Sunday, November 18, 2012

HIS HAND IS WITH YOU - November 12, 2012

Dear everybody-

Hope those pictures work for you mom!

I'm so glad to hear that all is still going well in the Homeland ;) Thanks for writing me. As to answer your questions, peanut butter is one of the only things that I really crave...and brown sugar is hard to get here in Ukraine too. Other than that I'm surviving.

We are teaching three people right now. It gives us the opportunity to be grateful for that which the Lord gives us. We do a lot of finding though. In fact, our main focus is finding members that have not consistently been coming to church. There are about 350 members on that list. It's interesting being in these rual areas of our city boundaries. It is very pretty yet discrete!

My companion finishes his mission and goes home at the middle December. This is the last week of my second transfer in country (crazy to think the time has gone by that fast!) and President Campos is letting us stay together till the end. What a privelage for me!

Yes mom I get to play piano. In fact, I play the piano for priesthood, but that's pretty much it. We do sing a lot of songs though every Sunday and pday (p day stands for preparation day. One day per week the missionaries have a p day. They use it to clean their apartment, do light exercise, laundry, write letters, do service acts for people). We sing on the busses and in the town squares. We find a lot of people that way.

So for this week, I just wanted to tell a few quick stories:

In the Book of Mormon, Mormon himself writes these beautiful words: Know ye not ye are in the hands of God? In Mormon 5:23. This is what I have come to gain testimony of for myself and for others. ("Mormon" was the name of the prophet that lived about 1,600 years ago. He had many journals that were handed down for generations. He read them and abridged them onto one set. Because of that, those records were named Book of Mormon. Mormon gave the written inscriptions to his son Moroni, the last recorded prophet in that book).

This last week I was able to go on a split with Elder Holmes, our district leader and have an incredible time! We talked, worked hard, and ate some incredible pizza scones that he made ;) I even tried to make your cider, mom...but I added way too much cinnamon, and it essentially just made our apartment smell good. We tried to drink it but it was horrible. I'm not quite perfect like you yet ;)

We found some incredible people this week and had some wonderful conversations about our companions. I had been praying to figure out what to do to help my companion and through our conversations about his companion, I was able to find out what I needed to do to help my companion: Love him! If we find the good in all, which is possible, there will not be a single person we will not like, or a single person we do not fulfill our duty in inviting them to Christ. Then came an incredible turn of events where Elder Holmes and I were able to have a conversation where something I learned at EFY years ago came forth and helped him ( EFY stands for Especially For Youth and it is an incredible program usually offered in the summer that teenagers love to attend. See more at ). Elder Holmes was able to use what I taught/shared with him later that day when he was helping my companion who had just broke down. Even talking with Elder Samuelson and helping each other out, there was only one thought in my mind that day: Only a loving all-knowing God could put us all together to help each other out, give us knowledge from years back that could help now, and make sure that all of us had the appropriate advice and words to specifically help the other. We are in His hands.

This week, yesterday in fact, we were singing as a district (district is a name used to describe usually groups of 8-10 missionaries that work in an area) and I was able to talk to a Muslim man named Muhhamad from Jordan. Thankfully he spoke English, but as he told me his story of how he miraculously passed these tests and got accepted to the med school in Ukraine, and listened to his testimony of God, exchanged contacts and set up an appointment, I couldn't deny that he too was in the hands of the Lord.

I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is in the fabric of our LIves. Look for His hand, and you'll find it carefully placed around you in the people closest. This is my testiomny from this week.

I love you all so much!

Elder Claypool

PS. Congrats on mission calls, let me know where they are serving. I met a girl from Armenia who just got back from Temple Square mission (she served in Salt Lake City, Utah) and knew Sister Eden Lake and loved her!
PSS. We've stood up on a bus twice now and preached to the whole Bus. Things are happening here in this part of His Vineyard: The Gathering of Isreal!!!!

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