Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sister Clark

 Week #45: Add Up! – May 16, 2017 – May 22, 2017

It's that time again, transfer week! I'm staying in Kota Kinabalu. My companion is transferring to Penang, and she'll finish her mission there in 3 months. Our Mission President calls STL's if they are being called, released, or transferring to accept their calling in their new area. We were home playing Uno, trying to recover from illness and keeping our thoughts away from transfers last night. We thought we were home free, when we got a call. It was a restless night, full of tears. When I heard Penang though, I knew she was going to a great area.

This week we celebrated Sister Egan's birthday. We finished our last week of sugar with "Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake" (my mom's recipe). It was delicious! Before getting sick, I went out with Sister Egan, the only healthy sister at the time, to her area. We visited a member's home and contacted 8 teenagers. I didn't speak a lick of Malay, but they were kind and listened to us. I realized, I had forgotten society and how to talk to teenagers. It was embarrassing, but the Spirit was still strong. That was one of the miracles this week. The rest of the week, we fell sick.
Happy Birthday Sister Egan!
After contacting the 8 teenagers, we taught Free English Class. We teach this for an hour, once per week, and then teach a short, optional Gospel Discussion. This week, we shared "A Shower of Heavenly Blessings" from While we were talking about this video, we explained how it is about positivity and gratitude. During this video, I had an "aha" moment about positivity. Often, when we think positive, we think of a (+) sign. This is a "plus sign" or "addition sign". I was thinking of blessings when we recognize them, we feel happy. Counting blessings is a positive way of thinking. We can only be positive, because we are adding up! Sure, you can look at others around you and say you don't have those things, but you when you look at your own life, you can't count your blessings down, they aren't taken away. So the key to life is to add up! Add up your blessings, and you will be amazed!

Our "Healthy" Breakfast

My "African" Companion

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Branch Family Fun
Week #44 - Dear Mother, Thank you: May  9, 2017 – May 15, 2017

Happy Mothers Day!!

Thank you all of you mothers around the world! You make the world go round and round. Yesterday, in church, we of course celebrated mothers. In Sacrament, the Young Men and Elders Quorum sat behind the podium gave testimonies and stories of their mothers, and sang "Teach Me to Walk in the Light". The Spirit was so strong and it was great to see and hear the men have such great memories of their mothers. The sister missionaries were given the opportunity to teach the Primary for this Mother's Day. We showed them videos on the church website. One video I loved was "Life
Mothers Day Cake
Doesn't Come with a Manual--It Comes With a Mother" This is so true. My testimonies of mothers and motherhood has grown so strong this Mother's Day. Mothers are the windows to Heaven. In Heaven, we have both a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. In the scriptures, the love our Heavenly Parents have for us is compared to a mother's love, "For can a woman forget her suckling child?" (1 Ne 21: 15; Isaiah 49: 15) One of the strongest ties of love is a mother and her child. There isn't anything a mother wouldn't do for her children Therefore, how much greater must be the love of our Heavenly Parents? I've been
Sisters Clark and  Vranes
thinking a lot about my own relationship with my mother and the experiences I have

with her that tell me she loves me. I'd like you to do the same this Mother's Day. Pay attention to the things they do for you. Pay attention to the things our Heavenly Parents do for you. I love my mother and appreciate her. I have a greater, new found respect for her. I love all of the women in my life. Each of you exemplify Christ and aspects of the person I want to become. Thank you. Thank you for your example, and for giving me a peek into the windows of Heaven. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sisters Vranes and Durham
Week #43 – Singapore, Lost Luggage, and Birthdays, Oh My!: May 2, 2017 – May 8, 2017

This week was Zone Conference in Singapore! Singapore was lots of fun and I got to see 2 of my mamas (trainers) who are still alive in the mission (still on their missions). Sister Clark and I went to a Swedish Bakery where I got to eat my first Swedish pastries. Swedish food is sooo good! For Conference, we focused a lot on planning and preparing, and it was superb! I officially have 5 pages front and back of notes from this conference. I learned a lot about goals and plans through the General Conference talk "Return and Receive" in the recent conference by Elder M. Russell Ballard. There was one video, however, that was phenomenal. It is called "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. It was a BYU devotional given in July 12, 2011, and is a must see. This devotional helps us understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what it really means to receive His grace. He continues to relate grace to one who is learning piano. In this analogy, it was so easy to understand grace and what we must do to receive it. I cannot put into words how great this video was, and I invite all of you to watch it.

Returning home from Singapore, we had a layover in KL. Our flight was delayed 30 minutes and we thought we were going to miss our flight. Thankfully, we didn't. My bag, however, missed the flight. The whole time, I had been thinking how weird it would be and what I would do if my bag didn't make it. I was thinking of a few of the missionaries we had run into that had missing bags, and it just came to mind that mine might not make it. Well, we arrived at 5 pm, after 30 minutes of flying in circles in the air because of the bad, rainy weather, and sure enough, it wasn't there. The airline said they would ship my bag, but were very confused about our address (because we live in a mall). We ended up staying until it arrived at 9 pm. 
Sister Clark at the Swedish bakery.

Another thing that happened this week was a party. On Sunday night, we were invited to a members' home to help her with a Mother's Day service project for the Relief Society. She was making lots of food and I couldn't figure out why. She said some members from the Branch Presidency were coming over to meet a less active member in her home. Turns out she invited a lot of members from the Branch to celebrate my birthday! It was so sweet of them and they really tried to make me feel at home and part of their Branch family. I haven't been here long, but these amazing members know how to make missionaries feel at home. It was so sweet of them! I also got a delicious yam cake! It's healthy and delicious! Two things you wouldn't think would go together, but Aunty Josie knows how to bake! :)


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Primary Pictures
Week #42 - The Work Goes Forward: April 24, 2017 – May 1, 2017 (Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia)

This week has been great. The work is going forward in KK.  I love the city and its people. A few things that have been great this week are teaching people. One day, we invited a very less active member to an investigator lesson. It was amazing to see this member trying so hard to help our investigator progress towards baptism. They taught and shared their testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout the lesson, you could see the wheels really turning in this less active member's mind, and the dots were connecting. In their testimonies, you could hear them converting themselves. Another miracle was when we were running late. Our two less active members we were going to meet in the same location, but at different times, ended up meeting each other. We then had a
Our chapel in KK.
lesson about the Word of Wisdom. It ended up being just what they needed, each taking a different turn on the Word of Wisdom. They learned together as well as taught each other. It was sweet.  Church is great and we are starting to make more connections with church members. Many of the members, especially the church auxiliary leaders, are excited about preparing a missionary workshop and missionary open house/fireside. We've been bonding over sports with the Branch members. As we've been teaching a lot of our less active branch members, we have been identifying a lot of their needs. It's been superb because you can just see the gears turning during the lessons as we prepare according to their needs. The dots are connecting and they are starting to keep their commitments with a deeper drive.

On Sunday, we ate with a member who likes to feed missionaries a lot. She is in our branch so she feeds us the most. She only feeds the missionaries that she likes :)  I was sharing this story because as we were talking, she told us how she notices the missionaries that say "Thank you". She also told us she disliked American missionaries because they don't do that. She pointed out the other missionaries that are from America and made them an example. However, she turned to me, and said, "I'm sorry to say, but you are not fully American. It must be your mom." I
KK jungles
thought that was an amazing compliment and I just wanted to pass it on. Thank you mom and dad for teaching me manners!

This next week we are flying to Singapore for Zone Conference. I am excited to learn about becoming a better missionary. Talk to you in another week!

Highways in KK.