<![CDATA[HERMANA ALYSSA CLARK - my mission]]>Wed, 18 Nov 2015 21:36:24 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[the BEST 18 months :)]]>Mon, 16 Nov 2015 19:18:08 GMThttp://hermanaclark.weebly.com/my-mission/the-best-18-months
​WOW! This is it! 

It's been an awesome week. We found an amazing family, Juan, Norma, Alex, and Karol. They are PERFECT! And will totally get baptized this next transfer. It's actually a really cool story. We received them as a referral from the Palma family about two weeks ago and have knocked several times in the last few weeks to try to contact them, but haven't been able to. We happened to have an appointment in their area, and had an extra half hour before it started so we decided to try again. ANDDDD. They opened! Let us right in, offered us cookies, cupcakes, and water. The kids started showing us all their talents right away, and started telling us that they know if they open the Bible to any page it will answer their questions and help them. We had an amazing lesson and they invited us back! Seriously. It was perfect. 

RIght away, we texted the Palmas to let them know how it went and didn't hear back. So last night we stopped by their house to report to them about the visit. They were amazed! They said as soon as they got the text, they decided to casually invite Norma and Juan and their kids over for dinner the next day. Norma and Juan went and told them that the missionaries (us) had stopped by and they had felt the spirit and loved it. They asked them lots of questions and were super interested. Hermana Palma started crying and said, "Two days before, Norma had been praying for someone to come and help them." It was amazing. I'm so jealous of the Hermanas that are going to teach them next transfer!

Missionary work, and life, really, is full of so many perfect coincidences that can be simply brushed aside unless we take them time to recognize them as the great miracles they truly are. I am SO GRATEFUL for my mission. I can't believe that this is it! As I've reflected and pondered about last 18 months, I truly have been filled with so much gratitude for the blessings I have received and the beautiful experiences I have had. I'm grateful for the people, for my companions, for President and Sister Felix, and for my Savior and Father in Heaven. The mission has been the best thing of my life and FOR my life, as my dear comp, Hermana Brown says. 

There's a lot of things that I will miss about the daily life of being a missionary...dinner messages, finding, teaching the gospel, two hours of studies every day, ridiculously cheesy missionary jokes, and getting overly excited about stories in the scriptures (shoutout to Hna Brown #DanielAndHisHomies). AND SO MUCH MORE. But I feel peace about this timing. I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be and I'm going where I'm supposed to go right now. 

I will be forever grateful to my loving Heavenly Father for these last 18 months. 

con AMOR,

Hermana Clark

p.s. Hermana Johnson--photo shoutout #ThePassageOfTime :)
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<![CDATA[HOMECOMING INFO!!!]]>Fri, 13 Nov 2015 18:02:49 GMThttp://hermanaclark.weebly.com/my-mission/homecoming-infoAlyssa will be coming home on November 18th!!!
She will be speaking in church on November 22nd at 11:00.  
Anyone who is interested is welcome to come.  
  
Comment below if you need the address.]]>
<![CDATA[LA BARRA DE HIERRO]]>Mon, 09 Nov 2015 17:59:05 GMThttp://hermanaclark.weebly.com/my-mission/la-barra-de-hierro1
​Hello!

Soooo...this week was one of the best weeks of my mission! It was so good. Day to day we came home EXHAUSTED and so happy because so many amazing things happened. Basically I feel like this whole week led up to our activity last night, La Barra de Hierro. It was amazing! Let me just throw some shout outs to the people who made it all possible: 

Papa Quezada for the MUSIC, Hermano Gonzalez for 100 feet of PVC pipe, Hermano Corona for becoming LEHI, Hermana Corona, Deysi, Los Plumas, and David for some BOMB classes, Danny for his support, marshmallows, and technology skills, Maribel for Oreo balls, six tired missionaries who put up 300 chairs, painted PVC pipe, had a load of patience, and made it all happen, and so, so, so many more people who came, participated, and found 
joy in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful for the members and missionaries who made it possible by donating time, talent, and supplies. It was perfect! We couldn't have planned it better.

So yes, activity summary...one of the members, Hermano Corona, dressed up as Lehi and told us about his vision of the Tree of Life, highlighting specifically four aspects: 1) the iron rod, 2) mists of darkness and great and spacious building, 3) helping others along the way, and 4) the tree of life. We divided those in attendance into four groups and had breakout classes about each of those topics and then regrouped. Each person in attendance was then able to experience the Iron Rod and arrive in the chapel where they found the Tree of Life and partook of the fruit and had time to meditate and listen to some beautiful music played by Hermano Quezada. They spirit was so strong!! It was especially neat to come to the end and just feel of the love and joy people had to have made it to the tree with their families. Everyone felt so united. It was beautiful.

We had another neat experience talking about the Book of Mormon at a service project this week. We've been working at the Rain Project and every couple weeks Toby comes and changes the fryer oil in the kitchen. He's met missionaries and heard a little about the church before. This last week we were talking to him about his family and his life and got to know him more, and after a bit he said, "You know, I actually have a question for you about John Smith and the gold plates. Where did they go?" So we explained the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and he totally got it! He took his supplies back out to his car then came back in and said, "One more question, is the Book of Mormon a continuation of the New Testament?" We explained that not exactly, it's actually another testament and it took place in the Americas. He said, "That makes SO MUCH SENSE. I've always wondered if that happened! That's so cool!" He had to run out and we were in the middle of cutting food, but he said that he'd come prepared with lots of questions next time. He's going to get baptized. :)

Reflecting on these experiences and the important role of the Book of Mormon in our conversion and ability to make it to the presence of God again, I am filled with gratitude. Just this morning as I read in the Book of Mormon I felt so much peace in my heart. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It is the Iron Rod and it leads us to Christ and to obtain His grace. I love the statement and promise in the introduction of the Book of Mormon that says, "I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I know that is true because through the Book of Mormon I have come closer to my Father in Heaven.

AMOR

Hermana Clark
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<![CDATA[#WeWokeUpAt5:30]]>Mon, 02 Nov 2015 17:53:29 GMThttp://hermanaclark.weebly.com/my-mission/wewokeupat530
Hello! How are you? :)

So this week was pretty much a riot. 

1. Hermana Brown is awesome! I dressed up as her for Halloween, so I officially know what it's like to be the amazing Hermana Brown. We have so much fun :)

2. Remember daylight savings...and how we get to sleep in a whole hour? Yeah...we forgot :( #WeWokeUpAt5:30 It's fine. We had a great breakfast!

3. What happens when your dinner cancels? A) You end up drinking nasty Aloe drink at a member's house.. or B) Crazy Bread and FroYo #GORDAS

4. Hermana Brown straightened my hair... #selfies just because!

So anyway....

This week we worked a lot with members and it was super awesome! We did a lot of service and taught lots of member lessons. It paid off because we got 3 referrals and have lots of appointments for the coming week! 
Some of our fun service activities included packing bags for Mexico, preparation for our upcoming fireside, and washing dishes and folding laundry for a pregnant mom of 5 (almost 6). It is neat to see how service opens homes and hearts. I love the members here and am glad to be working with them.

I love the members here so much and it's crazy because when you truly come to love a people, their pains and struggles become your own. It's sometimes hard to see people struggling with trails and addictions and heartache, but I am grateful for my testimony of the Savior which reminds me that if I do my part to help others come to Him, He will heal them.This week I was thinking about the time I have left in the mission and realized how easy it is to count the days (since math isn't really that hard when it's this close). I had that troublesome thought on my mind as I began my studies one morning...and then the thought "21 days of miracles" popped into my head. It was neat because I opened my Book of Mormon and read Alma 37:40-41, which says:
40 And it (the Liahona) did work for them according to their faith‍ in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, DAY BY DAY.
 41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small‍ means it did show unto them marvelous works...
Miracles happen DAY BY DAY when we act in faith and they are wrought by small and simple things. Along with this, I was reading in my journal from my first area when I was with Hermana Eastman and realized how insignificant so many little things we did seemed. Teaching Maria and reading kids books with her to help her learn English, visiting Alicia and finding out where the rest of her less active family lived, etc. After being away from Arroyo Grande so long, and hearing updates as the months have passed, I realized that some of the little things we did lead to great miracles, baptisms, reactivations, member missionary work, etc. Even though I wasn't there to do the work for many of those miracles, I am grateful to be able to see how just a few of the small things we did day by day have led to marvelous works. I am grateful to the other missionaries who have continued to work as the months have passed and I am grateful to Heavenly Father for letting me be an instrument in His hands. 
I look forward to daily miracles this week and for the rest of my mission. I'm grateful for the great examples that surround me and for the love that motivates and propels this work. I love my Savior and love representing Him.
Have a good week!
Hermana Clark
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<![CDATA[I SHALL HEAL THEM]]>Mon, 26 Oct 2015 16:55:03 GMThttp://hermanaclark.weebly.com/my-mission/i-shall-heal-them
​This week was AWESOME! It was also weird because I wasn't in my area for two days because of exchanges, which feels like A LOT in missionary terms. Anyway, we saw lots of miracles!1. Jewel went to church for her first time in two years!! She loved it and is going to an FHE tonight! So exciting. I love her so much, it's really such a miracle that we were able to teach her and see her progress so much, so quickly. She was ready. And I feel really blessed to have been here at this time to experience the joy of the gospel with her.
2. Last night we were visiting Rosio and Rojelio. So Rojelio previously has not been interested in coming to church or listening to us but he has opened up more and more lately and last night, HE ASKED US to come by on Sunday morning so that he can follow us to church. WHAT?! Sooo cool! He also said the closing prayer, with a little bit of help, but still a huge step forward!
3. I was on exchanges in Simi Valley with Hermana Mulloy (SHE'S SO COOL!) and really wanted to try calling a former investigator, Julio, that I had taught when I was there. Everyone had told me that it was impossible to contact him now, but we called anyway, and HE ANSWERED! We didn't get the chance to meet with him because 
he was busy, but hopefully it watered the seed and reminded him of why he loved investigating a few months back. It made me super happy to talk to him, if nothing else :)
4. We are planning an AMAZING Iron Rod activity with the ward. It's been so amazing to see the ward's support and excitement about helping us prepare and participate. I learned a neat lesson about counseling this week as Hermana Brown, me, our ward mission leader, and some of the other missionaries coordinated our efforts. We were talking about what members would be best to give some short classes and it was amazing how we came to the same conclusions and really reached out to the right people to help them grow and make an amazing program. I'm excited!!

5. Exchanges with Hermana Johnson--I LOVE HER! We had lots of fun "scattering sunshine" (ha, yes, cheesey, I know) and just learning together. I am so proud of her, she has become such an amazing, powerful, loving missionary. Oh my. I might be a little biased...but she's the best!

6. This week we did service at the Rain Project and another volunteer was there to clean the fryers. He's from Thousand Oaks and said that his neighbor is a member of our church. It's ironic, he commented, various random missionaries have stopped by to visit him over the last few years.....little does he know about referrals and member missionary work... haha:) But he had very good things to say about his neighbors and all the missionaries who have stopped by. He said, "You are always glowing!" I guess we stand out a little bit, for more than just sweaty, shiney faces :)Anyway, it was a great week, missionary work is still the best! This week I spent a lot of time thinking about 3 Nephi 18:32, which says:
 32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal‍ them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.
I love the open invitation that the Lord gives to all of His children. On top of that, He gives us the opportunity to receive some of the joy of His work. When we reach out to others in love to minister unto them, we don't heal them, but we are a means to help the Lord bring about His purposes. The Lord heals them. I am so grateful for the healing love I have felt in my life. This area has been very special in terms of working with less active members. I think this scripture especially applies to them and I am grateful to have seen them take steps to returning and repenting so that they, too, can feel the healing love of Christ.
LOVE
Hermana Clark

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