Monday, September 23, 2013

What a week!! New companion and baptism.

Oh man. This has been one of the greatest weeks in recent memory!! La verdad que si.
So, first of all, changes were this week and I've got a new comp! Elder Saavedra from Nicaragua! He's my first Nicaraguan comp in the mish! Such a sweet dude. He is one of those dudes that I know was the top dog of his high school. I was his ZL in Paraiso, and we already knew each other. I miss Elder Olivas, too. He went to go be comps in Tocumen with Elder Kniff! Elder Saavedra goes home in December with me, so that really lowers my chances of being able to finish here in Bocas... man.  I'm entering my last 12 weeks of the mission, can you believe it?!? 80 days. 

Anyway, Saturday something monumental happened: Changuinola 3 had its first baptism ever!!!! What?! Yah buddy :) Hermana Jenny entered the waters of baptism after having investigated the church for nearly 3 years. It really just blows me away sometimes, really, how The Lord does almost all the work out here in the mission field. Just a little thought.... In Jacob 5, it talks about how The Lord of the vineyard comes down to work WITH His servants, right? I kinda feel like it's more like He comes down and just shows us how to do everything, meanwhile practically doing a lot of the work for us himself. I relate this a little bit to my own dad. My whole life, he was always teaching me how to do stuff, whether it was yard work, teaching me how to fix the car tire, or how to tie my shoes (I still remember that, by the way). What ended up happening on most of these teaching occasions is that my dad ended up doing most of the work himself. I truly feel like this is similar to the mission field. Our Heavenly Father knows SO MUCH that we don't know, and is constantly trying to help us and teach us. He has called us as His servants to help Him in His great work, but really, that's all we are - servants. I feel like His hand is so involved. It's practically all Him! We just walk around, obey His orders, wear a nifty badge, and wa-la! He works miracles through us. I feel SO grateful that The Lord provided this baptism for us here, and hope He will continue to let us be part of His work, (and come down from His vineyard and help us out) :).

Well I'm practically out of time for today but I must comment on President Carmack's visit here to Bocas this past weekend. He came for District conference, and meanwhile gave the zone their interviews while he was here. Man! What a great interview we had! For real, just a great conversation. He helped me out a lot, too. I left that office feeling 'aliviado'. He`s a great man - I wanna learn as much as I can out here from him before I leave. The conference was great too - everyone spoke well, and I was especially impressed with Pte. Brown's talks in all the sessions (he's Carmack's counseler). The priesthood session was in the morning, and was great. Elder Saavedra and I are excited to start working with menos activos.

Well, I'm gonna wrap this up for now. Hope you all have a wonderful week! Say hi to the german girl for me in german please, Katie. :) Love you all!
-Elder Clarke
P.S... just so ya`ll know..... I`ve been taking HOT SHOWERS for the past couple days for the first time in my mission. The reason? Elder Barnett. The new guy in the house (Elder Seegmiller`s comp) is a genious from Layton, Utah who TOTALLY hooked us up by going and buying and installing a shower water heater. Just preppin` myself to get back home :) Oh how that shower is glorious.
P.S.S.... guess who else is in the new zone? Elder Aguirre!! The one I trained in Penonome! So fun to have him around again :)

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