Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Most Desirable Above All Things


Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Recibo- bill. As in, "We didn't realize that the electric bill had shown up this week until a man came to shut off our electricity this morning. So we spent three hours with the mission services secretary trying to get it paid. Good thing he's a nice elder and he helped us."

​Crema de Cacahuate- peanut butter. As in, "some nice members heard that I like peanut butter and they bought me some in El Paso then gave it to me. Aren't they great?"
Autoridad General- General Authority. As in, "The worldwide leaders of the church, or general authorities often visit missions to train missionaries how to improve. This week the Area President of Mexico, Elder Paul B. Pieper, came to train us. It was fantastic!"

Since we ran around all morning trying to pay the electric bill, I'm a bit short on time. But here's a story.

Our investigator who has a baptismal date is progressing great! We went to a family home evening with him and the members he lives with last monday and talked about the Book of Mormon. The members bore beautiful testimonies about the Book of Mormon and our investigator loved it. He's loved what he's read so far and he thinks it's great that we have more scriptures to teach us the fullness of the Gospel.
We saw him again a few days later and he asked us who the Holy Spirit is. We looked at some scriptures and the members shared their experience receiving answers through the Holy Spirit. He listened to what they said and said, "So what I feel when I'm in church and when the Sisters are here and when I read the Book of Mormon is the Holy Spirit?" He said that he feels like everything is true and he's found what he's looking for. He's super excited for his baptism next month.

Hearing Elder Pieper speak was a great experience. He spoke a lot about how we have to work with the members in order to work efficiently. He reminded us of some things that the prophet told us a few years ago when he announced the the Lord was hastening His work. He told us the now is the moment that the members and the missionaries work together to hasten the Lord's work. The moment was a few years ago, but if we haven't started yet, now is also a good moment.

I was reading about when Nephi has a vision about Lehi's dream of the Tree of Life in the Book of Mormon (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/1-ne/11?lang=eng) and I was thinking about how missionary work is the best because we get to share the love of God. When Nephi begins to understand the symbolism of the Tree of Life, he says:
"Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things."
And the angel who is teaching him says:
"Yea, and the most joyous to the soul."
What we share with others as members and as missionaries is seriously the best gift we can share with anyone. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have every day to do it.

Last monday the Executive Secretary called me about what day I'm going to go home. This was my reaction.

​The ice cream kind of helped with the sadness...
This week I realized how close the end of my mission is. So I'm going to work harder than ever to bless people's lives in the time I have left.

I hope everyone has a great week. I love you all and I am so grateful for your support. Keep on keepin' on!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

​This ice cream is really good though.​

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Hey! Hope everyone had a great week!
Ours was interesting!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:

​Permetrina- premetherine. As in, "Premetherine is an insecticide that you can apply in your house to prevent mosquitos and some other bugs. The mission gave us two big bottles of premetherine to fumigate our house. After spraying it on the walls of our whole two/story house (we live in the biggest house of the mission), we felt like we had done about 200 squats and lifted weights for 5 hours."

​Diluvio- flood. As in, "It doesn't rain much in Juarez, but when it rains a little, it loooks like there was a Noah's-Ark-sized flood."
Milagros- miracles. As in, "If we act with faith, we can see miracles."

So in the 4 weeks that I've been in the area, we've had a hard time finding people to teach. Because of the nature of the area, we can find people like we normally do, so it's been tough. We've fasted twice to find people, and this week we saw a great miracle!
A family of members had given us a referral a couple weeks ago, but we were able to meet him this week.

We did a family home evening with the family who gave us the referral and the investigator. He's living in their house while he looks for a house to rent in this area. We got to know him a bit and taught about the plan of salvation. He was super interested, and when we finished explaining the plan of salvation, we invited him to be baptized. Hermana Ramirez hadn't even finished the question when he said "yes! Thank you! I really want to make a change in my life and get baptized!" It was fantastic! 
We went back two days later and taught him about the Restoration. He thought it was amazing that we have a prophet in our days who leads the church under the direction and authority of Jesus Christ. We invited him to set a baptismal date next month, and he accepted!
He came to church yesterday and loved it. In our Gospel Principles class he participated as if he'd been there before and he learned fast. He was telling everyone about his baptismal date and the whole ward was excited to meet him and they're excited for him.

"Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen."
Doctrine and Covenantes 4:7

We're excited to keep working this week. We've been diligently praying and studying to know how to find the people who the Lord has prepared, and we've felt inspired to try some new things. So we're going to act with faith this week and keep praying for miracles!

Have a great week everyone!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

​I also introduced my companion the frosty last week. :)​

Fishers of Men

Hope everyone's week was great.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
estuche- case. As in, "Ok, Elder, what color of case do you want me to send you home in?" Every time the elders jokingly complain about having a grave illness the mission nurse asks them this. One of them wants an orange case, so she said she'll have to buy one and paint it orange.
Pescador- fisher. As in, "some of Christ's apostles were fishers. They were fishing one day when Christ invited them to follow Him."
Pescador de hombres- fisher of men. As in, "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Check out these videos that we saw in Leadership Council this week. They're fabulous.

Also, of all the blurry pictures we took after Leadership Council, these are the best.

​Not everybody is in the pictures, but it was fun.

A couple stories for you.

One day last week all of our appointments cancelled on us. When we started thinking about where to go, I thought clearly of a certain less-active member who we had tried to visit but still hadn't found at home. So we went to see her. We taught her a short message about prayer and got to know her a little bit, then she tolds us that she wants our help. Her daughter is about to turn 8 and she wants us to help her get ready for baptism. She also told her that her husband isn't a member and that they struggle a lot. We asked if she thinks the Gospel would help them to have a happier family, and she said that it was exactly what she was thinking. So we set an appointment to start visiting her husband and daughter to teach them together this week. They also came to church on Sunday, which was great!

Yesterday we went to see a part-member family who we met a few weeks ago. When we went before we only met the mom, but yesterday we got to meet her kids. They're 9 and 10 years old and they are great. We taught them about prayer and they understood it better than a lot of adults. When we asked the son what prayer is, he said "a talk with God so that He will be with me when I feel alone." They're awesome and we're looking forward to helping them and their mom prepare for baptism.

Sorry that wasn't much, but I don't have a lot of time and I have to go to a zone meeting on the other side of the city, so that's all for this week.

Thank you again for all your support. I love you all!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

​Ready to cross the city for the zone meeting.​

Monday, August 8, 2016

Exercise Faith

¡Hola, hola!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:
Loca- crazy. As in, "This week was one of the craziest of my mission. But we enjoyed it."

Despedida- farewell. As in, "One of my great companions, Hermana Hernandez, finished her mission this week. For health reasons she was given and honorable release and she's headed back to Honduras today. We had a farewell with President and Sister Owen yesterday for her and another great Sister who went home for health reasons too. They're both exemplary missionaries, and we miss them a lot."
Fe- faith. As in, "I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." Ether 12:6.

Even though we were running all over the place with decisions and preparations all week, we still had a couple cool experiences in the proselyting time we had.

Monday after our district meeting we went to see a part-member family. The mom isn't a member, but she's always gone to church with her family and she's listened to a lot of missionaries. We went to meet them, and it was super interesting because she speaks more English than Spanish. So I taught the lesson in English. (Let me just tell you that it's bizarre for me to teach in English. Everything comes to my brain in Spanish and I have to translate it to English.) She's super cool though, and she said that she wants to get ready to get baptized soon. She has a testimony of the truthfulness of the church and she wants to prepare herself to make a covenant with God so that her family can be eternal.

We went to visit the lady who I contacted in English last week. She's great! She's super sassy and I love it. We teach her in Spanglish...she speaks Spanish super well, but she prefers English and doesn't know how to read or write Spanish. So we taught mostly in Spanish so that my companion and I could both be teaching. But she would ask questions in English if she didn't find the words in Spanish. (I feel like she speaks my true language.) Her eyes lit up when we gave her a pamphlet about the Restoration and a Book of Mormon in English. She's super excited to learn more. We taught her to pray in English and it was great.

We also visited another part-member family where the husband isn't a member. From what we had seen of him and heard from other missionaries, he wasn't all that insterested and didn't participate in lessons, he just went to church with his wife sometimes. But we taught about the Restoration and asked them how they felt about the Restoration. We were super surprised to hear him bear a powerful testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. He said he's researched and prayed a lot about it and that he feels like he really was a prophet. He's also hoping to be ready to get baptized soon.

"Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him." 1 Nephi 7:12

These two weeks have been a bit stressful, but we all grew a lot through the experience. We've learned to have faith and act upon the faith we have. Aside from the personal challenges that our companion had, Hermana Ramirez and I were getting a bit discouraged about our proselyting situation in this ward. But we fasted together to work well with the members to find people who are prepared to receive the Gospel, and yesterday we began to see results. We're hoping to have a great week and find a lot of people. We know that if we move forward with faith and work hard, we'll find them.

Have a great week!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark