Friday, July 19, 2013

Best week of my life!!!!!

My lovely Family!!!

Mother Dear! Thank you so much for writing me and sending me pictures, even though it was a late night! You're my favorite. I hope the whole family is doing well!!!! I want you all to know how much I love you. And mother, thank you for always sending me Steve's emails - he is such a great example to me. 

I absolutely loved the package!!!!!! I really do have the best family, and friends, ever. Haha Elder Arancibia and I absolutely loved the food. Oh my goodness. I had PB&J sandwich (on pansito rolls) and I have never been so happy in all my life. And the chocolate, and everything. My favorite part definitely was the photo book of my lovely family!! I treasure it - and the photos of friends too on their missions!! Thinking of them also really inspires me from good examples. Oh and tell Megan Flinders congratulations on her mission call! OH, and special message to Katie, please!!!! Please write me a huge long letter, with all of your English skills and writing talents, about your EFY and AFY experiences this summer!! I would die to hear about all of your spiritual experiences, of my little sis. It would mean the world to me. I'm gonna send you a birthday card today! I hope you have the best birthday ever! :)

Okay, a lot going on here! I'm gonna try to write as much as I can. So, we're actually not going to be able to go to the temple this week. Sad day :( but it's ok. Also, we had a Ward Council for the first time yesterday after church, and nothing filled my heart with more joy!! Answer to my prayers, seriously. We are going to be able to do so much more now with the help of this strong ward!! It was difficult before, without essencial things to missionary work like that, and tested my patience and all of the other Christlike attributes a lot. But I have a testimony that the presence of good desires, and lots of prayers, really bring to pass miracles. I KNOW that Pamplona feels all of your prayers back home! Thank you so much. Also, we might be getting another companionship of missionaries coming to this ward next change! Still not certain, but probably. I'll keep you posted. And Elder Arancibia and the zone leaders tell me that I also might be training next change...which filled my heart with such fear! Oh my goodness. Haha. What would happen would be Elder Arancibia and I split up in two sections of the ward here, cuz we know the area, and two new elders would come to each of us. Man the work is going to get so much better!! I am so so happy you have no idea. I am trying to work towards the ability to train alone by next change as a goal, but I have soooo much to work on, it's crazy. I know that anything is possible with the Lord. This week has been up and down roller coaster, hard but really good. I have had to really bump up my Christlike attributes, love and patience and humility, to meet the level of these Peruvians. They have such a different personality, and it truly really is remarkable, the way they live, and the love they show constantly. They live off of love! And I have learned that the mission is all about BECOMING the missionary you have always wanted to be. It is about the journey - we are not expected to just BE that missionary we have envisioned in our minds, not possible! This was difficult for me to learn, but we have to trust in the Lord in always converting and becoming better. And it is ONLY possible in an atmosphere of love, and the Spirit. I can't explain the realization I came to this week, in my most difficult time, of the Missionary Life, but accepting all of this deep in my heart, nothing has filled me with greater joy. I am so so grateful for this opportunity. It is so important to always be positive!!!

Anyways, we are also starting English classes every Wednesday where members bring investigators, and it will be taught! And everybody is sooo excited about it, I'm nervous, cuz I don't know how to teach English! Haha. Any ideas? :) Also, we might be starting up Piano lessons or classes too every week, cuz lots of people want to learn too. Also I will have to figure out how to be a good teacher, in that, and the gospel! I have faith in the Lord that He will help me become the teacher He wants me to be. I am so excited. And have so much work to do!!!!

Okay, so another miracle this week! About the investigators. So, one day we were walking through the mercado, the market, and this man calls out to us, in the very end little tiniest shop, like a shoe-fixer I think, and says, hey, can you tell me more about this book? It was a Book of Mormon which he had for a few years and had been reading it every day in his down time in the market. He said, I know this book is true, and if you need to baptize me, I will do it! Haha. It was so crazy, and gave us the hope we needed at the time!! Anyways, we returned a few hours later that day for a lesson, and got a baptismal date for him. He knows so much and is so prepared!! It is awesome, his name is José, he lives alone, in his little tiny shop in the market, is in about his 50s, and he is missing a leg (it's a wooden one), so, we don't know how we're going to get him baptized yet, but we'll figure it out. :) Also, another investigator that's gonna be baptized soon is named María, the mother of a recent convert. She already has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, the Priesthood and the church, and wants to be baptized! Also teaching another investigator, 18 year old named Jeison, and he is exactly like how I was last year! He has lots of great questions to strengthen his testimony, and I relate to him so well and bear my testimony. It is so special. Anyways, I wish I could tell all! But I want you all to know how much I love you.

The scripture passage this week that really hit me was the story in all of 3Ne.17-19, it touched my heart so much, to really see the true character of Christ. Go read it! And ponder it in your hearts. :)

I love you all!! Stay strong in the Faith!

Elder Clarke

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