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!!!!!!!