Friday, July 19, 2013

Maloelele (Tongan for "hello")

Man :) I think Dave is the only one who understands right now what joy it brings me to write you guys every week. I love you all! How was your week? Mine was pretty good. It felt long though... first time that`s happened in a while. Mom, I hope you have a good week at girls camp, and Krissy, your birthday is in 1 week!!! And Katie, yours in 2!! So crazy. Something even more crazy are the pictures I received this morning: Justin Brockbank.... a married man?!? No puede ser. And P-Diddy Farnsworth back from the mission?!? So crazy. Life is crazy, I tell ya. 

Well, I`m gonna write down a few scattered thoughts today. I've been doing a lot of thinking this week - a lot of thinking about how I want to finish my mission. And I realized just how much I lack to become the person I want to be. I still have so many faults! But going into these last 4 months, I want to become better at following spiritual impressions AL INSTANTE (right away). This was something President Ward talked about a lot and something I'm sad to say I don't think I've perfected yet. In order to be able to, I also realize I need to know with a surety how to recognize promptings. In my last interview with Pte. Ward, he gave me a blessing and told me in the last 6 months of my mission, that is what I was going to improve. I told him I am determined to find a baptize a complete family, seeing as I still haven't been able to do that yet. I am also determined to put to the test the wisdom of Grandpa in 1. Study 2. Ponder, and 3. Prayer, in order to receive personal revelation of how I can better recognize and follow spiritual promptings al instante.  It's such a scary thought I'm going home so soon - I have so much to improve!

So, this week I've been flying through the BOM - I'm now in Mormon! I think I wanna read it again one more time in the last few months I have. That will require a lot of studying, but hey! I feel like I'm really feasting on the Book of Mormon right now. Every night after we come home and plan, I go straight to reading! I really look forward to it. Mormon was such a good leader, and I can't imagine what it must've been like for him to live during the beginnings of the apostasy in the Americas. What I admire is that it says in chapter 3 (I think) that regardless of their iniquidades, he still loved them with all the love of God he could muster. Also, I loved how he was told of and entrusted with the responsibility of the sacred record as young as 10 years of age! And he was asked to be the Nephite captain at the age of 16! Really awesome how through the oracles of time, God has always called jovenes in their youth (Joseph Smith, King David, etc).
As for our investigators, we only had 2 in the reunion :( But, the good news is we should be saving at least 2 more souls at the end of the month (perhaps more). One  of them is quite the miracle story - his name is Michol - grandson of the lady that Elder Paskett baptized! I marvel, truly, at the faith of that lady - Beatriz - in helping her grandson come for the lessons, getting to church every week. I had the opportunity to interview her for her baptism, and she told me about how she came to the conviction of the truthfulness of this church - it was a long story and I totally regret not writing it down. But her testimony is so strong of the Profet Joseph Smith! We should be getting her grandson baptized on the 27. It`s awesome, but also kind of sad, how many miracles and testimonys I've seen out here in the field, that it almost doesn't even faze me anymore! It's a beautiful thing to be out here in the field. 

This past week we had multi-zone conference, where the rest of the zone/mission met the new mission pres. We also met his kids for the first time - they are so cool!  One of them - Sam - just got back from the Tokyo mission and knew of Jared Hall there! Awesome. President Carmack is so awesome though, really. I know he was called by revelation to come here - he's exactly what we need here! I was talking with un Elder Garnica - an ex-assistant who's going home at the end of the month, and we were talking about how we wish we got to stay here longer under President Carmack's reign. This mission is gonna completely change and it's gonna be awesome! 

Also, we've been leaving with the young men recently to do visits on Saturday, first with Demetrio - getting ready to leave on his mission, and also this past Saturday with Raul (who we baptized). He's already talking with the bishop about getting ready to go on the mish!! Who! I really wish there were missionaries in AF and that I would've left to do visits with them before my mission - I could tell to Demetrio especially it was a big help, and we all felt The Spirit strong! 
Well, I'm gonna end this email - it's been extra long I know. But I love the mission! Wanna keep working and improving so that I can finish my mission feeling good about what I did here. Love you all!! Have a great week!


Elder Clarke

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