Saturday, May 18, 2013

iiiReassigned to Eugene, Oregon!!!

HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING!!! I love you all SO much. Ahh, man. I'm happy just to email you.
I just want to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Scotty!!! ...yesterday. I am really sorry I didn't send anything! But you seriously are the best, little man. I can't believe you're a teenager now - it's crazy!!! Always keep your life in abundance of doing good activities - the opportunities just get better the older you get! Love you so much, Scotty. I hope you had the best birthday ever, seriously!!! I love how kind and genuinely caring you are for people; that is an AMAZING ability, and attribute of Jesus Christ. That's something I've been working on lately. You're a good example, and I love ya. Keep fulfilling your Priesthood responsibilities like a boss!!

Also, CONGRATS to Mom for getting your internship finally!! PG is SUCH a good school too - seriously, there are a lot of genuinely good people there, just like AF. I'm so happy for ya. You're gonna be great! :) And...Mother, I am super sorry I missed getting to talk with you and Dad, and Scotty and Adam. I was super sad, but SUPER happy to get to talk with Katie!! :) Love you, Kates! Thanks for absolutely making my whole day. Hopefully I will be able to talk with my parents on Wednesday - that would really mean the WORLD to me. I miss you tons, Mom and Dad. I actually just love you SO MUCH. Thanks for being the Best parents Ever.

So, the GOOD NEWS, I got reassigned to Eugene, Oregon!!! I am suuuuper excited, seriously. It's a much better option than just staying extra weeks here in the MTC. I'm very, very excited for the experiences and opportunities that will come out in the field. Yesterday we had our In-Field Orientation all
day long, learning how to contact people and work with ward leaders, etc. I am very excited to serve! :) I have been incredibly blessed already with the opportunity to serve as a zone leader and practice being a Christlike leader. Christ turns outward when the natural response of man is to turn inward. I have been learning a LOT the last few days about this, and how I need to give up my whole self in order to love people the way Christ does. Elder Calder shared a scripture with me in DC 75:2-3; we even give up our own NAMES (first names), so that I can be distinguished as a representative of Jesus Christ rather than be distinguished as David. I now get the opportunity to be called Elder, even as Jesus Christ is our Elder brother. This is not my work, it's His. I am so touched and blessed as I continue to deepen my understanding in the promise given us by the Lord that "he who loses his life for My sake shall find it". I KNOW that if I give up  my whole self, and all the personal little things in my life I like to hold on to, than I will be more able to love people as Jesus Christ does. I always think about those people in the movie "The Other Side of Heaven", and how they have virtually nothing, in terms of temporal things, yet they have EVERYTHING, only because they have an unbreakable relationship with their Father in Heaven, and Jesus Christ. It is absolutely incredible - all the worldly things there are in the world, we don't even need ANY of it. I have also learned, that I will build a relationship with God MUCH faster by actually going out serving people, loving them, and looking into their eyes as I truly care for them, than if I were to rather read in the scriptures all day long, or pray all day. There is something special that is felt from serving other people, and really taking the time to FOCUS on them, instead of myself. It is absolutely incredible, and I want more than ANYTHING in this world to love people with greater care. So I've been making changes in my every day life as I'm getting ready to go out and serve in the field, to only take the bare minimum I need to be a missionary, and over-simplify my life. Because I know then I will be more focused on loving people, and making a change that LASTS. Acts of service, according to those things which are spiritual and most important to the lives of people, last a LOT longer than any kind of journal, or anything we try to KEEP. I have been focusing on writing too much down, but I learn that I'll learn more if I just lose myself and give my whole self away. It's funny, how that works - Things that we GIVE of ourselves last a lot longer than things we try to KEEP for ourselves. I encourage you all to focus on others rather than yourselves. I think of the Savior during His ministry, and also like many of the old prophets, they probably had little to no personal possessions, but it didn't really matter. The only thing that mattered was the truths they declared, and the righteousness they gave. I am going to try to be like them, and like Him, to focus ONLY on serving, and loving other people. I KNOW with all my heart this will bring blessings. I absolutely do not care about worldly possessions I try to keep in life and on the mission and stuff, because I am perfectly content with my OWN knowledge, and testimony of my one and only, living Redeemer - Jesus Christ. That is ALL I need in my life, and I am NOT ashamed.

Anyways, wow I guess that's it for today, that was a long paragraph! Haha, sorry. Those principles are really churning deep down in my soul right now, and I felt important for them to come out. I love you all. I have learned SO many other incredible things about the gospel this week, but simply just do not have the time to tell you all. According to our needs, we will be taught. I am SUPER, super grateful for the MTC experience I have had here in Provo - I wouldn't trade it for anything. I feel prepared, and ready to serve the Lord, according to His will.
I love you all so much, and I guess I'll see you all later!! :) thank you for being the best family EVER!!!!!!
Elder Clarke
PS: I got to be a host missionary on Wednesday, and I saw the Hoddy's family drive by! It was really awesome - they stopped and rolled down the window, and Cary said some funny things--it was great to see them! I haven't seen Elder Hoddy yet; but I have seen Elder Payne!!! That was AWESOME. I love missionaries. Anyways. Dad: I'm going to write you a letter today! Adam: I love you a WHOLE bunch too - keep being the most amazing little man in the world!! :) love you SO much :)

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