Monday, March 16, 2015

Una Mazeta

Well another week is over!! The time just keeps flying, and whenever I tell that to people here the all just look at me and tell me wait until I am their age!

After much stress and chaos this week, we had the wedding. The bride had this dress that she needed alterations on and so I called a upon a sister in the ward to help. When she looked at the dress there was just no way that she was going to be able to make it fit. And so a day before the wedding neither the bride nor the groom had clothes to wear! So they had a stressful day in Phoenix looking for something to wear. And then the wedding day was a tad bit stressful, but all came together and they were married and very happy! He will be getting baptized this Saturday. It is just truly amazing and I need to thank my Father in Heaven more because this was the couple that we just ran into on the street-they came up to us and asked where the church was and she said that he wanted to become a member and so we really didn’t have a lot of work to do! But the Lord does truly bless us when we do what he asks of us. So that has been a real miracle in our area.

This week we also got to enjoy a lot of good food, as we always do! But, man oh man, did they take good care of us. We met with one of our investigators and we were helping her paint this house and for lunch I cooked up some steaks and burgers she gave us and we all had a good BBQ and a lesson. And then the next day, I was on exchanges with my district leader and there was a yard sale going on in the Gold Star Park, the trailer park right next to the church. We were walking around talking to people for just a little bit, and a member ran into her house (well, trailer) and came out with a box full of ribs and salmon and all types of food! So for lunch we went back to that same investigator and ate more steak and cooked up the ribs and just had a nice cook out! And then that night we had Navajo tacos- so they are taking care of us. No worries there, mom!

I was really blessed this week to get to talk a lot in Spanish. On Tuesday at the food bank we had a Spanish couple come to volunteer and help out. As I was talking to them, they said that they are just looking for anything that has to do with God. And, of course, we could help them out! So we went over a couple days later and they are just wonderful people; very, very nice people. I just love Hispanics. They are just so humble and open to the gospel! We had a great lesson and left them with un Libro de Mormon. I also asked him if he knew any sayings in Spanish and so he taught me a new one:  "El que nace en una mazeta, mazeta quedara." Or something like that. It basically means , “He that is born in a flower pot will stay in the flower pot!!” So those were the words or wisdom I learned this week.

And then on Friday I was able to speak a lot of Spanish as well. Right by the church a car had broken down and they were a Hispanic family and so we helped them out and then pushed their car to the church. It was awesome to speak Spanish to them and they said that we can send missionaries to their home! Service really brings blessings. And then later that day we had two Spanish lessons. It really makes me want to go back to a Spanish speaking area! I need to go back to one!

The work is still progressing here in Quartzsite. Many of the members we love are getting ready to move back north, so that will be a sad day with lots of goodbyes. But I have truly loved this area and the people here. I will never forget them!

That is all for this week! Should be another good week! Orale!

Elder Clark
Just enjoying Quartzsite! We were helping some people move and so we rode around on these chairs through the park!
Before the Wedding!

Awkward missionary stance. With the bride before the wedding!
A scene from a variety show at Gold Star.
Gold star is a trailer park - it's like a mini Utah. Lots of members right by the church. 
They have shows and jams all the time!

Going Fishin'

In a parade at one of the trailer parks. These people were coach potatoes!
Cactus in bloom.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Letter from a member in Quartzsite

The following letter was sent to us by a member in Quartzsite. What a treat to have someone take time to write us.

March 2, 2015

Dear Brother & Sister Clark,

You don't know me BUT I know your son, Elder Clark. I thought I'd drop you a note and tell you something you probably already know-Elder Clark is one special young man!!

We have enjoyed getting to know him. He is so up-beat, positive, smiley, obedient and happy. We love to be around him.

Every Monday on their P-day we feed him and his companion breakfast (he loves to eat, haha) then they go out desert golfing with my husband. They laugh a lot and have a good time on the desert golfing (it's quite an experience).

He never leaves us without wanting to say a prayer and loves to leave us with one of his "favorite scriptures" (he has many).

He has such a cute sense of humor and laughs a lot with us but also he is so humble and has much gratitude. You would be so proud to watch him in action here in Quartzsite with all these "old people". They all love him.

He is always saying to us, "What can I do for you?" "Can I help you with anything?"

Just wanted you to know that he is fine, happy, being taken care of by probably over 110 "grandparents"! You did a great job raising this fine missionary and we know for sure Heavenly Father is so pleased with him also.

Hope this letter finds you all well and happy in knowing Elder Clark is A-Ok.

Wedding Bells

March 9, 2015

Wedding bells are ringing!! I don’t even know if there will be bells, but oh well! So after a stressful week of planning a wedding and teaching lessons our investigators are getting married this Saturday! I will be so relieved when it’s all over – it has been quite a ride, but I am so happy for them and what all this means in their lives. They hope to go to the temple in a year to be sealed. Sort of a funny story about that - When our investigator first heard about being sealed in the temple he thought it meant like we were “sealed” in the temple with our wives forever. So he was picturing in his mind that we were sealed in the temple just as mummies were buried in tombs. Haha - we had a good laugh about that one! They are some really amazing people and have a very hard and interesting life so it has been quite the adventure teaching them and working with them. Luckily they got the relief society involved for the reception and wedding because, oh man, two 18 year old Elders planning a wedding is a disaster!

We have another investigator who is doing well and progressing towards baptism, but she hasn’t come to church recently and so that has been very, very frustrating. We have been able to get her the Book of Mormon on CDs and that will hopefully help her progress to where she needs to be for her baptism. It is amazing how the Book of Mormon can change our lives by reading that simple book and praying to know of its truthfulness. In the lives of our investigators we can truly see when they are changed based on how much they read. It’s a big difference compared to those that don’t read. That is why Joseph Smith said that the book of Mormon is the "keystone of our religion".

Things are still staying pretty busy here, although every week people are slowing heading back up north. It is very weird to have a branch where the members leave you and not the other way around as it is normally anywhere else you go. It is sad to see a lot of them go. It’s a very interesting ward because there is no stability - it is just always in motion. It makes it hard to get to know everyone but I am getting to know a good chunk of the people and what a blessing that is. I am thoroughly convinced you can find good people where ever you go -some of the best people, I believe! It’s also sad that some may not live too much longer...but I don’t tell them that!

This area is a puzzle for us. Luckily this week at a zone meeting we were able to get some new ideas on how we can find more people to teach and I know as we are diligent the Lord will bless us. We know that we will be leaving this area the next transfer and so I want to get as much work done as we can and leave it good and ready for the next season! If we have faith in the Lord no matter what the circumstance is, if it’s his will, we will be blessed!

We have started biking a lot more and my companion borrowed a bike from a member. A real nice bike with a nice old man seat to go with it! We have enjoyed cruising around on our bikes and talking to more people on the street. In Preach My Gospel there is an analogy of a fisherman (so naturally I would like it) and it talks about how one fisherman can leave his house and only have his fishing line in the water for a couple hours out of the total 12 hours he is gone. Then another fisherman has his line in the water for 10 of those 12 hours and how much more successful he was and how many more fish he caught. It is the same in missionary work. We can be gone from the apartment all day, but if our line is not in the water for as long as we can have it be, then we won’t find as much success. I really like that analogy and I even take it a step further and say well, the more lines I have in the water the better, and so the more ways we have to find people and touch their lives more effectively the better.

I hope you all have a great week and that I survive this week leading up to the wedding! It is going to be a fun day-that’s for sure!! Keep working hard!

Elder Clark
Our Christmas present from Logan - a great caricature.
From the email to Logan: My wife said, Hello, hello, hello.
Was nice meeting you, wish you the best. Keep safe and " looking
to Jesus the Author and Finisher of your faith." Jerry and Carol Greene.
Pretty attractive face - hijole!
New missionary bike we found!! I wasn't wearing a helmet-oops!
The Carter Family! Kyle has downs and is just awesome. I gave him a pass along card of Jesus Christ and he was so happy. He was giving me high fives and knuckles in priesthood and whenever I saw him he would just get super happy and laugh and I would give him a huge hug! Man, I loved that guy. They left this week and I was sad! He always made me smile! He loved cowboys so he always wore boots. 
The investigator baptism that Logan missed. He is a great guy!
In a little cave we drove to during while we were golfing.
Cliff Drawings

Grinding corn like the Indians! (There is a cord in the way.)
Exploring in a jeep! Don't worry, I wasn't driving it was just parked! Just having fun!

Brother Limb, but we call him twig or I sometimes say sapling, haha!
Brother Boyce!

This is His Work

March 2, 2015

March Madness is starting!!!! Oh man let me tell you, it’s madness over here! It is raining! But also we had a really good week full of miracles and blessings from the Lord. We were definitely busy this week and we had a lot to do so I was happy with the work that we did get done.

We were on exchanges on Tuesday and we had a big lesson with a young couple we are working with. We had the lucky chance of teaching the law of chastity, but it went really well and we are working with them. The man will be baptized soon after they get married! They are a really fun couple and I think all the elderly folk here are enjoying seeing them at church. It’s been amazing for them, that in their circumstances, the Lord is blessing them. We were talking to them on Friday and they said they couldn’t see a way that it was going to work, but now they have found a more stable place to live and a new job. All types of little blessings are coming into their lives. We shared with them the scripture in 1 Nephi 3:7-

7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Another great thing that happened this week was one of the investigators from my last area who I had been teaching a lot just got baptized! I really wanted to go up and see him be baptized and he asked me to confirm him, but there was just no way I could get up to Vegas to do that. But I am still happy for him and everyone said all went well and that he is super happy! It is hard at times because we want people to accept the gospel right away, and some people just need some time. And we don’t always see the seeds that we plant in people’s lives - So don’t ever give up on anyone!

We also had a really spiritual lesson with a gal we have been teaching for a while. She finally was able to move into a trailer and so we just stopped by real quick and as we began teaching her she told of an experience that happened to her earlier in the day. There was a man that she had hired to help her move in and he was getting very frustrated and mad and was yelling and cursing and so she asked him to leave. She said it really had a big impact on her and that afterwards she said a prayer that she would be comforted and then we showed up. She was touched by the spirit and had tears in her eyes as she told us about this answer to her prayer. As we continued to talk to her, we were able to promise her that her fears of the water would go away through faith in Christ and we set her with a baptismal date for April 2nd, her birthday!! We are super excited for her, even though she didn’t come to church yesterday, but I guess we will forgive her.

I will close with a very spiritual experience that I had; one of the most spiritual of my mission. It is about priesthood blessings and it really showed me that the priesthood and being guided by the spirit is so real and that they are not my words I speak during a priesthood blessing, but Christ’s words. We were at a member’s house and he had been having a really hard day and had been fighting with his wife. He said that he just had a lot of anger at the moment and so we talked for a little while and then he asked for a blessing. As I gave him a blessing I really tried to just clear my mind and go off the spirit and not say what I thought he needed but what the Lord needed him to hear. As I did that, I said things that didn’t seem exactly right to me, but after the blessing he sat quiet for a little bit and then he stood up with tears in his eyes and said, "You just quoted part of my Patriarchal Blessing exactly." I was filled with the spirit and I knew that the Lord was the one speaking and that it was what he needed to hear.

I hope you all have a great week! We are doing really well down here and staying dry mostly! I love you all!

Elder Clark

Since I wasn't sure if  I was leaving and the Lawter's were going to be out of town, we took this picture. It reminds me of a hobbit house! I just look a lot bigger then I am because they are short and have a small house.

Our golfing buddies. Some of the happiest people I know of in this world!