Monday, August 26, 2013

the baptism didnt quite work out this week. poor sister g got cold feet and didnt make the interview. so, it will most likely be happening in two saturdays since that is the soonest we can get the interview and everything set up for her. pray for sister gary! shes a fighter she can make it. So, birthday. my birthday was pretty great. we were able to teach five lessons that day and were really busy all day. it was perfect. no time to be trunky when you have too much to do to even remember why you would be trunky! if you dont know, trunky means missing home, like your bags are still in the trunk. or already if youre about to leave back home.

anyways, i learned a lot about will power this week, especially in teaching others about it. when other missionaries struggle, i find that they are usually struggling with their will power. if you think about it, there is nothing more influential in your own life than your will. you can choose whether or not you want to act on certain promptings or feelings that you get from either side of the spectrum. you can push your body to do more than it thinks it is capable of. you can drown out thoughts of nervousness, sadness, unworthiness, and others just by simply having a strong will. its definitely something that everyone needs to work on developing, especially in the Lord's work. We need to have a will stronger than any temporal influence, and align that with our Heavenly Father's will for us. that is our ultimate goal. think how easy this life would be if everyone realized the strength of their will. It is quite literally more powerful than any outside force. when our body fails, our will can still press forward. isnt it amazing?

along those lines, the only thing that you can really control is your attitude about things. bad things will happen. guaranteed. what does that mean? it means you have an opportunity to grow, to increase your faith and your will power and your knowledge. You can use everything that happens to you as a motivator. bad or good. but, if you look at it negatively, you can also be the most powerful obstacle for yourself. remember that riley, kyle and austin. theres nothing impossible to you if you put your trust in the Lord and in yourself. nothing.

on a less intense note, i love north carolina. its beautiful and lovely and has great people. i am loving missionary work, and there is nothing else i would rather be doing. i just hope it doesnt keep going this fast!!!

i love you all so much.

elder clark

Monday, August 19, 2013

HOLY CATS the transfer is in a week. I cant believe how fast that went.. you are the only one that has written me so far. and thank you so much for sending me austins email as well. he is going to be great and grow more than he will ever know at this point. I feel that I have already reached a point in my mission that I am forgetting how things are back at home. should I be nervous about this? im not sure... but I have only been out a month and a half. just imagine how its going to be in a year or so! im nervous for that.

are you a young womens leader now? I am confused. maybe im tired too. who nose. you are reading pretty fast though. I started rereading (and highlighting and tallying my highlights) the book of Mormon my first day out in the field and I am only to 2 nephi 28. slow poke I know. but I would suggest doing what I am with the book of Mormon if you haven't already! you take a new copy (probably a cheap one from and write your testimony in the front, then read through highlighting every reference to the godhead in one color, any of their words in another color, their attributes in another color, doctrine and principles of the gospel in another, and missionary attributes/calls to repentance and action in another color. then keep a tally. it is amazing how much you don't realize is there. where I am now I have already tallied 1300 or so references to deity. barely 100 pages in. that's 13ish a page! wow. anyways after you finish this one I would suggest doing that. I am also starting this new thing that I read a chapter about Christ every single day for the rest of my mission. there is a list of most of them in Preach My Gospel under the plan of salvation lesson. its been really powerful and helped increase my understanding of the Atonement and the gospel in general. certain experiences make me realize that all things are centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I heard a quote this week from Brigham Young that said anything that is actual truth is our belief as Mormons. I thought about that, and its true! well my shoes are black.. that's true right? yes it is because Jesus Christ organized light and matter in a way that to the human eye, my shoes look black. interesting how that works right? there isn't a thing that cant be attributed back to the gospel, which is why we believe everything that is actually truth.

anyways, Im ranting. I do want to say though, I am becoming very southern. (not really) the other day, I went to eat some hot dogs. I looked at the packaging, and THEY ARE CHICKEN HOT DOGS. Like they really sell chicken hot dogs and I bought them and ate them. then I realized I ate them on bread for a bun and with both barbeque sauce and ranch. on the same dog. what is that? southern if you ask me. also, I am so sorry, but I forgot to bring the camera this week. I even have time to upload pictures too cuz its pouring outside so nobodys at the library. ugh next time...

there was a convert baptism in our ward this weekend! it was really neat. it was for the other elders though, elder H (who knows keegan darby!!!) and elder A (who has red hair). that was an amazing experience, because he was the very first investigator I taught on my mission! he asked us to be witnesses and stand in the circle for his confirmation, so elder B and I were a part of that. and then for this week, we have our first investigator baptism for spring lake since I have been out! it is a loving woman named sister g, who has been taking the lessons for months and months and months. she recently had her leg amputated because of a blood clot from diabetes. she has such an amazing perspective on life. but it might be tough to baptize her. it may take an extra helping hand. but that's okay we will figure it all out well enough! I am very excited for her, because she has had to quit smoking to get this far and is on her 10th day without it. it is so rough since she doesn't have a chance to do much, just sit around the house in her wheelchair, but she is doing it. I will let yall know how everything goes!

I love you so much and keep on sending me things about your lives!

elder clark

Monday, August 12, 2013

so this week we saw some miracles. we had 10 lessons with a member present (elder b record for the year he has been out is 8). and in 5 days 4 investigators committed to being baptized. and all because we have worked so hard to be obedient. it truly pays off. in fact, we watched yesterday president monsons talk last year about obedience, and i am learning that it is so important. obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles. obedience is really how we show our love for our Father in Heaven and his Son, because there is really not much else we can do to help them except progress their work! really though if you think about it, obedience is the first law in heaven. we had some service opportunities this week, which was very nice, and this was also the best week yet for meals. we only had one day that we werent fed by members!!! it was incredible. i gained like 3 pounds (im still winning by the way, in fact i was 188 the other day...)

we also went on an exchange. it was a lot of fun, and it taught me that i really need to be a better leader. i will work on that. but we also saw a miracle that day. we met a man outside that was really in tune with the spirit. he loves his God and will do anything for him. so as we talked, he had a solid foundation about the Godhead, about what the gospel and the commandments really mean, and about how God's hand works in his life. as soon as we talked about the restoration of the priesthood, he looked directly into my eyes and said, "i know that what you say is true." he ended up being the first of the four that i asked to be baptized, and he said yes. its too bad that he is not in our area (he is in the other elders' area) because i really love him and want to see how he progresses. i hope he sticks with it because i know he knows its true.

i see miracles every single day out here. some of them so incredible i couldn't describe, some of them so simple that most would say its luck or chance. but i know its not. there is divine power leading this work and i know that we are nothing without it.

i love you all and thank you for everything you do. especially you mom and dad. keep updating me on everything!!!!

elder clark

Monday, August 5, 2013

so some major changes this week! elder l got sick so he got emergency transferred to durham and switched out with a missionary there. so now, my companion elder b is the district leader. he has been nervous because he hasnt known what he is doing too much of the time. its okay though i encourage him and keep him working hard haha. i have learned a lot from him. especially about how to get through struggles and not look back. sometimes it gets real tough, like this week when probably 75% of the time we went for appointments they did not work out. it is tough but i have gained a testimony of having a BACK UP PLAN!!!!!! so thats good. that has also taught me about patience, among other things. there are some things in life that you just cant wait for. like people walking up to you and saying "hey i want to get baptized can you help me?" you know normal things you deal with in your everyday life and on your mission because everythings easy and what not. but hey. if thats how it worked out, how could we ever have patience with our children on earth who will be doing numberless acts of evil and stubbornness and everything? i dont know. but what i do know is that every time we talk to someone who doesnt want to listen, every time we get a door closed in our faces, every time someone doesnt show up for an appointment, or we need to listen to someone who just wants to talk, i get stronger. i learn to love them more and i learn to control myself more. i learn diligence and how to keep composure. i learn how to listen. there are a lot of things i have learned but patience really stood out to me this week.

anyways, the work is progressing well. here and as far as i can tell at home as well. i love you and thank you for everything you do and have done for me.

you are the (i probably cant say that its not dignified)

i love you!!!
elder clark