Saturday, January 21, 2012

On the road to recovery . . . 1/21/12

Hola again!

Today is Saturday and this is the first day since my surgery where I've actually been able to get up and do stuff - the anethesia took a real hard toll on me this time. I've currently got staples holding my ear in place, and I have an appointment with Dr. Darley this upcoming Wednesday. Things seem to be progressing. Thanks so much for all the prayers and fasting! I know they're helping :) I'll be out in Panama soon enough - I know it! Also, thanks for the balloons and cookies Mom! You are so thoughtful :) And don't worry about me too much, I'll be fine.

Also, seeing as Elder Paskett and the rest of my district is leaving on Monday, tomorrow in church I will be assigned a new companion, new district, and perhaps even a new room! Exciting, eh? I think so. I'm excited to move into a younger district and really show them the ropes. I want to be the best example I can be to them and really make sure they're ready for the field. Whoever my new companion is, I'm going to plan on really emphasizing how to plan well, how to make goals, stress speaking spanish as much as possible, and also to make sure we are being obedient in every way possible. It's almost like I'm gonna be a trainer already :) haha. I'm excited.

So rewind a few days before surgery..... last Sunday night my district and I watched a phenomonal talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland here at the MTC, entitled "Missions are Forever". I wrote down so many notes and it got me sooo pumped to leave!!! I will share more insights about that later - I'm planning on keeping those notes with me my entire mission.

And then later in the week (Wednesday) before I had surgery on Thursday, I got to be a host when the new missionaries came in! I got to introduce a brand-new missionary to his bedroom and classroom - he's speaking madrin chinese! So that was kind of fun :)

Also, this week I had a few incredible lessons with both Hno. Toone and Hno. Wiest. I'll start with Hno. Toone first.... this past week he gave us an incredible lesson on the importance of baptism and really helped us come to grips with our purpose as missionaries - and that's to baptize!!! I know it sounds like common sense, but I just saw the whole principle in a different light after he taught us. It was awesome :) Since that lesson and especially with all my surgeries too, Hno. Toone has continually checked up on me and has tried to be as helpful as he can to me in helping me continuing to improve here at the MTC.

Now on Wednesday night (the night before surgery) we had a incredible lesson on The Atonement with Hno. Wiest. If any of you have ever heard of the hands-on activity that goes along with this, you'll know what I mean. Hno. Wiest asked for a volunteer, and so naturally, I volunteered. We went out in the hall for a brief time and was told that I would be representing The Savior in this activity. As we entered the room, my teacher was handing out little "smartie" candies to everyone in my district. These "smarties" represented sins, and in order for their "sins" to be taken away, I had to do 3 push-ups for every "smartie" eaten. To make a long story short, I ended up doing 169 push-ups! It was completely exhausting. My body still hurts from it! Haha. But it was an amazing way to relate to Our Savior and the sacrifices he had to make for us. We finished that class period first by having a mini testimony meeting, and finally ended by watching "Finding Faith in Christ" in spanish - it was just an incredible night all around.

Lastly, I met another Panamanian! He is from Florida and is headed to Panama on his mission with my district. His name is Elder Mendez and he's originally from Puerto Rico, so he's pretty much fluent in spanish. It was fun to meet with him though :) I talked in spanish with him and he told me he was really impressed with my spanish! So I think that's a good thing :) I'll see him again down in Panama in a few weeks once my ear heals up :)

This email is getting really long but I just wanted to congratulate a couple friends! First of all the Maddix family on Mitchell's baptism!! It's SUPER cool that Matt got to baptize him :) What a cool thing. I'm sure it was just awesome. And also Jared Hall!! Goin to Tokyo Japan?!? Crazzzzy. What studs. I have the coolest friends in the world.

Well I hope everyone is doing well with everything, and good luck with school Mom and kids! Dad, I hope your foot is doin better too. I love you all!!!

Your son,

-Elder Clarke

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