Monday, July 2, 2012


Family! Ah man I just love you so much. I know I´ve said this before but I love Monday just to hear what you guys are up to. Dad, I loved your letter this week. Every time I read your letters I just picture you saying it all in person, like we´re having a conversation :) You´ve got some serious ´voice´ in your writing. It makes me miss you a lot. Also, Mom, Katie, your letters were great as well - loved the quote by Maxwell, Mom. Thanks for your spiritual thoughts. Congrats to Scotty for completing his first scout camp and Dave for getting another job! Way to go, bros.

Well, this week has been crazy! They are starting to pass faster and faster. I take it as a sign that I was putting my thoughts into the work better this week. The suggestions have really helped as of late with saying silent prayers, singing hymns in the street, and memorizing scriptures. Thanks Mom and Dad - you´ve both counseled me to do that before and the silent prayers especially have helped me as of late. Also, Elder Huallanca taught me `The Army of Helaman` song in spanish! That is one of my very favorite songs ever and I love singing the spanish version now.

Allright, big news with Melánia! She is doing the marriage exams THIS week with her husband, and they should be married and baptized not this weekend, but the following weekend. The sad part about that is that I won´t be here..... :( But hey! It´s ok. I know I will see them again someday and we´ll talk then. I have LOVED teaching her though - her and her husband have overcome so many trials during this process... I haven´t mentioned any of them previously because I didn´t know if the baptism would fall through, but nope! We have seen the hand of The Lord help them overcome not having a job and their car breaking down, almost being forced out of their home because they had no money, and ya. Lots more. Someday I will explain the beauty of it all. Hopefully they can get sealed in a year before the end of my mission so I could assist their sealing in the temple. That would be raaaad :) I have absolutely loved teaching this lady - you wanna know what? She just finished the Book of Mormon. She read it the entire thing is less than a month! Chuso... every time we go to visit her she´s in a new book. My favorite part of this whole process has been seeing the Book of Mormon literally change her life around - 360.

Oh! Speaking of the Book of Mormon. We taught a SUPER sweet lesson about The Book of Mormon to a wonderful lady named Vanessa this week. At the beginning of the lesson, she told us she tried reading the BOM but didn´t understand it. So, we explained a little bit of the background of the book, and read the first 3 chapters together. Man, there is nothing better than being a missionary when you get to teach pple the truths and they actually want to hear them! Talking about the BOM, for example, is so fun! It has changed the world, and when someone asks about it, I get to explain the world-changing power that it has! I dunno if that made a whole ton of sense, but ya.

This week not a whole ton of exciting stuff happened, but it´s all part of the mission work. You´ll have some less-progressive weeks. Of all the investigadors we now have besides Melánia, number 1 is probly Kevins. Just last night, we had a member of the bishopric - Hno. Rojas - accompy us to visit his parents. They still don´t wanna budge - it´s understandable. It was a very long lesson and can´t say it was very productive. But oh well. Kevins is a very good kid and I know The Lord has a plan for him. If not now, somewhere later down the road, he will be baptized. A little bit about Hno. Rojas though - the guy really impressed me last night. I didn´t know him very well before, but he is so knowlegeable! And so experienced in the church. I think he knows The Church here in Panama better than just about anyone. He was one of the pioneers of the church here, and he´s seen the growth here from when The Church first started here! He actually reminds me a lot of Dad. He has a lot of the same characteristics as Dad, and even kind of looks like him! Panamanien version. Idk if you remember the picture of when Melany and Elísa were baptized, but he was that man in the photo - he baptized one of the girls. Anyway, he told Elder Huallanca and I something last night that I LOVED. You ready? `Dios nunca va a bajar y darnos cosas si él ve que podemos hacerlo por nosotros mismos`. Translation: `God will never come down and give us things if he sees that we can do them ourselves`. Wow! Right? It´s a really simple concept, but rang really true to me. God will never give us anything or do anything for us that he already sees we can do for ourselves. I just thought I´d share that little quote - I loved it.

Anyway, that´s enough for this week, I will write more next week. I´m excited to head into my last full week of being here in La Chorrera!

-Elder Clarke

P.S... Mom, thank you for remembering, recording, and giving to me some of the blessings from my missionary setting-apart blessing. I read it often and it helps me a ton!

P.S.S..... last quote: `Do you want to know the truth of the holy scriptures? Do you wish to break the barriers that seperate mortals from the knowledge of eternal verities? Do you wish to know - really know - the truth? Then follow Moroni´s counsel and you will surely find what you seek. Be sincere. Study. Ponder. Pray sincerely, having faith.` -Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

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