Thursday, March 31, 2016

Member Madness

Well it was another great week in the mission field! We have had lots of miracles this week and lots of fun!

I don't even know where to start.  This past week we have been having our member March madness bracket going. The ward are all in teams and competing with one another in missionary work. The work is going off in the ward right now! It's so cool to see all of our members getting involved and even those that are just coming back into activity. One girl is so awesome and she has come out with us all week and has been doing tons of missionary work and getting so excited about it! Today at church, she asked for a blessing and just told us how thankful she was for us and all we did for her! She also took our investigator home from church and threw down on him! She was sharing her testimony and telling him to get baptized. And he was crying, and he never shows emotion, but almost cried too. The moments that matter most on your mission is when you see people change their lives. That is what makes you never want to leave!

This week we also hit the basketball courts at a nearby park and met a really cool dude. It's about my fifth time going to the courts to play ball. And man, the first couple times I had butterflies so bad! I was literally one of the only white dudes there. But this week we had a cool miracle with the homies. We played this one guy and after the game we had a lesson and another dude we had played with before joined in with us. As we were teaching, the guy joining in was like, "dude I am totally converting, like give me a year! Dude their churches even got gyms! And you see all them other Christian churches and they be twerking in church! Now man that ain't right! These bros got it right."  You got to love when you have random ballers testifying in lessons. The guy we were actually teaching wants to play ball at Dixie in St George and so we told him everyone there is Mormon, so we will see how that goes!

Also this week, Haley was baptized! Which was really neat! It only took 6 times before she was all the way under! She got a bloody nose about the third time and so she had to step out and take care of that. But she is awesome! She is so, so converted for missionary work and the gospel! I know in the last few months, I had really been praying to find people who would truly convert and it is so cool the see the people we have been teaching and their commitments change.

So fast forward another week..... Ha I get so busy that I start a draft and don't get to finish it!

This last week we had a really cool experience at the temple of multiple reasons. One of the members in our ward was receiving his endowments and it was cool to go with him as he has gone through a lot in his life and has changed so much to be where he is at now. Right after we got out of the session we received a text from one of our other members saying that she and a few other sisters from our ward were at the temple with two of our investigators having a lesson and we could come say hi if we wanted too! It's so cool when your members are missionaries themselves and fellowship! The funniest part was that they had just completed a color run and so they were in running clothes and covered in colored dust!

Other than that, we have been super busy with transfers and training missionaries. There is so much for me to learn and this assignment I am in now is going to teach me a lot about humility and dedication and reliance on the Lord.

With this last Easter marks my final Easter on my mission! I guess you only get two, so no big deal! But we had a great Easter! I almost died. We had two dinners that day. One with our investigator and one with some members and both were so good! That morning, before church, we called a bunch of random people in our area book and set up lessons with them and sent some referrals! It was pretty crazy to just call people up and have them be open. I guess the youngins' always answer their phone, ha ha!

Well hope you all have a good week!

Elder Clark

Training New Missionaries

Elder Clark and Elder Thorne Training the New Missionaries

Elder Clark

Elder Thorne

What? They are having too much fun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Surprise Lunch with the Clark Family

I received a text from one of my best friends saying, "Look who I have in my car!" along with the photo below. It made a momma's heart so happy!

The Clark's were in Las Vegas for the day, and were able to take Logan and Elder Thorne out to lunch. Sounds like they had a great visit. I am so grateful for a wonderful friend who was willing to take time out of her vacation to have lunch with a couple of Elders! What an awesome surprise text!! Thank you Dave, Joleen and Jonah!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Origami Master

Hey everyone!

It has been a while since I have had a chance to write a letter!

Things as an assistant are far different then I could have ever expected. It is a very hard assignment in some ways. But I am learning a lot and I have a lot more to learn. One of the biggest things I am learning is trying to stay up on the basics even with all my extra responsibilities. I can truly see a difference when we have a good study in the morning and I get some personal time to read from the scriptures and words of prophets, as well as when we just have a normal day to proselyte. Not sure how normal this week will be; we meet with the president a lot to talk about transfers and then next week we are swamped doing the transfers!

This last week our investigator, Corey was baptized. He has a mental handicap and he is awesome. He even taught origami at FHE last night. He says he is the origami master and so some people nick named his origami, corigami! He liked that a lot haha! He is doing well! For the last week he has brought his tarantula to our lessons, and he always wants us to hold him! Ha I guess I am slowly overcoming my fear of spiders!

This Friday, Hayley is getting baptized! She has come a long way and it's incredible to see the change the gospel can bring on people. I already shared part of her story in my last email, but it's been so cool. She has had a member of the church as her best friend and that is a major reason why she is changing. That is why being a member missionary is so important, they can do things we never could do. Like those two are always together and so it has really helped her out. She posted on Facebook and Instagram to all her friends about her conversion and baptism. And many of her friends have hostile views to some stand points of the church and Hayley herself, only months before, held the same views. But what changed for her was personal study, prayer, and a good friend. She read all of the gospel principles book and lots of the Book of Mormon. We would give her homework assignments out of the back of the pamphlets and she would basically write a dissertation on it and bring in her own referenced scriptures. She would always go above and beyond and always surprise us! I am so grateful I was able to see this miracle. I know without a shadow of a doubt that it was all the power of God! It was really cool because my comp and I did absolutely nothing. For example, we did a magic trick just so we could do something that would blow her mind and she wouldn't already know the answer too! Ha

And so in these last three transfers I have of my mission, I have so much left to do. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve; I have grown so much. I still have doubts and wonders and struggles, but I know this gospel is true. I serve the people of Las Vegas because I know I am serving God. I know that I love God by the effort I have put into my mission. No one would work this hard for two years and not know it’s true! I know it is. The Book of Mormon stands against the rising new generation as a testament of Jesus Christ and of the restoration of the gospel and of the prophet Joseph smith. We have the fullness of the gospel! If you have doubts, doubt them as Elder Uchtdorf would say. But if you have questions its ok, just press forward and keep the commandments and one day your question will be answered. If you don't know if you should serve a mission and are contemplating it I would recommend you do! Especially if you are a male! It's a priesthood duty but even more then that it will define you and your love for God for the rest of your life. The way you serve God and serve a mission is a reflection of how the rest of your life will be!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Just a Picture

Logan's P-days are a little different now, so the letters don't come in every Monday, like before. I didn't get a letter this week, but I received this cute picture.
We found some ducks in the street!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Miracles on Miracles

I can't even express all the craziness that is going on right now! I love my mission! It's been so fun to see our area just explode! This last weekend we had a baptism! It was really special. She was so happy! She had been taught for a while in a family ward because her grandparents were in that ward, but then she came over to YSA and she loved it. She was so excited to meet all the people at the ward and for all the new friends she made!

And then in my last area a couple that I had taught, got baptized! I am pretty sure I told the story already, but basically the wife became interested in the gospel because she saw how it was changing her husband as he came to church and met with the missionaries! They also were so happy when they got baptized. It really strengthens your testimony when you see how happy these people are and how excited they are to make this covenant with God. It inspires me to be more excited and more dedicated to keeping my own covenants.

As for our own area, we are just seeing indescribable blessings! We have one investigator who is so, so, so solid but the only reason she is not getting baptized is because she wants her boyfriend to be there and he is in the marines and isn't home right now. And so we are praying he can come back and visit or she will be ok for him to Skype in. The other day she changed her schedule to work on Sunday and so we had a lesson about the Sabbath day and that week she changed her schedule to having weekends off!! It was cool because she said she sacrificed a little extra money, but that she knew it was worth it.

Another investigator we have, has a slight mental handicap! He's super funny. I can't shake his hand or he will never let go! And I mean never ha! He is going to be getting baptized in a week or so and he understands a ton; like sometimes he surprises us how much he knows! He was raised Catholic and so at time it's hard for him to transition out of his old ways but he's doing it. And the funniest part is that he goes to two wards! The morning family one and then the YSA one. And there's nothing we can do to get him to switch to just one-haha!

Man the miracles just keep coming! There was a former investigator who cut off the elders really fast because she didn't believe the stance the church had on homosexuality. But then she was coming to church and all the activities and so we set up a time to meet with her again. And when we went by she said she wanted to be baptized and that she and her member friend had already set up the program and they just had to choose the day! It was so crazy. They even took off work to go to the temple and do the reading assignment we left them.

And then!! We meet this really cool guy from Georgia who played rugby and he came to institute last night and he really wants to get involved so we are really excited for him! And there are even more people that we are working with who are super awesome! We are so blessed and we are determined it's because of our members. The Lord can trust them to retain all these converts!

And then yesterday we had a crazy day! We got up at 4:20 AM to take a missionary to the airport and when we got back we got ready for the day and then went to the church and set up for a meeting and then we were in a meeting from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and then we went on exchanges! So it was a fun day for sure!

Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Clark