Wednesday, December 28, 2011

White Washed!

Dear Family,
   These last couple of days have been really busy and crazy.  Monday afternoon I got a call from the assistants and I was called to be a trainer and a district leader.  Yesterday I found out where I was going. I am in the May Valley ward. May Valley ward is in the Bellevue South zone.  Since I am training, my companion and I were "white washed" into the area, which means we are both new there.  The reason we were white washed is because it has been a sister missionary area.  So that may or may not be the reason I smell like "luscious embrace"....i didnt bring any soap or shampoo with me. 
   May Valley is a car area and we are living with members.  They are very nice.  We are still trying to figure everything out. Like how to get to place to place and where the church is and basically everything.  Yesterday I went to transfers and picked up my new car then went to the mission home in mercer island.  There the trainers found out who their comanions were going to be.  Before we left, President Larking talked to both us.  I guess the bishop in May Valley really wants the area to be one of the higher baptizing area's in the mission.  So the ward is receiving a lot of attention from the stake.  There is a lot of work to be done.  Last years goal for the year was 6 convert baptisms.  To put that in perspective the Federal Way Ward goal (my first area) for november and december was 15.  But there are some really good things happening.  I am excited to be here.  We met with the Bishop last night and he is really good and wants to be involved in missionary work.  We are meeting with the Ward Mission Leader tonight.  The sister missionaries told me he is great, when we talked briefly  at transfers. 
  That is what is happening to this point.  I was surprised again to be transferred since my old companion has been in that ward for almost 8 months straight.  Seems like everytime I dont think I am going to get transferred I do.  It is exciting to be in this new area with a brand new missionary.  His name is Elder Peterson and he is from Draper, Utah.  He is excited to be out.  I can tell these last few days has been a little overwhelming.  But I can relate to that.  The first few days there is so much thrown at you at once.  He is doing great though. 
  Christmas was good as well.  Definitely different, but it wasn't too bad.  Being able to talk to you guys was great.  Dinner was very good and we played a couple of games after dinner that night since we were allowed to have a two hour christmas dinner. 
  Being a district leader is a little nerve wracking.  The zone leaders and sister missionaries are the two comanionships in my district.  It will be a new challenge, but it will be good.  
  Winter weather is back.  It seems like the rain is trying to catch up and get up to the months average these past few days.  It's been pretty gray.  Well we got to go get shopping done so we can start proslyeting.  I hope everything is going good.  Talk to you soon.  I love you!
        Elder Clark

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Transfer Day!

We received a short email from Tim Long (the family Brayden stays with) giving us a heads up that transfers came in Sunday night and Brayden will be moving to a new area but not much more.   Waiting to hopefully hear from Brayden later today or tomorrow.  
Elder Clark & Elder Tingey on transfers 12/27/2011

Merry Christmas!

We had our Christmas call with Brayden on Sunday night.  We were able to talk for about an hour and thanks to his tech savvy Bishop we were able to video chat using iPads and FaceTime.   We thoroughly enjoyed the short time we had to ask him many questions and hear about his activities and experiences.    We all think he looked great and sounded so good.   Due to his illness last week he missed being able to attend a temple session with his Zone.

Transfer calls were coming out that night so our weekly email won't come until Tuesday. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Short and sick...

Dear Family,
 This week was pretty good.  We are going to the temple this afternoon, which is why we are emailing and shopping today.  We have a baptism scheduled for this saturday.  Her interview is tonight, so we will be busy getting ready for that this week.  Last week we also had a really good lesson with Susan, who is Elvia Flores sister who is now living with them.
  Christmas day is still a little unknown.  We have church in the morning and we are suppose to do the call during the least productive hours of the day.  So I am guessing I will be calling sometime in the afternoon. Probably around 1 or 2.  So thats exciting.  This week will go by pretty fast, we will be pretty busy.  Well I am sorry its so short. I am just really not feeling to well right now.  Hopefully I can make it through the temple.  I will try to write a letter sometime today.  I love you!
  Elder Clark

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Family,
  This week was pretty good.  The weather is staying pretty nice.  Still a little cold when we go tracking from 5-7 but not rainy so thats good.  We had our mission christmas party on thursday. It was pretty fun, we had dinner and watched a movie.  It was a late night though, we didnt get back to our house till 10:15.  Also on Monday, we got interviewed for a movie that new missionaries that are coming to Seattle see.  That is why Elder Bunton was back in the Seattle area, he was making the video with a couple more elders that went home when he did.  Hopefully I will get to see the video when it is completed. 
  Our ward Christmas party was also last week. It was alright we were only there the last hour or so. The nativity play was pretty good.  I'm sure not as good as yours since Wes was playing Joseph. 
  This Sunday was a really good day for us.  The night before we were going over to someone that we have been trying to visit ever since I got to Jovita Creek and we have had no luck. But Saturday night we went over and Chris, who is the persons grandson answered the door.  And we have talked with him before.  So we asked how he was going and he said good then he asked if we could get him a ride to church tomorrow.  We said yes and we had a quick lesson with him as well.  That was really cool that he wanted to go to church without us even asking.  So we had our ward mission leader pick him up and he is going to start going to the young mens activities.  We are meeting with him again Saturday and hopefully we can put him on date for baptism.  At church we also had one of the people we have on date for Jan. 14th for the first time. He liked it.  Also, Mike Crump, one of our recent converts blessed the sacrament and Andrea Flores another recent convert got a calling.  So that was pretty cool to see . 
  This last week we dropped some of our investigators because they weren't progressing and wouldnt read from the book of mormon. Thats about all that is happening teaching wise right now.  I cant believe Christmas is only two weeks away.  Have you guys got the tree up and everything? Sister Long has the middle floor pretty well decorated and lit up.  And about the chocolate lollipops. If me and my companion take a picture could mom make like a cd or something that said merry christmas on it?  We'll probably take a picture today and have Bro. long email it.  When do the kids get out of school? Has it snowed there yet?  Here it is pretty frosty in the morning.  I am grateful for Kerrigans and Livia's prayers. We get to call on Christmas, next week I will let you know what time and everything.  Have a good week.  I love you.
  Elder Clark

Monday, December 5, 2011

  Well it is starting to get a little cold.  In the lower 30's in the morning and at night then higher 30's during the day.  But we haven't had any precipitation for the past several days.  I guess that makes it colder because the clouds hold the heat in opposed to when there is no clouds the heat escapes.  I thought that was pretty cool to learn. 
  But this week was great.  We found some new investigators.  And we put two people on date; one for december 24th, and the other for January 14th.  The guy for jan. 14th actually lives in the Long's neighborhood, he is renting a house.  His whole dads side of the family is Mormon. And he went to church as a kid a couple of times but all he remembers is the sacrament.  So we had a good lesson with him on friday.  The young women who is on date for december 24th is part of a part member family.  And she has been coming to church the past several weeks and participating in young womens. We think she is pretty solid for her date.  This sunday because of the big nativity event we went to church at a different building and ward.  We went to the Redondo ward.  It was cool to see some of the marshalese people that we use to bumb into when I was in federal way at church.  I also learned that Libby and Bobby who we worked with my first transfer are planning to get married and baptised.  I still remember when I asked her if she wanted to get baptised the first time I met with her and she kind of looked at me like I was dumb, because both Elder Bunton and Elder Park knew of her situation of not being married and they forgot to fill me in on that.  But that was some really good news I got Sunday. 
  While were on the subject of Elder Bunton. I actually saw him twice this past week.  It was a little surprising and weird.  We were hosting at the nativity event and I saw the Cahans who are part of the Federal Way ward and I hadnt seen them in a while so I said hi.  And sister Cahan told me to look at the door and that she had brought a surprise and sure enough elder Bunton walks in. Its pretty weird to see one of your companions not as a missionary.  It was good to see him and talk with him for a few minutes. 
   That is really sad about Ashton.  I had the opportunity to work with him when I helped out with the basketball camps.  He was in my group one year, I think his eighth grade year.  He was always smiling.  I also knew his sister as well. 
   That is good that West won, sounds pretty exciting! ! I think we are going to play basketball today.  We were planning on playing last week, but I took a three hour nap. Oops. But I am pretty refreshed today so I want to play.  Oh and Brother Long let me know that the singer I was thinking of was Jewel.  He is kind of OCD so he cant stop until he can remember the person or get the answer.  Its kind of funny sometimes.  His birthday is actually today.  Everything is going good, the days are long but the weeks fly by somehow.  Dont worry about the CD's right now.  Drew sent me like 15, which my companion and I are very thankful.  But even though I am on my mission things haven't changed, he sent the package to "Elder Brayden Judy Esmeralda Clark," that got some laughs.  I have helped set up more lights this christmas than I have my whole life.  So far we have helped three people (one of them being the Longs) set up Christmas lights.  It was pretty fun. I hope everyone has a good week! I love you!
Elder Clark
p.s. yes to the lollipops

Monday, November 28, 2011

Volleyball a favorite..he really has changed

 So our thanksgiving was good. We went over to our ward mission leaders home.  He had all his kids there and a couple family friends, So there was about 20 of us.  My companion and I got to sit in the 30 and under table.  Your guys thanksgiving sounded good.  I wish I could have played on the obstacle course. But we did to play basketball and volleyball with the two zones in the morning.  Volleyball was surprisengly my favorite. 
  We had a pretty good.  We taught 20 lessons for the first time since I have been in Jovita Creek.  Teaching 20 lessons is one of the missions stanards of excellence.  We also found some good new investigators.  We found this mexican lady who is in her 40's, she said she would read the book of mormon.  But unforunately she is going out of town till the 17th.  While tracting we knocked on this door.  And this women and guy who were in there late 20's answered the door.  The women was actually raised  mormon she went to seminary and everything.  But she said "the church wasnt for her" which was sad, mostly because when she said it, I could tell that she didnt fully believe what she was saying.  We left a book a mormon because she wanted one for when she takes care of her mom there.  I kinda want to go back in a couple of weeks and just talk with her again. 
  This weekend there is a big nativity event going on at the stakecent.  We have been inviting everyone we talk to that doesnt say no thanks and slams the door.  So hopefully there is a big turn out.  Our ward is actually not having church this sunday, because of the event.  I think we will have to go to a different ward  and building. 
  But that is about all that is going on right now.  We email at the library, we all have library cards.   I will probably send a letter.  Did you get my last letter about the shirts? I think something weird is happening with my mail. But have a good day! I love and miss you lots. 
I cant believe it is getting close to christmas. 
Love, Elder Clark

Monday, November 21, 2011

Electing not to punt...

  So this week was a pretty good week.  We got a car!  That was pretty exciting.  We got it Tuesday night.  My companion had called the Zone leaders tuesday during the day, to check on a referral that they gave us  and also to ask if we were getting a car. Elder Park said that we were not getting a car.  But Tuesday night they came over and dropped of the car.  My companion was pretty happy about that.  But the car has helped us we have been able to visit a lot more people.
  This week we found a lot of potential investigators and two new investigators.  Which is pretty good.  And we are going to start teaching again this young women whose dad is getting more active.  She has gone to church the past several weeks,  So hopefully we can put her on date for baptism sometime in december,  She is are only proggressing investigator at this time, but their are a couple other investigators who we are going to try and put on date for december as well. 
  We met with Shibley, the hawaiin lady, on Thursday.  My companion said the opening prayer and after the prayer her dog jumped on my lap.  I was like ok as long as you dont go crazy I'm ok with it.  After a couple of seconds I started to feel something peed on me.  So that was a really great experience, I had to excercise a lot of patience  to not punt the dog off my lap.  I did push it off though, but I didnt say anything because I didnt want her to feel bad. So I have to dry clean that suit today.  \
  Also there were a ton of changes in the zone.  The zone leaders moved to Redondo.  Which I know Elder Park was happy about.  I could tell that when we were in federal way together he kinda missed redondo.  Redondo has a lot of marshalese! But the Assistants actually moved to federal way, my old ward.  So that was kinda cool. 
  Oh and Sister Webster from the Dash Point ward which is in my stake called me Saturday night.  I guess she is really good friends with Karen, and knows Dad.  I havent called her back yet.  The last two days have been really busy.  She wants us to come over for dinner but I dont know if that will happen.  Were suppose to stay in our areas and only have dinner on sat, sun, and mondays.  But I will call her today and talk with her, and try to explain kindly that I cant come to dinner. 
  And the reason we were busy Saturday was that we had a meeting in Bellevue with the whole mission.  And when I say meeting, I mean we got to hear from Elder Dalin H. Oaks, his wife, and Elder Rasband.  Not big deal right?  I got to shake his hand as well.  It was pretty cool! I guessed I probably could of mentioned in my previous emails that this was happening.  He addressed our whole mission for about an hour. He didnt really talk too much about the media campaign that is happening in our mission, which was kind of surprising.  I'll write a letter about what he talked about.  He has a really good sense of humor!  I imagine most of the apostles do, but you just imagine them being serious most of the time.  But there were times when the whole chapel was laughing, he was serious though too.  It was a pretty special experience!
  Well that is about it.  We are going over to our ward mission leaders house for thanksgiving.  We have also been welcomed by the Longs.  We will probably eat leftovers with the Longs for about two or three days.  Yesterday at ward council, they talked about our housing situation.  And the ward is brainstorming available housing for the missionaries.  Because the Longs are moving to utah this summer they need to get the house ready to be sold.  I dont know exactly when we will get kicked out of the Longs house but probably within a transfer or two.  That will be kinda sad if I end up staying in Jovita Creek that long. 
   It sounds like a pretty goood week.  I hope Dad had a good time in orlando.  From what mom says Wesley had a couple of good basketball games.  However Wes, mom says your defense is mediocre. Whats up with that? Your not Jimmer yet, you cant take defense off! Anyway have a good thanksgiving!  I think we are having a zone or mission activity on thanksgiving morning and I think its basketball. So I'm pretty excited about that.  We might play some basketball today which would be fun.  My companion has been sick for the last week. Im amazed I'm not sick yet.  I think we might still play though.  I love you!
Elder Clark

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Did he really say hold up on the treats...?

  So I didn't get transferred, which wasn't too surprising I was pretty sure I was going to stay here,  My companion didn't get transferred either.  There was a lot of transfers in our zone.  So it will be interesting to see the final product of the zone at zone meeting tomorrow.  We will also not be getting the car that was rumored to be coming into the zone this transfer.  I don't really care too much.  We have a pretty small area.  While riding in the rain and cold isn't too fun it could be worse. 
  This last week there were a few bright spots but if you take out those it was a long week.  Andrea Flore's baptism was on Wednesday everything went good for that,  I confirmed her on sunday.  The rest of her family wasn't able to come to church.  Jesus (the father) only day off is on Sunday. So he wants to get all the work done around the house done on Sunday.  We went over there sunday night and taught a lesson on the importance of church.  We also told Elivia to ask Jesus on saturday what work needs to be done, and we told her we would come over and do service on saturday or monday so that they could come to church on Sunday,  But I think Jesus is coming around.  He came in and talked with us on Sunday night and we told him we would be willing to do service if that meant the family could come to church.  He said ok.  And Elvia (the mom) said she caught him reading "the mormon book" one night.  Hopefully his heart will continue to soften and he will desire to hear the lessons and be baptised like the rest of his family.  Andrea has a 1 year old son (I attached a picture).  I have these pictures that fit into my scriptures of Jesus, the prophet, quorem of the 12, a person getting baptised, and a diagram of the plan of salvation.  I give him the pictures when we come over, he likes to play with them and taught him who Jesus was.  I hold up the picture and he can now say Jesus. So that is pretty fun. 
   But other than the baptism is was kinda  a hard week.  We werent able to meet with a lot of our investigators, and everyone that we tracted into really did not want to talk with us.  Hopefully this week will be better.  Were inviting everyone to this nativity that is at the stakecenter Dec 2,3,4.  I guess it is a pretty big event.  They have like nativity scenes from all over the world, even an igloo one.  So were handing out invitations to that, hopefully a lot of non members come. 
  Last night we had dinner with a member.  We had salmon, it was really good.  We might be moving out of the Long's house pretty soon, because they are trying to get ready to move to Utah this summer.  We dont know when that will be though.  I did get the package, and enjoyed that.  Maybe a break in the snacks in the package.  Not that I dont like them. But with the brownies, candy, Sis Long's desserts, and the ice cream that I buy my pants are getting tightier.  Sister Long made carrot cake this weekend. It was so good. 
  Oh, I have been thinking about what I want for Christmas. I cant believe it's only six weeks away.  But anyway, I dont really want anything. Maybe some ties and pj's for tradition sake.  Thats all I could really think of.  I dont really have too many needs or wants right now. 
  Well  Dad try to have a good time in Orlando, shouldn't be too hard though.  I hope everyone else has a good week! I think I am going to take a big nap today for preparation day.  Last monday we played basketball for like three hours.  My body was not very happy about that that the following morning. 

Love, Elder Clark

Monday, November 7, 2011

Warning! Don't try this at home!

  It was good to hear from you guys! This week was a pretty good week.  We are still trying to build our teaching pool.  We started teaching this hawaiin women named Shabley.  She is a good investigator but we are having trouble getting her to progress.  She hasnt read the book of mormon.  Her sister and her best friend have been baptised but she won't really commit yet. And she won't pray out loud. Everytime I invite her to say the closing prayer she refuses.  The first lesson we tried to get her to say the closing praying for about 7 minutes.  She says she has never said a prayer out loud in her life.  So we still need to work on that.  We had a pretty crazy zone conference.  President Larkin showed us an interview that Anderson Cooper conducted, he interviewed Pastor Robert Jefferies.  It was pretty weird to see something from the world, but it was cool to see that the world is coming to the defense of the church. 
  Andrea Flores was not baptised this week.  We have set the date for this Wednesday and it should be pretty solid.  Elder Tingey will be baptising her and I will do the confirmation next sunday.  We have been doing alot of tracking since we dont have a large teaching pool.  Hopefully we get a referral soon.  I havent got a referral since being in Jovita Creek.  In federal way we got like two or three every week.  The mission has seen a lot of miracles from the campaign.  President Larkin had a conference with some of the apostles and the apostles said they are expecting convert baptisms to double where the advertisment campaign is going on.  So that was the main message in the last zone conference.  Zone conference was prettty fun.  We got to play this putting game and I was one the people who got to go up and putt . 
  Everything is going pretty good.  Still a little bit of a struggle with my compaign but everyday seems to be different.  The weather hasnt been too bad the last couple of days. I really enjoyed the packages and the talks and music.  That is good that tanner won this past weekend.  His hair looks really long.  Oh, and the rumor is that a car is coming into the federal way zone at transfers next week.  Jovita Creek might get a car! but i'm not getting my hopes up.  I dont mind riding bike too much. 
  I gave my self a hair cut last monday.  That was pretty interesting.  I cut it a little shorter than I wanted too, but it looks pretty good. Now I dont need to get a haircut for like two transfers..I'm happy about that. 
  This week is the last week of the transfer.  I have a feeling I will be staying in Jovita Creek a little longer.  My companion thinks he will probably be transferred.  Last night we set a zone goal for 24 baptisms next month.  Which would be the highest the zone has ever baptised and the highest any zone in the mission has baptised ever.  I dont know why I am so blessed to be in Federal Way at the start of my mission. 
  Anyway have a good week! I really appreciate the support and love, it helps a lot.  I love you!
   Love, Elder Clark

Monday, October 31, 2011

Where did I put those rain pants?...

Good Morning!
   This week has been a pretty good week.  We were able to talk with more of our potential investigators which was good and we had more lessons.  We didnt have a baptism this weekend.  Although Andrea did say she wanted to be baptised this weekend.  With the trunk or treat and everything else are ward was doing our bishop did not feel it would be a good weekend for the baptism.  So I think were scheduling her baptism for friday.  Its kind of been a nightmare trying to schedule it.  We have started teaching this hawaiin girl.  She has two kids and a husband. Were hoping that we can get her progressing. In our ward there is a lot of part member families. Most of the families the member is less active but were trying to visit those families and get the member active and again and baptise the others.  The trunk or treat on saturday was huge. There was a potluck before then a little carnival with a lot of games then there was the trunk or treat.  It was a pretty good event and the biggest trunk or treat I have ever seen. There was a lot of non members and less actives who came. 
   It's hard to believe that this is the second to last week of the transfer.  Brother and Sister Long are planning to move to Utah this summer, and they mentioned we might be the last missionaries to stay there.  It will be interesting to see what happens if I end up staying in the Jovita Creek ward.  Its getting colder and colder.  I think we had two sunny days this past week which was a surprise.  We got soaked a couple of times as well.  I would be okay with the rain if I had like rain pants or something.  My striped suit is going to be pretty worn by the end of the two years.  We have to wear our suit if we wear a rain coat.  So my striped suit is my work suit and I wear my other suit on sundays. 
   Our zone this month has baptised 22 people.  The most that Federal Way Zone has ever baptised is 23, so we were just a little short.  But I guess that the federal way stake does this big nativity event the first couple of days in december.  People have said that a lot of non members attend that.  Hopefully some good missionary experiences will come from that.  We havent received any referrals yet.  Our mission has had a lot of miracles come from the advertisment campaign however.  We have this DVD of all the video profiles.  I was watching one night and I was watching this womens video.  And she said her hometown is overland park, kansas.  I was a little shocked.  Her name is kelly lineback and she is involved with humanitarian aid.  She started this free dental clinic in honduras with her daughters.  I thought it was pretty cool.
   Well things sound pretty exciting back home with wesley and tanners football.  I was a little concerned for the local lenexa drivers when I heard that Reagan was driving. Dad sounds really busy which is good.  Hopefully everything works out with the legal case.  I was wondering if you can make me some music cd's? It has to be hymns. I like some just instrumental songs.  And try to get a little variety and not just the mormon tablenacle choir singing, (not that they arn't good) just need something different.  And if you can send me a cd of the talk missionary work and the atonement by Elder Holland.  And I will let you know my christmas list next week..I have to think a little.  Have a good day and week!
   Love, Elder Clark

Monday, October 24, 2011

Did I say Halloween? I meant...

Good Morning!
   Well another week has came and gone by.  It was a pretty good week.  We only had 13 lessons, which was kind of a bummer.  Especially since in Federal Way ward  we got like 30 lessons a week.  But each area is different.  Mike Crump who I talked about in my last letter was baptised on saturday.  Which was awesome.  He called me on tuesday night and said he wanted to be baptised on saturday and hoped that would be enough time.  I said it was plenty.  The Bishop baptised him.  Also I attended the baptism of Peter Gray before Mike's.  Peter decided to get baptised and what was really cool is that his dad Scott Gray was the one who baptised him.  Elder Park and I were the witnesses and Scott had a little trouble getting the prayer right.  But he got finally, he was a little embarrassed.  He also said that he is hopeful that his son Jon would be baptised this saturday.  So that is really cool, especially since only Jacob came to the baptism, the rest of the Greys were preparing for a wedding. 
   This week was a building foundation week.  We didnt have too many lessons, but we talked with a lot of our potentials and found some families that want us too come back.  So we built a lot of good relations.  The flores family is doing good.  Andrea still doesnt know when she wants to baptised.  We had a pretty funny experience.  Yesterday while tracting we knocked on this door and this little black girl opened it.  We asked if her parents were home. She opened the door further and this black guy said to come on in and take our shoes off.  We walked in and went in to the family room.  There was a man and his wife.  And we sat down and starting asking us questions.  It turns out they are from Kenya, they came to America 3 years ago. He told us that we were welcome in his home anytime and that if we needed a place to stay that we could stay with him and he was completely serious. So a really nice guy and family.  I mentioned halloween and the trunk or treat at our church that was a bad idea.  He thinks halloween is bad and that we shouldnt celebrate the dead.  But were going back to tomorrow to see his family. 
   Other than that not a whole is going on.  I think I might be getting sick.  It rained almost everyday last week. We got pretty soaked a couple of times.  We had a really good dinner with a member yesterday.  They made us steak with crab on top, it was really good! There was also mashed potatoes and corn bread. It was the best dinner I have had so far. 
   It is always a great day when west beats east. It's too bad that wesley's didnt have much luck but it sounds like they are improving and that is cool that Wes got a interception.  Hopefully everything is going good. I hope your case can get resolved. That is exciting about Kurt going to Africa. Did you get my letter about the CD's and music.  And if you can find the talk "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Holland..could you put it on a CD and send it to me. Its a really good talk.  The pictures were cool. Hope everyone has a good week and I Love You!
Elder Clark

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Two Hours to fill the font

   This week was a bit better than last.  It was like a roller coaster..there were some pretty big downs but we're on the up hill climb.  We have potential for a baptism this week.  His name is mike crump. His wife is a less active member who is becoming more active. She just accepted a calling to work with the young women.  Mike doesnt want to commit to a date though.  Last wednesday we gave him the full court press with baptism.  Elder Barker who replaced Elder Bunton as zone leader was with us.  And we read about three o four scriptures that were pushing baptism.  He said it gave him some good things to think about.  Yesterday we met with him.  He still didnt want to commit. But he asked how long does it take to set up a baptism, I just said two hours to fill the fount.  He will probably be baptised saturday..maybe before then.  We are trying to get into a samoan house, which could be a lot of baptisms.
   The Grays and the Andrews baptism unforunately did not happen this week.  I was looking forward to be able to go to that.  I guess some of their friends told them you have to be perfect to be baptised and that they didnt even know what the priesthood was.  So they got a little scared.  Elder Park says they should be baptised soon, probably sometime in October.  I can't believe its already October 17.  Weeks just fly by.  Christmas will be here before I know it. 
   Living with the Long's is interesting.  We have to take three minute showers...which is really hard for me.  And he doesnt turn the heater on in the basement where we live.  So it gets pretty cold down there,  The weather is getting cold.  It rains everyday for at least a few hours.  Which isnt too fun when on bike. Brother Long also has some pretty crazy ideas.  He is pretty conservative (Dad would get a long with him pretty good). He is great though.  Him and Sister Long have had missionaries in their house for 4 years.  Sister Long is really nice.  She is a teacher assistant at a elementary school. 
   That legal case sounds interesting and hard.   Tanners and Wesley games sound really fun.  I wish I could see them.  That is good that Tanner is enjoying and getting playing time at different positions.  Wesley it seems like you throw an interception every week :) I know of course its not your fault.  Hopefully you had a good birthday, and spend wisely.  Reagan that is great that your a great seminary student.  Seminary was a 4 year struggle for me.  That is crazy that Chris Woods just got home, seemed like he just left. Well anyway hope everyone has a great week. I love you!
Elder Clark

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"98% chance I won't get transferred"...

    This week was pretty crazy.  I know it will be another crazy week this week.  The baptism we were suppose to have, didnt happen. We called the boys father an hour before the baptism and he said he was called into work and that Matt was in downtown Seattle with his mom.  So that was too bad. The bishop and 5 other members were waiting for the baptism to happen too. 
    We are still teaching the Gray family.  Peter and Jon are getting close to baptism.  And Jeremy and Christian will be baptised if they get baptised.  On Saturday night we opened up the church for the Marshallese people to come play basketball because they love it for some reason.  There was like 9 people there.  That was fun.  I really liked conference as well, we watched all the sessions at the church. 
    Here's a funny and embarrassing story.  We went to visit the Marshallese people on Thursday.  It was around 4 o' clock so all the kids were home.  All the kids were outside in the yard.  When we got close to them our phone rang and I answered the phone it was a member.  As I was talking, Lorrieanne who is five started coming towards me wanting a hug.  They dont understand we can't give hugs.  So I started backing pedaling and shaking my head.  As I was back pedaling I tripped over a root and fell on my back.  The back of my shirt got all muddy because the grass is always a little wet. And then she jumped on me.  It was embarrassing.  I had to go home and change. 
    But the big news of the week is I got transferred.  Sunday night we finished planning, then we had transfer calls with the president because I'm with zone leaders I got to hear a little early.  I was really shocked when I got transferred.  Because with the new training program I'm suppose to stay with my trainer for 12 weeks. Elder Bunton, (who went home yesterday)  said the only way I'd be transferred was if something crazy happened.  Well I got transferred in zone to Jovita Creek.  So im still in Federal Way Zone just not in the federal way ward anymore.  Which is a little sad.  I loved the Gray family.  Yesterday we visited them (my last time) and I brought them all chocolate.  Marshallese people are great.  Their so humble and kind.  On Sunday night we visited the Note family.  Elder Bunton taught and baptized them and he wanted to see them before he left.  Loraine and her 4 children were home.  And she had just made them hanburgers. After our short lesson, she gave us hamburgers.  We felt bad because we knew they were for her kids but if we would have said no she would be sad.  I also am getting pretty good. I can say hello, hows life?, thank you, good, im tired and few other phrases  in Marshallese.  But in Jovita Creek there are no Marshallese people unfortunately.
  This will be an interesting week since it's my first week in this area.  Hope everything is going good.  Thats too bad that wesley lost his game.  Does tanner like playing center or linebacker better?  Thats cool that you saw ziller..he's  a goof ball.  Not much else to write.  I'm really tired hopefully we have time for a nap today.  I haven't been sleeping too well these past couple of nights probably because Im a little stressed.  But it should be a good week.  Love you, have a good day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brayden is now from the Marshall Islands!

Dear Family,
  Everything is going really good in Federal Way.  Its starting to be cloudy and rain everyday but its not too bad.  We had another baptism this week.  I baptized and confirmed Jason Gray. I baptized his dad and one of his brother last week.  This week were hoping to get more of the Gray Family.  Yesterday was the primary program and I got to participate in that,  The primary chorister asked the missionaries to sing praise to the man with the senior primary so we stood up and did that with them.  The primary program was good.  We were able to get Sylvia Gray there to watch three of her kids perform.  Sylvia is Marshallese and her dad is the arch bishop of the Marshallese church here. So there is a lot of family ties to that church.  Were seeing improvment with her though.  She usually runs up stairs when we come over.  But she sat in on a lesson last week and took her kids to the primary practice and came and watched the program. So were hoping that she will continue to progress.  Some of her relatives who live across the street also might get baptized this week.  But we have Matt Ybarra who is scheduled to get baptized and he is solid.  He is 10 years old with a very inactive dad.  He knows all 5 priniciples of the gospel and the importance of baptism.  He was suppose to get baptized three weeks ago but his dad said he didn't know enough.  This time were pretty sure he will consent he already signed the baptism record. 
  This is the last week of the transfer.  So Elder Bunton's last week before he goes home.  I am 98% sure I wont get transferred because I am suppose to be with my trainer for 12 weeks.  It will be interesting to see who the new zone leader/my companion will be in federal way.  The Federal Way zone is the highest baptizing zone in the mission and the federal way ward is the highest baptizing ward in the mission so I'm pretty blessed to be in this area. 
  I figured why out why I love the Marshallese people so much. 1. Because they are humble, and 2. Because they are exactly like me.  I should be Marshallese.  Marshalese people love to stay up late and sleep in.  They are kinda of quiet people (except ages from 3-12)..their shy and kinda lazy, and they all love basketball.  So I fit in with the Marshallese culture. 
    I did get my contacts, which was good.  I live in apartment.  Their is two rooms then a kitchen then living room with a couch and three desks where we study.  Its pretty nice except for the fact that there are spiders every where.  Thats good that tanner and wesley won. I just looked at Wesley's pics there pretty cool, that was a fundamental tackle.  Speaking of football.  A member that use to live in San Diego informed that chargers were beating the chiefs 10-0. That the chiefs had got blown out the first two games and that  Charles was out for the about a bad start. 
   I''ll send home some actually pics, were going to print them off at Walmart I think.  Elder Bunton is going to teach me how to play "come home" by one republic too today.  I'm excited about that.  I want to learn how to play the piano when I get home. 
  Anyway I hope you have a good week and enjoy conference.  Love You!
Love, Elder Clark

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Day late and a year off!

Dear Family,
  We went to the temple today, so today is our preparation day.  Last week felt like a month, we were so busy, and so many things happened.  On Wednesday Elder Edwards of the Quorum of the Seventy came and gave two firesides that we attended. He interviewed the zone leaders, so I had to stay a little longer after the meeting.  I got to shake his hand in a less formal setting, that was cool.  I also got to have a good talk with my Mission President because he had to wait too.
  On thursday we went over the Gray's. Who are a Marshalese family of 9 and we have been just trying to get a good relationship with them.  But thursday they let us have a lesson with most of the family.  Even the mom Sylvia who is a archbishop in the Marshalese church over here.  And we put the dad (Scott), Jacob, and Lorieariel on date for the coming sunday. 
  Skipping to Saturday, during a lesson with the teen age girls that we gave blessings to, a member of the bishopric called and asked me to speak because they had somebody cancel their talk.  So I had about 12 hours to prepare for that.  Saturday night we went to a Marshalese birthday party where we had the baptism interviews scheleduled with Jacob and Lorieariel.  Lorieariel was a little scared so I was her "babtism interview buddy".  The first question the district leader asked was how old she was and she said seven.  I looked over at her with a surprised look on my face and asked if she was sure.  We finished the interview.  Then I went and found her mom in the birthday party and asked how old her daughter was and she was like
"she was born in January 29th, 2009."
me: "so she is two?"
"oh she was born january 29th, 2008"
me:"no your oldest daughter Lorieariel?"
She then asked her daughter how old she was and she said seven.  Apparently Marshalese pepole dont keep track of birthdays.  She wasn't baptized sunday.  But Jacob and Scott were baptized and confirmed Sunday.  And I had the opportunity to do both.  Which was really cool.  I had to baptize Jacob twice because I forgot to say his name the first time. 
  Sunday morning I spent a hour preparing for my talk.  I didnt sleep well saturday night because i was nervous about speaking and the baptisms.  But during ward council we spent the first ten minutes talking about the BYU game.  I got the score and how Jake Heaps didnt play his best game.  But since its Elder Bunton's and Sister Ganzorig's  last regular Sunday here they asked them to share his testimony instead of having me talk.  Which I was reliever about.  Elder Bunton was in the Federal Way ward for 11 months.  I hope I'm in this ward for 11 months but I doubt it.
   Well it sounds like a pretty busy week.  Thats too bad about Tanners game.  Olathe North is usually really good.  Thats great he's getting a lot of playing time.  I wish I could see a game.  Wes Congratulations!  Sounds like a pretty exciting game.  Two touchdowns thats awesome.  Thats funny 1st and 40.  Well I'm pretty tired which is normally the case so I think we will just go back and clean then sleep till our dinner at 5. Have a good day.
Love, Elder Clark

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear Family,
Seems like everyone is doing good except for being sick which is good.  This week was really busy and really fast.  Were teaching a lot, which is good.  This last week we taught 26 lessons.  I'm in a really great area.  We've been trying to visit a Marshalese household every day and do lots of networking that way.  I love the Marshalese.  We call it a Marshalese Town, but theres three families that live in these duplexs on 22nd street.  Theres like 15 kids between the ages of 5-14.  Every time we come to the street they come running up because they are always outside.  They run up and give us high fives and call us "superman" for some reason. It was really surprising this week three Marshalese kids came to church with us.  And we forgot to tell them this week was stake conf.  so we went over there at 9 to see if any of them were up.  And we were expecting them not to be since Marshalese culture is a little different.  They stay up way late with their kids and sleep in.  We went over one day last week and Aralyn was just waking up at 1:30 in the afternoon.  But Sunday Jacob, who we put on date to be baptised this saturday, was up and he got  his sister Laural to come and Aralyn came too.  Were trying to baptize all the kids but the parents arn't exactly open to idea yet.  Friday was yell at Elder Clark day, I guess.  We went on exchanges that day, so I was with Elder Song who doesnt talk to much and while tracting, this guy basically said I was an idiot for going on a mission and its not fair what the church was doing to us.  Then I called our ward mission leader to talk to him about a baptism we were trying to have on saturday.  We met Joy on thursday, and we had a lesson with her friday and she passed the baptism interview.  So we asked if she wanted to be baptised on the next day and she said yes.  When I called our ward mission leader (Bro. Belissa) he kinda of yelled at us for pushing baptisms too quickly and not thinking about the scheduling with Stake conference and everything.  So we had to move the baptism to this Sat.  Then I called the Stake person who is in charge of baptism clothes.  And she yelled at me, not at what I had done, but with how all the missionaries are not returning the clothes as fast as they should.  So it was a pretty good night for me. 
  That is exciting about tanner playing and him doing so well.  Goodluck this week, and congratulations on your first win.  Wes keep doing good, it sounds like your team is improving, and that you had a fun saturday.  Reagan, thats funny that Grant texted you.  We werent great friends, he was in my communications class and we did a project together.  Boomerang seems busy, which is good.  Hopefully dad can keep up with the business.  That is good that trailridge is nice.  Thats too bad that BYU couldnt keep the lead, but thats good they played Texas so closely.  Have you guys checked out If not, do it for family home evening and watch rob morris' video, the colts linebacker. But today was the first cloudy day so thats a little depressing but everything else is great. I'm gonna send home the pic drive, theres not a lot of pics but there are some.  Have a good week! Love You and miss you a lot!
Elder Clark

Monday, September 5, 2011

Intro the Marshalese...

  So I just got done with my first full week in Seattle.  The weather has still been great everyday.  This week was a bit crazy.  Tuesday we had new missionary orientation.  So we had to drive to the mission home in the morning and the president and the assistants trained for the day.  Then the next three days my companions had leadership training. That meant that everyday I went with a different companionship in their area from 8-5pm. So i didnt see my companions that much this week. 
  On Wednesday night we went over to this marshalese family.  Two of the daughters are members, but their dad is not.  So their young womens leader asked them if they wanted blessings before school started.  They said yes, so went over there.  The first girl was going to be a junior.  She sat down in the chair after going to get her non member parents to come watch the blessing.  Elder Bunton asked who she wanted to give the blessing, I thought for sure she was going to say Elder Bunton becuase that was the only missionary that she new.  But for some reason she pointed to me.  So I gave the blessing. I'm pretty sure my hands were shaking a little during the whole blessing. 
  Unfortunately the french women we put on date to be baptised two days ended up not being baptised.  We think she was a little overwhelmed.  She is a single mom to two little girls and she just started a new job on thursday.  So were hopefully that she will want to be baptised soon, but we havent talked to her since friday. 
  Today for lunch we went to a islanders house.  It was their four year olds birthday.  I guess islanders go all out for birthday parties.  There was about 60 people there in the backyard, and there was a moon bounce,which I thought was funny.  We went away with a box pizza, a small cake, and plate of fruit.  We wont be hungry for a couple of days. 
  I hope everything is going well.  Sorry to hear about tanners game, lawrence in the past has had a pretty good team.  How did tanner do in varsity or jv?  Reagan informed me that Jimmer is engaged in her last lettter.  Wesley dont be so lazy and watch football all day and goodluck with your book report, do Harry Potter. Hows boomerang doing? Still busy? Mom how is trailridge?...or Jailridge since it has no windows.  Have you sent the contacts? I'm guessing it takes a several days for mail to get here. Because it has to go to the mission home first then to my apartment.  I just got reagans letter on Friday.  Oh and thanks for putting a short sleeve shirt in the suitcase even though I said not to, they are way more comfortable when its warm.  I saw a newspaper headline that said Mitt Romney was the GOP..thats pretty cool. Well I have to go, were going to eat at the Cahens.  The Cahens spoil us, we went there this morning and played basketball and picklo ball, which was pretty fun.  Were you able to find a photo for my portfolio?  The videos on there are really cool.  There's one of rob morris who played for the Colts.  Well talk to ya next Monday.  Have a good day, love ya!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First stop...Federal Way

Hello Everyone,
So i've been in Seattle for a day.  Seems like a week though. My companions didnt get to have P-day yesterday so were doing p-day activities today.  My companions are Elder Bunton (North Carolina) and Elder Park (Utah).  Elder Bunton is getting close the end and Elder Park has only been out for 6 months. They are the zone leaders, which means were busy all the time.  And food is not a priority most the time, we didnt eat dinner last night. But its great.  We leftt the mission home around four yesterday and by 6 clock we were visiting a non active member, who has a daughter that is not baptised who is 9.  They seemed open last night. We just got to know them and shared a short message.  We also visited Brody, who is in the same situation.  He is 15 and his mother is non active but he has a good desire to be baptised.  We got back around 9:30 last night but then we had a conference call witht the mission president and the other zone leaders that went to 10:30.  Im serving in Federal Way, Seattle its a car area.  Which in the past has been pretty successful, so thats exciting.  Seattle is really beautiful, theres so many trees.  And the past two days its been in the 80's and the sun has been out.  My mission president is really good, he's pretty direct and bold. Federal Way area has a little bit of everything in it.  There is a lot of appartments and thats where are two lessons were last night.  I went contacting with Elder Oh this morning.  Because my companions had a zone meeting.  Elder Oh is from South Korea.  He's really funny.  Since he usually doesnt drive with his companion he asked me to drive.  I said he probably should cause I dont know where Im going,  And he was like "ok, but i dont want kill greenie," he knows english alright, he's in a korean ward The first door I knocked, a guy answered and said before we said anything, right now is not the right time, i just lost my wive and I have three kids and I dont have time for anything and slammed the door.  Its sad because thats exactly the right time for him, and our message would have given him comfort about his situation.  But that was not exactly how I thought my first door knocking would go.  But we have 3 or 4 appointments for tonight and were always busy with the zone leaders responsibilites. But anyway I hope everything is good in Kansas and that everyone is having a good time in school. I'll email again on monday. I love you.
 Elder Clark

Monday, August 22, 2011

Load em' up, Head em; Out!

So this week was pretty good, except for the fact that i've been sick all week. I have this cold that i cant get over.  Tomorrow we leave in the morning for Seattle.   We have to be ready for the shuttle at 5 am.  I still have to pack, but we pretty much arn't doing anything today since its preparation day.  Yesterday was our last sunday, our district sang Come thou fount for our going away song.  I also had to give a 5 minute impromtu talk on baptism.  Our branch president just asked me to give a talk right after sacrameeting.  It wasn't too bad. 
Before I forget i need more contacts.  I dont think i need anything else.  We had infield orientation last friday.  It was a long day, the only day that felt long since the first couple of days.  We had class from 8am to 930pm with 2 hour lunch and dinner breaks.  We just went over finding, setting goals, what to expect the first week, and they told us about the new program.  Which is the new missionaries take the lead on some things at the beginning instead of the senior companion doing it all.  Not a lot went on this week.  My companion and I got all our investigators to commit to baptism, so that was good.  Oh, look up Tanner Appleton. I've become pretty good friends with him.  We eat meals together and he has the same gym time as me so we always play basketball.  He's from Portland. He played basketball at a school in north california.  He has one of the best shots i've ever seen.  He's the only person i've got to know that wasnt in my zone.  He's going to Brazil, but he hasnt got his visa yet, so he might be going somewhere else if he doenst get it in a week and a half.  Make sure you start using my Seattle address which is:
Elder Clark
Washington Seattle Mission
10675 NE 20th St
Bellevue, WA 98004
We get to the mission home around 10am tomorrow and we can call home..i was wrong.  We get a 15 minute limit though in the airport. So thats prettty exciting.  Well im sure my next email with be more interesting.  And I just sent a couple photos home. So you'll get those soon.  I have to go do laundry then hopefull take a nap..which im looking forward too.  Thanks again for all the letters.  Love you.

Monday, August 15, 2011


So this week went by super fast! It feels like yesterday was monday.  This whole week feels like one big day, all the days get jumbled together.  But it was a good week.  If I thought my first teaching exp. was gonna be my worst, i was sadly mistaken.  We had a pretty bad lesson.  It was our first lesson with one of our investigators and we just totally bombed it.  We were trying to answer all his questions with homeruns, when we should just gone for singles.  We had no flow to the lesson..also my companion was having a rough day.  So all those things together made it pretty bad, but we recovered nicely and our next to two lessons with Matt went really good.  Every day we have 2 three our classes with different teachers, and we teach 2 investigators everyday.  But i'm still exhausted at the end of everyday.  Sunday was nice and relaxing, Brother Heaton spoke on what it means to have "success"...very enlightening.  And we watched the new restoration video.  Oh and thanks for all the letters, its nice to read at the end of the night. 
Funny story though.  When new missionaries come they get orange stickers to put on their nametag. And everybody during the first day says, "welcome elders" or "hi". So me and one of the guys in my zone kept our orange stickers from the first day on the back of our nametag.  So when Wed. came we put it on the front of our tag and everybody said welcome to us.  But on Sun. at lunch I was looking for a table because our normal spot was taken and I saw two random spots.  Me and my companion went to those.  After I got settled in I looked around the table and Kyle Collingsworth was sitting directly in front of me..So i got to talk to him for 10 minutes before he had to leave. Which was really cool. I didnt bring up the missed free throws in the Florida game however.
I'll try and reply to all the letters we only get 30 minutes to email..which is short.  I cant believe we leave for Seattle in 8 days. 
The biggest lesson I learned this week was that Heavenly Father really does love us.  And we need to trust him.  Joseph Smith is a great example of that.  His last day in Nauvoo, he says, "I go like a lamb to slaughter, but i'm as calm as a summer day."
Have a good week. Love you guys

Monday, August 8, 2011

  So its been 6 days, good but very long.  The first 24 hours were the longest of my life.  Everyone just says make it to sunday, so we shall see.  The days are starting to go faster thou, and I'm working hard. Waking up at 6 30 is brutal, but Im starting to get use to the schedule.  We have to be in bed by 1030 and im usually asleep by 1033.  It seems like i'm always exhausted.  I do 50 pushups and 30 pull ups every tryin to stay in shape.  The Mtc food is alright.  Definitely not as good as grandma made it out to be.  We get ice cream wed. and sundays.  Last night i had three bowls, two vanilla and one strawberry.. it was break the fast and I had been fasting since 445 on sunday. 
     My first teaching exp. was humbling.  We tried to stick to the lesson plan too much and didnt get to know the investigator well enough and didnt focus on her needs.  I was a little down after that.  By the way my companion is elder boyle.  He is from Monticello, Utah.  Small town, his graduating class was 48. Good guy, we get along pretty well, he was just made district leader. 
  Our second teaching exp. was a lot better.  We got to know the investigator really good and was able to give a message that he needed to hear.  We watched the testament last night after devotional.  Which was a good change of pace.  I really like that movie, you can definitely feel the spirit when watching. 
   I made some friends playing basketball.  We have the same gym time so we play together everyday now, their pretty good. So its good competition. 
   Oh, and theres this thing called and you can write me letters and they'll print it off and put it in my mail box, so if you want to do that that would be cool. Hope everything is going good. 
   Love you guys.
   Elder Clark

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

So this is where it starts....

Brayden entered the Missionary Training Center on August 3, 2011 to begin his 2 year mission.  He was called to serve in the Washington, Seattle Mission.