Monday, September 3, 2012

''God is in you''

Family!!! How are you! I love P-day's, just so I can hear what´s goin on with you guys. I´m glad to hear that Grandpa is back home and that everyone got my letters! The trek pictures were super cool too - Dave needs to look into modeling. The Jordans were the perfect touch. I have had such an amazing week - truly a rewarding week to be a missionary. Can´t wait to tell you about it!

           First of all, Mom, Doctor Castillo is one of the best doctors in the whole country - he was educated in the U.S. and recieved his degrees from St. John´s University. He speaks perfect english, and if it makes you feel better, he personally attended to Pres. Ward a few months ago with a big sinus infection. I´m happy to tell you that the antibiotic that he gave me has worked wonderfully - my ear is already back to normal. He did tell me the same thing though - that these types of ear infections have a high probability of happening throughout the rest of my life, and that I need to be really conscious of colds, sicknesses, etc. Thanks for sending the pills - you are so nice. 
           So I´m dying to tell you about so many of the miracles I´ve seen this week - especially Saturday. The hard times in the mission are SO worth it when you get the reward of seeing and being a part of God´s work among His children, seeing The Spirit change people, etc. Definately the biggest lesson/reminder I learned this week was that this is GOD´S work, not ours as missionaries. If we always maintain that train of thought, the work runs so much smoother and stress-free. Sometimes as a missionary, I begin to think that it´s my fault if I´m not having success, and I feel sad and stuff like I´m not a good missionary. However, the reality is that it´s nobody´s fault, rather that God, for whatever reason, maybe just isn´t putting prepared people in our path in that moment. I always have to remember that He is the one in charge. If I will submit to His will humbly and recognize that I am only a servant, only a tool in His hands, things are much better. 
           Allright, so. The Lord has blessed us so much this week - we were able to put 6 fechas, including the completion of 3 families!! The downside? Only one showed up to church. But no worries!! All in The Lord´s time. First of all, I´ll continue telling you guys about Jorge and Shelby who came to church last week. Well, they´ve been having a lot of relationship problems, and it´s been mas o menos ugly as of late. Anyway, Saturday, we go over there, asking God in prayer beforehand for help, and we sit em down real good, and just start to talk like, straight-to-the-point with them. Just about what they are looking for in a marriage, what they want for their kids, etc. The super sweet part is in part of the lesson, I found myself talking uncharacteristicly stern and straight-forward with them, like something that I would´ve never done on my own. I felt myself working, truly, as a mouthpiece for God. The words and ideas just came to me as I talked, and it ended up being exactly what they needed! They looked at each other after we spoke to them and agreed to ¨start over¨, and make sacrifices to put one before the other in their marriage. It was so cool. When we came out of the lesson, Elder Whitcomb and I both knew the lesson was completely guided by The Spirit, and us talking in there was really just us working through The Spirit. Although it seemed a little stern to talk to them in such a manner, I know God knew it was exactly what they needed to hear, and it helped them so much! We continuing to work toward getting them married and baptized. 
           Ok, another cool story that happened the same day. We went to the Rodriguez home to talk to the parents. They have had contact with the church for many, many years, but have never taken the leap of faith to get baptized. They have a very difficult life with their children - they have a daughter that is deaf and a son with Autism. They live close to the church, but it´s very hard for them to go on a regular basis. Well, E. Whitcomb and I taught them a lesson mas o menos about following spiritual impressions, and how to recieve answers to prayers. The coolest part of the lesson was at the end as we were about to say the prayer. I felt The Spirit so so so strong!! That´s another great thing about being out here on the mission - The Spirit you are able to feel on a more frequent basis is great. Before we said the prayer (I knew they felt The Spirit too), Roberto turned to us, and after a bit a thought, said to us sincerely: ¨You guys have God in you. God is in you.¨ Ah!! It was so sweet. To have someone actually tell us that was such a testimony-builder to me. I felt like Ammon - I wanted to boast of my God! Needless to say, they weren´t able to come to church yesterday, but I´ll keep you posted. 
           In other news, Zariyet has decided to get married to Adrian, and they came to church with the whole family! We were even able to have them sit down and talk with the bishop. Sweeeet. Also, we had a super sweet contact Sat. night named Cesar Selva. From Nicaragua. He looks golden - he said when we came to his door it was an answer to his prayer. Can´t wait to go meet with him this week. 
          Well, that´s all I have time for this week, but I want you to know I love you all!! Very much! Have a great week. 

-Elder Clarke

P.S.... guess what?! I´m in the war chapters too!! Alma 55 - around there. All I can say is they need to make a hollywood film of the lamanite/nephite wars. It would be epic. Mom, thanks for your awesome insight on the stratigies used by the armies - I´ll be paying closer attention to that now.

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