Monday, October 28, 2013

Maria's Baptism!

Dear Family!!!

I love you all so much!! I cannot express the joy in my heart, and the peace that is with me because of the word of God. 

Last week in the interview with the President, as he was thinking of something of which to inspire me to a higher level, asked me...Elder Clarke, do you like to memorize? 

I told him I did. Piano pieces...tennis strokes...for all my classes...singing songs...and, scriptures.

He told me that if one can learn to master his thoughts, he can control his destiny. 

I have been treasuring up the word of God in my heart more than ever before. Already memorized 2 Ne. 31, now almost finishing Moroni 7, and other parts in the Book of Mormon. I can tell you that meditating, and pondering the word in those scriptures have helped me receive a new higher understanding of what it really means. 

Two Sundays ago President Douglas spoke in a meeting in our stake, and I picked up on him quoting little parts of scriptures here and there, but in a different way, in his own personal manner. I then understood that we treasure up the word, and make it our own, and put it into practice in our own teaching after we´ve applied it to ourselves, and the Spirit testifies stronger than ever. This has become precious for me, and I am doing it as well, to become an effective teacher of the Spirit, as it has been a goal of mine. 

Sorry I couldn´t write more, I love you all!!! I am so excited for Steve, and all the things you´ve written. You´re the best family ever, and I´m doing great here in Pamplona. Best baptism ever last saturday! Oh, and I might be changed this week. Changes are on friday, we´ll know wednesday. 

The only request I have is to send more ties, because I´ve given away a mighty good portion, and am running out.

Love you all!!!!


Elder Clarke

Monday, October 21, 2013

more!

Ohhhh my goodness!! I cannot express the joy in my soul for these people right here. This is a picture of Hna. Felicita Llontop, mi peruana mamita!! She´s our pensionista, and does our laundry too. She´s basically like my mother here! She´s the one with her grandson, in the black shirt. I cannot express how good she cooks! Like...professional, it´s incredible Peruvian food, I´m sorry! But, yeah. And the other, of the two old grandparents, haha, are like my peruvian grandparents. abuelita y abuelito. They are the owners of the house, and we just rent one room, and they live on the floor above us. And are so loving and kind, always inviting us for dinner, lunch, or just randomly come down to give us hot drinks (like...juice..? i don´t know how to describe it, but good. nothing breaking the word of wisdom.), bread, and armfuls of fruit!! Haha, they are so fun to talk to, love to laugh, and so so kind. Seriously, my heart goes out to these Peruvian people. And another of a different service project, painting! so fun.

Oh, and you said how there are people looking you up on facebook! Haha, that´s cuz I tell them to go find you on facebook. If they do find you, it´s cuz I asked them to, so don´t be afraid. Just love them, they are my favortite people and love them!!! If one day, María Huaman looks you up, just know that she is my favorite investigator of all-time. She´s gonna be baptized this saturday!!  Oh, and Jesús, the cousin of Elder Huallanca, is really excited and doing well with the discussions and stuff...but still can´t be baptized because he can´t change his work schedule to get off sundays to be able to go to church, but we´re still working with him. He´s the bomb! He wants to be a missionary too someday. 

Anyways, thank you so much for emailing!!! I am truly sorry sometimes, when I don´t email anything very interesting or exciting, and I realize that. But just know I am doing great, and I love you alll so much, and trying hard with all that´s going on down here! It´s hard at times, but so so good. I am seriously going to cry when I leave Pamplona! I love this area, cuz I know it so well know after being here so long..know so many people. And at times the ward is frustrating...but overall, they are really pretty dang good compared to other places, and I am positive that my next area is going to be a heck of a lot harder and I´m gonna realize a ton of the blessings that I have had here. But..who knows? What can be done. We just try our best, with our faith, and move forward. And that´s what I´m doing! Anyways, I love you mom, thanks for all the updates. Have a great time at Jason´s wedding!! That´s awesome, I really hope it goes well. He´s a good guy. And congrats on passing your test, and having such great hopes and desires to work and serve in your profession! You´re such a great example to me. And I thank you for all of your love, mother dear. There is nothing like the love of a mother, and it´s something I´ll seriously just never be able to understand. The members that live below us have a son out on a mission, and we eat with them sometimes and converse and all, and seeing the love that sister has for her son is inspiring, and how she hopes the members are taking good care of him wherever he is in Guatemala, and so they take super good care of us here. Seriously! They helped me recover from my illness this week! Saturday and Sunday, and they brought hot drinks up to me, and really soothed my stomach. Have no fear, I´ve got the sickness thing down to a science now! I recovered in two days flat. Man. You just take a few infection pills, and a suero oral (which is like a gatorade on drugs). Anyways, holy cow!"!! I can´t believe I don´t have time to write the family I am so so sorry!!! It goes so fast here, chicana. I love you all so much! I will write more next week, promise. 

Love, 

Elder Clarke

Monday, October 14, 2013

BEST WEEK EVER!!!

Dearest Family!!!

I have exactly 7 minutes left, and am going to write you all the best letter ever!! Well..I´ll try. :)

To start off, I have never been so happy in all my life as I have been this week. Every single day I've been singing...and feeling the sacred companionship of the Holy Ghost, because we have been focusing on the needs of our investigators a lot more, in a great expression of love, patience, and diligence. I love experiencing the gift of Charity!! Elder Orellana, our district leader (our district is our companionship and his...4 elders) nos quemó in district meeting!!! Haha, like...he burned us. He grilled us, to help us improve our key indicators, and I absolutely loved every minute of it, because it was all with the Spirit! We've been more obedient this week, working more with the members, and had great numbers! Starting to improve a lot more. 

I am so so excited for the baptism of María!!! She is the mother of a recent convert, and is the most prepared of anyone I've seen! Well, because she has been an investigator ever since I arrived to this area. Haha, but, I am excited. Also, had such a tender experience with Jesús!!! The recent convert that I baptized three weeks ago? Well, he accompanied us all day Friday to our appointments and such, and helped bear testimony in finding situations with new investigators, and I have never felt stronger testimony in all my life!!! Such a powerful experience, and he's gonna be 10 times better missionary than I could ever be. Anyways, I am just so happy, and sorry I don't have a lot of time to write!

Mom, Dad, allll of the family, I love you all so so much and thank you for writing me your letters! I received about a million dear elders from mom last week, and absolutely loved the email dad sent as well about Marion G. Romney this week!

Anyways, I love you all so much and will write more next week! OOhh, PS, interviews with Pte. Douglas tomorrow!!! SOOO pumped. :)

Love,

Elder Clarke

P.S. sorry, I´ll send pictures next week!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Dear Mother Dear!!
 
Mom, I am so excited to write to you today and so grateful for what you all sent!!  But I want you to know how much I sincerely love you, and pray every day for your well being. I can´t express my gratitude for you for loving and caring about me so much - it´s something that I cannot really understand fully. I am trying to become more like you here on the mission, to love and care more sincerely towards my companion, and investigators.
 
I'm not even going to lie; it is a struggle every single day.  But something I have learned is the power of the Doctrine of Christ; and how it literally changes human nature, and inspires people to ACT, and repent. All the talks during conference are based around the Doctrine of Christ, and I am always so touched by the personal testimonies and witnesses of the reality of Jesus Christ for every apostle! And Pres. Monson was absolutely incredible. Wow. The Priesthood Session was absolutely most incredible for me, because I got to watch it in English!!! There was another gringo Elder, and we both got to go on a little split to see the conference in our native language, and maaannn it is sooo much more powerful than listening to it in Spanish - my mind kind of zones out a lot easier when everything´s spanish. Haha. But I am really so so grateful for the conference, it was awesome! And we got lots of investigators there! Also, I had an intercambio with Elder Orellana, an elder who's about to finish his mission in this area, and he taught me a whole lot about how to do stuff better. MAN, have I got a long way to go. So much to improve, in this area, and personally. It´s just like the talk Elder Eyring gave in the Priesthood Session, with the story of the Good Samaritan, he said this is really just a story of an overwhelmed Priesthood holder who's got too many responsabilities. And that as we show true love and compassion for the people around us, that is what will connect the Spirit into our lives to be able to fulfill the will of the Father. I need to tap into that spiritual power every single day, and do that by truly loving sincerley, and studying the doctrine of Christ every day, always inspiring everyone around me and doing my job as a missionary, to invite to come to Christ. And if people don't always receive it, it's ok-because we fulfilled the will of God. Pres. Douglas once said, Nephi never converted his wicked brethren, through all their difficult trials in the desert, but he did bear solid testimony, and putting forth all of his effort in obeying and exhorting his brethren to obey as well, he did fulfill the will of the Father. 
 
We will be having interviews with Pres. this month, and yes I'll try to get a picture and send it to you! Sorry, we haven't been taking a lot of pictures recently! Here's a couple too. Oh, also, my companion lost about half of all the money he took out for the month, like two hundred fifty soles, and I'm not sure if we're gonna have enough money, so I might take out some from my credit card if it works, I sure hope so! This is really, a poor part of Perú, it's kinda sad to see, but it's alright. 
 
Mother Dear! I am so so so happy to hear about your missionary experience!!!!!!!!!!! You have no idea the joy it brings into my heart! You are so incredible, and all of the family, AMAZING examples, and I love you all so much. I know that will be a blessing untold someday in her life, and she will always remember the Clarke´s. I´m so glad to hear the whole family's doing well. Just teach ém repentance and the doctrine of Christ!!! Oh, what was your favorite quote, part, or talk in conference? :)
 
I am helping Elder Savino a lot. Teaching him how to use email, what to do on email, got his family´s addresses, took pictures and helped him send them, also to even log in...and to read Pres. Douglas's letter....how to do the dishes. I have to instruct and teach and...yeah, I'm learning to become an effective teacher, trainer, and someday father. I have a whole long way to go though.
 
I was sooo happy to read about Steve and see his pictures!!! Ohhh my goodness, he inspires me beyond words. I cannot even explain my love for him as well. He's the best missionary I've ever known, and will be an incredible strength when he gets back home, you're all so lucky!!  Also, thank you for the photos of my friends too! And, I sure will wear my tie on the 8th (I always remember).
 
Goodbye, Mother! I hope you have the absolutely best day ever!!! And week ever. Tell Dad how much I love and appreciate him as well, and the whole family. Scotty: You stud!!! Keep up the good work, and focusing on spiritual things of the gospel! Katie: you too!! You´re so awesome and never stop loving people. :) Adam¨: Happy Birthday!!!!! Keep serving Mom and Dad around the house in everything you do!!! I love you Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Kor, Aunt Krissy, Uncle Ken and Aunt Monica, little Kenny and Charlie, and everybody else!!!!
 
Sincerely,
 
Elder David Clarke