Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dear Mother Dear y mi familia!
Thanks for sending your love through the air and through prayer! I feel it! :) So things are going really well! We are blessed! A and B just got married on saturday and baptised on sunday! It is crazy go nuts! They are some of the coolest people ever! They will totally be strong members! They will raise their family in righteousness and have the happily ever after everyone looks for! That is what is in store for all of us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Families are FOREVER! I love saying that and thinking about it because I love our family so much! We have been blessed to have such a happy family!

So this week has been extremely busy with planning and setting up everything for the wedding and baptism! It was a stressful but blessed experience! But luckily and by tender mercies it actually went pretty well! Elder A and I were bridesmaids... I mean Groomsmen or whatever ;) And other than that we only had to sit and enjoy the amazing spirit of it! I guess I was DJ also... But we were in charge of everything... I mean EVERYTHING! It was a good experience I am definitely a wedding planner now... Leave it to me and A!

It is crazy how fast this time has gone... I have less than two more weeks before the end of this transfer! YAY for 2/17ths of my mission! ;)  That is the good news and the bad news... Times flying by and I can't stop it! I can't believe it! So good news! Remember C? She moved her baptismal date up to the 9th of September so that she could make sure that Elder A and I could be there! Because weirdly enough one of us could get transfered but hopefully not! We also have D planned for the 9th! YAY! We have been blessed again! Hopefully they all stay strong! They should though! I don't think either of them are sketchy... C is extremely strong and has been for a long time and then D is strong a lot because of E; with this new job will be able to come to church! So he hopefully will be able to baptize her! That will be super awesome and special if he can! I love these people! I love Staten Island... It'll be hard to ever leave here... Leaving the mission is going to be a hard hard experience let me tell you that in advance. :)

So remember how I thought I was going spanish speaking? Well I have this big desire to learn spanish so I am learning a lot from my buddy Elder F! I have learned Nuestro Objectivo y Tratare Aprender mas! :) I have a pretty good fearless ready in spanish! I'm practicing! :) I really am learning a lot and it is fun! I kinda want to go to a zebra area (where they teach all investigators whether spanish or english) just to try it out!

Before I forget can you give me Erin and Bryan Lindleys address because I accidentally through away their address... I need it... They sent me an AMAZING watch and I NEED to thank them! :)

So I have this goal to not be afraid to talk to anyone ever! It's a work in progress but I believe I am improving! Someday! through the atonement I will humble myself and be good at it! :) I love the spirit! I have never been a happier person than the times on my mission where I have the spirit with me and where I am doing God's work like I should and being obedient! If I truly learn that it will make for a jolly ol' mission! ;)

Mom, How is preschool going?

I miss you all! But just so you know LOVE MULTIPLIES! Youre ability to love never ends there are no limits!! Eternal Truth rat ther! :) I love you!

Look to your patriarchal blessings for advice! I love you! when you meet someone who can't smile give them one of yours!(Quote from our AP Elder M(he was my Zone Leader)) :) Just be happy! There are a lot of blessings that come from it! :)

Also, there is some exciting news on the spreading of the Gospel Worldwide! 4 Elders came to our mission who are waiting for their visa to head to Turkey! They will be the first four missionaries in a Muslim country! :) Super cool! They must be stud missionaries to because 2 of them are being trained by the AP's themselves! I fearlessed four kids speaking Uru(sp unknown) who have been here less than 4 years from Pakistan! That was cool!


Elder Clark

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hi Mother Dear!
Update on the Work...

D and T are getting married on Saturday and baptised on Sunday! YAYYYYY!! They are soooo awesome and they will be friends for ETERNITY! I love them so much oh my goodness I can't wait for them to get sealed... But anyways I never thought that i would be a wedding planner... ahhaha we are doing a lot to prepare for that... and bishop is marrying them.

A is honestly one of the funniest people on this earth. She is this big black lady who is getting baptised finally on Sept 9th. It was really funny hearing her rant on about how she loves to cook for us because she says "I'm fat (grabbing her stomach) and we fat people like to eat, we always eatin, mmm so gooo(d implied)" and also when she talks about how she is the best at domino's and how she can't lose. Oh gosh she is awesome. She always calls me "Brotha Clark"

B is still doing really well and she is on set to be baptised in november because that's when P (her hubby; Less Active Member)'s job gets a lighter load but she might be able to move it up because he just got two offers at these sweet job's... (he's extremely smart and he used to make smart houses)

So ya those are the baptismal dates were working with but I still hope that D will have a spiritual witness that he needs to get baptised real soon... hes a dry mormon basically... But I'm sure I told you he is one of my favorite people ever! He is a funny as heck Dominican guy... We connect really well though so he is gonna be an eternity long friend as well. Especially when he finally gets baptised.

We have been playing Monopoly Deal after were done planning at nights and that's a really fun game :)

Oh also I got pulled over the other day... did I ever tell you how much I hate(using bible terms for love less ;)) NYPD cops? They are reeediculous... They always turn on their lights just to get through traffic or a red light and then turn them off... they just don't appeal to me because they think they are above the law... (also I'm sure not all are this way just some) But anyways I got pulled over when I was going the speed limit on a 25 mph street and three cops surrounded my car... They basically just played off a serious faced "license and registration" then I said "what did I do?" He said "excuse me?!" and I said "okay" and gave him them but he was asking is this your car and then I told him we were missionaries and he asked for proof that we were missionaries and I had left my ministerial card at the pad and he look at me then looked at the papers and said these are expired and looked at the next ones and then he basically threw them back in the car and said "get outta here and get your brake light fixed" I was unhappy with the way that went... haha but whatever...

Things here are still going really well though and I STILL AM IN LOVE WITH MY MISSION AND NEW YORK!!! i can't wait to bring family or friends! It will be a blast! I have this really really great desire to go home and be soooooo much better! To be a better person! I'm excited to plan for everyday and be more prioritized after my mission and have higher standards! I'm telling you this because I need everyone to hold me to this! :)

I'm trying to think if I have any other things to tell you... It's easy when you ask me questions! I have a lot of stories I just also have a terr-ee-blay memory... haha So let me know if you have any questions! I love you Mom, Dad, Jeffy, Riley, Kyle, and Austin!! Youre the best! Family is soooo important so remember that! I am super excited to learn and grow with you guys for eternity! (sounds like a heck of an eternity!) Remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. Basic but powerful.

I love you!
Elder Clark

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oh my gosh Mom and Family that sounds like it has been soooooo much fun! I want to meet these Japanese girls! :) I'm glad that went well and that Riley didn't sleep through the whole time haha :) That is so cool! Thanks for the updates on the friends :) Good to hear! OOOOOhhhhhhh! I'm so so so so glad Kyle is doing training with Chris! I'm sure they are having a blast! Tell Chris he needs to come to church with you guys since he never came with me... haha and tell him to write me or give me his address ok? :)
Haha funny funny those olympic athletes are the real deal! No lil wanna be good Elder Clark C-word(parc spelled backwards) But thanks again for the olympic update/final scores and stuff! Thats cool I will definitely have to watch more of it in 4 years! haha :) I'm blessed to not have a huge interest though... It's kind of interesting how even with playing street ball with people before my mission sounded like the most fun I'd have on my mission and now that I'm on my mission I truly wouldn't even care if I did that at all or not! It's way weird but I know it is good! Because I still love the work soooo much!
Good (ummm excuse me) GREAT news! There is one of my favorite members A who is in our ward who has this couple staying with him and they are getting married on the 25th of this month and baptized on the 26th! sooooooooooooooooooo exciting! They have been ultra ultra ultra prepared and they will forever be best friends with me! They are definitely going to be strong in the church and everything! I am soooooo pumped! I can't wait for them to be sealed in the temple! I love teaching people about the plan of salvation and the restoration and the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I just love love love teaching! It brings me greater joy than basically anything... I just get so excited to teach prepared people the messages because it is the most exciting news ever! And so many don't know it and don't want to know it! THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND! Gally!
But anyways I don't have much time very very sadly but I got to go to the temple on Saturday! That was super sweet! I got to baptise Elder C and Confirm A for his grandfather! That was the coolest thing ever! :) AHHH the Gospel is so good!
One thing struck me really really hard this week and I LOVE IT! It's about our purpose for life... I have never looked at it this way at all but I was blessed by the spirit to gain some knowledge and perspective! First of all I have told you about how God's purpose, our purpose, and our purpose as missionaries are all the Doctrine of Christ(Gospel) and I understood it pretty well I thought until I learned this... I listened to a talk on Grace by Brad Wilcox(i think...) and it is amazing I recommend it! But I gained the knowledge that what God's purpose is, is to make us the best that we can become! He wants us to be as perfect and christlike as we possibly can! that is the whole reason for the Plan of Salvation; so we can progress and become the best us we can be! It is through the Doctrine/Gospel of Jesus Christ that we do so! It is not so much as a checklist of "oh did you get baptised? Confirmed? Sealed? Did you stay worthy? Oh I am sorry to tell you that you missed it by 2 points(thats from Wilcox rephrased)" This life is a time for refining, It is a lifelong process of using the Atonement to perfect us! Christ is begging us to use him and his sacrifice to make us better! There is no room to let Satan control your guilty thoughts to make you feel unworthy! It is so important that we understand as soon as we have sinned or made any mistake, Christ is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited to let us use his Atonement to completely change and turn us into the best we can be! That's what this is all about and that is why the church is organized in the way it is, the reason that everything happens in life and in the church, and everything is based on the truth of necessity and excitement to progress! So never ever get down on yourselves! Just progress! that is honestly where the most love and fun and joy happens! Don't get caught up in the things of the world because even if you or I died this instant or supposedly lost everything beforehand, that is of no matter. We need to be focused on building the Kingdom of God and not Building our earthly tower! Soon enough that tower along with our mortality will break! But progress and becoming Christlike will never sieze! :) I love you all sooooooo much! I want you to know I am not a perfect missionary by any means as you could all imagine and I will never ever claim to be, however I am sooooooo happpy to have gained more knowledge and love for the work to keep me working and busy on becoming like Christ! If I can help a few others on my mission other than myself, how great would be my joy but a mission honestly is designed so that progress can be made at a higher and more eternally powerful pace so that is what I look forward to for the rest of my mission (however selfish that may be) But I know that in this process we are meant to help others in the process as well! It is a glorious and amazing plan! So keep on it! Remember the little things such as prayer, prayer in repentence, Sacrament, reading scriptures, and all the primary answers because they as well are meant to make us more Christlike! So many great tools to chisel us into a beautiful statue! :) Keep up the good work I love you all! Thanks for sending me on this mission! I hope you feel the blessings for it! And Thank you for teaching me how to serve and work hard. You did well!  I love you all! Cheers!
Elder Clark


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hi Mother Dearly Beloved! And Family and Everyone!
So I just feel good right now. Thank you Holy Ghost! The holy ghost gives you glimpses of your eternal happiness. I don't know where I got that from but its true! :) And Silly Mom missionary work is not just for us 20 year old kids! It's mostly for members! Sure we may be the backbone of missionary work but members are like the heart and soul!! Member referrals and member fellowshippers truly are what makes people comfortable and makes them stay comfortable. If they just had the missionaries the work would be trouble! When a ward reaches out to them as a ward family it is a night and day difference in the hearts of the investigators and the opinion towards the church! N (investigator w/ baptismal date) told us that nobody talks in the catholic church and that she went to church for 15 years consistantly and no-one knew her name. So sad. It's nothing against the catholic church or any church but it just makes me grateful that we have ward families and we truly are blessed to understand that we are all children of God! 
I got the opportunity this week to go street ball contacting twice with some of the Children! So fun! But oh my gosh we were so not smart and we did it half an hour before our dinner appointment the other day and so we were EXTREMELY sweaty.... It's humid... were in white shirts, black slacks and ties... and black nametags (its gotta make some difference right?) ;) But it was funny because we had to use these napkins that we bought for a barbeque that we did with two couples to wipe our faces, pits and all with in a quick dryoff session. But then after we had cooled off, we walked outside and into their house and we were almost as sweaty when we got in the door... I felt way bad being that way for dinner but its whatever... Their house was a little toasty as well so that didn't quite help it.. haha but he is a convert and he was called to be a bishop five years later and he was like really? and he prayed about it and asked for a sign and he opened his scriptures and he turned to "seek ye first the kingdom of God" and then he closed it and reopened it and it went there again. So cool! I love hearing these peoples stories! They fed us ponset (not ponse sorry haha) the phillipino pasta stuff... Its really good though! I love new york pizza as well... Greasiest most wonderful pizza ever. It's all about Pronto's pizza!  Oh and its weird how much rain we get here.... I don't understand... It has thunderstormed like 2-3 days in the last week. Then there was a tornado north of us! So weird! And then its really hot the rest of the time... This was my last week in the transfer... 1 of 17 done! Crazy! I'm so excited to HR tomorrow (she comes in from MTC) and talk about what she is feeling right now because it feels like forever ago when I was scared to death of being and serving and talking to people in New York on my first day here... It's so weird that she is just now getting here... I feel adjusted already... But then again I'm adjusted to Staten Island missionary work... Not quite for Bushwick or any crazy place like that... haha :)
Also our District Leader D (knows Michael, he went to Timpview) is getting transfered out and I think they are putting another set of English Missionaries on Staten because we have some areas that we just don't even work much because we don't have time really... We are pretty busy so it will be nice to be able to focus on a specific area and investigators because our list of people to worry about is growing... haha but we LOVE them all!!!! :) And I know that C and I are staying here but the Elder R and his new companion are going to live in the other Staten Pad(apartment) I know because they have already moved! It's so sad I am going to miss them... But anyways its going to be weird having another set of missionaries in the ward! They are probably going to be the Zone Leaders because the Zone Leaders are getting Blinded Out(mission term when both are leaving... blinding in is when two new missionaries get put in an area neither knows)! But Golly Jeepers things are crazy around here! Haha :) President Calderwood did all the transfers all by himself! Usually the AP's help out a lot if not do most of it! So weird! It will be a fun transfer meeting seeing what goes on tomorrow.
Also I thought it was funny that we went up to knock this door the other day and this was about to walk out basically wearing a bikini and a veil type dress thing and she was scared and said "oh my gosh! I was about to go to the beach and all of a sudden two se... handsome men show up at my door step looking all nice!" haha then Crabtree accidentally said "well we would love to come over sometime (insert my palm to my own forhead here) I mean we are missionaries we would love to talk to you about Christ" hahahah I almost died... But she is a Greek Orthodox (i didn't even know it existed anymore haha) so she didn't even take a card... lame right?
I finally had a straight up like I imagined New York accent for a dinner appointment! They had a Baubecue and she had her mother, and her 42 year old son and she called her mother "ma" like she wase a little girl but shese older! It was hilarious oh my gosh I loved their accents... They called the hot Dooahgs Franks and everything! Born and raised New Yourkens! So great! we got caught at there house during what was supposed to be a bad storm with 60 mph winds and everything!
Also I kinda spent too much on food... I only had like $1.88 left on my mission card... I hope that taught me my lesson of budgeting... I feel like it did because I will do SOOOOO much better this next month... but I was blessed so much with this... It was a really cool experience for me because I was thinking that I was going to have to just eat Eggo waffles and oatmeal for the next 2 weeks because I still had some of that... But I was super blessed to have a dinner appt that night at the B (by the way it was probably the most delicious pasta I've ever had) and they have a tradition of giving missionaries 2 bags and letting us bombard their pantry... Talk about blessings! I got saved this time by pure tender mercy but I will work to not need that next time... haha :)
Oh and can you please please please please update me on my friends and their mission calls? I still don't know where Tanner and Taylor are going or Shawn Gandola... I just got a letter from Keri that talked about how they are all leaving soon and it was just a tease to not know where! haha but I guess patience is something I need to work on haha :)
A has been having a lot of trouble with her husbandand then also a recent convert B has no respect from her parents so she is trying to move out so if you could pray for them that would be great! Thanks!
Mom... thanks for teaching me how to paint... We painted a less active members bathroom on saturday and it was sad to see how bad other missionaries did on that before us... haha :)
I gave a talk on sunday and I felt like I did really well because they actually laughed at the joke that I said towards the end of the talk so I guess they didn't fall asleep haha :) We have been told to focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I have really seen blessings because of it. I love that it outlines basically the purpose for life. What we need to do in this life is given directly from Jesus Christ and through living his example we can become like him! As we become like him and repent often our will changes and comes closer to the will of Christ whose will is one with the will of the Father! We someday shall be one with Christ as we continue to use the Gospel in our lives! Thats our goal! It is sooooo amazing! I hope you realize that I know that this is true with alllllllll of my heart! I love you all! I must exit the computer because i have 4 minutes on my timer! I love you!!!!! :)
Elder Clark