Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Man, I am FULL. Before I say anything I´d like to tell Grandpa that I finally took his advice and went and had a good lunch with my companion with the money he sent me. We went to Johnny Rocket´s here in the mall and we are stuffed. Thank you Grandpa. Wish you were here.
Elder Cuellar & Elder Clarke
right well this week was a tough one, I won´t lie. This is our second rough Sunday in a row. Even more, remember Joli? She was (is) SUPER ready to get baptized - we had her interview set up and everything, and then she talked to her mom about it and her mom didn't permit her to get baptized. Here´s the jist: she's 19, so technically she could go against her mom´s wishes without getting in trouble, but she decided better (and we agreed), that for now it would be better to wait (she still lives in her mom´s house). We were kinda frustrated though cuz it was definitely out of nowhere. For now, we´re gonna try teachin the mom now if she´ll let us. Joli´ll get baptized with time though, I am confident in that. 

Speaking of baptism, wanna hear some good news?! I called Penonomé yesterday to see how some people were doing, and bueno, I don´t know if you guys remember Lina - she´s the mom of the girl we baptized and had many spiritual experiences with. En aquel entonces, couldn't get baptized because she was having some serious marital problems. Well, when I called yesterday she told me she finishing the marriage papers and now should soon be getting baptized! They put sisters in my old area and the sisters and working with her and everything! Whoo! I knew baptizing Abdianis was the start of something special. 

Some quick stuff for the week: I am eating up the new testament and will be in Revelations by the end of today. John the Beloved is awesome - I've been studying up on him and Judas and all of those guys with the help of the scripture guide in the back. Also, I had an awesome division this week with Elder Cuellar from Guatemala - I went to his area (Don Bosco). We contacted a TON that day and had some sweet experiences. A special lesson we had was an old guy that came to the door and couldn't speak. He wasn't gonna let us in because we couldn't really communicate. Well, we insisted and so he finally let us in. It turns out that he could hear perfectly fine - but couldn't speak - his voice box had been removed I´m assuming. Anyway, it was just a really special lesson because he was so humble! Every time we asked him a question, or he wanted to comment, he just wrote it down on a piece of paper. It was a really quite, spiritual lesson. It just made me think in the love of Jesus Christ. I feel like I was able to feel a little bit of Christ-like love toward that man. It didn't matter that he couldn't talk - I know Christ still loves him just as much as me and so I tried to love him like that too. It was cool. 

While I´m talking about cool contacting stories I´ll just finish up with another one that Elder Follette and I had. Yesterday in my morning prayer, I prayed way hard and was asking God if I could see a miracle that day. Well, a couple weeks ago we had contacted this Nicaraguan lady and had a really cool lesson with her. Well, when we went back she was never home until we went back yesterday - and she still wasn't there! But what happened is this time here husband came to the door, and let us right on in without any prior conversation! Just so humbly let us into his home. As we talked, we found out there are like 6 Nicaraguans living in that house, and that they all just recently arrived here in Panama. They are renting a house and they came here for work. Anyway, the cool thing is missionaries in Nicaragua were visiting them in January of this year before they came here! They have a Book of Mormon and everything. We had a lesson with the husband - Keyton - and his cousin, Brusly. We put a fecha for the 16 of June! Super great hopes we've got here. Now let´s just hope they´re married :) It was a super great experience though and I know it was an answer to the prayer I had prayed that morning. God is so merciful with us and will work with us according to our faith. 

OK last thing - it just reminded me of something else. Faith. This morning as we were preparing for our temple session, (that´s why I´m writing today btw - we went to the temple today! I love being in the city :)) I had a great conversation with Elder Hinckley from Evanston, Wyoming. He has about 4 months in the mission and was telling me recently how he has received such a boost of testimony in the principle of faith. Well, I don´t know if you guys remember, but early in my mission, I too, had super awesome faith testimony building experiences. As he recounted what he'd learned, it brought my testimony of that subject back to full-light. It also helped me learn something new. At some point - and many points - in our lives, God will help us gain a testimony of a certain principle. However, after that principle is learned, He expects us to USE it, and APPLY it. OFTEN. I feel like I had let my testimony of faith (and more the practice of it) "get rusty", so to speak. I had "puttin it on the shelf" and kinda forgot about it. It motivated me to look back and brush up on my spiritual experiences more often and continue to apply them. 

Well, I´m glad I was finally able to get a long letter in - it´s time to go now though! Next week should be good - we´re planning a temple trip with investigadores with President and Sister Ward. I love you all!! Have a wonderful week!


Elder Clarke

P.S... wha?? Dave has a CAR in the mission?! Not fair. Haha. Congrats though, Dave, on arriving to Oregon. Aren't plane rides the best? WORK HARD!

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