Monday, November 11, 2013

¡Que semana!

Bueno pues..... que semana ha sido. A mision buddy of mine wrote me this week and told me to soak in all the spanish I could while I can - cuz I'm gonna miss it. I feel like not just with the language, but with everything, it's gonna be like that. Heck, I get to preach the TRUE gospel - the RESTORED gospel - to these people. Not just anyone can do that. I'm gonna take advantage of every opportunity I can to work right up till the end!

Family Night with a member family and the four Hermanas in the District too.
So I had an epiphany/revelation a few days ago in the shower as I was thinking about our investigators and how to help them progress and also just how to have some success to show for before I leave. And later, my revelation was confirmed as I read in True to the Faith and Preach My Gospel.... Basically, I had just been thinking so much about different things or ideas I could do to help my area, and I was way stressed about it! I was starting to worry if I was doing enough, and about all the things I might be doing wrong. And while I was getting all worked about about that, I realized: This work doesn't entirely depend on ME and what I do. Quite a big chunk of it also depends on my companion and most importantly, THE LORD. In Preach My Gospel it says: "Confide in (The Lord) and in The Spirit, and not in your own talents and abilities. In True to the Faith, it says: When you are humble, you recognize your dependence on The Lord. Man. It is really interesting to see when you get to the end of your mission in what you've improved on and what weaknesses you still - even after 2 years - haven't been able to develop. I am completely convinced that pride - at least for me - is one of the hardest things to conquer. Being a truly humble person - I admire those people. Just simple things like not judging. Confiding in The Lord way more than in yourself and in your own abilities. At least I know this is one of my weaknesses so I can work on developing it more (Ether 12:6). But anyway, I have currently changed my mindset and am just trying to do my very best here with Elder Teichert and we're confident The Lord will bless us. Elder Teichert is SUCH a stud - truly. He already knows TEN TIMES more than I did as a newbie. Not to mention his spanish is ridiculously good for only having been here a month. This guy is a champ - gonna be such a good missionary. So much better than me. I guess that's the goal when you`re training, right?

Elder Steve Clarke--21 years old!
In other news, Saturday was my birthday, and I was.... sick! Lame, eh? I can count the times I've been sick out here on one hand, and it just so happened on my birthday! I had a pretty bad headache and runny nose and stuff - '`m already gettin' over it though. Yesterday, we had two bday cakes! One from Hermanas Hanson and Lesher - they are great. Also, for my birthday, you won't believe what I got....... a.... KISS! Haha!! No but for real, someone tried to kiss me down at the parades. It's supposedly an investigator? Ya.... we're looking for new ones. She didn't get me though - I pulled away in time. It just so happens that November 9th is the same day as the independence of the province of Veraguas, where we're serving! So everyone celebrated my birthday with parades and such :)

In other news, we went on divisions this week! I stayed here in the area with Elder Arenas - my zone leader. He`s cool - from Argentina. Cool guy (I think he got me sick though... ha.).
Independence of the Province of Veraguas Parade
Also, how I mentioned Ether earlier, I just finished Ether this morning! I will probly finish the BOM again in the next few days. A couple nights ago, Elder Teichert and I were sharing spiritual experiences and conversion stories and stuff, and I realized just how intregal the BOM has been in my true conversion. I realized I've come to LOVE it out here in the mish.   I've read it so much (and I think it's so much better in spanish - I bought a hard-back spanish copy to bring home just to have.). Above all, I think if I ever have doubts or anything about the church, the BOM is the firm foundation I can always lean on - I KNOW it's true. It is the truest, and most marvelous book that's out there! And I know it was brought to light by divine revelation! And our church, practically being the only one who claims to believe in the book, must be the true church. Anyone can indulge himself in that book and know what I'm talking about.

Lastly, we are taking a branch temple trip this weekend! It'll be Elder Teichert`s first time here in Panama, and most importantly, Hno. Acosta and at least one of his sons, Miguel, will be coming with us!! I cannot WAIT for them to experience The Spirit you can feel just by being on the outside.The 3 sons are progressing quite well, and we're looking for more and more news siempre.

Allright well I think I've written enough for today - to make up for how little I wrote last week. I love you all so much and I love being a missionary! I gotta aprovechar every last moment!
Much love,
Elder Clarke

P.S.... Grandma y Grandpa, and Grandma Carol, thanks for the birthday money! Also, Adam, thanks for the picture of a hammock, and Scotty, thanks for the bday card :) I have the best family.

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