Tuesday, December 29, 2015

You Ate Turkey?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We had a good one!

But there were a few days this week before Christmas when we worked hard to find people to teach. We met this one family in the street outside their house, and they actually let us come in to show them some videos! They even had a DVD player. It was a miracle. They were super into what we showed them, so we're looking forward to seeing them again.

We also visited a family who we've been teaching for a while who is preparing for baptism. One of their sons has some problems with leg pain, and it's been tough for them. But last week we taught them about fasting. We told them that while we can always find answers to our prayers, we can also fast to show faith. We used a few examples that had to do with people who were ill and had miraculous recoveries.
 We went to visit them a couple days later and teach them about the Sabbath Day. We were teaching them when they started to ask more questions about fasting. They said that they want to fast for their son because they believe it will help him. We promised them that fasting can bring great blessings. It was a sweet experience to see that they had really understood what we had taught them before.

Then came Christmas. On Christmas Eve we talked to our families!
My family tells me that I have a Canadian accent when I speak English. I'm not sure how that happened, but I think it has to do with the vowels I've gotten used to pronouncing. My brother-in-law even told me that my Chewbacca impression has a Mexican accent. Interesting how we lose our English when we don't use it as often...
It was great to talk to my family, though. I'm so blessed to have them. :)

After talking with our families, we went to dinner with an awesome family in the ward who invited us. 
Mexican Culture Lesson with Hermana Clark:
Here in Mexico, people celebrate Christmas Eve way bigger than Christmas Day. They have huge dinners that last all night. They usually eat tamales and posole (it's a certain type of soup.)
Clark Culture Lesson with Hermana Clark:
In the Clark home, we celebrate Christmas Eve bigger than we celebrate Christmas Day. We all get together and eat enchiladas. Looks like my home growing up prepared me to celebrate a Christmas here! It also made things very convenient for my family to talk to me all together on Skype!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Pavo- turkey. As in, "I know I just told you that on Christmas Eve here they eat tamales and posole for dinner, but the members we ate with had a turkey dinner. When we told our mission president he didn't believe us."
Leña- wood. As in, "they authorized us to use our wood-burning stove yesterday because it got so cold."
Metas- goals. As in, "setting and keeping goals is how we progress and grow in life. If we set realistic yet challenging goals and ask for our Father in Heaven's help to accomplish them, we can see miracles.

Why did they authorize our wood-burning stove?
It snowed! It wasn't a lot by my standards, but it was enough to cancel church in most wards of our mission. Our District Leader called us at about 9am and told us that we weren't allowed to leave the house. We had to report to him every 3 hours to tell him that we hadn't frozen. So we were in our house all day yesterday studying and calling him every 3 hours to say "we're still alive." What a day.

I even took a picture of the snow...but I accidentally left my camera home today.
You'll have to wait till next week. :)

I hope everyone has a lovely New Year's! Set some good goals and get going on accomplishing them! Love you all!
~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Christmas Call

We got to Skype with Hermana Clark for about an hour and a half! Even those who weren't present got to Facetime and be held up to her video call so they could see each other face to face.

She has a Canadian accent and is just glowing with happiness!

Here's a picture of her head on the big screen. Isn't she cute?


Feliz Navidad!

(Email from Dec 21)

Here it comes! Christmas is almost here!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Bicarbonato- Baking soda. As in, "when I had somach aches as a child, my mom would tell me to eat a spoonful of baking soda." Our Bishop told us that. I tried to translate the back of the box that says "to avoid serious injury, do not consume until fully dissolved." He just laughed.
Amor- love. As in, "In the Christmas season, we can feel the love of Jesus Christ, and we can show that love to those around us.
Nacer/nacimiento- to be born/birth. As in, "On Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. More than just His birth, though, we celebrate His life. He showed us the perfect example, and He gave us the opportunity to be born again and start a new and happier life."

This week was fun. 

​On Wednesday the mission president came and we were in meetings with him all day. And he brought my packages!! :)

​We´re looking forward to opening these presents on Christmas!

Two experiences.

Remember the investigator who loves prophets and found answers from the Plan of Salvation? Well, this week we couldn´t visit her at the usual time because we had a ward activity, but she came and told us something super cool.
Her sister lives in Arizona, and she got baptized a few weeks ago. She came to visit this week and told our investigator about meeting with the missionaries. When our investigator told her that we had been visiting, her sister got super excited. Her sister had been praying that the missionaries would find her (our investigator), and that day was the day that we met her outside of her house and she let us in.

This week we had a lesson with a sweet older woman in the ward. Her husband isn´t a member and he typically doesn´t listen to us when we visit. We invited him to listen during this lesson, and he accepted. We shared what we had prepared with the sister, and then asked if either of them had questions. He asked us, "which of all the churches is the church that Jesus preached when He was here?"
We explained the message of the restoration of the Gospel to him, and there was a special spirit there. We invited him to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a prophet and if this is the true church of Jesus Christ. He said that he will.

Well, I hope everyone has a beautiful Christmas holiday. Amidst the presents, dinners, and family gatherings, don´t forget the real reason that we celebrate Christmas. Your Heavenly Father loves you. He loves you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. Discover this great gift, it´s the best you´ll ever receive.

Much love, and Merry Christmas!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Greatest Gift...

Hello! :)

I hope everyone's December is going well. We're still here working!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Coro de la comunidad- Community Choir. As in, "yesterday I participated in a community choir here in Casas Grandes. Members of several religios communities came together to put on a beautiful Christmas concert, and it was fantastic. I stood next to a Menonite woman and tried to pronounce a German song. I felt very self-concious because I don't speak German, and she does."
Nevar- to snow. As in, "It snowed this week! Only for about 5 minutes, and it didn't stick to the ground, but it snowed. My companion had never seen snow, so she was pretty excited."
Principe de Paz- Prince of Peace. As in, "One of the names of Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Through Christ we can feel great peace, even in the most difficult of circumstances. We just have to let Him in."

This week we've been going strong with the iniciative of A Savior is Born. It's seriously super fun to go around telling everyone that we have a present for them. It's also super fun to help people understand the significance of Christ's birth and what a huge gift it is to us.

On Thursday we taught a lesson to a family in the ward. We asked them, "when you think about Christmas, what do you think about?" They said the typical, "Presents! Dinner! Family!" We talked about how great Christmas presents are, and how on Christmas we really celebrate the greatest present ever given. The opportunity to be clean from sin and healed from pain and trials. We asked them what the sacrifice of Christ meant to them, and it was a beautiful moment to hear them bear their testimonies of their Savior.

(After the lesson, the Sister taught us to make tortillas. I promise I'll be a pro by the time I get home...)

One day this week, we went to teach an investigator. In the last lesson, we were going to teach her about the restoration, but we realized that what she needed was something different. So this week when we went, we taught her about the Plan of Salvation. It was incredible. As we taught her each principle, this look came to her face. You could just see in her eyes that the truths of our Heavenly Father's plan for us were exactly the answers she had been looking for. It was such a sweet experience. She wants to be baptized and enjoy the blessings of the atonement.

Well, I hope everyone has a lovely week. Share your testimony of the Savior with someone this week. Invite somebody to discover the greatest gift of all. It's the most rewarding thing to share this gift. 
If you haven't discovered this gift, do it! It's the best!

Love you all! :)

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Monday, December 7, 2015

We Have a Gift for You!

Happy December! Who´s excited for Christmas? I know I am!

You may have noticed some posts on my Facebook account. Here in the mission, we're going big to celebrate Christmas. We're inviting everyone to learn more about Jesus Christ and why we celebrate His birth.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
La Navidad- Christmas. As in, "Every year on Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World."
Alegrarse- Be happy/Rejoice. As in, "Rejoice! Thanks to our Savior, we can be healed from sin, pain, and sadness!"
Angeles- Angels. As in, "The birth of Jesus Christ was such an anticipated event, that the prophets before Him testified and prophesied about it. An angel announced it to the shepherds in the fields, and choruses of angels accompanied him to rejoice."

If you haven't checked out christmas.mormon.org yet this year, do it! We're sharing it with everyone. The video, A Savior is Born, is beautiful.

We shared it with one woman and asked her what caught her attention about the video. She was interested in how it said that we can be born again. She asked us what is required to be born again. We got to explain a little bit about how the Savior has provided us with the opportunity to repent and be baptized so that we can always have His Spirit to guide us. She wants to get baptized and be born again.

Here in the Pueblo though, there are a lot of people who don't have internet or a DVD player, so we haven't been able to show them the video. Instead, we read the scriptures that the youth in the video cite. It's been a special week being able to share the prophesies and announcement of Christ's birth with everyone. We feel like the Heavenly Hosts who sang at His birth as we go around telling everyone,

"We have a gift for you! A Savior is born, and thanks to Him, you can be happier than ever before. Do you want to discover why?"

With one woman we met last week, we couldn't share the video, so we read the scriptures from the video. We asked her, "why do you think we celebrate Christ's birth so much?" She explained to us exactly the message we share- that He heals us. She then told us that she had recently seen a baptism in Colonia Juarez and she wants to start coming to church and be baptized. It was a sweet experience.

Speaking of Colonia Juarez, I went there this week. I didn't bring my camera though...sorry...
Colonia Juarez is beautiful. The smallest temple in the world is there, and it is beautiful. We went to help with a stake activity. It's a really cool place, it has a special Spirit. I hope I can go back sometime. :)

Apologies for the lack of photos. I'll try to take some this week. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Share the message of Christ's birth with someone! And watch the video!
¡Feliz Navidad!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Monday, November 30, 2015

Always Learning


I hope everyone had a great week.

We had a good one. We started by doing exchanges with my Sister Training Leader, Hermana Anderton. She´s super cool! We tried to take a picture, but it didn´t turn out...sad day.
But it was a good time. We spoke some good Spanglish, and she taught me a lot!
When I was with her, we went looking for a referral that a young woman in the ward gave us. The problem was, the houses on this street don´t have the numbers posted. So we just knocked on the door that we thought might be this person´s house. 
He didn´t live there. But two very nice ladies were there and they said "Oh! You´re missionaries! Come in!" They were super sweet! We´re going to visit them again this week.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Enseñar- to teach. As in, "Here in the mission, we teach people every day."
Aprender- to learn. As in, "Although we are here to teach people, we actually end up learning way more than we have the opportunity to teach."
Perdon- Forgiveness. As in, "through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can feel forgiveness of all our sins. The weight and guilt we feel from the mistakes we´ve made can be replaced by peace and happiness if we come unto Christ."

So the lady who we met last week in front of her house is super cool. We visited her again this week and taught her a bit about prophets and the Book of Mormon. A lot of people who we teach don´t really know what prophets are. (If you don´t know what prophets are, talk to the missionaries. Because prophets are awesome.) She definitely knew what they were. She has read the Bible quite a bit. When we told about the Book of Mormon, she was way excited to read the words of more prophets. We´re excited to see what she has learned when we visit her again.

Our investigators are doing well! This week it was so great to teach them about repentance and forgiveness. My favorite thing about the mission is seeing people come to understand exactly how significant the atonement of Jesus Christ is for them. It´s a beautiful thing to feel forgiveness and encouragement when we come unto Christ.

Ok. I´ve gotten complaints that I don´t send enough pictures. Perdónenme. (Forgive me.)

​This is my companion, Hermana Acosta! Her desires to serve the Lord inspire me every day!

​Happy Birthday to my awesome sister, Michelle! Love you, Marco! :)

Remember how loved you are! Your Father in Heaven loves you. He loves everyone, but He loves you specifically.
He is always there to help you. Pray.
Keep the Faith. Everything will work out.
Have a great week!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Monday, November 23, 2015

It Finally Happened

Happy Thanksgiving! It's this week, right? I don't know, we don't celebrate it here.

It was a great week here in the Pueblo. Our investigators are learning a lot. We love them.

I ate menudo for the first time this week. Yup. It finally happened. But I don't know if it was legitimate, because it tasted fine.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Milagro- miracle. As in, "Wednesday was a miracle. I'll tell you about that shortly."
Amable- kind/polite. As in, "The people here are so kind. It's a great place to be."
Revolución- revolution. As in, "November 20th is when Mexico celebrates their Revolution. We had a ward activity with some delicious food."
La vida eterna- eternal life. As in, "Eternal life is a gift that our Heavenly Father gives to those who keep His commandments and repent throughout the course of our life. Eternal life is more than living forever, it's living forever in the presence of our Heavenly Father and growing to become like Him."

So on Tuesday, our minutes on our phone ran out. When that happens, we can only call other missionaries. Our phones reload the 19th of every month. So Tuesday night we were planning for Wednesday, and didn't have any appointments planned between 2 and 6pm. So we decided to go to an area of the Pueblo where we have some investigators without phones who we can hardly ever find and look for all of them.
It was a miracle. We found 4 of those people in those 4 hours. That never happens. It was awesome.

Also. When I was here before, one of the young men from this ward left on his mission and gave us the referral of one of his friends. We knocked on his friend's door a lot, and he never answered us.
A young woman from the ward left on her mission 2 weeks ago, and she left us the same referral. But this time, she told her friend how to get to his house. That friend came with us to find him, and when we got there, I realized that we had knocked on the door of the house across the street all the times that we had gone before. We taught him a lesson, and he's really interested in learning more about what is friends are teaching on their missions.

Another day in the week, an appointment cancelled and we had a bit of time before our next appointment. So we just started walking down a street that felt good. We passed by a lady doing some yard work and offered to help her. She said no (nobody ever lets us help them in their yard). But she asked what we were doing, and we explained that we are missionaries, and a bit of the message we share. She invited us to come in and explain more of the message to her.

This is a good place. These are good people.

I'm excited that Christmas is coming. I hope you all are too!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for your continued support!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

Monday, November 16, 2015

I Love Your Sheep!


Did I leave you in suspense?
Do you want to know where I am?

Well, we got our transfer calls Last Sunday night. Hermana Ferrell and I knew we were going to train, we were just waiting to see who would stay in Del Valle and who would go to some unknown terrain.
So the Elder calls.
"Hermana Ferrell will be staying in Del Valle. Hermana Clark will be in...Casas Grandes 2."

You know where Casas Grandes 2 is?

I'm back in the Pueblo! Let me tell you, I missed this place. I love it here.

And my companion is Hermana Acosta! She's from Mexico City, and she's super chill! We're having a great time here. :)

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Frío- cold. As in "It is getting cold here. Yes, it does get cold in Chihuaha, Mexico."
Nevar/Nieve- to snow/snow. As in, "People are saying it might snow this week."
Coro- Choir. As in, "The Colonia Juarez stake is having a cool choir concert for Christmas, and they invited all musically-inclined missionaries serving here to participate. I love it!"
La Palabra de Sabiduría- The Word of Wisdom. As in, "The Word of Wisdom is a commandment that tells us how to take care of our bodies. We should not partake of substances that will harm our bodies, such as Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Tobacco, Drugs, or whatever food we know will do us harm. Our Heavenly Father blessed us with bodies, and we should take care of them. When we keep this commandment, we enjoy greater health, and we are in a physical state that helps us gain greater wisdom."

When we got to Casas Grandes on Tuesday evening, a member from Colonia Juarez called us and told us that she had a friend in the Pueblo who wanted us to teach him. So we met him on Thursday. He's 20 and ready to change his life.

We also got to see the awesome new member who got baptized when I was here in October! She's doing great! It was so good to visit her. Her testimony of the Book of Mormon is still going strong, and she's learning more every day. :)

We set a baptismal date with this sweet woman who Hermana Hernandez and I started teaching a couple months ago. She is fantastic. She has such a strong desire to follow the Savior's example and grow closer to her Heavenly Father. My new companion invited her to be baptized, and it was such a sweet experience.

We also visited the family of 5 that we started teaching a couple months ago. They're also preparing to be baptized. They ask some pretty good questions. Preparing to teach them has taught me a lot.

It was a good week, running around, trying not to get lost...

Oh! Here's a story.
So when I was here before, there was this certain house we would always pass by that had some sheep outside. I love sheep. This week, we passed by the house, and the owner was outside! He said, "Hola, Hermanas!" We started talking to him, and he said he'd seen us pass by a lot, but he'd never talked to missionaries before. He invited us to visit him and his family this week. I also got to tell him that I love his sheep. :)

There's what I have for you this week...
I'm here, happy in the Pueblo, stressing out about being Senior Companion and Trainer, but moving forward every second. Thank you for your prayers and support. I am so grateful for all of you.

Have a great week!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark