Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Set high goals- The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for All Languages and is Truth" - March 11, 2013

Hey! Well, thanks for asking. I think I am doing great! There's a lot of growth happening this transfer and if nothing else, I am seeing how a diligent desire and attitude of gaining a testimony really does strengthen your testimony so much more.

I love your idea for Family Home Evening! You're doing what we do on the mission in finding questions and concerns of our investigators and then studying for them to help them come closer to Jesus Christ. Some of the most amazing studies I have had on my mission were not for me, but were for others in me helping them search for answers.

Our Zone is doing great with so many wonderful miracles happening! We had another zone leaders council again this last week with President Podvodov, our acting mission president. Because he doesn't speak Russian and because our mission is taking a turn in the direction really improving our Russian, the whole meeting, trainings, everything was in Russian. It was pretty difficult, but was amazing to see what direction this mission is headed. When we are ready to sacrifice everything, then the Lord will be able to give us everything. We are really focusing on the family in our mission and also working with members...not just working with them, but teaching and training them. The members here are incredible and we have a special privilege to sit on the district meetings of the to-be-donestk stake. The District President, President Cheban, is a visionary man who not only fulfills his duties, but fulfills his responsibilities to the Lord. Yesterday in our meeting when we were translating, he asked what the goal of our area was? I thought to build a stake. Not him though...his goal, a temple. Yes, we are still not quite at a stake level until we get more members, but he is already planning for the future. This is an incredible principle of life. That which we set our goals for, we will be likely to acheive. The Lord wants us to have success in life. He has promised us that we can. Now, we need to, hoping for the obtaining of the promise, move forward with action, or faith, letting charity be our motive for it never faileth. This is a huge thing that just clicked last Saturday: Hope is our direction. Faith is the action. Charity is the Motivation. The Gospel is just becoming more clear.

This last week was good with less faith than last week, but I'm grateful to have challenges. Everyone has challenges that either become stumbling blocks or stepping stones. Hopefully we use our challenges as stepping stones.

As for our service, we found a pretty amazing investigator this last week named Lord Apong from Ghana. He's 19 and just a wonderful, humble, and spiritual example to us. He even came to churh after meeting just once with him. It's special to know that soon we should have an African branch here in Donest'k.

Earnest, a young man that we found and taught the gospel to in my last area, was just baptized and confirmed this last week. Isn't that wonderful? We've already had almost 15 baptisms in this calendar year and are still going on. More importantly, the missionaries are changing for the better and I'm grateful to lead them and for how they lead me. I know that when we teach true doctrine, it really does change people.

Also, we had a wonderful lesson with Natalia the yoga teacher who was so kind in inviting more friends for us to teach. In just teaching about the simple truths of the Book of Mormon, it really changes everything. The Book of Mormon is a powerful tool in the hands of the missionary and in the lives of God's children. And if the Book of Mormon is in the hands of the missionary, he is a powerful insturmment in the hands of the Lord. I am grateful to know the Bible and Book of Mormon were written by prophets of old and those sacred records help mold us to understand truth.

I love you all so much and have a strong testimony that we can learn from the scriptures. Though it is always easier to have a teacher teach us, I know that if we start our study of the scriptures with a prayer pleading for the opportyunity to learn, with pen and paper in hand ready to receive revelation, we will be taught. No one can teach deeper than the Spirit either.

Elder Claypool

PS. I think that I am doing great with things...chapstick is something that I don't really have that is really rare here... If you cannot send it then don't worry about it.

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