I leave for Washington at 3 am, so they are giving us our hour to email today. I am completely stoked out of my mind to get to Everett--it will likely remain a dream in my mind until I actualyl get there!!
It´s been a crazy past few days. Hermana Pouliot left last night, so know our trio is back to a duo of Hermana Hicks and I. It´s so surreal, I can´t even believe it!
Elder Bednar came on Saturday and gave a devotional. It was incredible! I sat front row right in front of him. 5 feet away. It was SO cool to be so close to an apostle of the Lord. It was a Q&A session, which was way cool. But you are going to be very disappointed when I tell you I don´t specifically remember a word that came out of his mouth. However, I DO remember how I FELT and I know what I need to do and change to be the best I can be as a representative of the Lord. I left with a pounding headache--the good kind where your mind gets blasted with more revelation than you can handle at a time. I am truly grateful for living prophets and apostles on the earth today. SO cool.
During my personal study, I found something that I thought interesting. It´s a story I am sure we are all too familiar with, but the thing I LOVE about the scriptures is the fact that they are infinitely deep and we can ALWAYS learn new things. It´s the story of Nephi going to retrieve the brass plates.
I´ll kind of go through and annotate what my thoughts and insights were as I read.
The command of the Lord: 1 Nephi 3:4
4 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness.
Attempt #1- 1 Nephi 3:11 Luck of the draw
11 And we cast lots—who of us should go in unto the house of Laban. And it came to pass that the lot fell upon Laman; and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, and he talked with him as he sat in his house.
Outcome: FAIL 1 Nephi 3:13
13 And behold, it came to pass that Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.
Attempt #2- 1 Nephi 3:22-24 Bribery/trade
22 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things.
23 And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.
24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.
Outcome: FAIL 1 Nephi 3:25-26
25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lustafter it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.
26 And it came to pass that we did flee before the servants of Laban, and we were obliged to leave behind our property, and it fell into the hands of Laban.
Attempt #3- 1 Nephi 4:6 Faithfully follow the direction of the Spirit
6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
Outcome: SUCCESS 1 Nephi 4:17
17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
So what lesson can we learn from this, besides that fact that we should just choose the right method the first time? Kidding. That is much easier said than done. The first two attempts they used methods that would be easy and rational--however, they came up empty-handed on this very important task.
As a missionary, I cannot fulfill my purposes alone. I cannot play rock, paper, scissors or throw dice to decide where I need to go find people. I can´t try to bribe someone to come unto Christ. I must follow the Spirit and do as the Lord directs me to find people and to help them to come unto Christ. I will not be able to fulfill my purposes any other way.
Even outside of being a missionary, I need to always apply this principle in my life. I won´t accomplish important things by chance or by swindling or bribing my way through. I must rely on the Lord to give me direction, even when it doesn´t seem rational in my head. With his help, I can do anything.
And so can you! This is the challenge I leave this week:
Let the Spirit guide you. The Lord will always help you accomplish tasks this way. Don´t assume you can do it alone.
As a representative of Jesus Christ, I testify boldly that He loves and is aware of each of you. He wants to help us, but we must allow Him to. It requires faith. It can be scary or unsettling, but faith in Jesus Christ will ALWAYS replace fear. I love my Savior and couldn´t be more happy and grateful to be on His errand.
I love you all so much! Your prayers, love, and support are always felt and appreciated!
So I can´t believe I leave here in 3 days to go to Washington...that´s just CRAZY!!!!! It will be a culture shock considering I feel like (despite all the stress of trying to cram a new language into your head in 6 weeks) I live in the Garden of Eden, but I cannot wait nevertheless!!!!
This week has absolutely FLOWN by!! Not much happened out of the ordinary other than I got to talk to my family on Mother´s day for 30 minutes...which was GREAT. Crazy to hear their voices!! Hmmmmm....We have been packing up and getting ready to leave...bracing ourselves for the great goodbye...see you later...what ever you want to rationalize and call it...
I´ve been reflecting on my experience here at the CCM and it has really been a miracle and a ton of tender mercies. The Lord knew where I needed to be, when I needed to be there, and EXACTLY who I needed to be with. It´s been quite a rollercoaster the past 5 1/2 weeks, but I wouldn´t trade it for the world! This work is truly the Lord´s and is absolutely MARVELOUS!!
I have something I feel impressed to share with everyone, and I would ask that you all share it as you can.
My thoughts come from Matthew 9:37-38
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
I have been studying the Savior´s life and ministry in my personal study and came across this scripture and it hit my like a ton of bricks. I shared this with my family, and I want to share it all with you.
The harvest is truly plenteous. There are so many willing and ready to receive the gospel, but the laborers, us missionaries, are very, very few. I pray, as it says in verse 38, that the Lord of the harvest will send forth more laborers into the harvest--to put into the hearts of the members the desire to share those blessings of the gospel that they have with others.
As missionaries, we can´t do this work ourselves--we are almost completely dependent on members. Members are who aid in conversion. I used to think of the member-missionary relationship as such:
The members and missionaries together make up the success of a body. The missionaries are the blood and veins, and the members lend support by acting as the bones. In the past 5 weeks, I can tell you that I have learned this is NOT the case. It is, in fact, much the opposite. The MEMBERS are the blood and veins, and the missionaries just lend the support. The true blood and veins of missionary work comes from the members. Remember that. I have a duty as a missionary, and others have duties of members.
The missionaries need you. Heavenly Father´s children, YOUR brothers and sisters need you. We can´t do it without you. Please work with the missionaries and even on your own to help this marvelous work roll forth. The blessings for those you serve and your own family are innumerable. I promise.
And so this week, I leave you this challenge:
Share your testimony. Be a missionary.
Pray for opportunities to share. Offer the missionaries your serve.
The harvest is plenteous, and the laborers are few.
Come serve and help in His harvest.
I love being a missionary. Every day has it´s own trials, but when you hit the bed every night exhausted because you know you have done all you can--there is no better feeling. I love my Savior and I love His work.
I will start today off with a riddle: What´s better than Jenny Craig, Lean Cuisine, and Weight Watchers combined?
The Plague at the CCM.
Let me explain--starting on Tuesday the Americans started dropping like flies. Either the food Monday night or some virus (the PLAGUE) is going around. Half the American missionaries have it (but not me thankfully, knock on wood). Granted, there are only 30 and some odd american missionaries here right now, but still--15 of them...pretty much half...are sick with ´´the PLAGUE.´´ It is nasty. Hermana Siler in my district has it. She basically lives in the bathroom...if it doesn´t come back up, it makes its way out about as quickly as it entered...kinda gross..but seriously. And apparently lots of pain. Sounds like a bad case of food poisoning....NOT GOOD. They have all lost tons of weight...hence the weight loss joke. (don´t try it).
Anyway, on a brighter note....
I wish I had a ton of fantastically interesting things to say this week...it´s been pretty low-key...
So started going with a latino district a bit this week. Holy cow. Vaca sagrada. A little...A LOT...of challenge is always good! My district (latino) has 2 sets of elders and 2 sets of sisters--half of which are from the Dominican Republic. Super fun! They all speak different ´´spanish´´ though which was a little hard. They all use slang and casual language and I´m like...uhhhhhh....all I know is proper Spanish. They all take pictures of me during class...its awkward...apparently its like a once in a lifetime thing to see a ´´american girl.´´ Weird.
But the whole experience has been good! The Lord always provides a way when he wants you to grow--I know that for SURE!
One highlight of the week--we had TRC and we taught a REAL investigator...like salvation on the line...we were freaking out. Long story short, I am SO glad the Spirit speaks the same language to everyone´s hearts...we butchered the spanish language trying to teach about prayer, but at the end we just bore pure testimony and the Spirit was SOOOO THERE. It was one of ´´those´´ experiences missionaries talk about. We asked at the end if her missionaries had asked her to be baptized and she said no. So we didn´t waste a second and invited her to be baptized. ......SHE SAID YES!!!!!! We freaked out. Like bouncing on the couch and squealing. The Spirit filled the room--it was boiling hot. SUCH a great experience. It is cool when we are able to invite and prepare our ´´fake´´ investigators for baptism, but this was REAL. No words can describe it. She agreed to come back and meet with us Saturday, so we are WAY excited!!!!
...oh....and we found out later she speaks English too...so thats awkward...but the experience was fantastic anyways!!!!
Lastly, I have been studying fasting a lot lately and am trying to utilize it to help me as a missionary. But I would challenge you all to join me!
As I have studied fasting in the little personal study time we have, my appreciation for and testimony of fasting has skyrocketed. I thought I would share a few things that may be of benefit to others as it has to me!
Why do we fast? To gain spiritual strength and to petition for divine guidance and blessings (trust me, missionaries are not the only ones who need it!!) I fast because I know, especially as a missionary, there are may things I simply do not have the strength to do alone. I NEED support and divine from my Savior, Jesus Christ. I can gain that maybe best through fasting. I have also realized that fasting helps build faith. Are you lacking faith? I testify that the quickest way to build faith is by fasting.
I love Omni 1:26 which reads
26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.
I love this verse if you liken it to the principle of fasting. To fast, we make sacrifice to come unto Christ and partake of His help and salvation. I love that is describes fasting as ´´offering our whole souls unto him.´´ I don´t know about you, but I love food, and as a missionary, food has become my soul. Kidding. But it really changed my perspective on fasting. When I fast, am I counting down the minutes until I can eat again? Where is my heart? When I fast I want to give my WHOLE soul and being to the Lord. I know that as I do so, he will give me a proportional amount of help.
Through study, I have come up with these components of fasting:
I don´t have time to hit everything I learned this week, but study the Savior´s life and how much time he spent fasting. When we fast, we are better able to resist temptation. No wonder the Savior was so strong--he committed most of his time to fasting and prayer.
I know that fasting is not only a commandment of God, but a blessing as much as it is a commandment. Great blessings will come as you make sacrifices to draw near unto the Lord.
And so this is my challenge this week:
Make your fast more meaningful.
Prepare for next fast Sunday or fast tomorrow. The blessings will come:)
I love being a missionary. Sometimes I wonder how Jesus Christ could trust me to do His work. The principle of fasting has helped me to understand the trust he has for me. As I draw near to him, he will direct me--he will do his work through me, a mere instrument. What a great honor it is to be able to work hand in hand with the Savior. I love him and I know he loves us. Everyone needs that knowledge.
I hope everyone has a fantastic week! Love you all!
Hi! My name is Kallie Clark and I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in Spanish for 18 months to the residents of Everett, Washington.