Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Endings Are Not Our Destiny

It can't be. My last email in the mission field. It still hasn't registered in my brain.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Nieta- grand-daughter. As in, "Sometimes in the mission we call our first companion (trainer) our mom/dad. And when your trainee trains someone else, they are your grand-daughter/grandson. This is my grand-daughter Sister Reed, she's awesome. :) I'm glad I got to meet her!"

​Despedirse- to say goodbye. As in, "It's hard to say goodbye! Yesterday the Bishop asked me to bear my testimony and I literally stood up and started crying. Nobody there had ever seen me cry before, but a lot of them cried with me. I'll miss this ward, this mission and these people!"
Fin- end. As in, "There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

On Thursday we did splits with some members and I went to visit a part member family that I've mentioned before. The dad has gone to church for 5 years with his wife and daughters. We went and we asked him again why he hasn't gotten baptized. He said that He felt like he hadn't received a strong answer about the truthfulness of the Restoration like other people say they have. Then he said that he had realized that he didn't receive an answer like other people because he hadn't looked for the answer like other people. The member I went with pointed out to him a few answers he may have received and asked if he really wanted to know. I explained to him how I received my testimony of the Restoration- little by little. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and really pray and ask if it was true.

Well, after a bit of a crazy week, we had a beautiful baptism!

​This amazing lady stayed strong and made a covenant with her Heavenly Father on Saturday. It was beautiful to see how she looked for understanding and received a testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. She has the determination to keep the commandments and keep progressing to make moroe covenants with her Heavenly Father in the temple. After her baptism we had a lessons with her and she offered a beautiful prayer afterward asking her Father sincerely for help to prepare herself to return to His presence. She is an example to me.

Everyone keeps asking me how I feel now that I'm going home. I don't have adequate words to explain how I feel. But I'm incredibly grateful for this beautiful opportunity I've had to serve a mission. I know that I was sent here by inspiration. This is where I needed to be. I'm grateful for the people I've met and all I've learned and the chance I've had to teach what I have come to know is true.

Thank you all for your support, love and prayers. I'll see you soon!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Monday, December 5, 2016

Peace I Leave With You

Hey there! I hope everyone had a great week!

I feel like yesterday was Monday. But today is Monday again. We worked a lot this week and did 2 companion exchanges. 

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Irse- to leave. As in, "Hermana Clark! You're just about to leave!" Everyone I know tells me everytime they see me. How sad.
Silla- chair. As in, "I sat in a chair at an investigator's house this week and the seat broke and I fell on the ground. The good thing is that she still wants to get baptized. She and my companion couldn't stop laughing."
Principios- principles. As in, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities."

This week both of our investigators with baptismal dates had some challenges, but they're so strong, they overcame their challenges. We're looking forward to their baptisms this week!

Thursday we went to see a part member family who hadn't received us in a while. We went with an awesome member. When we got there, they told us that they were thinking about separating. It was the coolest thing to hear this member bear her testimony and explain how following the teachings in the proclamation to the world (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation?lang=eng&_r=1) would bless their family. The Spirit was so strong and the investigator committed to go to church on Sunday and make some changes. And he went! We're praying and have faith that He can change and bless his family.

Yesterday we went to see an awesome investigator who my companion contacted while we were on companion exchanges. We went to start teaching her and explained a bit about our message. She told us that she wants to get closer to God and teach her daughter, who is currently 18 months old, to trust in Him. We explained that we help prepare people to make convenants with God that will bring blessings in their lives and in their families. We asked if she would like to learn more about our message and prepare to make a covenant with God, and she said yes! We're looking forward to teaching her more this week!

Yesterday was the Christmas Devotional Broadcast, and it was beautiful! Check it out if you couldn't see it.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Before I go, you are all formally invited to heear me speak in 2 weeks when I'm home. I'll be speaking on December 18th at 1pm in the Mainstreet building (20850 East Main Street Parker, Colorado 80138), and I'd love to see you all there. :)

Have a great week!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Light the World

Hey there! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving! We ate sushi with an awesome investigator. It was a good time.

Happy Birthday to my awesome sister, Michelle! Hope you have a great day :)

​Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Sirenita- mermaid. As in, "We did exchanges this week, and the sister I was with showed me this knit thing that her companion has to sleep in. It's practically like a mermaid tail with a blanket attatched to the top to cover the rest of the body. I put it on to be adventurous and it was comfy. The other sister laughed at me though."
Iluminar- light up. As in, "This Christmas, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have invited us to tak part in an initiative to light up th world! We can start by following the suggestions they've given on mormon.org to participate in 25 days of Christlike service during the first 25 days of December. Check it out!"

This week we had a few awesome lessons with our investigator who's getting ready for her baptism next week. We taught her several commandments, but I especially loved when we taught her about tithing. After explaining the principle, she told us that she had a testimony of tithing. For about a month she's been paying her tithing with her boyfriend because his mom had told them that if they paid it, they would have enough money every week. They paid their tithing one week and were out of money when her friend called and asked her to cover her in work for a week. That one week job saved them that week. She is dedicated to keeping the commandments and she recognizes the blessings that come. She's pretty awesome!

We had a super cool activity yesterday in church. We'd done it a few week ago during the week, but pretty much nobody could go because they were working. The young single adults in the ward set up a tour of the Plan of Salvation in th church and the whole ward went through it. They prepared really well and it was a beautiful experience for everyone there. After the tour, our invetigator bore her testimony about the Plan of Salvation. It was beautiful to hear all that she's learned.

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12
"Ye are the light of the world." Matthew 5:14
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Check out mormon.org and get ready to light up the world this week!
Have a great one!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Time Flies

Hello, hello! Hope everyone had a great week. It flew by!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Flan- flan. As in, "Part of God's flan...I mean God's plan is that we can endure to the end." My companion accidentally said flan instead of plan in a lesson. I think she was hungry.

​Semaforo- stoplight. As in, "I think I mentioned in an email my first transfer that we did an activity contacting in a stoplight with the questions of the soul. We stood on the side of the road with the questions and when the light was red, we knocked on the car windows and contacted the people. This week we were thinking of ideas to contact and I remembered that activity. I told my district about it and they thought I was crazy, but another sister liked the idea and backed me up. So we did it! It's pretty crazy, but we got and sent several good referrals that way. It feels like yesterday I was in my training doing the same activity. Time flies."
Getsemaní- Gethsemane. As in, "If we say we're disciples of Christ, we walk where He walked...but what we have to be fully prepared for is that some of that journey will be at least into the borderlands of Gethsemane and at least somewhere in the shadow of Calvary." Jeffrey R. Holland

So this week, I had an incredible opportunity that I've been waiting for since June 24th of last year.
I went to the temple!
President Owen decided to send everyone on a session in the temple the week before they leave the mission. But the temple is going to close for maintenance for a few weeks starting next week. So we went on Saturday! I can't explain how much I missed going to the temple and how great it felt to be there! It was awesome because it was all in Spanish and I understood everything! I love the temple. :)

I just want to tell one story.
​Remember the part member family I talked about last week? We saw them again this week and talked to the dad. We taught about the Restoration and he understood everything super well. He said, "I understand this all and I understand the importance of the proper authority. I've never received a direct answer about the truthfulness of the Restoration though." He told us about the 2 instances in his life when he's felt like he received a direct answer to a prayer. They were powerful experiences. When he talked about them everyone there could feel the Spirit testifying that those answers came from him. We invited him to pray another time about the Restoration. He committed to do it, and we're hoping he'll recognize the answer that he receives.

Sorry I didn't write much, my time is up. I hope everyone has an awesome week!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Doubt Not, Fear Not.

Hey there! Hope everyone had a great week!

​Last Monday we learned more life lessons from Wendy's. :)

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Alas- wings. As in, "One day this week we went to eat with a member and her grandchildren were watching one of the Tinkerbell movies. I saw out of the corner of my eye that one of the pixie's wings started drooping and she started to fall. I heard a huge gasp. When I turned to look at my companion, she realized that in her surprise at what had happened to the fairy, the gasp had come out loud. We laughed a ton."
Conferencia Regional- Regional Conference. As in, "Mexico had a regional conference yesterday. It was a broadcast from Salt Lake City. Sister Carole F. McConkie from the general young women's presidency, and President Nelson and Elder Hales from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke. I was super surprised when both Sister McConkie and President Nelson gave their talks in Spanish without a translator. They did very well speaking Spanish and their messages were beautiful."
Temer- to fear. As in, "...fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever." Doctrine and Covenants 122:9

This week was a little crazy, but we worked our hardest.

We found out that the awesome investigator who we found in the park a month ago who was way excited to get baptized moved last week to a different ward. We super upset because we wanted to teach her until her baptism, but we passed the referral to the sisters in the other ward. They're great sisters, so we know she'll be fine.

Our investigator who postponed her baptism a month ago had postponed it for this week, but she postponed it again. We were with her on Wednesday and she told us that she still didn't know how to tell her family. We invited her to take the advice in Doctrine and Covenants 9:8, "But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right." She said she'll decide on a new date and pray to know if it's right. We also felt like we should read Doctrine and Covenants 122 with her, and when we did it impacted her. She said, "It's true, I shouldn't fear what man can do. I'll keep praying and reading and try to be brave and follow Christ."

Our investigator who set a baptismal date last week is progressing super well. She's excited to get baptized and she understands everything we teach her super well. We taught about the word of wisdom and we practically didn't have to teach her anything because she already understands it, lives it, and has a testimony of it. We're really grateful to be teaching her.
This week we moved to the same neighborhood that she lives in (which is where we do almost all of our proselyting) and we told her yesterday in a text message. Around 11 she answered and said "Seriously? Have you already eaten dinner? Do you want donuts?" It was super funny. (obviously we said no, thank you, because we are sleeping at 11).

This week we also went to see a part member family. The mom and daughters are members, but the dad has gone to church for more than 5 years with them and has never gotten baptized. Last Sunday we decided to put an appointment with him, so we went on Thursday. We went with another awesome member who goes with us to all of our lessons every Thursday and always talks very directly to everyone. She also knows this investigator very well. It was great, she looked at him and said, "God has worked very hard and spent a lot of time and resources on you. He's given you great friends, an amazing wife, and beautiful daughters. He's given you many opportunities to learn about the gospel. You are a great man. You need to make a covenant with God so that your can keep all the blessings you have for eternity."
He didn't accept a baptismal date yet, but he did accept that we start visiting him again to see if he could find answers to the questions he still has. We're hoping to help him find those answers so that he can be baptized and later be sealed to his beautiful family.

Well, we're looking forward to another great week.

"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." Doctrine and Covenants 6:36

Have a great one!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Humble, the Diligent, the Enduring

Hey! Hope everyone had an awesome week!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:

​Viejitos/viejitas- oldies. As in, "This is Hermana Reynoso who got to the mission the same day as me. We went to mission leadership council together again this week and everyone makes us feel like oldies reminding us how little time we have left in the mission. But we're trying to age gracefully..."

​psychic-psíquico. As in, "I think my mom is psychic. This week my favorite gray sweater bit the dust and I was pretty sad. But two days later, I got a package from my mom that I didn't know she was going to send. Sure enough, it had a gray sweater. I love you, Mom! :)"
Él vive- He lives. As in, "My beloved sisters in Christ, God is real.
He lives.
He loves you.
He knows you.
He understands you.
He knows the silent pleadings of your heart.
He has not abandoned you.
He will not forsake you." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This week was a bit crazy, but it was a good one.

One of our great investigators set herself a baptismal date this week. On Monday we had a lesson with her and she told us that she'd prayed about the changes she needs to make to be ready, and set goals. She told us that she would be ready by a date that was after I'll be home. I was a bit sad that I wouldn't be there, but I was happy that she'd made the decision. Then, on Saturday, she surprised me. She said, "I was thinking about it, and it would be super sad that Sister Clark can't be in my Baptism and I'd like for the two of you who started teaching me to be there when I'm baptized." So she told us her new plan and decided on a date much sooner. We're looking forward to working with her toward the date that she chose :)

We had a miraculous day on Saturday. Since I had mission leadership council this week, we weren't able to work in the area for about a day and a half. It set us way back on the lessons we needed to teach to all of our investigators, so Friday n
 we planned a ton of appointments and backup plans. People cancel on us a lot here, especially on Saturdays, so we were praying a lot that our plans would workout or be changed in the way that the Lord would have them changed.
It was incredible, two less active sisters who haven't let us in the whole time I've been in this area let us in to share a message with them. Our investigators didn't cancel on us. We had a fantastic day and appreciated the extra hour of sleep we got the next day thanks to the time change. :)

"We walk by whatever faith we have, seeking always to increase our faith. Sometimes this is not an easy quest. Those who are impatient, uncommitted, or careless may find faith to be elusive. Those who are easily discouraged or distracted may hardly experience it. Faith comes to the humble, the diligent, the enduring." Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

I hope everyone has an awesome week. Thank you for your prayers!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Proclaim Christ's Caring Love and Peace

Happy Halloween! Hope everyone has some good plans today.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:

​Familia es para siempre- family is forever. As in, "We went to Wendy's last week to celebrate my sweet sixteen (16 months in the mission), and when I was eating my frosty, my companion showed me what my cup said. Even Wendy's knows that family is forever!"
Pan de muertos- bread of the dead (haha, that rhymes in English). As in, "the day of the dead is this week, and to celebrate people here eat 'bread of the dead.' My companion's mom sent her a ton of bread from Oaxaca in a one-day delivery package. we've been eating a lot of bread."
Bondad- kindness. As in, "Brothers and sisters, if we have not fully done so yet, let us turn more toward forgiveness, kindness, and love. Let us renounce the war that so often rages in the heart of the natural man and proclaim Christ’s caring, love, and peace." Robert D. Hales

We had a fantastic week! Our zone leader called us last night to congratulate us for all the work we did this week. We met higher goals than last week, and we're looking forward to working even more this week.

We had a lot of lessons with a lot of investigators, so it's hard to choose what to write about in so little time. But here we go.

Our investigator who accepted a baptismal date last week has been progressing super well. She's reading the Book of Mormon and praying. She went to church on Sunday and absolutely loved it. She said that she felt like they welcomed her into a huge family. In every lesson we have she tells us that she feels so much better than before and is so grateful for the blessing God gave her to meet us. She's such a blessing to us!

I was on exchanges in our area with a sister from another area on Tuesday and some appointments cancelled on us. so we went to look for some former investigators who we had met the week before but didn't seem to interested in hearing our message. When we got there on tuesday, we could tell that they were stressed out. We offered our help to wash the dishes and they let us help. After washing the dishes we shared a message about the Atonement of Christ and asked if they'd like to hear the lessons again and see how it can improve their lives. They invited us back on Thursday and we went with a member who knows them. She bore such a beautiful testimony about how the Gospel helps us to bear our afflictions and come out stronger. She invited them to church, and they came! They'd never gone before when they had listened the first time, but they had a good experience. We're looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.

I have to go, but I promise we're seeing miracles in our area. I'm so greatful to be here with my companion. We're working hard every day and the time is flying by.

"Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth." Mosiah 23:10

Keep praying and keep trying. The Lord hears our cries and answers our prayers.

Have a great week everyone! Eat lots of candy!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

​And another companion has met the frosty. I even taught her to eat it with fries. :)​