Sunday, September 1, 2013

"...Show our dependability, the Lord will take care of our capability." - Aug. 26, 2013

Dear family,

It's great to hear that the ward back home is doing well and that all of our friends are returning home and doing well. It was pretty crazy to think that this last week was my year "in-country" mark. I remember thinking that would be so far away, but here it is. I can't believe how fast time is flying, but I really want to serve the Lord well. Some times I worry that my abilities aren't good enough and that I never really give enough, but I know that I am a more capable and committed missionary than the one that entered Ukraine a year ago. I really do just want to bring my brothers and sisters to the Lord and I know that it will bless them, however in the moment I sometimes have a hard time remembering such desires. I wish people would open their hearts and listen.

This week I was however really grateful to be able to sit in sacrament meeting this week with a sacrament hall full of my dearest friends and loved ones. I have served in this branch now since February and am somewhat able to tell something about each of the members. I have met with most of them, have had tender experiences with the majority, and found great pleasure in going around Sunday seeing all the smiling faces of those being blessed by the Gospel. The Sacrament is so much sweeter when you're not partaking of it alone but with those that you have had the opportunity to help.

There were recent-converts there, less-actives returning back into activity, dear active members, etc. One family that I had the opportunity to work with in my last area was there. One recent-convert we are now helping move forward in the Gospel blessed the Sacrament. Kolya that was baptized not long ago was there in his white shirt and tie just as another one of our Donetsk family. Even the less-actives that we have been personally working with this transfer were there and stayed for the second hour. This work is joy!  The best part is is that you don't have to be a full-time missionary to do it either.

The Gospel flows and is preached much more naturally from the stand point of a member of the church than a missionary actually. We have the friendships, have built the bond of trust, and truly love those around us when as members we share the Gospel with our family and friends. I have also prayed for our family to find people to bless with the Gospel. It could be less-actives and it could be investigators, but our family is a missionary family that performs the work of salvation.

I heard an interesting thing (of course mom has already perfected this issue) that one general authority counseled a group of stake presidents to do in order to more fully consecrate their work to the Lord: clean their homes, make any repairs needed, and then dedicate (or even re-dedicate if necessary) their homes to the preaching of the Gospel. It's something to think about to show the Lord: We are ready to work. I love the words of Elder Maxwell: "The Lord does not ask about our ability or inability, but our availability. And if we show our dependability, the Lord will take care of our capability." It's one way that we show the Lord our availability.

Pray for the work here that we may have enough faith to find those ready for baptism and that we may have enough faith to give as the Lord would have us give. Love you!

Elder Claypool

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