This week was SO awesome!! First off, you´re probably wondering who my new comp. is..... His name? Elder HILL. (he tells me he has no relation to the Hill´s in our ward) This guy..... dang. What an amazing missionary!! Mom, I loved how you shared that experience with me last week about how The Lord knew exactly who I needed as companions - and I can TESTIFY to that!!! Elder Hill came exactly! the right time, and was exactly! who I needed as a companion. Some of the things he´s already taught me I will use for the rest of my mission. Elder Hill is another gringo from Kaysville, Utah, and he has 23 months in the mission. I am his last companion in the mission!! Last change, he was a zone leader, and has been for the past 6 months. He KNOWS his stuff. Like... wow. He is SUCH a good example to me. Farewell to Elder Rich... I will greatly miss him here in Barrio Centro, but he is now off to bigger and better things in Davíd - working as a district leader.
So about our investigators.... The Lou family should be recieving their marriage date this week!! :) :) We are so dang excited for them. They have been together now for 18 years and finally getting married!!! Elder Hill became quick friends with them, and we can´t wait for these guys. Just last night, we started delving (?) deeper into the lessons - this time with both Chino Lou and Vielka together, and we read 3rd Nefi when Christ comes to the America´s. The Spirit was there and I KNOW Chino Lou felt it. We could both see it in his countanence. He knows he needs to get baptized in our church, it´s just a matter of them (his wife included) changing some of their old ways and really receiving a confirmation from The Spirit through prayer. After we read the chapter, we had a very progressive lesson with the both of them where we talked about the importance of families and why a truly happy family with The Spirit in their home is the best kind of family. I pray for them every day - please pray for them!!
The sad news.... Aldaír didn´t come to church again for the 2nd straight week.... we met with them this week and asked him why, and he told us he´s been thinking about it and he wants to stay with the catholic church.... gah.... we told him all we could do as missionaries and as representatives of The Lord was encourage him to just ¨probarlo¨ - just test it out for himself!! The Lord wouldn´t try to force/pester anyone to do anything, so we´re not going to either :( He´s closing the book before he´s even read anything, before he´s even attended church!!! We are somewhat discouraged but hope he will just probarlo.
The good news to even out the bad news.... remember those girls I was telling you about? 12 and 16 year olds, friends of a member? Well, we got one of them to commit to be baptized the 12th of May!! Melanie, the 12 year old :) we are so so excited for her and really have high hopes that her sister, too, will commit to do the same. They have attended church and mutual every week for about a month now! I´m so happy - seeing people come unto Christ is easily the best thing to be a part of!! Baptism is such a incredible step. It´s like I think I mentioned last week - it is everlasting, o sea, it is not a temporal thing. I am continuing to try to be ¨temporal¨ in all things, and focus on the things that matter most - the eternal things.
I´ve also had a few rough days here the past few days.... when people say the mission is hard, they are definately not lying. With Elder Rich gone, I am the one right now who leads the planning, calls the investigators, and directs where we go every day (cuz I know the area). I also am trying to insert myself more in the lessons. It´s all very hard right now, but I know it will bless me in the long run. Just like dad counseled me in one of his letters in D&C 122 - our trials will be but a small moment, and if we endure them well, we will be delivered and strengthened! I have already seen some of that in the past couple days - The Lord lifting me up when I had nothing left. I am ¨welcoming the task that takes me beyond myself¨ - Louise Yates Robison. (Mom - I read that quote in the quote book you sent me for Christmas - thank you).
Well I´m gonna try to write a personal letter to Mom before my time is up here, but I love you all so much and I´m excited to talk to you soon!!
Love, Elder Clarke
P.S..... in other news, the sink broke this week in our house.... water flying everywhere....but we got it fixed.... haha. I had to spend $11 more dollars of my own personal money... I´m sorry. Haha.
P.S.S.... Tell Matt CONGRATULATIONS for me!!! Bulgaria! Yikes.... dunno what language that is. How exciting :)
P.S.S.S.... Mom, I´m glad you got a shout-out from Elder Alley!! That´s exciting. Yes, I did meet him at changes and he seems like a real great guy. He was happy to hear you follow his blog. Haha.