Monday, September 30, 2013

9/23/13 "Obedience really does ensure happiness..."

Good morning !

Your words are so absolutely amazing! Obedience really does insure happiness just as much as it ensures happiness. Congratulations to both of you on your new calling. Yes, mom is amazing.

You are blessed to lead temple work for the doctrine of Baptisms for those that couldn't have their ordinance work performed here. I agree it is a strong point that testifies of the Restoration of the Gospel. It is a doctrine and practice that was practiced during Jesus Christ's primitive church and is something that has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

This last week was quite wonderful with Mission Leadership Council and being able to be back in Kharkov helping missionaries. Elder Carley and I are doing just wonderful but super tired. It's good though. We are working as hard as we can...but we can continue to do better.

The mission is in the most amazing place that it has been in a long time and I'm able to be filling my time with the mission and its needs. We are doing such an important work and the leadership principles that I am learning as a missionary are priceless.  I have so many blessings. My leadership skills are improving, especially in being around President and Sister Lochhead as they teach by example and I am able to better understand what it means to live the Gospel and be consecrated to it. I'm so grateful to my parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents to real-life Gospel living. Living the Gospel should not make us estranged from our friends and family, but more united. Up until this point in my life, I feel that I along with many members of the church mistakenly create a 'holier than thou' relationship with their peers and close ones seeking to deny all ungodliness, mistakenly denying also the sinner in the process. We are all sinners. We aren't better than others. But we have the truth of the gospel and need to share it so others can partake of blessings our Father in Heaven so very much wants to share. You are a wonderful example to me of how living the Gospel is fun, rewarding, and happiness. It's not some abstract idea that is drawn all over the chalk boards of our church buildings, but a real way of life that meets every need of every person. Thank you for that.

In about 2 weeks I will no longer be an assistant and will be heading to the smallest branch in the mission. It is an area that has really struggled.  There are a ton of offended less-active members and all the missionaries recognize it is a dying area.  Missionaries who had checked-out were sent there in the, as you can imagine we have a lot of work to do. A tremendous amount of work before all is lost. I have been asked to serve as the Elders quorum president there.  Any suggestions? Please pray for those members and me to help them catch the vision.  Our goal is to strengthen the branch, baptize hundreds, and get the branch back on its feet. It's a large task, but I feel that to this was I foreordained to be here.

Love you!

Elder Claypool
Ukraine will never be the same

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