Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dearest, dearest Family Los Clarke!!!
I love you all so much.  How are you doing!!! Hope you had the best Christmas ever. :) I was so thrilled to see you all on Christmas Eve, thank you for talking with me! It was so great. I have the best family ever. 
Super sorry this email is getting to you all really late. This morning we went to the temple, and from there we've just been in the apartment cleaning ALL DAY. I had to turn the place upside down to get it to my standard of cleanliness. :) ha. It was so much fun. I sweat like Dad when I go into super-clean mode. Anyway and my companion's pretty sick so we're just now getting around to do internet, sorry it'll have to be a short letter cuz we're so late. But it's still a fabulous day! Thank you all for writing me, I absolutely loved reading about your fun activities at home! And the pictures of the week! And I am so, so glad you all loved the presents I sent :) Mother Dear, how did you like the Lima Perù Temple shrine thingy I sent? Hope you like it! :) Also, I got Mom, Dad and Grandpa's birthday cards done and will send them asap! Hope all the family has a great break from school and ready to go back ready to do work!
Thank you so much Mother for the wonderful presents you sent and the stockings!!! I did share it all with Elder Valencia and he was super happy. It was a fun Christmas :) I am so super happy with the Sony Walkman too! It is actually really awesome--I`m a fan. I`ve just got to learn how to put music on it and stuff, cuz it`s different than iTunes, but it looks awesome!! However..the music choices that were put on it was an absolute fail. Haha. I was going through it and surprised at some of the stuff that was on there! Here in the mission we`re only allowed to listen to any kind of church hymns - not even EFY is allowed. So...I`m gonna have to revise it a bit. And I am so so sad that the Handel`s: Messiah music was not found! That is unacceptable! I KNOW with all of my soul that it is on the iTunes, and somebody needs to look again. Can you please send with Elder Durfey some CD`s? I need the whole album of Handel`s: Messiah (the actual CD in the case is found on the white book case on the right where there`s tons of CD`s). Also the album of the BYU Men`s Chorus that is on the iTunes (downloaded free off the BYU website), the Vocal Point Album that Krissy bought me, ``Lead Kindly Light``, and the song ``Shine`` by William Joseph. Those ones are key. That`s really kind of it! But I was super happy with the other cool bonuses of the scriptures on recording, the new albums of Marshall McDonald and Paul Cardall, and way more MoTab than I ever remembered! Thank you. I don`t really even know all that`s on there yet...I haven`t had time to look. But really, those three albums are important to me! Handel`s Messiah, BYU Men`s Chorus, and Vocal Point. And as far as anything else, I think I`m good! I`ve got everything I need...if I could I`d send back home half of the stuff I have to simplify my life, but it`s super heavy. My favorite thing about the missionary life is that it`s a simple life. There`s just a few things that are necessary, and the rest is...whatever! Thank you so much, family, for supporting and loving me, and providing my needs. I really am so grateful to you all! 
Elder Clarke with President & Sister Douglas
So this Christmas Eve was way fun, just working..then talking with you lovely family, then we went over to President`s house and had dinner with his family and the office missionaries, had a Christmas program reading Luke 2 and singing Christmas hymns, dessert, watched ``Home Alone`` together! (which brought me a lot of joy) and watched all of the fireworks go off at midnight. It is the COOLEST THING ever!!! Lima is absolutely nuts. It seriously sounded like we were in the middle of a war with gunshots/bombs going off everywhere, like everybody in the HUGE city just puts them all off for like 25 minutes straight! And by the way, President just happens to live on the 23rd floor of a super nice apartment building and we got to see like everything. It was super pretty, all of the fireworks in the sky, and I can`t even reiterate enough how big Lima is. It`s nuts. I think we`re gonna go on top of our roof on our apartment building for New Year`s! But yeah, I didn`t really take any pictures...but I`ll find some to send another day. It was awesome! And Christmas day, we didn`t have to work in the office, so we just went out proselyting and visiting members all day long from 8am-9:30pm! It was really great. The members are suuuper nice, and..well, we`re trying to find more good investigators too. It`s a good ward. :)
Well, I hope I didn`t forget anything, I just want to say again how much I love you! And that this week I was doing some hard-core pondering on Charity. There are so many poor people in this city, just like begging on just about every corner, and it`s really hard to see. But as we share our love and give all of ourselves to other people, we find the joy and the light of Christ. I will talk more about Charity later. Just remember, ``it NEVER fails!!!`` It is never the wrong choice. Ever. 
Love you so much, have the best Christmas break ever!!!
Elder Dave Clarke :)

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