Allright so I think this week was a good turn for the better. We´ve found some great newbies to share the gospel with, and I think The Lord is starting to trust us more as we work harder and teach with more true love and concern. Something great this week has been that I have found such strength and power in sharing specifically the message of the Restoration. Sometimes when teaching and contacting, we get all wrapped up in trying to teach the person a gospel principle according to their ¨needs¨ or something that relates to what they´ve told us. But (more specifically in contacting), I have found lately that as we share and testify specifically that the restored church of Jesus Christ is again upon the earth, with the same prophets, apostles, and authority that Christ possessed when on the earth, The Spirit is so present! Holy cow! It´s something that has helped me this week.
Ok, so a couple cool experiences this week: we contacted and taught a really wonderful woman named Betty. She was actually very knowledgeable with the things of the Bible, and very intelligent (by the way Mom, she works in a call-center - haha). Anyway, we taught her the message of the Restoration, and when we got to the part about the Book of Mormon, she proceeded to ask us ¨how much would a Book of Mormon cost me if I wanted to buy one?¨ Like, what?! That was the sweetest music my ears have heard in a very long time. I happily handed her the book and told her that for her, it was free. Haha :) We have yet to been able to visit her again, but I´m excited for our return appointment this week.
So I had a very sweet experience Thursday night. Elder Ramos and I had just finished dinner at a member´s house, and it was around 8 o´ clock at night. Well, we were kind of discourged because we had nothing else planned, and when that happens, you´ve got to contact. Usually I wouldn´t have minded, but here in Panama, once it´s dark outside, you just don´t contact if you can help it. By that time, people have settled in for the night, and you hardly ever get into a door. Well, we could´ve easily just gone home early, but I suggested we go visit a weak investigador that we hadn´t seen in a while. It was kind of far, but whatever. So, we trudged over there not exactly with the most hopeful spirits. When we arrived, she wasn´t home. Mannnn. As we thanked the young man (a friend of someone else who also lives there - about 20 years old) at the door and were turning to leave to go home, he stopped us and asked ¨Hey um, I´ve got a question.... don´t you guys ever rest? Don´t you ever get tired? It´s 8 o´ clock at night.¨ My goodness. It may not sound like much, but I know with 100% certainty that it was The Lord´s way of telling me personally that he was grateful we decided to work until the end. As soon as he said it, I felt an enormous amount of The Savior´s love come into my heart, as if The Lord was just telling me ¨thank you.¨ It was beautiful, and an experience I won´t ever forget. Plus, we were actually able to have a decently positive lesson with him afterward. It helped me so much to gain a better testimony that The Lord is with us wherever we go, and is always watching over and helping us. He is the Head of this work, and is so grateful when we are willing to sacrifice.
Lastly, we had another investiagator (Jacolín) in church this week!! What?! We contacted her last Tuesday, and she agreed to come to church without us teaching her hardly anything! We were so happy. I was kind of nervous because yesterday was fast Sunday, and therefore the sacrament meeting is pure testimony-bearing. I don´t know why, but a lot of investigadores don´t like the fast Sundays too much. Anyway, during the meeting, one of the ward´s best young men - a wonderful 17 year old - got up to bear his testimony, and BAM!!! The Spirit immediantely was everywhere in the room. His testimony was so powerful!! Anyway, I looked over, and Jacolín was crying!! The Spirit was working within her so strongly!! Wow :) All I could do in that moment was look up at the heavens and say ¨thanks.¨ We are looking forward to our return appointment with her as well - we´ve hardly taught her anything yet!
Anyway, that´s kind of all I have time to write this week, but I want you guys to know I love you soooo much! I appreciate the letters of encouragement Mom and Dad, really. Thanks :) I hope you guys have fun at trek and have an amazing week!
Love, Elder Clarke
P.S... I read Elder Uchtdorf´s conference talk from this past conference again this week and chuso... that guy is fabulous. ¨The merciful shall obtain mercy.¨
P.S.S.... I splurged a little bit this week and bought a box of cereal and a liter of milk...... wow. Possibly the best breakfast decision I have made in my mission. ¨La Lechera¨ cereal. It brought back all my memories of eating cereal in the morning at home....