Sunday, December 30, 2012

Elder Clarke's Christmas!

This post is being written by Elder Clarke's Mom--Sister Clarke.  The only email we got from Elder Clarke last Monday, December 24th was a few words to set up our skype.  We ended up skyping on Christmas Eve and it was SO WONDERFUL to talk to him and see him!  He looks and sounds GREAT!!!  He said repeatedly how much he LOVES being a missionary!  He seemed very happy.  He did send a picture of his new companion, Elder Augirre, who is from Equador.  He and his companion were spending Christmas Eve with another set of missionaries who serve in their same town along with Ward family who feeds them everyday.  Elder Clarke told us that the Christmas tradition in Panama is to stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve and then to immediately open gifts, and that people light fireworks and the big celebration starts at midnight.  His mission president gave the 4 elders permission to stay with the members at their home until midnight and then to celebrate with them for a little while before going back to their house.  Since the other missionaries live further away, they were going to spend the night at Elder Clarke's house with him and his companion.

Here is a picture we took of Elder Clarke while we were skyping with him on Christmas Eve:

I asked each person in our family to write down 3 things they learned this past year to include in our family Christmas letter.  This is what Elder Clarke sent to me to share in our letter:

1.  I`ve seen miracles on a daily/weekly basis, and I know God`s hand has played a part in it. I have also arrived to truly comprehend the principle of faith. Faith can truly work miracles. It`s a divine power we can use, given from our Heavenly Father. Faith = power.
2.  I have come to consider and appreciate my family - especially my parents - as one of my greatest blessings in this life.
3.  I`m currently working on developing true Christ-like love for everyone, and being more humble.   I have loved and learned from every one of my companions. Elder Roger Whitcomb and Elder Anderson Rich have especially made a big impact on me and are heroes of mine.
Foods I`ve grown to love: Chiceme, patacones, piña panameña, maracuyà, guanabana, avena, and ojaldres. :)

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