Sunday, December 23, 2012


Dec. 17
Well I'm glad to hear that everything is all right with you! That's a little spooky, but I'm grateful for medications. I received the package too! and opened it excitedly to find that all was wrapped...tricky but seriously, doesn't the mission take enough patience?! ;) I'm super excited to talk to you all in a week or two. I'm also glad to hear all is good with you.

Yep, its finally here: winter. -15 C was pretty cold last night on the streets contacting and tracting, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to be more in the Christmas Spirit and also to show our diligence to Heavenly Father. This last week was pretty quick and abnormal because most of the time was spent preparing Elder Harvey for the trek home. He was super nervous and we were inside a lot this last week, and it made me think of going home a lot this last week, however, the Lord again is helping me get refocused and figuring out my next steps to let the mission go through me. One of the greatest blessings of my mission thus far has been seeing Elder Harvey change. I came to an Elder who completely thought of his mission as a failure of prophecy and a black mark int he history of his existence. I was able to say goodbye to an Elder that I loved with all my heart, who was at peace completely, tattered and broken, but not for one second giving up. We were so lucky to spend the darkest moments of his life together and then see the horizon climbing back out of the holes. The wisest counsel that I received in regards to helping him when I was banging my head on a wall and knees on the ground trying to figure out how I can help him was from you actually: Only the Savior can truly help people change; we can try, but not succeed. People are to be loved and always to be invited to Christ through our own coming unto Christ. We invite through example, and help them receive and accept that which the Lord has given us to continue forward. And from this incredible missionary I learned diligence. What an incredible missionary! He will be missed! 

After we said goodbye to him at the airport at 4am in the morning ( that was a tiring day after that ;) I was thinking a lot about my mission and what to do, and then I was able to have an incredible conversation with an older missionary who was able to help me realize that I have a lot to look forward to and need to take control of my mission. I'm entering chapter 3 of this once in a lifetime novel of my mission. I'm staying in my area and will be till mid-February, and in a three-some with a Ukrainian who speaks no English and our district leader. Thursday I receive my new companion to continue the work forward. If there is one thing that I have learned it is that the Lord is in charge ad that we are in his hands. His hands are in the makings. I love you all and I am 9 hours ahead of you. if I call you late at night it will be morning in Hawaii. we only have one more P-day to figure it out, so figure out a concrete time and then let me know...hopefully it will work for me. Almost all day the 25th we should be inside to do festivities in Ukraine ;)
Love you and can't wait to talk to you all!
Elder Claypool

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