Friday, January 3, 2014

Dec. 9, 2013

Good morning Mom!

I'm glad to see that not only the season of Christmas, but the season of winter is being celebrated back home too! We've been able to listen to Christmas music and see the Christmas decorations go up one by one here and there. It really is a wonderful season to help us keep our baptismal covenants to always remember the Savior. I have found so much joy the last month being able to come closer to my Savior just by studying about him. It's an indescribeable blessing! I would encourage you to make your study specifically on the Savior at least until Christmas. I realize that studying the Book of Mormon and other scripture is so important, and when you add a purpose to your study -for example to come to better know Christ - then all of the sudden we feel the Spirit pouring into our hearts and allowing us to truly hunger and thirst after righteousness. The snow is just gorgeous here too and not too cold! 

Inline image 1
This is me infront of the statue of Schevchenko. He was an incredible poet and wonderful man that fought with the word for his country. 
Inline image 2

This is the main street of quite, calm, little Sumy. Did you know though how historical the city actually is? Rokmoninov, Bartnyansky, and many other very world-famous composers and poets lived in this city at one time or another. 

We were able to have an evening of classical music where many members, missionaries, and even people from the community were able to perform. It was a huge success and definitely enjoyable! Russian classical and Ukrainian classical music is just moving to say the least. I was able to play a piece from Chopin that was...well, I'm grateful for Heavenly Father's help, because there would be no way that I could play that one on my own ;)
I'm here on my mission now and I hit my 6 months left sad….time has been flying so incredibly fast that I can barely hold to it.
These last 10 weeks have passed so quickly that I can barely imagine how fast the next will fly. It's been kind of thought-provoking to look back over the last few weeks and just see what we've done...and yet not see enough progress ( I wish we could do more). It's not a question of gratitude, because I am super grateful for all that has happened...but I feel that I haven't been able to give the Lord very much in return for all that He has given me...kind of that feeling of not really contributing. It's hard not to feel this and it's in part because I can always work harder, or serve better than I, I'm searching for what I need to improve on and do better for the next transfer...
I'll be serving with a new companion.  He is from Rwanda. He has a really rough background from what I have heard and was baptized only a year ago.  But, the Lord is extending the call and I need to respond. Any ideas of how I can better give myself to the Lord and be more helpful to His work? I realize that the missionary that I am isn't a bad one, and that I have a lot of wonderful abilities that the Lord has given me but I wish I could do more. I have done some good...but in me there is an insatiable desire to do not have those feelings of regret that I could have brought to pass the work with more diligence.  Any patriarchal advice?
:) Love you! 

Elder Claypool

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