Tuesday, December 16, 2014

So I just skimmed through my last few emails and realized I have become quite boring on here. Sorry if you tune it out and just glance over my emails I will take responsibility for that haha.

I will try to spice them up and make it more exciting. 

WE FOUND 11 NEW INVESTIGATORS THIS WEEK!!!! Let me illustrate that for you.

Not to count my chickens before they hatch though. We got work to do!

I am pretty excited though. This area is awesome. This is Elder Conteh and I dancing since it's preparation day.

A typical day out here is studies in the morning, an extra hour for district stuff which has been interesting such as conference calls or accounting calls or just figuring out how to help everyone, or else a meeting depending on the day. Then we have lunch, and I am teaching Elder Conteh how to fry chicken southern style as taught by our blind friend. We also bought some Tilapia and have cooked up some fish. Good stuff. Then we go out and proselyte all day!!!! Usually in this area, since the members are GREAT, we have dinner appointments about every night. We get fed really well here.

Thinking about my mission, I have really loved what this is helping me to do. I feel so much more in control of me and so much more at peace in life. I am really not worried one bit about the future because no matter what happens it is all part of the plan.

Elder Clark

Sunday, December 14, 2014

So somehow yall found out the same time I did that I was going to be a district leader in Pinehurst! It is exciting but somewhat intimidating too to lead a district. Our ward has us, Elder Conteh and I (he is also from England! he is awesome), a set of sisters, and a set of spanish elders.

I love the Pinehurst ward so far! They are really great. So what we did this week:

Monday took a tour of Duke!!! Got to explore the gardens and the Chapel! It was so awesome.

Tuesday we got stuck at transfers!!! All I knew was that I was going to Pinehurst and so I went around looking for where to go and when everything thinned out I found out I was supposed to drive a new car out to Pinehurst with 2 other missionaries. We barely fit our stuff in the car. Like both of them covered themselves in stuff on their laps while I drove. It was a missionary squeeze as they say.

Wednesday was crazy. Tons of traffic for some reason. Then TACO BELL!!!! It has been over 6 months so I have really missed it. We got to contact 2 great people there too! Spent a while teaching there and handing out the He is the Gift cards. (Yall should see the video and share it and hand out the cards if you haven't!!!!!! It is really powerful)

Thursday I had 2 peanut butter and honey sandwiches. That was the highlight.

Friday we got to help fix up bikes for a "Project Santa" organization!!!!! That was awesome. They have collected almost 1000 bikes to donate to kids in need in exchange for food for a food pantry. It's really awesome. We are teaching a couple of volunteers from there too.

Saturday we tracted about all day and helped someone put up their Christmas lights!

Yesterday we had a local 'music missionary' from another church perform at the church before the Christmas devotional!!! That was really awesome. He was super good. Also some cider and eggnog.

So that was our week! I am really excited to be here in Pinehurst. Pictures on their way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Just a quick note on some Southernisms:

It's not 'Chapel Hill' it's 'Chapahill'
It's not 'frying oil' it's 'frynol'
It's not 'press that button right there' it's 'mash-at buttnair'
It's not 'man there's a lot of trees' it's 'mayonnaise lotta trees'

Just wanted to clarify so yall know what it's like livin out here.

This week! Was interesting. I think I will still spare you the rant about Chapel Hill. I'll just say that it's a lovely place and the ward is awesome! It's kind of interesting moving onto new things. Tomorrow will be fun! We get to go to a transfer meeting and I will find out from there where I am off to. I don't have any idea where I am going. Just not Chapel Hill 2nd is all I know.

So the interesting things! We took a tour of UNC with the women's soccer coach from UNC! He is pretty awesome. He showed us the football stadium and all of the sports museums and recruiting videos they use, and also all the interesting buildings and statues and art stuff. It was a lot of fun.

And thanksgiving! In the morning we pitched in with some other Elders and made a HUGE brunch. I bought 3 lbs of bacon that we cooked up and we had a dozen eggs scrambled with onions and peppers, french toast made from a loaf of Texas toast, and 2 large potatoes worth of hash browns. It was probably the best breakfast I have ever had. Pictures to come! Later we went to our Bishop's house with a couple other families and had a great spread of thanksgiving food. My favorite always seems to be the sweet potatoes. I could eat those at least weekly year round. I got to play a lot of guitar and piano (it's for fun) and started to learn some Christmas songs that day too. Oh yeah and the Adam Sandler turkey song. That was fun. That night we got together with some other Elders and we wrote a song that would be sung/rapped after dinner with a member family. It is really good haha. I wish it was a smaller file then I could send it to yall. Oh well.

The rest of this week we have had a ton to do! We taught 11 lessons still but most of what we were doing was packing and clearing out the apartment. We had to get rid of all of the food that has piled up from years of missionaries and all the clutter in the storage closet where departing missionaries stored their junk that they can't fit in their bags... This morning was probably my favorite though. We had a weight bench that was given to us from the Haniford's when they moved out a few months ago, and we had to fit that in our tiny little corolla to take to the other Chapel Hill Elders haha. That was a trip. I wish I had it on video but we just took pictures afterwards. It barely fit in by maneuvering it through the back side door. The entire drive over I was squished like no other. More of that to come! We have a lot to do. I packed all of my stuff up last night. It took about 45 minutes. I am getting good at that. Last time was an hour.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, our entire week can be summed up in 1 word (plus 2 other words):

TRANSFER (in a week because that's on December 2nd)

Both of us are getting transferred out of this area next week, and the mission is taking Elders out of Chapel Hill for a time. That will be interesting. My companion is going home temporarily to recover from some health issues that haven't gone away. He has been a trooper though. I am proud of him for what he has accomplished in spite of that. I will be sad to see him go but hopefully he will be back out before I go! President said that we are running low on Elders in the mission. I wonder if the surge is leveling out.

Anyways, so that has occupied our week, but yet we had a lot of success! We have three investigators that are wanting to get baptized! Also some others that we found recently. So that has been infinitely different than in the last few months. One investigator even came to church!

I will be sad to leave Chapel Hill, but I have been here a while. Actually you will probably get a rant about that next Monday (the day before transfers) so I will spare you that for now.

Hope yall have a wonderful thanksgiving! I know we will. We are eating with Bishop's family and watching some church videos at the church on large screens. That will be fun. A bunch of our close friend missionaries will be coming. I am sure we will do a turkey bowl too. I don't know. That will be fun though!

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well this week was fun! We had tons of miracles. We had our first lesson taught to an investigator with a member there in over a month! It was an incredible lesson too. Then we had a less active come with us to teach his less active neighbor! That was really great for both of them. We also had 2 exchanges with mission leaders this week:

1) I went and taught in Spanish most of the day on Wednesday! That was great fun. My Spanish has improved a lot in talking and I can understand the entire conversations now! If only I was able to be immersed in the culture I think being fluent would come pretty quick. I just don't know the phrases that people use in average conversation very well.

2) An Elder from Rio Linda came on exchange with me! His name is Matt Del Nero and he is going home on December 3rd. He came to Chapel Hill with me. That night we went to dinner at a member's house that the wife went to Del Oro growing up! So that was a NorCal reunion if I ever been to one.

Saturday was fun too. We raked up tons of leaves. Honestly probably 2000 lbs of leaves. We made a pile with the first half of the leaves that was 6 feet tall. Then we dove and flipped into it at lunch time. Pictures and maybe video to come! Then a couple took us to Costco for dinner and I got 2 polish dogs, and they bought us all churros too. That was fun.

Sunday was really revelatory. We were fasting for some extra help and had some great things happen at church and afterwards too. Still nobody came to church but one of these weeks we will have a break through! If you ever get the chance have a recent convert or a less active member come over with the missionaries for a lesson! We had one last night and it was really powerful!

Thanks for waiting for me back home. I hope you continue to not leave. Except for Ty he is allowed to do anything that will earn him a good wife. So that's it. Until next time, Elder Clark.
So Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't remember what happened this week so I am going to refer to my journal and give you some random snippets of quotes from throughout the week.

"Cookout for lunch - FYI chicken nuggets are probably the smallest side dish. Never again."
--Me on Monday

"Had T-Bones with [our blind friend] - I grilled them and burnt one side but they were good."
--Me on Tuesday

"We went tracting for 2 hrs and didn't get any positive response at all. Then Facebook, then more tracting & contacting with similar results until: we accomplished a life-long dream of mine in that we tracted into a member! That was awesome."
--Me on Wednesday

"Got to help [a family] put in a tire swing today! That was fun getting in the tree and what not."
--Me on Thursday

"Incredible biscuits."
--Me on Friday

"So instead we got a 9 pack of Cinnabons ... and ate them ALL then and there. I forgot how good those things are."
--Me on Saturday

"Even if you only have one solid convert on your mission, and that convert is you, your mission is a success."
--Me yesterday quoting a wise member

So as you can now attest to from your limited research about 57.1% of what I think about is food. Or maybe that's what I am thinking about now so I subconsciously chose a lot of quotes about it. Anyways thanks for listening! That about sums up my week. THIS has been the best week of my mission YET!!! I swear it gets better every week. Every day. All the time.

I love you!!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014


Thanks for your notes every week! And thanks for sending videos and pictures! And thanks everyone for doing stuff that is video and picture worthy. You are all worthy of pictures (and cookies) in my eyes.

Well, this week was kind of crazy. I don't know if i have mentioned before but my companion (still the one I trained but we are out of training now and just companions!) has had a lot of opposition on his mission so far. I am going to write the rest of the letter in Spanish. Esto no es verdad, actualmente. But he has sprained his ankle, hurt his back pretty good, and got sick a couple of times so far. It has been tough for him but he is a major trooper! So that is basically how our week went though. He couldn't leave the apartment for sickness until Thursday this week. I still wanted to get up on schedule and do studies and everything while he slept his sickness out, so needless to say I have now finished the entire standard works in 2014. I read the second half of the Doctrine and Covenants and all of the Pearl of Great Price this last week over probably a dozen hours of sitting and reading. That was pretty fun haha. My brain is about to explode though.

So then Thursday night we had our ward trunk or treat, and I wore a Superman shirt under my white shirt and left it unbuttoned so I could show a select few people my identity. Elder S did the same with a Batman shirt. Pictures on their way don't worry!

Friday we had a couple of Dr appointments for Elder S, and I couldn't sit anymore having done so the entire week so I stood and stretched and did lunges and wall sits and a bunch of other standing workouts right there. That was fun. Saturday we got invited to a 1 year old's birthday party to meet some nonmembers that would be there. Since he is a boy, we all wore mustaches. Pictures to come!

I have to quote Elder S. He's gonna kill me for this but I have to. We were describing our new investigator to our Ward Mission Leader, who recently had a hip and a knee replaced. So Elder S7, describing this, said, "He has some unoriginal body parts... Well, he is a man, HE WAS ALWAYS A MAN!" By that point he was about yelling trying to get himself out of the hole he accidentally got into haha. We were all just dying laughing and I had to explain that he meant our investigator had some joint replacements. Good times. Happy times.

I love yall!

Elder Clark Kent
Hola! Como estan? I decided this week to randomly say a prayer in Spanish. My companion had no idea what was happening. Good times.

Some other highlights:

Monday -- We got to play basketball at some UNC practice courts and go out to the dairy farm again. I feel really at home looking out over the pasture. Is that weird? Never lived there but I feel at home there? I don't know.

Tuesday -- Tennis for workout in the morning! That's the nice thing about being in the city with other missionaries close. We get to hang out on preparation days and work out together. We also did some interesting service at our blind friend's house. We went under the house in the crawl space and propped up a beam that didn't have much support, using a cabinet jack. I should have taken a picture. Oh well.

Wednesday -- Contacted some people on UNC campus because there was a free food event out in the courtyard. That was fun. Kind of intimidating though because there were so many people there. Elder Sabins' bike tire popped too. That was rough. I didn't notice him yelling to me that it happened (probably singing) so I went a long ways off towards our appointment before I realized he wasn't there. That was scary haha I thought I lost him! A good samaritan helped him out though. He even had an extra tube that fit the popped tire!

Friday -- We got in a bike race with 2 hilarious little southern girls, like 5 and 7 years old. We let them win of course and gave them pictures of Jesus and the temple. They said they were going to post pictures of them on instagram haha. Elder Sabins' tire randomly popped again. I think something isn't right with that with 3 pops in 3 weeks... Could just be a feeling though.

That's a lot of the fun highlights. Other than that we had a much better week teaching wise. We had some really motivating lessons with some less active members and met with 2 new investigators! They are both really looking to change their lives for the better and it is really great to be able to help them and support them.

Love you MOM AND DAD AND TY AND RI AND KYLE AND AUSSIE! Merry Daylight Savings this weekend!

Thanks for writing me this week family! I LOVE YOU!

Some fun things this week:

-- I took another companionship Thursday morning and we did a Pride Day. It was so fulfilling. We got there early and ran and jumped and crunched and ran some more. Oh how I loved it. I miss those sometimes. the other Elders pretty much died though... They thought it was awful haha.
-- Elder Sabins cooked some chili (from scratch) blindfolded this week to learn how our wonderful blind friend feels. It turned out not too bad. I ate enough that I was actually full. 3lbs of meat, and about the same amount of beans and salsa. There was a ton and I couldn't finish it...
-- I found out I am NOT getting transferred! That was unexpected. That will mean I have spent 4 transfers in each area so far (after this one that is). Maybe I will only have 4 areas on my mission even!
-- I made some orange chicken this week from scratch that turned out pretty good!

We are still having a lot of trouble reaching people. It is comforting to know that the harvest is the Lord's, and with that we are doing our absolute best. The work is hastening across the world! That is for sure. I love being a part of that. But the work is not convincing or forcing; the work is inviting souls to have joy. We need to be willing and accepting and do what we can for it to take effect!

I love you all! Never stop inviting.

Elder Clark
Temple this week! That was so good. I really love the temple more than any place. There is nothing that compares to the peace and comfort you can feel if you are there in a spirit of service and worship. If you can, go there! It is worth it for sure.

We also had a wonderful zone conference this week! That was awesome and inspiring and afterwards we watched "Meet the Mormons." It is a really good and non-threatening documentary, so I would definitely encourage anyone with friends/family that want to know about the church to go see it with them! Really powerful and moving if you ask me.

Investigator-wise, this week was tough. We have lost contact with all of the people that we were teaching before. However, that doesn't change that we are still working hard and pressing forward. Like I have said, the biggest success for me is doing the best I can to help, serve, and strengthen others in any way they will let me. If no more baptisms or even investigators come from my work I will still know I am doing what I can.

This is the last week for Elder Sabins to be in training! After that we will do an hour less of study every day and then be like equal companions! That will be fun. I may be getting transferred though. I guess I will find out Saturday and let yall know Monday! I have loved being in Chapel Hill despite the tough times. I am really learning how to work. And cook. And lead. It's a different experience for sure.

I love you and thanks for being diligent in writing me! There are quite a few Elders whose families don't write them much, but yall write every single week! Except one or something. Thanks for that. I definitely need and value the support!

Elder Clark
It feels lonely to be the only Clark out here on the East Coast. NOW I know how Ty felt being at SVU. Kind of crazy I think.

How was conference for yall? Did you get to watch any of Saturday or just have tons of games? I think Sunday morning was the best one for me. Elder Holland always gets me feeling bulletproof when he talks. I wonder if he would remember me...

I got sick this week :( That was really sad. I had to sleep through the afternoon one day and just felt off. That will really get you restless as a missionary let me tell you. I genuinely don't like not doing nothing. As if there weren't enough negatives in that sentence here's another one: we saw a crash last week in the rain... It was sad. Nobody hurt at all but 3 cars most likely totaled. Enough with the negative. Let's get down to the nitty gritty.

We got to visit someone in the burn unit of the hospital a few times this week! I think I put in a plug for him last Monday but he was in a boat explosion. He is awesome. He got released yesterday and sent on his way home! Not getting baptized quite yet but he and his wife are definitely determined to meet with the missionaries back home. That was really exciting! Sad that they left though. That's the hard part about the hospital for us is that they are only here for a few days or weeks and we get to really develop relationships with them over that time.

I forgot to mention a family last week but there is a couple in my ward that was good friends with Brad! He sent Brad a picture of us a couple weeks ago. PS HOW ARE THE BEESTON'S? It's been a while.

If yall ever come to the south, you NEED to go to Bojangles. It is the best fried chicken fast food I have ever had. And really good price too. Just saying.

Somehow I hit 15 months this week... That's pretty crazy to me. Oh well. We are going to the temple on Wednesday! (Apparently Ty is also going there pretty soon with Annie question mark?) Anyways I think that I need the boost of the temple. It's going to be incredible. More to come if you join us next week onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn Craig's news.

Love you!
Elder Clark
y is almost home... And I will come home exactly 9 months from the day he gets home. This is all too fast. Sometimes I wonder how real this life really is because it goes so fast and is so brittle and fragile. I feel like the Gospel is even more true than life. We may not even be in one place at one time. Time may not even mean anything really. But eternal truth is unchangeable and always existed and always will. It's beyond the troubles and worries we go through. Those are very temporary.

This week wasn't too bad! Pretty eventful actually. We were on bikes this week and got caught in the rain a couple of times again. That's always fun for me. It changes things up. The weather here is also really nice right now - it has been in the low 70's and high 60's.

Last week we played baseball and soccer on monday! That was tons of fun. We had probably 14 elders, and once a couple of them left we played touch rugby for half an hour or so. That was so much fun. First time in a long time that I have been able to play.

Then like the picture I smoked some GIANT porterhouse steaks on Tuesday with one of our good friends who is blind. That was awesome. The biggest ones I think I have ever had. And the best. We ate them with our hands because plates and knives are irrelevant when you are blind. I'll be the first to tell you that.

We got to go to Chipotle Thursday with the family that we were helping while they were in the hospital! That was awesome. They were up here for a follow up visit and they got a hold of us to meet up for lunch. That was one of the things that made my week.

Saturday I figured out how to make country fried steaks. They turned out really good. I'll have to teach yall when I get back. Fun stuff! I am coming to love cooking haha.

I guess this week was pretty solid foodwise. That was definitely fun.

We are teaching a few people who have good desires to learn God's will for them, but all of them are experiencing one form or another of opposition. There is tons of opposition out there. It is crazy. We are experiencing a lot too, but it hasn't set us back. Maybe we aren't baptizing everyone or having a lot of success stories, but we are doing our best! Inviting others to come unto Christ as best as we can and allowing them to choose whether they will follow him. We are doing our duty and fulfilling our purpose. I love what I have gained out here, and I hope others have been sincerely benefited as well, but I know I don't have much control over that. The extent of what I can do is change me and do better myself. I can't decide for someone else. I love that about the Gospel - we really understand that we can control us and we are the only ones that have the capacity for that.

I love being a part of this. It is molding me and shaping me and always makes me happy. I love it. Thanks for being a part of my life and helping me get out here, and sending prayers especially because the work needs them for sure.

Love you!
Elder Clark the younger (for the last time I guess)
Before I get into things too deeply, I would like to note that I have a companion that walks up to me randomly with a loaf of bread and hits me over the head with it. Isn't that special?

This week was fun! Elder S was a bit sick still in the beginning of the week but he got much better. We did some service this week that involved chopping down giant tree limbs from a really tall tree. I will send a couple pictures if I can!

We also got to see the primary program yesterday! It is an amazingly different and awesome experience to see one on the mission. I almost cried haha. It's bad.

We had a ton of good things happen this week too! Some new investigators, a lot of lessons, and we also tracted out an entire apartment complex on Wednesday. That was a lot of fun. Things are going great out here!

Perspective is everything. I have realized that a lot on my mission. I'm going to make up a parable for that. There are two farmers, a father and his teenage son. The father gives his son a dull sickle and himself uses a sharp one. The son with the dull sickle doesn't harvest nearly as much as his father, and complains that it is because his tool is so bad. So, his father decides to trade him. After a lot of work, the son realizes that he is still not harvesting nearly as much as his father, and complains that it is because he did not sleep well the night before.

The point of that is perspective. The father, no matter what his tool is, puts all of his effort and energy into his work and never makes excuses. I think a lot of times we say things like. "If I only had more time I could do better" or "If I only were smarter than I could be more useful" or "If I were a prophet, then I would work harder and be more perfect." But what it comes down to is this: each of us has a great opportunity to do good. We all have gifts that are tools for righteousness, especially for the harvest. If we do our best with what we have, we are doing our duty. We may not even be as effective as someone with a brighter mind or a more joyful personality, but there is a purpose for that. There is work to do! There is eternal happiness on the line for both us and for others! They need us and we need them, and we can do nothing more than our best. That is all anyone could ever ask of us. Do your best with your circumstances!!!!!!!

I love this work! Thanks for all that you do!

Elder Clark the younger

PS What other things should I include in my emails? I am never sure what yall want to know about what is going on throughout the week!
This week was really good! We made homemade pizza for lunch Tuesday! It went really well actually. I am learning how to cook ok!

Elder Sabins got sick this week though... That was too bad. Our investigators are progressing well! One is still set to get baptized in October! And he came to church yesterday too! It has been a while since someone came to church so that was exciting for us. I am not really sure what else to say actually haha. It was just a good week. We are getting a lot more busy and having a lot more success! I think a lot of it has to do with my companion's fresh new desire to do good! I love being with a new missionary. It is a lot of fun. I think I am getting a lot more out of training him than he is getting out of being trained. A lot of new ways to look at things I have been doing for 14 months and what not.

I am just loving it out here. Sometimes it concerns me how it is going to be to have to stop someday but I guess you just make the most of every moment right?

I think it is getting harder to write a lot in these emails. Everything is such a normal part of my life now that it takes something crazy happening for me to remember things that stick out. So sorry if I am getting boring or being too short. Just know that I am really enjoying everything that goes on out here! I am really feeling a lot better about my life too. It seems like I am not changing all that much, just becoming a lot more true to who I have always been deep down. I don't know now I sound mushy. So I'm going to stop now.

Haha I love you more than cheescake!

Elder Clark the younger
We are having a lot going on out here! We have found many new investigators in the past two-ish weeks and are starting to see our schedules fill up, and we actually have someone who wants to be baptized next month too! I am really excited about that because it has been a while of tracting and talking with people.

You just can never give up. If you are struggling, just hang on a little longer. Relief is on it's way, and you will be given it before you fall. There is no reason to worry when the founder of the mountains and rivers, and the one who brought together the oceans and the land from the dust of the universe, is watching over you and ready to help you. The waves and winds still know his voice.

We have so much fun out here! Elder Sabins is getting much more comfortable in the work and it is exciting to see him grow as a missionary. We also fried an entire chicken this week. The whole thing. Gizzards and heart and all. I had the gizzards this time. And I know now how to fry good chicken. Southern style. It's awesome. I'm learning some other dishes too but that one is probably my favorite. That's pretty neat!

Love ya!
Elder Clark

PS I am sending home today hopefully a package with everyone's birthday presents for the year. Also with some things I have never used or won't ever use out here like a book given to me from an investigator. So be expecting that!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wow. Tyler is old and wrinkly.

I really gots to thank yall again for the packagin last week. It done really brightened my week like a jar of lightning bugs in a black hole.

We had a tougher week. Elder S sprained his ankle and got kind of sick in the same week. Thus we didn't bike much and finally were forced to learn how to use the bus system on campus. That was a lot of fun. There are tons more people out here now that school has started. That also means that everyone is getting super busy haha. It reminds me how busy college is going to be. But yet it makes me really incredibly grateful for the work that we do have and also the support from the members here. They are so awesome. We have had a meal almost every day since I got here. So if a poor college ward can feed us every day I think any normal ward could fill up their missionaries' schedule. I am also really thinking a lot about how great this opportunity is to be a missionary. There isn't anything better. I don't think I would appreciate it any more if I were having a baptism every week or even every month. No matter what I am grateful because this is the best thing I have ever done with my life. I feel your love and support and prayers out here and it means the world. Keep up the good work. I love you, and the Lord loves you and appreciates you even more than I am even capable of understanding.

Elder Clark the younger
Behold, this week hath been delicious. Yea, insomuch that two families cometh to church yesterday. Thus saith Elder Clark the younger, "I have separated this week into three categories; and there shall be three categories of things that I shall speak about this week. Wherefore, not two, nor four, nor one category," saith the younger, "but three shall be the number of categories."

1. Southern food
We had a full chicken cooked with dumplings and lima beans this week. LIKE THE FULL CHICKEN. That was so good. We were taught how to cook it too, so I may even be able to do it again. We will see someday. I ate the insides of the chicken, except Elder S1 got the heart. I got the neck too. It was really good. Then on my birthday for lunch I fried up steaks and whipped up a couple potatoes, then cooked some onions and green beans in the steak grease. Good stuff. Also made 2 quarts of Kool Aid and drank almost the whole thing in a mason jar. Finally last night we got asked what we wanted for dinner. We decided on chicken n waffles. They were so good. Fried chicken, normal waffles, some syrup and what not... I ate enough to make a valley girl look like Jabba the hut.

2. Missionary success (the most important one)
We had a lot of success this week. A few new investigators, even a family that came to church!!!!!!!!!!! And then Elder Ss was doing so good. He led us out in contacting another group of ballers (playing basketball in the park again) but this time we played with them for a bit and then talked to them. One turned out to be a less active member we were trying to find! It was great. He and his family came to church Sunday. I really love being out here and inviting people to come unto Christ. I could be rejected 100% of the time and it would still be worth it because I would know I am giving it my all to make this world a better place and help people find happiness. That's what I say is success. But I am also very grateful that there are some people who are willing to learn and listen, and make a clear choice as to whether they are willing to follow through. I really think my mission won't end in 10 months because of how strongly I feel we need to share! This is endless happiness on the line, and immediate support to those who need it in a troubled world. This is sharing love and hope, and light to those who are walking in darkness. This is making bare God's arm in the eyes of all nations - that's what spreading the gospel is. The Church is his arm, and his strength on the earth. This is the best work to be engaged in, and the most rewarding and fruitful.

4. (three, sir) Birthday fun
I got my 2 packages on Monday and the third came my birthday morning! Thank you so much. I really appreciated and needed what you sent me. I opened presents in the morning before studies and made lunch for us, because after lunch we got sent to a beautiful new building out in Mebane (pronounced Mebbin) for the open house, and stayed there the rest of the day. We were door greeters and also had a station where we talked to everyone about what missionaries do and had some games and some things on display! So that is what I did for my birthday! It was tons of fun. I am glad we went. Some sisters in our district made me some brownies, and then we also got some fresh chocolate milk from the dairy farm on the way out to the new building. That chocolate milk is the best I have ever tasted. I bought two gallons (saturday) and it is halfway gone.

Yea, thus hath been my week. Thus is my love for thee, oh family.
Elder Clark the younger
I don't know what to say. Thanks for the birthday wish recordings and what not! Yall are the bestest. Quick report on this week, we had a really good one! I think the highlight is how well Elder S is doing. I have put him in a lot of growing situations with talking to and teaching people, and he has responded really well. I am so proud of my boy.

We found 2 new investigators this week! That is the most action we have had since I got here in chapel hill actually. It's been tough to have 'success' numbers wise, but I know we are successful by way of doing our best to invite others to come unto Christ. There is a lot of peace and comfort in that. Sometimes I feel like the old testament prophets that had a real rough time trying to teach the people. So since I just finished that it's nice to feel like I can relate to the scriptures like that.

I also made rice and beans this week, and then a member made some for us the next day. So that was funny. That kind of thing happens quite a bit actually. I have gotten much better at cooking too. I am excited to be able to cook for college. So I am taking the opportunity to learn now while I can.

Not much else to report! I am excited to be 20! Say goodbye to the Teenage JEFFY. It's too bad yall won't have ever seen me in person as a 19 year old. That will be okay though. There's no going back after 20 so we will see how this goes.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Clark the younger (not for long though :(  )
One of the most incredible families I have met left this week. They are amazing. There are 8 kids and the ninth is on his way. They are really humble yet really exciting and crazy. I being on the goofier side fit in well with the younger kids haha. Them moving was a lot of our week because they needed to prepare a lot of things and didn't have much help (the kids are all under 16 and were gone most of the week) so we tore out their fence and moved their piano and their giant dressers and boxes and everything. (I am loving the workouts from all the moves lately I run everywhere and lift extra things and carry everything I can to try to make it more difficult and draining since I have the energy) (I am staying in not too bad shape actually) (They also had a bench and some weights they were getting rid of so we have those in our apartment now. Time to get yoked!)

Our investigator at UNC hospital got to go home this week! We are really excited for him because he has been in the hospital quite a while not being able to leave, but now he gets to go back and is really close to/excited for baptism!

Elder  S is doing great! It reminds me a lot of when I was first on my mission. It's pretty tough to be out here in the beginning! But he is really doing well for how little time I have to explain everything that's going on and how everything works. So I am proud of my boy. He has a hilarious half smile that he gives that makes him look a ton like Rick Moranis (I think that's who I am thinking of) (the one from Strange Brew) I sent a picture of it last week I think. It makes me laugh like crazy though.

We got to teach the youth about journal writing at church yesterday! It went really well actually. And it made me really realize the importance of writing in journals. We started out listing everyone's favorite stories from the scriptures and then made up scenarios where the prophets never recorded those things (common excuses people use today for not writing things down like they got lazy, or they didn't feel like they had anything to write, or they didn't care, or they weren't consistent and forgot that story, etc) and all of a sudden where are the scriptures? There would be nothing left if the prophets didn't write down what the Lord commanded them. So we are all commanded to do the same. Keep a history (spiritual and temporal) written down about our lives for our posterity. Here's a really good scripture we read yesterday:
"For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written." -- 2 Nephi 29:11

So writing down the Lord's words personally to you is pretty important! It shows you care, helps you remember it, and is a good reference to look back on later in life or for your posterity. SO DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I <3 YOU

Elder Clark the younger
This week has been really eventful but also pretty long. On Tuesday was transfers, and I got a brand new missionary!!!!!!! His name is Elder S I will send a picture of us out to yall. He is from Provo, so the MTC wasn't too far from him. He has been really good out here because he has a great desire to serve. He is a bit shy but is doing really well for his first week. I remember I had no idea what I was doing for the first few months of the mission, so I know how he feels haha. I told him that he is going to learn tons of things, but above all to remember to "work hard, pray hard, and have fun" and he will be just fine. Especially because there is a lot expected of you when you first come on your mission, I figured that would be something comforting to hear. I feel like that is the basic essence of the Gospel, the way you push through. Just work hard, pray hard, and enjoy this time.

Wednesday I was very bold with our missionaries in the zone. Somehow I got put on the spot in a discussion with the entire zone and I told them very straight up how they needed to increase their desire. It was good for them. And probably for me too. I haven't ever done anything like that but it felt good because they needed it big time. But right after that, we were biking through town and got stopped, cornered and yelled at/cussed out for a few minutes because this poor misguided fellow thought we worshiped Moroni. I told him Moroni was a prophet that testified of Christ, and he about punched me, so we biked away. Poor Elder S his first day out gets the worst opposition I've seen yet on my mission. Also that day we got caught in the rain and soaked on our bikes. (Carolina rain is about as bad as Kansas rain - and about twice as bad as CA rain). I was loving that though. It's so much fun for me. I sang the whole time haha.

Thursday became a service day. We helped with 2 moves and did some gardening for an older couple that can't do much work for themselves. Those moves were crazy. I tried to really pick up the pace by running everywhere so there was a lot of energy there. Friday we got fed brazilian steaks, smoked chicken, and lobster, all in the same meal, by a member. It's not often we get spoiled that much but man that was incredible.

Saturday Elder S took the lead in some lessons and some contacts! Huge victory. It's been tough for him but he is doing awesome. I am excited to work with him. He has a huge secret though: he is really good at basketball. It's funny because he is real humble and quiet, never played sports competitively at all, but then he gets out on the court and goes wild. Doesn't miss a shot. Apparently he played a lot of church ball in Provo.

Anyways I realized something powerful yesterday, and that is this: I am out here on my mission because I was asked personally by Jesus Christ to serve him in North Carolina. And really there is no other reason. It's a very real thing and I love it!

Hope y'all's week is incredible.

Elder Clark the younger

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not a lot of update this week!

One big thing happened though. We got a call from a man at UNC Cancer hospital who wanted a blessing before he went through chemo. We biked over there and gave him one of the most powerful blessings I have felt. We ended up teaching him and his wife (she is starting to come back to church after a while of being less active) and saw them I think 5 days this last week. He is really strong and doing really well with the treatments, and even better with the Spirit. They both had a really powerful experience with the Book of Mormon and are committed to sticking by covenants with God through baptism and the sacrament. It is so awesome to see the Spirit change hearts and lift heavy hands at the same time. I don't think that there is anything better. I wish they were in our ward but they are just here for recovery. They are going to really have a jump start when they get back to their house!

Elder M is leaving tomorrow :( I will be picking up a brand spanking new missionary from Raleigh in the morning! So I will let you know next week how that all goes. Elder M is going to my last area... He already knows who all of the people he is going to work with are haha. That's pretty lucky.

I love you! I love this work. This is the best thing ever.

Elder Clark the younger
Let me tell yall something about this area. Last Monday we counted 100 Prius's. In just one day. So there's that.

I played piano for district meeting this week! We sung Come Come ye Saints. I didn't do too badly. It's funny because I am really bad at piano but nobody else plays :( So there's that.

As far as mission terms go, Elder M is 'pregnant' because I am about to have a son. (Mission culture is so weird haha) But our district leader is also training next transfer. He was in the MTC with me so we get along pretty well (or as they say in England we "get on quite well"). Anyways we are both training, meaning our companions are prego, so we had a baby shower on Wednesday for lunch. We had steak and potatoes and a huge batch of cookies. We ate all of them that day... I guess sometimes you just need a binge of sugar.

We met a new investigator this week that was interested because she saw the Book of Mormon broadway musical!!! The one that belittles us I guess. That was pretty amazing to have someone interested because of it. It truly brings to light that "any publicity is good publicity" for the church.

I guess the only other real story from this week is that we dug a 3 foot deep grave for a blind less active member's old guide dog this week. That was really tough physically and emotionally because he was really attached to the dog. I mean it was always with him and guiding him.

Anyways the peace of the Gospel is really amazing. It has really changed my perspective on the world. I love it so much.

Love you and thank you for being the best!!!!!

Elder Jeffy
I'll give you a sneak preview of what is going on in two weeks. My previous ward in Apex was completely overflowing with Mormons as you know (don't you remember those tiny details? Kyle probably did actually). Completely. So here is the lowdown. They are redrawing the boundaries of that ward and 2 others to create a new one. Elder M (my redcoat companion right now) is leaving me (I guess we got along too well) and going down there to open up the new ward. I will be staying up here at UNC and training a brand new missionary. Here's some things I know about the newbie already:

1. It's a boy!!!!!!! I won't train a girl no way.
2. He is at least 18 years old and graduated from high school
3. He is probably Mormon
4. He will be called my son
5. Yeeeaaaaahh...

I really don't know anything about him actually. I am excited to train though. To have a real son of my own. Especially because it will take me back to the basics of the gospel and missionary work. YEEHAWWWWWWWW

So last week we beat my mission biking record. We went 21 miles. White shirts and all. And what made it better was it was almost 100 degrees with 90% humidity. Awesome stuff. Let's just say we were wet. And it didn't rain and we aren't allowed to swim so you can rule those options right on out of there. We did a few hours of tracting this week and man oh man that was fun. We got told that we were illuminati by a lady, but then she asked for a Book of Mormon. What? Haha. I guess you can have it if you really want to.

Yesterday was really inspiring. I have been reading the Bible from start to finish and I am almost through Jeremiah. It's been really awesome to see all the stories I know in the perspective of the rest of the Bible instead of just out of context. Isaiah is purely amazing. It's got so many important things in there that I just want to go back and reread it again. But not yet I have to finish. Anyways what really inspired me yesterday are two scriptures I found in the new testament:

"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Romans 14:10-12

"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." Matthew 12:36-37

That taught me a lot more about how judgment day is going to work and how the Plan of Salvation really works.

Thanks for listening and I will see yall next week on...

Peace (be unto you)
Elder Clark the younger

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lots of news this week. We are on fire I swear. It is so weird that as of last Thursday I have been out a year, and as of last Tuesday I only have a year left to go. (Oh mom by the way I hear that you aren't supposed to pick us up from the mission, and that you get a secret letter about that from President about at the year mark so that you don't try to set it up haha. You will have to let me know if that actually comes because I am interested what else it says)

It sounds like yall had a super fun week. It was tough to see Amy's birthday pass by on Facebook and not be able to message her or anything but HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMY! I'll be home for the next one don't worry. Thank you for all of the stories and pictures and videos you sent. It's really like I'm not missing anything because I feel like I'm right there every Monday when I check my email. Plus I kind of go into 'work mode' throughout the week where I hardly can remember anything from back home. It's kind of nice but weird too.

So this week.....
Monday we played some intense sand volleyball with a bunch of missionaries from the zone. It was tons of fun. Then we had one of the most powerful lessons on my mission so far. It was about the Doctrine of Christ (basically what he taught that we need to receive him - faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). This is the most personal lesson I have learned on my mission - everything is centered on those 5 things that our Savior taught. It is so simple, but it is a very deep thing too. There is nothing in the Gospel that doesn't have direct correlation to that.

Tuesday we helped out with 2 moves! The first was a member of the church, but the second we just saw them moving in and went to help out! It was really great to be able to serve because most people who are moving either hire somebody or want to do it themselves. These people are really humble though. We introduced them to some members and hopefully they will become good friends!

Wednesday we had an amazing zone conference with President there. It was really powerful. Afterwards we went on a blitz with our district leader: basically we split up and started to tract out an entire apartment complex. We got 3 lessons in about an hour between the companionships! It was tough because my whole mission that was only my second time that I have gone door to door (we haven't had to before!) but it was lots of fun and we talked to some really nice people.

Thursday was HUMP DAAAY!!!!! We did service allllllllll day. We cleaned up a section of highway in the morning, did some weeding for an older couple in the afternoon, and did some trench digging until late. That was tons of fun. I got to wear my "HUMP DAAAY!" camel shirt all day long. I didn't even take it off to go to bed because it was way too satisfying.

Friday was another blitz for the 4th! I met a midget from Iran who was really into conspiracy theories. He tried to show us a lot of things that are going on in the world. It was pretty crazy. Borderline scary even. Really nice man though. Kind of the opposite conversation to the one you would expect to have on Independence Day. It was more like Oppression Day. Then we had a 4th of July cookout (that's what they are called here - NOT a 'barbecue' because that's what you eat... southern logic...). After that we dressed up the Brit (Elder Mann) in a Murican outfit and gave him some apple pie and spam and took pictures. Good times.

The rest of the weekend was pretty normal. We met some really great people tracting yesterday. From our efforts this week (tracting and referrals) we have found a few new investigators! It is really exciting because like I said we had 0 when I got here, so we are getting things going!!!!!!!!!! I love this work. It's a lot of fun and brings a boat load of happiness and peace to me! It's great. I hope everyone feels like this sometimes.

I love you. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I feel it bigtime out here. It really keeps me going and motivates me. Lots of love your way! A year isn't too long so treasure the time I am gone haha.

Elder Jeffy

I have really been working on my southern accent lately. Elder M is trying it out too. I don't think I could really pull off an English accent but I still make fun of him anyhow. It's fun because of all the small words and phrases that he says are so different. I wish I could think of examples but they happen so often now that I can't think of any. Oh well. Maybe I will start making a list of loads of them so I have something to report. We have tons of fun though! Like this week we made fortune cookies with scriptures in them. With our own recipe. They weren't too bad! Just stuff like that we do on our lunch break or before bed.

So our poison ivy scare turned out to be chiggers. It looked like poison rash at first but then they kind of pulled away from each other. It's not too itchy anymore and they are going away, but they are all over. Good thing we got hydro cortisone!

I sent a picture of a concrete guitar - That was made by a blind man in our ward. He is awesome. He's a real typical southern folk; a real deal yankee-hatin, fri-chicken-eatin confederate. He's pretty awesome. He feeds us lunch about every week and loves missionaries. Now we just gotta get him out to church!

We currently have 2 investigators in Chapel Hill, a man and his girlfriend that we found last week. We are going to try to get out and get some activities going, maybe at or around campus so we can really try to engage people. If you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know! One thing that I want to try is setting up a free Book of Mormon booth. See if that yields any results. Then I also think that the missionaries should sing the national anthem at the UNC-Duke game. I'll ask President about that one.

Anyways, things are going great! Exactly a year from today will be the last day of my mission, the day that I will fly home if everything is on the same schedule. Thursday is my 'hump day' where I actually have been out on my mission for a year, so I have a shirt with the hump day camel on it (from the commercial). We have service set up for that day, so I'll get to wear it! It's really made me reflect on the last year and think about what went well and what I want to do better for the next one. I'm excited though! Things are going really well and I am so thankful for this mission I have had so far. It's my favorite year of my life yet. There is nothing better than serving the Lord by serving others. I love the Gospel and love my Savior.

Thanks for being the bestest family ever! I love you so much.

Monday, June 23, 2014

This week has been really eventful! I got moved from Apex out to Chapel Hill 2nd ward. We have a really small area, but we cover the outer boundaries of 3 cities: Chapel Hill, Durham, and Carrboro. Most of UNC sports fields are in our area, and also the hospitals. The classrooms are right across the road of our boundary, but we have to go through main campus to get to the rest. So now, I am in a college town. Most of the people in the ward and around the area are college students or work in and around campus.

My new companion is Elder M, from south London. It is really fun to have a slight culture change from the typical Utah missionaries haha. So we are a pretty unique companionship as far as where we are from. Elder M is a rugby player too! We have a lot of fun together. I will try to send a picture of us.

Like I said, eventful week! Here are some of the highlights:

Monday I said bye to everyone and packed. We got a giant turtle from the thrift shop and I gave it to the Hs, our recent converts, because they told me I look like a turtle when I sing. Just a little something to remember me by haha.

Tuesday I came out to Chapel Hill and started to get settled!

Wednesday was super hot. It got up to 101 degrees and the humidity was really high because it rained in between sunshine... That normally wouldn't have been too bad but we had to bike 17 miles that day. Wow. Let's just say I got a little bit wet. Mostly from the rain. Just kidding it was all sweat. That was crazy. We got to see all of campus though, and I sang the whole bike ride through there. I have been trying to have more fun with our contacts, so I would say things like "Hey want to trade bikes?" and stuff like that.

Thursday we had dinner with a crazy awesome family with 8 kids. I got challenged to a push up competition by a 9 year old. She did 60 push ups without stopping! It was crazy. I matched her, but still I was really impressed.

Friday and Saturday mornings were spent clearing out about 300 square feet of thick NC jungle out of somebody's backyard. It was really intense because NC trees are THICK! There are so many little bushes and plants and trees and brush you wouldn't believe it! And we must have discovered 25 new species of bugs too. BUT we got poison ivy. It's still killing me!!!!!!!

The work here is about to take off! We are starting off from ground zero. We had no investigators when I got here. But we found 2 this week and are going to really get things going. I am excited! Here we go!

I love you so much!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for writing me.

Elder Clark the younger

Monday, June 9, 2014

This week we were really blessed with opportunities to serve and teach. It was awesome. We taught 12 lessons to investigators! And our service this week was complete demolition of a master bathroom on Friday and helping shovel mulch and build a treehouse on Saturday. It was a ton of fun. We also had a ward picnic at a park in Cary where I taught some youth and adults how to throw and kick a rugby ball. That was fun!

This week was definitely BBQ week haha we got fed BBQ chicken 3 days and burgers 3 days. It seems like the members all have a similar thought on what to feed us that week. Maybe they have secret themes that they set every week and just tell the relief society sisters about them.

I also got to talk in sacrament meeting yesterday! It wasn't too bad. I talked about lego's and rugby. And how small and simple things make great things happen. But my main focus was how prayer (a small thing) is the foundation for living the Gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end). It actually helped me a lot to understand prayer better. Prayer grows your faith, is an essential step of repentance, is part of baptism, brings the Spirit into your life, and helps you reflect and improve yourself so you can endure to the end. There now you have heard my whole talk.

Thanks for listening! See you next time.

Elder Clark the younger

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

This has been a crazy last few weeks. We are really busy and I am getting kind of lost in the work. I can hardly remember what it was like to be back home anymore haha. I think that yall might need to prepare me to go back out into the world when I get home. Like start making some classes on how to be a real person or something that I can take when I get there? I don't know.

We taught a ton this week! We had 11 lessons with investigators and 6 with recent converts and less active members of the church. It was fun! I think that we are finally figuring out how to use our time wisely haha. It's a tough thing to do because we are always going and a going and a going, so sometimes you just get going and get lost in what you are doing. And sometimes you are having way too much fun and forget what you were trying to do. That happens a lot here because Elder James and I get along really well. We could be talking pretty seriously with an investigator and all of a sudden all of us just be laughing like crazy. I think that if you watched a movie of our life as companions you might have a heart attack from laughing so much. I would encourage you to not have heart attacks though.

One day last week we had a lesson in Mandarin Chinese. It was crazy. We had a member with us that spoke Mandarin, and we just let them talk. It was awesome to hear. We got the Spirit of what they were saying at least! It was incredible because I could tell when he was talking about the First Visitation to Joseph Smith and his story! Pretty powerful.

All of my memories are starting to blend together. It is kind of funny because Elder James is having the same problem. We just sit around during lunch or before bed and tell all of the same stories and laugh because we have already heard them 4 or 5 times. Maybe I am just getting old.

But you know what? Everything is only getting better. Perspective: UP! Righteousness: UP! Plundering: UP! (what?) Joy: UP! Love: UP! 2nd Coming: coming UP! Gospel: SPREADING. I love the happiness that comes from living the doctrine of Christ and becoming more like Him. I can tell you that the most sure thing in my life is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is secure when the world around is unstable and it is loving when the whole earth wants to hate. What could be better than sharing that with people?

Elder Clark the younger

PS There aint nothin better than a bunch of fireflies and a couple biscuit-lovin raccoon-hunters with bed bugs in their briches hollerin at a whole messa peach cream pie lovers. That's what I love about Sundays.

PPS Speaking of bed bugs I found one today in our apartment and made a whole mess of things cleaning and spraying all over and taking our couch outside. They are scary as all get out let me tell ya DADGUM THEM THINGS! Bugs aren't fun.

PPPS Yesterday we didn't email because we got an emergency referral in the morning that we biked over to see how much help he needed and we were there for about 3 hours or so listening to his whole life story. Man it was tough to hear. He is really struggling but he knew who to call that's for sure. Let me tell ya I feel like a superhero when people who aren't even members of the Church recognize us as servants of the Lord.
You are the bestest. Some experiences from this week!!!!!

On Monday night, we had tons of places to go. We ended up biking about 10 miles or more that night... It was pretty crazy. And warm. Luckily we have the car this week! We have interviews with President tomorrow, so I will probably find out what is happening for transfers in two weeks! I think I will be going because I have been here a good while and am starting to figure it out. I also am having WAY TOO MUCH FUN with Elder J. I don't know if I said this already but he is a lot like Brad Beeston. Definitely more shy than Brad but the personalities and everything are very similar. So we just have a blast. We have a lot of things that we both say for no good reason except it's funny. Like inside jokes. But then we explain them to people so they can have fun too. Don't worry.

Tuesday we biked a ton too. That was closer to 20 miles. It doesn't seem like that much when you think I did 100 in one day, but man oh man. You try biking in a white shirt and tie, and LONG PANTS and dress shoes, and holding a bag, on a 3 year old mountain bike that really needs repair or something haha. It gets pretty crazy. That day we were way out in the boonies, and a man walked out of his house with a handgun out. So, we told him who we were and what we were doing and he said, "Oh yall are for Jesus? I'm wit you. I'm baptist." He wasn't interested but he didn't shoot us so that's nice.

Wednesday, I gave out an Arabic copy of the Book of Mormon to one of the workers at Panda Express (we were there for lunch and started talking to him). It's not every day you get to give out one of those! It just so happened that we had one at the apartment. I'm not exactly sure why we even had it really.

Friday was Elder James' birthday. It was a lot of fun! We got taken to a Chinese buffet for lunch (you would have thought it was my birthday!) and did a lot of service that day. We helped tighten every screw in the church building as an Elder's Quorum activity. The running joke in Elder's Quorum was trying to figure out a name for the activity. We'll leave that subject alone.

Overall we taught a bunch of lessons this week! 6 with a member and 5 other lessons! It was pretty awesome. And we found 3 new investigators. Not in our car though they were on the street and in their houses and what not.

If you work hard at what the Lord has commanded, he will bless you, but most likely it won't be in ways that you would expect.

Elder Clark the younger
Good to see you and talk to you yesterday! I think that I would much rather just hang out and have fun like we do than what it sounds like other missionaries do (where they just sit around and cry and say how much they miss each other and what not). We are just a happy family with good perspective I guess. Or maybe you just don't miss me haha. That's probably not it I think you all would miss me if I was a turtle. I still miss our box turtle we had in Kansas. That was fun.

So as you done sawed I really ain't been changin much. My bike's doin alright. We also done moved a couple people this week. There was one with a 1100 lb safe. It took like 7 or 8 of us but we managed to get it into the moving truck and safely back out again. It was pretty crazy. Elder James and I are like the best moving crew though. Just let us at em!

We are still teaching a lot of people, some that are progressing and some not, but we were finally able to set a baptismal date with one of them! Another is going to get to that point right quick after our lesson tonight.

Yesterday, a young man from the ward gave his mission farewell talk. It made me feel like I really was not prepared for my mission haha. There are some great missionaries coming out to the field! Give them some work to do because they don't know what they are doing they just know how to teach people pretty well! Well that's me anyways.

Thanks for everything that yall do. I really appreciate the boost I get from talking to ya yesterday. It really helps motivate me and reminds me that life is pretty simple and pretty amazing. We have it pretty dang good! And it will be even better if we really put something into it and really get something out of it.

I love you so much!
Elder Clark the younger

Monday, May 5, 2014

Definitely the most eventful week of my mission so far! We were able to teach quite a bit of lessons to investigators and do tons of service and see some of the seventy and an apostle! So here are the highlights...

Monday - Awesome chicken and biscuits place that was pretty well priced for how good it was! But then one of the sister missionaries in our ward went to the ER for somethings being wrong with her pacemaker. Can you imagine? 19 years old and she has had a pacemaker for a few years. That's rough. But she is okay now after the surgery just recovering out here with her mom.

Tuesday - DEEP CLEANING of the apartment!

Wednesday - At district meeting the thunder outside backed up what I said every time I spoke. It was awesome. One time it roared really loud and I said "What do you want?". Then it roared twice as loud immediately, so I said "OK sorry!"

Thursday - We helped with bishop's storehouse and had tons of fun bagging and boxing and serving. That night we were with an old man in an electronic wheelchair that is hilarious! He said things like "Praise God I had a prayin' Mama."

Friday - Role played tracting with our recent converts haha. They practiced tracted into us as if they were the missionaries. It was tons of fun!

Saturday - Annual Apex Peakfest! We helped set up tents and supplies for vendors starting at 5:30am and had a pancake breakfast in the firehouse! It was awesome. Then we went and helped somebody move, showered quickly, and shot out across Raleigh for an emergency meeting President called for the night before. Turns out Elder Neal Anderson of the Twelve and Elders Piper, Martinez, and Packer of the Seventy were coming to Raleigh! They came and spoke to us, shook every missionary's hand and talked to us. Elder Anderson told me "It's nice to see you" as if he had seen me before haha. Then I answered a question as he was talking and walking around the chapel, and he came over and put his hand on my shoulder as we talked about the response. I know that he is called of God because I can really feel it. Elder Anderson was really friendly and actually really hilarious. He was sarcastic in a positive and loving way, and teased us and had a great time.

Sunday - An investigator who we haven't talked to in a few weeks showed up at church! He said "Yeah I just felt good about it so I came!" Haha it was incredible. That night a recent convert brought ice cream and a friend to our apartment and we sat outside in his truck bed and had an "Ice cream social" lesson talking about what he calls the "blueprint" (the Book of Mormon) (he says that's trademarked haha).

This morning - We got to the church this morning to email and what not and saw two giant cranes. We found out quickly they were replacing the angel Moroni with a new one! The old one was getting worn, so they send it back to HQ and re-plate it with 24-carat gold, and send it to another temple. The one we got is from Birmingham, AL. I got to touch it and take some amazing pictures and experience the whole thing! I hope this isn't bad but I also modeled the old worn out Moroni's trumpet for a couple pictures.

So anyways, Awesome week!!!!! I loved it. Tons of fun. YAY!!!!!!

Me (Elder Jeffy)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We got to go to the temple on Friday! It was pretty amazing. I love the temple so much. It's beautiful to visit every day, but it is so much better to be able to go in and help those who cannot to receive the blessings of the temple without us. Other than that things are going great. I love my companion, I love my district, my mission president is the best in the world, and I love my Savior most of all. So things are great.

My computer froze for a while so this is going to be kind of short. Sorry about that. But thank you so much for the Easter box! I loved it so much. We are completely candied out by now haha. I dropped my wallet in the trash can at Arby's this week. The lady gave me gloves to fish it out, but it was still kind of nasty to do that in a suit. And where did it drop? Of course, right into a milkshake haha. NASSSSSTY!!!!

We had an awesome Easter though. I love Jesus. I hope yall got to watch the Because of Him video at some point this week, but if not I would encourage you to watch it tonight! It is on easter.mormon.org

I love you!!!!

This week was pretty special. We got to play lacrosse last monday with one of the priests, and it was tons of fun. We had like a one on one tournament with a couple other missionaries. I think I would like it full contact! Maybe I will try it after the mission if I ever get time and before I get old and cranky about my back and ankles and stuff.

My bike went crazy this week. I went to replace my brakes and it turned into an entire bike tune up. I probably need to replace some cables and stuff. Anyways, we were biking, and I went to put on my brakes, and one of them caught on the spokes and shot off my bike. So I was brakeless for the rest of the way haha. It was pretty crazy. Then on the way back home my chain popped off too, but it was downhill the rest of the half mile or so home, so I just coasted so I wouldn't have to get off my bike and put it back on. All of this was the same day haha.

Then, this weekend we had a really once in a lifetime experience. Gladys Knight (who is a Mormon) brought an awesome gospel choir out here and put on a missionary fireside of singing and testimony of why she was baptized. It was awesome! What a way to reach out to people. We had 2 investigators who were able to go, and they both loved it. I loved it too. I tell you there is nothing like hearing someone amazing like Gladys Knight sing "I am a child of God."  She jazzed it up a little bit, and it was seriously beautiful! You should look it up. I kind of want to listen to some good southern gospel music after that. Especially from Gladys and her choir (they are called the Saints Unified Voices). Man she got her a few great grandchildren and she STILL got it. She was really funny too. She said that her first impression of the missionaries that taught her was that they dressed clean and "wear dey pants where dey s'posed to" haha.

So anyways, great week! Hopefully some good comes from this performance because there were tons of people that brought not-Mormon friends. There were probably more nonmembers than members there, and there were 4 shows of it that held over 1000 people each. It was a different experience - in a stake center, but still loud and clapping and everything. A bit different than your normal church experience.

I am really glad to get yall's emails every week and your letters. So thank you for that! Hopefully you can still feel my love for you all because it is really just growing and growing. I am excited to let you know everything I have learned when I get home, especially because I have so much more opportunity to learn in the next year and a little bit.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Jefferton II
Everything is covered in pollen. It's crazy. We leave our bikes outside overnight and our seats are yellow in the morning. And apparently this is just the beginning of it. If it doesn't rain every few days then it all starts to cake on the roads and sidewalks. Haha we are in for some fun. You can just see the pollen blowing off of the trees like its flour.

Other than that, things are going well here I would say. We didn't have anyone at church this week, but there are a few investigators that are really close to overcoming their fears and doubts and really jump starting their relationship with Christ. The step that does that is going to church!

On Wednesday, we had an activity zone conference. It was really good! We got to go up to Chapel Hill, right on the UNC campus, and had our meeting in the institute building there. Then we went out and played a bunch of games. All of the elders and sisters from the northern 3 zones were there, so it was huge. We played capture the flag (I accidentally tackled somebody running at me out of habit), ultimate frisbee (I dove for them even if they weren't even close to me), soccer (it was more like bunch ball - 30 people on a tiny soccer field haha), and volleyball. It was a lot of fun. Then we sang some bluegrass gospel song that President really likes and headed on outta there!

We got to help out more with the mission washers and dryers this week, and I got to learn how to replace a motor in a dryer and how to rebuild the important parts of a washer. Now I just need to know how to program things and I could figure it out!

Well, I want to thank you for everything you do for me. You are the best people. You are definitely my bestest family. I love you so much!

Elder Clark the younger
like you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I should have taken pictures of my tie collection. I have added 10 ties to it just this week! And I have another one coming (I am trading a copy of the Jane Austen CD to a missionary for a really nice tie!!!!). I came on my mission with 10 ties roughly. I now own 35. And I have only bought one for more than $1.50 and it was because I needed more purple ties in my first transfer! We also made ties out of duck tape. Pictures to come eventually!

We also got to help tear apart and repair washers and dryers this week. I learned that washers can literally eat your socks! They get swished over the edge of the washer bowl and sucked up into the drainage pipe. And out they go. Mom, if you think that the only reason we can't match all of our socks is because we lose them, it's not! They are also being fed to crustaceans in the ocean via drainage pipes.

Our mission vision is to be teaching 20 lessons per week. Facebook lessons now count for that! This week, for the first time since my very first month in NC, we taught 20 lessons! 5 were on Facebook haha. It is an amazing and powerful tool. If you have friends that could use the messages that your missionaries share, please have them add the missionaries! Or the other way around. It works miracles. It is how we can get through to those in the far corners of the earth that cannot meet with us due to political circumstances. It is also how we are able to help those that are shy, reserved, or otherwise won't meet in person for whatever reason. The Lord can help us use these types of things for good; use our talents in different ways.

None of our investigators came to conference for the first 3 general sessions, so yesterday, between the last 2 sessions, Elder J and I decided we were going to go find somebody to come with us to see the final session. We felt prompted to visit one of our investigators, who was outside smoking, in her pajamas. She has been very hesitant to progress, not because she isn't ready, but because she is afraid, and she felt the same way about conference. But we were very persistent and lovingly fearless. She really felt God's love so powerfully that just before the session started, she changed into decent clothes and followed us to conference. It was pretty amazing.

I am certain that those who reach out to their brothers and sisters are blessed with the courage to be able to bring them home. So reach out! you never know who is willing to come if you will just persistently and lovingly invite and follow up.

I love you SOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!! My mission is my favorite thing that I have ever done in life so far.

Elder Clark the younger

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It has been a crazy week. I lost the phone on Tuesday (I didn't even notice because Elder W never let me carry the phone haha). So Elder J and I had fun being stuck without a phone for a couple of days. We found it on Thursday though!!!!!! I had dropped it in our Ward Mission Leader's car. He searched the car over and over before then and couldn't find it, but when Elder J and I prayed we both felt like it was in his car. We went there to look, and I remembered there was a box of wire sitting next to me where I may have dropped the phone. Sure enough, there was a really small opening in the box and somehow the phone fell right into it. That was pretty crazy. But I'm telling you, the Lord cares about the little things too, even the dumb mindless things I do haha.

We also have seen a lot of success teaching! Almost all of our investigators right now are pretty solid, and we are teaching almost 10 people again! What a blessing. The ward is really taking off too. I am excited for things happening here.

Elder J is from Mill Creek, UT, right by Sandy!!!! He went to Skyline high, and was a wrestler and football player. Just to give you an idea of how awesome he is, he was 180 pounds and played CENTER in football. Like the man who throws the ball between his legs for those of you who went to public school. He is such a man that they wanted him to hit fat guys and protect the quarterback. So let's just say we have gotten some pretty good workouts in this week.

One of our new investigators is a retired high school football coach, so I don't think we will have a problem relating to him haha.

I don't have much to say, only that if you vote for me all of your wildest dreams will come true. Thank you.

<3 Elder Clark the younger

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

We got to help out a lot this week with Eagle Projects and other service stuff, and we have been teaching a lot more! Especially over Facebook. Things are going great. We are working currently with: Mary, Jeremy, Vivian, Natosha, Marshall, Shannon, and Bob. Which is crazy because just two weeks ago we had Mary and Marshall as our only 2 investigators. We are being blessed significantly. Elder Wood

I love this. SOOOOOO much. There aren't words to describe. I feel like Ammon in Alma 26 (especially verse 35). It is awesome.

We even got to play rugby last Monday!!!!!! It was two hand touch of course and we played out in the church parking lot while freezing rain was coming down pretty hard, but it was fun haha. Most of the Elders in our zone drove out here to the stake center just for fun. Tons of basketball, and a little rugby. NIIIIICCCCEEEEEEEEE

NEWWSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Wood is getting transferred. It's okay though. He will be fine. I am not sure that I know all that much about this area but it will be exciting to try to help somebody new get accustomed to the "peak of good living" like the sign says haha.

Well, I love you. That is important to know. Remember that!!!!!

Elder Jeffy!!!!!!!!!!!

PS I attached something that I made for our entire ward this week! You should do it individually as a FHE activity for tonight!!!! Please oh please it will make me so excited haha.
Overall this week was a lot of fun. I am very grateful to be able to serve. Miracles happen literally every day. We recognize God's hand in our lives as we strive to become who we should. Something I have really come to realize this week is that every commandment is not just for obedience, but to point us towards who we need to become. Keeping the law is important but what is more important is how keeping the law transforms who you are into who you need to be. That is where our personality comes out, and where we really enjoy this life. Some people (like the Pharisees in Christ's time) become robotic and obey every part of the law just to do it. But that doesn't teach you anything until you understand who you really are. I know that Christ has suffered so that we can understand and reach our potential. That is why we are here - because we have divine potential. We have more potential than we understand. I love you all so much! And mom I am really proud of your missionary work. How is the rest of the family's?

Elder Clark the younger