Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We can do hard things.

           As always, thanks for your emails! They are seriously the best part of the week for me. I think that a lot of people think that missions are hard but you are always happy, which for me has not been true. My mission is so much like a roller coaster. Some days I will feel great, and we will do really well in lessons and meeting people. But, other days can be so hard and miserable. Reading your emails helps me take my mind of all the bad things and helps me remember that I can do this. The first few weeks here were so hard. Not that the the things I had to do were hard, but I was so homesick and tired that I was miserable. I am deeply grateful for all of your support you give me through your emails. I miss you all so much. A lot of the time I feel alone out here. But I know that you guys are always there for me.

           This week was really great. We were able to baptize one child whose parents were inactive members! And through this baptism, we met more of his family who are interested in the church. We also have been teaching a family that lives in one of the poorest areas in our area called the promised land, because this is where people are humble and will recieve our message. They are getting married and baptized this Saturday! We have also had some other families we were teaching, but we are dropping them because they dont want to hear us any more. The people here just cant say No when they dont want to listen to our message. They say that we can come back another day, but then make up excuses when we come to teach them, like they are leaving in a few minutes or they pretend not to be home.

              We are taking a trip to Metagalpa this Thursday! I am so excited to go somewhere new. From what I have heard, Tipitapa is not the hottest town like Chinendega or Leon, but it is still so hot! The sun dosnt feel as harsh like back home, but the air is so humid and hot that I sweet ALL the time!  Metagalpa is suppost to be more jungly and cooler than Tipitapa. Ill make sure to take lots of pictures!


               We have not moved into our new apartment yet, but we are planning to tommorrow morning. I am super excited, because right now we are living in a really dirty house. Our house now is to big and hard to mop the whole thing  thouroughly. Our new house will be a lot smaller, has a kitchen! and has  small washroom for plates and clothes! Plus, we are currently living with two other elders, and in our new house, it will only be Elder Jacobsen and I. Its not that I don't like the other elders, its just that some of them are a little dirty. Missionaries from Central America just have a different lifestyle. They don't really care about their stuff, and if they see something they want
to use thats not theirs, they will use it anyways. It was really hard to get use to this at first, but now I am use to it.


            I have gotten a little sick a few ties on my mission. In the MTC. I had a cold, but the medicine you sent me with has helped a lot. My stomach since coming here has been VERY inconsistant. I had lightning diarrhea a few days ago, but luckily we were by a recent converts house and she was willing to let me use here outhouse. I think I just need time to get use to the food. 


            Dont worry!, I am getting plenty of food now. We go to a nearby grocery store called Polli which has lots of foods like good bananas, cereal, bread(But no toppings), and other necesities.

              My spanish is still coming a long. I can usually understand the  natives conversation now, but I miss a ton of the word!  


               Davis, Ike, Mom, and Dad, I love you all so much. Being outhere has opened my eyes. You all meen the world to me. Thank you for all you do. No one out here has it better than we do. Be so thankful that you have what you have, like flushing toilets, air conditioning, a refridgerator, and windows that dont have to be barred. We are so blessed. Next time you think your life sucks, remember that there are people that live in shacks with dirt floors, live on cocoanuts, and share a mega hard and lumpy bed with three of their siblings. They have two sets of clothes, and their most prized possession is usually worth about five bucks. People are so poor here, that today I bought a haircut for fifty Cents! (or ten cordobas, they are the same). We own the world compared to these people.

                  Thanks for all you give me. I have had some dark days out here, but some really great ones as well. I love you so much. Thank you

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Third week in Nicaragua

Elder Jacobsen and me


Dear family,

Thank you for emailing me this week.  Adjusting to missionary life here has been so hard, but with my new companion, it is getting better.  I love my new companion, Elder Jacobsen.  He is great.     Reading your emails really helps a lot.  I have missed you all so much the last few weeks, it is really hard to be writing you right now.    One of the reasons my email was so short last week, was because I had a really hard time emailing you because I miss you so much. I wanted to give up and come home so bad, but I know that this mission will bless lots of lives. I love you all so much, I can’t wait for Christmas when I can talk with You.



I have had so many great and terrible experiences just in the last three weeks.  I have learned how much I appreciate and love you guys.  A lot of missionaries don’t even have families that write to them and Nicaraguan families are even more messed up.  There is sure a different culture in Central American.  Most everyone is very friendly and humble and [maybe a little] dishonest.   They will tell you whatever you want to hear, or send their kids to the doorway to tell you that they are not home when it’s time for church.


Elder Anderson, Elder Jacobson and Elder Fairbourn
We had six families commit to church last Sunday and only one of them went.  They will promise something to you and break that promise in a few minutes.  The members though are so kind.  They go buy food for us even though they are dirt poor.  Half the people here live in a shack made of five metal panels and a dirt floor.  I never realized just how spoiled we are in the US until I came here.  Everyone is either skin and bones or obese because of how bad their nutrition is.  Good fruit and vegetables are hard to find and expensive.  Apples at the store are $2 each.  All of the other junky and sugary foods are super cheap though.   

We never go door to door contacting because people are always on the street; most people don’t have cars so they walk or take the bus or take a caponera (which is a bicycle version of what Nacho Libre drives).


Nacho Libre
Where I currently am is more in the city.  It is very populated here.   There are a lot of trees but it is certainly not a jungle.  It is so hot and humid that I never stop sweating throughout the day.  There are a lot of drunk bums on the roads and stray animals everywhere.

Yesterday, I had a terrible lunch. Some recent converts invited us to lunch. We were having soup that she cooked in a Witch sized cauldron over a fire out front. Inside were parts of vegetables unknown to any of us. They were not very cut up, so it was difficult to eat it. There was also this meat that looked really furry. I tried it, and it was as bad as corn beef, if not worse! I was able to eat the first two without puking, but I could not handle the third. Luckily the converts were not too offended. Afterward we found out that the mystery meat was cow tongue! It was so chewy and furry it was utterly terrible.

We went down and saw Lake Managua.  It was beautiful, even if it is a giant sewage plant.  At the lake we seen a pig that was as big as a cow! It had to weigh at least 500 pounds!.  You would not believe how polluted the lake and rivers are, they smell like the dump.

It has been raining the last few days and there is a hole in the roof so my bed gets soaked each day.  Luckily we are moving for the second time since I arrived here.  This new house is going to be great!

I am so jealous of the cold you guys are having right now! It is so hot here, I sweat throughout the whole day! Enjoy all the comforts you have at home, you have no idea how lucky you are compared to these people. Here, you cannot go without shoes anywhere! Even your own house. There is no hot water, and in most houses, water comes on for only a few hours a day. A lot of people have dirt floors. Most people only have a few shirts and shorts, so they smell really bad. We go around in buses and vans that are packed like sardines! There are so many starving animals walking around here. A week ago, We found a starving kitten that was probably only a few days old wandering around the streets. Davis´s rats were bigger than this kitten. We wanted to help it, but there was nothing we could do. Even with all of these terrible things, the people are still happy.


Nothing else is new.  Tell grandpa and grandma that I love them a ton.  I miss you all more than I ever thought I could.  When Christmas comes close we will find a time that I can skype.  Enjoy America for me.  Sometimes I really wish I was there.  Thank you for all of the support you give me.  There have been a lot of times I have thought about quitting, but each week is getting better than the last. 


   Mom and Dad, I know that you have already sent my Christmas gift, but could you also send some chunky peanut butter, and Jam. Bread is really cheap here, but they do not have toppings! Some cleaner for my glasses would also be nice. I have worn them since I got here, because I was afraid of using contacts, but I am trying my contacts today to see how I do. I love my glasses, but they get dirty so easy and slide of my sweaty face all of the time. Here at Nicaragua, people usually eat from Pulparias, which are like gas stations. So we end up eating lots of stuff that you would find at a gas station, like cookies, sodas, and chips. If you could send some other foods that have nutritional value, that would be greatly appreciated. Fruit here is very expensive, unless you want to buy crappy stuff.

   I love you all so Much. I have never been this homesick in my life, but I know that I have a purpose here. Please keep sending me emails Ike and Davis. I love to hear what your lives are like. Sometimes I feel really alone out here.

          I love you all so much, have a good night Elder Clark

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tipi Tapa Week Two

      

Hey family, thanks for sending me the gift and thinking about me. Nothing has arrived yet, but I am sure it will just take time for the package to arrive here. I am receiving your emails though! I love to read them so much. If you are going to send something, make sure it is addressed to the mission office primarily, or they might have trouble picking it up. 

      We had a baptism this week with a twelve year old named Anthony. It was really exciting. I also recieved a new companion this week named elder Jacobsen from San Diego. I am really excited to have him here, he is very kind.

     I dont have much time here to write, they made a rule here where you can only write for fourty five minutes, which also includes mandatory e mail to the president.


   Please keep sending me emails, I love to read them.  Dont worry, I am getting enough food here.


   Love you all a ton.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Letter from the President and Sister Collado


MisiĆ³n Nicaragua Managua Norte

Dear Clark family,


It’s a pleasure to tell you that your son, Elder Clark arrived to our Mission the Nicaragua, Managua North Mission.We love his very much, and we know that our Heavenly Father is pleased for his dedication and work.  Nicaragua truly is a blessed land and is an excellent example of the scripture (D&C 4:4) “The field is white already to harvest”. We know that your son can have much success through his obedience and diligence in bringing souls unto Christ.



Thank you so much for all your love and support to your son! He will be blessed for all the work he is doing for the Lord, and many of his children who are here in this country.

His Area: Tipitapa, Managua.
His Companion: Elder Ochoa from Guatemala.
  





We love him
President and Sister Collado



Monday, November 3, 2014

Nicaragua

 Hey familia, Made it to Nicaragua. It is so crazy here, i had culture shock really bad. All the people here are really nice and so poor. They don't have a trash system, so we just throw the trash on the road and the rain takes it away. My companion is Elder Ochoa from
Guatemala. He is on his last transfer and is a zone leader. He is really
nice, but a little messy. 


 It has been really hard here, because since Elder Ochoa is a zone leader, he has to go to meetings all the time. On our second day here, he had to leave to Managua with another Elder from my house, and I was left alone with another brand new missionary. We mostly studied all day and tried contacting for an hour, but everyone's Spanish here is very slurry it is hard to understand them. The worst part was that when we got really thirsty, we tried to get water from
the sink, but the water there only ran in the evenings! I have never been so thirsty in my life!
 

 The heat has been really hard to get use to, but I think I am adjusting. I sweat all Day, especially in members homes because a lot of them don't have fans running.    It is so Dirty here, no one washes their hands, and when you say hi to someone you always shake their hands! It took some getting use to, but I can put up with it better now.


 The members here are so kind, they are willing to give us food, even though they have practicly nothing. Last night, when the new missionary, (Elder Fairborn), and I were teaching lessons, a family gave us a piece of pizza and coca cola! Pizza has never tasted better. The food here is mostly hot dog buns, rice, beans and chicken. I thought I would be eting more fruits, but all I have had is tomatoes and grapes at the presidents house. I am a little scarred about how much food I am going to get, we usually get two meals a day, but I am still hungry. I have already lost six pounds here, but it might have jsut beene that the machine was off.


  I wish I could say more, but we only have 45 minutes to write, 15 minutes less than the MTC.   I love you all so much and hope you are all doing well. Please keep writing me letters, I love to read them. Love you all so much.

 Elder Clark