Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother´s Day!

How is my dear family doing!!

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a fun fiesta for Cinco de Mayo!! Sounds like a good time, I loved seeing the pictures! Dad looks really good in a mexican moustache. :) haha. I love seeing my family - I hope you all know how much I love you. When I see you again, I´m going to love you even more!! Thank you for your kind message Mother Dearest. I hope you have a fabulous Mother´s Day tomorrow!!! I am dearly sorry I didn´t send a card yet...I bought one today, and it will be in the mail on Monday. :) Also one for Scotty´s birthday! Coming up fast!! That kid is growing up like crazy. Well I hope it can be made up for that we get to chat tomorrow on Skype. I´m really excited! I want the precious opportunity to bear my testimony to all of you. I´m also excited to chat more with Steve. Please try to have the grandparents be involved as well! I promise this time it will be a lot better of a connection. We´ll look at each other on the computer and then I´ll pick up the phone next to me and call you on it. It´ll work out perfectly :) 

We had such an inspiring conference with Elder Grow!!! He has so much experience in the Work of Salvation, I was so thankful for his training. After he met with all of the missionaries, there was another meeting where all of the ward councils, bishops, and stake presidents in our Lima mission got together and I think he really helped them understand how to work better in this new inspired program. It was so fun!! I love being with the missionaries, especially my companion Elder Cajo. He inspires me more than anybody and we always have a lot of fun and have incredible spiritual conversations. He will have to talk with you all tomorrow :) in perfect english! And also Elder Fiallos, from Honduras. He´s a champ. 

I am so grateful for the Atonement in my life. Words wouldn´t ever be able to describe the feelings and the spiritual strength that comes from studying this precious, priceless gift. It´s the pearl of the gospel. I was studying Elder Bednar´s talk this week, ´´The Atonement and the Journey of the Mortal Life´´ (bad translation from spanish), and this sentence transformed my understanding about how we can apply the Atonement to our lives for the better, and what it really means: ´´Los elementos...del cuerpo están siempre sujetos a la influencia del pecado, de la corrupción y de la muerte. Sin embargo, podemos aumentar nuestra capacidad de superar los deseos de la carne y las tentaciones ´´por la expiación de Cristo´´. Cuando cometemos errores, al transgredir y pecar, podemos arrepentirnos y llegar a ser limpios mediante el poder redentor de la expiación de Jesucristo.´´ Basically, our capacity to overcome the carnal desires and temptations of the flesh increases as we repent. When we repent, truly truly repent, we receive the Spirit and receive more power to overcome the next temptations, and change our human nature. That right there gives me all the desire I need to repent, every SINGLE night. For anything, as long as it is sincere and makes sense. The Spirit comes, and it is my favorite experience every time. I bear honest testimony of it. I am so grateful for the Savior´s redeeming power to help me through those temptations and come to fulfill my dreams, living the way that God does, although it is so extremely difficult here in this world. I know that when I live His commandments, I am more like Him. I love my Heavenly Father with all of my heart, and His Son Jesuschrist, and I love the precious company of the Holy Ghost. There´s nothing more I want in this life. I see so many rich people here in San Isidro, in Lima, also in our area of Barranco which is right next to the beach, this famous touristy town, and it just amazes me how riches can corrupt people and their precious hearts. At first, it surprised me. A lot, and I couldn´t even understand it, or why. Now I can understand that it all depends upon what, or in whom, we put our trust in. All of our confidence, and all of our heart. What, or who would it be? If it is not fully, 100% in our Savior, Jesus Christ, we are built upon sandy ground. We show that our trust is in Him when we sincerely, and willingly decide to trust in His gospel, and LIVE it. Every single part of it. Not just the good and happy parts, not just what we think we can handle (many times we make ourselves believe we can´t handle what we really can), but ALL of it. He promises to us that we WILL be able to handle all that He requires of us. He will not demand that we perish without cause - we must trust that he is the Supreme Creator, and is wiser than all, and must humble ourselves to that gospel truth. Part of His gospel, His pure doctrine, is that we pass through trials. For good reason too - they increase our faith and bring us to repent, and then He lifts us up. The mission is so incredibly difficult to do sometimes, but I am so happy and excited to keep being a missionary. All of my life. That fact is more instilled into me than anything else. It doesn´t even feel like I´m a temporarily full-time missionary here for 2 years; I just feel like I´m a servant of the Lord, and it is burned into my mind that I´m a missionary for life. I will always live His gospel. I will always bear the burdens of my fellowmen, and try to become more like Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and invite all to come unto Him. I will keep reading His pure doctrine, and practicing to teach it with power and authority. Anyways, on the mission right now I´m being faced with countless opportunities every day to put all of my confidence in the Lord, stand out, be different, and reach out. Talk with EVERYbody. President Douglas is on FIRE right now. He, as well as all of us, has learned a great deal from this conference with Elder Grow, and the mission is about to explode with Effective planning and goals, finding FAMILIES to teach and baptize to edify the Church, and to exert a LOT more faith in ALL of our efforts. Exert the faith also to receive revelation in all of the places of our stewardship. I could not be more excited I tell you. Once I leave this office, I´m going to explode. 

I have great news!!!!!!!!!!! The strike let up in the judicial power of the Government here in Perú, it let up two days ago, and this coming week the Durán´s will be able to get married and baptized next week along with their son Nelson! Right in time for their Fecha Bautismal. It´s amazing! And a miracle because we´ve been trying with them so hard for so long. With all the faith we can muster. This family is on 2 Nephi 10, reading together as a family a chapter a day. They are incredible, and the father, Henrie, is so commited, it´s amazing. The mother, Rosario, is so faithful and is always there giving her all. I cannot tell you how much I love them! And their other son, Diego, will be getting ready to be baptized the Saturday after. I´ll let you all know what happens. Also, the Marcos family, although many of their family members keep getting sick, they are all progressing and especially the mother, Rosio, who is working towards her baptismal date for June 7. Please pray specifically for her - we need her to be strong! She´s also passing through health problems with her shoulder. Her son, Fabio who was baptized a couple months ago, is the BOMB. Sharing the gospel with all of his friends, one of which is named Philip and is getting ready for his baptism also on May 31. He´s really awesome and is progressing a lot!!! Please pray that he is helped to find an answer as well, due to his faithful diligence in his investigation. He´s a great young man of 18 years, and very smart. Also, please pray that Sandra can figure out her situation with her pareja..(pair?) her..couple. She needs to figure things out to fulfill the law of chastity to be baptized, but has a GREAT desire, and she progresses very well with the BOM and prayers. Help her to find a spiritual answer and strength.

I will talk with you more tomorrow! We will see you then please!!

Exceedingly great love,

Elder Clarke

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