Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Glorious Week in Arizona!

It has been so great, a little frustrating at times though. There is so much to do here and so many people. It is starting to become so busy that there is not enough time in the day to do everything that needs/should have to be done! The work is unbelievably successful here and some days we go from one person’s house, to another, to another, to another... all day. The best part about that is I have not tracked once. We get so many referrals and people who just call us asking for help or to learn. It’s so awesome and keeps us super busy

Since Elder Andersen has to stay in the mission office each day too, sometimes we get “stuck” doing some work for Sister Sweeney (The Mission President’s wife) and are now dubbed "APW's" or Assistants to the President’s Wife. It is fun... most of the time. We just finished making a healthy cookbook for the mission. It is really hard to find recipes for missionaries that are 1. Healthy 2. At least look good and 3. We can pay for with our little missionary monthly allowance. BUT WE DID IT!
Elders From Our Zone

 This morning we moved into a 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom apartment! The Spanish speaking missionaries moved in with us but the apartment is WAY to big for 5 of us. It is going to be so so so much fun. The 5 of us all get along really well and I can already see the fun we are going to have. We put all 5 of our beds in one room. It is going to be epic. Quick example on how goofy the mission gets: On Sunday we got ready for church and headed off. When we got there, we were waiting for the Bishop outside his office and one of the members pointed down to Elder Andersen’s feet and asked "Is that a fashion statement?" We all proceed to look at his feet.. turns out he had 2 totally different shoes on... like on was a slip on loafer type, brown and the other was a black, laced up shoe. How he didn't notice is still a mystery. We had just enough time to go back home so he could switch them out before church started. It was too funny!
Sweet Fashion Statement
 Despite the goofiness, the work is going great. We had a baptism on Saturday, a 12 year old boy. It was way awesome. He is Apache and his grandma bore her testimony in Apache and it was so strong. She hasn't attended church in a looooong time before we started to teach her grandson but now she comes every week as well as his whole family, his single mom (who had him when she was 16) and his three little siblings. They are a great family.
Baptism of Max
Saturday was probably the most frustrating day of my mission so far, It started with Friday night when a big trip to the temple visitors center was cancelled 10 minutes before we were to leave. Then we had 6 lessons set up and only 1 actually happened and it was not a very good one at that. But it ended well with the baptism and the food after. I have fallen in love with fry bread. It is my favorite thing we have eaten here by far. Not very healthy... at all, but it is delicious.

So cool connection I learned this week. We were eating dinner at the Bishops home and I mentioned about what Dad does for a living and long story short, Adam McBride is his brother in law! How cool is that?? The bishop’s name is Bishop Young. I don't know if he has told Brother McBride yet but definitely tell him!

So everything is going great here, the weather has been crazy.. last Monday in got to 125 degrees. That was pretty killer but it is starting to cool off. Today is about 90 and this morning was SO beautiful. It was 70 and felt just like VA in the fall, it made me miss home a little bit. I really do miss the trees and the fall back east though. Fall in the desert is just not the same.... at all.

Big shout out to Mrs. Sheahan for the awesome package of delicious cookies! I need Wills contact info! I have seen ASU's stadium while driving on the highway all the time and think of him! 

A shout out to Maggie Mitchell for her awesome package of goodies, including a pair of sunglasses that saved me a trip to Walmart to by a pair because the sun that Arizona has is definitely a better, brighter sun than back home. 

Thank you everyone for the support and love! I love you all!

Love, Elder Clark

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Elder Clark Preaching to All!

What a great week. There is nothing like the life of a missionary. So many things occur in one week that just shift your whole perspective of everything... and I am still in the US! Like I said in my last email, my area is a super poor area, very few houses but a lot of very run-down apartment buildings. The people here are so humble and have some of the most incredible stories. We have met so many new people waiting for the gospel! The work had exploded here!

The first one is about Christina, we met her through a referral from the sister missionaries. She is the most humble woman. We showed up at her doorstep on Saturday and she was just sitting outside her apartment. We started talking and she was telling us about her past and how she was homeless and addicted to all sorts of things. She has a couple kids and they were all really young when she was homeless. She said she knew she needed to take care of these children but did not know how. She said she decided to turn to Jesus (Smart Move). She said what a blessing that has been for her. She said that after she was able to get the apartment she has, she somehow has been able to keep it for these last couple of years, and that food somehow gets to the table. The best part of it though is her testimony of faith. She said that none of this would've happened if she had just asked and waited for God to deliver her out of it all. She said faith is nothing if you are not willing to work for the blessings you want. Even though her circumstances are not ideal yet, she is so thankful for the blessings The Lord has given her for the ability to overcome ALL her addictions, keep her children, and provide for them. She said she wants to help other people all the time and she isn't even to that point. Her three children are so beautiful too. They are awesome. We have a lesson set up for this week! She is so solid and wanted the Book of Mormon real bad because she loves the Bible! It’s amazing how the Lord prepares people! What a miracle!

Celsa and Lance... They are my favorite. Celsa grew up in the church and Lance is not Member. They just moved here from the sticks in North Carolina about a month ago. She said she was driving in Mesa and passed the temple. Which obviously reminded her of the happiness the gospel brought her, and she had the overwhelming feeling that they needed to be married in the temple! So, here we are, teaching the lessons to Lance, helping him gain a testimony and preparing him to be baptized, which we committed him to baptism on Nov. 3! He has a strong testimony of God and that He has a plan for hi but Lance says he doesn't know what that quite is yet. We know what His plan is for you Lance... We know. We think we are going to have a wedding ceremony before the baptism too for them! How awesome is that!?

The last person I will tell you about is 19 year old Courtney, who we met yesterday at church. She was sitting at the bus stop and asked this member if she knew where the library was, turns out that member was going to the library after church! The sister told her that and Courtney asked "Can I come to church?" OF COURSE YOU CAN COURTNEY! We talked to her after Sunday School and she was just in tears. She told us what was talked about in church is exactly what she struggles with and exactly what she has been looking for. She is a senior in high school but lives on her own. She told us about all these different struggles she has gone through. She is so excited to learn more! God has a plan for each of us, the way He works things out is just amazing! This area is full of people like Cristina, Lance and Courtney and it seems like we meet them every day!

I never thought I could be this happy serving other people and thinking about them all the time. It is amazing how much I have learned about myself through all the people that I meet. I love it here, so much work to do! Some days it can be so frustrating though because of how unreliable some people are but we are constantly teaching people either on the street or in their home. Where ever we can!

We were able to go to the temple on Wednesday! That was a lot of fun! The Mesa temple is amazing! 

This morning my companions and I climbed to the top of this giant rock that's in the middle of the valley. We could see the entire valley when we got to the top! What a view that was! 
Elder Clark and his companions overlooking their area

Next week we are moving apartments to live with the Spanish elders! There is going to be 5 of us in one apartment! It is going to be so much fun! The Spanish elders are so goofy, there are going to be some great times in apartment 2003! 

So our mission president and his wife went to Texas for some training this weekend and there is a rumor
that it was training for the use of IPADS and Facebook for missionaries! Everyone is so pumped! Oh and Iphones too!! The church is so hip! 

So that's really all I got for the first week in the mission field! Life is good, God is great! I love and miss all of you! 

Don’t forget to write me!

Quote of the week: Try Jesus, if you are not satisfied, Satan will always take you back. - Bumper Sticker

Eu amo todos voces!
Elder Clark

Monday, September 9, 2013

Arizona is Great!

We were able to talk to Sam as he traveled to Scottsdale. He sounded good. He was excited to leave the MTC.  He found it odd to be with regular people again.  This is not surprising after he has spent 6+ weeks with only missionaries. 
Elder Clark, Safe and Sound in Arizona

September 9, 2013
Arizona is great! I finally got here!! I got assigned to two Elders so we are in a tripanionship in Scottsdale with Elder Anderson from  Utah and Elder Hawes from Kansas! Elder Anderson has terrible knees so he works in the mission office everyday so we are able to drop him off there and me and Elder Hawes are able to go proselyting! My area is the poorer area of Scottsdale but the people are amazing! They are all so humble, even the church building we meet in is super old and beat up. I love it here and I couldn't be happier! Man oh man there is so much to tell!
I will start with my flight! Holy Cow it was crazy. First off it was the emptiest flight I have ever been on, full size airplane, probably 25 people on it. The even crazier part was the Elder Neil L. Anderson was in the first class of the plane! Us missionaries figured we were pretty safe if an apostle was on the same flight. When we got off the plane in Phoenix, we were able to talk to him for about 5 minutes, which was super awesome. One thing that I never thought I would do is be distracted when an apostle is speaking to me face to face... but while we were talking to him, I see this HUGE woman walking behind him... who is the most famous and tallest woman you can think of? Ill give you a hint, she can dunk. Yes, I saw Brittany Griner in the airport and yes.. she is an absolute giant. I think her arms are taller than I am. That was so crazy...
Elder Neil L. Andersen:an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
Anyways, I met my companions and we headed to our area, when we there got ready and prepared for a baptismal service. That’s right, I had a baptism my very first day in the field. That’s gotta be a record or something... no big deal. His name is Rick and he just an awesome, humble, old man. On our way out of our apartment on our way to the baptism, there was a very old, not so humble man outside who started to cuss us and Jesus out… we tried to talk to him but he was set on just hating on us. He said some pretty terrible things and was just grumpy. His name was Claus and I hope we don't see him again.
Rick's Baptism
Elder Haws, Elder Clark, Richard, Brother Super and Elder Anderson
We are teaching ALOT of people, but there is one man that really sticks out. It is kind of an odd situation because he was a member all his life, he turned away from the church in high school, joined the military. Then witnessed a ton of terrible things and actually forgot most of his childhood because of Post Traumatic Stress. He is covered in army tattoos but is a really good guy. He really is striving to learn more although he doesn't understand the scriptures very well. Oh yeah, he lives in a Psych ward and so we have to teach him in the visitors area of it. That is pretty interesting but he is doing really well and is hoping to be released this week.
                So far it has rained more then it has been sunny here, It hasn't been too hot yet either! What a blessing that was for Sunday when we have to wear our suits!
                That’s really the main points I wanted to share, I am beyond excited to work in the area! Teaching and talking to people in English is so wonderful. I hope I get to stay here for a bit. My Portuguese might take a hit but it is totally worth it. I love this gospel and I love the happiness it brings me. I have been so happy just to be out here! It is wonderful! I love you all and hope everything is going well back home! Keep me updating with everything!
                oh yeah,,, I guess this is important....address to send me letters and fun things!
Scottsdale Mission Home
6265 North 82nd Street
Scottsdale, Arizona 85250-5608

The Picture is of the baptism! From left to right, Elder Hawes, ME!, Richard(Baptizee), Brother Super(Baptizer) and Elder Anderson
Amo voces!

 Elder Clark

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Final Week

Wow, what a week it has been. So I got my reassignment on Thursday night to Scottsdale, Arizona and I was supposed to leave the MTC yesterday morning. Some complications came up and I wasn't able to go yesterday and then the servers were down AS WELL as it being a holiday all day yesterday. So with all that lack of communication, I have been stuck in limbo, not knowing my fate. It was crazy watching everyone in my district leave to their various destinations. When I find out I will send an update ASAP, meanwhile, pray for me to be able to get out to the field!
Happy Elder Clark and his New Assignment
So the reassignment was definitely a highlight of this week, but just as great was our Tuesday night devotional with Elder Neil L. Anderson! He spoke to us about pushing through trials and how The Lord gives each of us specific trials so that we can grow and learn. It was so awesome. Once again it was broadcast to MTC's all around the world and it was the largest gathering of missionaries to meet and watch a devotional in church history. I love being a part of history, it is an amazing feeling knowing that The Lord is hastening his work and I am one of his soldiers! After the devotional, we had to stay for about 15 extra minutes because it was storming outside. Finally they told us the lighting had stopped and we could make our way back to the campus.... what they didn't tell us is that it was still pouring rain. As we ran back to campus, we became soaked from top to bottom. My suit smelled and was just drenched. It was so much fun though and it was just one of many experiences like that I expect to have in the next two years. 
Soaked Missionaries
For sacrament meeting on Sunday, my district sang "A Child's Prayer" in Portuguese for our departure musical number. I think I like the words in Portuguese better than the words in English. Sunday night was the last night my district was all together. We decided to give departure blessings Sunday night to everyone. The spirit was so strong as each missionary got a blessing, and it was amazing how different and personal each blessing was. The Lord truly puts words in the mouths of men giving blessings. I can only remember a few things I said in the blessings that I gave. Another Elder told me that a couple phrases are word for word exactly what he wanted to say if he was giving the blessing. After we finished the blessings, we all sang “The Spirit of God” together. It sounded so beautiful. The spirit was just overflowing from our room. What an incredible night. I love this gospel.

A Childs Prayer
Words and music by Janice Kapp Perry

1. Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev'ry child's prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
"Suffer the children to come to me."
Father, in prayer I'm coming now to thee.
2. Pray, he is there;

Speak, he is list'ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav'n.

A Childs Prayer
Words and Music By Janice Kapp Perry
(In Portuguese)

1. Meu Pai Celeste, estás mesmo aí?
Ouves e atendes da criança a oração?
Alguém me disse que é longe o céu
Mas sinto-Te perto quando oro a Ti.
Meu Pai Celeste, relembrando estou
O que Jesus a Seus discípulos falou:
"Os pequeninos deixai vir a mim."
Pai, nesta prece eu me achego a Ti.
2. Sim, perto está.

Sim, Ele te ouve.
Pois é teu Pai e muito te ama.
Com terno amor, ama as crianças,
Pois delas é o reino, o reino do céu.

I saw Sister Moyes on Thursday too! During our 10 HOUR field orientation for departing missionaries! She is great and will make a great missionary! (She is Elder Clark's brother-in-law's sister)

Not much more has happened, just wrapped things up and now waiting to get out to the field to work! They did close the pillow room up and put up a sign saying "No Missionaries Pass This Point" which was a major bummer, but we did get our fun out of it so it was ok. 

Sorry it was so short this week mas Todo Bien! 
Amo Voces!  

Elder Clark