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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What an Announcement.

So last Monday the other companionship of Sisters who were living in our house moved to another house while we were writing home and buying groceries.
When we walked in the door, we were just in the middle of saying how sad we were that they wouldn't be living with us anymore, when we saw some exciting stuff on our desks.

​Packages and letters!! :)
We weren't so sad anymore. Thank you everyone who sent me packages and letters! It brightens a missionary's week to receive this kind of love :)

That wasn't the only significant event of the week though.
It was about 9:25 on Tuesday night when our District Leader called us.
Now, at 9:25 we are still all planning. The Elder usually calls after 9:30. So we knew something was up. I happened to be the one who answered, and he said, "Hermana, I have an announcement. You and your companion will both be training starting next week. You need to be in the mission office at 3:30 tomorrow for a trainer's training meeting."

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Entrenador(a)- Trainer. As in, "When a new missionary arrives in the field, their first companion is their trainer. The trainer Has 12 weeks to teach them how to do stuff well enough to train another missionary afterward, if needed."
Compañer(o/a) Mayor- Senior Companion. As in, "In each companionship of missionaries, one of the missionaries is assigned as the senior companion, and has certain responsibilities that their companion doesn't have. I've never been the senior companion. But here I go."
Extrañar- to miss. As in "I will miss Hermana Ferrell greatly! This month serving together has been fantastic, and she's taught me a lot."
Escrituras- Scriptures. As in, "The scriptures are the word of God given through His prophets. Although they are old and sometimes it seems like we can't relate to them, they were written for our day. God inspired His prophets to write the scriptures, knowing exactly what we would need in these days. We should search the scriptures daily to find the guidance that we need in our lives."

One investigator story.
We're teaching this woman who is a teacher and has one young daughter. We met her in the street and she invited us to visit her because she was surprised and delighted that we would just smile and start talking to her in the street. Not many people do that. We had given her a Book of Mormon last week and invited her to read the Introduction found in the front. When we got there, we asked what she had learned from the reading we left her. It was pretty fantastic. She began to explain to us exactly what the Book of Mormon is- the records written by ancient prophets who lived on the American continent and testified of Christ. She then began to explain that she was pretty sure Joseph Smith, who translated the records, was also a prophet, and it impressed her how recently he lived in comparison to the Prophets in ancient scripture. She loved it and wanted to hear more.
It's pretty fantastic to see someone learn from the scriptures like that. It's a testimony of our purpose as missionaries. We aren't here to tell everyone all the doctrine we believe in. We are guides to help people find answers to the questions of the soul by studying the scriptures and praying to ask their Heavenly Father if the things they learned are true. We don't just talk to people and expect them to believe us. The only way we can learn the truth of all things is from our Heavenly Father.

So, I won't know who my companion is until tomorrow when I meet her. I only know what area I'll be training her in. 
I'll tell you all about it next week :)

Sorry for the short email. It's one of those zone conference Monday's again.

Thank you for all your support! I hope everyone's week is fabulous!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

​Happy Halloween a week late!! :)​

Monday, November 2, 2015

He Answers!


I hope everyone had a great Halloween! We spent ours walking around... People definitely celebrate it here. There were so many trick-or-treaters, it was crazy. They don't say "trick or treat," though. They stand outside the house and yell "¡Queremos Halloween!" repeatedly until the people open the door and give them candy. "Queremos Halloween" means "we want Halloween." A lot of people just set up outside their house with a table of candy though. (It's obviously not as cold here right now as it probably is in Colorado.)

Some people asked about the Day of the Dead. Sorry to disappoint, but I didn't visit any cemeteries yesterday or today, so you'll probably find better information about it on the internet than from me. I know that people paint their children's faces like skeletons, make altars where they put the food that their family members who have passed on liked to eat during their lives, and clean the gravestones and put flowers on them.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
This week's Spanish lesson is a special edition called, "What the American missionaries say when they switch from Spanish to English and what they were actually trying to say."
1. "She's progressing really well. She assists to the church all the Sunday's."
That would be "She attends church every Sunday."
2. "That member always gives us good references."
Or maybe "That member always gives us good referrals."
3. "Has she been completing with her compromises? I can't find her register in the carpet."
Translation: "Has she been following through with her commitments? I can't find her teaching record in the area book."

It's a sad thing that happens to our English...but it makes us laugh when the words come out of our mouth that way. :)

So remember that young couple we taught last week? We had a cool experience with them. We taught them one more time last week, and then on Tuesday we had an appointment to see them. That morning we were trying to plan the lesson to teach them, and we were totally blocked. We were feeling very un-inspired as to what they needed to learn. So we said a prayer to ask what we should teach them that evening. When we finished, Hermana Ferrell turned to me and said "They're not going to be able to receive us tonight." She just felt that way. So we called them and asked if we could still come by, and they said yes. They also told us that they had some questions about the Book of Mormon. So we planned a lesson.
At about 5:30 that evening, they called us to tell us they weren't going to be home and ask us if we could come by the next day. So we did, and they next day we were able to plan better how to teach them. The lesson went really well.

We also have another cool couple that we're teaching. We met the husband a few weeks ago when we passed him in the street, and we finally went to teach them on Tuesday. We talked a lot about their faith that God will answer prayers. We watched the video "Because He Lives" from Easter, and asked them how they felt watching it. She told us it gave her a lot of peace, and she thought it came from God. After talking some more about our message, he asked us how we recognize answers to our prayers. We told him that one way we recognize them is from feelings of peace, and he got super excited, turned to his wife and said "Oh! Like you felt a few minutes ago!" It's fun to see people learn and understand. :)

Remember that our Heavenly Father is the most reliable source to find the truth. When we share this message, we don't want the people we teach just to believe us. We invite everybody to pray and ask their Heavenly Father if the things we teach are true. He is the only one who can teach us perfectly.

Have a lovely week everyone! Eat lots of candy :)

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

​This is Rufus. We teach him sometimes for practice.​ He's a mandarin orange.