Monday, January 21, 2013

Special Witness of The Lord.

Que xopa pelao?
Bueno fam, I love you so much. I have had one extraordinary week. Things I`m learning on a weekly basis here are just amazing. This week especially, I gained a stronger part to my testimony of the fact that God gives us trials to HELP us, because he LOVES us, and he KNOWS us - much better than we know ourselves. And finally, He will never give us anything we can`t handle. He relieves us from the trial when we most need it. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father.


So man, this week has seriously been action packed. We`ll start with the ward weekly activities we`ve started - they are becoming some of my favorite days of the week - Wednesday and Thursday. Miercoles con los misioneros, us 4 in the branch (Kniff, Carrillo, Aguirre, and I) went out to Churuquita Chiquita and had a great family night with the Arias family! We watched "Only a Stonecutter" in spanish and had a great talk about faith and trials. The next night, we had 47 people at group night in the church!! We`re bound to break 50 this upcoming week. The members are getting so involved! I`m loving that part of the work right now.

Allright so some other great news among investigators. It`s looking like the Soto family might be coming around... we were able to put baptismal dates with all three of the kids! But then they didn`t come to church yesterday, so I don`t know what to think. Also, Monica and Lina and Abdias are all doing very well - but especially Lina. This week we were able to put a bap. date with the couple for March, and we had a great discussion with The Family: A Proclamation to the World (thanks so much for sending them - they were very much needed for this lesson) :). Also, yesterday, when we talked to Lina yesterday, I`d like to tell you guys it was one of the most spiritual lessons I`ve had in a long time. We talked with her about faith, and obedience to God`s commandments. More than anything, it helped me appreciate even more (I didn`t think it was possible) my family, and the eternal blessings we`ve recieved from The Lord. Lina went on and on and on about how badly she wishes her family was like us missionaries. She said her and her husband anylized us one night, and came to the conclusion we turned out the way we did because we were brought up with good values, and more than anything, our parents taught us correctly. There, she realized the faults her and her husband have made in raising their kids - because it wasn`t in the way of God. Wow! It was so bittersweet for me. So sad for her, but SOOO grateful for my family and the things I have. You`ll never understand how grateful I am for our family. That was the first lesson in a long time that actually brought me to tears! We then continued with the lesson, teaching her that because of our Savior, Jesus Christ, all those past mistakes can be corrected, and she can put her life in the way of God right now! As we talked about Christ dying and suffering on the cross for us, I started crying again! What an unbelievable Spirit I felt.


Ok, finally, I gotta tell you all about Saturday. Elder D. Todd Christofferson came to the city and we were allowed to go see him speak!! Totally worth getting up at 3 in the morning. Not only was he there, but there were 5 general authorities and their wives present. Such a great morning. My favorite talk actually didn`t come from Elder Christofferson though - it actually came from Sister Maine - the wife of seventy Elder Maine. She talked about being an example to all as a missionary, and that the mission should be something between you and The Lord. Finally, something she said that I really liked was this: "Be the missionary your parents think you are." Yeah! I loved it. I just want you guys to know I`m committed and trying my best to live like you think I do. Anyway, her husband, Elder Maine, also gave a really good talk - the point I loved most was that everything in your mission has to do with your DESIRE. Being self-sufficient. Super sweet. Elder Christofferson was really incredible though - he started out his talk teaching us all a priesthood principle found in the Doctrine and Covenants, and he talked about sanctification. Whoa. I`ll never look at 3 Nephi 27:20 the same again. The man is without a doubt called of God. Not to mention his spanish is flawless. Before he arrived, Pte. Ward shared with us something cool about what it means to be a special witness of Jesus Christ. So sweet. The gospel is so dang sweet. I love it! And I love being a missionary.

Well, I gotta go now - my time is up. But I love you all very much! I hope you all have a great week.

-Elder Clarke

P.S.... my branch president finally got back from Venezuela! Now the fun work begins.

P.S.S.... challenge this week: if you haven`t already, go to the temple!

Here is a link to a you-tube video made by our zone today:

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