Monday, September 29, 2014

Love you!!!

Hi Mother Dear!!! :)

How are you doing? I am going to write you while my pictures are loading. Congratulations on reaching your goal to read all the Conference Talks from April!!! You are an incredible example, I cannot believe all of the things you do! Thank you for being a TRUE disciple of Christ, and for TRULY living the gospel; you can tell because you understand the need to act a great many things, and after the act of our faith receive God's holy power. I was reading today in 2 Nephi 6-8, and I LOVE those words of Isaiah!! It is powerful - it all has to do with the House of Israel needing to apply the Atonement; notice how they don't just ask God to save them, but they try to clothe themselves with His power to do His will and free themselves! Anyways, these are fun pictures from painting! I'm really good at painting nowadays!!!  



We did this service with a few other elders, one who is in this picture is named Elder Willard who is also from American Fork - he lives over by Utah Lake màs o menos, and I didn't really know him before the mission! He just graduated this year, and I feel like I recognized his face from before. Anyways, he's a good guy, and he said he knew Katie. 


These are some pictures of the Molina Family - I love them so much!!! They are so converted....the whole family, the parents are so strong together and individually!! It is the greatest joy I've felt thus far in my mission than to help them as converts. Their example inspires ME every time we go to visit them, and makes ME want to be better.  

Mom guess what!! I tried last week to send a whole bunch of letters, to the whole family and a birthday card for Adam, and the international postal service in Peru is on strike!!! Seriously...who knows how long it will last. But I'll try to send the letters through the same lady that I send packages, and she'll send it to you! I'm so glad that Adam is happy and doing well¨!!!! And Scotty as well. :) I LOVED that picture of all of my brothers and sister on the couch, they are all so beautiful and grown up it's amazing! 

This week I am learning how to cook!! Our dear abuelita pensionista who is the greatest...is getting old, and sick, and it's become too much for her to cook for us - and we have no pension. But Elder Rolando knows how to cook latino-style and we're cooking for ourselves every day! It's great and makes me so happy!!!  




I am sorry that this is taking most of my time on the computer...it takes a really long time to upload and I may not have much time to write!! But know that I am doing well, happy, stressed and needing to be even more consagrated - that's my only desire in the mission right now until the end.

We are contacting a TON of families that walk together in the streets here in Chincha, and talk with tons of people. We're searching the less-actives to find more to baptize and rescue, and we're trying to work with the ward and stake leaders really well. Today we're going to Lima for the Leaders Council and will have a zone conference on wednesday, which will be really good and spiritual, and this saturday we will receive transfers. I think Elder Rolando will be leaving, but who knows! We'll see. Love you so much, Mother Dearest, have the best weeek ever!!!!  

Sincerely,

Elder Clarke



Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 22, 2014

Hi Mom!!! :)

I hope you know that I love you so much!! You are so wonderful, and I'm so happy to read your emails. It made me especially happy this week. :) Thank you for all of your love, and support. You have no idea how much it means to me out here!!! Thank you for being such good parents and helping us all so much with the gospel!! I appreciate it more than you could ever know. You'll only know the depth of my gratitude, and my love for the gospel when we get to heaven. ;)  Please know that I am very healthy, and that truthfully there aren't really any exotic fruits out here in Peru!! Haha, I laughed this week that you asked again, sorry for not telling you, but there really aren't any. Just the Maricuyá!! :)

I just want to say that Katie seriously looks so beautiful in those Homecoming pictures you sent me!!! Wow, please tell her for me. She's all grown up, and a beautiful and righteous young women. She's a senior!! Tell her how great she is, every day, and that I love her lots. Also tell Scotty and Adam that I love them, and that I'm sending a card in the mail today, it may arrive a bit late! But my love will be flying through the air to you!!! Haha. That's awesome that the Ogden Temple has been re-dedicated! I hope you are all having wonderful spiritual experiences and having the best day ever every day. Congratulations for doing such a great work in your job!!! You are such a great example. I am going to call you frequently after the mission so that you can constantly counsel me. :) Tell Steve I love him! I'm going to write him. Sorry I'm not sending many fotos...I'm not taking many. But I am changing greatly on the mission, and will never forget these experiences. 

Things are going well in Chincha, our convert families are doing super awesome, going to go to the temple in October to do baptisms for the dead! They are so excited, becoming friends with the members and beginning to really understand the Book of Mormon. I have never had so much joy, as I see this family - especially the parents - change before me. The Lord's hand touches their hearts and softens them to do His will, I know it. My heart is full of gratitude!!! Right now we really just need to find more investigators and less-actives to teach. We must always focus on the solutions and never the problems, because I could wear myself out so very quickly focusing on the problems. We are going to build a stronger relationship of trust with the members and leaders so we can work with them and receive more names of people to teach, and we´ll do it with service, love, and teaching the Doctrine of Christ.

I am going to the zone activity now, to help strengthen the missionaries here!! I hope you have a splendid day. Thank you for all of your prayers, I love you!!!

Sincerely,

Elder Clarke


Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Dear Family,

Buenos días!!! How is everybody doing? It's so good to hear from you all. Today I'm going to write nice long personal letters to everybody. Thank you for the letter you sent me, Mother!!! I hope you all know how much I love you!

This has been a great week, the Molina Family got started on their family history work and have plans to go do..obra vicaria,..I forgot how to say that in spanish, baptisms for the dead, in October! They are so excited to progress and stay active in church and are founded upon the Gospel. We are working hard to gain the confidence of the stake and ward leaders so that we can find more investigators and get more golden families to teach. I am so grateful for every opportunity we have to serve others and strengthen our relationship with God. 

I'll be honest, I am a little bit sick today and maybe don't have a lot of exciting things to say, but I'm basically already better, you don't have to worry at all! 

All I can say today is Moroni 9:6 - trabajemos diligentemente, porque si dejamos de obrar, incurriremos en la condenación. Porque tenemos una obra que debemos efectuar mientras estemos en este tabernáculo de barro!!

Have the best week ever!!! :)

Sincerely,

Elder Clarke

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dearest Family

Dear Family,

I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and knowing how to live it. There is nothing else more important on this earth. I am so grateful for each experience to serve here in Perú!! The work is going very great here this week!

The Molina family is doing great, Ariana in seminary (she took a picture of me and was going to send it to you over facebook), the father learning lots about Priesthood, getting names ready for family history and to take to the temple in October to do baptisms!! We're having great joy and success in retaining them. This week we are ready with lots of goals and plans of faith to find more and put more baptismal dates! I am so very very grateful for my mission president who has put the standards so high. This is the best time of my life, and I'll never lower my standards!!

I was so happy to hear about all that you're doing these days, and know that I pray for you. I cannot express my gratitude for the pure testimonies of my father and my mother, my beloved parents. There is NOTHING more precious to me!! I love you family, and keep working hard and serving the Lord!!

Have the best day ever!!!!

Sincerely,

Elder Clarke

Monday, September 1, 2014

´´Una familia Dios nos dio´´

Dearest Family,

This past week was the best week ever here in Chincha!!! I felt so much joy this weekend, the Molina Family was baptized, and the Flores family was completed with Ivan's baptism! We had 6 baptisms on Saturday!! It was an incredible experience, and one I will never forget. I baptized 3 & Elder Rolando 3, we had fun in the water. :) The Flores family was all inactive, and we rescued them by teaching all the lessons, bringing them to church and to interviews with the Bishop, and baptizing Ivan, the father, who was the only one missing to the family. María, the wife, I have never seen her so truly happy before. She says their joy will be even greater one year from now when they go to the temple to be sealed for this life and all eternity, and when their 2 boys grow up in the gospel to be misionaries as well. I love these people we are teaching so much . They are all so incredibly filled with Charity, Christ's pure love, and willing to submit themselves to all of the Father's will. The Molina family, 5 of the 6 (because the littlest and cutest daughter is only 5 years old) were all baptized and are looking forward to a temple marriage as well, and to raise their children in this gospel for life. Miluska, the mother, shared in her testimony after her baptism that she would personally be in charge of that and make sure it happens. Hernan, the father asked the Bishop shortly after the baptismal service ended, do we pay tithing today or tomorrow? I cannot comprehend the joy and willingness these people have to live the gospel.
Might I add that our first encounter with the Molina Family was July 26, just one month before. I cannot believe how rapidly and truly their lives have changed. Despite their financial lack, we were all so surprised to greet them at the baptismal service as they came with very nice Sunday clothing, shirts, ties, skirts, and pants, that was brand-new; they had bought for this special ocasion, and new life they had decided to live. Even more joy I felt as we found the rest of Hernán's family, who has 9 other siblings and wonderful parents, and we taught them all yesterday and he bore powerful testimony to his sister and brother in law. Yesterday, we went to visit the Flores family again, and despite the poor example and decisions of Ivan's cousins as they were smoking and drinking in his house, inviting him and teasing him, he did not give in; they had been waiting our arrival to teach them even more the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have so much love in their family it has impacted my heart for life. I know that God has prepared these special souls to covenant with Him, and they were willing and ready. For some reason this incredible blessing of undescribable joy has come to me, as I have merely served as a tool in the Lord's hands to convey His Doctrine with power, authority, and the Holy Ghost, and I think I have been changed almost as much as they have during this time. The gospel is beautiful, and even more beautiful with families.
I am so grateful for President Douglas' very high standards for us missionaries to focus only on finding families, to baptize, rescue, and retain them through the ward council under direction of the bishop. I will not lie at all, that it is not easy to have such high standards, but I testify that it is worth it. I know that commandments and God's will is to protect and bless us - and that if we repent, have more faith in His Son Jesus Christ, and completely abandon our sins and take out our own will of our natural man, we will be made into so much more, what God wants for us, and it will be so much greater of a blessing. 

I love you all family. I can't remember a whole lot because we are so much set into the work here and how to help these families in Chincha, but my prayers and hope is that the Lord is watching over you, and I am completely certain that you are in His hands, and that His Spirit is working with each one of you. Work with Him, feel and follow His Spirit. Repent, understand how to put more faith in Jesus Christ, and act with boldness and love. I love you so very much and hope you always remember how His love feels.

Have the best day ever! We'll see you later!!!

Sincerely,
Elder Clarke