First off, I have to start with quite an important announcement. I would like to announce that last P-day, I DUNKED THE BASKETBALL. Yep. Dunked it. First real throw-down in my life. On the mission. Sweetest thing.
Allright now we can continue. This week can probly be summed up with a few words. Working with members. This week, I had the most "with member" lessons I`ve ever had in my whole mission! Fourteen to be exact. We did visits with the members nearly every day that we were in the area, and man it REALLY paid dividends. Our investigadores became SO much more positive. Their fechas are like almost done deals now, because of this member help we've recieved. Specifically, with Abdianis, Estefany, and Norberto. Wow. I`ve also had fun helping train the members how to better involve themselves and more effectively participate in the lessons (you gotta remember the church is still new here and the members don`t come from super strong families where a lot of missions have been served). It`s been a great week with them, and we should see some fruits to our labors here at the end of March! Specifically, I have a unique respect for Brother Leonel Arrocha. That guy is an incredible disciple of Christ. I will take a picture with him one of these days and send it. Definately best member in the branch.
Something I`ve been remembering and reflecting on lately is how I as a missionary can "take a step back", so to speak, and really slow down and love these people I`m helping. To do it with the love of Christ. Being discouraged recently with the lack of progression among my investigators, I`ve just been focusing in their commitments and how they`re weren`t completing them.... but this week I really tried to look at people and understand them like Christ would, and it`s really helped me.
Last thing I wanna share is this past Friday, I had a REALLY powerful experience. While I was on a long bus ride (lots of them here in the interior), I read an article on the life of Pres. Thomas S. Monson. Incredible article. But afterward, I sat there meditating for a long while, and both in that moment, and later in the day on the way home, I began to feel intense, but really intense, feelings of gratitude. Burning in my heart, it even brought me to tears! Sacred feelings of gratitude for the living prophet we have today, for my family, for the restored gospel, and much more. It was unlike any gratitude I`d ever felt before. God is such a merciful being with me. I am SUCH a blessed child. Wow. I am forever grateful to my God. I know He lives.
Well I hope you guys have a wonderful week! Love you all so much :) And if you can, give thanks to our great God who has given us so much.
Elder Steve Clarke