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.