Saturday, August 31, 2013

                                       President and Sister Barrientos.
                                       This is a jeepney.
                                       My bedroom
                                       My backyard!

August 18

Geeesh a lot of new news talaga! wow excited ako na magsalita sa inyo! where do i start? haha well mama i am glad you have a little missionary mom fan club haha that is pretty awesome, and yeah i am pretty sure everybody loves the Phillippines! it truly is just amazing here and i love it so much, the life here in the Philippines is so sick and I aabsoulutley love being a missionary and working everyday and meeting new people everyday. It has rained like crazy this last week and I am suprised i have enough connection to email right now. The rain here is so strong and it POURS! i love it but Elder M doesnt really haha but hey Elder M and I are getting along so well and our companionship is super strong and we have so much fun. Our work is progressing so much and we are working hard and we seriously have to the funnest time throughout our day. The mission is hard as hard can get and there are marrami mga pagsubok(many trials) but Heavenly Father just carries us and keeps our attitudes bright and we just work and we are happy for sure. We have 4 baptisms saturday!!! we cant wait because we have been teaching these investigators for awhile and we love em so much, A and M are sisters and they are getting baptised this saturday and they have 5 kids if you add them together and it is such a blast to go and teach them. Amy has 4 kids and her husband is in Mnailla with another woman and she is only 29 so she is really young to have 4 kids. But let me tell you, this Gospel has givin her so much strength and she has such a strong testimony and one of her sons is getting baptised on the 31 of august and the other kids are to young but one of the best parts of being a missionary is meeting somebody for the first time and then teaching them the Gospel and then you keep teaching and keep teaching and you get to know them better and better and then they decide to get baptised and then you just look back and think about how far that one person has come and you can just feel the spirit so strongly as you teach them and you just know that heavenly father is so happy with them and they are just brighter and happier now that they have heard the Gospel and living the principles of it. This Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint is the true church and only true church of God and the spirit you feel from just reading this email is a witness that this Church is the true church of God. I have already seen so many differneces in people lives because of this Gospel and I absolutley love being a mouthpiece for my heavenly father and sharing is message with everybody i get the chance to share it with.
So my week has been great I ate the famous blood dish here, the just cook the pork in blood only and it actually is super good, everybody in the branch and just people are saying i am starting to turn into a true filipeno so thats good news haha. Oh yeah speaking of being a true pinoy, I dont use toilet paper and i am being completley honest when i say this that it is a cleaner way to do it and it is a lot better then toilet paper for sure. WE expieriance an earthquake lastnight haha but it didnt last to long but it was really cool the whole house shook a lil bit. Mama, I am learning how to cook filipeno food so dont worry i will teach you when i get home. we have a new elder and he is a white boy straight from the MTC like me before haha so it is really fun to have him.
My language........ Thanks to heavenly father, he has truly blessed me with the gift of tounges and i am speaking tagalog. I am far from fluint but I understand what people are saying pretty much the whole time and I can have a conversation and teach all the lessons and for some reason this last week, Tagalog has just clicked like never before and the language is coming big time and I absoulutley love speaking Tagalog it is the coolest language in the world haha.
There are times where the mission is just very difficult and everyday i have struggles and why i tell you that the mission is amazing is because through Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice for me, life is good and life no matter where you are can be good and happy. The mission is so fun and i love the work and i love planning for our investigators and i love seeing the growth in them but it truly is hard and i am always tired and if i wasnt a missionary of God i could not do this haha but i am a missionary of God and I somehow do it and I do it with a smile on my face.

I love you all and thank you all for the news!!!
ps: DAD, you are the man and I am proud you are my pops:)

Love yall
Elder Clark!

August 11

Have your faith be bigger then your fear is a great attitude mama:) my faith has to be bigger then my fear everyday in the mission field or the mission just doesn't work. Okay so I guess I will start with last weeks email, even though I don"t know where to start. First of all this week I don"t know why but I have been thinking about my family more then ever and especially my siblings. I love my brothers and sisters so much and I miss them so much. Now for cooper, I am so happy to hear that he is safe because that was pretty hard for me to read that email, I am glad Dad is a worthy priesthood holder to give him that blessing, that truly is the power of God. The family reunion was probably so much fun, it always is and what a smile I had on my face when I looked at the pictures haha. We have an awesome family! I received a letter in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa and that was so very comforting to me and they are just the best haha:) I am happy to hear the reunion was great!
So I am going to have a niece or a nephew:) I cried when I read that email from Mckenzie and Jordan, I am so happy for them and I can"t wait to have a Lil Nephew;) I can't even express how much love I have for my family, and I remember Tanner saying this when he was gone to. I have a new perspective of the title of Family and I don't know how to express it but I love my family so much and I am so grateful God has a plan for us and our families. 

So last week we didn't email because Elder M was sick so that is why:) haha but he is doing much better now and we are back at it. He was sick Monday and Tuesday with the flu and i was surprised i didn't get sick! The typhoon in Bangui hasn't hit that bad today so we got the okay to go out and have our p-day so that is nice. This week has been really great and the weeks are just going by way to fast. I already have one transfer under my belt, An ba yan, Crazy huh? Elder W the other white elder is leaving Bangui and going to Sarrat as a Zone leader and Elder G is going to be training so he leaves tomorrow to Laoag to pick his trainee (brand new missionary) up, and Elder M and I are still companions and he got called as the District Leader. Elder M and I are still working hard, he is a lil lazy at times so I really gotta push but we work really well together and the work is progressing here in Bangui for sure. The language is coming a lot better now and especially this week because Elder M wasn't 100 percent healthy so I led the lessons and taught a lot more then I usually do which I liked because it strengthened my faith a lot with the Language. it is good that we still have Elder G at the house because he is the one that cooks haha but I am actually learning a lot from him so hopefully by the time he leaves or I leave, I will know how to cook. We are struggling getting referrals and new investigators but I know they will come. President just raised our standards for the week to a pretty huge goal of 5 new baptismal dates a week and 8 new investigators a week and 5 new investigators at church a week and 32 lessons a week and so other stuff but ya its hard work for sure haha but so much fun and I love my investigators so much, they are so awesome and most of their baptismal dates are coming up soon so I am very excited about that!

I wish I had a lot more time to write but I don't, I hope my emails aren't boring haha. But mama if you would like to send me a package then if possible, i do need some more ties and I have a whole bunch downstairs in the top drawer of that dresser, and also some deoderant like old spice or something because the kind here stains and then also a bag strap just for my side bag:) I am going to look for another long sleeve white shirt here but if you want to send that then you can but i figured that was a lil to much. But yes if you want to send me some candy that would be great:) riddle skittles:) and last thing, some ultra strength BenGay for my knee. The knee I had surgery on is fine and doesn't bother me much but I think I do have a torn mcl in my right knee but its okay I am promised good health during my mission so i know I will be fine throughout the mission so don't worry but I would like some Bengay because that helps a lot.
Dad sorry the email to you is so short!
Thank you mama and family for all of the great news!!! I sure do love all of you and appreciate all of your examples to me:) 

Mahal ko kayo at ingat lahat

Elder Clark

July 29

Wow I sure do love my family so darn much.!!!! Pops, thank you so much for this wonderful email, I am sorry if you have ever felt left out, I just really only have time to write back to you or mama, so maybe you both can switch off every week on who writes me because It is acually different for me to email mama back then email my pops back so I would really love that if you wantetd to do that:) SO to start, life seems so great at home and i am really happy to hear about my siblings! As i have looked back on my realationship with my brothers, i am so blessed to have them and they are my two best freinds and the best part about it is that i know they both feel the same way.  i bet yall are just so excited for the family reauninion! those are the best. The family reunion i hope goes great, it always does! I will keep praying for those individuals in our family. I know things will all turn out the way GOd has planned for us. MAMA and PAPA, i am super happy for you to both to still be in love and notice that you have such a great relationship! something i thought about the other day was just how important it is to have the gospel in the home because my testimony as a child was your testimony and then finally i grew my own. If it wasnt for your testiomonys of this gospel, i probably would not have one at all and if i didnt have one then i wouldnt be waking up everyday with a smile on my face ready to serve my heavenly father. I absoulutley love the mission and all the blessings i recieve from it. It is the hardest thing that i have ever done and there are trials everyday but what a blessing it is for me to know that my savior Jesus Christ knows exactly how i feel at all times and that he has gone through the same situation to exactness that I have gone through! WHat a blessing the Atonement is in my life and our lives, without Jesus Christ, none of GOds plan is possible and the happiness we feel through our obedience and the Gospel, just wouldn't be there without our Savior. I  do have a testimony of this CHurch and I do know it is true and I do know that God wants the best for me and I know that through him and by following the example of Jesus CHrist and his teachings, I can be the man that Heavenly Father has set out for me to be:) THe mission is great and I love it.

So about the philippine LIFE!!!! Well we have 5 new baptismal dates for august 24! i am way jacked about all of them and teaching them all is so fun. WE also have 3 potential baptismal dates hopefull to come up! the work here in Bangui is progressing fast and i think people are starting to talk about us missionaries, it is so great. Grandma left and moved back to Hawaii buit thats okay it was great to have her while we did. THe first week we got here, church attendance was back in forth between 25 and 30 and now church attendance is up to 65!! Elder M and I are also really trying to focus on the less actives here, there are kinda a lot but 3 bretheren have came back to church since we have vistied them so that good!  Brother E is a less active and he is the one that speaks very good english so it has been such a blessing to teach him and get him reactivated! Before grandma lieft i was able to give her a blessing and oh man it was truly powerful and it was a really speacial moment for her and her less active family that were present during the blessing. 

So the language, it truly gets better everyday. The hardest part is that we speak english in the apartment and i just need to make tagalog my first language and english my second. But at the same time there are a lot of people who understand english here so taglish is used a lot. Tagalog is a great language and it is blessing to be learning it,  i am getting to the point where i can roughly teach the lessons and the spirit is there and the investigators understand me. Also in church yesterday i participated a lot in class and for some reason my tagalog was just on fire and I was speaking all tagalog and it was just flowing. So some days are a lot easier with the language then others but i do know that i know a lot, but for me its just a matter of remembering or having confidence in myslef that i really do know a lot. Also just regualr conversations are pretty hard for me because they arent normally words that i have studied but its all getting a lot better and I am over the 3 week mark which i guess is the really hard part of the mission. Well just really all 6 weeks but hey i am feeling good. Elder M is a great trainer and he seriously is such a great teacher with the lessons. His struggle is just getting in the door but once he gets sitting down and starts to teach, he is so good and i have really learned a bunch from him! its great to have him as my trainer. Also, you know me, i am not scared to talk to anybody so i talk to so many randon people a day, well at least i try haha but it is so fun just to say hello to people, especially because i am white and they all just stare at me ahaha especially if i am out in the jungle areas! i love talking with people and tagalog really is coming a long now that i think about it. For example we had a district meeting on Thursday and those meetings are all in english and I said the prayer in english and it was very difficult for me to pray just because i am so used to praying in tagalog, and as i write this emial i think of the words in tagalog and then wrtie in english, it is kinda wierd but i love it! Nobody has cars here, everybody drives scooters, trycies which are the motor bikes with a side car and then jeepnies which is just like a bus type of thing haha i dont know how to explain it. I will send a pic of us elders inside of one. THe life as a missionary in the Philippines is so great, we went on a hike this moring to the ubang falls and ill send some pictures but it was like a 30 minutes walk up the jungle and it we were led to just these beautiful water falls and i cant even describe how beautiful it is here in the philppines. Walking through the jungle to an investigators house is such acool feeling, and it is so green here and the people are just amazing. ON saturday we had a service project at the church and presidnt nelson the branch president climbed up the tree in the back of the church and sliced down 5 cocunuts and the second clounsler just took his machete like a peno would and just sliced it open and handed the cocunut to me and told me to drink haha! it was delicious or as in tagalog, masarap! Ill send some pics.

Pops, thank you for showing me how to work hard and the blessings that can come from working hard. I have been raised by some amazing parents and i cant thank you enough for how much you have prepared me specifically for my mission and for the life ahead. I love you two both so very much and your son is doing great here and he is happy! What parents want is for there kids to be happy and on the right path and I am letting you know I am so happy and I am so glad i have been raised in this Gospel to know Gods plan for me and our family. 

I challenge all of you to share the Gospel with one person this week. I wanna hear feedback, haha you have no choice but to accept.

Mahal ko kayo at maroon kayo ng mabuting linggo at ingat kayo palagi!!

Happy Day, All is well!

Masaya Araw, Lahat ay Mabuti!

Elder Clark