Tuesday, April 24, 2012

leading with charity

Dear Family,
 This week went by so fast. We had zone conference on thursday which was really great and fun.  Although our zone came in last in the game where we had to know all the main pts of the paragraphs of the commandments in lesson 4. I had them all memorized though.  Thankfully Elder Bunton gave me all the paragraph pts of all the lessons, so I have them down pretty good. 
 We also went on exchange this week.  Elder Aiken came to May valley with me, and Elder Yamashita went to Issaquah.  We had a really good exchange.  Saturday we got out of a lesson with a recent move in less active named Katie. She is 19 and she lives with her cousin, who isnt a member so hopefully we can start teaching her. We  committed Katie to come to church next week and also scheduled a church tour with her on wednesday. But after got out of the lesson we saw someone at the next house and ran to talk with her. She wasnt interested. Then we saw someone on the street below washing her car, she wasnt interested. Then we saw someone a few houses down and ran to talk with him.  He kindof was making fun of us and pretending to not know english. I know spanish well enough I was able to tell him who we were  and what we were doing. But then a girl walked over and said.  "i'll listen".  So we just turned away from that guy and talked with her. Before the opening prayer, we asked what is she looking for right now? Everyone who lets us talk to them is looking for something and especially someone who comes up to us and says I'll listen. She sat down and took about a minute to respond. Through tears she told us that all she wants is to get her son back and that she has made really bad decisions, resulting in CPS taking her four year old son. We taught her about the atonement and how she could overcome her addictions and put her on date to be baptised.  She was crying the entire time, it was a pretty emotional lesson.  Then the guy comes over and apologizes to us and tells us his real name and asks us to teach him as well. So we taught him, and ashley again.  We put him on date and scheduled a church tour with them that night.  Unfortunately that didnt show up to the place where we and the bishop were going to pick them up and when we called she didnt answer.  It was heart breakening.  Probably the greatest gift as a missionary is to have charity.  To love and not judge.  The sad thing about drugs is they can't make good decisons when they are on them.  So were going to wait a couple of days and go back. She visits her moms house every tues and thurs to see her son for three hours.  We met her mom and we will probably go to her moms house on thursday and talk with her. 
  That was about it for our week.  We had ward conference and the stake president came and spoke.  It was really good about being meek and lowly in heart and he used examples of the savior when he was meek and lowly.  The temple dedication sounded fun. We have had a stretch of great weather.  It hit 77 yesterday. Which is pretty hot for here.  This is the last week of the transfer. So I'll be emailing on tuesday next week. I doubt I will get transferred but I never know.
Love, Elder Clark

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sacrifice and Judging

Dear Family,
 It was a pretty good week this week.  On tuesday I held a exchange with Elder Birati who is microindonesia. It was pretty fun.  We found 3 new invs and put someone on date so it was good that it was a powerful experience for him.  He was telling me a story that he got mission call and his acceptance to represent his country in the olympics on the same day. Obviously he chose to come on his misson.  He was saying that his family and the whole villiage wanted him to choose the olympics. 
  We tracted into a less active person who we havent received her records yet.  She is a mom with a 12 and 13 year old and she was telling us about how she is about 90% sure that her and her husband were going to get a divorce.  It's amazing how the spirit helps people to open up to us.  She said that she was baptised when she was 16, but it might have been for the wrong reasons.  Her dad was really against it and she didnt like him.  But she said that her baptism was one of the best days of her life.  We are hopefully going back to teach her this week and her two kids. 
  We have zone conference this week so I dont have to prepare a district meeting.  We had a meeting with president.  He talked a lot about doing baptism interviews and that we can't take them lightly because that is one of the most important events in that persons life.  They have the opportunity to show there repentance to an authorized representative of the Church and  in doing that, that will give them the strength to continue on the right path.  I also gained an immense understanding of the atonement.  President talked about the scripture in D&C "let no man thinketh he is a ruler, but let God rule he that judgeth". When we are doing the interview we have to let go of all emotions and let the spirit decide.  And he told us about a interview that he did.  The man confessed to doing some very despicable things and he said that he couldnt believe that someone would do some of the things that he did.  But then the man went on to tell him how his dad left before he was born and that his mom was an addict. When he was 4 or 5 his mom, when she didnt have enough money for the drugs would give him to the dealers and they would beat him.  And President thought to himself how on earth can I judge this man. And he related that to us that we cant judge anyone.  Only Christ can.  He was the one that went through everything, he knows everyones circumstance and situations and their pains and sorrows. And because of that he is only one who can truly judge and thats why we have to rely on the spirit. 
  It is already week 5 of the transfer. There going way too fast. I feel like it was just transfers a week ago. 
  Everyone sounds really busy.  Reagans games sound exciting. It's surprising that wes isnt excited about baseball. 
Wes how are the celtics doing this year?  Someone said the royals are starting pretty good.  I didnt know the knickerbockers lived in WA. What ward are they in?  But I got to go, were playing volleyball as a district ..so it should be fun. Have a great day! Oh, and Happy late Birthday Mom!
Love, Elder Clark

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Maybe you got one of these

Dear Family,
   I did send a letter, hopefully it gets there soon.  I wrote a lot of letters last preparation day.  Probably twice as many as I have written in the last 4 months. 
  This week was great though.  The weather was so nice, I actually got sun burnt on Saturday. We did a lot of tracting this week.  The beginning of the week started out really slow but the end of the week picked up.  We found a new investigator on Saturday.  We were going to visit a potential inv, who ended up not being home.  We started to walk down the hilly and long driveway and we saw a person in the woods, kindof in a clearing. We walked over there and talked with her. She was actually looking for a 100 dollar bill.  We helped her look for a couple of minutes.  We didn’t end up finding it, we told her who we were and she started to cry. She told us how she is going through a really hard time right now and that she is miserable. We told her about Christ and put her on date for May 12th. She really wants to change her life.  She wants to stop smoking and be the mom that she needs to be.  She wasn’t able to come to church this weekend because she was in Kent with her two kids but she will be there next Sunday. 
  Elder Yamashita is doing pretty good. It’s a little hard sometimes just because he doesn’t really know that much English and it is hard for him to follow conversations.  It’s good for me because it is helping me be more patient. 
  There was a homecoming talk on Sunday.  The topic was receiving revelation from general conf., I though it was kindof a weird topic for a homecoming talk.  But it was ok. 
  I did hear that Kansas lost.  I actually talked with someone that was from Emporia yesterday and who went to KU.  The shoes are great I really like them. I really have to start running in the morning because of all the food.  I have gone back to my old self and am having cereal like 3 or 4 times a day.  I didn’t realise how close mother’s day was. So I will see you then!
  Well I hope everyone has a good week!

Love, Elder Clark

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ah..the tension between gatherers and sifters...my boy is now a real missionary!

Dear Family,
  Riding a bike in May Valley is terrible. This week we had to ride bikes till Friday. My legs were shot.  But it was relatively a good week. We didn't have our baptism, which was sad. Its been pushed back to next week.  Hopefully our bishop will still allow her to be baptised.  Mercedes' family is looking for a condo to move to, and there are no condos in our area.  So she will be moving out of our ward and that concerns our bishop with the transition and everything.  From the missionaries point of view she needs to be clean as soon as possible and the transition will be tough either way so why not let her receive the holy ghost? Also one of the  members of the ward council raised some concerns on whether or not she was qualified.  He asked some good questions, questions that should be asked before someone is baptised but the way he asked them were sort of cantankerous.  Like "are you teaching the Book of Mormon?" But all is well that ends well. Hopefully she will be baptised next week.
  This is the last week of the transfer. Another transfer has come and gone....way too fast.  I feel like it's 50/50 on whether or not I will be transferred.  But life is going good in May Valley. We put two part member twins on date for baptism yesterday so that was great.  Sis Robins has been out of town for the past several days.  Hopefully they don't get back until tomorrow we have some cleaning up to do before they get back.  We get a little lackadaisical in being diligent with the dishes and others miscellaneous things when they are gone. 
  We have been asked to give talks, not this Sunday but the following. Which will be good.  Get to cry repentance to a captive audience about them not doing their part in finding...just kidding. Kind of. In all seriousness, May Valley is great ward. Lots of willing members, who will do things at the drop of a hat. Bishop Jarman is very missionary minded, which is awesome.  But in the eyes of all missionaries, members could always find more.   
  We have been doing some re-activation recently. Which I have found to be pretty cool.  With the senior couple in our ward working with the less-actives we don't do too much, but we have tracted into some inactive members.  We have been teaching them and a couple of them are making the journey to return to being active members.  I never really learned how to do less active work in the beginning of my mission, but I've learned that you have to treat them just like an investigator.  Be bold. Extend commitments. And get fellowship. 
  This week was one of the hardest finding weeks.  It seemed like no one was interested. I don't think we had a single tracting lesson. Usually I'm pretty good at being able to say two prayers and share a quick message at the doorstep. But this week was just difficult. 
  Sounds like things are still up and going back home. That's cool that you get to go to Dallas.  Got an email from Drew.  He was wondering why he hasn't got an email forwarded or the blog updated.  His guess as to why, was a little radical.  I bet Wesley and Tanner are rejoicing this week while Reagan is at camp.  But sounds like it should be pretty fun. Boomerangs must be in the swing of summer, with 70% of the rentals being water pieces.  There are pros and cons to that.  Well have a good week. It's going to be a busy preparation day today.  Need to catch up on some letters that I have been procrastinating. Surprise I know.  And we have to clean and then go play basketball. Then back to work for the week.
Love, Elder Clark