Monday, December 23, 2013

Dear Family!

Elder Clarke & Elder Hartvigsen
I am so happy to hear about Steve and his homecoming, and getting used to the not-mission life! Super funny!! Haha, man, I am just so excited to converse with you all. Skype is happening this week! :) it´s gonna be awesome! I hope you are all having the BEST Christmas Season of your lives!!! Is it still super cold there, with lots of snow? It´s weird...cuz it´s really hot here, but I love it! :) Today we went to the center of Lima where there are some cool tourist sites, and took some pictures! I'm getting used to the city life here! Things are like a hundred percent opposite of what Pamplona was like. Like, a different life. It's sad! But good. As I told you, we live on the 17th floor the very top, and last night we went up to the roof and it's soooo cool! Just have an awesome view of all of the never-ending buildings in Lima, and the thing that scares me sooo much is that there's no railings or anything guarding the edges. You can just walk around up there on top, careful! But it's really cool, my favorite spot now. I'll take a picture next time. Anyways...please get me a recording of Steve's talk if you will, or at least let me know what he talked about! I bet it was the BEST!!! He is such a good speaker, and I highly doubt he's lost his social skills! He's just, become...a lot happier. :) and sometimes it's awkward! How are you hanging in there, Mother Dear, with all the shopping and stuff? I'm excited to see you all and talk more! Hey, also, I wanted to say hi to Uncle Ken and Kevin and Kor, and Aunt Monica and the rest if that's okay! I want you all to know how much I love and pray for you as well!!! :) 

Elder Clarke & Elder Valencia
So, I'll tell you all a little bit more about our area. Our area is called Barranco, in Lima. Go look it up! It's like the coooolest little town. It's like old-fashioned and known for raising up spunky musicians. It's also kinda super sketchy sometimes and dangerous. It's really close to the beach. It takes an hour to get there from the office, and so it makes it kinda hard to work a lot, but we do it anyway every night. It's the Bolognesi ward, and we share it with a companionship of Sisters. We had a baptism two weeks ago, and are having another one next week. It's a super good ward, highly functional! I like it a lot. Things are going well in the office too, finished up transfers this week which all went smoothly, and I've been dealing with all of the sick people well also. We've got a lot on our plate! Super busy every day doing stuff, and I actually like it a lot more, it reminds me of being super busy before the mission as well. It´s a better life to be busy :) I also like it, cuz I'm on the phone with Sister Douglas like at least 20...sometimes 30 minutes a day talking about all the sick people and what to do. It actually reminds me a lot of talking to my own Mother, because they have like the same personality! I also translated for Sister Douglas for the first time in the new missionary training in the office when all the newbies showed up, it was intense! I'll get better. Anyways, things are going well. I also LOVE contacting people in the taxis. We do it at least 3, 4 times a day. So many people!!! Always talking about the gospel, and bearing testimony, and learning to love people. I love being a missionary!!!

Anyways, we found out Elder Durfey's coming back to the mission! Kinda funny, how I'll be picking him up from the airport now, because he´s the one that picked me up! Anyway, I might let you know if there's anything I want him to bring down for me! The cd´s of music?!? That would be so helpful. He´s coming January 3rd. 

OH! Also, we had multi-zones in every area of the mission, with the missionaries, like a Christmas Conference, and it was sooo fun! And spiritually uplifting as well!! Each zone sang (the office elders did a sweet quartet) and we watched an inspirational movie afterwards called, ´´Facing the Giants.´´ It inspired me so much, as I saw examples of the Doctrine of Christ. Also, President spoke about something very interesting. He spoke about how the mission is a time and a place to learn the principles of how to have a successful and unified family. Then, we go out of the mission to make that family happen! It was very touching how he offered the love of him and Sister Douglas, because there are a lot of missionaries in this mission who have never known a loving family environment, and so the mission is such a blessing for them to have that mission ´´family´´ here now, learn the principles, and go make a change in the world. He also talked about how in his life, his family has been his hobby. It´s such an important part of life that I am super excited for. I've still got a lot more to learn though! Anyways, I also felt the Christmas Spirit so strongly, about how we should just give all of ourselves to Christ at Christmasstime. 

I love you all so much, and hope the true meaning of Christmas, and the true purpose of our Savior, Jesus Christ, sink down deeper than ever in your hearts. We´ll see you...Tuesday maybe!


Elder Clarke

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