Monday, March 18, 2013

Olvídate de Ti Mismo

Bueno. This week has been a good one. Family, I´m glad to hear you´re doing well :) I´ve got the best family of all. 

                  So this week for the second time in 3 weeks, our member lessons beat our "other" lessons! We have been working so dang much with the members..... I don´t even wanna think about leaving in a few weeks. This week we also reactivated Hno. Victor Cárcamos by involving him with our fecha, José. Killing two birds with one stone. Our goal is to have him baptize him. I'm gonna miss Penonomé so much. If I ever move when I´m retired and old, I´m moving to Penonomé, Panamá without a doubt. Elder Aguirre took a beautiful picture for me with his camera of the river here in El Potrero (division of Penonomé)... I´ll try to find a way to send it to you. I think I´m gonna buy a new camera, cuz I couldn´t handle a full week without it. I love love love this place. 

                  Some other happenings in the week was 1) Saturday sport day - it´s becoming a hit FAST. Ever since school started, the Thursday group nights have been dying off.... so we replaced it with Saturday sport day.... the young men and all their friends are coming by the FLOCKS to play soccer on the outside church court. Man. What a great influence we´re making on these young men - even if it´s just through soccer. Another really special experience was baptizing Ángel. Ángel Moisés Martin Morán. Again, I wasn´t able to take a picture, but Elder Aguirre´s got one. What an honor to stand in the place of his father and baptize him a member of the only true church with the proper authority. That guy will be a leader here someday - he´s got the best mother in the whole ward - Araselis. Anyway, we´ll be returning to the baptismal font soon cuz Abdianis is getting baptized this Saturday! I really want E´ Aguirre to baptize him - I don´t know if you remember but every time I train it´s my goal to get the newbies in the water and perform the ordinance. I´ll make sure I get a picture. 

                  So before I tell you a great story about José - our other fecha, I want to just say that I´m currently reading "Our Legacy" (part of the missionary library) and I could't put it down this morning!! I read it for a long while on the bus this morning to Chitré. Reading about the trials the early saints had in strengthening the church has really been making an impact on me. Unbelievable some of the things there! Their faith and diligence is something I don´t know if I would've been able to maintain! Especially the early missionaries who went to England, Scotland, etc. Wow - those guys are my missionary heroes. 

                  OK, so what I´m about to explain happened a few weeks ago, but I haven´t had time to explain it until now..... a couple weeks ago E´ Aguirre and I had just finished a dinner appointment and were walking to a cita, when a man approached us in the street. As we were walking by, he stopped us, and introduced himself - José Antonio Fernandez Aguilar. Bueno, and he asked us if we could give him a Book of Mormon - we responded yes of course, gave him the book, and then asked why. Well, he explained to us that a couple months ago his mother passed away, and he was really discouraged and started praying for guidance - asking God what to do, and asking for comfort. He said that as he was praying, it came to his mind that he needed to read the Book of Mormon and start attending our church. WOW right? So we put a cita with him and went to go visit at his house a few days later. In the first cita, we asked him to explain how he knew about the church and what not, and he started to tell us about how he had attended the church many times about 10 years ago - he received missionary visits and everything. Well he said when the time for his baptism came 10 years ago, something happened that day where he wasn't able to get baptized, and the missionaries then got transferred and he stopped attending. So..... that´s how he knew so much about the church - it was from visits 10 years earlier. So, there and then we put a fecha for the end of the month, we've already helped him to drop the coffee, and he is preparing to be baptized the morning of Dave´s farewell talk..... 31 de March. Is that not sweet? It´s a huge testimony builder to me, that truly, sometimes as missionaries we are seed-planters, and sometimes we reap the goods of hard work and diligence. We are so excited to help José get baptized and get to the temple soon. Sometimes, God´s hand in this work is so obvious. I´m just so thankful to Him that He has allowed me and blessed me enough so that I can be a tool in his hands and help bring others into His fold.
                  Well, that´s all for today folks. I love you all soooo much and thank you for being the best. Hurrah for Israel! 

-Elder Clarke

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