Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tough but good week. Gotta stay humble.

MAN! What a crazy week. It was kind of a roller-coaster week with a lot of mixed feelings, some logros (3 days straight we left with members this week - 13 lessons with member!), but also, curiously, a great deal of inner struggle, apart from my ear acting up again. But we came out on top and we should be having a couple baptisms this weekend! Miguel is so ready to get baptized and we`re excited to have the whole family coming to see :) They`re about to get a sucker-punch from The Spirit and they don`t even know it! They don`t even know what`s comin. Artemio is gonna get baptized too! We`re so pumped. We`re doing everything we can to get some baptisms on the 7th too. 

So like I said before, I really went through some tough personal struggles this week. It was almost as if Satan was attackin` me - doin` everything he could to depress me and try to ruin my impression of my mission before I came home. Lots of feelings of inadequecy and stuff, but I know it was all for my good. God has always got the one-up on Satan, it`s really funny. I so grateful I passed through all that cuz I came out learning such an important lesson that I know God wanted me to learn before I came home. Gordon B. Hinckley sums it up almost perfectly in this quote, addressing parents throughout the world:

"Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones."

Call me crazy, but I feel like I learned a lot about parenthood this week. I really feel like The Spirit was comunicating to me this topic. During this past week, we had a baby-shower for a couple in the ward (which never happens), a ward member gave me some advice, and just yesterday I was able to hold a one month old little panamanian girl. What a precious gift to the world children are.
On top of all this, much of my worries this week stemmed from me wondering if I had taught Elder Teichert everything I was supposed to teach him before I go home - I know he`s going to be an unbelievable missionary - unbelievable. So much better than me. And I just want to help him with everything God sent me here to teach him. As you might already know, here in the mission when someone trains, the trainer is called the "father" or "mother", and the trainee, "hijo", or the child. The Spirit just confirmed to me so strong that here in the mission, it`s like a practice run in a way. We teach these new missionaries, and the goal is to teach them everything we know, and help them become better than us. And what happens if we don`t? I questioned this many times this week. And well, I guess you just gotta hope they somehow learn it on their own or someone else will teach it to them along the way. But what happens when you go home and have a real child? Are you going to put your HEART and SOUL into raising that child? EVERYTHING you do counts. I want my children to someday be so much better than me and know everything I know plus more. I don`t wanna mess up, and I've convinced Heavenly Father helped me understand this principle this week so that I could use it in the future.

With all that being said, let us refer to the quote by Pres. Hinckley - when we have children, they aren`t completely ours. They were FIRST our Heavenly Father`s children, and He has entrusted them to us, so that we care for them and do everything in our power to help them return to their spirit father someday. If nothing else, let us do it for God. I don`t think I`ll ever be fully prepared to take on that conquest, but when the day comes I`ll just plead with my Heavenly Father that he`ll help me, and I`ll give my very best. What a sacred calling, parenthood. I don`t know HOW my parents have answered the call in such magnificent manner, but for all eternity I`ll be grateful for my parents, and great job they`ve done in raising me. I can only hope to be like them someday.

I LOVE the mission. Gotta live it up while I can! Love you guys and I`ll see you soon!


Elder Clarke

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