Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Almost New Year!

Skyping you guys was definitely one of the highlights of the week! The camera worked so perfectly, I've never seen skype work so well! Wait you got the pictures? Which ones? It kept telling me it failed! So I'm glad you got them! Yes that was the housing building project! The food one was at our pensionistas house, and the food was some sort of meat ball... haha I didn't like it much...

Here I think the Christmas tradition is everyone makes this certain spicy meat. It's really good! We had it the next day because we were supposed to eat with a member for Christmas. We went to a member's house but they hadn't prepared anything so we opened a can of tuna and had some potatoes! Our next baptism is for January 25! We are all working as a zone again for this day. After we talked on Christmas I waited for my comp to finish and then it was time to go home pretty much so we returned the laptop at the church and visited with some members for a bit and then went home because they wanted us in right at 9 because it was a holiday. I did cut more hair this week actually! It wasn't my best work because it was dark in the house... but it looked fine when I was done.. The boy was pretty sad though because he had long hair. Haha he said he wouldn't come to church anymore because of his haircut. But he came anyway. Haha It's just shorter than he's used to.

Sounds like Christmas was great! I wanted to go caroling too!! But my comp and I are always singing in the streets while we walk anyway! We sing church hymns for fun. haha. I can't believe it's almost 2014!!! I am excited to spend this entire year on a mission! What an awesome way to spend my year! I am so excited to be here. Feeling so blessed and humbled to be a servant of the Lord. This is exactly where I want to be, doing His will and His work. I have focused so much on the investigators this week, and we have met some really amazing people this week. I really want these people to accept the gospel and let it change their lives. Leaving my family was hard, but I am so happy to be helping other families be together for eternity. Families truly are eternal. And I am so grateful for that. So incredibly grateful for the temple. The branch is planning a temple trip for the 1st and I want to go so bad!!! I have been thinking about my time working in the temple a lot and I just love it. I loved what I learned there. I love the temple and I can't wait to work there again when I get home.

The members here are so wonderful! I keep finding people that I think, oh they would be great friends with you mom! Or the YW pres is so awesome. She served a mission in La Paz, and she is Jenae's age and she is seriously so sweet. Her personality reminds me of Jenae because she just is really loving with the youth, and I really want her and Jenae to be friends! Haha I keep finding people like that here that I want to be friends with you guys. I just had a thought.. I bet we were all friends in the pre-existence because I knew them and promised to come find them here in Bolivia and teach them. And I knew you guys in the pre-existence so it makes sense! And we are teaching a 10 year old I want to be friends with Jamie! Anyway I'm out of time!  I love you all so much!!!

Hermana Clark

housing building project

Not my favorite meal...some sort of meatball...

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bermejo is good and hot again!

Wow! Tell the ward thank you for the Christmas card! What an awesome surprise that was!! I feel so much love and support! And thank you mom for sending me a letter! It was a great week with the mail!

Whew! It has been a really great week, full of work and great miracles! We had two baptisms this past weekend. It was for the Noche Blanca, where the whole zone worked towards that night. We were all preparing people for baptism that night so there was a huge group!

Last pday, and the one before we went to this wally ball court. That was really fun! We also played pool and I whooped the elders. Then we went to a bridge that goes over the river. On the other side of the river is Argentina! So half the bridge is in Bolivia colors and the other half in Argentina colors! That was really cool!

Funny story! Last week my comp and I were walking through the city, and one of the ward members dogs was running around (everyone's dogs just run free here), and he recognized us! We had been to his house earlier that week.. He followed us all over the city that morning! He is this humongous great dane. So huge! We would go into shops and he would come too, and the store owner tried to get him out but he wouldn't leave without us! And then they asked if he was mine! Of course I said no, because he's not! But it was so fun having him as a buddy that morning!

The other day I cut five kids hair! There is a family that was just baptized and they have six kids! Five boys and one girl, and one on the way! They didn't have enough money to have all the boys get haircuts, so I cut their hair! Haha I'm not sure what Kelsey would think of my work... but they turned out pretty well. The elders were cutting the little girls hair and it looked reaaally awful. I tried to fix it but... haha It still is a little meh.. but she wanted it buzzed so it wasn't a big deal. Some girls here buzz their heads and I'm not sure why... I think it's because it's so hot! Anyway, that was so fun practicing cutting hair because these kids didn't care! But they were all pretty sad to have their hair cut.. It was all long, and some had rat tails! Haha gross.

Here in Bermejo, there is a Christ statue on the hill, like in Brazil! It's not as big though, but I really want to hike up to it soon!  Sorry I don't always answer all your question! Keep asking them and I'll eventually answer them I'm sure!!

We have family night with the families here, and it just made me so grateful that you were always so faithful with our family nights. It has strengthened my testimony.

Yesterday the branch did a service project, and we built a house for a lady in the ward, and a bathroom! She didn't have anything.. It was really wonderful working with the branch for the service project. I got a lot of bug bites, but he branch is really awesome! I love my branch here! I'm really loving devoting this time to serving the Lord. It's true, when you're homesick, you need to stop focusing on yourself, and start focusing on your investigators and the people. Work towards helping them, and all homesickness goes away. It's really amazing. I love this gospel! I know it is true!

I love you all so very very much! Thank you for your love, support, and prayers!
Love, Hermana Clark

Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Birthday to Jenae!

Hola from Bermejo!

I am doing great! Hope everything is great back home! I cannot believe how fast these weeks go... Is time fast for you guys too?? Okay lots has happened this week! I tried to make up for my incredibly boring email last week! Haha. And yesterday was Jenae's birthday!! I thought of her all day! I'm glad the surprise party worked out!! That sounds so fun! Do you have any pictures? So my foot is much better! At first it swelled the most it ever has, but every night I sleep with it propped so it's a lot better today. Barely even swollen. Last week I counted 42 bites on my body! 2 on my arms and 40 on my legs! Yikes! I haven't been bitten in a little while though so they're all healing nicely.

That's an awesome story that Brother Bradford told! I love hearing stories like that! It reminds me of a talk Elder Bednar gave while he was serving his mission. You should look it up! It's about 20 german dollars. I love that story. I'm glad your class party went well!! Sounds really fun! I hung the picture up that Jamie drew of the minions and my comp thought it was a picture of Spongebob because she's never seen Despicable Me! In Spanish, Spongebob is pronounced Bob Esponge. haha It's funny hearing them sing the theme song.

My branch isn't too big, but it's a good size. My Branch President, President Flores, is really awesome. He cares so much about everyone, and he is just really nice. He's really young and has a young family. He reminds me of the actor Christian Bale, Batman and Newsies. Haha I'm not sure why but he kinda looks like him. Funny story! Haha okay at church yesterday I was sitting next to our investigator and my eyes were closed for the prayer and suddenly I'm getting wet. And I peak over and the baby is no longer nursing! Nope! He is squirting me. Squirting me with his mothers milk. Haha I was so... oh man no words... But I just laughed and closed my eyes again because there was nothing I could do! Anyway, so the prayer ends and then the baby turns towards me and starts throwing up major. And I quickly move and avoid it all. Whew. And then he kept nursing.

So it's rain season here? Goood! Because I've heard this is their hottest time of year! But it's been raining off and on all week and I love it! We got to go to Tarija for a conference! That was really fun! The conference was with the missionaries in Tarija, and my zone. Everyone prepared a Christmas song and we all performed for each other. We sang Oh Holy Night in Spanish because it's not a Spanish song but someone found a translation! We also watched these awesome  Mormon messages you should look up! It's Elder Tod Christoferson about Moses and mana and patience. Haha it's awesome. There are three videos. The road to Tarija is insane! SO windy! and our driver was going so fast! I've never seen anyone take turns that fast and there were rocks all in the road that he was dodging, and everyone laughed when I put my seatbelt on... and I was like well I don't want to fly around. Throughout the trip everyone else put their seatbelts on too. At the conference President and Hermana Willard spoke. They are so amazing I can't even handle it! They asked me to lead the music so that was a fun time. Then we all went to lunch at this really nice restaurant. After we had to leave early to make it back for the wedding of my investigator, and we made it just in time! The next day they were baptized along with their niece! I am so excited for them! They are really great people, I just love them!

So here they don't really have buses, and our area isn't really big enough for that. We do take taxis sometimes though when we're running late. The taxi drivers always have this plant in their cheek so they have a huge bump on their cheek. It's a drug, and it is so they don't have to eat, and they don't get tired..

They eat fries with everything here! Everything! And anything they can put mayonaise on they do, and I've tried it and it's pretty good. Super healthy! haha. At lunch time everyone closes their shops and they all nap. I think because it's the hottest part of the day. And there are dirt roads here. The main roads are paved, but most are dirt. AND! there are lots of ladies here who dress in the traditional Bolivian outfits and it makes me so happy. They wear these poofy skirts and their hair in two braids and bowler hats! It's the best! Also I think my bites are better because we got a screen put on the window. I was being bit at night, so that works out very well now! We also hand wash all our clothes. I have the hands to show for it! And everyone talks loud in church. NO ONE knows how to whisper. So picture while someone is talking at the pulpit or in class, someone in the back is talking to their kid, and who knows what. Haha that's kind of strange.

But I am doing really great! The language is coming along, and I understand almost everything that is said! I just can't talk very well.. but I talked with other missionaries at the conference that I was in the CCM with and they are having the same thing happen right now so that's good!

I love you guys so very much! And I pray for you all the time!! Thank you for your prayers and support! It really helps!

Love from Bermejo, Bolivia
Hermana Clark

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hola familia!

Hola familia!

My bug bites are good.. now my other foot is swollen! Haha it's quite the look I've got going... Not only am I the whitest person these people have ever seen, but my foot is rather large. But my comp and I still get whistled at so I guess they don't care.

We have a family getting baptized next week, and getting married this week! I'm so excited for them! One of the sisters I live with has been sick all week with bronchitis, however that's spelled, so we did splits a couple times and I stayed home and studied, so that was fun!

Lots of storms this week too! It will be blazing hot one minute, and then all of a sudden a sand storm will come and start raining! It's been a good relief from the heat.

This week has been tough because of the language, but I have prayed more than ever and I feel it strengthen me. I have faith in Heavenly Father, and I know He has faith in me. He wants me to succeed! He just needs me to grow into the missionary He needs me to be first. I've been teaching a lot more. I'm able to share more. And I understand almost everything that's being said, I just don't know the words to respond back yet..

My comp and I set up the Christmas tree, it looks great! Thanks mom!! I'm doing well here, and I love serving these people. I can't wait until I can speak more so I can really feel like I'm helping these people. But I love them! And I pray for them all the time! I pray for you guys too all the time! I hope you are all doing well!

I love you!!!
Hermana Clark
© 2013 Microsoft

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy late birthday to Beck and Wes!

 Hola from Bermeja!

MOM THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CHRISTMAS PACKAGES!!!!! I can't wait to open them! And decorate the tree today!! All of them had been opened, but I think it's all there.. The wrapping had been poked to see what was inside as well, but I won't peak. Thanks so much though, it will make Christmas so exciting!!

Sounds like you guys are having a really awesome Thanksgiving Break!!! They of course don't celebrate it here, but I live with another North American sister, and told her it was Thanksgiving, and she said "oh...really??" haha and that was the extent of our celebration. But every prayer I said that day was just all what I am thankful for.

Do you remember what was said during my setting apart blessing? Also, did you get the bank card figured out? They give us a card to use here, and it's bank of america as well. Also, do you think you could find some scripture cases for me? Some with a zipper and I don't know colorful.. Just whatever you like!

Funny story! So on Sunday we were walking to church, and some of our investigators rode by on their motorcycle. Everyone drives motorcycles here, and they try to fit as many people as they can on them. But this is the most I've seen. So this family had a child in the front, then the dad driving, child behind him, the mom, and then a child strapped to her back! So insane! I wish I had a picture! But we have two families getting baptized in the next few weeks! I'm so excited for them!! And one family is getting married in the next couple weeks to prepare for their baptism.

We get to skype on Christmas so prep the computer!!!!!!! Haha I'm so excited to skype you guys!!

I have bug bites ALL OVER! So it happens while I am sleeping because I wake up with them.... It's crazy.. But I am doing well, and enjoying the people in Bermeja. I'm not sure why anyone would settle here because it's so stinking hot.. But people did! Haha lots of people here!

All last week we had crazy rain storms! Its rained everyday, and it felt awesome!! And I actually had to go to the bathroom! When it's hot here I drink a lot of water all day, but never need the bathroom because you just sweat so much. Haha so it was weird needing the bathroom last week..

Oh ps my foot is better! I guess it was an ant bite? But it's not swollen anymore, just tender. Tell Grandma Clark and Grandma Betty hi!!! That's so fun they were both there for thanksgiving, and Jer and Kels!! How fun!!!

Oh my goodness so when the members feed us they feed us so much meat it is out of control. Honestly it's like 6 servings of meat. They start out with a soup which has a hunk of meat. Even though it's hot out they like to eat soup. Haha And then they bring out a plate with some sort of meat, and then they give you another, and then some chicken, and then some ribs, and then potatoes, and "salad" which is actually just onions and tomatos. It's insane! Haha so much foooood! But we don't eat all day other than just that meal. We eat some crackers sometimes but I'm not ever hungry for food. That one meal just does it for ya.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you so much! Thanks for all the emails, love, prayers, and support! I need it all!!

Love from the depths of burning hot Bermeja,
Hermana Clark :)

Toad bugs
Toad bugs are huge!

A Rodeo!!!!
Birthday party for a sister in the ward

Me and my comp!

Christmas packages!

Ovens where they cook bread