It's definitely my 8 months today. Which means I only have 10 months left. Which means one month till halfway. It feels like when you go to Disneyland and you know that the park is almost closing which means the firework show is coming and that's awesome, but also that it's almost time to go home. So bittersweet.

SOMETIMES THE ADORABLE FAMILIES IN MY WARD MAKE ME SO TRUNKY. They're just so dang cute. And I'm definitely eating sugar again. But I'm also working out again! Fair? And we didn't do anything for April Fool's day, super lame. ANNNYYWAYYYSSS...
Giraffe Selfie with Sister Clark
I don't even know where to start, holy cow.

OH, MATT.  We taught him the restoration this week, and it was such a great lesson - he received everything so well, and had really great questions, and HE'S GETTING BAPTIZED ON APRIL 26th!! Gah!!

Honestly, most of our appointments cancelled on us, which was super lame, but it's okay because GENERAL CONFERENCE!! It was so amazing. Can we just talk about how incredible conference is for a sec? Kay thanks.

Can you even imagine? In ancient times this NEVER would have been possible, not even a couple hundred years ago, and yet here we are, receiving direct revelation from God, twice a year, to the ENTIRE EARTH. And all the spiritual preparation that goes into it, and the fact that it's not general information, but very particular to our needs and circumstances, and to preparing the world and its inhabitants for the coming of Jesus Christ, and I JUST LOVE CONFERENCE.

Now I'm going to talk about M. Russell Ballard's talk. Which is about missionary work. ;)

I loved the story of Peter helping the lame man - he didn't just exercise his priesthood to command him to arise, but he reached out his hand, helped him up, and walked into the temple with him.

Can you imagine how many people would come unto Christ if we were to follow the challenge given by Elder Ballard to invite at least 4 people a year to meet with the missionaries? And how much more you'll be prepared to share your knowledge of the gospel with others when you study the inspired words in Preach My Gospel? And as many times as I've asked you to share your studies with me, and missionary experiences, now an apostle of the Lord has asked you to tell ME (a full time missionary) about your studies, and ask me to share mine, too! I'll share something I learned about faith, right this minute.

I was reading about Faith in True to the Faith and Preach My Gospel and had the coolest revelation about it. So first of all, what is faith in Christ?
1. An assurance that He exists.
2. A correct idea of His character.
3. A knowledge that you are striving to live your life according to His will.
That's great, but so many of the people I've taught have this question: "HOW? How do I have faith, how does it start?" Besides the very seedling beginning of having even the smallest desire, I realized that there is somewhat of a cycle. In both TttF and PMG, we are told that faith promotes repentance, obedience, and diligent/selfless service. But as I was thinking about it, some people need a solid idea of action and reaction, if/then, attempt and consequence, etc. before the concept of faith will really make sense to them. Take service, the one I see as the least abstract concept with the most visible (temporal) blessings. When people serve, they feel good, and they can see the good they've done. They will receive natural consequences or blessings, and it will strengthen their faith. Take our LA Kyle, for example. We've tried to explain faith to him on multiple occasions. We've also tried to explain repentance, and the blessings and commandment to be obedient. But he keeps telling us it just doesn't make sense, and his progression is limited because of that. However, if we help him by giving him opportunities to SERVE, he might be promoted to have more faith in God, which will lead to a desire to change (repentance), which leads to more exact obedience, which leads to serving more diligently, etc, etc. 

I don't know if this all makes sense to you, but it was sure a great revelation to me, and I'm grateful for this further understanding of faith.


In other news, I went on exchanges with Hermana Mitchell again this week! Except this time I went Spanish! It was super awesome, and I felt super dumb. But I did learn how to say, "La Iglesia es verdadera" or something like that, and "El Libro de Mormon is la palabra de Dios!" Except I kept accidentally saying "Limon" instead of "Mormon" hahaha! Also I learned how to say, "Soy wera" which means "I'm a white girl" so that was useful. ;) Also, Sister Mitchell is a heaven send and we talked a lot and it was so great. She's almost done, how crazy!
Main Street in Crescent, OK
Also, on another note, I think that humanity (or at least in our culture) has this idea that if you're not originally good at something, you can't ever be. But Heavenly Father's plan is one of eternal progression! Like President Uchtdorf said this weekend, "We are eternal beings. There are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings." There are really no bounds to what we can learn. I truly believe I can be good at math and science one day if I put a lot of effort into it. It will take a lot more strained/concentrated effort than it would if I were to be learning some art or music skill, but that doesn't mean it's not possible! We can truly learn to do anything, because this life is not the end! I hope that's a principle I can help my children understand one day. It's not, "I'm not good at this." It's "I'm not good at this YET."

OH man, you guys, I talk so much, sorry-not-sorry. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. If you didn't watch conference, please do. :) Make the time, it will be worth it, I promise.

Sister Clark