Sunday, October 26, 2014

Caleb is home from his mission

Caleb's missionary picture taken in Anaheim, CA
The sign we all made him.  At the airport was Lance and Nancy and their family of three children.  Jason, Me, Daniel, Alyssa, Scott and Caleb's best friend in the whole world, Jacob.

Caleb and I after the HUGE first hug.  So great to see him.
First hug with Dad.

Caleb and Jacob.  Jacob is blurry.  Sorry about that.

 Today he will speak in church at around 12ish  noon to talk about his mission. Our Sacrament portion of church that he will be speaking in is from 11:30 to 12:-35.  Caleb will be speaking near the end of the service. Then we will have an open house from 3-5 p.m. with some small snacks to Welcome him home.  You are welcome to come to either thing.  Contact me for the address if you want to go to our church or our home.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Traveling back to Iowa

I keep forgetting to post this last post about our Utah trip. This day is the one we traveled back to Iowa.
Chris and Jim the morning we were leaving.

Brenden on his way to school.  I'm sure going to miss him.

Brenden and Ammon.

BYU stadium in Provo, UT.  We were driving right by on our way home.

Adding a new temple in Provo, UT

Beautiful scenery as we drove out of Utah.

I saw this at a rest area in Wyoming and thought it was cool.

Passing right through Jared's mission boundries.

Cool sign at a gas station in Nebraska.


Sign at a rest area.  Made me grateful I was traveling by car.

Funny license plate

New opportunity

About 3 weeks ago I saw a job posting at work and I thought, "That sounds like something I could do and I really think I would do a good job at that." So on a whim I applied. A few days later I had an interview. The interview went really well at first, but then near the end it was just okay. I was so sure by the end of the interview that I wouldn't be picked for the job. I wasn't asked the "typical" questions you usually get asked so I thought it didn't go well. I was told that by the next Friday I would know. I sent a nice interview thank you note to both interviewers and waited. 

On Wednesday, two days earlier than expected I got a phone call asking me to come down to a conference room. To my shock and pure amazement I was offered the job. I said, "Really!!!!" The person offering me the job said, "Well don't look so shocked! You were my first pick. I must have done a little happy jump in my seat and gasped and he said, "You look so surprised and shocked!" The details were discussed and I was told that I had 24 hours to make a decision. Since I had already given much thought to this new opportunity in my life, I already knew the answer I would give if it was offered. I accepted the job and will be starting the new job as the Loss Mitigation Specialist on the 20th of October. I am excited for this new opportunity in my life to learn more about the banking world.

I will still be at Hills Bank.  I'll just be in a different department than I am in now.  Currently I'm a Document Imaging Specialist.  I look at loans all day.  First I code them, sometimes scan them, check them.  Then I sort the codes to match each loan document, then count all of them.  The job keeps me super busy but it's not what I want to be doing my entire life and since I have to work full time I might as well really love what I'm doing, so it's time to move up, so I've been looking for another position at the bank for the last couple months.  I found this job and thought, "I can do that!"

If you are wondering what a Loss Mitigation Specialist is, basically it is the negotiator employed by a bank to represent their interests in a short sale transaction.  A definition online says this:

loss mitigation is the act of lessening the mortgage holder’s risk of foreclosure. A loss mitigation specialist can propose several plans or strategies to the bank or lender to put the loan back in good graces. Many banks and lenders want to avoid the foreclosure process since, on average, both homeowner and lender stand to lose tens of thousands of dollars. It’s much more equitable if a “meeting of the minds” can occur to agree on a repayment strategy in which both homeowner and lender can benefit.


Anyway, I'm excited and I hope I do well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Letters and pictures from Jared

Below are some pictures (the pictures have the wrong date on them) and letters from Jared.  He is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He is serving a two year mission in the Ft. Collins, Colorado mission.  I haven't been too great about posting his letters so I finally got a few together and now I'm going to post them.  I took out some personal information that was either not to be posted or was for just his family.

7/11/2014
Hey mom,
Hi just wanted to say hi the spirit here is just WOW! like i have never felt this close to God except in the temple, also I have a new companion his name is Elder Burnside, he is amazing he know exactly what needs to be done and everything. so i would like a package of my medicine some food like cookies that would be great, the plane was horrible one was wayyyy to bumpy and cold and the other was too hot(the air conditioning went out). I have all my bags.  Grandma's home was neat and I didn't not see Brenden. Ammon i saw, and tons of my friends here in Utah. it is pretty great here in the MTC and i am hungry often cause of work out times and such. the temple is closed so unfortunately i will not be able to be inside and there isn't one in my mission so no temple for a few years. sad days. i think they sell stamps in the book store but i am not sure i got several elders so i have the nickname of elder Vandpelt (the best two years).
sincerely and with love...
Elder Clark


7/23/2014

hi mom i don't know if you will get this but I got to my mission safely, but i didn't get the bag. my theory for this is that they sent it to the other elder Clark ? so when you send me letters and such send it to Elder Jared Andrew Clark then i will get it Thanks. i met my new companion his name is Elder Hall he is pretty cool. he is from north Carolina. i wont be able to send pictures yet as i don't have a library card to have the power to do so i will be getting that later. 

then I wrote:  I sent the bag to Colorado, you should have it soon.

 7/28/2014
He wrote:  i have all the stuff. Thanks! today is my first P-day in the field and its quite bit of fun we study every day for three hours from 8 till 11 then have lunch and proselyte till 9 so not much of a big change but enough. I'm tired at nights constantly. You can send me more candy especially the sour patch kids and Swedish fish. The bag is alright but i'm on bike i will need a back pack as well, and i would like peanuts those are good like the roasted ones in aisle seven at fareway(yes i still know that store) and both because he is adopted from Russia to a family that is from north Carolina. We might be getting Ipads here :) the welchs is  great those were delicious. umm i would like recess and snickers.



Picture of Jared right before he left home.  July 2, 2014
Jared in the Missionary Training Center.
Jared with some other missionaries from the MTC in front of the Provo temple.
Jared


8/4/2014

Hey mom how are you?, How is the fam bam?, How is the dog?, how is my room?, what is Caleb's email address?, and how is Dan?. 
I'm doing great we have one new investigator as of last night who is from Spain and she has a hard time understanding English. if you could send me music and a cd player?
the music can be church hymns cold play piano guys and stuff appropriate for Sundays. 

08/18/2014
hey how are you doing? this week has been interesting on 
Tuesday we just had a ton of appointments, on Wednesday we had an appointment with a  guy we met at a gas station. he was a no show, :( 
Thursday we had a mini mission with one of the youth who has been having problems just like _____ before he went off the deep end. we taught a few lessons then he went home and we did too. we then went out
 Friday with him as well (it is a three day mini mission) we went to some more appointments.
 On Saturday we had to go tracking. :( yet it was fun we got three return appointments and we handed out a book of Mormon!  A spiritual moment i had was this: earlier i had a prompting to buy some inner tubes for my bike, as there was a sale i almost immediately did i bought four.  After tracking almost three hours later we were biking to a dinner appointment when we stopped. this youth who was biking with us had a roofing nail straight through both his tire and inner tube. We stopped at a seven eleven and amazingly my tubes I bought fit his tire!!
Then we went inside for a drink of water and the cashier came out and helped us gave us tools and turned on the air pump for free! we fixed the bike and we were on our way.
That night we went to a recent converts named__________ who has MS disease. this guy was a certified genius. he finished high school at the age of 14 and held over 365 jobs in one year. he designed a drone for the USA  at the age of 12 by the age of 28 he was diagnosed with MS and given a year to live. almost 9 years later he is still alive.  That night this youth was talking to him and started teaching him the plan of salvation with out any knowledge of it or with out studying it!! we then gave him a blessing for the sick because he isn't feeling well.

But lately I have been getting the impression that now that he has touched the heart of this youth named ____________. he has fulfilled what the lord wants of him and is calling him back.  I feel like   ___________is going to die.
this Sunday we had meetings from 9 till four we then had dinner and they just kept talking and talking for three hours.

Well how is every one? How are you doing? and how is the dog?

sincerely,
Elder Clark.



8/26/2014
Last week was amazing we taught 23 lessons and the ward really loves us i have gained the respect of the ward really well. they really haven't seen a "Greenie" teach as well as i do is what the bishopric said i gave a talk in church Sunday on mission work and i used Alma 27 8 which says something about ... if the lord saith go, we will go... the 1st Nephi 3:7 so it wasn't hard at all. i live with our bishop and he really likes us. we have a guy we do service for whom we call _________. he is dying. he has cancer and gets transfusion weekly so i think now is a good time to teach him, Thanks mom for the package the banana bread is awesome i love it. i am getting a lot of food from people some one gave us frozen pizzas so i am happy we eat a lot but we are on pure bike area now so we burn it off rather fast.
i was reading in second Nephi when i came across a scripture that says something like "if you were holy i would speak of holiness, but because thou art not i speak of blessings." which made me think what do the prophets tell us of blessings or of holiness? then i likened that to evil if the tell us of commandments are we being holy or are we being evil and not following them??
so that's my thought feel free to expand on that and get back to me.
anyways my life is pretty awesome i don't have much to do today my companion is going to the temple so P-day is today and i am with an Elder ___________.
with love and awesomeness
Elder Clark
 P.S.
We hiked horsetooth mountain last P-day then went to buck hay with members at their place it is a lot of fun why didn't you let me do that. 



9/2/2014
This week was good and really tough. we went from 23 lessons to 7 lessons. it was also transfer week. i didn't get transferred and neither did my comp so we are stuck here in harmony ward. not much has been going on here the members are still members and the lessons pretty much the same. we might have found a new investigator but he hasn't answered his cell and he already met with the bishop. im not sure what else to do. my comp has gotten progressively  bummier he is lazy when at the house and not lazy when he is out. he is also very condescending toward me and doesnt heed much to what i say. but other than that is was a good week we did 6 hours of service for the renns yesterday and our ward mission leader took us to this place called fort fun. (the pictures describe) they had bumper cars. 

sincerely 
elder Clark 

Then I wrote:

Dad and I along with Scott are traveling right through your mission today in about 30 minutes from now.  Weird to think we are so close to you.  I asked Dad if we could take the Ft. Collins exit on the way out to Utah so I could put cookies on your doorstep and he said NO.  You can blame Dad.  I tried.

Then Jared responded:

Mother, Please send them to me then along with my black jacket in the room. there is a number of candies i would like as well like jolly ranchers and gummy bears and stuff like that sour patch kids the whole deal. im bored here there isnt much to do, we got yelled at the other day and stopped and pictures taken of us until i mentioned the us privacy act and not to post our pictures.  So that was fun this guy was insane and really old. we saw him twice later that day and he pretty much followed us for the rest of the day. so creepy really creepy.


09/08/2014
hello family. this week was a lot better than the previous weeks. we had 11 lessons and a new investigator with a referral from the zone leaders. not great numbers but better than the previous week so I'm happy hopefully they keep increasing. 
if you have heard the story on the news a few weeks ago about a marine who came to visit his brother who was going to 1st grade and he wanted to surprise his brother. he drove home from base in California and got in a wreck and died. we are now teaching his  ________________
we got in contact through a car salesman in our ward __________ is buying a car from to keep in remembrance of __________. i have never seen this much faith in someone not of our faith ____________ accepted a blessing of comfort from this member. I don't know when we meet _________ next.
This week has been good we got yelled at and pictures taken of us but since then no one has bothered us. not much has happened this week so I'm kinda bored.
love Elder Clark 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Labor Day holiday-third day in Utah

Labor Day was a great day. It was nice to actually do something fun with family.  Jason and I started out the day by getting up at 5:30 a.m. to go to a race in Payson, UT.  Payson is only about 15 minutes away from Elk Ridge.  The race started at an early time of 7 a.m. so I wanted to get there at around 6 a.m. since we hadn't registered yet.  To read all about that running race we did then go to this LINK.

After the race we had a huge BBQ with some of Jason's siblings and their families.  I took a bunch of pictures.  At the end of the day I took a walk with Jason's Mom and I took pictures of nice homes.
Jess' daughter Abby.

Jason at the grill.

Jess showing Brenden how to shoot.

Gillian, Kevin and their two children.

Chad, Kaitlin and their new baby.

Jen, Jess and their children.

Jason's parents (Jim and Chris) and Ammon (the youngest child in the Clark family.

Holding the baby.

A bunch of cousins playing.  Scott was trying to wrestle Chad.  A bunch of girls were piling up on Brenden's back.

Me holding a chicken for the first time ever.

Chad, Scott and Brenden being silly.

Mia, Gillian's daughter petting the chicken.
Scott holding a new pug puppy next door.
Brenden playing with his Air soft gun.


A gorgeous view of the mountains as the sun was starting to set.


A gorgeous house in the neighborhood.

Another awesome looking home.

The view of the mountains at the end of the street.
A nice looking car.


2nd day in Utah

Before church while everyone was dressed up nice I took a bunch of pictures.
Jason, Brenden and Scott.


Three Generations (Scott, Brenden, Jason and his Dad, Jim)
Jason and I

Brenden and I

I thought it was funny that they were all on their electronic devices.

Jason, Brenden and I



Later on Aunt Kaitlin came by.  Scott got to hold his cousin Kathrynne.

Such a cute picture.  Wish it wasn't blurry.