Sunday, December 23, 2012


Hey Mom!

That's good to hear that the package has finally arrived! I was a little worried, but not too much. I haven't heard anything of your package, but I'm sure it will come. Keep up the amazing work at your calling and the amazing work that you do as a mom. There is a lady in my ward who has a huge family even for Ukraine and her sons are pretty...crazy ;) We were able to have a good talk about how even though now it may seem like they are not going anywhere that eventually they will realize the influence that righteous parents had on them. I was able to use you and dad as prime examples. I'm so grateful that you chose to stay active in this church because there are so many parents here who are less active and in their own self-interest are leading their family away from the only way to eternal happiness. It is amazing to me to testify on the streets that yes, I have a forever-family. (and that forever will be a wonderful time with them too ;))

This last week I was able to learn a very important lesson. I had a split with one of the Assistants to the president and was able to learn so much and talk about all these questions that I had, and also see what kind of a missionary I want to become. Elder Mironchenko (born in Russia, moved to us, and was baptized 2 years ago) is an incredible example! I was wondering why here in my area that we would receive all these contacts and have all this work to do and yet seemingly see little to no success. We've had little success here and there, but nothing very large. Without directly addressing the topic, he said these words: "How can we expect the Lord to bless us with more, if we cannot even take care of that what he has given us." He wont place his precious sons and daughters into our hands unless he know that we will do our part as representatives of his Son in helping them become converted. I haven't been very diligent. However, this gives me a new goal to work earn the trust of my Heavenly Father.

With Elder Harvey going home and a new Elder in our district it was a pretty crazy week in just firsts that have never happened before: We have been blessed to use the priesthood a lot in bringing the sacrament to bed-ridden members, blessings of comfort and healing, and even using the authority of the priesthood and calling of a missionary to make promises to these people in the Name of Jesus Christ literally speaking on behalf of him. I was able to go on a spilt with the new elder from Harkov, Ukraine and pretty much spoke nothing but Russian with him the entire 28 hours (yeah I even talk in Russian when I sleep ;). At church we had two new investigators at church and are working with the members a little better too! The mission is changing and there are a lot of opportunities to grumble and groan......but that's not the kind of disciples the Lord needs. I had the opportunity to play the piano in primary (a Sunday school class I can understand...for the most part ;) ) and got to give my first sacrament talk to prepare the way for President Campero's talk. I love that man so much! He's so inspired. My companion goes home Saturday and so this week will be a lot of preparing for that.

I'm not the perfect missionary and most of the things I lack on are because of my own choices to not do things I know I should. But this next week, I am going to be more diligent and true to what I know. It is worth it to love those who seemingly are not worth loving.

I love you all so much family! My family forever!

Elder Claypool
Love you and Merry Christmas!

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