Hola hola hola!!
What a week! What a TRANSFER!! Somehow I survived it, so I suppose I can make it 15 1/2 more months;) I will be staying here in the Chennault Beach branch with Hermana Webb. We have great stuff going right now, so we are glad we aren't getting split up quite yet!!
2 highlights of the week!!
We had an international food and culture night for a branch activity and it was amazing! Literally felt like we were just sitting in latin america! We have people who represent literally every country in latin america: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay...everyone! It was so fun to have everyone share their culture, food, and the history of the church in their country. Everyone is so proud of their home country. The gospel truly is the same no matter where you go! On a side note, Hermana Webb and I helped represent Peru (I was dressed as the indigenous people of the jungle in the picture I attached). It was fantastic. Ah. Love these people to bits and pieces!!
Other highlight: after a few weeks of resolving some things, our investigator was baptized! AH! He is such a rock! I have never been to a more beautiful baptismal service. It was small and simple and very few people, but so sweet. He wanted to bear his testimony after he got baptized and let me just say: have you ever been smacked in the face with a brick wall? THAT is how the Spirit felt as he bore his testimony--specifically on the power of the Atonement. He was glowing. Literally. It was a priceless event that I won't ever forget--no words can explain how it felt to be there.
My favorite thing about this investigator though, is his smile. Only in the past 4 weeks as he was truly applied the atonement has this smile formed. The first 2 weeks I knew him, he never smiled--not that he wasn't happy, he just didn't smile. But as we worked with him to understand and apply the atonement, his whole disposition and countenance changed--just like the people of King Benjamin. His smile lights up the room. He has a skip in his step when he walks. He has struggled with so much for so long and now his burdens are lifted and he is truly happy. Nothing feels better--I know the feeling. The power of the atonement, though I cannot explain it, works miracles and mighty changes in people. It fills you with joy. Never take that precious gift for granted. I invite and challenge you all this week to reflect on the atonement of Christ and how is has truly made you who you are, or how you would like you use to to become something more.
I am so grateful for my Savior. Daily I am reminded as I find my testimony over and over and over again. Watching these changes in people just as I have experiences changes in myself is priceless. I wouldn't trade these 18 months for the world:)
Have a great week!!!
JUN 22, 2015
To explain my subject this week: the most frequently asked question we get as missionaries walking around is: "Mormon's or Jehova's Witness?" People will pull over in their cars just to ask, then say something like, "well, if I agreed with anything you taught, I might let you in my house for a bite." Silly people:)
Anyways, this week as pretty good! We are working hard to prepare for some baptisms in the upcoming weeks--I had no idea how much work went into that and how flexible you have to be...anywayssssss...
The highlight of my week was church on Sunday. The branch was near empty, but the Spirit filled all the vacancy as the speakers bore testimony of the divine role of fathers as well as our Father in Heaven. Our mission leader spoke and relayed a story that I will summarize:
His oldest son was about 2 years old and had a glass cup fall on him and the shards sliced his face. As a new parent, he was frantic. He relayed that as he rushed his son to the hospital, thoughts crossed his mind such as, "how could this happen to my perfect son? why him, not me? he never did anything wrong." He described the pain and even anger he felt as he looked at his young son, innocent and bleeding. Luckily, they made it to the emergency room and he left with a few stitches. Now, he has a scar visible only to those who know where to look for it.
He then humbly compared this experience to that which our Father in Heaven might have experienced as he watched his son suffer; his perfect, innocent son who never did anything wrong. Heavenly Father loved us enough to send His son for OUR benefit, and Jesus Christ agreed to the terms of His father's plan willingly and lovingly. Just like my mission leader's son, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, still bears the scars of His suffering, but they are only visible to those who know where to look. This simple phrase has sunk deep into my heart:
His scars are only visible to those who know where to look.
I love my Savior. I am inexpressibly grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who would allow his son to suffer on our behalf. Though I have not physically seen the Savior yet, I can identify with the Nephites who experienced the following as the Savior appeared to them after his glorious resurrection:
14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.
3 Nephi 11:14-15
Though I have not physically been in the presence of my Savior, I have felt the wounds in his hands and in His feet. I have felt of the redeeming love that comes from His eternal sacrifice for us. I know that He lives and loves us unceasingly. I know his wounded hands are always extended to us. And this is the message I share as His representative. That He lives. He loves them. There is hope thorough His glorious atonement. There are many who know not where to find His scars, the marks of His love for us. It is my job to show them, and there is no greater calling than this.
I think I say it every email, but I love being a missionary. Times aren't always good and things usually don't go the way you plan, but this is the Lord's work. He always makes it work out in the end.
So this week I would challenge you to reflect on this phrase,
"He still has His scars, but they are only visible to those who know where to find them."
Remember what your Savior has done for you. Do you know of anyone who needs this message? Who needs your testimony? I promise that if you pray for an experience to share this testimony, the Lord will give it to you. This is His will.
I hope everyone has a great week! Continue to be grateful for the amazing fathers we have!
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.