Thursday, January 26, 2012

Still chuggin . . . 1/26/12

Hello fam!
So good news! At my appointment yesterday, Dr. Darley told me they have identified what was growing in my ear - it was a growth called Aural Mucosal Polyp. Benign, and non-cancerous!! How great :) He also took out the staples in my ear, so thats nice. I have one heck of a scar. I'll send some pictures! The doctors also want to make sure I'm completely healed before I leave the country, so I will now be leaving on the 15th of Feb....... man. I think I'll be the first Elder ever to be here from Thanksgiving to Valentines. Haha. It's ok though. Thanks again everyone for your prayers and thoughts! Really, I appreciate it. I even recieved some letters from the webelos? (I think it was the webelos) in our ward! Thanks Karlinseys - that was real nice of you to send those :) And the Harris family!!! What studs. I plan on writing them back today. Thanks again.

So what'd you all think of snow finally falling (and sticking) this week eh?? Finally! I laughed when I heard you guys still hadn't taken down the Christmas tree :) Good for you. But I actually hadn't taken mine down either until I moved into a different room this week! Which brings me to my next point.....After my district left this past week, I got a new room, district and new companion! His name is Elder Anderson. He's from Mesa, Arizona and he's 21 years old. He's got such a willing heart. He's headed to Buenos Aires, Argentina next week and he's gonna be GREAT! We only get to be companions for a week but I'm grateful - it's been a good experience. I'm kind of a floater right now... I'll be moving into my third district next week.... haha.

Allright so now for somethin wicked sweet. Ready? This past Tuesday, we had Jose L. Alonso and his wife come speak to us for a devotional - he was recently called to the first quorum of the seventy. They're both hispanic and his wife can't speak English! So she had a translator. But the cool thing? I didn't need it! I seriously understood about 90% of everything she said!! I was so pleased with myself. It was good to know all the work is paying off :)

So I've been studying the topic of faith lately. Like, dedicating all my study time to learning more about faith and trying to improve my faith. And I've found some GEMS. Gems I tell you. (Aside from Enos of course - who can beat that? Jk haha) Have you ever read James chapter 1?! I'm not just talking about verse 5 - but the whole chapter?! Dang!!! No WONDER Joseph Smith prayed afterward! Verses 22-27 are my favorite: "But be ye DOERS of the word, and not hearers only...." I always knew faith was a principle of action, but dang! It gave me new perspective. and verse 27, talking about "pure religion"? Brilliance. I encourage you all to read James 1.

Secondly, Hebrews 11. Wooow. Such a great discourse on faith. Paul goes on to give countless examples of faith from prophets and stories in the Bible and why it's essential to 1) have faith centered on Christ, and 2) how we'll understand the work of God/work miracles. Amazing. Next on my list, I'm planning to read Alma 32 again :) Faith, people. Out of all the things an All-Perfect God could've based His gospel and His plan around, He chose to base it on faith. Why do you think that is? Ponder that. It is such a simple concept - but amazingly deep as well. Just think of it - it is by FAITH we work miracles, and by FAITH we use our priesthood effectively. It's a great thing. You could study and try to perfect your faith your whole life and not know everything. Study faith!

This letter is getting long so I should wrap it up, but Mom I just wanna say thanks for your encouraging words and sending me that scripture in John! It's so true - God will make manifest to me why the things that happen to me happen to me, and what to learn from them. I'm just excited to continue being an example to those around me while I'm still here at the MTC, and helping each of my companions come closer to Christ, and realize their purpose here as missionaries. I can't wait to find out the reason I've been kept here longer! Even if I don't figure it out for 20 years, it'll be so sweet when it all comes together :)

I love you all so much and I'm happy to hear you're all doing well!! I'm relieved Dad finally got his boot off!! Even walked home from church eh? Good for you! And Adam..... why are you so cool? Already reading the BOM at the age of 7? Really? Hero. And I just know Dave killed it when he sang the National Anthem at the bball game too - way to go brother. Usted es un jefe.

Have a great week and keep reading and praying!

-Elder Clarke

P.S..... Congrats Elder Rellaford! I now have two friends serving in Florida. Missions are so dang cool.

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