Hey All !
I don't have much time either, but I feel impressed to share with you that each of you in your church callings really are called to do an amazing work. To read your emails every week and to see how you are magnifying your calling by magnifying your love is one of the most incredible things for me to see. I think I say this every week...but I really do have the best parents. I think everyone in the mission knows that.
Time is moving on and the days can seem purposeless and forgettable at times, but I know that God has something better for us: a fullness of joy. I've learned very clearly that if we are only going to have a part-time relationship with Deity, we can only receive a part-time portion of the blessings. Unless we are willing to descend below all things, we are not able to be lifted above all things. Through faith are all things fulfilled. Why? That's something I don't quite fully understand yet. But that's our homework for next week. I'm going to mail you my answer next week, and I'd like to hear yours. It'll be cool to study the same thing this week with you mom.
This week was good in that I was able to do a lot of thinking. I was in another one of those slumps where I just didn't feel capable and just down on myself. I was able to partake of the sacrament, renew some promises, and really decided to set some goals and get back up on my feet. There was one of our assistants on an exchange with me yesterday and it really helped a lot. His name is Elder Mitchel Butterworth and he is from Australia and is an incredible example to me of a leader. What amazes me the most is just how much he, when relying on the Lord is changing the mission. I have a lot of weaknesses, but I took your advice dad and started to count my blessings. On top of that these missionaries (assistants) really helped me just lighten up. It's really easy to get on a negative train here because we want to accomplish more and it is sad that people cannot accept Christ.
Transfers went well with me and my companion ready to really progress this transfer. This transfer is only 4 weeks due to the change in time of MTC (new incoming missionaries from the Missionary Training Center only get 9 weeks of learning Russian in Utah before coming here). I just wanted to tell you how much I am grateful for examples like you and all around me. I have a long ways to go before I am prepared for what I need to be, but if I can just do what the Lord asks, then I have no doubt and have faith and hope that I will be like Him. Truly His grace is sufficient for all of us (Ether 12:27) and all things are fulfilled by faith.
I love you and really know that this is the real life Christ talked about in John 17:3. We're dealing with eternities here.
In regards to missionaries and members who are not active or converted as they should be, we have to answer the "Why" question. Only that will help. They need to feel wanted and needed. If they only feel needed in a physical or temporal manner as a statistic or temporal need, their conversion and dedication will be temporal. But if we want to help them be eternally converted and eternally dedicated, that only comes from feeling needed eternally and spiritually. I'm learning this with the missionaries and members here. If they can understand who they really were, are and can become in the eyes of Him who sees only truth (things as they really are, were, and will be) they will have the power in them to walk the journey of faith. This is His Gospel.
And mom, Korm and twins, you are an incredible example of losing yourself in the work of the Lord and in result have found yourself. I haven't quite found myself like other missionaries have...but in losing myself, I have the promise to find myself. I love my Savior. I worship my Father. I follow His Spirit...or at least Im getting there - smile.
Keep smiling, eating your amazing food which I always enjoyed too, and knowing that I love and pray for you!
Your Son Elder Claypool