Thursday, December 19, 2013

Editor's note:
So, one of the emails we sent Travis last week asked if he had received his permanent visa yet.
Travis sent us his weekly letter as he normally would on his regular p-day, but it contained only one word:
"No"
That's all we received from him, no other letters, no mission progress report, no "I love it here"  ...nada.

Monday waned on, and we ultimately went to sleep with no additional information ...wondering if this was another one of his antics (see here and here for details).

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Here's what we unexpectedly got on Tuesday:

Hello, sorry for the delay, the power shut down in the whole city ...the riot is still partially going on.
I have called this week Zombie Apocalypse week just because everyone is scared and preparing. We have been on lockdown for nearly a week. For 2 days we couldn't even leave the apartment, and the rest of the week we had to be in at 7, or before nightfall. This week, we've been allowed to come in at 8, but word is going around that another riot is going to take place on the 20th, so we might be forced into our pensions again. But nothing has happened to any missoinaries so far. :)

So thank you all so much for praying for our investigators; we have also been fervently praying for them to come, and even had a fast for them. But sadly, no one came. :( Which means we won't have a "White Christmas" (baptism in December) after all. That really crushed me. I have never worked for and prayed so hard for my investigators before, but still no fruit came of it. It is hard, but hopefully with the transfer tomorrow, I can restart and pick myself up again. :)

So Elder Pickle and I had our first legitimate scripture bashing lesson a couple days ago. We went to visit our investigator Rosaña, and her evengelico friend was there. She started attacking many points of the Church, and we had supportive verses from both the Bible and Latter-Day Saint scriptures to prove each and every one. It was quite empowering. We were literally able to respond to every doubt. I must admit I felt quite proud defending our Church.

Of course, "proving" things from the scriptures is not the Lord's way.  But this incident actually worked out in our favor because as we passed by Rosaña's home the following day, we had opportunity to tell her we don't like scripture bashing, and that the Lord teaches through the Spirit. This experience showed her that the missionaries really do know the scriptures, but that we prefer to teach the truthfulness of the Gospel by the Spirit.  We testified to her that our Father in Heaven really does answer prayers, and leads and guides His children if they seek His help.  Rosaña's now has increased confidence in the missionaries, and she feels it's true ;)

Bahahahaha, so the hija de Hermana Barrio's (Damarís) bought me Christmas presents! She got me all these chocolates and the Book of Mormon on CD in Castillano. I thought it was super nice of her, I guess she likes me a bit ;)

As a funny side note, por cause de la riot, we've had to wear mostly non-mission clothes all week, so Hermana Barrios said that we've finally fulfilled one of her dreams ...to see an American missionary in jeans ...how funny is that!

In case you're wondering why we visit the Barrios family so much, it's because we don´t have our own phone. And because the Barrios live closest to us, our mission leaders call their phone each night to communicate with us.  So each night we're at their house for a short while.

Oh, I gave a talk in church last week (my 2nd). I felt honored to be able to share my testimony and preach the Gospel and hope to inspire the local members. The Lord really blessed me in this talk to be able to articulate and touch the people's hearts. I love bringing hope, joy, and truth to people, and to see it in their eyes really filled my soul with joy.

The Lord's gospel is a gospel of happiness. And the church is true :)  I am really humbled to be a member of the Lord's true Church, and consider it a privilege to bring people to this knowledge. :)

Love you all,
Elder Clemons


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