Sunday, September 15, 2013

"Be Faithful to not lose 40 years in the wilderness​" - 9/2/13

Dear family,

I hear dad chose the celestial time zone being in Europe this week, eh?  Too bad we don't get to see each other. I hope that work is going good and that all the people you meet are able to see you for who you really are.

This last week was pretty hectic and crazy mainly because Elder Butterworth received a transfer call and now is serving in Lugansk.  I wish him well and know he will finish strong.  I appreciate all I learned from him.

Guess who my new companion is? Elder Carley! We get to serve together some more which I'm very excited about.  The amazing thing is that Elder Carley and I already have such an incredible friendship that we naturally already have unity.  I have to really step up and do what is required of me...but Elder Carley is the perfect companion to magnify the assignment with me.

We are at a time right now in the mission where there are over 21 missionaries that are in their first 18 weeks of their missions and soon there will be an incoming group of 17 more new missionaries.  From these past few transfers and upcoming one, it will mean that 50% of our mission will be young (in their first 24 weeks after coming into Ukraine).  It is humbling to know that the Lord is giving us this opportunity to take advantage of the building of this mission.

This past week I've pondered a lot about the children of Israel and what was the cause for them to go into the promised land. After all, we are promised that temples will dot this entire land and that children of Israel will join the church by the is keeping us from that day, was my question I pondered.  I've read and studied, and realized that in the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt and getting ready to enter the land of Canaan, we are no different.  Moses sent 12 spies to go and check on the land, see if it was worth it, if it was fruitful, and how the people were. The faithful (two spies) Joshua and Caleb came back seeing the fruitful fields and fortresses of the children of Anuk (or the giants as they called them). They were faithful in the Lord and gave what the Bible calls a "good report" of their findings. The other 10 spies unfortunately did not have the same faith. They considered themselves as grasshoppers and refused to believe that they could do what the Lord asked. What was the result? Because of 10 spies, an entire nation of hundreds of thousands, who were perfectly naive to the actuality of the land of Canaan, followed suit in the same faithless opinions and eventually wandered in the wilderness by commandment for 40 years. What would have happened if they had all united in their faith as Joshua and Caleb? The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness without direction and progression for 40 years receiving sermon after sermon on obedience, faith, and that as soon as the older generation died off, the young ones would enter the promised land. I see our mission in the same circumstance as the spies, or currently serving older missionaries, will have a time to give report to the naive children of Israel, or the new eager missionaries. The Lord has withheld missionaries from coming in last transfer and will send them in a powerful force this next transfer to continue what report we give. So in short, Elder Carley, myself, President Lochhead, and the mission are on a quest to prepare our minds and hearts to drop the ridiculously unfaithful mentality that we are in Ukraine and thus cannot expect the miracles of the gathering of Israel. We can and we will.  We will improve our faith.  So if you could pray for our mighty change of hearts and sufficient faith to bring about the long-foretold promises, we can use it!  Ask home wards to pray too.

Those are some of my thoughts  ;)

I love you and these principles apply everywhere and in every calling in the church: The Lord gives us the promises, the goal, the vision, the 'what'. We are the ones that must use the scriptures, personal experiences, and receive revelation for 'how' we'll go about doing all of it. We need Him. We testify of Him.

I love you,
Elder Claypool

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