Monday, July 8, 2013

Oh My Goodness!!!!

Fammmmilllly. :)

Mother - Do you even know how much I love you?!?! Haha, ohh my goodness. Mom, you have no idea how much I enjoyed reading your letter, and just all the kind things you said. It brought me to tears. I love you and the family all so much!!! And Dad´s letter too!! Do you know I always print them out at the end of my session so I can read them later too? And Steve's, and my President Douglas. Thank you so so much for all of the loving support you give me. I just BARELY, in this exact moment, received the package you sent me from my zone leader! I am going to open it later, I could not be more excited! :) Also, last week I got great letters too! From Grandma, Aunt Ida Mae, and my friends Emily Richards and Sister Murdoch and Tatum Frampton. It made me so happy! Thank you so much. I am going to send Katie a happy birthday card soon! And also gifts to everybody! There is some sweet stuff here in Peru, and I´m excited to send stuff to you my lovely family! What kind of things do you like?! :)

So, we are going to have our zone temple-trip the 19th of July, a Friday. That means that next week my P-Day will be Friday instead of Monday, but I will still do one hour of emailing to you lovely people Monday, and then go straight to work, and rest of P-day is Friday. I am SOOO excited! I'll tell you all about it :)

So, this week, I have been so blessed by all of these Peruvians. They are so kind, I can't believe it! For this, I have been trying to develop Charity. All week, I am going to read the section of Charity, and Faith, Hope, Patience with the scriptures, and write in my study journal ways I can love my investigators, members, and my companion. Mother dear, the quote you included at the end of your email was PERFECT for me right now. Thank you so much!!! I am so glad that other scripture a couple weeks ago helped you overcome your fear at the girls camp, and that you flew like a bird through the sky!! You are the best. :) I'm sorry I haven't commented much on all of the fun things you are all doing in my letters, but want you to know it means so much to read about them!! I think it's SO awesome that you do so much in AFY, and the stake, and Dad with the Priesthood songs!! Man. I listen to that one song on my iPod almost every morning, ´´Sing Praise to Him´´, that one that we listened to about a million times on the temple trip the week before I left, and I think of you every time. I am so grateful for my wonderful father and his amazing example of a Priesthood holder, obedience, and teaching all of us children the things of the gospel in our youth. I could not be more grateful for my wonderful parents, and my family. I love you so much!!! (Ohhh, and by the way Mom, Yes I did receive that letter you sent to the Peru MTC! I got it like, the very minute I entered Peru, Elder Durfey and his companion who picked us up from the airport gave it to me in the car as we drove to the Mission Office! It was the first thing I read in Peru. Thank you :)) 

So, that is the other thing I have been focusing on too this week, Obedience. Dad, your letter was PERFECT for me this week too. Thank you so much, I absolutely love the things you write and learned to me and Steve. You are the best Father!! I learned, from my Mission President, that the Mission simply is NOT worth it, if we are not willing to be completely obedient, and have our focus towards God and our investigators with ALL diligence. There are a lot of missionaries that are kinda just here for the ride, and get lots of cool stuff with the money we are allotted and have fun, but I have learned that really, it doesn't bring joy. I've been getting efficient with the money they give us, tracking daily how much I spend and on what, and getting everything in order to put my focus completely on the work. I testify that it brings joy, and that if we want to have success, and real joy, we must put the Lord to the test with His promises He gives us. In anything. Right now for me, there are TONS of promises He gives concerning missionary work, and that He is preparing the hearts of people to receive the message if we open our mouths, etc. Tons. If we are totally obedient in all things, and try with all our faith to do what He asks of us, we will see miracles. This is a promise and I know that it is true. And when we make this a reality, this is when we are filled with joy never-ending. This is my goal as a missionary, to trust always in these promises, and bring about miracles with my faith. That´s what makes the mission WORTH IT. It is all about hope! (Esperanza) I love that principle, having hope in the promises of the Lord, that they will come to pass. With our faith, and diligence. And one of those promises I am putting to the test right now is Charity. I am convinced, that without Charity, we are nothing!! Moroni testifies of it so beautifully in Moroni 7, and Paul of the New Testament also in 1 Corinthians 13 - almost the same exact thing! I love it. I am convinced that the missionaries who possess Charity are able to serve SO much better, and that the work just comes so much more easily. I am trying to achieve this type of love. 

This morning, I read my Patriarchal blessing. My patriarchal blessing has never hit me so hard as it did this morning. Everything has prepared me for this opportunity - pre-mortal life, and the time I have had already. I am so grateful for all of the blessings I have been given in my life, it is absolutely incredible. The gospel is amazing, and is really changing me right now. The Gospel is about conversion, not about conforming to the rules. You have to convert to the gospel, and allow the principle of obedience to become apart of you, rather than just conforming to the rules. Nothing brings more happiness, because we actually see the promises of the Lord come to pass, as miracles, before our eyes, and we get a little taste of the eternal joy of the gospel, as we allow it to touch the lives of those we serve. I am so touched by the kindness of these Peruvian people, and am convinced that it is through love, and charity, I will be able to help them convert to the Lord. Love, is the motive. I always ponder throughout the day, at how much God must love His children, and Jesus loves us, for His perfect sacrifice for all of us who are imperfect. I see a lot of that here in Peru. But as I ponder in the goodness of God, it inspires me, always, that there is a better way, and that is to love. And family, I want you all to know how much I love you. Thank you for all you do for me and Steve to support on missions! And all of the wonderful service you do in good ole' Utah County. You are the best family in the world.

I am also getting more opportunities to play the piano! Last night we had a meeting for the New Converts and Investigators, and Pte. Douglas came to speak, it was great! It was so fun, we traveled there as a ward with our RC's and Inv.'s, and were a little late, and right when I got there they asked me to play for the meeting! It was really funny, like the whole congregation was waiting on someone to come and play piano. But it all went well. I love the piano! 

Also, our investigators are doing great! We're doing well with MarĂ­a y Jorge, the parents of our new converts Liz y Betsy, single adult age, and they are great supports to their parents. Also the sisters of Dayana, Anjuie y Margorie, are doing well as investigators too! We're looking to strengthen families, and convert all the part-active families. It is great. OH!! Also, this Sunday we finally got a ward mission leader called! Man. That's what I was fasting for so hard. We don't really have a functioning Ward council, which makes it hard, but things are going to pick up in the ward with the missionaries, and I am so excited. 

Also, I totally didn't even realize it was 4th of July this week until Elder Durfey called me that night and wished me a happy fourth of July!! It was really funny. I hope you all had fun in United States!! :) What did you all do?! 

Okay, I better get going, but I hope you know I love you! I will write you more next week!

Love,

Elder Clarke

1 Ne. 19:9

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