Friday, October 28, 2011


Thanks so much for all the wonderful letters! Where's Elder Clark's letter? Is he ok? Did he get to his new area? I thought of him this morning, as I often do... but with much more sympathy.. as I woke up SO COLD. I think it's gotten into the 70's... and I'm here with my comp's long sleeved shirt and a sweater. uhoh... wha' happened to me? It's supposedly winter here... and we're waiting for a hurricane class 2 or 3 tonight or tomorrow. Sister Rodas and I get to experience a lot of "firsts" together... she says I'm really teaching her how "to live life"... haha... I love her SO much- did I mentioned we got spoiled again and are on our 4th transfer together? How often does that happen? She is SO special... and I hate thinking of the moment they have to surgically separate our hips. Again... the Lord sent me exactly who I need.
I've been reflecting lately on how I have never been SO exposed, harrassed, and surounded by satan before.... it's an incredibly sobering and real experience... and truly... we are at war. Yet, the part that astounds me... is that I have never been so happy, at peace, and felt so safe in my life. I've never been so engulfed in such wickedness and darkness before.... and yet I've never had the companionship of the Holy Ghost so clearly, strongly, and beautifully before. I have so much respect for the members here... because we are truly so so so many few in number in such strong influences of evil... and yet, we are not weak, and we are not alone. I used to have a gnawing fear of the future, a trepidation of marrying and raising a family in an increasingly dangerous world... but the experiences I've been having here have been such a catalyst for my faith... and the fear is demolished, and I am being remodeled and upgraded with such excitement, zeal, and courage for the future... and especially for my future family. As President Monson said, "the future is as bright as your faith".... and I'm starting to really understand that the Lord's repeated promises are the eternally sure.
Something that has definitely changed and morphed, and we just realized this week... is that the Law of Chastity... has become one of our favorite lessons to give. Yo no tengo pena. In this culture... so exposed to every possible way and mode of breaking this commandment... I started realizing that if satan is going to be SO direct, clear, and obvious in his tactics... we were going to need to be equally direct, clear, and obvious in our fight against him. SO... we have come to truly relish and enjoy putting everything out in open... and repeating the bold and prophetic warning and commandments of the prophets of old and of this day concerning media, modesty, pornography... everything. Helping them break DVDs, burn pictures... could not be more fulfilling. It is so tragic to truly see that these are totally new principles and ideas for SO many people here... and I am so grateful to have a living prophet to help us see beyond the mist of darkness.. and to keep ahold of the iron rod. We feel the Spirit so strong as we teach youth, adults, and families alike about these precious truths... and we are seeing the light filling their lives as they start to live this commandment with exactness.
I could not dream of a better calling than to spend all of my time working with innactives, new converts, and those preparing for the temple. We have three precious families preparing for this november and january and many individuals. I couldn't every stop counting my blessings... I lost the count a lot time ago... and the Lord keeps them coming all too fast. Yet... I'm not ever going to complain. :)
Sister Clark

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Short and Sweet

Hello Family!

Nothing super different or HUGE happened this week... but it has seriously be wonderful struggle and beautiful bliss. Not much time to write today... you'll all be glad to hear. :)
"Sister Smith"- the angry woman that didn't want to even let us in her yard 2 or 3 months ago.. but after some miraculous inspiration we were blessed to teach her, hear her offenses, gripes, pain, and ANGER..... and we left on good terms... but with her assuring us that she would "call us". Welp, we've been waiting, and praying... and I had been feeling for the last few weeks that... she is one of the reasons that I'm here... and as scary as she kind of is... we had to jump into the lions den again. So... we kept passing by her house... but with such little success. Then... I felt prompted to just leave at her door the talk "and Nothing Shall Offend Them" by Elder Bednar... with surety that it was a spiritual prompting.. but knowing all too well that it was very probable that more and severe offense would be taken (like has been in the past with that talk.. yikes, stories to tell..)... but we cannot disobey the Spirit. So... I dropped it with a note... and ran. We prayed and prayed.... and a week later... she called! She asked us to come that afternoon. So.. with excitement, gratitude, and a little trepidation... we went. The moment we walked in... she picked up the talk and with her voice raising to the climax... I wimpered, "uhh.....let's sing first!"... then after singing... she a little more calmly started right in " I was reading this talk...and I don't know what you're playing here..." with her voice raising, and I squeeked, "leeeeeeet's pray first!" after I prayed so earnestly for the Spirit... she totally changed. My trepidation was gone... and was again flooded over with such indescribable love for this self-proclaimed, "big angry black woman". We then had such a beautiful lesson- perhaps one of the best of my whole mission. She really opened up to us, and expressed her sincere desire to return to church... and her incredible yearning to be sealed to her beloved spouse that had died 12 years ago... and she knew that it could only happen by coming back... but she just felt so lost and trapped by the anger and heart that had been festering for so many years. Oh how I love the Atonement. It truly is the ONLY way.

Just has been recently put so beautiful... that though this may be dark and dangerous territory that I am in... it it truly become my sacred place. It is my new Jerusalem. I am starting to see.. that I will forever love and revere my Belize.
Sister Clark

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oh Home!

Wow! Thanks for the great letters! Just like Joel said... even on the best week... letters are always looked forward to and appreciated. Megan and Mandi... pulling my move... I was just remember the other day the look on Dad's face when he came into the kitchen and I was suddenly in there making french toast... haha... priceless. I can imagine Jared's scream.... hahahahaha. I love my family. Sorry, I won't be pulling any surprise visits any time soon. :)
Fall? Hmm.... I would love fall. Not for me- but for my Elders- the fungus here is out of control with nonstop sweating. I don't know how I've magically missed out on it... but everyone seems to take turns with it. We just sent an Elder back to El Salvador because his skin couldn't take the incredible heat. Yikes. Speaking of nursing... I've been having a battle with doctors here... like... there are none. Those that are here have been trying to play games... and I'm grateful for the Spirit to help me see things clearer- even in this department.
Umm... it was such a great week... and I can't even begin to describe why. So many things went wrong or just crazy... but despite Sister Rodas totally eating it on her bike in the street, falling into a crocodile, garbage, and parasite filled-swamp (running off of pure adrenaline to pull her and the bike out, yikes)...everyone running out of phone minutes in the middle of the night with a medical crisis across the country... we're planning a wedding and baptism for a part member family for the end of the this month or beginning of the next... and I looooooove weddings. For dreading receptions and all wedding preparations in the past... I surprise myself with how thirsty I am for weddings in my mission! :) It's the companion of a an inactive member that is coming back to church with her 6 kids... and we've been working for them for months now... and our prayers and fasts are so clearly being answered. He lost his job, and it totally humbled him, he started reading and praying, came to conference... and miracles are happening within him. Douglas is one of the most humble, sweet, and pure men... and total diamond here. We love this family.
A huge theme we've been running across with our work with the innactives, of course, is offenses. I am so grateful for a mother that didn't cater to my childhood self-absorbed sensitives... and I find myself saying the very words that her voice is still replaying in my mind, "No one can MAKE you feel anything! You are CHOOSING to be hurt." - and it's so true. I'm in loooove with Elder Bednar's talk (well, really anything from Elder Bednar..) "And Nothing Shall Offend Them". It's been ridiculously perfect for so many situations here. Oh how Satan uses these petty situations to complete destroy families and eternities and lead people to deprive themselves from these eternal blessings. In a culture so passionate and headstrong... this is a big big big termite in the building of Zion here.
Satan is SO obvious here... and families are prevented or destroyed left and right. Sometimes it pulls me into a sudden anxiety and panic... and I instictively want to run to my house, gather all my kids and husband onto our bed for an emergency family home evening... and then I remember: oh ya... I don't have a family yet. I've always had inner conflict... but this is a really new and bizarre one for me!
We're waiting to hear about transfers too. Being the nurse... I'll probably stay here in Belize City until the end. It's not for sure... but I'd be more than ok with it. My vision of Belize is expanding as my love and compassion for the people grows every day. There is so much more I want, plan to, can do, and will do here. We are hoping so desperately that Sister Rodas stays with me another change. We are SO different and have learned SO much together. I'm much more calculated in my actions, and she is the boldest and most direct she's ever been in her life! We are finding the need to do every day exactly what Enos did in his exceeding "harshness"... continually remind people of death and the duration of eternity, the judgments of God to remind them to fear God. We should obey out of love of course.... but if they're not willing to love Him... then for their sake, as Enos did with the hardness of his people... speak the solid truth with clarity to help them realize the eternal consequences. I think I've woken up myself more than anyone else... but we are seeing changes and spiritual awakenings within many people and families... and we will continue to teach in "plainness of speech". I am truly experiences that same kind of joy that Enos had too... that "above all the world". I think another year in the field, at least, is necessary for me. We'll see how the Lord feels about that! :)
Sista Clak

More Brief!

What a wet and beautiful week! Haha... I'm still laughing at how perfectly Andrew stated my disease- that I chronically puke out all my thoughts at one time when writing my letters.... hahaha... and I'll try to be more organized, and at least, more brief. :)

Conference was exactly that "spiritual spa weekend" that I had been promising everyone else it would be. It was just what we all needed, huh? The past two weeks I had been greatly tempted with frustration. Despite the leader's declarations and assurances of visible changes... I in my impatient nature... was getting a little down and frustrated with the little progress we seemed to have been seeing in so many of the people that we have been working with for months. I related all too well with Nephi while reading in 2 Nephi with his mourning for his people because they didn't want anything to do with spiritual things, they didn't seek learning or understanding... and even Nephi... couldn't make them wake up. This has allowed me a lot of self reflection and analyzing of my service, purpose, expectations, desires, and dreams as a missionary. I found so much comfort and direction in Conference. I thought... if I can feel THIS good sitting in a nearly empty Belizean chapel watching a TV but feeling so close to the Savior... imagine how it must have been and WILL be to sit at the Savior's feet? mmmm... :)

The beautiful talk from Elder Yamashita brought a huge and beautiful wake up call to me. It was one of the moments when one knows he is talking to the whole world... but you feel like you're in a personal interview with only him talking to.... you. Hearing him talking about his missionaries... and the clear assurance that though they don't understand and get all the doctrine all at once... what truly makes the impact... is the love that they can feel from a missionary. The next few talks were all a blur after that... as my thick head, through my stiff neck, down to my hard heart... were melted, morphed, and caught up into a replay hundreds of memories and moments from my mission... and the undoubtable and overwhelming love I have felt. The famous phrase from Elder Maxwell fit perfectly... "moments are the molecules that make-up eternity". As hard as Belize has been... I couldn't dream of more precious material to construct my eternity. I realized this weekend... how much I deeply I really do love and adore these people that we're working with. It is a love that I had really never experienced to this radical degree before my mission. My frustration has been taken and through the Atonement, replaced with that vital love.
Oops... I promised a shorter letter... so I'll leave it there.

I put in pictures of how wet it is... I haven't had dry shoes all week... but the rain feels so good to sleep, run, and ride in. Another is a picture is of the famous "Sister Clark Surgery" for the all too common ingrown toenails.

Sister Clark

P.S. oh! We're trying so hard to get visiting going here.... could you all send me whatever stories and experiences you've had with visiting teaching? It would help SO MUCH. They need it desperately. ASAP. Thank you!!

Temple Blessings

I was just going to leave it there with the Kriol letter... but we had such a beautiful experience with our district conference this week... I have to share.

President and Sister Mask from the Guatamala temple came and spoke at our district conference. Members from Corazol, Orange Walk, and the island of San Pedro came in and filled the chapel. (Like it should be EVERY WEEK) The spoke about the temple, covenants, and sweet experiences they had had. A great perk I have of playing the piano is that I get to peek out and see everyone's faces. I saw so many people with different situations, trials, needs, and dreams that I knew... and I loved watching their faces change as the Spirit sweet over them and filled them with even just a baby glimpse of the hope and comfort of the temple. I closely watched a man who is not a member, but his faithful and diligent member wife had just passed away a week ago. Watching his before saddened and droopy eyes fill with tears of joy and gleam with hope as he eagerly and attentively hung on every word being spoke of eternal families, and the ordinances of the temple. I watched a sister that is coming back to church and building her testimony all over again after Brother Nicholas die... and seeing the Spirit work within her... I could see the lights coming on and the understanding of covenants and what she needs to do to be with him again... all settle and comfortably sink in and sooth her.
Sister Rodas tells me stories of her parents piling her and her sister as children into the crowded uncomfortable buses (the ridiculous buses that were difficult for me to ride 40 minutes in El Salvador) for 9 hours each way... just to visit the temple regularly in Guatemala. For being so far away from the temple... I am learning so much more about the temple. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ who has made all of the promised blessings of the temple possible. I am grateful for parents that have been sealed in the temple and are trying to do their part to be with us for all eternity. I have played the piano for 4 funerals lately and like you guys over there... it really makes one ponder... and marvel at the perfect of our Father's plan.

Have a beautiful week!
Sister Clark