Sunday, June 16, 2013

"The Lord makes me sufficient" - May 20,2013

Thank you so much for your letter and for the input on the twins, I just sent them a letter and hope it will help. They are incredible!

I wanted to share with you miracles that are being given to me regardless of how unworthy I feel I am for them:

On Wednesday of last week we had a full day planned ahead of us with many lessons that were proving to be absolutely incredible. We started off meeting with a man named Valerie Lauren who has been paralyzed for a long long time. The doctors had told him that he would never move again...and he laughing told them that he had enough faith and sure would walk. Over the months and years he exercises every single day for 7 hours a day moving his arms, legs, and torso. It is incredibly painful for him, but he just says that he begins every workout with a prayer to pray for the strength to work through pain. He taught us more that day than we taught him. He really showed us that we have no reason to complain, but every reason to thank our Heavenly Father for all that he does. We get so caught up in what doesn't matter that we forget the miracles all around us especially with our health. He in exclamation pointed to the sky and said: "A man can know all about the cosmos," and pointing to his legs, "and nothing about the elementary." What miracles we are in merely existing. And with our faith strengthened from this man of incredible faith who's life goal is to ride triumphantly to church in his wheel chair wheeling himself 3km there and 3km back, we left with full hearts. He will soon receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in June. 

We continued on the path with our member, after another less-active lesson following Brother Lauren, to our referral from For all those of you who don't know, this hardly doesn't ever happen. Its a miracle when we receive anything from a media referral...and a miracle it ended up being. We took the trek to this man who lived a good hour walk from our house on foot in the sunny day with cotton blowing everywhere littering the ground as snow. We reached our destination and asked nearby neighbors where this man lived and if they knew him...the address did not exist. We had already tried to call this person...and the number didn't exist. When asking the neighbors if maybe they knew this man, they had no clue who he was nor had ever heard the name. So that was pretty lame....but as missionaries we always have a, drum roll please...backup plan! There was a less-active who lived nearby...actually, those neighbors who we had asked all the information too, they lived at the address we had...but they weren't the less actives. Fortunately they did know our less-active and pointed us in the right direction. We rang the door bell on the front gate...didn't work. We called...the number didn't exist...we were beginning to think that we were in repeat-failure mode. Randomly the neighbors drove up instructing us to just open the door, and yell his name; the gate was unlocked. So we entered hesitantly afraid of getting in trouble for trespassing and yelled "Victor Ivanovich!" No answer. The dog, a German Shepherd of sorts was completely quiet although almost all dogs in private homes bark. So with no answer we went farther into his property, and just felt that we needed to go all the way to the front door and knock...there was an answer as a man came out in his late 50's/60's and was our Victor. He was super nice, had been a member over 15 years ago, had an accident at work, lost his car, couldn't come to church, and the members kind of just forgot about confusion he asked how in the world we found him when he used to live about 30 minutes away...we looked him straight in the eye and told him the truth: Heavenly Father sent us here. He's a wonderful man that loves the church and that we are working with to help get back to activity. 

The final miracle was our lesson with a young man who had literally come to church himself and knocked on the door of the Gospel Doctrines class wanting to know more. We have been teaching him often this week and he is moving closer and closer to his baptismal date of the 15 of June. He feels the Spirit, recognizes it too, and has a sincere desire to know and do the will of God. When asking him if he had wanted to be clean and better, he said, "Well, its not that I want it, its that the Lord needs it. And if the Lord needs it, I'll listen." One of the most sacred moments of my mission happened with him as we knelt on the floor after teaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and listening to him plead with the Lord for forgiveness. It was the most powerful and personal prayer I have ever heard in my life. With a hug after the lesson and expressions of our gratitude one to another, he left that room with an unprecedented light in his eyes. 

These are miracles that we can work with only with a small grain of faith. I know that the Lord will take all that we are, no matter how much we aren't, and make it enough to work mighty miracles. It is truly amazing what a little faith, hope, and charity will do. Believe me that you can have these miracles happen too...because there's nothing incredibly special about my faith or hope or charity. The Lord just makes me sufficient...and on days like this, more than sufficient. I believe in miracles of faith. 

I love you all so much! Have fun on your trip!

Elder Claypool

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