Monday, June 24, 2013

Week #46

Well we got our transfer calls... They are opening up a Zone in Ontario..Elder Camarena is getting transferred to Kenora, Ontario about 2 hours away from Fort Frances to train a new missionary. I will be staying in Fort Frances serving with elder Weeks and we will be the Zone Leaders for the Ontario Zone. Well I guess I'm back in leadership again. I was thinking of a good name for the Zone....The O Zone haha. jk. But I am excited to serve as a zone leader. I will probably be a Zone leader for, well,  I don't even know how long. But it does mean I will be staying in Fort Frances for a While. I will miss Elder Camarena he made the best food and salsa.
Well we Had a Great week.
Last week and this week haven't been a good week for numbers...and I can't get my head around it....but we were completely busy the whole time. We met with Kenny Olson, the former branch president and his wife again. We weren't able to share anything, but she showed us her sewing room, which apparently she doesn't let anyone we must be doing something right. I really feel like there is going to be a harvest soon. Elder Camarena and I have just planted so much here and now it is time to fire up combines and go to work.
 We have seen miracles. The Osters came to church again this Sunday and she enjoyed it. Because we have been volunteering for soccer,  a family that works with sister Oster at Rainy Crest, keeps asking sister Oster about the church and this week sister Oster is going to invite her to church and at soccer tonight we are going to invite her to have F.H.E,  also we are inviting another family of 4 to have family home evening and this family is the guy with the highlanders pipe band that we have been participating in. Finding through your talents is wonderful. Because we barley tract, meaning knocking on doors, people see us on the street and they come up to us and ask us what we do.      
Some of our less actives are out and about because of summer. But in the branch presidency meeting today I really emphasised the importance of home and visiting teaching and that it just can't be us, because then the less actives will come to church because of the missionaries.
So we helped an older gentleman paint his house the other day. He also doesn't believe in the Atonement of Christ, but after helping him, he has had a complete 180 change! We are helping him this Tuesday, so it will be good to help again and hopefully invite him to hear our message. Let me tell you something...I love handbooks it makes things so much easier. I am helping the branch presidency a lot (not saying this to be prideful) but I am just very lovingly and kindly pointing out things in the handbook and helping them understand what we should be doing. It's not their fault at all, they really don't know or have been taught or trained in leadership. One is an older man and the other is a recent convert of a year. So yeah I  will still be in the Branch presidency and I will be a Zone leader, I hope my head doesn't explode...ha no I will be fine.
I loved that broadcast! that is how missionary work needs to be! I loved the video of the family that all read their scriptures together,  prayed together,  and all invited their friends to hear the gospel through different activities such as basketball,  or at the market, through service, and dinner. And it was great because at every single one of those activities you saw missionaries. It is so true, the world has one likes it when you knock on their door. When I get home...that's like all I want to do is help the missionaries and help bring back less actives.
We played basketball again with some less active youth,  and all of his friends...they can't stop us, we beat them in ball all the time. I want to get a youth group out of them.
I read Taylor's email, sounds like she loves the MTC what a good experience the MTC was. I think I saw her singing in the choir, but I'm not sure.
 We have been playing squash every morning! ha so fun.
The church is true! the Gospel is real.
All is well,
-Elder Clark

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week 45


The weather here is so goodness I am sweating like a dog. I am getting into shape too with the gym that we go to. We bought some squash rackets at the  Salvation Army for 3 dollars...the lady there just loves us ha. The summer is already going by fast. Transfer calls are this week and I think I will probably be  staying in the area for a while longer.  President told me I would be staying most likely because I'm in the branch presidency. I had to call a meeting on Sunday and help us as a council get on our feet because we have to get this branch functioning like a ward. I love the people here though :)
On exchanges with elder McDanel, we went to go see Kenny Olson, a former branch president. We talked to him a lot and he discussed his problems with us. We testified of the atonement and helped him understand that Christ will help you get through all of this and he is the the only one who can because he has gone through it for you. He was very receptive and  really started crying. We are stopping by this week to say hello to his wife again and to set something up for dinner. Also, a less active member who has been less active for years, really likes us. Her son Brett who is almost 16 told his mom, "These are the best missionaries we have ever had." We played her son and all of his friends in basketball with our white shirts and ties on and beat them 20-3 ha. But it was really good because now Brett and all of his friends,  are going to come play basketball at the church this Tuesday and we are going to give them a church tour. I feel  being her sons friend and getting him to try and come to church is softening her heart.

Some of our less actives have been out of town due to some summer vacations, but I'm pretty sure they are all back so we can visit them more. Well Zach didn't get baptized.... His mom just changed her mind at the last minuet. Zach was thinking about even going on a mission, but his family is really against the church.

We were able to teach President Tovey's wife this week and President Tovey said that we are the only missionaries that she has ever been receptive to!!, and now she wants us to come back and do dinner again. Sometimes we are not always able to teach the less active right then and there, sometimes we just visit to show that support and love and I think it helps them a lot. Now, if we can get this branch functioning like a ward, then I think the less actives will come back with the help of the members reaching out.

We taught the Osters on Saturday night and played Jenga with them. Sister Oster really felt the spirit, I think brother Oster might have something deeper...But at the end of the lesson they began to bring up the same concerns, and I just stopped them right there and just told them how it was... I told them that Satan doesn't want them to be together for eternity and told them it kills me to see how many blessings your family is missing out on. Elder Camarena and I worked as a team and just taught and testified all by the spirit. On Sunday Sister Oster and Boden came to church!!!!! and she looked very happy to be there. All the members were standing around with them and talking to Boden. It was a miracle. We have been working with them for 3 months.....I know that if we do all we can no matter how long it takes, that when the lord is ready, he will do his part in his own time.
We had a soccer tournament on Saturday and the community loves us. Soccer has helped us so much to show the community that we are here to help out. After soccer we went to the gas station and the girl who was at the cash register was really sad, so we talked to her and now we are meeting with her this week. Also on the way to church, some guy just came up and talked to us and wants us to come over on Wednesday, and said that he really wants to change his life! this work is the best.

I love being a missionary. And I KNOW that this church is true.

All is Well,
-Elder Clark

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week #44


Well we had a good week this week.
A members daughter who is less active has been against the church and missionaries for a long long time and just last week she randomly stopped us on the road and wants us out for a BBQ she likes us a lot and her husband is not a member and she has two kids = Potential! So that was really neat to see. Man we have just been working over and over again with these less actives and a less active family almost came to church yesterday but some how just  didn't.... :( it is so hard sometimes. But that is OK just gotta get back on the horse. The only way these less actives are coming back to church is if the members help us and reach out. The branch president is a great great guy but he has only been a member for a year and I think he just sometimes doesn't know what to do. So I have just been going through the handbook like crazy and I just need to bring it up in the next branch council meeting and just show them things that we should be doing. Because we are not really doing much. But it will all get better and it will start booming :)
Well a miracle happened the other day. We went to go stop by a former branch president who is less active and his wife is less active too and she as well hates the church and the missionaries, but She was sitting outside and we went to go talk to her and I had her laughing and smiling and now she wants to have us over for supper :) so that is a huge step.
Zach's interview for baptism is this Tuesday and he is getting baptized this Saturday and he has asked me to baptize him :) I am so grateful for this work mom. It is the hardest thing I have ever done but it is so rewarding.
Elder Camarena has been making Mexican food like crazy. His home made salsa is SO goodness it burns my mouth but tastes so good. Also we have been working out at a gym at like 6:00 in the morning it is 2 minuets away from our apartment.
Well all is going well over here. This week will be really busy with getting everything ready for Zach's baptism and also working with these less actives.

 All is Well, 
-Elder Clark

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week #43

I am 20 years old.....what in the world that is crazy. What am I supposed to do now....I think I'll do missionary work.
Well this week was another great week. We are still just trying to break down the barriers here in Fort Frances. On Tuesday we were walking back to our apartment and this guy Randy stopped us and said that he senses that we are good guys and that he feels that he needs this in his life right now. We got his info and everything so we are trying to set up an appointment to meet with him.  Elder McDanel and I were on Exchanges  and we taught Father Wayne. We really laid the hammer down in a loving way. I am not sure if we will continue to meet with him, because he seems pretty lost and doesn't seem to listen to what we teach him, he just wants to play "20 Questions" it seems like. He doesn't believe what he preaches on Sunday too so it is a little strange.
On Thursday we gave a less active member Karen Jensen a priesthood blessing. She was going through some struggles and it had really helped her. She came to church again so that was the third time in a row that she came. We met with the Osters on Thursday night and their  son Boden asked us for a priesthood blessing as well. That boy could be such a powerful missionary. He wants to go back to church more than the parents, and he is only 11. The Osters had us over for supper and we just bore testimony that things are going wrong in their life because they don't have the gospel. The spirit was so strong there and you could see them just feeling it. We just need to keep working with them.

On Friday we met with some less active members and their hang up is the word of wisdom. We just asked them if they were even going to live it?  They said no. We then asked them if they even care about what we come and teach them? It threw them back a little and they had to think. Then they just started making excuses about how there is a difference between being an alcoholic and just having one drink. They don't see a problem with just one drink. I just stopped them right there and told them there is a huge difference. I told them there is a difference because either you don't want to follow God's commandments or you do. I told them that God loved them so much, but asked them if they loved God if they were willing to do the things that he asked them. The spirit was so strong and Elder Camarena and I just laid the hammer down in such a loving way and they just had nothing to say at all.  Not once did they speak while we testified and taught them principles of the Gospel. You could see them just really thinking about everything we were telling them.  I really think that the trick to teaching less actives is having a love, serve, then teach relationship with them. When you love and serve them they trust you and then you can "boldly" teach them.
This week was great though. We were just contacting people a lot. So this lady told Elder Camarena that she didn't want to listen to him because she said that we told her that her dogs don't go to heaven. So I asked him if he asked her if she had ever seen that movie, All Dogs Go to Heaven haha. He said no and I thought that defeats the purpose of God because he just doesn't create things without a purpose he is a God of order. So we looked it up in the bible and the scriptures and found the answer and asked President about it and he said the same thing that God doesn't create something without a purpose. So on Monday we saw her walking her dog and I said Elder there she is, so we parked the car and walked around the corner so we could be in her path and I said hello. She said hi and I asked her if she had ever talked to the missionaries. I used a missionary approach just to talk with her and then she said yeah but I don't believe in what you say and so I said pardon? Then she said, well you don't believe that my dog goes to heaven. So then I said, what do you mean?? That defeats the purpose of God he just doesn't create something for no reason...and then boom a huge 180 happened. She loves us now. She is so solid too. Every church has told her the same thing and now she is thinking about meeting with us and letting us teach her the gospel. Turns out she went to the church a bunch when she was growing up. Now she honks and waves to us all the time on the streets.
 Guess what? I am learning some Ojibwa (native language) hah!
I sure have a testimony of the gospel! It has brought me so much happiness. :) 
All is well,
-Elder Clark

Week #42

Well this week was so good.
On Monday we had taught a less active family and we had shown the Mormon message "Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light". And after we watched it they said the greatest thing ever and this is the exact words. "wow I feel like I got slapped in the face, because I don't even have it as bad as other people." The family had been offended but after this lesson they are more receptive to going to church now. The spirit was so strong in that lesson it was amazing.
The rest of the week we were just still keeping busy, teaching less actives! Man, the work is busy and moving. I am tired every morning, we are out all day teaching and finding. We taught a less active member and we set a goal with her to make it to the temple! So we are going to help her really change her life around. So we met with Zach this week. We read 2 Nephi 31 and we just asked him bluntly what he expects to get out of meeting with us now. I asked him what was on his mind.....and he said: what makes this church truer than the catholic church. We taught him by the spirit and taught him about the Book of Mormon and asked him what he felt as he prayed about the Book of Mormon. He said "a burning sensation and chills throughout my body". We then taught him more and invited him to act and follow his Savior. He is getting baptized again! he will be baptized on June 15th!
This week I had maybe one of the greatest experiences of my mission There is a less active member and he only comes to church so he can get food. His mom is a member. All he likes to do is hunt and fish. He is a big fella with a big mustache and has orange stained fingers from smoking cigarettes. He is real  rough around the edges and likes to joke...a lot. He had called us and wanted us to come by. Everything is basically going wrong in his life, and I had the prompting to ask him if he would like a blessing. He said yes, I was surprised by his answer. Then I gave him a blessing and after the blessing tears were streaming down his face. And I thought to myself..."wow this man only comes to church so he can get food and his fingers are stained orange from cigarettes, but yet by the power of the priesthood he breaks down and feels the spirit" (See them as they can become.) God know us personally and individually and loves us. I am grateful to have the priesthood of God.
We are getting these people back to church! If we have to walk them or do anything to get them back to church then we will do it! We have had such a great week. I cut Elder Camarena's hair last night! I am good at cutting hair I made him look real good! ha.
Can you believe that after this transfer I will be out a year.....were is the time going....
I testify that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth.
All is well,
-Elder Clark