Monday, August 19, 2013

Understanding the Will of the Father for ME

Dear Family,

I love you all so much! Thank you for your emails, prayers, and love - I hope you enjoyed all the letters that finally arrived! Which reminds me, did you ever receive the letter that I wrote you from the office that they sent with a picture of me and PTE. Douglas inside? Anyways. Thank you grandma for the email!!! And I am glad to hear grandpa is doing a lot better. I will continue to pray for you all. Oh, and Dad! I was reading that exact same scripture too in John 17, that´s so awesome! THank you for your awesome insights, and to Mom too, for always emailing even though you are so tired with all the things you have to do!! It made me so happy, and you will be blessed. I loved the pictures of my friends on missions!!! :) I hope Steve is doing well too! Oh, and tell Taylor Hyde I love him, and congratulations to Sister Tatum on her mission call!!! :)

So, today, I´ll share a couple special experiences. Yesterday after church we went with some members to visit an old lady named Rosa Fernandez, who is living with cancer and hasn't been able to come to church because of it, and doesn't have much longer. We entered her little house, and went to the very back where she was with her husband taking care of her, and it was filled with the spirit almost as much as in the temple. We sang three hymns, and it reminded me of the times I got to go sing at the Old Folks Home, and you better believe I sung my heart out. We gave her a Priesthood blessing, and...I can't express the feelings that were in that room, and the love of the members that they expressed as we departed. When I went to say goodbye, I just kinda patted her hand, cuz she was so delicate I didn't think she could move, but it surprised me when she reached up and grabbed it, and for a longer time than I expected, clinged to my hand and said, ``Gracias, joven.`` so tenderly but firmly, and I have never felt such love before. 

Today I want to express a little of the power that there is in love. I had such a powerful experience re-reading 3 Ne. 17, when Jesus expressed his love to the people here in Latin-America. This scene in this passage still just burns in my mind, in verses 5-6. I can´t stop thinking about it. But this is how I think of the chapter in my own words. Basically, before Jesus was preaching to them His doctrine, and said in v. 1, My time is short, and I need to go feed the other sheep, I've got to go soon. But I can see that you all can't really understand my doctrine right now, so go to your houses and rest and prepare your minds, and I'll come tomorrow to teach more. Now I'm going to my other sheep to teach them, to take advantage of the time I have. And then, in v.5, it's like..all of the people at once are giving him the puppy-dog pout face, wanting Him to stay even longer with them. If this were me, I would be like....why? I have experienced just a little bit of this every day teaching the Latinos down here, and it's true they don't really understand a lot, why we keep the commandments, etc. and it can be frustrating. I'd say to myself, why do they want Him to stay longer, don't they know He has other people to visit, things to do to fulfill the rest of the commandments of the Father to bring to pass the eternal salvation of all mankind? And they aren't really understanding, there's no point. But they are all sitting, staring, and waiting to see what Jesus will do, if He will stay longer or not. And in v.6 He says, Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you. Have ye any that are sick, or afflicted, lame, blind, deaf....long list, or afflicted in any manner? I just stand amazed, and His expression of love burns in my heart. And why did He do that? Because even though they did not understand all His commandments to fulfill them, they were faithful and willing to do all that He asked of them, and that's all Jesus was asking with the doctrine. The Father commands us all to be perfect; but doesn't necessarily expect us to be. But He does command it because He knows obedience to all of those commandments blesses our lives, truly. We must strive to keep all of the commandments, and exhort all other people to keep the commandments as well. Anyways, I don't have enough time to finish my whole thoughts, but I have come to learn that this is the Father's holy will for me right now in Pamplona, and in the mission. To keep His commandments, with a pure willing heart, and exhort all other people to keep the commandments too, and help them with all diligence, and LOVE. like in 3 Ne. 17, and with diligence unto obedience like unto Nephi in 1Ne. 17:15.

Anyways, I will talk with you all more later, I love you all so much!!! Thank you for being the best family ever.

With Tons of Love,

Elder Clarke

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