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


Yo podia conocer tres personas que hablan espanol esa semana. Hacia muy bien! Ellos estaban muy interesado del mensaje de la restauracion, y yo testifique que la restauracion ayuda a todos, las familias y los individuales.

No more of that. If you didn't entender, I said I got to contact 3 people in Spanish this week! The Spanish elders are loving me because we have given them like 5 referrals in the last few weeks haha. You would think I was really just a Spanish missionary.

Last week was a mess up. I ended up taking way too much time writing Aussie an email and lost track of time, so I didn't have time to write a full email to yall. So I apologize for being off track and not awesome...

Oh well. I got you this week so don't worry!!!! Kylie and Jake Hirschi both emailed me this week!!!! And it is awesome to still get letters from Tyler and Eirik. Kylie (Sister Hirschi) is companions with Bethany Brundage over in Portugal! How neat is that? That's pretty neat.

So I have began something new to help me get up more on time. As yall know I have struggled with that for years and years, so we have been setting 4 alarms starting 30 minutes before we are supposed to wake up so that I can get up by 6:30. Haha it isn't working anymore. I sleep through them now. I asked Elder Wood to tell me ridiculous things and stories in the morning, but that didn't work either. I have had entire conversations with him in the mornings while asleep in my bed. About the strangest things, so he tells me.

So, the solution I came up with is to have a theme for each day, and do something fun related to that theme as soon as the alarm goes off.
-Monday is Musical Monday. We wake up right at 6 and listen to music. I also danced to music for my workout today (Hilary Weeks!!!!!!!) and I'm wearing a musical tie (in my opinion).
-Tuesday is bluesday. I am going to color a blue picture and water our blue flowers and listen to blue ocean island music and wear a blue tie. Tuesday night we are making a fort in our front room and bringing our mattresses out there to sleep under it.
-Wednesday is District Day when we normally have meetings. So we will camp out and watch 'the district' missionary training videos in the morning. The entire district wears the same color tie.
-Thursday is still Purple thursday in honor of Heidi. I wear a purple tie, but we are coming up with races/obstacles and stuff to do that morning since Heidi is a runner.
-Friday is Game day. It always has been. We will play some sort of allowed spiritual game like charades of Book of Mormon stories haha, and wear either blue and silver or blue and red ties.
-Saturday is Super Saturday - we will make something super (like a craft) in the morning and be superheroes all day. I drew mascots for this. Pictures to come (I left my camera at home sorry).
-Sunday is Mormon Day. We wake up at 6 and listen to Mormon Tabernacle Choir and eat breakfast together. The other days of the week we don't have time to do that because we have to work out for 30 minutes but this will be great!!!

Sorry that was so long, but I think it's important to know that I can still have fun and figure out some way to be creative and solve problems haha.

In the last 3 weeks, we have lost 9 investigators to other interests. We have 3 right now. 2 are pretty heavy smokers, and one has disabling heart problems. Times are tough for the Apex investigators haha. We have also contacted 77 people in the last few weeks (we have kept track) and only one of them has become a new investigator. I can tell you that good things are coming pretty soon because we are being humbled and prepared for miracles haha. However, it is great to understand that these, our brothers and sisters, are all being taken care of by our Father. He knows them and has a plan for them too, even if it is not to join the Savior's fold quite yet. I know with all my heart that our Father has a plan for each one of us. He is good, He is intelligent, and above all He loves us more than we could ever believe. I am thankful every day for that.

I love you soooooooo much!!!!!!!!!
Elder Jeffy

You say not really any news? I feel like that was a lot of good news haha. I am glad that everything is normal-above average and what not. Riley never writes to me about his life. He just tells me how much he loves me and misses me. I didn't expect that from him but hey, at least he is the only one that sends me mushy letters haha.

I feel like we had a lot of ups and downs this week. Downs include crazy internal struggles, losing 5 of our investigators in the same day, a big stampede of bed bugs that attacked us at our investigator's house!!!!!! haha. The poor member that went with us. I would be lying if I said there weren't times on my mission where I have felt like I can't do this, and this week I probably hit the lowest of the lows for a day or two. These are the times when you are praying just to make it through the next hour, where you don't know if there is really more you can do. Those times come when you have the strongest moments. It seems like whenever something really good or spiritual happens, either right before or right after you get tested and tried the same magnitude as the spiritual experience that you have. I guess that is why they say there is opposition in all things.

Ups this week though were endless. I had a lot of support this week, despite all of the opposition. One of the less actives was really receptive to me and I related to him, someone that has been somewhat standoffish since before Elder Wood got here. We had a great district meeting, I got to borrow my favorite CD's (Rob Gardner's "The Lamb of God" - a play if you didn't know - I would recommend it) which I really sang out to this week; I got to really feel the presence of those supporting me, and we also had quite a miracle story!

Visiting a potential investigator one night, we came across a a bunch of brothas playing basketball. It felt right to talk to them, so I walked up and said, "Do any of y'all love Jesus?" and got some acknowledging responses, and one of them asked us if we wanted to play. We waited until after their game, and when they offered a spot on one of the teams, I said, "I'll make you a deal. If I make this 3-pointer, y'all have to listen to us for 5 minutes." So I dribbled up to the top of the key and swooshed a 3-pointer. Haha. They were surprised (apparently the suit and the glasses are deceiving), but 4 of them gathered to listen. We were able to testify of the Book of Mormon, modern-day prophets, and how the Gospel can bring joy, after which we gave out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon (one of them already had a copy) and 4 mormon.org cards with our names and numbers on them, and a commitment to explore the truth and call us to meet up. It was amazing. "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me" (Moroni 7:33).

On top of that, we had a baptism this week of the son of our recent convert! He took his time to find his answer and decide to be baptized, which I really appreciated, since he is a 12 year old. It shows he really knows how important this is. He asked me to baptize him, (I got it on the first try BEAT THAT GRANDPA haha) and it was an amazing feeling to be able to baptize him. I realized when he asked me that I had never baptized anyone before! So he was my first.

Anyways, sorry the letter is so long, but I hope that I am able to relate to everyone. We all go through trials, we all get tested, and we all go through the refiner's fire. If we endure it well - and trust in the hand of God, the master creator - we come out pure and shiny and what not. It's a good process. Just take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. You will have support as needed, but you can get through! You can overcome.

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

Elder Jeffy
Hi Mommy!

Thanks for the update on everything! I am glad that things are going well. I think it is interesting how it sometimes takes something significant (I guess it's significant) like a ward split to help us see our lives with different eyes. It seems to be that once we really feel like we are comfortable, we realize that what we should be more comfortable with is change. And I think there is no better explanation for what goes on during a mission than that - change. We are always changing how we do things, and the wards we serve in, the people we meet, the investigators we teach, people that move in and out, and everything just changes. I am coming to love it, because I have realized that the most important things in our lives never change - even with death, disease, or heartache - and that is: the support of our families and close friends, the sure hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the love our Heavenly Father and Savior have for us.

As far as things out here, our investigators are doing great so far! We have two that seem to really be ready to progress, it is just hard to contact them because we don't have phone numbers for either of them and they just leave randomly. It is tough but hey, it is worth it when we do get to talk to them. Another is the son of a recent convert, who we found out was only scared of baptism because there were tons of people at his mom's baptism and that intimidated him. So we are having a smaller baptism for him in 2 Saturdays :) Other than them, our investigators are either hard to catch or not quite committed. In fact 2 wanted to Bible bash last time we met, so this week may be our last meeting with them. I don't know. We are pretty consistently finding 2 new investigators each week though, so hopefully some of them will be prepared!!!!!!!!!! We have a total of 12 people we are trying to work with right now, and more on the way haha. It should be fun.

And now a note just for you!!
I really love getting emails from you Mom, so thank you for so consistently writing me. I also want to say thank you for the example and expectations you set for me when I was younger. You have always been able to see a wider picture than I ever could, and it is probably still that way. I know that I have some work to do, but I will always be appreciative of how much you have helped me get to the point that I am at today. I think that every day gets a little bit better for me, and that is the perspective that I have gotten from your positive attitude and joyful heart. Keep being a great example, and I love you!!!!!!!!!

Elder Kent (Clark hehe)