Monday, November 26, 2012

Hi Family and home and friends....

WOW. So if you didn't know... I have to come home for some surgery regarding the fact that I tore my meniscus and ACL and Doc says I need surgery and so I must be home for that... But hey! I'm singing along to "I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me" So that is pretty cool but I am going to miss the Mission and New York SOOOO MUCH! I am going to try as hard as I can to get back to the mission ASAP. I also know that for some reason whether for me to learn or something else I am supposed to be home. God has a better plan for my life than I do I know that. It is true and we need to trust in his plans sometimes even though they may go against our own.

So this last week... A lot of service has happened but i was only able to go for one day to work the desk because after that Elder L and I went on cripple exchanges because he has to rest his badly sprained foot and so I have been in his pad in Jamaica Queens with a sweet view of the area... I lost a lot in chess... cooked some good food... taught each other the first lesson and talked a lot about life and the mission. Ya so that is the extent of my existence in the mission right now... Except during proselyting time has been awesome! On Saturday we were able to meet with this family of 9 children whose mother I fearlessed about 5 weeks ago. The family LOVED us and so I am really excited for the other missionaries who get to teach them... and for them to come closer to Christ! They were surprised as heck to hear about our standards as missionaries and such and said we were like more than human. like superpeople haha that was fun to hear. But we are far from perfect... we just live in a world where morality and righteousness is the minority. That is hard... but we can find strength through Jesus Christ and having our faith in him who can do all things. We will feel alone at times but we are never alone. We just can't tell with our mortal eyes. It sounds like a fairytale but it is more true than the temporal view of life our eyes give us. We need to trust in it. God never leaves us alone and he always answers our sincere prayers.

That's probably my last short letter from the mission-field for awhile. I wish you all a God Bless! A Pase Bondye! a Bondye Beni ou! a MWEN RENMEN OU! and a I LOVE YOU!!!!

Elder Clark!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hello Everyone!

So today... is a good day! This week was GREAT! I again have loved being able to do some service in the Rockaways and in Mastic Beach! I also have repented and changed my view for NYPD... I now like a lot of them a lot because they are doing a lot for the people here. I never would have said that when I was in Staten Island... hahaha! I talked to this NYPD guy who's name is Clarke and he said maybe in a few years you'll be worthy to add the E on your name hahahah I thought that was funny! but they are like giving police escorts to our busses going out to our other areas of service and such! They are working hard on helping traffic in the area, they have been sooooooo kind and respectful to us and worked together well with us to do the greater good. It really is cool how much the community has come together here... People are giving soooo much to help out and there are sooooo many places where people can get free food, blankets, clothes, and then us and a few other smaller groups are the manual labor help in the area. I wish we could do this to everyone that got affected but there is simply too much to be done and too little of us there... even with the thousand+ volunteers...

I am getting an MRI tomorrow (tuesday) and then we will see whats up with that! Because of my knee that decided it didn't want to be healthy, I didn't do too much service in the last week. For the work that I have done though my giant knee brace with its sturdy beams has been enough to hold it in place.... ha so that's been good but I have loved being able to man the Mormon Helping Hands station where people come to ask for help and I have been assigning people to go to different houses and such. It's been fun to in a sense coordinate some of the work and have SOOOOOO many people come up to the desk just to say thank you for all that we have done. It is really remarkable what is going on here. Being at the desk I have been able to see allllllll of the many volunteers come in and I have helped the Asistant to the President in organizing where to send people. It is amazing how many people have come. From Boston, Pennsylvania, New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut and just all over! So many bus loads of people have come to serve in the Rockaways and they are all wearing the yellow jerseys! Go Stripling Workers! As President calls us. Seriously over 1000 people have come in to help in almost every day... our mission is only 200... It's amazing! We had 270 work orders yesterday and we were in groups of 10 and we ran out of orders... we had to send groups to specific areas to find people to help... So cool!

Creole. It's been really fun recently because we have started to visit our new investigators in Bayshore area that speak creole and I have been able to practice my speaking actually a lot more than before! I'm really excited to learn a lot of Creole! I want to be able to hold a regular conversation before I leave the Creole program... I prayed to be able to understand people a little bit better two days ago and it has just been going 150% better than before. I can actually get the just of what people are saying now and I am excited to learn a lot more words so that I can start to understand it! I am not too bad at getting what I want to say out I don't think but I probably will be humbled more. Heavenly Father is great at helping me to become who he and I want me to be. I just need to trust in him more! So ya it's fun to speak Creole to Elder J and make him laugh.

 I have been blessed with a better perspective right now. It was through that answer of turning what seemingly is a mountain into an anthill! We can do that will all problems in our lives. As long as we focus on what is most important. Prioritize and the Atonement can fix all that is unfair about life. But WE are the ones that need to change! We always think it is the other persons fault but we always have agency! When we choose to humble ourselves we in return are blessed with joy and peace during times of difficulty. Which turns them into anthills!

It's really fun doing all this hands on work. I'm learning a lot about demolition and about how people build their houses and why they do certain things and how to do handywork! We have been using these sleds that you are supposed to put deer on and use it to truck up the debri out of houses. It's brilliant! haha and we are all learning how to be the most efficient in our demolition and such! It's fun to be able to see us getting better at what we are doing. Us missionaries now just blow through jobs that seemingly should take a long time. I hope that stays with me for after the mission. But man I am tired at the end of the day... It's really hard some nights to force myself to proselyte even though my eyes and body say no... But hey it's all good!

Anyways I love you all SO much! Thanks for being so great! Be faithful it's always worth it! Even if it doesn't seem like it now... but that is just satan putting the idea of temporary in your head! Always strive to think Eternal.

Elder Clark

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dear Fanmi(family in creole),
Mwen Renmen yo! I Love y'all!

So these last few days have been amazing for me. I finally received answers to my prayers about how I need to only worry about eternal things. That is ALL we need to worry about in this life! If we find ourselves worrying about temporal things we need to STOP! Just think about eternal things and when we have our eternal perspective our cares and trials seem like grains of sand! That's what my mission president kept saying is we need to not only not turn anthills into mountains but to take what is seemingly the mountains in our life and turn them into anthills.Our lives don't need the extra worries but they do need the extra perspective of love and joy for-ev-er!!! Just like Sandlot! I am so grateful that we have the ability to do this through a knowledge of the plan of a truly caring Father in Heaven who created all this for us! Look at nature! Slow down! Look at the beauty of life! Enjoy the presence of your family! Enjoy the blessings that come from obedience to God's commandments! The commandments are gifts if we use them as such!

Service has been the GREATEST experience! I am sorry that y'all can't be here to help... But I know that as you pray and search for opportunities to serve that they will come! Just look for them! want to have a good day? better day? best day? Serve someone else and help them to have a good day! Help them to know of beauty, charity, love, and joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to not only give them a fish but teach them how to fish! Help a brotha out!

So in this last week or so we have still been doing a lot of service and we had 2 days of proselyting. We were able to teach a couple lessons so that was good. Yesterday we went into this house that was the worst I have seen. They had 4 fridges full of NASTY molded food and their whole ceiling and all the walls were full with mold... Not to get prideful but I am getting really good at busting doors off of fridges with crowbars... (its actually really easy and everyone and their dog and their dog's dying great grandmother can do it so it's not something cool like I make it sound) You bet I wore my mask when I went in there... There was still an inch or so or delicious sewage water on the ground and sooo much sheetrock and a lot of random old things in there... It was scary... But helping them was wonderful! He was a really old holocaust survivor(1 of 2 survivors in his family of 32) that had a wonderful perspective on life about how he would just keep on living even though so much was taken away. He still was happy. People like him inspire me. Then we had a person that told us that she could not describe the impression we had made on her heart. and that she feels we are all angels and she hopes to somehow share her love and appreciation for the love we have showed to her. then we had a very very spiritual prayer with her. There have been soooo many great experiences where we are so blessed to be instruments in the hands of God here. I was able to speak to a girl in the YSA branch about going on a mission and the spirit right then testified to her that she should go and so she decided then to go! That was AWESOME for me to sit back and watch! I love seeing it in peoples eyes when the spirit is testifying to them! I felt like a hero also yesterday when there was a lot of traffic and this one girls car broke down so I got out and pushed it into this parking lot and people were honking and waving I'm guessing because I still had my yellow mormon helping hands jersey on and a few others contagiously got out also and came to help! They each individually thanked me for the service that they had seen us do in Rockaway and I explained how we were missionaries and one of them said "and you love to serve people" and I agreed. I loved being able to stand as a witness of Jesus Christ at that time. It truly is an amazing opportunity I have to be an official representative of the Church and of Jesus Christ and of his living prophets.

It snowed this past week quite a bit! That was fun! I was able to proselyte in the snow and such! It was also fun to help shovel the driveway and our neighbors driveway! It was cold though... we also almost got stuck in it like 5 times... I had to push just once though... we slid around a little bit too (no I was not driving haha) attached is the day after picture in westbury! We are there ALL the time! and usually there are a lot more people outside but it seems as though haitiens and mexicans don't like the cold! Not like Haiti or Mexico!

Jeffy is a B-O-S-S!!!!! Man I'm so lucky to have him as my little brother and to have him be loving and nice to me even though he now has the genius and the Strength to throw me over the car as grandpa always would say! haha I am sooo excited for him to go on a mission and be as the army of Helamen! He will do wonders on a mission! Especially with his ability to think so much out of the box and have genius ideas I feel as though the spirit will tell him to do some very different, fun, weird, and possibly difficult things to bring to pass his purpose of helping others to come unto Christ! I am just so excited to hear where he is going to go! Truly Jeffrey's genius and personality will be soooooooooo great on a mission I can't even begin to tell you.

Man now that I think about it... Riley will be wonderful because of his love for people, kindness, fun personality, and organization. Kyle will be wonderful for a similar reason that jeffy and Ri will of loving people and being able to think outside the box as well, Austin will just have so much fun on a mission people will be attracted to his glow... I think I have our family figured out ;)

I truly know that I am called to serve and not a robot but ME! That is what is wonderful! so many people have so many different personalities to offer into the mission field but that's the thing... They ALLLLL are needed there! I know my companion Elder J is needed because of his conviction and his boldness! That is really important in missionary work! I am not as good at being bold but I know that I can help people feel loved and that is important as well! It is really fun to teach after you learn how to teach true doctrine as yourself and not as someone that you might see on the PMG the district videos. Don't get me wrong they are wonderful but the most important part is that you teach the doctrine that will help their needs in a way that you can connect with them. When you do, the spirit will too! (Fun lil Rhyme)

Sounds like Riley had a great season... I loved those clips thanks papa sweet sauce! Being in Far Rockaway and Massapequa for service has been fun also because there are a lot of native new yokas theh! haha they are great, good fun speaking to them.

And Kyle can't shave or grow up he's not old enough! Also, that sincerity of love that he has is amazing... He just LOVES life! It's a great blessing!

Poor Austin has to taste that gross stuff for the upper end Endoscopy... Dis gus ting. but hey he's a man he can handle it! I'll keep praying for him!

Well I love you ALL soooooo much!!
Have a wonderful day! Everyday!
Elder Clark

Monday, November 5, 2012


Dear all!

I hope you know that I am still happy!

So we went to church on Sunday at this ward in Lynbrook because the Stake Center doesn't have power and has a few broken windows from a fallen tree. It was really cool because there are 3 languages there... Creole, English, and Spanish! So the hymns are sang in English, Spanish, and French(because Haitians only know how to read french not creole because that is how they are taught in school in Haiti) then we went to do a mission-wide service project at Far Rockaway... Man that place was destroyed so much as well! Basements and such were FILLED COMPLETELY with nasty water and do you wanna hear something weird? One of the most slippery things during the cleanup in the basements and flooded floors is when there are soaked books on the ground... Thank Goodness I haven't fallen yet... But it is so much fun doing all of this work and seeing the light and excitement in peoples faces when we work hard and get a lot of things done for them in an hour that would have taken them a few days... I LOVE THIS SERVICE SOOOOOO MUCH!!! It is the most efficient type of missionary work that we can do also. These peoples hearts are opened. We helped a Jewish household yesterday which, nothing against the faith, is very very very very rare. We were also able to impress the family by how much we respected their religion. Just wonders are being done here. President Calderwood had spoken of something big that was going to happen with the missionary work this transfer, but he did not know what. I love Priesthood Authority! It is so comforting to people to see our yellow army(yellow Mormon helping hands shirts and jerseys) come to serve. Sooooo many people have asked us about our religion and about who we are and expressed their appreciation for our work and kindness! Probably so many people that would have rejected us on the spot or slammed their door in our face under normal conditions! This may or may not help Elder J and my pool too much seeing that our area didn't get that destroyed but the other English Elders in Plainview have Massapequa and down by the bay which was destroyed so we already have been able to serve some very solid potential investigators there. But golly the work is hard physically... working from morning til dark ripping out walls and carpet and carrying furniture and garbage cans full of wet drywall and such out! I am excited to be buff! hahaha just kidding but seriously. ha

So President Calderwood mentioned that we would probably be doing this service from morning until 5 or 6 then we will go proselyte everyday Tuesday-Sunday possibly for the next few months! So this will be such a great amazing and exciting opportunity for me to serve. So many missionaries are soooo excited because they know how to work and they see the joy in it. It will be a growing experience for all those who are not so used to heavy-labor. Elder L and I are very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very excited. To say the least. This is like a dream come true because we get to serve people and then teach them the Gospel! AWWWWW its so great! So I think this is going to be really hard for some other missionaries though because a lot of missionaries have been thrown off their missionary feeling and schedule and they are becoming lazy. Eees not good! This will be hard for them! But as for me! Naaaah Playa I'm chill as the still will of Jill's fill. That doesn't make any sense so don't read it.

I love how organized the church is though. It truly is amazing what we can do as a Community of Charitable people! Like a quarter of those who were doing service on Sunday were not missionaries(out of around 200!) Which is crazy because that was a missionary gathering but members wanted to join in! Then this person who is on like some emergency preparedness calling in the church brought soooooo many missionaries (including us) enough gas to fill our tanks! Cool because there is still a major shortage of gas in Long Island....... I guess he went to Pennsylvania to fill up all the tanks that he could rally up and put them in his truck bed!

So it is starting to get cold here! Mwen ap santi fret!(I am feeling cold) Konsenan Kreyol... Mwen ap aprann senp la bagay yo tre dousmann men seten. (About Creole... I am learning the simple things very slowly but surely) I am sooo excited to learn more! I now have my creole name tag... I hope I actually learn the language(like to understand what they are saying) so that I can feel semi comfortable wearing it instead of when people call and I have to say "Padon mwen paske mwen pa pale kreyol. men mwen ap eseye aprann." (forgive me because I do not speak creole. but I am trying to learn) or I just give the phone to elder j... haha either way I can't understand people because they slur their words and put them together as much as the ghetto fellow's in the city do for english. So that makes learning difficult! Se Difiklite! (It's a trial!)

But let me tell you. God is so close to us. We may not see because our eyes aren't open. When we choose to open our eyes we will see. Look for the tender mercies in your life and I promise no matter how hard life gets we can be happy because we can know that Eternity in Joy is worth this blink of an eye on earth. Keep up the good work please and I promise you will see that to be true!!!

Love you!!!
Elder Clark

Friday, November 2, 2012

It is nuts what is going on here... I don't know if you have seen any pics or anything but trees are down everywhere! Anywhere close to the ocean has been flooded up to 5 feet in houses... There are a ton of walls that came down and a lot of houses burnt down and just madness. But there is a perfect opportunity to serve. I have loved being able to help out it is sooooo much fun! Especially because the missionaries have been going in packs to serve and we are Mormon Helping Hands in ACTION!!! It is wonderful and so many of these people are so thankful it is truly amazing! People have been prepared for us by the hurricane.

I was able to be dumb to some kind animals! I mean kind to dumb animals! Because during the hurricane we had Elders come stay with us and we were playing phase 10 and we heard noises out the window... We thought it was just wind whistle because the wind was NUTS but it was just 3 little tiny kittens... they were down in the bushes and the mother was nowhere to be found and it was a hurricane outside! So we took them in and saved their lives. Blessed are we! Haha that was cool though to be able to feed them milk through ear syringe we bought and play with them til the storm passed. We felt like kitten heroes(which is not quite as cool as I make it out to be) and Elder A wanted to keep them and eat them. Ha I'm just kidding because they eat cat in Haiti i guess. He loves it.

So we have been doing sooooo much service! We have been ripping peoples wet carpet out, bucketing water out of basements and main floors even, lifting wet furniture out of houses, carrying peoples fallen trees away, just doing whatever people have needed and it has been such a blast and it brings people soooo many smiles so that makes all of it worth it! We haven't really taught any lessons all week but mostly because people still don't have power in a lot of places... You don't even know how hard it is to find food. Haha so many stores closed... Also no gas can really get here... People are lined up at gas stations to fill their gas containers for their generators, cars are lined up to get their $20 limit of gas for like 3 blocks behind the gas stations, the few that are open anyways. It is just a very interesting time right now.

Story huh?... welll we went to do service at this less Actives house by the bay that got very very flooded and that was perfect because she was the perfect person to take the kittens off of our hands and we ripped off all of their carpet and took it outside to the curb and they were sooooo so grateful and they hadn't responded to phone calls or anything before but now they are going to let the missionaries come visit and they are taking us out to dinner and they truly feel as though we were sent by God to help them...

Another lady we ripped out wet carpet for was almost crying the whole time and she was super super impressed with us and how we worked without accepting money and she also said that she knows that God sent us to her and she very possibly will be an investigator. I received a prompting to go back to her and say a prayer with her as everyone was leaving and that was amazing. She was ecstatic to say a prayer with us! I was blessed to be able to say it and everyone in that circle felt the spirit. She was so close to tears and she thanked us sooo much and hugged Elder v (my Zone Leader who came back to her with me) and I. I felt sooooo much love for her flowing through me. We are all children of God and we all need that charity! You receive blessings of joy and love from it and so seek to share your love through charity!

So ya that is the update for now! I miss you all and love you!

I know for a fact that the Lord prepares all of us to become like him through the Atonement of Christ! This life and every trial in it is an experience for us to learn and change. We get to choose eternal life in the way we handle situations we are faced with in life. We are not alone and we will receive help when we ask for it. Whether the help is lifting the burden right away or helping us to get through it, it is sooooo vital for us to turn to the Lord and NOT let Satan control us by choosing his ways! God has a way prepared for us! Lets use it!

The Gospel is not just RULES for our lives they are ways that we can receive more joy and more agency and more love! God is dying to give us blessings if we choose to receive them! Blessings aren't always what we think we want but they are always what God knows we need. We are in training to become like Christ. Think of Christ's responsibility.

Families are CENTRAL. Focus on families and bringing them to the knowledge of the Gospel and your life will be lived without regrets.

Elder Clark