Sunday, October 6, 2013

I have never seen so much faith and love in a family before

Hello everyone!
So this week was a great one! is every week in the mission ;)
So I'll start off with the more comical things this week:  The Covenant Hole.
When we accidently killed the bat a few weeks back, we buried it outside of our apartment. But due to the curiosity of male minds, Elder Lloyd (an apartment roommate) decided to dig it up like 2 days after it died. (So this happened a while ago) was gone! Completely gone! We couldn't find it or any part of it! So we were all a little creeped out at that! But anyways, we soon learned that anything you put into this "hole" disappears. Like legit. It is totally weird. But it's kinda' fun as well. We started writing notes with our weekly goals on them, buried them in the hole, and the next morning, GONE! BOOM! So we've now call it the Covenant Hole. It's just something fun, I'm sure it's just some neighbor kid or dog that is digging it up. ;)  But its still hilarious.
So I have a lot of people convinced that Lori is married to Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye). Brent just looks so much like him! Bahahah. Every missionary and investigator asks me what it's like to be related to a movie star. It's sooo funny! I just show them the family picture and they just stand in shock. It is golden. Bahahaha. Brent is one good looking man, and very blessed to be married to my wonderful, perfect, caring sister Lori. :)  Treat her right Jeremy. ;)
Ok, so some quick updates on our investigators.
So, unfortunately, we have officially dropped Florencio and Ofelia. So sad they are out. :( We really cared about them too. And we haven't found any new investigators to teach. :( So that is a bummer, but I'm hopeful this week we can find some more.

Mama y Papa Barba are progressing, but Papa is still afraid to pray. He said last time that he would pray next time, which is tonight. So I'm not leaving without a prayer out of him. We also bought these two a grande Libro de Mormon, so now they can start reading. :) Also the hard part is getting them to church. She won't come without him, and he always works Sunday mornings. So our invitation tonight is going to be for him to request work off for the 13th so he can come! :)

Joel is actually now progressing! He really surprised us. He never keeps commitments, and we've learned that when he says, "I'll attend church" it actually means "I'm too scared to tell you no." But he actually came! What!??! :D  We spotted him in the parking lot, and so I sprinted towards him and showed him in. Woot! :) He really enjoyed it and even stayed for the clases after sacrament. :) Sweet! But we still need to get him reading, so we will have a BOLD lesson on that this jueves (editor: Thursday).
All in all, Gabriel is a boss really. We have only been working with him for a little less than a month... and he has read up to Ether 7!!! And that was just last Thursday, so who knows where he is at now! Goodness! He knows our lessons already! Bah! We were teaching the first half of the Plan of Salvation, and he understood it all because of what Nephi and Alma had said! Awesome. Like really awesome. He is such an understanding open man. We invited him to come watch a baptism and church. And he came to both!! Both I say!! :D He really enjoyed it and really likes our doctrine on baptism. Just wow. I can't wait to baptize this man. WOOT! :D
Oh, and Pedro is his Suegro (Father in Law). Remember how I said that he was a lesson highjacker, but that Elder Jensen cleared that up? Well he is still confused, so sadly we have to split teach again so we can both correct Pedro's understanding of Christ's Gospel, and still have meaningful opportunity to teach Gabriel. That lesson is tonight, but I'm totally pumped for it. Elder Jensen has been preparing to help Pedro, and I'm prepared to teach Gabriel :)

But Pedro is serisouly one of the coolest guys I know.  He has just had a lot of other Churches and differing doctrines confuse him. He comes to church every week and is pressuring his grandchildren to come as well, so our success is because of him. :) And he is super funny! Like seriously the funniest guy I know. Love him! He is just a little confused about the doctrine ;) Jehovah is the God of the Old Testament; and Christ is that Jehovah, and was born as the Messiah of the New Testament.  Our Heavenly Father is Christ's (and our) Father in Heaven.  We pray to our Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ since Christ is our intermediary with the Father.
So we just found out the Juan and Belen aren't married....awkward. And for some reason they can't get married until after she becomes a citizen because if they got married now, she would have to restart her waiting time for her to become a citizen. I don't really understand it, but we still teach them as we wait, and still have their kids that may wish to be baptized. :) We have a great power lesson planned for tonight as well.   ...hmmm, all of our lessons are tonight.  Haha, guess you'll have to wait for a week to hear about them!
Jorge y Daniella. :( So we never got to visit with Daniella this week, she works too much, and returns home after 10pm each night.  So we didn't get to check up on her. And I feel like Jorge is not progressing very well. We met with him 3 times last week, and each time he has been out (drunk out). It's really quite frustrating, so we don't know what to do with him. But he loves us so much, we are his family he always says. He says his work friends are bad influences (which they are).  And he's sad that he never see's his family because they all work different hours. That leaves us. :( It's so sad to see a man so lonely, and so deep in his addiction. :(
So I would like to talk about a family that I really admire: the Gonzalez family. I think I mentioned them in a previous letter.  They are the members that feed us every Friday. I have never seen so much faith and love in a family before. It's shocking. I have really come to love this family. Last Thursday we were called by Hermano Gonzalez to give his wife a blessing. He holds the priesthood, but prefers the missionaries bless his family (guess he thinks we're somehow better ...which we're not!). Her mother is in the hospital in Mexico on her death bed. :( They're both really worried about her. Hermana Gonzalez was going to leave that night to Mexico -- illegally, for she doesn't have her papers yet. Elder Jensen and I gave her a blessing of comfort, and wow, that room was hit hard with the spirit. It is always touching that I get to hold the power of God and use it to bless others. The blessing was very personal and tender hearted.
But when the time came to make the final decision, Hermana Gonzalez decided to stay at home. She just had a prompting that she needed to stay with her family. And guess what happened. The very next morning, her sister called and told her that her mother had made a miraculous recovery and was leaving the hospital completely healed! :D  How incredible is that! Hermana Gonzalez was about to go to Mexico, but had enough faith to follow her promptings. She was blessed even more that same day as she got a call from the government who cleared her for papers! :D She is going to become a US citizen, and she doesn't have to pay a thing!!! :D Blessings! This is proof that when you rely on the Lord for answers and guidance, He'll always bless you for your obedience. She said she put my name and Elder Jensen's name in her journal because we have now become her favorite missionaries ;)  Thank God for His tender mercies.
So that's about all I have. The longer I stay out here, the more often I feel God's hand in my life, and witness it in others. It is incredible. I never noticed how obvious God's hand was. While I have always believed that He played a role in my daily life, I had noticed it only a couple of times. But now I notice it every day! We are constantly being blessed by His love and guidance. I can testify that God is here. He isn't a being that rules only from on high, but one that guides us by the hand. He is a personal God, who cares for billions of His children, but also pays attention and cares for each and every individual child. I know God loves us, and we can return to Him by following the teachings of His son Jesus Christ. It is only through Him, that true love, happiness, and eternal life are found.

I know this is the true church, and I'm privileged to serve in it. :)
Love Elder Clemons