Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Birthday Grandma! and Hello Family!!!

Dearest Wonderful Family of mine, 

Thank you so much for writing me today, Mother Dear! I was so excited to read about how you are doing and the family. It's good that everyone's keeping busy!! How's Dad's new calling going? Yeah, I was pumped to hear about the new stake presidency! I don't really know President Miller too well, but I am sure they are inspired and will serve this stake fabulously. I sent emails of appreciation to Pres. Welch, Sermon and Judd - those men have inspired me so much over these years. Oh and hey, please wish Grandma a happy birthday for me!! And remind her to wait for the birthday card I sent her, and to look at the birthday email I sent her yesterday! I am glad it was all very fun. I loved seeing the pictures :) We have the best family ever!!!!!!

Also thanks Mother for sending me emails of my friends! Do you have any from Elder Stucki? Also, about meeting Sister Douglas, I think that's a great idea! Sounds awesome, I might even be able to send a package home with her. Who knows :) But she is super awesome, like my mission Mom here I'm on the phone with every day, so it would be cool to meet her. She´s really nice and loves to talk forever, just like you! :) It´s a good thing :) And, yeah the Douglas kids are very good at tennis! We're all about the same level, and President actually was kinda beating us for a while! He's way good. Anyway, it was super fun.

It was very interesting to hear about your week! Especially Katie - hope everything is going alright there!! Please take it easy. How is Steve hanging in there with school? How are the Grampsters, Kriss, Kor, Kev and Ken? Ha, wow, lots of K´s there. I would love to hear how they are doing as well. Mother, that's so cool your job!!! I am jealous. That seems so fun, inspiring, and rewarding, helping kids plan for their futures. You are amazing!! Maybe you should help me after the mission, figure out what I want to do in life. Haha. 

This week has been a super good one! I have been super dedicated and focused to cleaning up and organizing every part of my life! In our room..in the office, my big desk I don´t even know half the stuff inside of it...and it´s just a mess that doesn't seem to end. But, I have become so efficient of cleaning and getting things organized and under control. Ha, but not really. Just super clean and organized, it is the way to live. I am going to be like that for the rest of my life, I promise. And planning and goals have become so important to me! It is a fantastic way to live. 

I am learning now, the importance of being focused on THE WORK. Having nothing in my head, but the will and vision to save souls, through faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Always relying on the power of the Atonement, and developing Christ-like attributes. I just...want to be SO focused on the mission purpose, and think about it non-stop. I think this deep desire has planted in me because it is so hard to do here in the office. Cuz I have to worry about so many other things rather than the gospel...like health of missionaries, appointments and schedules, travel itineraries and taking care of people´s temporal needs. If something is hard for me to do, it's like I automatically want to do it, and I feel extra divine power to help me reach that potencial I see with the hope of faith. Just think about the modern-day prophets, who literally worry about the salvation of souls until the end of their lives. Their diligence in striving to keep every commandment with exactness and bring about the Church of God completely purifies them, and they are one with the Spirit, the Son, and the Father's will. It's just an amazing, incredible Plan and Work God has for us, because it is so hard. It just makes me want to do it all the days of my life! And serve with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I have been feasting upon the words that Christ spake to the early latter-day saints in Doctrine and Covenants 1-30. It's just incredible!! I love reading, and trying to visualize and hear, the literal voice of Jesus Christ as He directs His church in the latter-days. It's magnificent, and there is so much Doctrine, it's insane. I testify that if we lose ourself in this work, we will be ready, worthy, and much more desirious to partake of eternal life when it comes, because it's the same work we´ll be doing for the rest of eternity, just as it has it has become the work of the Son, the will given from the Father. Anyways, just try thinking about this great and marvellous work every second of the day, and see how much more Spirit you have in your life. I know that the Spirit guides this work. 

We have a baptism tonight! In about an hour and a half. Mirtha is her name, she's about 40 years old and has children that we have also been teaching, who have been reading the Book of Mormon consistently (very impressive for 9-10 year olds) and coming to church and praying. She is separated and single, but she is so converted already. This has really been just the perfect story of member-missionary work in the ward, it was all them!! First off, our ward council lately is just nailing it, and the Bishop is on fire. Bishop Jorge Negrete - I will never forget this man and how he is stepping up to the plate with the Work of Salvation. It is SO inspiring! His love and dedication is unmatched, that I have yet seen in Perú. So, it was a perfect reference of Maritza, member of the ward council, who is a very, very nice and Christ-like lady, she took us to the house of her son´s kindergarten teacher, Mirtha, and we had the first lesson, and the shining example of the member is what inspired the investigator to really be interested and put forth the faith necesary to become converted to this church. She was so excited and touched by the spirit that day, and up until now has not broken a single commitment we've extended to her. We found her like 3 weeks ago! And she is such an elect, and ready to be baptized tonight. Every lesson we had with her was accompanied by members, she was very well fellow-shipped the Sundays she went to church, and another ward council member, Pedro Granados, who lives close by her and accompanied us to a lesson with her, has known her since childhood, and she wants him to baptize her. It´s just incredible to me. We are honestly just helpers here in this work, teachers, and the ward does the rest to keep her in the fold. I am so grateful to be apart of this work. 

I don't remember in which section I read it in D&C, but it was my favorite so far. Christ tells us, and makes it very clear, that this is His work; Our work, right now in this life and this special and oportune time, is to Keep His Commandments. And we are promised with the blessings, Spirit to guide, and unique joy that only comes from saving souls. I love my life, and I bear my testimony of this Church and sacred work, that they are both directed by Jesus Christ, He lives, and is our Savior. 

I hope you have had the best week ever, and keep having the best week ever, with all the energy to do what is right. 

Love you all so much!!!

Elder Clarke
 

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