Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lost and Found

Dear Family,
Well this was a pretty good week.  I'm having trouble remembering what happened. This week we didn't have a lot of time to proselyte. Tuesday we got Elder Yamashita moved in and everything.  One Thursday we we had weekly plan, a zone meeting, met with the bishop, and had ward correllation. So we had about two hours to work that day.  It’s amazing how many meetings we have. On Saturday we had a breakfast at the stake president’s house. It was really good, we had pancakes, egss, hashbrowns, sausage, and fruit.
Elder Yamashita is great.  His dad is a member of the 70 so that is pretty cool.  His english is coming along. He gave a great testimony in church yesterday. He said, “I love America. I love hamburger. I love five guys.” Everyone started to laugh. Hopefully we can find some Japanese people so that he can talk to them in Japanese.  So we do language study from 10-11. I am not exactly sure how to help him learn English. We usually just read out of the white handbook and any words that he doesn’t know I define for him.
I had the opportunity to do another baptism interview. It was pretty cool. His name was Jordan Alves. I don’t know if you could find another person as on fire as he is. He is 22 years old.  Elder Aiken and Elder Berry taught him 7 months ago. He then went to college and kindof got lost. But once he got back home he referred himself because he remembered the spirit that he felt when he was first taught.  He is in pre-law right now and is applying to go to different colleges. He said the elders are trying to get me to apply to BYU and I am thinking about doing that.  I will most likely get to do another interview this week as well.
This was kind of a slow week.  Because of all the meetings numbers were a little down this week.  We did find several new investigators.  We met this one guy Ken who is 46 years old. We first talked with him about three or four weeks ago and we could never catch him at home. On Saturday we did and we were able to have a lesson with him. It turns out his wife died three years ago from cancer and he has a 12 year old son.  Really nice guy, he works for Boeing (like pretty much half the people that we meet). He goes to a community church. But during the lesson he said that he has always wondered why there are so many Christian churchs and that in his mind he has always thought that there has to be one that God wants everyone to join.  So that’s a good start, hopefully he reads the Book of Mormon before we go back on Tuesday…
The Robins address is 16028 SE 148th St Renton, WA.  Did you get the CD they sent? It has about 40 pictures on it.
Sounds like Reagan had a good soccer game.  Hopefully they can win their next game. Who is her soccer coach?  Wes how do you like tennis more than baseball? Haven’t you only played tennis like two or three times…I bet you will like baseball a lot more once the games start.  The weather has been really nice the past several days. It was sunny and around 60 degrees for like three days. It’s a little gray today. But it was nice to be able to wear short sleeves and get a little tan. 
Well have a great week!
Love, Elder Clark

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Going to have to bone up on my Japanese!

Dear Family,
 Well we are writing today because of transfers.  I didnt get transferred but my companion did.  He went to Federal Way in the Hylebos ward so thats exciting.  My new companion is Elder Yamashita, he is from Japan. He knew no English when he came out on his mission.  So we will do lang. study from 10-11.  His great though, he converted when he was 17 years old.  He has been out for 3 months so far.  It was cool to be able to talk to everyone at transfers.  I was able to talk to Elder Brown which was great, I was able to brush up on speaking marshalese. I still know a lot.  He is in the Olympic Branch, which is marshalese. I'm a little jealous but maybe someday I will join him there. I'm pretty excited about this upcoming transfer. Hopefully we will be able to have some good sucess.
  Right now we have 4 people on date, but none are solid right now. It was a pretty crazy week though.  We had a lesson with George who is from romania. We brought Bro. Robinson who knows russian.  We had a really good lesson him, and it was snowing that night. So we were leaving and Bro. Robinson had parked perpendicular to the road, and it was kinda down a slight incline.  We ended up not being able to get out.  So after about 30 minutes of trying to push it out and getting mud all over our clothes, we called Bro Robinsons wife and she came and pulled us out in her car.  It was actually a good experience because we were able to create a good bond  with George and his son as we were trying to push the car.  And when sis Robinson came she invited George and his family over for dinner, when he gets back from his trip. He drives trucks across the country so he wont be back until late march. 
  Sounds like Spring Break was really good, thats cool that BYU was able to come back from that kind of deficit.  We were tracting on saturday and one of the guys we talked to told us that Duke had lost to Leigh. Which is pretty surprising, especially with Coach K being the coach.  Elder Yamashita likes basketball so we will definitely play basketball. I need to stop being lazy on preparation day anyway. 
 Oh, I went on exchanges last week with the zone leaders.  I was with Elder Aiken.  We were tracting this apartment complex and  the second door we know knock this guy opens the door and lets us right in.  We go on to share a message with him. Turns out he was a evangelical pastor for 30 years. The first 15 minutes of the lesson he was in the kitchen doing the dishes and listening but not 100%.  He finally comes over and he asks a question about the second coming and what we belief about it.  Elder Aiken and I just bore powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and how we need to prepare for the second coming, and that the restoration of the gospel is how we can do that. It was the most powerful lesson of my misson so far.  His countenance totally changed, at the beginning he thought he already knew everything. By the end of the lesson he was sitting down and was humble and truly seeking truth.  They took him on a church tour the next day. Turns out he has 5 daughters, one who is still living at home and is going through a rough time and he thinks YW's and this church will help her.
 Also while on exchange, I went to their ward correllation. One of the ward missionaries is Sis Nielson who lived right across the street from indian trails in the cedars.  She I guess was best friends with Ruth Gardner. She also knew Jordan Hale and the Hales pretty good as well.  So it was pretty cool to be able to talk with her.
 Well I hope everyone has good week! I love you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Not exactly a Dog Whisperer

Dear Family,
 This week has been great. It has been a little crazy but really good.  Spring is kind of coming around here, we had a couple days of sunshine this past week. But now its pretty gray and rainy. 
 We got to go to the temple on tuesday, that was a really good experience. I attached some photos from after we got out of the temple. There mostly of my district and theres also some other missionaries from the zone as well. 
 I had an incident with a dog.  We were tracting and we came up to this drive way and this black dog was guarding it.  He looked like a black lab but his legs were short and his body long.  He kept barking so we stayed back.  We were trying to get him to settle down, he finally stopped barking so I took a couple steps towards him then stopped. He didnt do anything than all of sudden just charged right at me.  I felt like the kid from Sandlot.  He got my ankle and the back of my pants, he tore the cuff.  He chased me for a while..So that was pretty fun.  The dog was really fast. 
  Something unforunate happened yesterday. The Aguilar family dropped us, or the dad dropped us.  he called saturday and said that werent going to be home because they were going to Yakima.  So we dropped by Sunday afternoon and they let us in.  We talked for a couple of minutes and asked how his trip was.  After a couple of minutes he just suddenly got up and was like "I got to go do some errands, like go to the store and stuff. But you can stay and talk to my kids." He just went right into his room.  So we had a quick lesson with his two kids.  Then after he left he called and apologized and told us that he didnt want to be Mormon or baptised and that he was two busy. We asked if we could still teach the kids and if they could come to church but he said he was just too busy and that he would take them to Catholic church sometimes.  That was sad.  But were still going to try and get the eleven year old to scouts on tuesdays. 
 Also on Sunday we had Stake Conference.  It was very good.  President Johnson our stake president talked first and he talked for 48 minutes on missionary work, he took his whole talk to talk about it. It was very inspiring.  He talked a lot about how he was converted at 17.  And how it was just how one of his friends spoke up.  He centered his talk on 4 points on how the members could be better missionaries:
        1. Live the best lives you can- through scripture study, prayer, having the spirit with you
        2. Pray specifically for the missionaries and missionary opportunities- need to know the missionaries, know who they are teaching what they are doing.
        3. Speak up- He related his conversion and how his friend had the courage to speak up
        4. Fasting- He challenged all the members to go home and with your families and ask God if fasting for the missionaries is something you should do (of course God will say yes). He talked about how when wards in the stake had a lot of success the wards were fasting.
 He also talked a lot about how the only thing in the Bishops handbook that it says to give priority to is missionary work and the work of salvation.  I had heard that before but I think that was really surprising to some of the members. It really was a great talk and very inspiring. Being a convert himself he was able to show how important missionary work really is and how the work will not only go forward because of the full time missionaries.  Also Elder Jensen from the 70 was presiding. He gave a very good talk on testimony and where its origin is and also how it is built. 
 Well have a good spring break! The car looks nice, I'm sure tanner is loving it.  Thats so cool that Ryan got his call there, he will absolutley love it! Thats where Mitch went I think. Oh, today we are going to this water fall by snoqualmi pass so that should be pretty fun, hopefully the weather is pretty good.
Love, Elder Clark

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Diversified Teaching Pool

Dear Family,
  It was really good to hear from all of you this week.  It has been a really good week.  I can't believe it's March.  We got some snow this morning. Last night we ate dinner with the Carlsons.  They are a really nice family.  Bro Carlson is going to take us to Snoqualmia Falls next prepartation day.  I guess its a really pretty water fall place.  I will take pictures. 
  We tracted into this guy name David Aguilar who let us right in.  He was drinking and we started to share a message.  And he just broke down crying.  His wife just recently left without saying anything.  He has two adorable kids, Marcose and Briana; ones 11 and 6.  During the lesson he broke down four or five times.  Last night we had another lesson with and both of his kids were there.  He was drinking again. And he looked on the verge of tears the entire time we were there.  We just talked about how God loves all of us.  My hurt just hurts for that family.  And how the kids one day woke up and had no mom.  It really makes you really grateful for what you have.   We are going back on Wednesday.  And hopefully they will come to church on Sunday, the kids both want to come. 
   We also are teaching a romanian family right now. And George the father came to church.  One of our members speaks russian so we are using him for teaching and fellowship. It was funny before church we went to his house so he could follow us. We go knock on the door.  5 seconds later we hear the back door open and close and a car come backing down the driveway. He rolls down the window and says, i'll follow you. One of the easiest escorting to church.  European people are really funny. 
  Also we visited a potential investigator saturday.  She is chinese and she said the reason she wanted us to come back, is that she recently moved here from china and wants to find a church that she can bring her two twin 18 year olds to.  And she wants to become Christian. Her name is Hiatong,  She wasnt able to come this Sunday because she already committed to go to one of her friends churches but hopefully she will come this Sunday.
  So we are teaching a mexican family, romanian family, and chinese family.  I'm giving up on white people.....just kidding.
  I'm writing today because we are going to the temple today.  So thats cool.  iPad 3 already coming out? Thats crazy.  3/4 our members bring iPads to church.  I did get the package. Thank you.  For the cd, I want the songs to be words, and I'm not sure what I want just something other than Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I think I tried to shut down my yahoo account before I left. I didnt use it any more, so if you could do that, that would be great.  It's already week 5 of the transfer, I can't believe it.  Transfers are going by so fast, it's going to be August before I know it.  I hope everyone has a good week before spring break. I love you
Elder Clark