Monday, October 17, 2016

He Intends for Us to Make It

Hey there!
Hope your week was lovely.

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:

​Boliche- bowling. As in, "We went bowling last monday as a zone to say goodbye to the missionaries who were going home. I may have laid down on the floor face first to push the ball down the lane like I always do. And the other missionaries may have named the technique after me. We had a good time."
Yogi- somone who does yoga. As in, "we were street contacting this week and we met an atheist yogi. She explained a lot about what she believes, and it was interesting. I'd met people with many different beliefs, but I hadn't met a yogi before."
Amor de Dios- Love of God. "...we know that God loves all of His children and that in these last days He has restored vital additional knowledge and power to bless all of them. The Savior taught us to love all as our brothers and sisters, and we honor that teaching by sharing the witness and message of the restored gospel “among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people” (D&C 112:1)...What could be more joyful than sharing the truths of eternity with God’s children?"

This week was pretty great! First, I got a new companion.

​This is Hermana Villanueva! She's from Oaxaca, she finishes her 5th month of the mission today, and she's great!

We had some cool experiences this week! Here are two.

Wednesday we went looking for new investigators. We walked into a neighborhood and saw two women sitting in the park selling secondhand clothes. We walked up and starting talking to thm. One of them walked away, but the other told us, "Sisters, I think you've showed up in the perfect moment." She told us that she has a lot of family who are members of the church and that she had listened to missionaries before, but that now she wants to get baptized. We talked with her for a while and went back twice more this week. She's super awesome, and we know that we didn't show up in that moment by chance. We're excited to keep teaching her.

The same day, we went looking for a couple who Hermana Ramírez and I had met the week before in the same neighborhood. When we met them, they told us that he is a returned missionary, but she hasn't been going to the church very long and they just moved here. We weren't sure if she had been baptized or not, but when we went this week, we found out that she isn't a member. She said, "I haven't gotten baptized yet, but it's in my plans to get baptized so we can get married in the temple." We asked if she'd like for us to start teaching her and helping her prepare for baptism, and she said yes! In that visit we also found out that I know her boyfriend's family from Casas Grandes. Crazy small world! They went to church on Sunday and she's excited to keep getting ready.

We feel blessed to have found these two new investigators and we're going to keep looking for more this week! 

I have to go, but I want to share a quote from gneral conference that I love.
"The answers to the questions “Am I good enough?” and “Will I make it?” are “Yes! You are going to be good enough” and “Yes, you are going to make it as long as you keep repenting and do not rationalize or rebel.” The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back home and live with Him as families forever. He truly gave His Only Begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life! Please believe, and please take hope and comfort from, this eternal truth. Our Heavenly Father intends for us to make it! That is His work and His glory."

Keep on keeping on! Have a great week!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

God Has a Perfect Plan

Happy Monday!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:

​Pastelito de frutas- little cake with fruit. As in, "My companion's birthday was this week, so our awesome investigator gave her this little cake to celebrate! She's a sweetheart!"
Esperanza- hope. As in, "And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope." Moroni 7:40-42

Tuesday night we were planning for Wednesday and couldn't find anyone to put an appointment with between 11am and 3pm. We were a bit frustrated, but decided to faithfully look for people to street contact in those hours. We felt prompted to try walking down two big highways and try to find people waiting for the bus who we could contact. So we went.
It's tough to find people on the streets in our area, and it's tougher to find people who live in our area. But wednesday, a miracle happened. We walked down those streets and in the course we found two people waiting for the bus who lived in our area and accepted a visit from us. Also, while we were walking, a car stopped and rolled down their window and asked us, "Excuse me, what are you?" We told the two women inside that we were missionaries and talked a bit about what we do. One of them lived in our area and accepted a visit from us. We felt very blessed.

Friday our investigator was going to get baptized, but this whole week she had some hard problems with her family and felt it would be better to postpone it a little longer to help her family understand more about her decision. We were upset, but we still have a lot of hope and know that when it's the right moment, she'll get baptized.

Saturday some appointments cancelled on us and we felt like we should go see a less-active sister who we hadn't visited in a while. She accepted our visit and began to tell us the whole story of her conversion and how she had become less-active. She told us about the desires she had to keep progressing in the gospel, but how for some reason she could not find the motivation to go to church. As I listened to her, I clearly remembered something that I learned a few months ago in a zone meeting. So we read Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.
"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
We explained that with every commandment that Got gives us, He promises us specific blessings, and asked her for some examples. She mentioned that the Word of Wisdom brings health and the law of Tithing brings prosperity in our homes. We explained to her what the Elders had explained to us in the zone meeting. What do you do to obtain a blessing if you don't know what commandment it's associated with?
You fast.
The law of the fast is the answer to receive those blessings that we know God wants to give us, but we don't know what commandment we have to keep to receive it.
She said that it was exactly what she needed to hear and that she hadn't thought about fasting for the desire to go to church. It was beautiful to feel the Spirit testify in that lesson.

Yesterday we went back to see our Jewish investigator. It was great. She wasn't able to read very much of the Book of Mormon, but a friend of hers who is a member had downloaded the Gospel Library app on her phone. We showed her how you can listen to the scriptures on the app and she said, "This is incredible. God has a perfect plan." We read the first chapter of first Nephi again then read the 8th chapter, which is the vision of the tree of life. She was amazed. We started to explain a bit about the symbolism and she said, "the tree is God, right?" We explained her that it was the love of God. She was amazed. We talked a lot about the love of God and she said that she wanted to partake of it more. She committed to start reading and litsening to the Book of Mormon every day.

The week ended yesterday with some news.
We were in church and President Owen said, "Transfers will be announced tonight. Do you want to know yours now?" We said yes.
He told my companion that she will be opening Colonia Juarez (which hasn't had missionaries in more than a year) and she'll be training a new american sister who gets here today. She looked like she was going to pass out. But I know she will be a fantastic trainer and that she is the correct person to open the area.
I'll be staying here in Del Sol with another sister who's been on the mission for about 4 months. We should have a good time.

I'll miss Hermana Ramírez! After a total of 5 months together (2 in Casas Grandes and 3 here) it's hard to say goodbye. But I know that mission presidents receive revelation from God to know what to assign us and who to assign as our companions. I'm excited to see what this transfer has in store.

Have a great week, everyone!
~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark

The Mandate to Share the Truth

¡Buenas tardes!

I hope everyone enjoyed General Conference! I loved it! They were speaking to me!

Spanish Lessons with Hermana Clark:

​Futura misionera- future missionary. As in, "This future missionary happens to have the same last name as my companion, so she borrowed her nametag to take a picture with me. She'll be a great missionary someday."
Generación- generation. As in, "We refer to a group of missionaries who arrive in the mission together as a generation. Only two of us got here in my generation, and we went to mission leadership council together this week because we're both Sister Training Leaders now. It was fun to remember the day we got here."
La Doctrina de Cristo- the Doctrine of Christ. As in, "The general authorities taught us a lot this weekend about the Doctrine of Christ. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can all be clean of our sins through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. This simple doctrine is essential in our lives and ever so important to remember."

I have two stories for you today.

We saw our investigator whose baptismal date is quickly approaching, and we taught her about tithing and fasting. She understood the commandments really well and believes that the promised blessings really come to those who keep them. We asked her how she's felt about everything we're teaching, and she told us that she feels like it's all true. She says that before she hadn't been so open and whenever she listened to the doctrines we're teaching she would think in counter-arguments according to what she has learned before. As she's been listening to us though, she's opened up a lot and she says that she's realized how correct everything is. She says that she's seen how what we teach relates with what she teaches in her profession as a psychologist and she feels like it's right. We're looking forward to seeing her more this week!

We also found a new investigator this week. We actually met her several weeks ago. We were walking to an appointment and we saw a loose dog further down the road that looked like it wanted to kill us. She and her husband saw us and pulled over their car and offered to take us past the dog if we were scared of it. We were, and we felt okay about getting in their car, so they gave us a ride. In the time we were in their car, we got to know them a bit and she told us that she was Jewish and her husband was Catholic.
I had never met a Jewish person here. We were surprised. They told us more or less where they lived, but we didn't set an appointment.
A couple weeks later, we ran into her twice in other places. Once she told us where she lived and the other she gave us a ride and showed us her house, but didn't have time to receive us. We went by the day after, but she was a bit busy. She showed us some of the decorations in her house though and explained a bit about her beliefs to us. It was cool.
We finally managed to visit her to teach her a bit yesterday. Since we met her we've been studying and praying, trying to figure out how we could best explain our message to her. We really didn't know what to do because just about everyone here is from one Christian denomination or another, but they all believe in Jesus Christ. In all of our studying, my companion and I came to the conclusion and had the impression that we should teach her about the Book of Mormon.
So yesterday we gave her a Book of Mormon and read the first chapter with her. It was the coolest experience to see how she understood it and related so differently. She understood well that Lehi was one of the prophets who was sent to prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem. She knew who King Zedekiah was. She understood the historical context so well. She read the chapter with us and said, "so these people were Jewish?" We told her that they were and read a bit of the introduction with her and extended her the invitation to read it, ponder on what it says, and pray to know if it's true. She was so interested and she asked, "how much does this book cost?" When we told her it was free, she didn't believe us. The look on her face was priceless.
She's going to start reading it this week and we'll see her on Sunday. We're excited to see how it goes.

If you missed conference, watch it here!

Especially the words of the prophet:

"It's not enough, however, merely to believe in Him and His mission. We need to work and learn, serch and pray, repent and improve. We need to know God's laws and live them...we are blessed to have the truth and we have the mandate to share the truth."

Have a great week everyone! Thank you for your continual support and prayers!

~Hermana Hannah Jo Clark