Friday, December 30, 2011

Back to work! 12/29/11

Hello again!  So after I emailed you all on Christmas, my day ended quite well. We had another devotional by Stephen Allen - he is head of ALL missionary affairs for the entire church. WOW. A brilliant man. He talked to us about experiences of missionaries here in the MTC and out in the field, things and feelings we will experience, and how to overcome them. It was great. He's a funny guy too :) Oh! And I forgot to tell you, but on Christmas eve, we also had a little skit of the birth of The Savior, sang fun Christmas songs, stuff like that. They even let us sing Jingle Bells!!!!!! Only non-hymn we've sang while I've been here (besides Come thou Fount of course). Haha. They also gave us this fun little missionary-version of 12 days of Christmas.

"For the 12 days of Christmas, a missionary needs:

1 copy of the Book of Mormon

2 Heavy bags

3 Meals a day

4 referral cards

5 golden contacts

6 bowls of ice cream

7 sessions planning

8 teachers teaching

9 sisters singing

10 prayers for blessings

11 Elders preaching

12 Apostles speaking"

Fun right?

So my Christmas day ended pretty great. Thanks again for all the gifts - the quote book, the family pics., the dunford donuts (my room loved them). And all the letters from friends!! I got a ton a few days before Christmas! That was just wonderful :) Getting mail is like Christmas every day. I hope all my friends are still doing well. I love them. Which reminds me! Great news about Brenton going to Mexico!! Spanish.... I'm telling ya, it's quickly becoming the language of choice. Me, Parker, Brenton. (I'm still crossin my fingers for you, Matt and Spence).

So since Christmas ended, we've gotten right back on track here at the MTC. Learning, learning, and more learning. Class, class, and more class. Elder Paskett and I have had some REALLY awesome lessons with Brother Toone, learning how to ask better questions and things like that. Our district also had an AWESOME lesson with Brother Warburton a few days ago about how to teach by The Spirit and change your lesson plan according to both the needs of the investigator and to the promptings of The Spirit. It was way spiritual, and just further proved the power of The Spirit.

And of course, Preach My Gospel is the best. I learn something from it every day. I highlight and mark it, just like my scriptures. It's divine literature from the first presidency! EVERYONE! Read Preach My Gospel. It's the best.

I've also been learning a lot from my patriarchal blessing this week. It's so amazing. It inspires me and gives me guidance. Thanks so much for sending it to me :)

On Tuesday, we heard from Elder William Walker. He's head over ALL temple work for the WHOLE church. Daaaang. He works very closely with Pres. Monson, and he oversees all temple constuction, planning, and stuff like that. His talk was just perfect for me. He talked about the 10 things to be a successful missionary, and had scriptures to accompany every one! It was great. I LOVE hearing from these amazing people here. It'll be one definate con to leaving the MTC. Ha.

Ok so to answer a few questions - no mom, you don't need to send me another journal or anything. I'm planning on buying a ton here at the MTC before I leave so they'll all match. Ha. Just a little ocd tendency :) Second, great news about my watch!! Thank you SO much dad. You are the best. Also Mom, I saw Erik Ratchapong here :) He is so amazing. Really. He's going to Australia and he's so ready. I love that guy. When we saw each other we gave each other a big hug :) How great it is when you and your friends are involved in The Lord's work together. Oh and I also saw Elder Tanner LeBaron! He's goin to New York south, NY - spanish speaking. (Again.... spanish. The best.)

Well guys, I hope you're all doing well and you'll hear from me again in a week. As Elder Bednar says: Keep being "good boys" and "good girls" and The Lord and His Spirit will be with us. I love you!!!!

-Elder Clarke

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