Monday, March 30, 2015

30/03/2015 - Arriving Home! "A New Journey"

 So I'm home! I mean, I should be in that weird "returned missionary"
stage where I don't want to be left alone, or where it's weird to be
around girls.. But in all reality I feel completely normal.
 I guess the only logical reason I can think of is that I feel like my
mission went by SO fast! I mean, I don't feel like I was really gone
long enough to lose my swag! I feel the same really! It's definitely
weird not having the same schedule.. But I feel like that's a natural
thing when you move to a new place.. You have your stuff in new
places, you start new routines, you meet new people and you really
build your life, starting from step one, all over again! I'm
suspecting that's how it'll be in two weeks when I'm up at college.
New schedules, routines, people, life.. I guess I've already adapted
to constant changes.. And now.. I'm okay with them!
 This last week and a half has been crazy! I honestly haven't slept
much since the Saturday before I left. The plane landed and when I
came out there was a dude who had a beard standin' there with my name
out! (It was just my brother) we grabbed my bags, took photos and off
we went!
 I never actually made it home. From the airport we headed straight to
my brother's Eagle Court of Honor where, despite my telling them I
hadn't been released, I was hugged by teenage girls and women on
multiple occasions. I honestly didn't care at all but I felt a little
self conscious after a few older members kept reminding me that I
wasn't supposed to hug till I got released. Thanks. After the Court of
Honor I was released, we went home and.. Well the night wasn't that
young and I guess I'll just say "she died at an old age" (I went to
bed at like 3am).
 The next day I was super tired.. But my brother took me to go help
work in someone's back yard. I agreed although not too excited about
working the day after I got home.. I got paid though! $$$ Dolla Dolla!
$$$ that night I went to a dance and danced so hard I came home with a
wet, sweaty shirt and wobbly legs (I know that's gross but I honestly
felt the best I have felt in years!!!) I guess it was kinda weird to
hop into the whole "girls" thing at first but after about 3 slow songs
I got into the hang of things. So I basically became normal after
 Saturday my nephew Brigham was baptized! I was so happy for him! He
asked me to baptize him, so there I was, three days off the mission,
baptizing my nephew! It was a great time!
 Sunday I gave talks in two wards and had my family "homecoming"
party. Had a great time!
 Monday I went to San Francisco! I've lived close by my whole life but
I've never actually explored the touristy places it has to offer. I
saw for the first time in my life Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, the
Exploratorium, and the Walt Disney Family Museum (I'd definitely
recommend it to anyone who likes Disney, art, drawing, or any of the
related things)
 Tuesday was my reporting to high council. I was able to talk about my
mission for the third time. I might have cried.. But then again I
might not have. I'll leave that for you to decide with your
 Wednesday I finally got to rest all day.. I ate my first donuts and
didn't like them.. I was a little disappointed.. But I'm sure I'll
work it back into my taste buds.
 Thursday I helped redo my sisters back yard. It involved dumping out
a bunch of composted dirt and then spreading bark over half of her
backyard.. Also Popsicles were involved, so be jealous!
 Friday I had my homecoming party for my friends! It was a bonfire and
barbecue and it was SUPER fun! Only thing is, people came.. And then
left really quick. It ended around 10:30pm, for lack of participation,
and me and my family went inside to watch a good old favorite horror
movie called "drag me to HAAAILE!" (Well we just like to say it with a
southern accent). I ended up taking all night with my cousins and fell
asleep around 3:30am.. Four men in a bed.. Like old times!
 Saturday I was on a pretty big sleep hangover but still woke up
somewhat early.. Kinda.. Early having considered I'd been getting
about 5-6hrs of sleep for the past two weeks. I talked to my family
and cousins about movies I'd missed.. And tried to catch up on a few
of them (I just realized that "my family and cousins" doesn't make
sense.. Oh well).
 Sunday.. Well.. It was fast Sunday. I caught up with a lot of good
friends at church and we planned a beach trip.. I just hope it
actually happens! (I'll let you know next week.) We had a "break the
fast" after church and I ate a ton and brought some leftover pie home.
I'm scared I'm going to get so fat now.. But then the comforting
though of "you're going to college and have no money" comes to mind
and I remember, I still have four years of starving to do! :P
 I love and miss you all! To those who are still in the mission
remember to take time to enjoy it. Yes work hard but if you aren't
taking time to enjoy it you're working TOO hard. "men are that they
might have joy!" (2 Nephi 2:25)
-Clark out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

17/03/2015 - P.S. Xik Xik We

 Well Just writing you all this last day of my mission. I'm actually in the office right now just waiting to have my last interview with Pres. Curtiss. It's pretty boring cause there are NO missionaries here.. I was hoping I'd be seeing a bunch of old friends today but they all went to Semuc Shampey and well.. I guess I don't blame them. 
 This Friday the El Estor branch threw us a going away party.. It was a suprise party and I honestly was suprised.. not so much by the party but that so many people actually came! almost all the active members made it there! I have never seen or even heard of such a great loving act of kindness shown by so many people for two measly little elders who were finishing their missions. I was overcome with tears as I saw almost 100 people sitting in the gym waiting for us to arrive and suprise us with such a huge meeting full of balloons, photos of us, and a poster made for each of us with pictures and notes for us to take home. I've never felt so loved before!
 It's weird I'm leaving.. I want to go run by and visit a few families before I leave but I feel like I'll have no time! Time has passed by so fast since I woke up this morning at 2am and I'm sure it's going to fly by even faster in these next two days. 
 I heard today that Diana from La Colonia (the young girl I worked really hard with and who was just waiting for her dad to give permission) got baptized on Saturday! I am so happy to hear that and I can't believe she finally made it!!! I hope I'll be able to visit her sometime befre I leave tomorrow.. but I don't think I'll have enough time before the breakfast with President Curtiss.
 Tomorrow is my last meal with President Curtiss and his wife.. I'm scared that things will finally hit me.. I mean I still feel suprisingly tranquilo, like nothing different. 

Well I had the interview with president now.. it went great! He basically just talked about my future (temporal) goals.. about college, My future career and then of course he mentioned a future wife.. but suprisingly he didn't stress too much on that.. not that I think he had too much of a concern of me getting married when I get home. I think EVERYONE knows I love kids and they're in my future. He helped me feel a lot more set on my future.
 Well I got to go now.. the AP's are taking us to dinner! Love you all and I'll see you in less than 48hrs!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

12/03/2015 - As one good thing ends, another begins.

 Well as I mentioned on Monday, my last preparation day in Guatemala was spent visiting Ram Tzul, a beautiful waterfall! It was pretty fun and afterwards we stopped by Tactic briefly to eat lunch and write a wee bit before returning to Teleman. While in Tactic I was able to see my old companion Elder Ballesteros! It was good seeing him one last time!
 Tuesday we had a leadership meeting with President Curtiss. All the District and Zone Leaders in Polochic and Tukurú got together with the Asistants and President to talk about how to lead our zones/districts to be more successful. We have one of those about once a year. I learned a lot and wish I could be here next change to apply all that I learned!
 Yesterday we FINALLY got home after many hours of bus riding only to get a call from the office secretaries telling me and Elder Recinos we have to type up and send in our spiritual experiences, goals for the future, character overview and what we're looking for in a future spouse.. So after showering I did divisions with Elder Recinos and wrote my goals and such for over 4hrs while my companion Elder Sierra and Elder Hawks went with the ZL's to do the baptismal interview for Edwin!!!
 That night we had Edwin's baptism! I'm so happy or him! My comp says he doesn't feel like it's a real conversion cause Edwin was already ready when we got to him.. He says there was no change and he doesn't think it counts as a baptism.. I hope he's joking because I honestly am very proud to be a part of his conversion even if he WAS already keeping all the commandments beforehand. That makes this my very last baptism. I feel oddly like Elder Rodgers from the best two years.
 Well I can happily say with all my heart that I'm not trunky to be going home. It has hit me that soon I'll have to leave this wonderful paradise and I'm not feeling too ready to leave! It's hard when you know you have such a short time among such great people.
 It's finally hit me that these goodbyes I'm going to give aren't "goodbye, maybe I'll see you again in the next two years" but now they're "goodbye. God willing, someday, we meet again." I realize I may NEVER see some of these people again! I may NEVER have the chance to laugh with them, sing with them.. And for many who I hold so very dear to me I doubt I will ever have the chance to embrace them in a loving hug.
 I realize that this country, this life style, this culture that I have learned to love so very much is now falling into the past and I must now bid them adieu. Even in a passing visit it won't be the same as these two years of paradise, as a tourist you don't really get the real feel of a country.
 These two years here in Guatemala have literally been a small piece of heaven for me. No worries of what to eat, what to wear, how I was going to pay for food, clothes, rent. I never worried for protection. I've passed through bus accidents, getting hit by a cattle truck, parasites, rat infestations and never once feared for my life. I ALWAYS knew God was protecting me.
 I may never see that kid who always invited us to play cars with him in the dirt in front of his house, or that crazy drunk guy who still insists we unite Mormon, Moroni, Joseph and the local evangelist church leaders together to make a peace treaty and stop attacking each other, or the awesome investigator with a mullet who invented his own equipment for his carpenter's shop, or that guy who asked me to give him my tie and then when I turned around tried to convince me that "tie" meant "pamphlet" and that I didn't understand spanish, or the bus driver who stood up for us when an angry drunk guy wanted to attack us for no reason, or that guy who threw a rock at me when I didn't give him a quetzal. I may never see any of them again.. But they WILL always have a place in my heart and in my memories of this amazing place.
 I can't believe it's over. I guess technically I still have a week left but in 3 days I leave for Cobán and from there my missionary work will be restrained to pure bus and street contacting.. Hey maybe even Airplane contacting? Make the most of those last hours as a missionary! I've gotta do my best because after that it's on to my next chapter in life.. College. *shudders*
 I feel like I've lost hold of time.. Of my adventure as an Elder in Guatemala.. BUT as a man with a beard once said "as one good thing ends, another begins".. And I can only hope what comes is even better!
 As I leave behind one great adventure, I begin but another.
-Elder Hyrum Joseph Clark

Monday, March 9, 2015

09/03/2015 - Quickie!

Hey, Today I don't have a ton of time to write but I just wanted to let you know we went to tactic (a 3 1/2jr bus ride) and visited a waterfall called Ram Tzul. It was a pretty cool last P-day so I'm happy!!! I'll be able to write more on thursday.. it's just that today we have to get back to our area, tomorrow I have a leadership meeting and wednesday we'll be having the baptism of Edwin!
 Love you lot's and I'll talk to you later! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

23/02/2015 - He's one terrific, radiant, humble, thing-a-ma-jig-a-ma-pig!

 Well.. Update from last week we ended up only doing one service project.. But that was still super fun so I'm okay with that. People here aren't super willing to let the missionaries serve them.. Either they don't have anything for us to do.. Or maybe they feel bad making us work but either way we're not getting anymore pickups. Maybe I need to put in practice the whole "don't wait to be asked" method.
 I'm pretty excited for next week! A 16yr old named Edwin has been preparing to be baptized and next Monday, March 2nd, is the date! He's excited and we already have the agenda made with the speakers, hymns and everything. I'll call this a three day late birthday gift for Logan!
 I did divisions this week and while I was gone my companion learned a ton about our area and even found more less actives and a recent convert that we had no idea where she lived. I think he's going to do just amazing after I'm gone. He's really quite pilas at this whole missionary thing! I'm definitely going to recommend to president that he train.
 I got sick yesterday.. I'm not fond of it. I got my usual Migrain with an added bonus of a cold, sore throat and completely clogged nose (and head it feels like). I couldn't sleep all night and used almost half a roll of toilet paper to blow my nose all night.
 I'm feeling completely exhausted lately.. I feel like I'm being beat over the head with 2 years of sleep deprivation.. Feels kinda like a 2x4. It's never been so hard to wake up on time! (You can do it clark! Just 3 1/2 more weeks! You don't need sleep! You've lived two years without it!) Sometimes I wonder if the whole sleep thing is another bodily weakness that we need to overcome.. Like eating.. Maybe every month we should do a sleep fast to learn to dominate our bodies? I hope not. I keep hoping that after this life we'll finally be able to rest but we've just gotta keep working for now. Now that I think about it.. Is that what Sundays are for? Maybe not.. Cause technically we should be out serving and teaching and helping in the Lord's work on Sundays..  Yesterday in church a sister gave a talk about how studying the scriptures is more important to God than sleeping, school, work, etc. I guess sleep isn't all that important then. So when can we actually rest? Or DO we ever actually rest? Who can answer me that question?
 Well.. I'm starting to feel stressed. I have mixed feelings.. I don't want to finish the mission so soon.. but at the same time (especially when I'm so tired) I just wish it was all over. I hate that ending the mission is so much harder than starting it. I'd start a mission 6 times before choosing to leave one once. I just wish I could skip this part.. no final goodbyes, no thinking "it's almost all over", no elders reminding you every two seconds how little time you have like it's funny. Do they really think it makes people feel happier when they tell them they're ending the mission?
 Well.. I'm pooped so I think I'll end this letter.. I feel like it started good but ended bad. Well I'll try my hardest to make next week's email pure happiness and sunshiney delight!
Love you all!
- Elder Hyrum Clark

Monday, February 16, 2015

16/02/2015 - Farfel farfel fifick!

 Dear everyone, like I mentioned last week we've been doing lots of service.. Of course I'll attach photos so check those out cause they're dope! But we've been building houses and such.. This week we got even more service projects lined up. Tomorrow we're going to dig out a septic tank, Thursday finish up some of that same house we were building and sometime this week or next we're going to help move a family in the branch.
*Quick side note* When we were helping build the house for the members sister the little stream that passes by was a weird red color.. I asked why it was red.. And why it stinks.. Then jokingly said "is it blood?".. I'll leave the rest to the picture below.
 My companion is growing on me. I see a lot of me in him.. But I also see that he's so very different.. But así es la vida. I think he helps keep me concentrated.. To be honest I don't feel like I'm going home. I mean I'm completely conscious that I'll be home in 4 weeks.. But I feel like I'm just passing a normal change.. Nothing's different. Even Elder Hawks from my district says things like "Elder you're no fun.. You don't act like you're going home at all! I feel like you are just going to Petén or something." I guess I'm doing okay then?
 My companion prefers making food in the house, he says that it's cheaper and that he never gets full after eating in comedors.. I agree so we're eating in this week. He actually cooks really good.. And I also cook okay.. So we eat pretty well for a lot cheaper. Great things come from greenies! I remember when I first came I always had ideas to save money.. Like washing our own clothes.. But that didn't work out too well. Let's just say he might be a little smarter than me.
 Question. I honestly have no idea how to do this whole college thing.. I'm completely lost.. I just realized this week that I was supposed to go and take a track questioner like 2 weeks ago.. I freaked out cause I thought I might have completely lost my place in BYU-I and I called to get permission to check the questioner out.. I guess someone already took it for me? Whoever it was Thanks!!
 These last two weeks we've been working with a really cool kid named Edwin.. He's the BF of a YW in the branch and when I asked him the classic question "What do you expect from our visits?" He said "I want to become a member." I looked at my companion and then coolly said "Do you know how you become a member?" And he said "I think you have to be baptized.. right?" And I said "That's right! So when do you want to be baptized?.. .. .. Feb 28th sound good?", "Sure." ¡¡¡¡SCORE!!!! The plus side is that he's already attended church like 4 times! He's not living with anyone so we don't have to get him married (huge plus here!) and he has no addictions! He's definitely one of the chosen ones. 
 On the down side all four of the fetchas we had before fell through.. One still comes to church every week.. But her less active husband isn't getting pilas. She said he started drinking again and he really does have any desire to change. It's so sad to see someone so great not be able to get baptized just because the husband is chambone! But we're hoping to at least get them married so that SHE can start getting the blessings that The Lord wants for her and her amazing daughters. Step by step boys!
 Fun story this week starts like this: Wednesday we had zone meeting and on the way home in the bus... Wait let me explain something real quick. 
The bus ride to and from Teleman is 2 hrs of complete dirt road.. That has been passed over by hundreds of huge trucks full of dirt, sugar cane, rocks, etc. in short you leave in a nice clean black suit with shined shoes and you come back in a brown suit and shoes that look worse than before you shined them. (It's dusty)
 Back to the story.. Planning ahead for the trip I brought a handkerchief to allow me to breath through the two hour dust cloud that is the trip to Teleman. In the bus a Qawa'chin (q'eqchi man) sat down next to me and after observing that I was covering my face with a cloth said "naab'al li poqs" (there's a lot of dust). I had had no idea what this guy was saying to me and smoothly said something to try and fake my way out of sounding like a total idiot and said "Wan ut nawulak chiwu li poqs", which means something like "there is, and I like the dust." He just looked at me and then asked "Can you speak q'eqchi?" To which I honestly replied "Not much". He then laughed and later I found out from Elder Hawks that I told him I really like dust.. Let's just say I'm still learning. I'm actually surprise how good I answered!
 I want to thank my family for the pictures you sent! Everyone here loved seeing my huge family! They laughed that you sent me a buch of old christmas cards.. but I definitley loved seeing and hearing about Maynard y Janice's families! Thanks so much! I still have to read all the letters inside.
 Well I'm all out of witty things to say so I'm going to start writing everyone that wrote me. Thanks for listening and come back again next week!
Peace off, 
-Elder Hyrum

Friday, February 6, 2015

06/02/2015 - Training.. It's a good thing!

 Well like I mentioned last week I have a new companion named Elder Sierra.. he's actually from Comayagüela, Honduras but Tegucigalpa is almost the same place. I'm finishing up his training and it's great! Definitely no time for getting Trunky! I'm really Happy cause he is helping me keep in line my last change and.. well.. he's helping me learn patience.. again.
 This week has been fun.. I've been able to expound my boundaries and explore more.. Explore techniques and new ideas.. and Logan is making me think harder about new and fun missionary ideas before I leave.. that's really helping. This week we're going to try and do more service..
 Today we decided that P-day is over rated.. so we spent the first half of the day building a house for the sister of a member.. she's not a member but we're hoping that through our service she will be.. and who knows.. maybe the neighbors will see and want to hear more about us too! Plus I just REALLY love getting my hands dirty now and again.
 I've been seeing lots of bugs this last week.. We have rats in the house and one ran under our fridge.. I don't have rat poison so I thought maybe raid would kill it.. I sprayed a bunch of raid into the back part of our fridge and when we got back from visiting we found like 60 dead cockroaches all over the house. In the Kitchen, bathroom, study room, bedroom.. everywhere.. it was gross! I STRONGLY DISLIKE COCKROACHES! (hate is a strong word my little friends).
 well I can't think of much more to write.. I got accepted to BYU-Idaho! So I'm pretty stoked bout that.. I printed out my acceptance letter just so I can read it to my district.. jk I'm not going to do that. Spring/Fall! it's going to be a Blast!!!! (of studying and being responsible that is).