Read on if you want to hear about his awesome week:
Holy Crap.What a week this has been. I'll start at the beginning.
Thursday was District Meeting. President Bowen came and it was ultra spiritual. We had been asked to draw a timeline and plot points from our lives that had led to our conversion. It's called a conversion timeline. I shared an experience where Mom had lost her wallet in our apartment in Idaho, and was searching everywhere for it. I remember how distraught Mom was as she couldn't find it. She cried for hours as she searched and searched. I remember asking Mom if she had prayed, and she asked me to pray with her, so I did. She said a simple prayer asking for help finding her wallet. I remember she stood up and left the apartment. She came back half an hour later, having found it in a dumpster. I remember what it felt like to know that God answered prayers.
Well we all shared an experience, and we were about to progress on, but I realized President hadn't shared anything. So I asked him if he would share something, and he told us about his mission. On his mission, they got $90 a month (he served 40 years ago in Canada) to pay for rent, groceries, utilities, and everything else they needed. He told us about a time he got transferred to a new area. His Zone Leaders had given him the new address, which he had sent to his family. His mom sent the cashiers check for $90 to the address, and Elder Bowen got on a plane and flew to his new area. The check wasn't there. That was all he had for a month and he couldn't find it. After a week, they had no food and he had no idea what to do. His family was poor and couldn't afford to send a new check. He said "One night I knelt down and prayed that I would find the check. I went to bed. I woke up at 5:00 the next morning, woke up my companion and said 'we need to go look for my check,' so we left the apartment at 8:00 and walk from the suburb we were in to this city (it was larger than Salt Lake, but I can't remember the name) and we walked into the city. I had no idea where I was supposed to look. I didn't know what I was looking for. I was just looking. Across a 4 lane highway I saw a music store (about 9:45) with 3 envelopes stuck in the door. I thought that was odd, and I dashed across the four lanes of traffic to the store, and pulled one of the envelopes out of the door. It was my check"
It was so powerful to hear President speak of a time when his prayers were answered. He said he went on his mission without a sure knowledge anything was true, but that he had all of his prayers answered.
In the evening, a special ward council was held with the Yorba Linda 3rd ward and the 5th ward too. President Bowen came and shared things the councils needed to hear. Not a dry eye was left in the room.
After we got home, President Bowen gave me a phone call. That's never good. He told me he was extending the call of District Leader to me. I told him I could do it, and he said "Wonderful. Elder Clark, I am also extending the call of a trainer to you. Will you promise me that you will do your best in these two callings?"
Both of those caught me off guard, but the second one really threw me for a loop. I am still the Office Specialist.
Friday we had a training meeting. The day flew by.
Saturday we had service and a few lessons. The day flew by.
Until the evening. Elder Hyatt (my District Leader) called and told us that I was staying in the area, that I was going to be in a trio with an Elder named Elder Cook, who was transferring out of the Korean program to English. Elder Turner was going to Yorba Linda South with Elder Mungia, who is going home in 5 weeks. Elder Hyatt left the area, and my district would include YL3East and YL3West, as well as the Zone Leaders.
I didn't really expect any of that, and it caught me off guard completely.
Sunday was gone before my eyes.
Monday was transfers. I picked up Elder Cook, and then Surprise! We were given a car. We were told that I needed a car to be able to do the office work, since I would be coordinating between the Anaheim and the Irvine Missions. We got a new (2900 miles) 2013 Red Toyota Corolla, which is a nice car, but I think I am the only Elder who is bummed to not be on bike.
Tuesday I worked in the office at Anaheim. The printers were being punks (we have 8 or 9) and I spent half the day updating drivers. Windows decided to update Monday night, which for some reason broke most of the printer drivers. Great. I printed out a ton of maps when I got the printers up, and started work on updating a bunch of boundaries. We went from 217 missionaries on Monday to 240 on Tuesday with the new ones. We split 10 areas, and are splitting 12 more next transfer. The work is hastening.
I was alerted that we will be getting smartphones in the next few months. On top of that, we will (each?) be issued iPads within the next few months, as we are moving completely digital. We will be allowed to use facebook, skype, and a host of other programs. We will be allowed to teach lessons OVER SKYPE. We do not have further instruction yet, other than we were told to use these tools as creatively as possible.
I picked up Elder Parent and drove home to Placentia. I think the freeway system scared him. He was certainly confused. I took the 22 to the 55 to the 91 and then got off on Santa Ana Canyon Road. It was a lot for him I think. We unpacked his stuff and then set some goals. We asked him how many baptisms we should set a goal for this transfer. He looked at the standards of excellence, saw that the goal for baptismal dates was 5, and said "6". So we are now going to go find a family. We taught 4 lessons yesterday, and 2 today! I have a feeling there are a lot of good things about to happen.
Wednesday (today) We had a training meeting at 9:30-12, then I had a meeting from 1:30 to 2:30. I have not had a chance to eat anything today and am dying. We have dinner with the youngbirds tonight, and I hope it's good. I have to prepare a lesson for tomorrow's district meeting. Apparently they expect me to teach those now :/
I have seen the hand of the Lord in my doings this past week. There are many things I have not included in this letter because they were for my experience, and I don't want to type a mile long letter. I have been incredibly blessed in all that I have done. I have been exhausted, ridiculed, spit upon, lied to, yelled at, harassed, and physically worn down, but I do it because I know it is true. We have a duty to share the gospel to those who will listen. I love what I am doing, even though it is hard and troubling work. I know this is where I need to be right now, and I feel that I have grown more in the past week than I have in my entire mission. There has been so much I needed to learn. I know that I am blessed, and I know the Lord is taking care of my family.
I know my Savior lives. I know He died for me, and that He lives today. I know our Father answers our prayers. He answers mine constantly.
God Bless you all. I know he has blessed me.
Elder Caleb Clark