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