Saturday, November 5, 2011

Patriarchal Blessing

October  2011

Hey mom so guess I'd just tell you that today in Jamaica is Hero's day so there is no traffic and everyone is on holiday. I woke up ready to go running and they were all out playing soccer and they invited me to play so I played a soccer game this morning from 6:30 to 7:30 and then got ready to go. It was a lot of fun I hung in there well but I'm definitely not in the running shape I used to be in before my mission.
The assistants are moving out to a new place but we are staying in the apartment with the downtown Elders. Ya everyone gets along pretty well. I went running this morning with Elder Dale and we ran together a couple of times earlier this week as well.

So on Tuesday was probably my most spiritual experience we went to take our recent convert Damain Gray to go and get his Patriarchal Blessing (there is no stake in Jamaica but we got a senior couple in July and the husband Elder Smith is a Patriarch so he'll be here for 2 years doing blessings) He invited us to sit in and listen to it. It was awesome you could feel the spirit so strong and it was the first blessing I have heard besides my own.  Damain will be receiving the Melchezedek Priesthood in 2 weeks and his baby mother Theresa who is a very educated woman (20 years old) and was raised in a richer area has been taking the lessons from us and has a testimony that these things are true and she came to church with Damain and their baby for the first time last week. It was really awesome to have all three of them there and in his blessing it talked a lot about his future wife and that he'd be sealed in the temple and I really feel like Theresa is the one she is way cool and has a very good head on her shoulds so we're hoping as she's preparing for baptism now that they'll be able to work things out with each other and get married.

We visited with the Sisters in Port Antonio, its beautiful there. Life in the office goes really fast we are always busy. 

Love Jake

Port Antonio

Elder Ostrin (companion from Santa Barbara CA)  & Elder Clark

 
The Office - Halloween Decorations from home!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Car Accident :(

9/17/11

Hi Mom and Dad,

In response to moms question, where else besides Jamaica is part of the mission. Ya the missionaries go to Grand Cayman, the Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas (Freeport and Nassau). Also Cuba is in our mission, President was just there last week. Yes there are missionaries in the Bahamas and Turks. We have two branches in Cuba one is on the military base and the other is kind of an underground branch.

This has been the craziest week so far on my mission.  Monday night we drove to May Pen to give the Elders Book of Mormons, we went around 7 p.m. We thought we were going to be late so Elder Ostrin went pretty fast on the highway and it started to pour with rain and then we started to hydroplane and spin over the highway and we hit a tree then spun 50 yards into a bog and into the bushes off the highway. We couldve died or gotten really hurt but we were ok. Well we were so far stuck in the mud and the tow truck came and couldn't get us out and then the tow truck broke down so they had to call another tow truck to pull us out and the other tow truck out. It took 4 hours to get us out we didnt get back til way late. The Assistants and Elder Tuai and Stubbs came to help us out on the highway we were between Spanish Town and Portmore when this happened. So now I am the designated driver which sucks because now I have to drive all the time and our car that is being fixed now was an automatic so  I have to learn how to drive stick in the crazy Kingston traffic, which has not been fun its like super busy (kind of like India when the Amazing Race people go there, just cars, motorcycles, dogs, goats and people everywhere) I was pretty scared to drive a stick in this crazy place but im getting better at it.
 
Oh ya and Ive been really sick the past two days I felt like I had strep throat but I think its just a normal cough and sore throat now. and my body has just felt super weak lately. We didnt get in til 6 last night cuz we had tons of work at the office to do but I just went straight to bed cuz Ive felt so nasty. Also on Thursday night we had to drive past Mandeville all the way to Junction and then we stayed the night at the May Pen house cuz we wouldnt have been able to make it back to Kingston.
Love
 
Elder Clark

9/24/11

Hi Mom,
 
No we didnt get our truck back yet and I still have to drive all the time and it will probably stay that way depending on how much money the accident cost the mission.  Ya we have been pretty busy this week we have to be home by 9 unless we are teaching a lesson then we have to be home by 9:30. We all usually excercise in the mornings and night in the six man house and others play the guitar and Elder Stubbs and I play on the keyboard we have one in our house so yes I get to play it  and I'm getting a lot better. it's fun to play I like it a lot. This week has been pretty tough on me I think this week I've been the most homesick on my mission and these upcoming months I probably will be homesick often cuz I love Sept. through December, back home everyone going back to school, soccer, work, halloween decorations, thanksgiving and xmas so ya Ive been pretty homesick this week.
 
Tell the Pollocks I said hi and hope they are doing well. Thats cool about Dane you'll have to email me and tell me where he's going when you find out.  Lots of car paperwork for registration, mail, immigration, and organizing things here. The weeks go by so much faster though when you are in the office I do have to admit.

Oh and I forgot to tell you that I taught my first district meeting on Wednesday in Portmore which went well, did I tell you I was District Leader I cant remember? It's normally just one District Leader in a District but because we're office Elders we split the teaching so I teach every other week cuz we're busy and we have to prepare for it. Us, the downtown Elders, and the Portmore Elders are in our district.

Love
 
Jake

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Culture Shock at "The Office"

Hey Family,
 
It's good to hear from you. Yes I can assure you moving to the office is a good thing.
  
The office is really cool. The first time I stepped in my mouth was just jaw dropped open Sister Daniels (the office Senior couple) was having a fun time showing me around she knew I was having a huge culture shock its like being back in America again in a way nice office. We each have our own desks and computers. We drive around to the other Zones and areas to get them things they need like bikes, Book of Mormons, pamphlets etc.
 
We went to Port Antonio to get Sister Lavili's passport from her yesterday she's a new sister getting trained by Sister Payne. I'll send a pic. Port Antonio is so beautiful I would love to serve there.  Just the drive is beautiful right next to the water. I have a pic but its in the dark but the ocean is behind us the church is right across the road from the ocean. We've taken care of immigration for a new sister coming in this next transfer just a lot of driving and standing in lines. I was having flashback memories to me and you mom traveling to Los Angeles in the morning and waiting out in the cold outside the big building to get my passport just after Christmas.
 
Yes I'm still staying in shape the assistants and I went running this morning and Elder Dale will probably continue to run with me. We had to go to the Goodyear tire shop as well and buy tires and get ours switched out. Being in the office is way busy though since Wednesday we have only had time to teach one recent convert lesson but hopefully next week we'll get more teaching in. We don't really even get to study we go straight to the office in the morning and we are given work to do when we arrive. It's definitely a huge responsibility. Elder Dale was an office Elder once and then he went off island to Cayman and is now an Assistant. Once you leave the office you usually go off Island or a Zone Leader somewhere on Island. The other office Elder, Elder Baird went to go be a Zone leader in Santa Cruz. So ya things have been pretty crazy oh and we also pick up everyone's mail and packages and organize them and get them out to the missionaries the best we can.
 
I've seen President Hendricks every day so far he's usually in the office a lot in his own office we've had a couple of meetings with him mainly about the vehicles and what we're going to need to do. We email at the office but the internet is down so we are at the Kingston bookshop in the boulevard center where I used to email from when I served in Boulevard. We don't usually buy a lot of food cuz we usually eat out at restaurants with the assistants and/or Kingston Zone leaders for lunch or dinner.
 
It's so weird being in the office this first week though I don't  feel like I'm in the same mission anymore, just lots of work we have to do to make sure the work goes smoothly for everyone else on the island. Glad everyone is having a good start back to school.
 
Love, Jake

Monday, September 5, 2011

Moving to Downtown Kingston as an Office Elder!

Hey Mom & Dad,

Allright so we got transfer calls on Saturday and guess what I'm getting transferred again and Elder Paxman is staying here in Spanish Town! But I'm getting promoted yay :) I'm moving to Downtown Kingston to be an Office Elder. I will be in charge of a lot of stuff for the missionaries visas, plane tickets, paperwork etc.  and I will be living with the assistants and working with the assistants and President Hendricks more :) The office elders have a way nice truck. The assistants, us and President have the nicest vehicles. I'll get to see all of the island because they drive all over to do things. And I'll be writing to you again on Saturday because us and the assistants take Pday on Saturday instead of Monday. I'm super excited for this opportunity to be trusted with and I'll for sure work hard. It's going to be more like a job than being a missionary we only get to proselyte for three hours at the end of the day if we're not driving somewhere else. Elder Ostrin is going to be my companion he is from Santa Barbara California and he was a water polo player and I know he went to BYU thats all I really know about him. (Theres only one companionship that are office elders in case you were wondering)

I really have enjoyed my time here in Spanish Town with Elder Paxman though, its been a really awesome transfer and I made so many friends here with the members its hard to leave. Neco seemed a little upset I was going but we all have to go where the Lord wants us to go.

Well I hope you and dad had a good time and good luck with home schooling Matthew.  I did get Kristi's package it was awesome tell her thankyou.
 
We are going to Linstead today to go to Natural Bridge which is supposed to be one of the wonders of the world so Im excited for that I'll be sure to send you pics. Neco was the first person I have personally baptized. Just an interesting fact but according to President Vinas for every 100 investigators that the Jamaica mission finds and teaches we baptize 2 of them. A very low number but we just all need to keep working hard it's tough but we're really hoping we can get a stake here soon.

Love, Jake

Monday, August 29, 2011

Neco's Baptism - Tie Burning on Friday!

Hey Family,

This week was a really good week on Wednesday I stayed here in Spanish Town after District meeting with Elder Taylor on a trade off which was a lot of fun to get to catch up with him. On Friday the Zone Leaders (Elder Mackey and Elder Montegomery) and us went with the Whiteheads the new humanitarian aid couple to build chicken coops so we did that for several hours and got the walls up.
 
Yep I hit 6 months this Friday and yes the time has gone by way fast. I'll be burning a tie on Friday. At 6 months you burn a tie at a year you burn a shirt at 18 months you burn a pair of pants and at 2 years you burn all three :) A missionary tradition here.
 
We had the baptism of Neco Patterson on Saturday it was an awesome service a lot of people showed up and he really wanted me to baptize him so I did. We always try to get someone in the Branch to do it because the missionaries won't always be here but he really wanted me to and his aunts who he lives with wanted me to so I did and it was a great experience for me. Well we found many female investigators this week that all live in one neighborhood circle together. I really like Raquel she's pretty cool and she's going to allow us to teach her oldest daughter who they call Pinky she's 10 years old so we'll start teaching her tomorrow probably. We get transfer calls this Saturday and we're pretty sure that Elder Paxman will be leaving because he's been here for 6 months you never know he could stay.
 
 I did get my package early last week thank you it was awesome :) I knew Sam was getting married this weekened and I was thinking about her a bit I was wondering who else will be married by the time I get home. When does Jarom get home do you know? I just play piano on Pday's cuz we email here at the church on the computer so I just use the keyboard while my companion is on. Elder Larsen actually taught me I still have all the notes I took when he taught me I'm actually getting pretty decent :) Our lightbulb for the kitchen broke so we just use candles at night but we'll buy a lightbulb today.
 
It's been awesome here in Spanish Town and I'm grateful I can be here in Jamaica and touch the lives of the people that live here. I know this church is true and I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord in his work. I'm definitely not the same person I was 6 months ago and I know my testimony will continue to grow as I progress on my mission.
 
Well it hasnt rained too much but it's actually pouring down as we speak :( I'll have to walk home in it with no umbrella ugh...not what I want to do on Pday. Well hope everything goes well this week. Tell me what teachers and classes Adam gets for school I'm interested to know and tell Adam and Matthew specifically I said hi.
 
Love, Jake
 
Neco's Baptism

Elder Paxman, Neco, Elder Clark


Building the Chicken Coop



 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Elder Clark - President Vinas Visits Jamaica

Hi Mom and Dad,


August 15th - President Vinas is coming to visit Jamaica and speak to us missionaries in Kingston (he's the Area President of the Caribbean) and we'll probably to go TGI Fridays afterwords ( the only TGI on the island) We bike every Saturday here in Spanish Town cuz we go out kind of far but most of the time we are on foot. 
Our apartment is really gross  we are probably going to move in the beginning of next month. There is a hole in the dry wall so the neighbors flood us out when they forget to turn off the hose that fills up their washing machine. The house has a lot of mold in it and it has a musky smell to it. Plus rats, an ant nest, and cockroaches. Sister Hendricks came yesterday to see the apartment and didnt like it so Im pretty sure we'll move into a nicer place. This past Wednesday we had a tradeoff with the Elders from Linstead. Elder Layton and I went to Linstead and Elder Taylor went with Elder Paxman here. Elder Layton is a brand new missionary that just came in at the end of July. He's way cool he's from Calgary Canada and was a hockey player. We did a lot of finding and found 6 new investigators for them. Right now we have 5 investigators with baptismal dates and we should have two Cheryl and Nicco getting baptized on the 27th of this month. Work is going well and Elder Paxman and I are having a great time serving together. By the way has Dane, Brendan, or Kevin put in their papers yet I'm excited to hear where they'll be going? Just wondering.


 August 22nd - Thank you for the birthday wishes! And please write a post on my wall saying Jake says thanks for all the birthday wishes! My birthday was awesome! Elder Paxman and I made cookies on Tuesday night for district meeting the next morning. after the meeting they all floured me outside. I went to the other side of Spanish Town for my birthday with Elder Montegomery on a trade off and we ate out at Pizza Hut for dinner. We are probably going to be moving in the middle of September to a new house.
President Vinas visited with our Zone and Kingston Zone in Kingston on Saturday. It was a very good experience you can definitely see Christ's reflection in him he is so nice it's no wonder he's a General Authority. We talked a lot about our mission as a whole and goals we should set for ourselves and what we need to work on to get Jamaica's first stake! It's coming soon we just need to keep working hard :)
Tell Sam Lee I say Hi! I hope she has a wonderful day! I'm so happy for her! We have a baptism coming up this saturday! Nicco, a 9 year old, we've been teaching is getting baptized :).
Love, Jake
Its a tradition in Jamaica to get "Floured" on your Birthday
Zone Conference front Row - Sister and President Vinas, President and Sister Hendricks



Making Cookies by candlelight for District Meeting









Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ether 12: 27 - Forever Strong!

8/1/2011
Hey mom,


Ya I said bye to elder Larsen on transfer day in Spanish Town cuz everyone meets there cuz its a central point. We had six Elders and one Sister leave us and we got seven new elders (four from Canada and three from the States). Yep and Elder Hobbs is in Hopeton right now I'm sure he'll enjoy it I told him to say hi to the Richardsons for me. I like Spanish town a lot and Elder Paxman is really cool he's a hard worker and a nice guy. He is from Provo Utah. He's on his fourth transfer here so he knows the area really well. It takes me about three weeks to master an area. Right now our area is the most dangerous area in the mission. They never whitewash this area because there are areas that we are not allowed to proselyte in and there are areas that we are not allowed to be in after 6pm so you need someone to show you around. I guess there is a bit of gang wars that are going on here. We heard some gunshots while we were teaching on Thursday. We went proselyting in Gordon's Pen where the three people got their heads got chopped off and near the river where they found two of the heads. Last night there was a fight going on on a street we were passing by but nothing that interesting that I havent seen yet. I guess we're supposed to have four to six baptisms coming up this transfer so I'm excited. We extended a date to someone yesterday for August 27th and they accepted. I dont know the people's names yet cuz Ive met so many people so I'll know by next week. Elder Snelson is training a guy from Canada named Elder Gurr who seems nice. Elder Taylor is training a Canadian (Elder Layton) in Linstead and is in our District and we are having a tradeoff this Wednesday with them so I'll be able to catch up with him. 
8/8/2011
Hey mom!


Spanish Town has been going well. Elder Paxman is awesome. He's a great missionary and great teacher. Hes very kind and is willing to work hard. Tell our neighbors I said hi. We have been teaching a lot of people here lately.
Carleen is a recent convert who had her leg amputated and has a prosthetic leg but it broke so she cant move around right now and has to spend a lot of money just to get into Kingston to fix it so she's been having a rough time. I shared with her Ether 12:27 for a spiritual thought and we had a good conversation and lesson on trials. There is also another girl we are teaching named Ashley who is 9 years old and her mom and brother are baptized but her mom wont let her get baptized right now for some reason. It was sad because Ashley came up to me and asked me what I do if I get bored and I told her I keep myself busy so I dont have a ton of time to be bored and she said she's always bored and that theres nothing they can do but sit inside and its not always safe for them to be outside. I asked her if she ever uses her imagination and if she ever acts like an animal or pretends she has superpowers and she said no. So I played with her for a bit and we pretended we were animals it was fun I'm glad I was able to brighten up her day a bit. I really feel for these people that have nothing but they remain positive and just keep on moving forward dispite their trials.
So anyways I"m glad things are going well and I'll have to keep you posted on how more of our investigators are doing next week.
Love Elder Clark

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chicken Feet for Dinner yummmm......Getting Transferred to Spanish Town!!

Hi,
Brother May (Gilford May) got baptized Yesterday! yay! The teenager we are teaching got a no from his dad so he has to wait a while. Zone conference was awesome and very uplifting. We had the area Mental Health Specialists and Doctors come and speak to us which was pretty cool. The work is  going really well, I'm not sure about how many of our investigators will be golden it usually takes a couple of lessons for me to figure that out. We are actually going to go play soccer right after I finish email so that'll be cool. We are playing Kingston Zone vs Spanish Town Zone :)

Yes I did get the Easter package actually. I got it like two weeks ago I forgot to tell you, thanks. I got the candy, gels, and cable and money :) A lot of packages get here faster but for some reason whenever its a Christmas or Easter package it takes longer for them to arrive I don't know why but thats how it is.
Well are you ready for the big news...........................? I'm getting transferred again! Im moving to Spanish Town. Which is probably the most dangerous spot on the Island. I have driven thru there a couple of times and trust me there are some very dangerous areas in Kingston but I do not even want to get out of the car when passing through Spanish Town creeps me out. There are tons of gangs everywhere and its just kind of freaky not a safe place. Theres been a lot of killings there and last week three people got thier head chopped off over there :(
Elder Snelson is training here in Boulevard but we don't know who yet. There are seven new Elders coming in this transfer and six leaving so a lot of trainers this transfer. Elder Ferrin is getting transferred to Mandeville not the branch I was in but the other one. I am going to be companions with a guy named Elder Pakxman. He and Elder Ferrin were MTC companions they are only one transfer above me.  So ya I'll have to tell you how Spanish Town is next week. Transfer day is always on Wednesday. 
So I had chicken feet for the first time on Friday night for dinner at a members house! It was definitely an experience. I think I can go without ever having that again :). I said bye to everyone on Sunday and got some people to sign my journal and I took some pictures. We did some service on Saturday morning at one of our investigators houses Maudeme. We made a big sand pile for the kids to play in and then a guy climbed to the top of a coconut tree in the middle of it to get coconuts and we drank from them.  Answering dad's question: Ya I have seen my Mission President several times since Ive been here and my companionship all got interviewed this Saturday. Theres only 55 missionaries in the mission so he gets to know everyone really well. Say Hi to Colin BTW.

Love Jake
Elder Ferrin, Bro May, Elder Clark, Elder Snelson

The Companions - Elders Snelson, Ferrin & Clark

Elder Clark and Elder Snelson - Kingston





Cut Down Coconuts.....

Hold Coconuts.....

Drink Coconut Milk...yummmm!




Monday, July 11, 2011

Best week of my mission so far!

Hey mom and dad!

I got all the emails from all the kids that were at Dana's house they made me smile tell them all I said hi. I got Alyssa's grad announcement two weeks ago as well as a letter from the young women, I got grandma and grandpa's email last week. People from singles ward and brother Banagas wrote to me so tell them I get their emails and read them and appreciate them. Tell Ben and Linda I said hi when they come over I cant believe its been almost 5 months since we were in Utah with them.
 
As for the work this week has been one of the highlights and best weeks of my mission so far. The past 3 weeks we have worked hard to find new investigators and organize our former's binders and so far have found 34 new investigators 16 of which we found this week. This week has been insanely busy. We have been booked on average three days in advance and have this week booked through all of Thursday already. We are going to try to go on splits with a member this week because right now we have more people to teach than we have time for. Brother May is being interviewed for baptism this Wednesday after Zone Conference and his baptism is scheduled for this Sunday and was announced in church. We might possibly have another baptism this Saturday as well if one of our teenage investigator's dad gives us the ok.
 
One of our investigators got mugged and was shot on Saturday night and is in the hospital now, crazy right? So we'll keep him in our prayers and check up on how he's doing in a couple days when we go to teach and meet with his best friend for the second time. It was crazy cuz we saw him Saturday morning and he seemed pretty stressed with life and said he was having a rough time and I talked to him for about 15 minutes on how we have to endure trials and why we are given them and gave him some words of encouragement, and then after the lesson I shook his hand and looked him in the eyes and told him to keep fighting. Little did I know what would happen to him that night. 

 
Tell  Deanne and John thank you so much I really appreciate it, and tell Collin I said hi when he gets home I didn't realize that he was pretty close to me. I guess El Salvador is kind of near Jamaica. Hope Matthew has a good time at Circle X I keep him and everyone in my prayers. I have set a goal that everyday I'll pray for 2 people that I am thankful for back home and why I am thankful for them and the things that they have done for me.

I am in Alma right now in the Book of Mormon and am on Deuteronomy Chapter 7 in the Old testament. I really want to have the whole bible read and that is my goal. It helps out a lot to know the bible here cuz a lot of people are pretty educated on it. The main religions besides ours in Jamaica are Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witness, Pentecostal, and Catholic. So we get a lot of questions about what is the right day to worship on, the gift of tongues and what god's name is :)
Hope all is well.
 
Love Jake

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1st Transfer to Patrick City, Kingston with 2 New Companions!

 Hey mom and dad,

Well my new area is very hot and humid and its back to the City but we are in a very residential part of Kingston. We do have addresses here in Kingston we live in Patrick City. We live on Patrick Dr. lot # 21. We go to areas like Waterhouse, Seaview Gardens, Duhaney Park, Drews Land and our boundary ends where the church is located which is where Dunrobin meets Constant Spring so you could google map those areas if you want to see what our area looks like.


There are no wards in Jamaica only branches, we don't have a Stake in Jamaica yet but are working hard to get one. President Hendricks doesn't have a branch he attends each week,  he just goes all over the island. We are the only ones in our branch but the Zone Leaders and the Assistants are in the Constant Spring Branch in the same building as us but they meet after we do so we see them when church is done. We go from 9am to 12pm.
It is a lot different being with 3 missionaries instead of 2.  Elder Snelson is awesome and a great missionary we're good friends and have a lot of fun and work hard. He is from Sacramento, from a city called Antelope so I'm not sure if thats near Aunt Kathy or Carolyn. Elder Ferrin is from a small town near Tucson Arizona, he is pretty quiet but a great missionary and together we have been working hard and the work is going really well over here. We had two investigators at church on Sunday and we all three spoke in Sacrament meeting. This is actually one of the stronger branches on the Island so we don't have to take charge that much.

Andre is an investigator we have who is in his late 20's and we've been helping him overcome his ganja and drinking addictions and he's been doing awesome and he has changed so much over the past week and a half since we started teaching him, he is a lot happier and a lot more driven to make the right choices in his life. We have two more investigators Sister Tingling and her 11 year old son Richard and they have been taught for a while and know a lot about the gospel so when we go to teach them we read whatever chapter Sister Tingling is on in Gospel Principles. She is looking for a house to move into so she can move out from Richard's dad who is against the church. So she cant get baptized until she moves out because they aren't married. Richard could get baptized but he doesnt want to until his mom can get baptized. 

We've talked to a few crazy people on the street. There is Digicel Rising Star who is always high and sings songs for us and he wants to be a big star and receive money from an unknown source :). Rasta Smiley who is a rasta man who took us back to his little garden backyard with trees, turtles, and fish it was actually pretty cool he was rambling on forever about crazy stuff we just sat there entertained. Oh and there was a man walking a cart trying to sell sticks so ya only in Jamaica. Its pretty urban in the area we are at and we have to walk by and cross over the gullies a lot to get from place to place. Its really hot here but it feels a lot like summers back in CA so I'm pretty used to it. 
Oh and I read a talk by president Monson this morning for personal study called Finding Joy in the Journey and Id like you to try and find it and read it if you could it was really good. It was in the talks that Kyle gave to me on my birthday.

Love,  Jake


Elder Clark's New Investigator "Peter"



Monday, June 6, 2011

Last Week and This Week!

Hey mom,

Ya Arlene was baptized in our building we have a font. most buildings in Jamaica do if they aren't renting like old doctor's offices etc. Tavia, Arlene's daughter, and a teenage girl named Tatiana both have baptismal dates for June 18th so that's exciting and we were blessed with a lot of referrals last week so we are going to be very busy this week contacting and teaching. It always feels good when the work picks up. It's really hard when you feel like you have no investigators and you have to spend most of your time finding.
Lets see a story... well last week we watched President Richardson get his bee suit on and go to a tree and gas out a ton of bees and then put them in the bee box we carried down. He might take us one time to go do some "bee work" whatever bee keepers do. They have a lot of bee boxes and they get the honey from them. It was a really cool experience to watch actually how you get all the bees. You mainly are looking for the queen bee it doesn't matter how much males you get. Some people clip the queen's wings so she cant get away. Because once you have a queen in your box the rest will come. Its so amazing actually how they have hundreds of bees to a box and like 12 boxes right next to each other and they just know which one is their home and they travel up to 2 and a half miles away to go get nectar and they know how to get back its pretty cool. We've had some fresh honey here with no sugar added straight from the bees and it tastes so good.
Wow I cant believe Dan had his baby already it seemed like just yesterday we were at their wedding crazy right. And gees Sam too thats crazy. I actually kind of figured she was gonna get married to that guy pretty soon after I left so its shocking yet not shocking at the same time. But good for her. Ya I heard about Rene getting baptized thats awesome. Well I sent off my letters with the British lady to Shawn and Dennis so I hope they get them sometime.
Hey Family,
Things in Hopeton are going well. Another lady named Andrea who lives in the same yard with Tatiana was jealous that she was getting baptized and she called us and was upset that we werent continuing to visit with her and that she wanted to get baptized too. We used to teach Andrea but we had a drop lesson with her because she wasn't keeping her commitments and wasn't progressing so now we are going to continue to visit with her and hopefully she'll get baptized soon as well. Whats a bummer is that we don't know where I'm going but we do know that I am leaving next week so I wont get to be there for the baptisms. We get transfer calls on Saturday.  And we know that Elder Larsen is going to be training in Hopeton. Our best guess based on everything else that is happening though is that I will be moved to Old Harbour with Elder Toutai (a Tongan) so we will see if we were right this weekend. Elder Larsen has one more transfer left he will arrive home on July 28th. It's been great serving with him and he has been an awesome trainer for me. We are good friends and I'm sure we'll keep in contact after the mission. Besides he has family in southern California so I'm sure I'll probably see him sometime cuz they come down a lot. He'll actually be in CA a week after he gets back for two weeks. My trade off with Elder Kraus went really well. He's an awesome missionary and I learned a lot from him we teach really well together and he's a good friend of mine out here as well. 

Today we went to Treasure Beach for a Half Zone Pday. So it was me, Elder Larsen, the ZL's (Elder Kraus and Dale), and all 5 sisters (Payne, Speakman, Wilkinson, Smith, and Everette). Treasure Beach was awesome and very beautiful. We played a game of soccer in the mud and had a bit of a mud fight as well. Elder Dale and Kraus picked me up and threw me in a huge pond for initiation it was pretty funny. We had a blast. We also went to a really nice pizza restaurant that a lot of tourist there go to and had pizza and ice cream. The water was beautiful its a bummer for all of us to look at it and know we cant go in. Ill send pics next week we just got back to Mandeville and are still wet and muddy as we speak on the computers. I left the cable at the house. I got my first email from Seth so I am going  to write him after you I haven't read it yet. 

Love Jake,

Elders Clark & Larsen

Hopeton Branch President Richardson and his family
 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

1st Baptism - Hopeton, Jamaica :)

Hey mom,

I had my first baptism this Saturday. we baptized a lady named Arlene Lawrence. Her story is pretty interesting. A piece of paper was by her gate one morning and she passed it by and then it was actually in her gate two mornings later and it was a page torn from 3rd Nephi. She read it, kept it and hung it up on the wall. She was later introduced to the missionaries right before us, near the end of the transfer before I arrived in Jamaica. But I have been teaching her the whole time since I arrived. She has had a rough past and she overcame drug addiction and moved out with the man she was living with in order to become a member of the church. She has changed so much and is truly converted to the gospel, she really is awesome and kind. I'll send pics if it'll let me.

Hopeton is a pretty tough area though. Elder Larsen says its the toughest area he's served in.  We spent 3 hours finding one day and had 3 lessons and only one new investigator and then another day last week we did finding for another 3 hours and taught zero lessons and got zero new investigators its pretty depressing. We are working so hard but there is barely anyone around and according to Elder Larsen this area is a bad first taste of Jamaica because the people can be mean. All we have here is rich people on one end that don't want to listen to us and potheads on the other so we have the two extremes and no one in the middle but we are continuing to work hard.

I have a trade off on Thursday and I am going to Santa Cruz for a day with Elder Kraus so that should be fun and Im looking forward to that.

Hope all is well and your all in my prayers.

love, Elder Jake Clark

Elder Clark, Tavia (Arlene's Daughter), Arlene, President Richardson (Branch Pres), Elder Larsen

The Book of Mormon the most powerful source in conversion

Bethal Street - a Street we Proselyte on

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rasta Mon!

Hey Family,

Things are going well. Ya they celebrate Easter Monday. Everyone eats Easter bun and cheese over Easter weekend and everyone either buys or makes kites and flies them on the weekend. So we saw a lot of kites in the sky this weekend.


It was a bit slow because everyone is on holiday so a lot of our investigators were out of town. One of our investigators Andrea is close to getting baptized I think. we're gonna extend a date to her our next visit.


We are teaching a Rasta man right now who believes in Jesus. Last time we saw him his friend handed him some ganja (weed) and he rolled it up right in front of us while we were teaching him. He asked what we thought about ganja and we said its not good for you but if you pray to know if what we taught you is true then you'll know if what we believe about ganja is also true.


Someone wiped dog poop all over the walls and locks to the gates of the church on Sunday so Elder Larsen and I cleaned it up cuz we're the first people to get to the church in the morning. We have a building in Hatfield that we go to and there is another one in Mandeville that the sisters go to.


Ya I heard about Prince Williams wedding here they talked about it on the radio in the taxis we take to town as well.
 
That is so awesome about Astrid as well I'm proud of her. Tell her I said hi from Jamaica as well as Tom and Roxana and Tommy. I wonder if Andy's grandma would accept the gospel or not.
 
Love Elder Clark 

PS: Jake also shared with us about an investigator but it has to wait until after mothers day to be posted :)

MTC - Provo Temple - MTC Comps Elder Butler & Elder Clark - Jamaica - Birthday Flouring - Sister Everette & Elder Clark - Companions Elder Larsen & Elder Clark


 




Monday, April 18, 2011

Pictures Yea!!

Hi Mom and Dad,
Hey dad thanks for the message. Things are going very well here in Mandeville. We have two investigators with baptismal dates and are working with some others and continuing to try and find new ones. I didn't get the package yet so hopefully it will come.
My companion and I work really well together and we are working hard. I had Zone conference this past Friday which was really good. President Hendricks spoke to us on goal setting and planning and we watched a talk that Elder Holland gave in the MTC  to the missionaries on January 11, of this year which was probably the best talk Ive heard him give. Im glad to hear about Astrid, are they still getting baptized? 
We are making spiced bun with Elder Mcloud's mom today (he came out on the mission with me the same day hes Jamaican from Mandeville so he can't serve in this area but his parents and family live here).
Ive been reading in Doctrine and Covenants as well, I think I am on Section 58 right now. I am also reading the Old Testament all the way through I am in Exodus chapter 12 currently and I am in 2nd Nephi chapter 20 right now. Ive been reading all three starting from the beginning at the same time.
The food is good here a lot of rice and peas (beans). Ive had jerk pork and jerk chicken, curry chicken, curried goat, Jamaican meatballs, brown stew chicken and some Jamaican fruit since Ive been here.
Hope all is going well and Ill continue to keep you in my prayers. Keep me posted.

Love, Jake
Hey mom. you'll have to read the email I sent to dad too so you can get the info in both. Zone Conference was good you'll have to let Kyle Shields know that I wore his tie that he gave me to that. I spent the day in Negril on Thursday and went on splits there. It was hot but awesome. There was a lot of white people there too cuz its a tourist spot. We worked at a soup kitchen for an hour that was fun. It was so hot though a lot different from Mandeville area. Im enjoying the cold thats for sure.
We drove by the Negril Lighthouse and Rick's cafe which are two big tourist spots. The beach looked so nice the water is so clear its crazy it looks like drinking water. Zone Conference was on Friday and it was in Savannah-La-Mar. Elder Larsen was there the day previous while I was in Negril. I went with Elder Krauss one of my zone leaders to Negril. Zone Conference was awesome. So far I have been to Mandeville (where I am currently just a branch there) Ive been to Santa Cruz for a day on a tradeoff, Savannah- La -Mar, Negril, Kingston, and Spanish town. I have been able to see a lot of the island which is cool.
I will miss you guys on Easter I'll have to tell you what people do here when Easter comes. Tell Adam Happy Birthday. I miss him and hope he continues to work hard and not get down on himself. Hope all is well your all in my prayers.
Love,
Elder Clark





 






Monday, April 11, 2011

Jam - Rock 3

Dear family,

Things are going really well here in Jamaica. I have a new companion (trainer) from Gilbert, Arizona. His name is Elder Larsen. Elder Larsen is awesome we get along really well and hes way cool. He's served in the Cayman Islands, has been a District Leader 3 times and has trained twice so I'm in good hands. How are things at home no one wrote to me this week. You have to tell Alyssa, Adam, and Matthew to write me on here. How are Roxanna and Astrid are they progressing still? 

I had a trade off on Thursday and went to Santa Cruz in St. Elizabeth for a day and spent the night over there with Elder Ashton one of my Zone Leaders. It was a lot hotter there but we had a nice truck so it was nice to drive around. I had my first brown bottling experience there (openly breast feeding in front of you while your teaching) so ya that was awkward.

I had my first "patty" which was really good its like beef and cheese inside a fried tortilla like thing that tastes exactly like a cheezit thats the only way to explain it. We are going to make spiced bun and cheese with Sister Mcloud on Easter Monday. (Elder Mcloud's mom. He came out the same day as me hes in the pic that was sent to you) so we are buying the raisins, cherries, and peels, and she'll have the rest so that'll be a good cultural experience. I'm excited to talk to you on Mothers day.

We had dinner at the Anderson's house with the sisters yesterday which was some good American cooking. Elder and Sister Anderson are the senior couple in our area that are in charge of the CES in Jamaica and as well as the scholarships and stuff like that for the Jamaicans here. Mandeville has been nice its a lot cooler than Santa Cruz was I thought I was gonna die in Santa Cruz the humidity was awful.

Hope everyone is doing well. Love you guys and keep me posted on whats going on :)

Love, 

Elder Clark

Moms message - 5 minutes later Jake received my email...they crossed in cyber space and here is his reply in answer to some of my many questions :) (Note to self.....NEVER wait until Monday morning to write my missionary again!)
I only have a couple minutes to reply to this before my time on the computer runs out.
 
First tell Alyssa she looks beautiful and I hope she had an awesome time.
 
It hasn't rained here in Mandeville so Ive been really lucky. We see the sisters all the time we see them at least 4 times a week so Ive gotten to know them really well. Sister Payne was the girl on you tube that opened her call to Jamaica I think so you'll have to look that up again.  2 sisters are leaving in July and the 2 others a few months later so that would leave sister Everette from North Carolina who came to Jamaica 6 weeks before me. So that means some new North American sisters are going to be getting their calls to Jamaica here soon, exciting for the sisters putting in their  papers at least 3 spots open for sisters to come here :).
 
They only pick the tougher sisters it seems like and mature enough to handle this country. Ive only been here 3 weeks but according to everyone else Ive met and what Ive experienced I think its safe to say that Jamaica is one of the toughest and definitely one of the most dangerous missions, but its such an awesome experience.  Crazy stuff happens almost daily Ive gotten used to it haha :) I think my companion is writing to you guys.
 
Love you all got to go and I'll have to tell you more next week. Love you. Jake :)
 
Last message from Mom - we received a great email form Elder Larsen - prayers are answered and Jake will be blessed to have such an awesome trainer, happy missionary = happy family :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jamaica - Week 2

Hey Family!

I read your email it was pretty long but thanks for keeping me updated. I bought a card reader so I'm going to try and send pics over. Send me gel and goodies if you send me a package haha :).

Conference was really good we went down to the Mandeville building to watch Conference because they have a satellite. Mandeville doesn't take that long to get to we just taxi on P-Days because  we have stuff to carry when we go shopping. I had my first patty on Saturday which was good they put it on coco bread. I've mainly had chicken (brown gravy, and curry) from members along with rice and peas and veggies.

I'm getting my haircut after this. Glad to hear about everyone and I read dad's email as well so glad to hear everything is pretty OK. My companion is cool we get along pretty well.  

Work is hard here because its pitch black at night and we go in because everyone is inside and we have to stay out of a lot of dangerous areas at nighttime. We are teaching Daphne who's 6 year old grandson was shot and killed about a month and a half ago. We hear gunshots every so often nowhere is particularly safe here but I know we are being watched over. We are also focusing on Nikki who is a young single mother and Tiffany who is a smart 13 year old girl who I hope will decide she needs to get baptized.

I'm going to try to get most of the pics over to you so I wont be writing a ton this week. But keep me posted and I'll for sure write more next week.

Things have been good though the Branch President and his family are very nice we live in an apartment behind their house.

Tell everyone hi from me.

Love,
Elder Clark


Monday, March 28, 2011

Jamaica Mon! Hopeton Branch

Hey Mom & Dad, 

Yep it's my first P-day and I'm at an Internet cafe in Mandeville. My area is Hopeton Branch and Mandeville is about 3 miles away, we have to take a cab to get here. Our District is my companion and I and then three sisters.


Jamaica has about 55 missionaries with 5 sisters and about 50 elders. Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, and the Turk Islands are in our mission so some missionaries go off Island.
We arrived in Jamaica and met two Sisters and an Elder who were in the Bahamas returning to Jamaica and then we met President Hendricks and went through Kingston to the mission home which was really nice. It was nighttime but it was still pretty hot and it smells a lot of ash in Kingston. There are a lot of people with fires and there are dogs and goats wandering around and people living in shacks etc. The food was good we had pasta that night and went to bed.


We all interviewed with President Hendricks in the morning and it went well he was pleased with my letter. My companion is Elder Powell. He is from Spanish Town Jamaica and is a convert to the church, he converted when he was 20 and is now 23 he has 4 months left of his mission.
Like I said we are in Hopeton a little North of Mandeville. There are a lot of hills here and we are biking and walking all the time. It is sunny here but I am actually at the coldest part of Jamaica, it gets really cold here at nights because we are right next to the mountains.  It is Elder Powell's first time in this area so we've been whitewashing and starting fresh by meeting members and teaching on the streets. You mainly teach outside here in Jamaica people don't usually invite you into their houses. Church was good, Sunday School class was funny because all the adults are all speaking at once and trying to fight to get their answers out and the teacher had to keep telling them to raise their hands. it was hilarious, they all get pretty excited about the gospel.


We hand wash our clothes, the shower is freezing cold and only has 4 little sprinkles that come out of it (the water pressure is horrible here), my stomach is getting used to the water so I've felt sick sometimes. Most of the people are nice  I get called white man everywhere I go. Ive only been chased by dogs a couple of times though so thats good. Elder Powell has been good in explaining the culture to me though so I can adapt. We walk and ride miles a day just to get around the hills and jungle and everyone is super spread out.


We went to one ladies house for dinner and that was really good I've had chicken a lot and sweet potato and rice and peas (which is really rice and beans). I miss you guys a lot and I've kept you in my prayers. Tell everyone I said hi and Sister Crespo thanks for her note on my blog. 


Thats great with Roxanna and Astrid I'll keep them in my prayers.


Hope all is well and keep me updated on everything.
Love, Elder Clark 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Encore!

Hey mom and dad,


My travel itinerary:   I leave Salt Lake at 6:20 a.m. on Tuesday and arrive at Dallas/Fort Worth Texas at 10:05 a.m.  I leave Dallas/Fort Worth at 12:20 p.m. and arrive in Miami Florida at 3:55 p.m.. I leave Miami at 7:45 p.m. and arrive in Kingston Jamaica at 8:25 p.m. I am the travel leader for my group so I'm in charge of making sure we're all safe and to contact the church if there are any problems.


This week has been super super busy. We had a new district come in on Wednesday with 4 sisters and 3 Elders so we met with them on Wednesday. and then had another meeting and tour with them on Thursday. One Elder and one Sister are going to serve in Long Beach. I've become really good friends with everyone, and really good friends with someone who came to the District last week.  His personality is very similar to Seth's, he is going to Texas and is from Washington.


I've gotten a lot of letters and I've tried my best to reply to everyone I just don't have a lot of free time. I just got my haircut while my laundry was in the wash so my head is all itchy and  my clothes are in the dryer now. I have to write a talk on Faith this week still so I'll start that after this email. Keep me updated on Survivor and Amazing Race I like the recaps. That was too bad for Russell.
 
Our zone is really tight, we all get along really well in our District and my companion and I are pretty used to each other and teach really well together. I got the package with all the pictures and got a package from Ali and from Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone likes the family pics.


We are singing  A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief for our sacrament meeting special number for my district cuz we are the departing district. Everyone has enjoyed the hymns here cuz there is nothing else to sing so you learn to love the music you can sing and listen to.  


We taught some recent converts in a TRC that were a couple with a special needs girl who was there with them and we taught really well about the restoration and plan of salvation.


Ive been keeping everyone in my prayers. I'll have to email you when I get to Jamaica.  My companion wants to go on now and we only have a limited time.
Love you guys,


Elder Clark

Final words from the MTC!

Hey mom,


Its my p-day again.  I got a package from Emy Osborne with a letter and 2 new ties as well as a package from Lavonne Norris with some goodies and pens and stuff. I wrote back to Emy already. We went to the temple today it was great. 


The days have been going by a lot faster now since our first Sunday. We had nine new missionaries come in 6 going to Texas and 3 going to the Marshall Islands. I met with them on Wednesday and yesterday we have different things to go over each night as well as taking them on the tour of the MTC last night. Things are going well its just extremely busy here and we really don't have a lot of free time. I have to write a talk on Enduring to the End for this Sunday last Sunday it was on the Atonement and next week its on Faith. My companion and I teach really well together. 


I need peoples addresses because I don't have anyones so if you could please get Dan's, Kyle's, and Kevin's for me as well as our missionaries out in the field that be great thanks. We lost 2 of our missionaries last week and this week one of the missionaries in my district was struggling but hes doing better now. I haven't seen Travis this week theres so many people here its crazy. I only get to go on my email on Fridays for a half an hour at the most, theres a scary red timer at the top counting me down. Tell dad I got his letter as well.
We're in the laundry room right now its crowded and I have to switch my laundry over in a few minutes.


We've mainly been practicing the first and second lesson a lot. We had a TA (a real or fake investigator they don't tell you) you go into a room and teach someone and there are cameras in the room and your teacher watches you. We had an angry old man named Gene Cross and he asked us a ton of questions and it was hard to stay on topic he was probably our hardest investigator we have right now and its hard not to get frustrated with him because hes very grumpy and moves from one question to another so we are trying to find a way to effectively teach him without getting hammered every minute.


I'm really happy I got called to Zone Leader cuz it gives me extra work to do and I like having a bit more to do and keeping myself busy with busywork. I also got assigned as our group's travel leader so Ive been reading through all of our travel stuff. The three of us going to Jamaica leave at 3am on Tuesday the 22. We go to Texas I don't remember the airport but I don't think it was Dallas, and then we go to Miami Florida and have a 4 hour layover there and then we fly to Jamaica.


Tell everyone hi and that I'm doing well and having a good time.  Tell everyone to have a nice day and I'll write to you this week or next Friday.


Love,


Elder Clark

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Snail Mail from the MTC - March 8, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad,


The MTC keeps us so busy there is barely enough time to write.  I was called or assigned I should say to be Zone Leader on Sunday already.  I barely know anything, but I have had to read a lot and study extra hard so that when our nine new missionaries come in on Wednesday they will be able to ask me anything about the MTC and I'll know it.  I am in charge of about 32 missionaries.  I have been praying for our new missionariess for when they come in to the MTC.  I just want them to feel loved and welcomed and most of all that they can have the Spirit with them while here. 


Today was a great day for learning and role-playing, but it was also a sad day.  Two of our missionaries went home mainly because of anxiety problems and homesickness.  The missionaries really look up to me here and I just want to lead with love and kindness because thats what they need here as they've all left their families very recently.  I feel like I've already in four days had to grow up and be the adult and leader that they can look up to. 


I pray for you and hope your doing well.  My testimony has already grown so much and I already regret not sharing the gospel with more friends while I was at home.  We have a group of missionaries leaving us tomorrow to Tempe Arizona and Elder Neff who is such an awesome country guy came in and told us how special we are to him and that he knows we are inspired men even though he's only known us for 5 days and that we have a huge place in his heart.  He and others have come and talked to me today and have told me that I'm going to be an awesome Zone Leader and I pray that I can meet their expectations with love and kindness.


I know this is the true church and that there are people who have been prepared for each and every missionary to teach and help them come unto Christ and we need every missionary here.  I know that many of them are homesick, but I will do my best to make sure that every missionary stays and remains honorable to their call while I'm here at the MTC.  Thought I'd write you a fast note.  Please write back.


Love you,


Elder Clark