Monday, November 26, 2012


Bueno family,

because of a SUPER ghetto internet cafe...... I wasn´t able to do as much on my internet time this week.... the computer was just waaaay too slow. But I did answer your questions Mom! :) Yesterday I had another baptism... Manuel! He´s so awesome. He´s 22. I wasn´t able to get to know him as well cuz I got here while he was being taught, but after his bap. interview he suggested that I baptize him! Such an honor. Super cool dude. I´m sending a few pictures. I had a great thanksgiving.... just working. Haha. Nothing special happened here :) I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Steve Clarke

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


 ¡Hola familia!
How`re we all doin this week? I sure have missed you guys. This week has been great. Week of cambios, and lots of changes. First of all, I`ve been transferred to Penonomè, Chitrè! I love it so much. It`s in the country.... far far away from the city. Like 3 hours away. Ahhh... so much better. Here, the people are much more friendly and I can feel The Spirit more! In the four days I`ve been here, it hasn`t been hot once! It`s always a cool breeze - think summertime after the sun has gone down. I love it - I think I wanna stay here for a long time.

I sent a picture of my new comp. and I - Elder Castejòn. He is from Tegulcigalpa, Honduras. Sweeeeet :) He is an awesome elder and I`m excited to help him. Also, in the ward there is two more elders - Elder Kniff from San Diego, CA, and (Elder) Plummer - a panamanian serving a mini-mission. He`s an 18 year old that just recently put his papers in and is out here in Penonome with us for about a month preparing to serve his mission while he awaits his call. This ward has got SO much potential. Man. We gotta get this place transformed for long term. The branch president (yes, it`s a branch) was called about 4 months ago and is ready to work! We`ve got some solid members. I`ve recieved mas references here in 4 days than I did in almost 5 months in the city. Really, people here out in the country are so much better. I finally understand why Dad wants to move to the country. Out here, we`re closer to God I think.

So wanna here something sweet?? We`ve got a baptism this Sunday!! Manuel - Elder Castejòn and the other elder who was here have been preparing him for awhile. He is a 22 year old and was a reference from a member. I love our members :) I can`t wait to spend Christmas with them. Also, the house we live in we just recently moved there. So, we are teaching our neighbor - a 19 year old girl - Isabel. She is way intelligent and is studying english in the university. She speaks pretty fluently. She came to church yesterday along with Manuel. Yessss :)

Lastly, we contacted a family this past week and they were way positive! They didn`t come to church, but we can do some work there. I see SUCCESS here in the future. I love being a missionary more than ever. I was kinda sad on my one year anniversary - this year has gone by so dang fast. It seems like months ago I was in the MTC. Mom, I`ve totally taking your challenge by the horns. I still have a TON to learn. I plan on learning more this next year than in the past year.

Bueno, I love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I miss you guys. Eat a bunch of turkey for me, eh? :) The dark turkey - that`s always the part I liked.

Love, Elder Clarke

P.S... I miss Elder Stegelmeier. He sure is gonna be a great elder.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Man. I just love reading your guy´s emails. Mom´s and Grandma´s especially - you two are the nicest women. (although Dad´s email kind of depressed me and made me want to stay here and live in Panamá forever...ha). Please tell Grandma that I haven´t recieved any letter yet but I should soon :)
So this week was kinda crazy but it finished just the way it should - with a baptism. :) Ariel was baptized, and he chose E´ Stegelmeier to do the ordinance!! I was so happy. One of my goals for this change was to get my comp. in the water to baptize someone in his first change, just like I did. Cha-ching. Now we´re working on getting Ariel involved in the ward activities and getting to know the bishop better so that he can leave on a mission in a couple years!! That would be so amazing.

Allright so you all wanna know about my birthday.... man. I hate to break it to you all, but it was a pretty normal day. I will confess right now that I opened my birthday package a week early..... hahaha. Man, family!!!! I LOVED loved loved my package!!! I feel so dang spoiled. Way too spoiled. The Nutella, the reeses, THE IPOD?!? Wow. I don´t deserve anything for the rest of my mission. That package was life changing. Thank you all so so very much :) I now jam out to Josh Groban and listen to one of my favorite songs - ¨Thankful¨. I don´t know if you remember but we all used to sing that song in the car every year at Christmas time. I love that song so much and it reminds me so much of you guys!! Thank you guys so so much. Really. Mom, I ask your forgiveness for opening the package early cuz I know how much of a to-the-day person you are, but I will say that I saved the Reeses Puffs for my birthday breakfast to keep the tradition going. Elder Stegelmeier and I enjoyed them together. Thank you so much :)
So I was saying last week how I finished the Book of Mormon. (Mom, to answer your question, yes I read it in spanish). I have now started over and read one chapter a day in the BOM, while now focusing the bulk of my time on the New Testament. Fetch. I couldn´t be loving it more. Just reading about the daily happenings in Jesus Christ´s life. I´m only in chapter 14 of Matthew, and my testimony has already grown of Him so much. My favorite is when he reprends all the fariseos. He ran that town in Jeruselem. He didn´t let anyone mess around with Him or His ministry. Also, his discourse from The Sermon on the Mount (also found in 3rd Nefi) is quite possibly some of my favorite scripture ever. Having just recently read it in 3rd Nefi, and now again in Matthew, it´s just wonderful. Jesus Christ. Wow. My admiration has gone to a whole new level reading about Him in the New Testament.

Well, now that I know that I will for sure be changing areas (I found out today) this week, my main goal is to finish strong here in Juan Díaz and get some good fechas for E´ Stegelmeier for next change. We had an investigator in church yesterday that stayed for all 3 hours!! I think that´ll be the next top prospect. I´m leaving Juan Díaz in much better condition than the way I found it (in large part due to the help of Elder Whitcomb), but de todos modos. That´s what the goal is for my next area as well.

Allright well that´s enough for today. I´m excited to get to work in a new area! I will surely miss my son - Elder Stegelmeier. He is such a great companion.
We´ll definately be life-long friends.

You all have a wonderful week! I love you all!

Love, Elder Steve Clarke

P.S..... I got sick yesterday for the first time in the mission! Huge headache and stomach problems. After the baptism, we came home and I took an hour long nap. But I am feeling great today :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

LIMA PERU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 My goodness!! LIMA PERU?!? YES!!!!!! Digo, sì!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dave and I will be speaking spanish together the rest of our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I am so pleased. So so pleased. Dave, congratulations. I feel like I have such a connection to Peru all of a sudden. I will tell you that, because Panama is such an international country, there are members here in almost every ward from all over central and south america. And you know what? The peruvians are always so strong and faithful!! Always in the bishoprics here. Their families are always so knit and wonderful. The church is very strong there in Lima. Ah that is fantastic. I am so happy for you. Elder Huallanca will be happy too - I`ll have to tell him at changes :) Who is your mission president? Where`s he from? Dave. Again - CONGRATULATIONS! Now I know for sure I`ll never forget spanish! I`ll have a buddy to chat with forever! We`ll talk behind everyone`s backs and everything.... hahah :) I`m so happy for ya.
So as for me, I had a pretty good week. We worked super super hard. Didn`t have much success finding new investigators, and we had a couple of family group nights fall through, but hey - no worries. We`ve got another baptism next week! I have got to dedicate myself to working super hard this week to find some good, positive news. I am learning that your attitude makes all the difference in the work. If you have a faithless attitude, The Lord will not give you people to help - because He knows you won`t be much of a help to them with a faithless attitude! Sometimes in the mission, it`s difficult to maintain that Spirit 24/7, every day, every hour. I`m not super human! But if we continue to humble ourselves daily, and ask for help, The Lord can and will help us do super human things. I feel like the mission is stretching me so much right now. But I love being stretched - because that`s when I grow!
So about our baptism - Ariel - he is super sweet. He`s gonna be a priest. Yes. Talk about priesthood help for the ward. He has been progressing right along, and will be baptized on the 11th after church. He asks a lot of questions, but knows a ton because of it. In church yesterday, the teacher said he knew everything!! Yes :) His parents are now beginning to show interest, and I know that will be a full-member family someday. It will be huge if we can get them to come to their son`s baptism next week. His grandma - Emilvia - is doing awesome as ever. Such a good example for the family.


Ah! I`m totally out of time. I wanted to talk about the BOM - I finished it this week. BUt I`ll save it for another week. I love you guys so much and I`m so excited for Dave!!!! I hope you enjoyed the pics. Love you!

-Elder Clarke