How are you all doing?!??!! Suuuupper crazy to hear about Steve getting back from Panamá!!!!!!!! I hope you are all just taking his head off with your hugs, and enjoying his presence back home. I can't even imagine that, until I saw the pictures. Blew me away! By the way, Elder Clarke was looking super duper good!! Man, hopefully I'll look that good someday! What a sweet tie and backpack!! Man...I love that guy. Steve Clarke. I'm super excited to talk with you all Christmas day! We'll get to do some sweet skype here from the office!
I can't believe the family showed up early to the airport! What? Man. Just goes to show it must have been me and Steve making you guys late all along. I loved hearing about all the things you've done so far with him since he's got back! I hope you can remember some of the stuff he said in his final testimony, and I want to hear his talk too! Try to record it somehow!! Man. Elder Clarke. Good choice going for the rice and chicken! That's exactly how I'd feel - I feel like there's no other food now. Just chicken. So good. I can't believe the man has forgotten English! That's pretty crazy haha, but kinda cool! I am positive that won't happen to me, since our mission is pretty bi-lingual all the time. I'm actually forgetting my Spanish right now being in the office, cuz I talk to Elder Hartvigsen in English every day!
Anyways...wow. I can't even think now, about what's happened this week. It's been difficult making the change to the new job, that's for sure! But I've learned a TON already. I have learned more than anything how to humble myself further than I ever thought possible, and trust completely in the Lord. If there's one thing that has really, truly impacted me here on the mission, it's Repentance. I can't even begin to explain how much of a blessing it is, how it helps me understand and experience the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That's something I learned waay more in depth this week - The Atonement. Talking in our beds with Elder Hartvigsen late one night really made me ponder deeper than ever. I quote:
´´Elder Clarke, you're gonna have to learn how to find strength from where you simply do not have it.´´ And after a moment of silence...I just replied, ´´and how do you do that?´´ he told me, ´´through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is the source of all power.´´
That was it, then we went to bed. But I didn't fall asleep for awhile...just thinking about how that makes sense. I am certain that we take out power from the Atonement of Jesus Christ as we apply the Doctrine of Christ to our lives. As we exercise more Faith than we ever knew, enough to make a real change and Repentance in our lives, ponder and remember the Covenants we have made to keep the commandments, rely on the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End.
I believe that this is the only way Jesus Christ took out the power to bring to pass the Eternal Atonement. He was the Only Begotten of the Father, and therefore had certain rights and power endowed upon Him in order to break the bands of death, and make a redemption for men. But I do not believe that the Father just made it all happen through Christ. Just like any other calling, Christ was given power to do it, but it was up to Him. That is where Agency comes in. Jesus Christ had to apply the Doctrine of Christ to Himself, the doctrine that was given Him from the Father, in order to find strength to do the Atonement, strength where He simply did not have it (in the flesh). I know that our Savior was perfect in everything that He did, and He asked us all to follow Him, and apply the Doctrine of Christ.
For that reason, I LOOOVE to repent. In every single act I do. I feel extra power, and I know there is nothing better in all the world. And, that power, and with faith, we can do HARD THINGS. Christ is our perfect example. I realized today, that when I am stressed and have tons of things to think about and do every moment, and then I take a short break without having to worry about anything, is the time to ponder. That´s when personal revelation comes to me. I am SO grateful for the Holy Ghost, that helps me in every situation I am in. I feel like what situation we are in, doesn't matter what, is directly proportional with the will of God. The Holy Ghost helps us bring to pass the will of the Father. And we are given power as we Endure to the End.!
I love the gospel, and am completely converted to it. I will testify of Jesus Christ until the day that I die. I love you all, more than I can express, and hope you have the best week ever with returned Elder Clarke, from Panamá!
MUUUCHO amor y cariño,
Elder Clarke (de Perú)