Monday, July 22, 2013

Another week has gone...

Bueno folks. Another week has passed, and I am loving being a missionary. I am coming to a close on the Book of Mormon, and I`m learning better how to "listen by The Spirit" to my investigators in the lessons. We had some disappointments this week, as Vladimir has fallen through on his baptismal date - he is the grandson of a member, but his parents (which only one is a less-active member) simply do not support him and don't let him go to church with his grandparents. It really saddens me. It also makes me really glad though, de nuevo, for the amazing family that I was born into. I've said it time and again, but if there's anything I've learned to love and have a testimony of out here in the mission, its of the FAMILY. 

Speaking of family, last Monday night we went to a family home evening with a old member that had invited a partial member family over for the night. The members? Maria, Ana, and Anthony, 19, 13, and 10 years old. They are all recently active in the church, but their parents, no. They don't receive much support either! But anyway, by default for having been less active for a good amount of years, they don`t  know a whole ton about the basic gospel principles. So, we taught them about the Plan of Salvation, and about prayer.... things I've been learning about since I was 3! Or before. Anyway, I just found such great joy in teaching these young people the basic gospel principles, and more than anything, got me so excited to teach my own kids someday! In various blessings I've received throughout my life, I've noticed they've always mentioned a lot about teaching my kids the gospel someday in my own home. I just can`t wait!!! I just want my kids to be strong in the church. 

Anyway, this week was a week FULL of divisions - I did divisions with Elder Velez, from Argentina, Elder Aguare, from Guatemala, and Elder Quico (again), from Peru. Those Peruvians really are different. I`d like to go visit someday with Dave. I really like going on divisions and helping these guys, especially the younger ones, develop, and realize why they're here. I just try to be a good example to them, and help them to become better teachers. Man, it's so hard to be a good teacher out here - I`d say one of the hardest things to develop. I`m still not where I wanna be as a teacher, but that's why I've got 4 months left! Improve until the end, baby. 

In other news, our now one solo progressing investigator, Michael, should be baptized this Saturday. He is so chosen. Now that I have more time in the mission, it is much easier to discern when and/or whether it is an investigators time to get baptized. Because everything just works! The mission life is so crazy and constantly busy, especially as a leader, that when things go like they should, you know it`s because God has His hand in it. Michael is the grandson of Beatriz, the lady that Elder Paskett taught in Tocumen. Awesome.

One more little bit of consejo I wanna share before parting is the reality and the power of fasting. I know you guys don`t have the Spanish version of the scriptures, but in the index under fasting, it explains that one of the main purposes of the fast is to be able to KNOW and COMPREHEND God`s will during the fast. I am gaining such a strong testimony of this aspect of the fast - it`s becoming more and more obvious to me when I fast which investigators will progress, which ones won't, etc. It's awesome, and I plan on utilizing it after the mission as well. In order to be able to comprehend the will of God in the fast, we must be humble, and pray and ask for it in prayer during the fast. Anyway, I don't know what it says in English but study up on fasting and the purpose behind it in your scriptures, next time you fast. It`s great.

Well, I`m gonna end this now. Elder Atuake and I are doing well - he's such a cool guy - I'm learning lots from him. Changes are coming soon though, and I have a feeling I'll finally be sent to the interior. Chiriqui or Concepcion would be cool. Perhaps the last area of my mission! Crazy. Well, I love you guys. Thanks for all the uplifting emails - this week especially was great to hear from you all, and you definitely lifted my spirits :) ¡Chao!

Elder Steve Clarke
P.S.... Happy Birthday Krissy!!!!!!
          ..... and Happy Birthday Katie next week!!!!

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