Monday, September 6, 2010

Blessings in the MTC

Dear Family and Friends!!

What a week WHAT A WEEK! oi! Where to start?

I'm not sure how to tell my tales without getting a bit personal... but I have been feeling compelled to share some sacred and personal experiences from this week... as my sincere and bold witness that the power of prayer is real. I know with a surety, that God hears and answers our prayers exactly how we need- and not how we "think" we want it.

First of all... since I got here... I was missing work a bit. Loving it here... but missing being useful and serving others. Also... I did not feel like we were sufficiently practing spanish in our district (or, class)... and I wanted opportunities to be challenged in Spanish to practice and grow. So... I prayed to be able to identify opportunties to serve, and to be able to practice spanish. A few days after I started this search... my companions and I walked into our room to find a Guatamalan sister in one of the beds recovering from knee surgery in our room!!! It could not have been a more perfect answer. SUCH a tender mercy. Hermana Paz needed supervision and to have her medication administration controled... and I needed to practice spanish. She has been so patient with me... and I hardly did anything for her compared to the example and help that she has been to me the last few weeks. The Lord CLEARLY heard and answered me.
My time here in the MTC thus far seemed too easy. I had awesome companions, I felt the Spirit all the time, the schedule was constant... but not overwhelming compared to what I had done at work right before coming..... and I was getting skeptical of myself. I fear that I would not be sufficiently humble, exercise faith, and become the dilligent and inspired missionary I wanted and needed to be. I wanted to learn how to "pray by the Spirit"- I kept reading throughout the scriptures about "it being given what ye shall pray for" and "he that asketh in the Spirit"- and I didn't feel like I was doing that. My prayers were sincere... but guided by the Spirit? So... I started searching this out... and truly trying to pray by the Spirit. I started to see a change- I was filled with more gratitude, and I asked for very different things in a very different way- and I felt the Holy Ghost fill and guide my prayers.
This led me to pray for trials... with the intent to obtain humility, faith, and patience- all traits I know are essential to fulfilling this great work ahead of me- but that I feel that I still lack. I know that it is better to "choose to be humble" rather than being "compelled to be humble"- but... you all know me.... and so as I struggled to "choose" this... I knew I needed to be compelled. I know that the Lord heard my plea.
Monday morning I woke up with the all too familiar swelling and discomfort in my tonsil... and I knew that my tonselitis was back. When I went to the Doctor and explained that this was the third time I was having this infection in the last 5 weeks... but that I was scheduled to leave to Guatamala this tuesday 9/7- a decision needed to be made. Two doctors and I discussed the situation- and the possibilty of it just clearing up with a new and different antibiotic... or it returning repeatedly and a need for tonsilectomy in the future. If I needed this procedure once I got to El Salvador... I would need to insist on returning to the states for surgery- and there is a possibility I would not return to El Salvador. The Doctors said they were fine with me going or staying... that I should get a priesthood blessing, talk to my Branch President, and most importantly- pray about it. This was an unmistakable answer to my prayers.
I recieved a Priesthood blessing from my branch councilor- and I testify that the power of the Priesthood is Real. I was promised that my body would attack this organism with the help of modern technology. I was chastised for breaking the Word of Wisdom- do not run faster than ye have strength- and when we do not keep the commandments- we have no such promise. Yikes!! I had never thought that working 60 hours+ a week was breaking the Word of Wisdom!!! I was also promised in my blessing that I would received a clear and sure answer and be able to make my decision in confidence and peace.
This week has been hard... but so beautiful. One of the best of my life. I wanted to act in faith. I wanted the faith that I could go to Guatamala and be healed- but also the faith that I could stay here in Provo and rely on the Spirit to teach me Spanish- that all things would be possible through the Lord. Most of all... I learned to truly and sincerely want to know and do the Lord's will above mine. Of course I wanted to go to Guatamala- I'm already tired of the food here and it's getting SO cold and I packed for HOT HOT weather... BUT- it mattered less and less what I wanted as I dilligently searched, fasted, and prayed to know and do exactly what the Lord needed me to do. I wanted to be where I was supposed to be no matter the risk or sacrifice.
Even when I didn't have an answer and was so confused and constantly flipping between the options... I was filled with peace all week. It's my nature to freak out and stress about things like this and try to control everything... but I had peace. I knew that this "trial" was a blessing from my merciful and loving Heavenly Father- all for my benefit- and I can honestly say that I am SO grateful for tonsilitis, frustration, and confusion. :)
I learned to "ask in the Spirit"... and as Romans 8:26 says, "Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered".
I am learning to trust and act in faith. I don't need to know exactly HOW I will be healed or HOW I will learn spanish... only that it is possible through the Lord's grace. Romans 8:28 " all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are aclled according to his purpose."
I am grateful for "trials"- which hardly seem such compard to the resulting blessings. Romans 8:18 "For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worhty to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

As I ended my fast yesterday... I was flooded over with peace, joy, and excitement and it was confirmed to me... that I needed to stay here. I don't know all the reasons why... I still suspect that these antibiotics will clear up the infection... but I know that the Lord has reasons beyond my comprehension or sight right now... and that I don't need to know all the reasons WHY I need to stay- only that it is His will. I am grateful for the answers to my cries in all their forms. I know that I can learn Spanish because I'm on the Lord's errand- no matter WHERE I am.


I don't think my Dearelder is working.... at all. SOOoo... if anyone's been trying... try again by putting a "Y" in front of my name. I don't know if that works... but it's not working at all right now- so sorry if I'm not responding.

I love you all. The fullness of the Gospel has been restored... the Atonement is real...... so what else matters?!!?
- Hermana Clark

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