the next are the ones to come are alive in Christ! That is why their testimonies are so sweet. I love you all and my prayers go out to you and Lucy.

This has also been a rough week in the mission field. Lots of people that we thought were interested but just aren’t.

So a few stories...

This week we began meeting with this man. He has a whole truck full of problems - word of wisdom, depression, suicidal, cancer most likely, you name it. But we go to his little trailer and have had a few lessons with him. He really missed his mother and so we had talked a lot about the plan of salvation with him. But then the next day we showed up and he had a friend over and was all mad and probably drunk and high and he was yelling at us and then the next second saying that he was going to come to church. We had a member with us and it was just a crazy experience. I was just trying to get out of there. My companion dubbed his trailer Uncle Tom’s cabin! Our member thought that was great and so he told his friends and wife about his experience at Uncle Tom’s cabin!

We also had a lesson with this other investigator and we were going to do the faith rocket - we call it. It is where we burn a tea bag on the persons hand and then at the last second it floats off their hand, but you have to have these special tea bags to do it. I thought we had them, but oh man was I wrong. I lit the tea bag in her hand and it went right down and burned her hand! Ahh- luckily it wasn’t too bad, but man it was funny.

Other than having all our investigators call us and say they are not interested, we had some pretty interesting lessons on Saturday. In the morning we had a lesson with a guy. it was really a miracle that we found him. I had seen him in the post office a few months ago and we just ran into him outside a members house one day and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was all excited and we got a lesson set up with him. We get to the lesson which was held at the church and we start talking and teaching and well, we find out that he has already been baptized! Like 6 years ago when he was 20, which was totally great, but just crazy because I didn’t think he was. We will still help him, but he is not an investigator anymore. Then that afternoon we had another lesson with a young guy, he is 19 and he seemed very interested and we started teaching about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon and he was so, so excited. And guess what? We found out he was baptized 6 years ago as well when he was 13 haha! So that was really even more frustrating, but he is a cool guy and so maybe we will take him with us to lessons. It would and it would be cool to get him on a mission. I am sure the Lord had us meet them for a reason, so we will see how that goes. At times it is hard because we want to baptize people, but reactivating someone and getting him on a mission can have an even deeper impact then I could know; it would change his life and so many others! So, I am trying to stay positive on that and praying we find more people to teach that are real investigators.

I do not know how much longer they will keep our area open as it is typically only a seasonal area because of the snow birds, and the drastically decreasing missionaries in our mission down from 250 to 180 and going down even more. We will see what the future holds in the next couple weeks. But I love this area and I love my mission. Every day is filled with a purpose and it’s the most important purpose one could have and that really motivates me. I just love the people in my area and pray and hope for them daily! I love you all and keep up your efforts to hasten the Lord’s work!

Elder Clark

Part of my desert golfing crew. I got a hole in one today on a par 4 - so that was really cool!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Spiritual Horizons and Smiles of the Savior

This week has been full of lots of ups and downs. It started with a Zone Conference all day Tuesday which was located an hour and a half away in Lake Havasu. Our mission president talked a lot about having an eternal perspective. He used the analogy of a ship out on the ocean and whichever way you look it’s just ocean and sky meeting at the horizon. He then started talking about what horizons we create in our own lives and what prevents us from seeing further. We know there is land, but we just can’t see it. We know there is a life after this but how easy is it to forget when we can’t see it or forget that it’s there. For a long time the world was thought to be flat. It took some people to overcome the notion that it wasn’t and that there was something beyond the horizon. I just really liked that analogy.

This week we had a lot of problems with our investigators. It just seemed that no one was interested and that those that were had lots of issues come up. One was going to get baptized soon and she moved yesterday, but hopefully she finds the gospel in her new home. We are going to send missionaries there. And then another one of our steady investigator had some drama with members of the branch and needed to take some time off from meeting with us. That was really sad to see. We never know what our actions are going to cause with people and it’s important, especially for those investigating the church that we take precious care of them.

It’s hard to accept that your work is good enough for the Lord when there are not a lot of results. But I know it is our job to invite people and they all have their agency to choose. I think if Heavenly Father rated himself on how He was doing by how many of His children followed Him, He would feel very unsuccessful. He is saddened by it, but He knows there is no other way it can be. We have to accept Christ as our savior and do all that He asks to receive all that the Father has.  

We have had some miracles this week. We are teaching a 15 year old Spanish boy and he said he would be baptized. I just pray things work out with him and we do all we can to get him there. We are also talking to his cousins who live next door and they said they would read the Book of Mormon as a family! They are so amazing. I really know that we can bless their lives and it would be so cool to baptize a Spanish family while I am not even in a Spanish area!! Spanish people are just so humble and ready for the gospel - it’s amazing! There is always work to be done and as we try to listen to what our Father in Heaven wants us to do we will be successful. I am really trying to rely more on the spirit than on myself. What I can do alone is nothing close compared to what someone can do with the spirit. I am nothing without it.

A little bit of some sad news. The brother we baptized last week is now in the hospital with congestive heart failure. He is 81 years old. Hopefully all will work out okay. I am so grateful he made the decision to be baptized before this, because he probably wouldn’t have been baptized in this life if he would have waited any longer. It really just shows that the Lord knows what is needed and he puts us in the right place at exactly the right time.

I hope you all have a great week! I want to leave with a quote from Joseph Smith.

"I step forth into the field to tell you what the Lord is doing and what you must do; to enjoy the smiles of your Savior in these last days." I love that - smiles of your Savior. (3 Nephi 19:25, 30)

Que tengan un buen semana! Buenas suerte con todo en sus vidas y familias.

Elder Clark

Burning the tie - Celebrated 6 months on February 6th.

Burning of the tie.

Made it to the top of Q Mountain

A beautiful horizon.

Quartzsite at dawn.

No, mom, I didn't eat this. But my companion did.

Coyotes in the church parking lot.

A big desert race was held about 30 minutes away from Quartzsite.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

81 and Still Going

Well another week has come and gone!! This week went by super fast but it was really busy as well! I have my new comp and things are going well. I hope I am helping get used to being a missionary and that I’m not the worst trainer, but we are working hard! There has been lots of growth in this area and I just hope it keeps up long enough for us to get some real work done. All of our investigators may leave in the next few months. We also don’t know when our president will take us out of the area, so we will see.

We had a temple trip for new missionaries on Friday and we were lucky enough to get to leave at 3 in the morning to begin the four hour drive to Vegas. We arrived there a little early and we waited until we thought we were supposed to meet the other missionaries. No one ever showed up so we just went into a session. We started second guessing ourselves that maybe it wasn’t even the right day to be there. That was a scary moment, but then we found out that they were in the session right after us and it was all good. We had a great experience there and then a lovely four hour drive back but don’t worry, we had the yummy temple cinnamon rolls first!

And the biggest news of the week was our baptism! He has been investigating the church for years now and he finally decided to just do it. We were so happy for him. He is a great guy and a super funny old man! He is 81 years old - Just a youngin' by Quartzsite standards! I was actually so nervous for his interview because he forgets everything. And so the night before the interview, I just reminded him what the word of wisdom was a thousand times and it was funny when I would ask him what it was he would say, "not running off with other women, now that’s wisdom!" We were able to sort it all out and he did a great job and made it through. We had a great service on Saturday for him and a good crowd showed up to support him. Then we had the baptism and his brother in law was able to perform the ordinance. So his first go around he was scared to death-I am sure! As he went down, he screamed and hollered! And his head didn’t go underwater and his toes came up. After that, he was not able to stand up for a little while, but luckily the second time all was well! Truly, what helped him get baptized was one of our members. He was his constant fellow-shipper and always looked out for him even without us knowing. It is just a blessing to have members so involved in missionary work here!

It’s exciting because the church is changing. It is realizing that missionary work is not just the work of full time missionaries, but that it is the full time missionaries assisting the members in the Lord’s work and not the other way around. This area has been amazing at that. They have asked us to teach Family Home Evenings on Preach My Gospel and many other things, so it is going really well!

This week we were able to find a lot of new Spanish investigators which makes me super happy! Just the other day we went to a referral we received and she was just the nicest lady I have ever talked to. She had a cute little family and it was in the middle of Quartzsite! It was crazy. I really hope and pray we can teach them more! It would be the coolest thing to baptize a Spanish family in Quartzsite!

I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Clark