Saturday, March 1, 2014

BEST WEEK EVER!!!

Hello my dear, sweet Family!!!!!

I was SO glad to hear from you all! You all make me so happy, really. I love my family :) Thank you so so much for your kind and thoughtful words, and most of all, your sincere love. I enjoyed so much reading emails from Mother Dear, my sweet Dad, Steve and Krissy!! I will respond to you all I promise! I am not with a whole lot of time to write today. Sounds like the YW conference was very inspiring and a spiritual experience! Also congrats to Mom on the sweet samsung tablet! And everybody for being the great people they are, doing the great things they do. :) Steve, is so awesome for spending so much time with the family! Look at that guy. ;)

Okay, so this has honestly been the best week of my life, so far. This time for reals!!! I have really learned how to be a different person. Just, really change, and be a true disciple of Christ. This is the formula to how to live a successful/happy life: 1.) Never stop going, 2.) Never stop smiling. 

Honestly, all we need to do is live and keep every single commandment and covenant, before anything else, with exactness, diligence, seriousness, and excellence - living the principles and loving the righteousness more than anything else. And second, we need to just make the decision to BE HAPPY, in every moment. If we don´t like something that´s not right, we change it with faith and repentance. If it´s something we can´t change, we take up our cross and humble ourselves with true joy and confidence in God, and serve others. As we make the decision to be happy through every trial here in life, and keep pushing with faith and seriousness, makes us very mature. Deciding to love and serve, and reach out. Every moment. :)

This week we had multi-zone with President, and it was so quemador with the Atonement, it was absolutely incredible. It was intense and powerful, and the Spirit was incredibly strong. I learned there also about the importance of the Holy Ghost, having its presence constantly with us is the greatest achievement we can accomplish here on earth, that should be our constant goal, especially as representatives of Jesus Christ. One of the compromisos, commitments, President gave us at the end of the conference was to smile for a whole 30 minutes starting at 11:00am, every day. It sounds so funny, but really just taking it seriously has made a difference in my week!! I testify making the decision to be happy. 

I have a quick story about that. Yesterday, we left the office a bit late and was kind of unnecessary, and I was a little frustrated about that because I wanted to be in our area proselyting, and negative thoughts started coming to my mind like, ohh...we're not really going to accomplish anything tonight, it´s late, and..we´re already late to the appt.´s, who knows if anything will really happen. (and thinking that before making the 1 hr bus ride to our area kind of disanimates..) anyway, we got on the bus, and it was filled with literally like 60 people, or more..just a tad more crowded than normal. But, there was NO room to breathe at all, just sit there for an hour standing up holding on for dear life to a little bar. Haha. Anyways, in that moment I realized I had forgotten to do my half-hour of smiling. So, I began. And, it´s difficult to keep that up! You have to keep deciding, and tell yourself, that you´re gonna smile and be happy. Anyways, this man walked on the bus, and said hi to us, and was a little strange, but I was smiling and warmly greeted him. About 5 minutes later, he was 2 people away from me, and we started talking. I really was led to the Spirit, and it had the gift of Charity, and really He made me an instrument in His hands to lift up this man and inspire him just with a joyful, sincere, kind conversation. Turns out he´s been inactive for a long long time, after getting married in the temple and having kids, serving in leadership callings in the ward, etc. and by the end he was determined to return back to the church. He was prepared and already felt a desire to, and I was able to really give him the Spirit that day and lift him up. I don´t know what will happen in the future...but I am positive that that experience lifted up this man, and also myself, in a difficult time. That´s how the Lord works, He puts us all through hard trials so that we help each other in love, and are all edified. That was the fastest bus ride of all my time in the office, and I arrived to our area with fuego. (the Spirit) :)

Also, I am learning so much about proselyting in our area! How to be very effective, and do it in the right ways. Elder Cajo is such an incredible example, seriously, I am learning so much from him! He has 9.5 months in the mission, and in about a month and a half he´s going to hit the 2-year mark of being a member!! Seriously, this kid is incredible. So inspiring. Anyways, with so much help of the Lord and less-active members, we found 10 new investigators in 3 days!! It was a blessing from God, letting us know what we´re really capable of doing. We really focused our investigators in asking God, about the Book of Mormon, and receiving an answer. That is really what matters most in the conversion of a person, so that they know. It is so vital! People are capable of doing everything you say, but will only do it, if they really want to, feel inspired, and KNOW. 

Anyways, I am so happy today. We went to the temple, did initiatories, and I wrote down so many names on the temple roll!! Like, all my converts, less actives, members, family, missionaries, etc. And, I saw the most beautiful picture of the Savior ever in the temple, a little/big painting, and didn't have any money, but Elder Cajo bought it for me. It was really like the most joy I've ever felt. We are really becoming so much more united in our companionship, even though it's difficult in a trio. President gives me strength and confidence, of keeping things together in line, he really inspires me so much. I can't even believe how much he works, and just NEVER STOPS. Seriously, just never stop working, inspiring, the fire just never burns out. Eating becomes optional, really become the servants of the Lord. It was funny, I had a little flu, and he's just like, ´´sickness is all mental.´´ just be focused COMPLETELY, 100% in your mind, in the work, have faith, ask help from God, and you just Do It. 

Anyways, it´s been great. Actually though, I have bad news. We got in a taxi the other day, I was so tired I fell asleep, and my memory card of my camera that was in a little adapter in my pocket, fell out and got left in the taxi. That was like all of my pictures since the beginning of my mission. It's a serious bummer...but doesn't get me down too much. I hope you've been saving every picture I send you on the email! I'll buy a new memory card very soon, and send more pictures. Don't worry!! :)

Anyways, please have the best day ever. Make the decision to be happy, and keep every commandment with EXACTNESS. When you magnify your calling, seek greater knowledge, which gives more responsibility and difficulty, and start over. 

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!! 

Hasta luego, 

Elder Clarke
 

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