Tuesday, September 24, 2013

i wish i had more time to write! we spent all our time today doing this:

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oh well i guess it was worth it to be able to say i have caught fish all across america! that is a little brim i guess. its supposedly pretty tasty so we will fry it up sometime soon! 

so this week, we were supposed to have sister g confirmed, but she couldnt make it to church because her daughter and brother couldnt take care of the grandkids at home, and she couldnt bring them to church with her. too bad, but she will get to be confirmed this week. i am not worried about her. we taught her a few times this week and everything went well, and she shines so brightly its amazing. i cant believe it. we are very proud of her. 

we also had some crazy things happen this week! we randomly were able to teach a ton of lessons and had a lot in members homes, which is something my mission is really emphasizing lately because of the spirit that is in members homes and the fellowshipping that couldnt happen anywhere else. we also met someone that said she was one of 5 or so witches in north carolina. she was a very nice person and just normal looking and acting! we are looking forward to teaching her and finding out how that goes, because she is a pagan but believes in Jesus. i also was able to introduce elder b to IHOP this week! he has never had it before.. crazy huh? there is also a family in the ward that i love, and i realized why this week. its because they are from vegas, so they are just great and their daughters are like 10 and 8 and the older one is just like amy beeston, the younger one is just like grace beeston. its hilarious to go over to their house because the little girls are crazy and funny and do all sorts of stuff that remind me of hanging out with the beeston cousins when i was littler. 

anyways, i am really glad everyone is doing so well back at home, except you riley! get better you hoser! you have a birthday to be healthy for. I also realized today, exactly 9 years ago, we moved into rocklin ca for the first time. has it really been that long? am i really old enough to be on a mission? im not sure but im here. 

i love you all and keep me updated on everything! and yappy smurfday to the one that plays foosball. 

elder clark

Monday, September 16, 2013

sounds like it was kind of a tough week! i really hope that everything works out and everyone ends up happy. how is preschool and school and everything going?

this was quite the week for us. we were busy all day tuesday, on wednesday we went on exchanges with the zone leaders (so i got to go down to hope mills with a zone leader, they live in a giant new pansy palace apartment) on thursday we met up with a man that had just walked six hours home and then fixed his neighbors a/c... what a man he is. then on friday i realized that i was 1/10 done with my mission. i am wondering where that went. i dont have any clue how it could go any faster, but i really dont want it to. i have already learned more than in my entire life combined. i dont know if i have said that before but it is true. and it keeps getting even better too.

then saturday!! we had our first baptism on my mission this week! sister g. she is the woman that had her leg amputated because of diabetes, so my companion and i had to carry her in the water, and then i helped her on the way up from under the water after my companion dunked her. it was great fun and we got it right the first time haha. she is an amazing woman and there is a lot i can and have learned from her. its incredible how much she has grown even since i first met her two months ago. at the baptism though, we had quite the confusion. the bishop forgot to be there or send somebody to the baptism, so we were bishopric-less when it began. i went on an emergency exchange with brother s (the 28 year old equivalent of matthew hodgson as in amazingly incredibly smart, kind of sounds like him too) and we called and called and called. we got ahold of the 2nd counselor, who was in hawaii, meaning it was 4am there. he talked to the stake president, who called and authorized the baptism at about 10:45 (it started at 10) meanwhile, everyone else had to delay, so we had both talks and an extra one by elder b and some prelude music while they waited on the word that it was okay to proceed. then finally we got it.

then on sunday, we had stake conference. it was really really great. by the way i look forward to church stake and missionary meetings more than ever in my life now. something important that i picked up: dont get caught up in the presentation or repetition of words or ideas. make sure you really understand the doctrine behind it. take repentance for example. when i think of that word, i think "repent ye children of the devil for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" that word has always been associated with being scary to me, so thats what i think of. what it really should bring to mind is "come unto christ, and become sons of God, that ye may inherit the kingdom of heaven" because that is what it means. its a change of heart. it is the same thing with ordinances. dont get caught up in the presentation of it, make sure you know the why.

my imagination is getting very vivid, so i am able to really internalize the scriptures now. i can read something and get the story in my mind now, because i have learned so much more about these things. elder holland calls it "scriptural liberty" when he takes it and puts it in his own words, describing the event as it might have happened, and i would really suggest it. its an incredible experience when you can internalize these stories and better understand how it applies to you.

anyways, YOU ARE THE BEST. just a heads up. :) i love you all so so much you dont even know. have a wonderful week!!!

elder jeff clark

Monday, September 9, 2013

wow. heavenly fathers blessings for me have been like a waterfall. on full blast. with extra gravity and tacos. i think that whatever yall are doing right back home has hit me and is now helping me get more blessings. this week we finally have sister g's baptism all set up. she is so ready and really excited, even though she is nervous about being baptized with only one leg. hopefully elder bagley doesnt drop her in the water...

we had quite the weird week though. monday wasnt really a normal preparation day, which is why i emailed tuesday, and we went to the temple friday. i dont know if i said anything last week about it, but we also started to do online proselyting for elder bagley y this week. it is just the district leaders for the next couple weeks, and they get on facebook and are learning effective ways to proselyte on there. its very interesting. i usually just get on mormon.org and help the online work there. i am developing a profile that everyone will be able to look at! and then in two weeks ish i will be getting on my facebook to start cleaning it up and making friends with the local church members and investigators! isnt that crazy?!?! the work really is hastening, so we need to be faster too. but not too fast, "for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." just keep it under 100 dad.

then the temple! it was amazing. here is elder bagley and i there. its very small, but incredible nonetheless.

and i understand a lot more of it too, especially because there is a couple in our ward that is like really incredibly smart. they both study arabic (hebrew in cursive) and the relationship between early christian theology and mormonism, so i have learned quite a bit. in fact, he has shown me how every religion i can think of branches off from the original church, and has proved historically many many times how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is very very very very very very very very old. very old. its really interesting. one interesting thing is that in older languages, there are two different words for 'hell'. one is hades (temporary hell) and the other is a weird word that i cant remember (permanent). however, in english there is one word, so many people just assume they are always
 talking about the same place. but theyre not! another thing is that the greeks and romans took the concept of human deification and ran with it, which is why they worshiped many many gods. they began to associate great people who had died with objects and praised them as deity. crazy huh? but it all goes back to the truth. one faith, one Savior, one plan for all of us. having already known that spiritually, its interesting to have it confirmed logically as well.

i have learned so much out here. and a lot of it is what i have learned about myself. i think what stuck out to me for this week is that sometimes we are left to figure out a problem or situation for ourselves, but that doesnt mean that God is not watching over us. Even if we do not have the spirit telling us every little thing we should do (which we shouldnt because then we arent choosing for ourselves), we can still trust that as long as we are doing what we know to be right, everything will work out just fine. God will take care of us and step in when we really are in need and have done our part. thats the key though, is doing our part. that doesnt mean we need to be perfect today, but it means we need to make small steps in the right direction every day. i once heard that progression is like a downwards escalator. we constantly need to move forward, or we will be heading back down. and when you get hungry...

sometimes you just need to be a man about it.

well, i know its a long letter, and im sorry because thats so much to read, but i hope its good and uplifting. i love you with all of my heart and pray for you and am doing the best i can to bring a good name to the clarks out here. any questions or suggestions of things to write about let me know!

elder jeffrey clark

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

the more I know my comp, the more I think he is like tyler. at least how he is right now, probably not how he was in high school. but we are having a great time together. we are able to inspire each other to work hard, and to be obedient. he says he is intimidated by how fast I have learned how to be on a mission, so I have been trying to decide whether that is a good thing or a bad thing haha. I think it is good because I was even able to train a missionary on Friday who had only been out for a few days, while elder b was learning how to use facebook with all the other leaders. yeah so that's pretty new.. we are beginning to use facebook to proselyte.. so its starting with just the leadership, but in 3 weeks ish I will be getting on facebook as well. they say we can either clean up our old ones or make a new one. considering how much things are probably on my old one that I don't want to deal with, I will probably just make a new one.

I have to get off soon, but I do want to tell you how our friend G is doing. she had her baptismal interview on sunday and she was SO EXCITED. she could not stop smiling on the way home. she is coming along so well. I have learned a lot from her. she has gotten a lot of courage and faith, and I have never once heard her complain about her financial situation or her amputated leg or anything. its just amazing how humble she is. she also reads her book of Mormon more than I do. I think anyways, according to what she says.

I have learned so much and changed a lot too. and I am thankful every day for everything yall have done to prepare me for this and for the rest of my life.
I love you so much and thanks for everything!
I will talk to you next week.
Elder Clark