Friday, August 30, 2013


I gave been reassigned to the beautiful Scottsdale Arizona Mission until I receive my Visa!! My flight leaves from Salt Lake City on Monday, September 2, in the morning!  

Generally Visa Waiters spend 6 - 10 weeks in their new assignment until their Visa comes through.

Scottsdale, Arizona is a new mission that was created on July 1, 2013.  The Mission President is Karl R.Sweeney. Here is a picture and a short Biography.

President and Sister Sweeney

Karl Robert Sweeney, 59, and DeAnne Henrie Sweeney, five children, Mountain Point 1st Ward, Draper Utah Mountain Point Stake: Arizona Scottsdale Mission. Brother Sweeney serves as a ward temple preparation teacher and is a former stake president, bishop, branch president, Young Men assistant adviser and missionary in the Japan Kobe Mission. Retired. Born in Amarillo, Texas, to Rufus Robert Sweeney Jr. and Melba Nadine Minor Sweeney.
Sister Sweeney is a Church-service missionary and ward Primary teacher, and former stake Young Women president, ward Relief Society president and early-morning seminary teacher. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Jed E and Dorothy Ann Whitney Henrie.

Here is a link to the Scottsdale Mission Blog:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's the final countdown!

August 27, 2013
   Hmm, I do not have much to update one, just another great, powerful, spiritual week at the MTC. I can’t believe I have less than a week and then I am in the field! I think the most nerve racking part is that I have no clue where I am going to end up. I could miraculously get my visa this week and could go to Brazil! or I could be sent ANYWHERE in the USA. I think I am going to Colorado Springs... dunno why, I just got that feeling. Everyone else thinks I am going to go to Texas, I wouldn't mind that for the fall. All I know is that no matter where I go I am getting off the plane running and ready to work. I AM SO EXCITED!

   I am so excited to hear about Derek and his new calling. He will be such a fantastic Bishop! That is a lucky Ward. (Sam's cousins husband was just called to be the Bishop of their Ward, the ecclesiastical leader of their congregation)

   So my favorite part of the day is quickly becoming the hour we get for personal study each day. I learn so much by reading the scriptures. I have had more personal revaluations and ah'a moments by just studying the words in the Book of Mormon. I absolutely love reading the stories of the prophets and the people and realizing that they are written specifically for us. There are times that I feel like Moroni is talking directly to me, and I can imagine so vividly what is going on at that moment. I understand the words so much better here and feel the spirit each time I open the book, willing and ready to learn all the The Lord is willing to teach. It always makes me realize how much I STILL do not know. It amazes me that I have living in this gospel all my life but I still have so much to learn. 

   Sunday was really good this week for so many different reasons, but the part of the day that was the best was watching a talk Elder Bednar gave to the missionaries at the MTC on Christmas morning, called "Character of Christ."
It was so inspirational and I learned a lot from his words. He explained what it takes to become more like Christ and it all really comes down to turning your love out towards others when the natural man wants to quit and only help himself. Christ was the perfect example of that, especially as he suffered during the atonement. Then he healed the soldier’s ear, the same soldier that was taking him away to have him killed, that was unbelievable charity! Especially after he just suffered for ALL our sins. And then when he was on the cross, he is first concerned for his Mother and then he asked the Lord to forgive the people who put him up on the cross! That is the perfect example of turning outwards with love when the natural man wants to fall. Only Christ can show that kind of love and all we can do is try as hard as we can to be like him every day. "I WILL GREET THIS DAY WITH LOVE IN MY HEART"- Og Mandino (Thank you dad)

  So I have been looking for Sister Moyes everyday but I have yet to see her. It is nuts how big this place is! I hope I see her before I leave. I did however see a face that I recognized but I couldn't quite place it... Then it hit me. The elder was on the Disney Cruise with us! He is the super blonde kid that hung with the teens. What are the odds of that?! It was so random, the chance of us going on a cruise at the same time and then to the MTC at the same time is soo random. Pretty cool though.

  So, two great things have happened this week. My district and I discovered the game of KOOB, and we also discovered the pillow room. Yes, a room of pillows. First lemme tell you about the game. It is a Viking game that we can play at gym time out on the field, the concept of the game is basically throw wooden cylinders at shorter fatter wooden cylinders on the ground. It is so fun, and with the Elders in my district we get so competitive with it. It is played by teams and we have yet to finish an actual complete game cause we suck. But we like pretending like we are manly Vikings throwing wood at... wood. Trust me, it is fun! Now for the pillow room discovery... it actually wasn't the pillow room when we found it. It is the old bookstore that been abandoned in the basement of the old main building. They still use the other floors for class but the basement just has a computer lab and this huge empty room. We would go down there to study because it was cold and really quite. One day we all went down there and we couldn't believe the blessing we received! Hundreds of pillows were stacked up in the corner of the room. Of course we all were responsible and went straight to our spots to study........ OK that was a lie. We all looked at each other, dropped our stuff and ran and jumped in the fluffy pile of heaven. When you jump into, you just vanish because you get engulfed by them. So much fun! Since then, every day more and more pillows arrive. Now the entire room is full of literally thousands of pillows. We don't have much time to hang out there anymore but some times during transition time we will "check" to make sure the pillows are still there and in working order. 
Pillow Room - Elder Clark is not in this picture...unless he is lost in the giant pile of pillows!

   Well that is all I really got, next time we we will all know where I am headed! I will keep you updated! Eu amo voces!

- Elder Clark
Alma 26:12-  "... Com Sua força posso fazer todos os coisas..." 
  in his [God’s] strength I can do all things

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week 4, Complete

Me and my companion, Elder Porter

    Week 4 is now complete. It was a good week with many more great experiences. The first one was last Tuesday night at our devotional. Elder Scott came and spoke to us! It was awesome to hear from him. He talked about prayer and was so powerful with each statement he made. He became super emotional many times and the entire Marriott center was silent with attention. It was one of the best talks I have ever heard. The best part was that he gave everyone watching (This was the first MTC Devotional to be broadcast worldwide to every MTC in the world!) an Apostolic blessing that we would all be able to learn the language...not once but TWICE! It was so cool and such a great feeling that this man that directly talks to the Lord promised us the blessing of the gift of tongues.... twice. At the end... as he was leaving and we were all standing waiting for him to leave, he was about to go through the door (very slowly cause he old) and then he stopped... look at all of us and cupped his hands around his mouth. At this point, all 4000 people were getting ready for some divine Revelation but he proceeded just to say "BE GOOD" and then continued on his way. but then he stopped again and said "I LOVE YOU" which made everyone in the congregation say it back. It was a pretty light hearted and fun way to end the evening. 
Elder Richard G. Scott
Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
    I finally found some missionaries going to the DC south mission. They should be there now.. so if you have new missionaries, ask them about me. I told them to say hi to Bishop Clark for me. I told them they are going to the absolute best mission with the best mission president, after mine of course. I met some missionaries going to the Chesapeake area too, I guess that's kinda cool. 

Me and Elder Manu
     Me and Elder Manu (My Tongan) are having a great time. Last night we compared English scriptures with the Tongan ones. Communication is pretty hard because he speaks SO little English but I was able to share my favorite scriptures with him. Tongan is such a manly language, I was just reading from his scriptures and I felt powerful. I think this is my favorite scripture in Tongan... we could not translate it because he didn't know the words in English but I think its right... "he te u lava ke fai 'a e me'a kotoa pe 'i hono mafimafi." Its the middle of Alma 27:12. 
             Alma 27:12 Get this people out of this land, that they perish not; for Satan has great hold on             the hearts of the Amalekites, who do stir up the Lamanites to anger against their brethren to              slay them; therefore get thee out of this land; and blessed are this people in this generation, for            I will preserve them.

     So I was coming back from the temple this morning and guess who is at the stop light waiting to cross the street with me and my companions.... Michelle Peets. I don't think I have seen her since we left North Carolina! It was really cool and fun to see her! She apparently just got a job here and today was her first day. It really is a small world, spiritually speaking.  
Michelle Peets and Me
   For our Sunday devotional we had a speaker named Vai Sikahema. He was a BYU football player and was the player to return the kickoff for a touchdown in the Miracle Bowl. He is now a news anchor for NBC. He was awesome, He just told us stories and showed us a slide show of pictures. He told us the story of his mission to North Dakota and how he played in National Title games, NFL games, Pro-bowl games and went to the Olympics all over the world to broadcast but how none of those experiences even come close to his mission experience. He could remember the date he entered the MTC, left the MTC and the day he got home but he couldn't remember a single date of any specific game he played in. It was awesome to here that and it just reaffirmed my testimony of this is where I am supposed to be.
Vai Sikahema

So for the last like two weeks, I was staying awake til way late just laying in my bed because my mind had so much running through it after each day, I wouldn't ever fall asleep before 12 and I would wake up in the middle of the night all the time. I had started to drag throughout the days and it was getting to a point where I couldn't learn because I was just so exhausted. I started to get sick, but like the sickness you get when you don't get any sleep. It was getting bad but I would push through each day just to lay in bed for hours each night. Finally on Friday I was laying in bed at around midnight and I was so mad. I could here everyone else snoring and I just wanted to sleep. As I was lying there when I heard a voice say "Get a Blessing"... I wanted one but I didn't want to wake anyone up so I told myself in 30 minutes if I am still awake I will ask my companion. No more then a minute went by and the voice came back, stronger, "Get a blessing now, I want to help you." I took that as my 30 minute warning. I woke up my sleeping companion and Elder Harris and asked them to give me a blessing. They administered it to me and then we all went to bed. I feel asleep so quickly! Ever since then, I fall asleep so fast and sleep all night and I am never too tired to learn. I understand the language so much better and I just feel better. Its amazing how the Lord wants to help us with even the little things, all we have to do is ask and put our faith in him. Its the little things that build a testimony. 

    Everyday here exhausts my brain but the language is coming and my knowledge and view of the Gospel is ALWAYS growing. I love all that I am learning here but it is time for me to get out into the field!! I am ready to be out of these walls and actually doing his work! I know God needs to prepare his soldiers for battle and I am really trying to do the best I can to prepare but I have been caged up in a classroom for TOO LONG! Time to go out into the world! Only 2 weeks left! I love all of you and thank you so much for the love and support! 

-Elder Samuel Payne Clark

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Halfway Through The MTC

    I am half way there! only 3 more weeks and I am out of here and actually in the field! From the looks of it though, I am most likely going to be reassigned to an instate mission because NOBODY is recieving their visas in time. About 20 missionaries that are assigned to go to Brazil left Monday to various places in the USA because none of them had their visas. I am actually not to stressed about it though because I think that would be such an amazing opportunity to be able to (in a way) serve two missions for the price of one! and speaking in English does not sound to bad right now. But now that I have said that, and knowing that the Lord has quite  the sense of humor, my visa is going to come before I leave this place! Either way I am perfectly content with going where ever the Lord wants me to go.
   This past week has been the best week by far. I have had so many memories made and experiences that I will not forget. I had the opportunity to give two blessings this week. The first one was to one of the sisters in our district. All three of the sisters were feeling really discouraged and each asked for a blessing. They did not want it to be a public thing so three of us Elders went and our teacher went into a room with the three sisters. Each one explained their needs to us and we gave them each a blessing. The spirit that was in the room during and after the blessings was incredible. Everyone just had the overwhelming feeling that was we are doing is exactly what the Lord wants us to and he was proud of our progress. The second blessing I gave was to my good friend Elder Harris, a cowboy from Idaho that would give Chris Moyes a run for his money for being the most cow-boyish person I have ever met. ANYWAYS he didnt take any sort of language in school or anything so learning Portuguese has been really hard for him, and even though he is one of the most diligent workers we have, he was ready for a little divine help for his studies. I gave the blessing with 4 other Elders standing in. The power I felt with all us Priesthood holders together was undeniable. I know that each man in that circle was called of God and possessed the power to do anything through him. Elder Harris is progressing with the language like a champ now! God really does help those who work hard but recognize that they need His help too. I was able to go to the temple this morning too! It just opened up yesterday and we all went with over 400 other missionaries. It was packed but never felt to crowded. What a sweet experience that was to be in the temple with literally just other 18 and 19 year olds. It is so hard to fathom sometimes why the Lord trusts teenagers with spreading his word, but it was so easy to see the light of Him through each missionary in the temple.

My District at the Provo Temple
      This week a bunch of missionaries left from our floor in our residence and all the foreign missionaries that are learning English have moved in. They are from everywhere and its so cool! There are elders from Ethiopia, Tonga, France, Japan, Fiji, Mexico and even Brazil! We like to "talk" to the Brazilians, they laugh a lot at us. One of my favorite is Elder Manu, from Tonga. He is a rugby player... and boy does he look like it. This man is probably 5'10 and weighs almost 300 pounds. He is so solid. He is so funny and so friendly. He walks around the hallways yelling "YEEAAAHHH MAAAYYN" because he knows very little English and that's his favorite phrases, that and yelling professional wrestlers names as he tries to wrestle people. He is so kind though and always wants to help when he's not trying to play tackle rugby in the hallway with me.... One of our elders tore his quad playing softball (dont ask me how) and we live on the fourth floor.... with no elevator. So Elder Blalock has to hop up four flights of stairs. One day Elder Manu was coming down when her was going up. Manu goes "you no good. Hop on my back". he then proceeds to toss elder Blalock onto his shoulders and takes this 220 pound Elder up all the flights of stair, while in his church clothes. The Tongans have got to be the strongest people on the planet. 
My District
     I have learned so much this week. We have a class each week where we go and teach members of the church that speak Portuguese. The lesson is completely in Portuguese and we were able to have spiritual and meaningful conversations with the people. It was so awesome. It made me SO pumped to get out into the field! 

     Tell Jeremiah I miss him too and that I wear my Tiki necklace his Dad gave me everyday too! I love all of you and love hearing from you with your updates! Thanks for the support and the love!

   -Elder Clark

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Week Two, The Adventure Continues

      Week two at the MTC is now complete and man was it a good one. I forgot to tell you this last week but within the first couple days of being here, without any hinting from me, my nickname soon became Elder Superman, and that is was all the Elders on our residence floor call me now. I have to say its pretty cool. haha Nothing like being called a super hero to keep me humble at the MTC! Seriously though, the MTC is truly a humbling place. I cannot believe the amazing people that come through here and the amount of work I am able to get done. I know none of what I am able to accomplish here is because of me, its because The Lord has taken my hand and is guiding me completely through this. Without his help, I do not think I could be doing as well and be as happy as I am every day here.
     Every Tuesday night is the big devotional for all the missionaries to go to. We all have to march to the Marriott Center because there are so many missionaries! I am so sad I didnt bring my camera but one of the best sights I have ever seen in my life was the thousands of missionaries walking along the side walk after the devotional in a constant stream all the way to the MTC. I cant even describe how it made me feel to be part of so many and I will for sure get a picture of it tonight! The devotional was amazing too, the speaker was a former member of the 70, Brian H. Richards, and he spoke just about how hard missionary work is but the things that are worth the most in life do not come easy. I loved it so much. He kept quoting Elder Holland telling us that "you are the Army of Helaman, Today. You are the hope of Israel, today. We are the greatest generation of missionaries to serve" It was such a powerful night and got me so pumped to get out there and try and be the greatest missionary of the greatest missionary generation.

    I have come across so many people I know its kinda crazy. I've seen Sister Ward, Sister Cotton, and Elder Wiegel (all from our stake) and I have seen two sisters from pageant 3 years ago! It seriously is a very small world, spiritually speaking. The most important person I have seen is Elder Christensen of course! I have seen him twice this week and boy is he a sight for sore eyes. I love seeing him here and I love thinking about all us 94's soon being out in the field all serving all over the world!
Elder Christensen and Elder Clark - Cousins!
     This fast sunday was really cool. We had a lot of special meetings that were really good. During testimony meeting, most of the missionaries that are about to leave bore their testimonies and were so good at the language! I am so excited to be able to speak like that. I am already at a point where when I think of a word it comes to my head in Portuguese first! (like first, i though primera before I thought first!) Just another thing God is personally helping me with.

    So during the little free time we have in between classes and what not my companion and I have found the best source of entertainment at the MTC. Its kind of mean but it is such a stress reliever! So at one of the walkways in the middle of the MTC, so there is heavy traffic there all the time, one of the pieces of sidewalk is lifted higher than the rest. So yes, people trip on it ALL THE TIME. And there is conveniently a couple benches that are all set perfectly for optimum viewing pleasure. Me and my companion will just sit at the bench, pretend to be reading or something and just watch, Watch all the hopeless and clueless missionaries stumble on the sidewalk. It never get old and its terribly funny. Sometimes if the action gets a little slow. we'll start to say high to them just in time for them to stumble on the raised part. Don't worry momma, no one has completely fallen..... yet.

    I love  love love getting Dear Elder letters. I promise you that I get them even if I don't always respond. I just like hearing about everyone and knowing that I am being thought about. Make sure everyone knows what it is and have everyone send me some! And also let everyone know that I do write back to letters, they just need to know how slow snail mail really is. Also thank you so much Miss Abby for the package! it was awesome and all the guys in my room use the grip exerciser and we are seeing who has the best grip by the time we leave! Speaking of competitions, at dinner they serve jello cups basically every night. All of us take the jello out of the cup and set ion on our trays. Then you have to suck it all up in one bite, and yours truly is the only one to have successfully completed the entire cup in one suck. I am the champion.

    I hope all is well at home. I fasted for a lot of things this Sunday. One of them was for Zach and his family. I am so excited for him and I hope his travels go well today! His letter was aweome and I need to MTC adress to answer him! I also fasted for my Visa, one member of our district got his last week and he left bright and early this morning for the MTC in Brazil. Lucky Lucky, even though it feels like a member of our family died.. we miss him already! Not as much as I miss all of you of course!

    Eu amo voces!!!!

        Elder Samuel Payne Clark

Week One

     So week one is finally complete. I can tell you the two biggest things I have learned are that Portuguese is very difficult to learn in 6 weeks and there are WAY too many hours in the day. I get more done here in a day than a whole week back at home! Every minute of our day is scheduled and it is quite brain taxing. I love it here though, the work is hard but it is so amazing. Its amazing to me how much freedom we have too. Besides a 3 hour class time during the day with our language teacher, we are completely on our own for studying and preparing.

    I am here with 3400 other missionaries and it is so great to be with so many Elders and Sisters that are all a) in the same boat by leaving our lives behind for a lil bit b) so strong in the gospel. I have had so many gospel doctrine centered conversations and just love learning and teaching all the time! and C) such sweet spirits. My first day here it was kind of creepy how nice and excited everyone was, but as I have been here I understand why. Its impossible not to be here.

    Portuguese is kickin my butt. I am just now starting to get it and piece sentences together but my pronunciation is terrible! The worst thing is when i look up a word in the dictionary,  I will close the book and then immediately forget what the word is. Its terrible. I never thought i would miss google translate soooo much.
Companions, Elder Porter and Elder Clark

    My companion is Elder Porter from Kansas City. He went to BYUI for a year and he is awesome. We are able to quote any movie and the other one is able to know it. He is so much fun and really helps me out with the language. Me and Him and one other Elder are the only ones I know of that are going to Brasilia, everyone else is going to the mission right next to ours. My district has become one big family. There are 10 (Elders including me and Elder Porter) and 3 sisters. We all are really good friends now and have the greatest time together. Everyone is from all over but the funniest one is Elder Blalock. He is from Mississippi and has the best southern accent. He is hilarious and could be a professional comedian with the way he tells stories. He has made me cry laughing countless times now and we've only just begun.  We have started to create a book of Elder Blalock's quotes, I cannot wait to show you guys!

   One day Elder Blalock was feeling real messed up, like to the point where he wanted to go home. So he asked me if I would give him a blessing of comfort. We all paused our studying and I gave him a blessing with our district leader (Elder Foster) so that he would be able to have the energy and drive to work everyday of his mission. The spirit was so strong at that moment and he tells me everyday what a blessing it has been for him to have the will to never want to stop working anymore. Crazy how many experiences you can get in 1 week!

   This week has been overall so exhausting and overwhelming. But besides that it has been amazing! I know the language will come and spirit has been here since i arrived. I love you all and todo bien! (All is well)

Much love,
  Elder Clark

PS: The coolest Elders are the ones that get the most packages(Just Saying)

It Begins...

On July 24, 2013 Elder Samuel Clark embarked on a two mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will be serving in the Brasilia, Brasil Mission. He is currently in the Missionary Training Center of Provo, Utah for 6 weeks of intensive language training in the Portuguese language.

After leaving Virginia, his grandparents and sisters met him at the Salt Lake City, Utah airport and dropped him off at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
Elder Clark and his Grandma and Grandpa Christensen

Elder Clark and his sisters Melanie and Sarah

Ready to go!

Called To Serve