Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life in the Philippines

February 23

Hello Family:) so I am glad coop dawg is playing Rugby, he will like that a lot better for sure and it makes sense.

I am super happy right now as for missionary work because everything here is really just starting to fall together and the Lord is blessing us so much. The pictures of the family are so good and I love seeing pictures of everybody, everyone looks so big and old now it is kinda weird. Like the pictures of the cousins kinda trip me out to be honest but i love the picture of nik nak and Chelsie:) they both are so beautiful and i love them so much. Here in the philippines is is a big deal to respect your older siblings and honestly my respect and love for all my siblings and just family in general has grown so much since i have been in the Philippines. I wish that i could serve a mission for like 3 years and not just 2. two years is not long enough and it goes by so fast and I just want to be an outstanding missionary in teaching and just in everything and i know that 2 years just isnt enough time hahahaha i just have so much still to learn and I love being a missionary. For example, I get the chance to plan for these investigators in my studies and just have all my studies be specifically for my investigators and i think about what they need to understand and what they need to do and then i make a lesson plan with them and think about what questions i could ask and how i want to use this scripture to help this person and then in companionship study we talk about the lesson plans we have made because he plans for half and i plan for half and then we talk about how we really want to do this lesson and we come up with this amazing lesson plan for this investigator and then we go to work and we teach that person that we pray for and plan for and we just feel this crazy amount of love for this one person and we feel the spirit and we give the message and we commit them to whatever and then they just cant wait for us to come back and it just is amazing. This last sunday 3 of our investigators got interviewed for baptism and they all passed, so we are going to have 3 baptisms on Saturday and we cant wait. 

One of the 3 is the lady that hadnt been visited by missionaries for 8 years but before her husband died he said that she should not join any church except mormons and then she had never been visited for 8 years! until us:) I met her with Elder T and we just fell in love with this lady, she seriously is the most amazing lady i have ever met and she is so flippin funny and so kind. She has had a lot of issues but we have solved all her problems with the help of the Lord of course and now she will be baptised on Saturday and she asked me to baptize her and I seriously cant wait because i love this Nanay so much!!! we are going to teach her later so i am excited. 

Coop:) happy birthday big boy i love you:) guess whos birthday it is too! its elder V my companions birthday haha they have the same birthday so i celebrated coops bday too but just for my companion haha. Me and ELder V are way close now and we finally fell in love with each other and now there just is no wrong haha it is just like living with a brother which is super good.

I have a great story that really strengthened my testimony of priesthood power. so we have this recent convert and her name is ____ and she is 15 years old and she is probably one of the most humble girls i have met and she is so kind and super active in the church and cant wait to go on a mission. Anyways, she has this disease that she faints randomly and will have seizures and then when she wakes up she wont know her name or really anything but she faints about once a week and then she just randomly seizures. ya can you imagine having a problem like that every week? Anyways I have never had the chance to give her a blessing but other missionaries have and members have before and it always helps her feel better for sure. But, about 4 weeks ago she had a pretty bad seizure and she fainted as well and she woke up was very very confused and she couldnt really speak but this was the first time i was around when she had fainted and i was the closest priesthood holder around, well me and ELder V but anyways she needed a blessing and her brother who is 14 said, hey will you give her a blessing and so we did and Elder V anointed her with oil and I gave the blessing and in the blessing i felt a big prompting to tell her that she will not faint again and that she will not have a seizure again and that she will be healed but i didnt listen and then i felt it again and i didnt say it still and then i felt it again and then i said it and told her that she will be healed and she will not faint or seizure again as long as she stays obedient to Gods commandments, she will not ever have this problem again. Well after the blessing she smiled and i didnt think much of it but i saw her and talked to her yesterday and I asked her how she was doing and she told me she hadnt fainted or seizured since i gave her a blessing and also she said that her body and mind feel different that it has ever felt before and she said that she feels healed......... She has been having the faints and seizures for about 10 years now and now she says that she is healed. The priesthood is real and I know that if the priesthood Holder is worthy to use the power of God, then he can heal people. The power of God is real and we are so blessed to have the priesthood restored back on the earth today. 

Also one more comment/story. we had a earthquake in the house the other day it was super cool, the whole house shook for about 15 seconds but then it stopped but it was the first time i had really felt an earthquake, it was cool.

Anyways i love you all and i just want to testify to you all that I know i am in the right place in my life right now and i love this Gospel because it blessed families:)

HAppy days all is well:)

Elder Cory Austin Clark

February 17

Family:) Gosh I miss and love you all so much! Dad thank you for writing me this email and taking the time to do it from your heart. I feel the Saviors love for me as I read my emails from my family and friends. I love this Gospel so much and the feelings that I feel right now are of great joy because I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ has healed us as a family. If you think about it and the things we have gone through as a family, the decisions that we have made that have really effected each other and the things that have happened to us that really effected us as a family just seems so simple now. I was reading Preach my Gospel the other day and there is one sentence in there that says something like this,, every family needs the the Gospel of Jesus Christ because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is his atonement and the atonement heals us and our families. When I read this I really started tearing up and it hit me super hard because I have a strong testimony of the Atonement and I know that it healed my family. If we had no Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives I do not know where our family would be and all I do know is that we would be unhappy and lost and we would be wandering looking where to go. But, if we think about what we have been through as a family over really the last 10 years............... how is it that I am on a mission serving the Lord and happy as can be? How is it that Tanner served a faithful mission and now is married in the temple to Kayley who is such an amazing girl. How is it that Chelsie and Bret are sealed in the Temple and they have beautiful Nikelle and a baby on the way? How is it that Mac and Jordan found each other when they did and got sealed in the temple and now have a baby girl? How is it that Mom and Dad are closer then ever and so in love and best friends. How is it that Cooper is finally the one Clark boy who didn't hurt himself in high school so he could actually play college ball? hahaha jk but for real Cooper is obedient and such an amazing young man. But really how is it that our family is so close and happier then ever? Our family was pretty close to losing itself and breaking but the best thing about it is when we were at our lowest point we were lifted up and we all changed........... and the change that happened in all of our lives was the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I know that the feelings and love we feel right now as a family can last forever as we all try every day to use and understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives. I am so grateful for my family and it blows my mind to know all the blessings are family is receiveing right now in our lives. I am so so so very grateful for this Gospel and I am blessed to have a family that I am sealed to for time and all eternity. I love my family truly with all my heart and I am proud of everyone of you . Thank you for everything that you do for me and I love you all and I know you are all doing great things right now in your lives and I really miss you too!!!

I do wanna give a lil shout out to Coop...... Coop dawg you are awesome and I am jealous that you get to go play college ball, that is so dope and I will for sure be watching you play when i get the chance:) I love you lil brother and I know that you are making a great decision with the team you picked and also with serving the Lord first. You are going to love the mission so much more the playing college ball I can promise you that and I am sure college ball is so fun but gosh coop, the mission is the best life you can live as a not yet married young man hahaha 

I remember when Tanner said that he wanted to get married pretty quick after he got home and I don't blame him because the mission prepares you really for your whole life ahead and I agree with him and feel the same way. The only difference between me and Tanner is that he still had to find his baby girl after he returned home..... for me on the other hand I wont have to find my baby girl when I get home....... I'll just have to wait for her:) 

I want to share one story with you....... we taught this family a long time ago with elder T and me and our lesson about 2 months ago was really really good and super powerful and we tried for about 4 weeks to teach them again but we could never find the right time to meet with them which was really to bad because they are so awesome and it is a family of 7 like ours! Anyways, I felt the impression to go there again the other night with Elder V and we went there and the whole family was there but there was no dad so we couldn't teach because we didn't have a male with us either so it wasn't allowed for us to teach them. But the cool thing is that the mom was like listen we prayed about the message and we love listening to you elders will you please share with my family and I asked well where is your husband and she said that he is out drinking and she said that he is always out drinking. And then I looked at these five kids and they all just had this sadness to them that there dad was out drinking but they really wanted us to share with them. We really wanted to share with them but it just wasn't allowed and the mama said again, okay if you cant share with us please just pray with us, please just pray right now here in my home with my kids. This mama was like begging for hope and happiness and she just knew in her heart that the message we held was true and would give her happiness. SO, we said yes of course we will say a prayer here with your family and I was given the great opportunity to say the prayer and by the end of the prayer when it was over the spirit was so strong in the room and the kids had smiles on their faces and the mama had water in her eyes and they just were very happy. Later that week we shared with them again and they loved it and the committed to come to Church this Sunday so we are really excited for them all and we love them, they all have baptismal dates except the dad but we will get the dad too:) 

I love the Gospel and I know it is true and I love the spirit and I love happiness and I will always follow Gods commandments because it is the way to have happiness in ourselves and in our families and so much more. 

Prayer is powerful

Happy Days, All is Well

Elder Clark
Oh ya mama and dad i have been meaning to tell you this for a lot of emails now....... I sing a lot in the mission. I sing at zone meetings or zone confrences and me and Elder Taivia did a lot of singing together and i sing at baptisms or at church and it has been a huge blessing to be able to use my voice here in the mission. I am grateful to be able to sing here and the people love it and the mission loves it. I just thought you would like me to share that with you :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A day hike in Santa Terisita

February 9, 2014

Hi mom:):):):):):):):) hahah of course mama i am feeling great, i told you i was a missionary of God right? 

We went hiking to the caves today and it was so sick! We literally went walking in the middle of the rain forest forever with this tour guide and found these huge caves that had like the smallest entrance that only little filipenos can fit inside of but somehow i fit inside of the entrance as well. IF i was still with Elder T haha i would have been waiting outside with him because he is huge and for sure could not have fit. But anyways, the caves were super cool, i have never relly been insde a cave like what i was in today. The entrance was super dooper small but then after the 10 ft entrance of crawling it just led into this huge chambers of crystals and just caves and a bunch of bats were flying around. It was a really cool P-day for sure. I took a lot of pictures so i hope you like them! 

There is one picture of me hanging on some branches and i just want to explain to you that those are branches like in the movie tarzan haha so that was cool too. The phillipines is probably the most beautiful place on earth.  The people here have like no money or really anything but they do have a beautiful place to live. 

My week has been really great but i have no time to email so i am gonna go short with it. One cool story would probably be that I was able to go down to laoag like i said in the last email and i was able to spend 2 and 1/2 days as Elder T as my companion again. I seriously love Elder T so much and we were able to just get super close over the last two days with each other and he has changed so much since the MTC in a really good way and we taught together and that was so flippen cool because in the MTC we knew like no tagalog and couldn't teach at all but now we just taught together all in taglalog and just taught a great lesson so it was a really speacial experience honestly for me. Elder T is a great friend and I cant wait for you all to meet him because he is crazy haha. 

Also the investgators from the far away area that we taught all outside....... They came to church this sunday so we had a bunch of Investigators at church which was really cool to see as well. We just gotta help them continue the journey:)

Elder V and I have finally bonded. The first week we just never clicked and then these last couple of days we just bonded big time and we are way tight with eachother for sure. He is the man and way humble and I love that. he is a super big example to me and helps me alot with the work.

 I don't speak english anymore haha!  kinda wierd huh? I do speak it throughout the day sometimes but probably 80 percent of my day is in tagalog. I only speak english with Elder P at night who is the other white guy. 

I am super happy the family is together for the weekend and i know you will really enjoy that time with each other. I am super happy as well that colbie is apart of that because she is awesome haha. as much as i love the mission work and love the feelings i get to feel every day as a missionary, i also miss my family and my beautiful girl there at home, but dont worry haha i am far from homesick, the last thing i wanna do is go home. I honestly wish the philippines could just be America because it is so great here. 

Anyways I am sorry I gotta go and I am sorry the email is not good at all but just know that I am happy and feel the Saviors love in my life everyday and one big thing that I have learned this week that I just have really been trying to apply it in my life everyday is Charity..... if you are going to serve...do it from your heart. if your are going to be nice... do it from your heart.. if you are going to pray.. pray from your heart.. ..... because if it is not from the heart it profiteth us nothing. Everything from the heart because if its not from the heart then it doesnt matter.

life is so good

happy days all is well:):)

Elder Clark

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 2

Mac and J:):):):):) my niece is beautiful and I know heavenly father is way happy to send Olivia down to you in order for her to have a mommy and daddy:)............I didnt cry..... okay maybe i cried a little bit but it is just because family is the coolest thing on earth. The second grandchild, and she is gorgeous. 

Mama thank you for the time to send me this email, it was way great and it made me smile haha even cry! Life is still great and even though i was sick as crap the last like 4 days, i am still okay and happy. 

So when ELder T left i was actually pretty sad because we got super close and were way tight. Like for real i could have been his companion for the whole mission ahah but anyways its all good. But.... Elder V is way great too and we are starting to bond which is good. he grew up in manilla and the richest part of Manilla, so he is pretty much american ahaha. He speakes fluent englsih with no accent and in my opinion he is better in english then tagalog. He is way hardworking though and he is super good in teaching and thats a big help to me. 

So thursday night for the last like 3 hours of work i just had  a fever and then when i got home after work my fever was 102 and then i went to sleep and woke up the next day and it was at 100 so i thought that i was probably getting better so i went out and worked the whole day and I was fine in all my lessons, like i felt normal while i was teaching but if i wasnt in an appointment i thought i was gonna die haha. and then finally my fever went away but i just had like horrible pooping problems and I lost my voice somehow and now i feel like i am just getting a little better. It was a little rough week but its okay haha it was still really great.

We held a district meeting on thursday and the zone leaders said they were super blown away with the training i gave and they said it was really powerful so that made me super happy because that was my first training that i had ever given. They made me feel super good about it for sure haha.

Thank you for all the pics, i really wanna send i bunch of pics as well so i am gonna try to do that haha.

I leave to Laoag actually in about 1 hour because they are holding a Distirct Leader Training so all the Dls have to go so I get to travel down to Laoag which is like 8 hours away but the greatest thing about it is that i will be on exchanges with another missionary for the two days i am down there so guess who companion will be fore the next 2 to 3 days haha......... ELDER T haha my companion from the MTC so i am way excited for sure, it will be fun no doubt. 

I dont have to much to say except that we just had a bunch of investigators at church which hopefi\ully means a bunch of baptisms soon:) The Lord is soo good to his missionaries and i am super blessed truly. 

Fun facts: i saw Elder De Alday today, the elder i trained and that was way awesome to see him. 
I am super super skinny because i just am and my shirts and pants are big on me.

I really dont have much to say today haha maybe it is becaues i still feel pretty cruddy but hey i love you all so much and thank you all for everything you do:) 


happy days all is well

Elder Clark