Monday, February 16, 2015

God hastens His work.

Dearest Family and Friends,

I am so grateful to be serving here in Ayacucho. There's never been a better time in my life! I am SO happy, every day. I know with all my heart that God is the one who hastens His work; this is not our work, and although we may have an important part to help out with it it is not ours. HE hastens HIS work. I testify that He has prepared so many wonderful people and it's a joyous blessing to be a part of it. I know with all of my heart that joy and satisfaction are found in the FULL, consagrated service of others. We must give our whole lives in service for others' benefit. What a wonderful time this is in my life. 

Elders Clarke & Nunez
We have 2 families of 4 assisting church, progressing, and they have a marriage and a baptismal date. Please pray for them!!! Fermín, had his plan to formally ask Mariela to be married on the knee and everything on the 14 of February. Yesterday after Elders Quorom he came up to us and told us she accepted, and that they are having a much better relationship and very happy. He invited us out to lunch tomorrow where he will formally ask permission to Mariella's mother to be married. Really, they are both changing and repenting to be able to resolve their problems, and it is an incredible change to see. Wow. This man, Fermin, has such a strong testimony of the restored gospel and Book of Mormon. At the beginning, he didn't want anything to do with the Book of Mormon. The missionaries visited him and he just wanted to Bible-bash. I testify that as we show our love to investigators, our patience and understanding, and we suffer with them, they change, and it's a true repentance. It's a true and powerful change of heart carried out by the Holy Spirit. We didn't say anything in our first 3 lessons with him except for reading chapters of the Book of Mormon together - nothing more, to help him understand it, and left commitments to read it. He kept his commitments, and now tells us that baptism with the correct authority is vital for him and his family. Their baptismal date is the 21 of March, which just happens to be the very last day I'll be here in Ayacucho. He is so excited, and I cannot express the emotions I have for all of this. Every moment of every day, all day long I am just thinking about these wonderful investigators we have...how glorious their baptisms will be...how to help them..and I can already see them getting sealed in the temple. I ask you all to PLEASE pray for this family that they will make their baptismal date! And that they can get married in time! I was worried...maybe they would have enough time to get married, but apparently it'll only be a process of about 2 weeks. Pray, and if possible fast! whatever you can do. They are wonderful people that I have come to love so much. 

Elder Nunez cleaning the bathroom!

The other family is Reynaldo and Raida and their two kids. They are such spiritual and faithful people, and have their plans also to get baptized - very good friends with the Bishop and his wife. Their kids are going on the young mens campout today and tomorrow. So sweet!!! My companion is the best companion ever. Really...he impresses me every new day. He maybe doesn't have a firm testimony yet...cuz he's a very new member, but has the strongest desire of anyone I've ever seen to learn all he can and get converted. In our companionship studies...unto tears, he asks me to teach him more, and does everything he knows how to do. It's a little hard for him to understand....(very..low educated I can tell) and requires lots of patience, but it's a joy for me. These are my favorite kind of companions. He's wonderful, and is a great example to the people we are teaching. 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support; I know that God is working miracles here because of it. I love you all more than I can express, keep doing all that you can, for anyone you can, to help feel the love of God. I know that it is great, greater than any other feeling I've ever experienced, and it fills my heart to a fullness of joy. Let us share this with all, with great passion and the Spirit this week! Have the best day ever!!!!

Sincerely,

Elder Clarke

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