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!