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!