Monday, February 10, 2014

Good Afternoon, lovely Family!!!

Dear Family,

I hope you've all been doing so well!! Thank you so much for the kind, loving email Mother Dear, it made me happy!! I've got the best family ever. And, thank you Mother, for the interesting
picture of the week and for trying to make me feel old!! I am still new as new in the mission, and have tons of time ahead to look forward to. Ha ;) Man,,that just hit me. 10 months? It´s been a long time. But, I feel like new. 

I loved reading about your Relief Society lesson about the plan of salvation and how it relates with the first 5 principles of the gospel! That was beautiful, and brightened my soul. About the plan of salvation puzzle..I actually haven´t used it in a lesson yet, but my companions and I do play with it and they love it! I am so glad to hear that everything is going well in work!! Lots of work, that is good:) 

Happy Birthday to Aunt Monica!!!!!! It sounds like it was such a fun time with all the family having dinner at the country club!! I´m so glad everyone got to go and had a fun time, please say hi to Uncle Kevin and Aunt Stephanie as well. I´m excited to hear about the new stake presidency! Please tell me all about it! :)

Things have been better here in the office. We went and played tennis with President and his kids today and it was the funnest thing in the whole world!!! Man. It was incredible. It´s so hot and sunny here in Perú as well!! It´s been a beautiful day. I am also gonna send some pictures from a couple weeks ago! We went to the highest hilltop in all of Lima called Cerro San Cristóbol, and it´s an amazing view!! Lima´s SO big. 

Well, to share a spiritual thought, I'll share what I wrote to Steve. The principle of the doctrine and gospel that has been in my mind for weeks is the ability that we have all been given to discernir el bien del mal. It is a crucial part of God´s eternal plan of salvation, and also for us to be able to apply the doctrine to our lives. 2 Ne. 2:5, and Moroni 7:12-13, 15-17, 19-21. I memorize and recite these scriptures in my mind, and it gives me incredible strength. It is so clear, that in this, God´s plan, He gives men the ability to discern good and evil, and he explains clearly in the scriptures that He has and He does, and there are no exceptions. To some, he doesn't give the ability to discern good and evil (like maybe the guys from house 19 sometimes). But, with every opportunity or trial we are given, we are to keep His commandments and do every possible thing to change our surroundings to fulfill more His will and heavenly standards. As we do, we are given more of the Spirit, and more ability to discern the good and evil. I feel like having more ability to discern the good and evil might have to do with leaders who have keys, and are on a different plane to make decisions to bring about good in this world, because they have cancelled out many of the adversary´s temptations by fulfilling the word of God. God is a
personage who makes decisions. We must always choose the right, and use every tool given us to take advantage of this life and bring to pass God´s heavenly purpose. Tools such as goals and planning are fantastic if we combine them with the basic principles of the gospel. And, when the power of the adversary is bound, it will be an incredible thing - I cannot wait for that day. I picture it as a race car revving its engine a few seconds before the race, using so much energy to fight against the opposition to push forward, but the brakes hold it back. And then when the opposition is taken away, it just explodes at unimaginable speeding down the track towards the prize. That´s how it seems sometimes here on earth, we almost feel we´re making no progress, but we are learning how to apply the true principles to see true progress and make a change, and in the millenium it will just be an incredible sight of how we´ll come to be like God without any brakes. I know that the plan of salvation is true, and that God loves us more than we can imagine. I know there is a purpose for everything, and that every moment and decision we make in our lives matter. It all starts with the small things, to bring to pass great things. I know that the only true source of power is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and I know that He also humbly follows the plan of our Heavenly Father, and is our exemplary loving leader, and older Brother. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!

I love you all so much family!!! Have the best week ever! Happy Birthday to Grandma this coming Friday! I hope the card I sent gets to you on time!! :)

Much love,

Elder Clarke

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