Saturday, February 26, 2011


Hellooooo Family!

Welp... it happened! Finally! Carolina and Gerardo were married and baptized this week!! The wedding was supposed to be on monday... and we ran around to get everything done... trying to make it special for them... so after the cake was ready, Carolina´s hair straightened and cut (did NOT expect to be doing some of things things I do here..)... they were so anxious and excited to be married on Valentines day...... the lawyer didn´t show up. Kind of a let down... but the ward made the best of out it! They turned it into a family home evening with the ward... and every married couple bore their testimonies of matrimony and a gospel centered family. It was really so sweet and perfect... and when Berta and Rigoberto got up.... so nervous... but so sincerely expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to have the gospel in their family and have the opportunity to spiritually progress together..... I was again SO filled with...bliss. Even though Carolina and Gerardo were a little bit dissapointed.... when we finally were able to do it on wedensday.... they were so so so happy... all was forgotten and forgiven! Their relationship and family has really changed. From on the verge of throwing away 10 years together... to being like newlywed 20 year olds... it´s really been such a beautiful miracle. Even though their marriage was a civil one (for now :) )... the Spirit was so strong and really bore witness that our Heavenly Father is so pleased with their decisions and desires to do what is right.
Their baptism was so wonderful... and they were just giddy all over again. They had wanted that day for so long... and they were so anxious to leave everything behind... and finally have that new start together with the Lord. Their sons were so giddy and happy... and it made me remember my first night in Candelaria when their 12 year old, Francisco, came up to me and so purely asked, ¨When are you going to visit my parents?¨.... and to be able to see the outcome... I feel SO blessed to be a witness to such clear manifestations of the Lord´s love here. - I can´t send pictures from this computer... but next week... I will send pictures of their wedding and baptism!
Jose Armando passed his interview and is going to be baptized this sunday! His brother, Eliar- the other Jehovah´s Witness, came to church yesterday too! Of course... he loved it... and he says that is going to be baptized!! We´re going to make a date with him this thursday. He says that he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying... and said so confidently, ¨I KNOW that Joseph Smith was a prophet!¨. WOOHOOO!!!!!! We´re expecting his whole family for Armando´s baptism... and I have great hopes for all of them.
We continue to run to contact our 61 contacts this week... and are finding some really wonderful people... and some of them are finding US. We were walking down the street in Pajonal... and this many yelled out, ¨Hey! Do you know about Joseph Smith¨.... and we stopped.. moderately dumbfounded and said, ¨DO WE EVER!¨. He continued to tell us that he had read about Joseph Smith and had seen some movie about him...but had never been able to find missionaries to find out more. He said that he had visited many different churches...but has always been curious about this prophet. He proceeded to anxiously quiz us about the Book of Mormon... and was VERY excited to know more. He worked this sunday.. so didn´t come... but seemed super stoked to learn more and more. He knows Juan Carlos and has seen the difference and change in him... and told us his KNOWS we´re on the Lord´s errand. He wants missionaries to visit his mom in Washington... and wants to read everything. ... it was a surprise dream lesson. Yet... right as I was about to invite him to be baptized... he looked at his watch and said, ¨Ah! I´m SO late for work! Gotta go!!¨. So.. the invitation will have to wait until we get to his house.
Have I mentioned how much I love the people of Pajonal?? The distance is an obstacle for them... but we know it´s not impossible!!! We had such high hopes for a number of people to come this sunday.... but as is the life... almost none of them came. Yet... my dissapointment turned into glee to see Rigoberto enter the chapel in a button up shirt and TIE with his family... and they just beamed and beamed. My glee turned into out of control and pure happiness (I can´t find a word strong enough for the emotion I´m trying to describe) to see across the chapel... Rigoberto and Berta paying their first tith. Oh... this is the life.
Yesterday we stayed and worked in Candelaria... and had some truly marvilous and humbling experiences. I felt like we should stop by a member´s house that we had never been to... and as were sitting in her house, not totally sure why were there... I saw someone pass by in the back of her house. I asked who it was, and it was her non member teenage son that had met with many missionaries in the past... and supposedly wanted nothing to do with the church. We asked to talk to him... and when she asked him.. he magically agreed to talk to us! As we talked to him... he totally opened up... and after we showed him the Restoration DVD... he said he believed in all... and when asked if he was happy... he paused... and said that he wasn´t. That he knew he needed a change.. and he wanted the gospel in his life. So... he has a date to be baptized on the 6th! WOAH! We left the house in awe and in gratitude for the guidance of the Spirit... and was such a clear reminder to me how helpless and USELESS we are without it.
As we were headed to our next appointment... we passed by a little house that I had seen many times.. and had always taken notice of. I thought that it had had my attention in the past because it was so clean and distinct... but this time as we passed.. we saw a man enter the house. When our eyes met and we smiled and said, ¨good afternoon!¨... like everyone does... the Spirit penetrated me... and the thought flooded into my head, ¨we should contact him!¨- yet... we were late to our appointment.. so silly me.. we continued on... but with that man still in my head. After our appointment (another cool story with that appointment- this man had seen his wife healed from a serious ailment from a priesthood blessing from Elders in the past... and asked that they come to bless his mom.. so cool. Priesthood is real)... we passed by the house talking about the next people we needed to visit. The Spirit basically stopped me in my tracks... and I nearly yelled to Hermana Fuentes, ¨WE NEED TO KNOCK THAT DOOR¨. She looked at me like, ¨Oh Hermana Clark and her tangents¨ (because..tangents I have.)... but when we knocked the door... Victor opened the door and BEAMED and greeted us like he had been waiting expectedly for us. As we talked... he told us that he had been studying to be a Catholic Priest... but just knew it wasn´t right. He had spent his life visiting different churches... but could never find one where he felt ¨like it was right and purely from God¨. We testified that the Lord knew of his spiritual hunger... and we had been sent with food. - he was ELATED. When we taught the Apostasy... he totally soaked it in. When he learned of Joseph Smith.. he rejoiced! When we invited him to be baptized... he said, ¨YES! When and where??¨. Woah. This is how it should be!!! In the end... he said, ¨Thank you SO much for coming back. When you passed by before... I felt something.... something that I can´t describe. Something SO strong and SO beautiful... and I can still feel it now. Thank you for coming back for me.¨ - He will also be baptized the 6th. .... I came back back to the house last night... so humbled and happy... knowing that I did nothing that day without the Spirit. It makes me wonder... how many times the Lord has tried to use me like that in the past... and I wasn´t listening.. or didn´t respond? I shudder to think... but look forward to the future knowing that the promises in D&CF 84:80,85,88 are SO tangible in my life right now... and as long as I keep the commandments.
Wow.. that was a really long letter. Years of typing at the office have really paid off, huh Dad? :)
Í love this gospel more than I could ever begin to express. I wake up every day... nearly in disbelief that this is my life... and I get to do what we do here every day. 18 months is not suffient.... but that´s what that Lord gives us.... and I am SO grateful for it.

Matt Martin- thank you so much for your letter! LOVED IT!
Anna- hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaarrooo!
Josh- Ha. Got it. Thank you!! Always appreciated!!
Nana- I did get your hymnals... and they are using and loving them. They´re brilliant. Thank you. I love your letters!!

Hermana Clark

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paraiso, oh how sweet.

A week scattered and filled with seeds… but the Lord is allowing me to taste of the sweetness of fruits that have finally sprung forth!

Though Candelaria technically is not my area right now (though we´re working in it 2 or 3 days a week because transportation to our area is so scarce…)….. I feel like it is still my area.. and the Lord has blessed me to be able to live here… and to be experiences the joys of the progress of the people here. When Hermana Bautista came back to the house friday night and proclaimed, ¨CAROLINA AND GERRARDO ARE GOING TO BE MARRIED!!¨- my joy really could not have been fuller! For over 3 months we have been working with and praying for that family…. And we are seeing such evident answers to our prayers… the changes that they are experiences are truly miracles. I like to think about the first time we visited them…. How.. closed and sad they were… all the obstacles between them seemed so insurmountable…and though they liked that their kids were active in the church… they struggled so much to believe that they could ever be a complete and happy family. To think of how hard it was for them to pray for their first time... how they thought that they couldn´t possibly make time on Sunday for church… that it would just be too hard to leave coffee…….. to see that they are reading the scriptures and praying together as a family…and have come to church for the last 5 weeks… makes me SO happy- but the best part is- it makes THEM so happy. I love seeing the change of heart Gerrardo has received… because he was the hardest and the most doubtful… but when I saw them on Sunday enter the chapel hand in hand… he glowed. Tonight they will be wed… and Saturday they will be baptized… Sunday they´ll receive the gift of the Holy Ghost… and a year later… they´ll be sealed FOREVER in the temple! Their kids are just giddy out of control with excitement. I LOVE IT.

This last Monday we had family home evening with the Martinez family (Berta and Rigoberto and their kids)… and it was SO SO SO sweet. They are just blossoming and progressing so fast!! Before we started, Rigoberto pulled out a little notepad and pen and asked me, ¨so… how do we do this?¨- and as Javier held a flashlight for him… Rigoberto scribbled out a formal agenda for our family home evening… and he conducted everything so formal… and SO perfect. As they talked about their ¨family business¨…. Rigoberto so instinctively said, Öur family goals for the week… are that we are going to pray and read the scriptures every night. We´re going to complete the reading assignments for the stake.. and we´re going to the activity on Thursday!¨ …. It was a good thing that it was so dark in that little house… because I wept more than a little. Afterwards… I sheepishly asked to keep that sweet little agenda so that I can always remember how I want my family home evenings to be… and the Spirit and joy I want in my own family. I read a scripture Isaiah 29:19 about when the Book of Mormon would come forth in these last days….and the joys that would come…. That so sweetly expressed what I have seen with the Martinez family. ¨The meek shall increase their joy in the Lord and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel¨. And in Doctrine in Covenants 56:18 that talks about the poor who are pure in heart with contrite spirits that the ¨fatness of the earth shall be theirs¨- truly this family is obtaining the richness of our Father in that little shack every night as they gather together to feast upon the scriptures.

I continue to fall more and more in love with Pajonal. Every day that we are able to go up there. As much as I enjoy living in Candelaria… it would be so much better to live up there. We were visiting someone… and the inspiration hit me, AS HER ABOUT A HOUSE. Though the bishop already came up and looked high and low there…. I asked. TADA! She knew of a house…. Perfectly in the middle of everything- very safe and very perfect. I am proposing this option to the President…and we´ll see what happens! Yet… I pine to live up there and stay up there as much as possible. We could seriously teach ALL DAY… because everyone is so open and receives us SO WELL!!! The stake president called all the leaders in all the wards to call in the troops… and yesterday 45 people pilled into the buses and hit our area. In 2 hours… they got 61 references for us. WE HAVE WORK TO DO. Everyone was so enchanted… and the missionaries were so blown away by the Spìrit that is felt there…. By how ready the people are to receive the gospel. Many responses they received were, ¨What? Why didn´t anyone tell me that we have apostles and a prophet again? Of course I´ll be baptized by that restored power of God in the earth!¨- yet, again.. the obstacle is the transportation and distance. Yet… now there are many people consciously waiting for us to visit them… and we´re SO STOKED run door to door! J

Oh.. did I mention that JOSE HERMANDO IS GOING TO BE BAPTIZED!?!?! !!!

We have continued to work with the family Axume… and my love for them just… explodes every time I´m there. They are so funny… I can´t even begin to describe how funny and great they are… they give me such joy…but sometimes more confusion. It is such a dream to be up in the middle of this mountain…teaching 9 or 10 adults at one time.. to have their attention.. and to be received so well… but when they all start talking and asking questions at one time.. or fighting to read the scriptures… haha… it´s hard to hold back my laughter!! They have such faith and I really think they are sincerely interested the gospel… but when the 5 brothers they were asking about marriage in the church… songs from ¨7 Brides for 7 brothers¨ started floating into my head… and that made the giggles even harder to suppress. Yet… Jose Hermando is the only one that has come to church yet… but we have high hopes that the rest will be willing to leave their cows and sheep for a bit and make it to Candelaria. We had been continually inviting them to be baptized… and Jose would say, ¨Of course I´m going to be baptized. I know it´s true…but a little bit later¨. Yet.. after sacrament meeting, he said, ¨I´m going to be baptized the 28th!!¨- well.. ok!! WOOHOOO!! Watching Jose and Juan Carlos leave the chapel after church for the bus up to Pajonal…. I had the sweetest feeling that those little seeds in Pajonal would bring forth more fruit that my greatest faith and imagination can picture right now.

As different as it is… I love living with my 3 latino sisters. Though my Spanish is still shaky in so many ways…. Even in the last 3 weeks… I am seeing SO MANY miracles. Between Hermana Fuentes and I… I am definitely the more aggressive and social one… so I find myself jumping in and talking WAY TOO MUCH…but it´s crazy- because it´s in Spanish! I forget that my world is in Spanish…because… it´s becoming so natural and comfortable. Yet… as I said… I still lack so much. Haha… like the other night.. I was trying to tell a funny story to the sisters… and I tried to say, ¨and then.. I whispered in her ear…¨ … but when they erupted in hysterical laughter and tears… I was so confused and said, ¨nono…that’s not the funny part!¨… but as the laughter didn´t die.. I realized that.. of course.. I said something wrong. When they explained that what I really said was ¨and then… I POOPED in her ear…¨- I learned a new word that I will never forget!

I love my life. I Love this work. Can it be like this forever?

Hermana Clark


Another week in Paradise! (No, but really! Our zone is called ¨Paraiso¨, how perfect, huh?)

We had our exchanges Wednesday, and it was certainly bitter sweet. Even though Hermana Bautista and I are still living together… it was hard to break off the companionship- we have learned so much from each other, experienced so much together… and have sincerely enjoyed our time in our companionship… it was hard to hand her over to another sister. Yet… I´m excited to build another relationship with Hermana Fuentes! She is from here.. from San Salvador. The Lord knows that I love and need El Salvadoranians…so he has continued to blessed me to engrossed in them… and it´s perfect for me.

Hermana Fuentes is totally different than Hermana Bautista in so many ways… and I can already see how the Lord is trying to teach me some very specific and important things through those differences…so here we go!! Her family has 18 years in the church, and her younger brother is serving in Costa Rica right now. Hermana Bautista´s new companion is Hermana Salizar from Honduras (almost everyone in the mission is from Guatamala or Honduras! It´s great!) and is SUCH a doll. Our duena is in her house for the next 2 months… so we worked out a better living arrangement… - the Lord is so clearly providing for us in the little and big things- it´s incredible. So.. Hermana F and I are in the other house and we just cook with Hermana Bautista and Salizar. It´s SO nice.

Thursday we got off the bus quiet little Pajonal… and just started making some noise! It´s almost like everyone is hanging out in their hamakas… just waiting for us! The people are SO chill and SO nice… it´s easy to get in their doors. I think our struggle will be helping them get to church to have that special experience. We really have to teach the Restoration so clearly and powerfully… and they HAVE TO feel the Spirit… like always! – because it´s not like the church in Candelaria is just up the road. So… people are happy to listen to us… but the obstacle will be helping them have the personal drive to read, pray, and come to church. – but thus is the mission life, right? Still.. we are seeing how the Lord is preparing the way…………. And that He truly and completely answers prayers.

We´ve been continuing to work with the Family Exume… and I felt all last week… that we definitely needed a strong priesthood holder with us at the next lesson. Yet… who? Candelaria doesn´t have the most members.. and strong priesthood holders are even more scarce… and the odds of finding someone available almost ALL DAY to travel up to Pajonal, and then make the hike up to their house… then down from their house… and then wait for the bus until the afternoon…….- was such a far cry. Yet… nothing is impossible… and if I had received revelation that that was what the family needed as I was praying to know what they needed…. Then surely the Lord would provide. SO… as I was then praying to find someone to help with them…. The morning that we were in the bus headed to Pajonal… entered Bishop Ramos and his counselor Hermano Silba. When Bishop sat next to me in the bus and told me that they were sent by the stake president to go to Pajonal to look for a house for us and for the upcoming branch… the Spirit washed over me… and I knew that this was such a clear answer to my prayers. I asked him if they could come with us to the lesson with this family… and he quickly arranged everything… and off we went! – I couldn´t have imagined anything better or asked for a situation more perfect. The family told us how Jose was enchanted by everything he experienced in the church… and Jose told us that it was so wonderful and he loved it. As we talked… I knew it was the time to invite them to be baptized. As expected… they had concerns and questions about the need to be baptized again… and it was SO PERFECT to have bishop and Hermano Silba there to teach and explain, and testify so powerfully of the restoration of the Priesthood…. And that again we have the exact power of God that Christ gave his Apostles… on the earth for us to use. The Spirit was so sweet and powerful… and they told us sincerely… that they would ask God if this was true… and if they needed to be baptized again. – I know that the Lord set everything up that day.. because He loves the family Exume.

Sunday we worked in Candelaria… like it was our area again. I don´t know how many more times we´ll do that… because we don´t know when we´ll start meeting in Pajonal… but I was so grateful for more time with the ward of Candelaria. It was so sweet to see the investigadors that I was working with come to church. Carolina and Herrardo are continuing to progress- very slowly..but ever so surely. We had a family home evening with them and Hermana Blanca and Hermano Mario… and it was SO perfect. They are SO SO SO close to just making the date to be married on the 14th and baptized on the 19th. SO close. – I came to church fasting, praying, hoping, and basically expecting to see the whole family Exume there. Yet… no one was there. Of course… I was bummed… but still had some mysterious glimmer of hope… even though the bus had already passed through Candelaria.. and the families were there. So… I found myself continuing to pray…and when they opened the doors again after Sacrament meeting.. in came Jose again!!! The Lord answers prayers. – again… he loved his experience in the church and is excited to meet with us again on Tuesday. The Lord loves him.

Another sweet miracle. Last week Hermana B and I were trying to contact a reference.. and we found a family hanging out in their hammock. Turns out… the mother is a member.. but inactive. As we talked with her.. she said that she would come on Sunday. (like they all say, right?) – Sunday came…. And so did she!! SO… Hermana Fuentes and I went to visit her that afternoon. As were sitting in her front room… I saw someone pass by outside… and the Spirit penetrated me.. and I asked, ¨who else is here?¨- and she replied that her son was her. I asked if we could invite him to join in with us… and she laughed with doubt, but invited him. He refused… and she seemed defeated. Whether it´s just my stubborn rude nature… or pure inspiration… I started yelling out to him, not knowing where he was hiding, ¨Is it because we´re women, or because we´re from the church? Venga!!¨…. and after a while… he sauntered in. As we started teaching Louis… this 17 year old teenage attitude.. changed. As the Spirit settled into the room… his face lit up… and he started answering our questions…. And really understood. He really caught the reality and concept of the apostasy… and by the end… we could really see and feel that he had a sincere desire to know for himself if Joseph Smith was a real prophet of God. It was so sweet to see the reaction of his mom… as he changed…she became more and more elated… and when he would be looking down to read a scripture, she would give us the thumbs up and mouth ¨gracias!! GRACIAS!!!¨- and when he quickly agreed to pray with us and when he prayed that his parents would return to church… she was glowing. The family is also an inactive member.. but the Spirit gave me such a sweet confirmation and view of them in the temple… sealed for all eternity. So… though they are not in my area… I am so excited to hear about their progress and miracles.

I KNOW that this gospel is true. I KNOW that the Lord is ever so mindful of us. I KNOW that a huge manifestation of that love… is that he calls and uses prophets in this very day to guide us to the path that will bring us eternal life and happiness. How glorious is this work… and how thankful I am to have the opportunity to thrust in my little sickle in beautiful El Salvador

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


haha... I don´t know whether to laugh or cry these days.... mostly for happiness... sometimes for nerves... but predominately.. overwhelming joy.

This week... was again... just so wonderful. I wish you could experiene it with me... I feel too spoiled to be able to experience this every day... but I´ll take it! :)
The family Martinez was married friday and baptized saturday... and it was some of the most blissful moments.. of my life. We saw SO many changes in them this week as they continued to read and pray personally and as a family ( Just imagine this beautiful family gathered around their little oil lamp in their adobe house at night reading the scriptures... ya... it´s that good.) - we got to spend some really precious time with them... and every day this week... their light and joy grew and grew. It´s hard to remember now how resiliant they were to marriage... and that Berta didn´t want Javier going to church in the begining.... because by thursday night... they were SO EXCITED to be married. I will never forget the closing prayer that Rigoberto offered with us... when he asked for forgiveness... and so graciously thanked the Lord for the opportunity that they were going to have friday and sunday to complete His commandments and progress with his family. ... I wept just a little.
This family... is SO beautiful. They have so little... and now... they have everything. They are SO Christlike... it blows my mind. They don´t have electricity.. .and are always fighting to have the barest minimums... but somehow we always walk out of there with something- with tortillas, oranges, or even Papusas! They are always so eager to serve US... it makes no sense.. but yet.. perfect sense. Time flies SO under that sheet metal roof when we´re singing, reading and talking.... and when we are trying to make our way out of the bushes in the dark... I am always so befuddled by how that happens! I love them SO much.
Their wedding was so simple and sweet... and the ward was really supportive. They were super stoked to have cake... but sincerely more excited to be doing what was right... and with such faith and excitement for the blessing that it would bring! Their baptism was even better....... and I am SO excited to see them in white again. :) They were radiating all through church.. and when we did the baptism afterwards... they were just giddy... and when we saw them last night... they were still glowing. I LOVE IT.

We have other people that are really jumping out of no where... and people that are totally progressing and really on the brink of aqua! We have a baptismal date for the 13th for Oscar... and though he´ll need permission from President or more... I know that it can happen. He hasn´t drunk (wow... I just spend 2 minutes trying to find somet to help me remember that word... drunk... what´s happening?) alcohol in 5 days... and we´re really starting to see the man that I have felt and known is there. The Atonement is SO real. The Book of Mormon has SUCH power... and we are seeing it´s effects every day. (PEOPLE HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!) When he reads it... his desire to drink doesn´t exist... and he´s learning to rely on it every day. He´s assisted 2 baptismal services... and has such a sincere and now manifested desire to be baptized too.

We had talked with a girl with 15 years about a month ago when we were teaching her uncle. We gave her a Book of Mormon and made an appointment to visit her in her house a few days later. When we came... she wasn´t there... but her mom was- a devote menonite. She nicely gave us the boot... and we couldn´t change that. When we saw Joana in the street later... she ran up to us very excited and said, ¨When are you going to visit me? - I LOVE that book you gave me!¨ we asked if she knew it was true, and she said, ¨I have read the bible all my life with my family.. and I know that it´s true. And... I did what it said at the end of the Book of Mormon.. I prayed... and I KNOW! When are you going to visit me?¨- WOAH! YA! Yet... we got the boot from her mom! The plan is to go back to talk to her mom with the Young Women en Excellence program and explain it to her. Random.. but I feel like it will help.
Yet... I won´t be the one returning...because... we had transfers.
I am now sent with Hermana Fuente (I think that´s her name? I haven´t met her yet).... to OPEN PAJONAL!
I can hardly begin to describe the mountain and mixture of emotions that I have with this... and it feels like they´ve all been stuck in a blender on high speed.............. and still going.

First of all... this week we really started seeing even MORE how the Lord is preparing the area for the work. Thursday we met a strong, faithful, and complete member family that had moved to Pajonal. Really... they are supposedly just there for now in hiding (ya... ok... I´ll admit, the gangs here are DANG DANGEROUS... but the manifestations of our protecting angels are a whole ´nother long tangent that someday I´ll touch...) - but truly the Lord has a plan and a hand in all of this. This family is SO excellent... and will be such a benefit to starting the work there.
When we returned to the house of the Exhume familia en Pajonal on thursday... we ended up teaching almost the whole family- 8 adults!! (Random note of mystery: they all look WAY older than they claim to be. One sister we really thought was like, 28.... was 16. The men looked like they were in their 40´s... were 28, 30, 32... WEIRD. BIZZARE. Like we were in a different relm) We spent the morning making tortillas with them... and as we taught they were so receptive and smart- everyone can read and understand everything! Yet... they live over an hour away.. and transportation is hard... so the likelihood of coming to church... was a hope. Yet... as I fasted on saturday that they would progress..... that hope became more of a knowledge and a comfort. So... when we came to church on sunday... one of the brothers- the most devote Jehovahs Witness of them all- was outside... dressed up and waiting for us! WOAH!!!!!! My fast and prayers were SO clearly answered. Jose stayed for all three hours... and the baptism afterwards... and was actively participating in the third house with excellent comments... and of course- he liked it! He said that he was sent by the family to scope it out... and if he liked it... that they wuold all come the next sunday!

Yet... I don´t know if they will be coming to Candelaria next sunday. Because.... with this new assignment that we have... we´re going to start a branch out there. Now that that family is here... and we have a priesthood holder.. and whoever the stake may call out there... we´re going to start having our meetings in a house... whoever is out there.. and whoever we can find! These next 6 weeks are a test. If we´re not successful here... Pajonal isn´t going to have missionaries out there. No pressure... ah! I just have to remember that it´s not ME that is starting the´s the Lord. I keep remembering the first time I went there... the overwhelming impression that I felt that the gospel would flood this area... but in that moment... I did not think that the Lord would start so soon! NOR... did I imagine that I would be sent as his instrument to start it! I doubt spanish... my wits..whatever............. but in this... I can never doubt the Lord. I am so humbled and grateful for this opportunity to do something that looks really hard right now. I am SO excited to be up in those mountains everyday knocking every door to really break the news- THAT THE GOSPEL IS RESTORED! - because almost no one there has heard that.

We´re going to continue to live in Candelaria (woohooo! Hour long bus ride each way every day!).... so... there will be 4 sisters in our little house.... - which really makes me laugh! In the last two weeks... our power is in and out.. but mostly out. (thank you for the big candle mom- you were inspired! We couldn´t study or plan without it!)... and now our water is... sketchy. Haha... it all started in the middle of my shower with shampoo in my hair... when... it totally died. So... imagining 4 sisters in this ever so tiny house without electricity or water many times........ makes me laugh... but excited. I feel... a lot of things for this transfer.... but mostly excitement.

I don´t know all the reasons why the Lord is sending this silly gringa to break the ice up in Pajonal.... but I don´t need to know them. I only know that I have been sent... so I´m gonna try to be like Nefi.... and go and DO!!!!
Hermana Clark

P.S. Can someone hunt down Victor for me? Can someone tell Kyle Gordon or Andrew Bowers to find him, please????

- How is Kyle Brown? Erick- en Singles ward that was baptized with Kyle??
I get your emails- and I´m trying to respond to them... but between time and accessability to the post office... it doesn´t work very well. Anna.. I have a letter for your that I wrote 3 weeks ago... I´ll send it toady hopefully!!

I´m sending pictures of the wedding, baptism, making papusas, ¨downtown¨of Pajonal!


Woah!! WOAH! A week of miracles!
Tuesday night we had Herardo and Carolina over to the home of the Family of Silba for family home evening. We basically told Hermano Silba nothing of the situation with Herardo and Carolina... but they were completely inspired in everything that they said. The family Silba are converts of 3 years... but are now sealed in the temple. They had their own doubts and struggles to marry and be baptized... but are now sealed in the temple, Hno Silba is the 2nd counselor in the ward, and they are so happy. SOoo... we watched ¨Together Forever¨... and the Silbas shared their testimonies and experiences... and said things that were SO applicable to Herardo and Carolina- but they didn´t know- the Silbas were just going off the Spirit! It was SO powerful.... and the Silbas invited them to enjoy the blessings that the Lord is waiting to give them... through their obedience to the commandments. Carolina and Herardo were really touched... they both want to be baptized-- and they are really progressing towards marriage. We are seeing miracles with them. I attached a picture of them and the Family Silba. (and some really REALLY adorable and eternally devoted Elderly people in the ward. Oh gosh I love them!- are they not just the sweetest?)

Elder Jay Jensen visited El Salvador, and our mission had a conference with him. It was SO cool to be with a General Authority... and of course, he was so inspired with everything he taught and the Spirit really hit me hard. We returned to our area even more fired up about the work that we have... and we´re running to do it all!

We continue to work with Gudiel... but he´s hardly home... and is probably moving to San Salvador this week- the week that we were shooting for to have his baptism. We´re hoping to meet with him today... and we´ll see what happens! I feel very sure that he continue to progress and do what he definately knows is right. Even if we´re not with him every step... he´ll get there!

In the week of drunks... we met a man named Oscar. As people in drunken states generally are.... Oscar was a bit odd and overwhemling. Between his evangelical blessings on our heads for 10 minutes when we simply asked him to pray.... and his slurred fusion of spanish and english (he lived in the states for 26 years but... had problems with the law.. and is here now. ) that only I could understand...... he gave us quite the challenge. Yet... despite all theatrics and seemingly hopeless odds... something really touched me about him... and the Spirit whispered to me and reminded me that...... if the Lord is endlessly patient with ME...and has hope and aspirations for even ME..... I can hope and believe in him... and have patience with him. So... we´ve been passing by and giving him some tough love..... and even with beer in his hands he tells us, Ï want to change¨... I believed him. So.. the last 3 weeks we´ve been praying for him... visiting him when we can.... and.... the last 2 weeks he has come to church totally on his own... and has been sober the last few times we´ve passed by. We should be as shocked as we are.... but we kind of are. The Atonement is real. He is changing.

We found an inactive member the other day... and as we were visiting her and were making tortillas... I saw a man in the house next to her. So... as I was patting my tortillas... I poked my head in and started talking with him. It was NOT what I expected. He told me, ¨yes, I´ve talked with missionaries before. Funny that you should show up... because I´m reading the Book of Mormon. I´m almost into Jacob... and even though I´ve visited TONS of churches and experienced all this religious confusion here... since I´ve been reading this book they gave me forever ago.... my perspective is really changing. ¨- WOAH. All I could say was... ¨BE BAPTIZED¨. - He couldn´t go to church yesterday... but assured me he´d come this sunday. He said that he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Yet... he´s been with his woman for 18 years... but does NOT want to get married. --WHAT IS THE PROBLEM!!! No one wants to get married! - yet! :) - We have great hopes for our new friend Freddy.

Speaking of marriage.... we continue to work with the family Salizar- Javier and his parents Berta and Rigoberto. Javier wants to be baptized... and after we taught the second lesson... he was practically jumping out of his skin to do it! Yet... Berta still struggled with accepting the invitation... because she didn´t want to get married. Rigoberto wants to be baptized too... but Berta didn´t want to be married- despite their 10 years together. Yet... we had had some really sweet experiences with them this week... making tortillas and singing together... teaching and praying in their little house at night with a little candle.... moments that I can´t really describe in any language... but really special experiences that I will never forget. We have had so much hope and excitement for them this week.. and were SO excited to see them at church! Yet... when Hna B passed by sunday morning... their door was bolted. When I finally sprinted into the chapel that morning... my heart sunk and broke to see Hna B...but not the family. We wandered all day what happened... if we had put on too much pressure last lesson... what happened! That night.. we were walking down the street talking about how we could find them and what we needed to teach them... when we turned the corner... and saw 5 muddy, coffee stained and exhausted bodies marching towards us. We were right next to the Family Silba´s home... so we just... led them on in... and had another powerful lesson from the Silbas. They testified of the blessings of the temple... and the reality of Eternal Families. It wasn´t quick... it wasn´t easy... but by the end.. it was sure- that we´re going to have a marriage the 28th and a baptism for Javier, Berta, and Rigoberto the 30th!!!!!!!!! We were ALL so happy and in peace by the end... happy happy happy. :)

We have a goal of visiting Pajonal at least once a week- but it really takes all day... because... it´s far.. and buses hardly go in and out of there. Yet... we visited on Tuesday.... and it´s still so magical for me. We get into ever door we touch... and people are SO kind and happy... I LOVE it!! We were stopped in the road by these two guys on their horses and they said, ¨what are you doing here?¨... and when we said ¨The Lord´s work!¨.... they said, ¨Well... you can come work at our casa!¨.... ya ok! So... we visited... and it was such a dream. It was the classic latino set up... with all these little houses with a little courtyard... so that the WHOLE family of 6 kids live together... all their lives! So.. as we taught 1... as we were singing... more and more came out of their houses and gathered. We found ourselves teaching 7 adults... and they were so attentive... and really understood what we were saying! One of them said, ¨Why didn´t we know before that we have a prophet today?¨- well we´re telling you NOW! They weren´t too sure about getting to church... because they live even further away than Juan Carlos... so... we´re gonna keep visiting them and building their faith so that they will want to do what it necessary to get there! At the end, they said, ¨when are you coming back?! Tomorrow??¨ :)
We are just running (´s often more of a FROLICK...)... to get it all done, find the families, and baptiz´m!

Holy cow this gospel is true! The Atonement is REAL!! I will NEVER deny it. We just have to... APPLY IT!!

Hermana Clark