Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Different strengths and weaknesses, but singularity in purpose...

Here we are again, Elder Riddle and I, writing the best families in the whole universe on our p-day. Time flies so fast here at the MTC and i can hardly believe that it is the start of our fourth week here! How are you all doing? Summer break going well? Brazil? How about running the hill? The twins and Korm are doing that I assume, which is more than I can say seeing as the MTC food is starting to get to waist that is ;) I pray for you guys every day and love you so much!

Korm, thank you for your note and I'm glad to see your doing good. I also can really empathize with you about missing school. Though we all like to play and relax, those who truly are relaxed are those who work the hardest. ;) Twins, I'm glad you've been having missionary experiences and Kayla I think you'll be fine when it comes to staying alive from getting your shots. Plus, that just means you'll be extra healthy! Mom, I hope your calling is going wonderful and that you know how much I appreciate your comments about non-members. They truly are great in the sight of God and deserve our equal attention. Dad, hope Brazil is going marvelously and that you know I did try to give the prophet a hug...okay I really couldn't but if I could I would of for you ;)

MTC life is wonderful, amazing, and better than ever. Besides eating my weight in food every meal, the learning lessons i have been able to have has been incredible. Elder Riddle and I have had quite a few companionship inventories due to some disagreements that are starting to come from being together and being together on lessons. We plan differently, have different strengths and weaknesses, and are just completely different people. The love that we have for each other and the singularity of purpose that we have has kept us together though ;) In our lessons with Vladimir and Vova (aka its weird spelling these names in English ;), we have had some major successes and major plummets. One reason that we did not do as well for some of the lessons was because we weren't paying attention to the Spirit or the investigator. With a language that we don't know very well and having to be able to not only give a lessons but answer questions and converse with them, we tend to be confined to our lesson plans and do not deviate or really include them. Its like reading a script per se. This led to lack of unity, stumbling with the language, not really feeling the Spirit, having little success, and just ending frustrated. However, during our lessons we have been focusing on simplicity and the Spirit. Those two things. I can testify that simplicity is what brings both the Spirit and Salvation. Just like Nephi is always big on expressing, the mysteries of God are given in plainness. When we seek the deep and dark unknown of what we find intriguing as members of the church who are "so past the normal primary stuff" we fall into the same pit hole as the Jews of old who faulted by "looking beyond the mark" as Jacob describes in the Book of Mormon. The Gospel is plain, the Gospel is precious, and it is through simplicity we can receive the eternal depth that comes as a converted disciple of Christ.

As you know, this week was jammed packed with Apostles, prophets, seers, and revelators that have pretty much the same job as I do. Though they are special witnesses, we all are representatives of Christ and bear the title of Elder to reflect such a calling. As a choir we were able to sing every day since Sunday literally standing inches away from the apostles and prophets we so greatly revere and sustain. Sunday night, I watched Elder Bednar's fireside entitled "Character of Christ;" Monday morning I stood 3 feet in front of Him. This morning I read a talk by President Packer from conference and this morning sang for him standing in front of Elders Holland and Bednar. In total, over the last four days, I have sung for and stood with in arms length of nearly every member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. Though I have been able to see them in person and feel of their presence, I know no more now than I did then that these men are called of God and have been prepared to fulfill these callings from the foundations of the Earth. These men, hand selected and chosen by Jesus Christ and the The Father themselves, are our mouthpieces of God today. In teaching investigators who have not or have had religion in their lives, simple truths such as God is our Loving Heavenly father and we can communicate with him through prayer, Christ leads his church today through prophets and Apostles, and that we all through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can receive every blessing the Father could possible give as we live forever with him, are all truths that warm the heart, remind the soul, and bring hope to the otherwise hopeless. This is His work and His Glory. Every day I learn more of what it means to be a disciple of Christ and become converted to Him. As an authorized Representative of Christ I invite all of you to partake of this pathway beginning with renewing your covenants and obligations to God. To you who have strayed or have not yet discovered in full this man we call Jesus of Nazareth, I invite you to read of His words and experience His Grace in your life. He commands none to depart from Him, he allows all to partake of his goodness, and he stands with outstretched-pierced hands to all who are willing to take hold of his hands and let him take hold of your life. This I know to be true, but more importantly, so can all of you. "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you." I promise this.
Elder Claypool

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