Monday, October 27, 2014

I BEG YOU TO PRAY THIS WEEK!!!

Dear Family,

I love you all more than you know!!! I am so, so grateful to receive your emails and hear about you all. Thank you so much Mom and Dad, I have the best family in the whole world. You have no idea how much my love has grown for all of you! I am truly sorry for not writing much last week- I will always make it a priority to write you before anybody else, because it is the sincere desire of my heart - I want to constantly let you know of my appreciation for your prayers, love, and support. There is no price or anything that compares, and I will cherish this great blessing the Lord has given me forever, and always remember these blessed days of my service to Him with such great support from my family.

Dearest family, I beg of you with tears running down my face...if there was ever a time I needed your daily, long, powerful prayers and fasts, I ask you with all of my heart that you pray with all of your might, and all of your soul this week for the families I'm teaching. This Saturday is the ward temple trip of the Barrio Chincha, and...(I can't believe how greatly the Lord has wrought the Spirit in me to change my will), I have never in my life felt a stronger desire, from the deepest part of my heart, that the desire I have for my recent converts and rescued members to go to the temple this week. There is absolutely nothing more I desire in all of the rest of my mission - this is the most important thing to me, I KNOW it is what the Lord wants. I cannot tell you how hard I have worked this week.........far harder than I think I've ever worked before my mission, despite all of the work and studies and schedule I always had going on, you all remember well. I have never worked so hard this week, with such great faith, incredible amount of patience, and true love to help these people understand all they must do, all that will happen this Saturday when they go to the temple. Think of how great of a change it is in their lives - I don't know if you can understand what life is really like down here, the great differences from our world in Utah. It's Perù. It is a huge sacrifice for them, I have felt it in every aspect, a huge sacrifice they must make to get to the temple, to work with the members to make it happen. I continue fasting even today, right now, that they won't have any problems with work or any other problem that could happen. It is such a great blessing, all these opportunities for them to go to the temple now, and I am 100% trusting in the Lord, I KNOW that if we show Him an incredible amount of faith, acting in all diligence, He will give us the greatest desires of our hearts. I know that this week He will work with great power among the children of men. These converts are fasting and praying this week...because there are great trials, but the desires and dedication are there, and more than anything in my whole life right now I want them to experience the Holy Spirit of the Lord in the House of the Lord. Holiness be unto the Lord!!! I beg of you, more than I've ever needed before....Please, pray for them. Every single day. Pray that Ivan won't have to work Saturday, and that he can get it all done during the days of the week, and that they'll have enough money to get to the church to meet up. Pray that Miluska will get work off just fine, and that Hernàn will be okay on the hour or two of sleep he'll be getting Friday night to make this trip. Pray that their children will read their scriptures this week so that they'll also be permitted to go and see the temple grounds of the temple, and feel a loving protection of the Spirit. Pray that Ronald and Jaime, Junior and July will also make it just fine. There are 10 recent converts and 2 less-active rescued members with plans to go - and it is very difficult for the members comprension and ability to help them with all their needs to make the trip just fine - but it will be worth it - it will be one of the greatest experiences of their life. Please feel the great significance this makes for them, and how much it pleases the Lord, to act with all faith and diligence to achieving the desires of our heart, to do His will to keep His commandments. The rule is that when we're in the south, we can't travel to go to the temple with them, but tomorrow is the Leadership Council and I am going to ask President Douglas with all of my heart permission to go and accompany them. Nothing would mean more to me in my whole mission. I have great faith and know that even if it's not possible, the Lord will be pleased with me. I delight in His powerful Spirit that He helps me feel when I am about His duties, serving in His way.

I love you so much family, thank you for all of your love. Please have the best week ever!!!

Sincerely with Great love,

Elder Clarke

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fotos del Bautismo

Mother Dearest, it is so good to hear from you!!!! 

You have no idea how great my joy is every time I read your emails!!!! And I am so glad you liked the long email...but it'll be cortito (a little short) today!! I had to respond to a few other emails but hey! 
Things are going great down here! This morning Jaime and Salomé went to sign up for the marriage, and get married this saturday, and jaime will be baptized Nov. 15, last week of Elder Valencia's mission. Lo máximo!!! We had a baptism this Saturday, received the Holy Ghost and Aaronic Priesthood already! We have like 9 converts/rescued going to the temple Nov. 1!!!! SOOO sweet....but I'm way sad I can't go with them. 

It's beeen a great week and we'll have an even better one this week! love you all so much!!!!!

Sincerely,
Elder Clarke

Monday, October 13, 2014

Those who Love more, Learn more.

My dear family in American Fork, Utah!!!

Greetings from Chincha!!! Ohhhh my goodness...I cannot describe right now the great joy that I feel. This past weekend we saw General Conference (a week late because last week it was the voting day in Peru for the new governor, and it's a law to not have any chapels of any religion open that Sunday - there was just no church, nothing), and I have not seen a better conference in all of the days of my life. I've never been so filled to the brim with the Spirit of God - luckily we got to watch it in english, the 6 gringos in our zone, and I felt it was like a mini temple-trip; a spiritual refuge from the world to reenergize, and it was incredible. I filled about twenty seven pages in my study journal the whole conference, but more importantly the spiritual impressions engraved in my soul, heart and mind, will never go away as long as I shall live. I am so, sincerely grateful for living prophets today. I know that they are called of God, and that they speak His words. I am so grateful for their plainness of speaking, like unto Nephi, concerning the Doctrine of Christ, Plan of Salvation, Obedience, Christ-like love, Prophets, and Testimony. So interesting all of the talks and how they were based around similar topics, all closely related to missionary work!!! I know that our Savior is hastening the work, and I love His divine cause with everything in my being - I literally felt that type of love as I watched the conference - it filled all of me, and I am giving every particle of faith I have to do what He would have me do. The Holy Spirit guides each decision and act of faith I make every day and every night. Prayer is such an incredible power to build and demonstrate faith. I testify as a disciple of Christ that if we make daily scripture study and pondering time a part of our very being, daily habits, and if we really rejoice in those divine words, we will never fall - because that is a sure foundation, above which Christ himself has promised we cannot fall. 

Last week I learned the great importance it is for each of us to cultivate love towards other people so that we can learn personal revelation from the Holy Ghost during our interactions with them. I experienced that first hand with Elder Cajo on the bus trip back to Chincha after the leaders conference - I'll have to tell you all about it someday, I'm sorry I don't have more time. In short, if we don't open our hearts with love towards those who interact with us, towards leaders who guide and teach us, then it will be much more difficult to receive personal revelation as we listen and observe them - the pure love of Christ brings the Holy Ghost into our very beings who is the ultimate teacher. We must learn all truth for ourselves - we cannot rely on conversion of others in the day of justice. If our heart is not forever firmly open towards our Lord and Master, even Jesus Christ, we will not be able to follow Him not receive personal revelation from His teachings to eventually become even like unto Him some future day, because our hearts have been closed. Let us love and accept all truth, and love all people. ´´Be patient, and kind, and forgiving.´´ -Elder Holland. That's from the talk ´´I Believe´´ from April 2013 Conference; I listen to it every single day various times in our room, and have it memorized practically! I intend to download all the conference talks and do the same from now on. I'm so excited to learn these conference talks!!! SO POWERFUL!!!!!

Let me just say that we are working very diligently with the members of the Chincha Ward. I love this place SOOO much. And yes Mother, Elder Valencia will leave this change and that means I'll stay one more with a different Elder - means I'll be here for Christmas!!!!!! I cannot express my excitement over email. All I want is for you to send a ton of great gifts for the Molina family, our converts, and I will give everything to them, and the other incredible converts, less-actives, and members. Don't get anything for me. I am seriously going to give everything away to these people, poor in heart and loving. My bowels are filled with compassion unto tears. I have never had such a great love in all of my life, and I testify that it comes from my Savior Jesus Christ, for the truth of His everlasting word and for the overwhelming Spirit I feel every day. That great love that has sunk into my very being extends out to the United States, to each personal family member in my gorgeous family. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. Never forget that - let it sink into your mind, over and over, and into your own hearts. You're in my prayers, and I can't wait to see you all and spend many hours together, building our own faith in the Savior Jesus Christ. 

October 25 Salome and Jaime will get married! (Salome a less-active and Jaime an investigator, they have 2 darling kids) and he'll be baptized! There is an incredible joy and spirit felt working with families, because they have a greater spirit and love given to them because of having their own kids and family. I know the gospel is true and blesses them greatly. The family night every week is helping the members strengthen their faith and other less-active members in a way I have never seen before. Please do every family night with great diligence! And family scripture study, and family prayer. Make family night prayer a different, special experience, and not a routine thing. Plead with our Heavenly Father sincerely for all you need and desire, and show your faith to Him by keeping His commandments - the little things are the only important things to life for me!!!

Please have the best day ever. Every day!!!

Sincerely,

Elder Clarke

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 8, 2014

Dearest Mother!!!!

I am sooo, so very sorry you haven't received an email from me until now! Yesterday, there was no internet in all of the city of Chincha....all day long; we were waiting since 10am until like 5pm - it's incredible!!! Haha, pretty funny actually. But I hope you can feel my love! I love soo so so much reading the emails you and Dad send - you are both INCREDIBLE people, and I love you both, and admire and apprecite you in ways you would never imagine. The Spirit is passed from the Lord, to missionaries, to families, to the missionareis, and vice- versa and it is a wonderful experience that lasts 2 years. THank you for inspiring me weekly. I know that you're praying for me because I can feel it, and see it. 

I totally got a package from you in the mail yesterday!!!! Ooohhhh,...I was SO happy to receive it! I was so shocked and surprised, but happy!! Thank you SO much for sending all those goodies and the letters. I'll have to be honest with you, things have been so busy since Monday that I haven't even had time to read the letters yet; all this work as a zone leader is a lot!!! I am seriously working so hard - until my head hits the pillow, dead tired, but with incredible excitement constantly. You should have seen our district and zone meeting this morning. We're going to rise a lot here in the Chincha zone, I'm so excited. But I did skim through some of the letters written by some ward parents!? I will have to say I got pretty emotional opening up one and seeing Thomas Karlinsey's family - I don't know why, that man has just had a big impact on me, and even now I get emotional. I'm so grateful for all those who have helped form me into the person I am today. I'll have to read all those letters later on!

We had cambios, and I'm with a new zone leader training him. Elder Valencia!!!! Who was my companion in the office!! We're companions again, and I'm sooo excited. :) He's a great missionary! It's his last cambio, but we are going to work our tails off. Next week are interviews with President...so I'm excited about that. Anyways, I've got to be going now, we've got a lot of work to do. Love you so much Mom!!!! Never forget it. Never forget that the Lord's work will go forth like a rock cut out of the mountain, rolling with great velocity and shall not stop until it covers the world. He loves us and guides us with His Spirit, if we have faith in His name. I'm sorry I didn't send pictures but I will send lots next week! By the way I'm learning to cook traditional peruvian plates here and it's so fun, with great member families here. Also we have a new pensionista who is so super loving and kind, like none other before, cooks really well and gives us lots to eat. It's the best day ever!! Loves and hugs!!!!!

Sincerely,

Elder Clarke