Monday, September 2, 2013

I have never had such a good week as this one!!!

Dear Family!

How it joyed my heart to hear from you and see those awesome pictures of this week!!! That is the best thing in the world!! Man, how jealous I am. I hope you are all aware that we are going to have to climb Mt. Timp again together when I get back! It is a MUST. Haha. I´m gonna print out those pictures you sent me cuz I love them so much! What a beautiful family you all are. Man. And nice work Adam and Scotty for runnin´ up that mountain! Haha. And Gina and John?! So sweet! Send them my greetings as well! Also to my beloved brother Steven Elder Clarke!!! I always love reading his letters. 

Okay, I have so much to write this week!! Maaan. It has been the best ever. Ok. So Tuesday we had a surprise multi-zone conference with Pte. Douglas which was amazing!! And I saw Elder Bromley again! He´s in the neighboring zone, and saw Elder Durfey! It always makes me happy to reunite with friends. And I learned so so much!!! President Douglas is an absolutely amazing and inspiring man. Really, it´s incredible. And just like Pres. Welch promised, as I follow the counsels of my mission pres. I see blessings and miracles, and I sure saw them this week in our area! Also, Wednesday, another surprise! Pres. Douglas just happened to show up at our district meeting, too, which rarely never happens. I think he is really making a special effort to kick our zone into gear. And then this weekend, Elder Arancibia and I have never worked so hard before! And so diligent and focused on the investigators and members here, and so many blessings. 

Juliana was able to have her baptism yesterday, in the morning! It was such an incredibly spiritual experience for me, wow. Okay, to help understand the spiritual experience, I guess I´ll have to be straight up. I have never seen a baptism here yet in Perú that hasn´t started at least an hour after the scheduled time. The people here are not very punctual! And it is difficult to get the people to actually come. Anyways. So, oh, also, we were supposed to have her interview this Thursday but she came like an hour and a half late from her job, and wasn´t able to have it done, and she was super super sad, and by a miracle we were able to have her interviewed by one of the counselors of the mission presidency saturday morning at 6:30 am! Wheww. ha. Anyways, for this baptism I really helped our companionship make the preparations and plans ahead of time (unlike how it was done in the past) and it was really hard for me, but I stepped up and made the effort with all diligence to be obedient and focused and help my companion to do the same, and every night went to bed absolutely exhausted but satisfied by the spirit which gave me strength to do the work of the Lord how HE wanted it done. And...come Sunday was another similar situation and we waited for Juliana to come for like an hour and a half...and, after doing all that I possibly could, she finally came, and I had to just give up hope of my will having it be on time and everything in order, but I still had the help of the gift of Charity to keep pushing through and being happy through it all. Then, in the service of the baptism, I seriously felt the Spirit stronger than I ever have before. When the returned missionary of our ward gave the talk on the Baptismal Covenant, meaning and importance...July´s cousin did the baptism (because her parents are not supportive of the church, didn´t come)...her other cousin confirmed her, and he bore his testimony after the baptism directly to her, and it was the most tender thing I have ever heard. And July´s testimony after, so strong of the Book of Mormon and the prophet (finally after much work there), and the testimony of the Bishop after. Wow. There was so much love, and support to her from her cousins, the Spirit, all of the ward members, ...and after the closing prayer, July got up and had all of the J.A.S. (organization of the young single adults) come up and give her a hug one by one, greeting her into the ward, and the Spirit testified so strongly to me of how important all of this really was, and that it was much more important than worrying about having it all be on time and such. Really, this changed her whole life here, the change made in her, and the direction she´ll be going in after. She has truly entered the fold of God, and I felt that love of Him sooo strongly, it brought me to tears. Then I was so grateful and thankful for Him, all He helped me accomplish for the well-being, spiritually and temporally, for His children here in Perú. What an experience.

Okay, also, our other investigator Jesús!!! Will be baptized next week!! Ahhh, dang, I don´t have time to talk about him, but he´s the best part! I am so excited for next week.

I love you all so much family!!!! Have the best week ever!


Elder Clarke

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