Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stay Determined through Trials - Nov. 5, 2012

Dear Family!

I don't know about sending you a picture seeing as those are hard to get these days...okay so my joke isnt as funny as I thought ;) I'm glad to see that you had a wonderful week too! My week regardless of what happened is always somehow a really good week...trying and challenging, but compeletly worth it!

We had a halloween party with our english conversation group and ward members (definition of ward is a group of members that live within certain boundaries. The boundary lines change as more people join a ward). They don't really celebrate Halloween here in Ukraine, but it was still super fun! ALso, Tuesday night we got a call from the Sisters (the young men serving a mission carry the title of Elder, so MaKade would be known as Elder Claypool. The young women serving missions carry the title of Sister, so if a girl missionary's last name were Johnson, then she would be known as Sister Johnson and her name tag would say that). The Sister missionaries were saying that they broke the key to their apartment and didn't know what to do. So about 20 minutes later, we were giving them our keys to use our apartment and we headed over to the other Elders apartment in our district. We learned you should always have your apartment clean. Never a dull moment here ;)

Keep working hard. We do so many things as members and missionaries today that onlly bring fruit tomorrow, but the fruit does come. I promise and testify it does.

I have been reading in Mosiah and Alma ( these are two sections in the Book of Mormon. Just like in the New Testament of the Bible you would have sections like Matthew and Mark, who were apostles of Jesus Christ in Israel, and there would be chapters and verses in those sections. Mosiah was a prophet that lived a few thousand years ago on the American continent. Alma was another prophet that lived after Mosiah). Lately I am seeing the incredible example of the People of Alma and their determination to serve the Lord regardless of their trials. They were beaten, laid upon with burdens, even smitten by their own people, but not once did they turn from their strength. The scriptures say that their burdens were made easier not because they were taken away, but because they were strengthened to bear them. Use the Arm of the Lord, which is always extended, to lean on. He wants to help you and is there to help you. If we have the patience to wait on the Lord, He has promised we would not be left wanting.

Here in this part of the Lord's vineyard, we are pushing forward ( vineyard is a term, not a real vineyard. In the scriptures the Lord often uses stories to describe things like a vineyard ). Yes, at times I feel like the "patience, the fruits will come stage" is never going to end, but I know his hand is in the Work. We are not trying to find just anyone either, we are trying to find those who are ready to receive us. Again, it takes faith to trust that there are people, but everytime I truly have the spirit with me, I cannot deny that there are people there who want to learn and grow closer tonthe Savior. So, how do we stay the storm when the storm rages and threatens to destroy? What has worked for me is keeping eternal perspective, remembering my relationship with my Father in Heaven, coming to Christ through the scriptures which I enjoy the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and then always giving thanks to God.

I love you all so much! He knows you and is in your lives. Just look for Him.

Elder Claypool

PS. If you send me a letter then just know that I just received a letter last week that was dated Oct 3. The mail may be getting a little slow, and I don't always write back right away, but just know that if you send me a letter I will write back (even if it takes a month ;)

Challenge: you shoud Finish the Book of Mormon before the End of the Year and reap the blessings of salvation!

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