Thursday, December 22, 2011

12/22/11 Feliz Navidad!

Navidad es en TRES dias!! I'm so excited! Gracias everyone for all the letters, candy, chocolates, and christmas cards. I feel an outpouring of love :) I have loved this Christmas season and I hope you're all enjoying it just as much as me! No snow...... but it's all good :) As you probably know, I won't be allowed to call home on Christmas because of the 2000+ missionaries here, but I'll be able to call from the airport next month! I'm looking forward to that already :)
I have had an AWESOME week this week. I started my new years resolution early by writing in my journal every SINGLE day - I need to make sure I keep track of all this great stuff that's happening. I finally finished transferring over my old scripture markings from my old scriptures this week, so I'll be sending those home with Sis. Belliston in the near future. I'm also really starting to love PMG (Preach My Gospel). I wish I had studied it more before I got here. I know every missionary says that, but it's for real. It's the best tool us missionaries have. I would strongly encourage that all my buddies preparing for missions (Dave this includes you too) study Preach My Gospel right now.

So earlier this week our room bid farwell to one of our roomates heading to South Africa - Elder Fahina. He hasn't gotten his visa yet so he'll serve temporarily in Las Vegas, Nevada. We got up with him at 4:30am and walked him out to the bus... It got me sooo excited to leave!!! I just can't wait to get to Panama. I know I'll probly struggle with the language when I get there, but I just wanna learn and grow out there. (Plus, now that he's gone, I have a bottom bunk! Score.)

Another cool thing happening this week was receiving that advice in letters from RM's. Thank you so much for that. Shout out to Andy Cottrell this week especially - his letter gave me EXACTLY what I needed. The Lord is so aware of our needs and out of all the things Andy could've advised me on, it was exactly the right thing. I got to see him this week too! He teaches on the third floor in my building, so it was great to catch up with him and thank him.

It's great to hear that Tyler Kitchen is home and is doing awesome! I loved his letter as well and I'm so glad he had a good mission. I look forward to hearing about Ryan's mission call soon.

So you've probably gotten the picture of my ear by now. When I went to the doctor again last week, they informed me that they actually DID diagnose the problem correctly the first time - I have an ear infection. Problem is, the infection is so abnormally gigantic that it has covered my entire ear canal and that is why I can't hear anything. The doc told me this kind of thing usually takes 3 months to get rid of - but since I'm leaving in 1 month, he upped my dosage big time, and I have another appointment in a few weeks. .....If it hasn't cleared up by then, the only other option at that point would be for them to do a minor surgery and stick a tube in my ear before I go to Panama. Yikes..... haha.

I received a priesthood blessing from Elder Paskett on Sunday, and it was a really special experience. He told me it was his first blessing. After the blessing though, I knew I'd be ok. The priesthood is the literal power of God. It can work miracles - it is simply all according to my faith. My ear will be fine - don't worry too much about that :)

I hope you allll have an AMAZING Christmas. It's a wonderful time of year to reflect on our Savior and everything He's done for us. As we remember his birth, take time to reflect on all the blessings you've received because of Him. The least we can do to show our thanks is follow him, keep his commandments, and help others come unto Him.

Love you all!

-Elder Clarke

P.S....... Please watch "It's a Wonderful Life" for me. Please! It's the BEST movie.

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