Just like that and I’m home

Well everyone,

I figured I would update you all on home. I’ve been home for a month and a half now. Where does time go? I loved my mission, but it is cool to see how I have been able to apply everything to home and still find that same happiness in the gospel. Spending time with family was great. Eating Moes and Bojangles…words can’t describe. Going to my best friends wedding. Christmas. Lots of good things in the short 4 weeks I was home! I’m now back at school at Brigham Young University Idaho with lots of mission friends and meeting new friends.

I love the gospel and there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of my mission. Temple Square and San Diego will forever hold a special place in my heart where I had many sacred experiences that changed my life. I know this is Christs church and I am so grateful for the 18 months I had to represent my Savior. God is our Heavenly Father and His plan is perfect for each one of us. We choose happiness.

Thanks for all of the love and support throughout my mission, as well as when I returned home. My mission changed me and I will forever be grateful for the 18 months I spent coming to know my Savior.

2 Nephi 31:20 “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life”.

Love you all!

Abby Clark

ps: sometimes it is still weird to say my first name and I want to say sister… #rmprobs

Advertisements

I’m Living in Thanksgiving Daily

hello again to whoever still reads these.

i can’t believe this is my last e-mail as a missionary for the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. this has truly been the greatest 18 months for my life.

i remember so perfectly almost 2 years ago, in idaho, going into my bishops office to talk about serving a mission. man, i fought the impression to serve a mission for too long. i remember sitting talking with him, crying because i didn’t want to go on a mission. as i started my mission papers the next week, the greatest feeling of peace came over me, and i knew this was exactly what i needed to do.

a few weeks later, i get my mission call. thank goodness for modern technology. we had laptops and phones everywhere to call home. i read temple square, mom and dad didn’t hear, and they thought i was going somewhere scary. little did they know, i was going to a mission, where we have security watching us like big brother. and security here have become my big brothers. i love them.

i met people on my mission i know that i had met in the pre-existance. these people strengthened my faith in my savior jesus christ, and his perfect gospel. i went to san diego, where i met even more amazing people, who changed me. i can’t even name all of the people i have come to love, but they know who they are. i have seen a tangible light come into their lives as they accepted christ and his gospel into their lives.

i have witnessed miracles on my mission. i have seen the hand of god guiding me in all that i do. i am so grateful that during this time, i was able to truly come to know my savior jesus christ.i was reading about the experience of one of the pioneer handcart companies in the journey here…it sums up a mission to me. obviously not the same experience, but it is related.

“i have pulled my handcart when i was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that i could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. i have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and i have said, i can go only that far and there i must give up, for i cannot pull the load through it…i have gone onto that sand and when i reached it, the cart began pushing me. i have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. i knew that the angels of god were there. was i sorry that i chose to come by handcart? no. neither then nor any minute of my life since. the price we paid to become acquainted with god was a privilege to pay, and i am thankful that we can through with the absolute knowledge that god lives, for we became acquainted with him in our extremities”.

my mission was the hardest thing i have ever done, but i know that i came through with an absolute knowledge of god and his love for me and his love for every single person on this earth because we are all his children.

because it’s thanksgiving, i’ll make a quick list of things i’m thankful for:

-the gospel of jesus christ
– my heavenly father
-my savior jesus christ
-my family(who i get to hug next week)
-the book of mormon and the bible.
-my mission
-temple square
-my companions
-the people i have met
-my testimony
and so so so much more.

i know that this is jesus christs’ church. i know with my whole heart, that joseph smith saw heavenly father and jesus christ, and that through him the church was restored. i know that the book of mormon is the word of god. it has brought me closer to my savior these last 18 months than anything else and has been my strength. i know that families can be together forever. i know this is the way to peace and happiness for eternity. the gospel is a gospel of happiness, and how grateful i am that i found that happiness here, and that i can have that same happiness as i go home and apply all of the many things i have learned.

“an interesting thing happens whenever you attempt to place your feet in christ’s footsteps. if you really concentrate on trying to walk the way he walked-loving,caring,serving, and obeying each step of tahe way-one day you’ll look up and discover that his path has led you directly to the throne of god. for that is and ever has been his great purpose and mission: to lead us to our heavenly father so we can dwell with him in his heavenly home”.

thank you for your support, your love, your prayers, e-mails, everything. it truly carried me on the hardest days. i can’t put my mission into words, but know that i am so so so happy i came here. this is where the lord needed me to grow and become who he knows i can become. i love this gospel so much. i’m happy. truly happy.

i love you all and i will see you next week! what….
sister abby clark

 

#lighttheworld

hello again…the days are few, but we are working hard. this week was so good, and this coming week is gonna be even better. also, today it’s 70 degrees. tomorrow it is supposed to snow. utah man. anyways, this last week we had zone conference, christmas training, and this week we get to go preview the savior of the world play. yessss.

zone conference was amazing. my last one. so sad. i think i will drive down from idaho for zone conference after the mission. i hope that’s allowed haha. anyways, we continued to talk about being deeply rooted in the gospel of christ and becoming true disciples. i love that. it’s been a theme of my mission these last 18 months. we did an in-depth study of the plan of salvation. crazy. here are some things i liked:

-we knew there was risk involved when we chose to come to the earth.
-the savior paid the full price-one by one.
-we raised our voices in testimony for christ before coming to the earth.
-everyone will have the opportunity to learn of christ. whether in this life or the next.
-the veil will be parted after this life, and we will see all who we helped.
-we are commanded to be perfect. we are completely and totally dependent on the savior. that is the only way we can become perfect.
-our spiritual memories were reawakened when we were prompted to serve a mission, as we covenanted to do in the pre-earth life…there were tears when i heard this one.
-basically…heavenly fathers plan is perfect. it’s so perfect.

the missionary department came and gave the training for christmas. i had mixed emotions about this for sure. but i am happy i get to see a few days of the lights, and share the amazing christmas initiative. it’s titled “light the world”. ahh i can’t wait for you all to see the video. i think we all cried as we watched it. the missionary department shared how there will be millions of visitors coming to temple square in a months time. i forgot how crazy christmas was. you literally feel like a walking zombie by the end of christmas. but they focused a lot on helping people one by one. i help one. then they help another one. then they help another one. everything christ did was one by one. even the atonement was done for us individually. it’s amazing. i was reading in the new testament this morning, john 8:12 says, “then spake jesus again unto them, saying, i am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life“. the more we let christ into our lives, the more his light will shine through us!

let’s see. our investigators are doing great. pj, who i met on the square at conference time is getting baptized in 2 weeks. yay. then i took a referral confirmation for a bible request last week for a guy named william. he lives in florida. we have to call them to verify they want the bible. anyways, he was super open, and was just trying to find his purpose here, and come to know who christ was. i explained the book of mormon, as well as missionaries. he accepted, and he attended church on sunday, and has a baptismal date for january. we called him on sunday, and were able to share with him more about christ. i had tears in my eyes, as i was able to testify of the gospel of jesus christ. sometimes i have these moments where i realize this will all be over soon. my love for this mission and what it has done for me will never leave.

“being a disciple of jesus christ is not an effort of once a week or once a day. it is an effort of once and for all”.

i love y’all!
sister clark

 

 

work work work

how is it already tuesday again? the weeks are just flying by. i’m excited. today, we are going to a real italian restaurant to eat real italian pizza…at least that is what the italian sister in my zone says the pizza is like. then we are having spa night with the zone haha what a great p-day.

this week was so fast. i feel like we did so many things. we did service. ahh. that was the best. they let us do service now once a transfer as a zone. #hallelujah. by the way…the church is so true. well obviously. so remember april conference when they announced about helping refugees? so a member of the church started this program to help refugees. in the last 7 months, they have helped so many refugees here in slc. so we went and helped organize the warehouse place, and we helped the refugees coming in to receive the supplies they needed. it was so amazing to see these people receiving help, and feeling the spirit there. also i found this sweet new investigator there named jordan. he just moved here from congo. miracles.

yesterday, i was talking to jeff…remember him?! the one that got baptized a little bit ago! ahhhh. he’s so amazing. so he told me he bore his testimony in church sunday. he wrote it out before going up there. he sent me a copy of it. he shared all of these amazing spiritual experiences of how he came to know the church was true, at the end he said, “i love the church, i know and testify of its truth, and i know it is the restored gospel of jesus christ. life truly has a different meaning for me now. 1 nephi 8:10, and it came to pass that i beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy. brothers and sisters, i partook of the fruit and i testify it has not only made me happy but also my family and friends”. this man changed seriously everything in his life. i am amazed, and inspired by him. i am so happy that heavenly father let me play a tiny part of his journey. i am going to the temple with him in a few weeks for him to do baptisms! yayyyy.

then on saturday, this couple comes into the south vc. they were from illinois. their names were michael and sarah. they walked up to me and told me they came here just to learn about the church. whattttt… it was crazy. i talked to them for 3 hours haha. they had some great questions, kinda tough ones sometimes haha… i wouldn’t have known the answers to those 18 months ago. but our conversation was just so amazing, and everything i shared with them they said made sense. i love the gospel. it brings so much knowledge into our lives. anyways, at the end of talking with them, they took pretty much all the info temple square has to offer, which is a lot haha. he asked if he could have my number…i gave him my cell phone number at home. so sad 😦 they said they see missionaries all the time and next time they see them, they are going to talk to them. michael talked about how the things i shared with him, are things that he will share to many people as he returns home. that’s so cool to me. every person i have talked to on my mission, i have learned something from. the lord really does give you the people you need at that moment.

the other district leaders and i gave a training in zone training meeting this week on happiness. y’all probably know that is one of my favorite topics. i am also learning it a lot this transfer. we can choose to be happy despite the circumstances around us. god created us to be happy. we shared this quote in our training that says, “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings have a human experience”. i am grateful for this human experience that we get and that even in our trials, we can experience joy and peace if we choose to rely on the lord.

“i have set the lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, i shall not be moved”. – psalms 16:8

i love this work. i feel privileged and humbled to wear my saviors name next to mine for these last 3 weeks. i love this work, and i am eternally grateful for my mission, and all of the experiences i have, especially that i have set the lord always before me, and will continue to do that for the rest of my life.

i love y’all!
sister abby clark

 

504 Days of a Misson

hello again everyone!

this week was so fast, but it was so good! we had a “finish strong” meeting for all the departing sisters, as well as missionary leadership council, and exchanges, and then halloween. such a good week!

the finish strong meeting was so good…we watched a clip from some movie…i don’t know which one, but some football one. it was pretty much about just giving all that we have. working our hardest no matter how tired we are…which i am really tired. like so tired. haha, but it’s all good. this is the most important work in the world. i am just so grateful for my mission. i am so grateful i followed the prompting to serve a mission. i don’t know where i would be without my mission. president talked about how in these last few days, this is when we will come to know our savior greater than we have our whole lives. we will work harder, pray more fervently, everything we do will be increased, causing us to lean on the atonement even more than we have our whole missions. i loved it. lots of tears were shed in that meeting. man. this is the greatest thing in the world to be a missionary.

then yesterday, before the square closed we had missionary leadership council. that was also such a spiritual meeting. president focused again on being more converted disciples of jesus christ. i love that. he wants us to be rock solid in the gospel of christ. we talked about what it means to keep your eye single to the glory of god. i thought about the experience with peter walking on water. when he kept his eye single on the lord, he could walk, but when he looked away, that is when he began to fall. we always have to look to christ so that we don’t fall. if we look to christ, we will be that rock solid, converted disciple of christ. that is the way to peace and happiness here and in the eternities.

then the square closed for halloween, so president let us all get together as a mission and watch a movie together…the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. that was a miracle. president is so strict haha but that movie is all about the gospel, and so watching it as a missionary is really cool! and we all ate olive garden together. so fun.

i was on exchanges with the sisters in my district this week. those are always fun, but also they never go as planned. something crazy always ends up happening haha, but i love them all! it’s so fun to teach with them, and learn from them. they are all pretty new to the mission, so i have enjoyed getting to know them.

last friday, nick got baptized!! he is the one i met in the north visitor center a few weeks ago!.at the baptism. i sat next to his friend, who isn’t a member. the baptism was so spiritual. at the end, i invited nicks friend michael to come to temple square for a tour. he came this weekend to temple square with nick. we had a really great lesson, and we invited him to read a chapter in the book of mormon. he is coming back tomorrow for another lesson! #thechurchistrue

“and behold, when i see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the lord their god, then is my soul filled with joy; then do i remember what the lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do i remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me”. (alma 29:3)

have a great week! love you all!
sister abby clark

 

xoxo gossip girl

oh my gosh guys… yesterday, i was just so tired. all i wanted to do was take a nap. i seriously understand the definition of exhaustion now. anyways, we had square, so i’m like we have to go on the square… i’m seriously praying just saying, “heavenly father please give me strength beyond my own to finish being a missionary and to keep working hard”. 1 minute later we get a text that says, “1 english at west gate”. i look at sis. bastos, and i’m like let’s take it. sooo we call in and they are like yep come take it. as we were walking i just got this huge boost of energy. i was pumped. man being a missionary is the best. god is on our side. anyways, then as we walk to west gate, i am like praying that this person will be interested and that they will be energetic haha seriously..my silent prayers are funny. so we get to west gate, this guys turns around and he was so excited to be here on a tour. yesssss. so he was here to film a movie. cool. he looked so familiar. anyways, the whole tour he was just so into it. i loved it. i made him read moroni’s promise at the end of the book of mormon, and he like stands up in the assembly hall and reads it and it was so funny. so at the end of the tour, he takes a book of mormon, and gives us some of his info, so that we can answer his questions when he goes home. so we finish the tour, we walk away, i’m like…sis bastos i think he is famous…so we go back hahaha i have this casual conversation with him again, and i just said, by the way, are you famous? he’s like yes…i’ve been in over 50 movies. i’m like what would i know you from? he says, i played blair waldorfs dad on gossip girl…WHAT?! I JUST TOOK “BLAIR WALDORFS” DAD ON A TOUR…he was soo cool though and so open. he was like, “by the way, sister clark…you have a great personality. i would put you in a movie”…i was freaking out on the inside hahah JOHN SHEA TOOK A BOOK OF MORMON. #miracles. all the sisters were jealous, but hey it just shows that you don’t work until you’re tired, you work when you’re tired, and the lord will bless you.

sorry for my story…that was just so cool.

anyways, this week has been good. i’ve been really emotional hahaha i’m such a baby these days. sis bastos and i had our first day of comp study together last week…guys. you would laugh at me if you saw me. we started over in the white handbook…i was crying haha it talks about devoting all your time and attention to serve the lord i was like mannnnn. i’m almost done. what? then we started over in preach my gospel. the first presidency says,“we compliment you on the great opportunity you have to be a missionary. there is no more compelling work than this, nor any which brings greater satisfaction”. i remember for a long time on my mission, i thought my mission was such a sacrifice i had to make. i have realized over time, my mission wasn’t a sacrifice at all. it really has been such a huge blessing…the first presidency continues to say, “more happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among his children”. more tears haha. i just love my mission. it’s so true. i have never been happier than i have been on my mission… but what i have learned, is that i can still find this happiness when i am home, as long as i continue walking the path of discipleship…that’s all it will take. pure happiness.

i met this guy here a few weeks ago named nick. i don’t know if i talked about him before. but, he just moved here from los angeles. he’s had a rough past. he’s meeting with missionaries, and has a baptismal date. i was able to get his number, b/c he wanted to come back and take a tour of temple square. so the elders brought him last week, and we took them on a tour. he’s so prepared. we took him through gods plan. he knows it’s true. the church is so true. the gospel transforms people. it changes us from natural men and women, to children of god, but only if we let him change us.

alsoooooooo… the departing class each transfer gets to take a class with lds business college every friday for 2 hours. it’s sweet. they prepare us for the future, and they teach us how we can use the skills we have learned on our missions, to become prepared for college, and jobs, and real world problems haha… it’s so cool. they teach us how to write resumes. they really make us sound like on temple square we are working a job…we put things like, “ i was a tour guide for the most visited religious historic site in the west”, and stuff like that. it’s pretty cool to see haha.

“and behold, i am the light and the life of the world; and i have drunk out of that bitter cup which the father hath given me, and have glorified the father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which i have suffered the will of the father in all things from the beginning”. -3 nephi 11:11

i am grateful to represent my savior. i know the church is true. the gospel brings happiness and peace, and true light into peoples lives that is tangible. he is the light, we just have to let him in!

love you all!
xoxo gossip girl…or sister clark

Week 70: The Final Transfer Begins

oi tudu bem!

i can’t believe it is already p-day again. we received transfer info yesterday. whatttt. i only have 6 weeks left?? my new companion is sis. bastos from brazil. she will be going into her 3rd transfer. we are serving in west gate(i am dying in the same exact zone i was born in) #5transfersofwestgate. i’m excited. this transfer is going to fly by, so i hope sis. bastos wants to just work hard and have fun b/c that’s what i want to do.

this week was pretty good. let me think of what happened. ohh yeah. so now we get to do service once a transfer…so on saturday, we went and volunteered at the special olympics at the univeristy of utah. ahhh. it was so fun. they also had some delicious food trucks. anyways, this one volunteer that was there, i started talking to…he grew up in idaho. now lives in utah. he ended up not being a member. so, i got his info and now we are teaching him. haha pretty cool. miracles come from service! besides that, i loved being around all the athletes. they were so positive. when we walked up to be the refs at this group that was playing boccie ball, this guy goes, “YES IT”S THE SISTER MISSIONARIES”…then after his team won, he said, “it’s because we have the sister missionaries”. he was so cute.

we had a really fun zone meeting yesterday. it was more of like a dinner together and a goodbye. one of our zone leaders finishes her mission tomorrow. #sayonara. we made i’m a mormon videos this transfer, so i will try and send you mine. i loved my zone this transfer. we worked hard together, and saw a lot of success. missions really are the best. i am so grateful for all of the experiences i have had.

haha i just remembered the other day, my companion had a phone call, and she asked the guy if he had heard of the book of mormon. he didn’t hear her or understand her or something, and he was like “the book of women”?? it was so funny.

well i am excited for this transfer. i will work hard these last 6 weeks. i read this quote the other day that said, “god does not change. we are the ones who must change”. i hope these last 6 weeks bring more change, and help me to become a more converted disciple of jesus christ.

“as we serve, we draw closer to god. we come to know him in ways that we otherwise might not. our faith in him increases. our problems are put into perspective. life becomes more satisfying. our love for others increases, as well as our desire to serve. through this blessed process, we become more like god, and we are better prepared to return to him”.

love you all! have a great week. choose happiness.
sister abby clark

ps: last week in lazer tag, i got 3rd out of 30 people…yes.