Monday, February 29, 2016

Testimony of Elder Clay

Family and Friends,

This past week went faster than the last!  It’s because we had a lot of events that we had to go to, but it was a really good week!  It all started with a transmission of an amazing capacitation from Elder Bednar for the Area South American South which includes Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.  He talked a lot about the spirit and how he is the real teacher.  The way that Elder Bednar communicates with people and how he works with and acts with the crowd is so impressive.  He also talked about our personal progress as missionaries and how our personal conversion is the most important thing we can do on the mission.  I can honestly say that I have achieved personal conversion on this mission and my life has been changed.  As Elder Bednar ended the capacitation, he left us with his testimony, and let me tell you guys that was the strongest testimony that I have heard given and my testimony of him as one of the twelve apostles and the truthfulness of that was confirmed.  There is nothing else besides the power of God that could make him be able to talk and testify with such great authority and clarity that reached the hearts of those participating.  It was a very special meeting and the influence of the Holy Ghost was present. 

As well, this week I was able to do some more baptism interview for INCREDIBLE people who have received some incredible answers to their prayers.  For some reason or another lately I have been seeing so many miracles in the missionary work.  I know that they come from God and I glorify Him.  Answers and blessings that are happening here in the Zone of Lebu are all backed up with the hand work and obedience from all of the missionaries and investigators and I know that those are the works of the faith which enables God to work with us.  I do not always know how the Lord works or when, but I do know that it comes in His time in His way.

For this weekend we are planning on having five baptisms!  C and his family and also the two kids from the M family!  It has been quite the adventure working with all of them and after a lot of time and stress and set-backs, there were times when we almost gave up.  But there was always something that told me to keep working with them and to have patience and now, we are going to be able to see the fruits of our labor.  They are really excited and five more people are going to enter in to the fold of the God.

I want to end thanking you all for the love and support that you all have shown me since I’ve been on this mission.  It has not been easy or even really fun at times, but it has been amazing to dedicate 100% of my time to the service of my fellow beings and my God.  And I will stay in this service until the Lord says the work is finished.  I testify to you all that this is the work of Jesus Christ and this is his true church.  Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.  I testify of the love that God and Jesus Christ have for us and that true happiness comes from obedience to them.  I love and miss all of you, you will be in my prayers.

Elder Clay

Monday, February 22, 2016

Changes in People's Lives are Miracles

This week went by incredibly fast and I can’t believe that it is already Monday again!  This week was a really good week and everything is going well here!  My son, Elder Gordillo, and I get along really well and we are enjoying being together.  I enjoy working with him because like most new missionaries in the field, he has a lot of fire to work and he is very real with the people.  On top of that, he is really funny and has me laughing most of the day.  Since he got here, we have been working with less active members and trying to complete families who have one or two members of their family who aren’t members.  Also, a lot of contacting trying to find new investigators to teach.  All in all we’re just having a good time.  Sometimes he talks to me about how close I am to finishing the mission but I try to change the subject to avoid thinking about it, everything has it’s time.

To give you an update on C and D and their family, this week they had their baptismal interview and all three of them passed!  However this past Sunday and next Sunday C had events for work so he couldn’t attend church.  We thought it best to wait until he can be confirmed the Sunday after he is baptized with his family.  So their baptismal date is set for the 5th of March and they are really prepared and ready for it!  It has been quite the journey with them and I have been through so many experiences from the good to the bad, but I know that they have been learning a lot and starting to trust and look to God for help and support.  It’s amazing.  Please continue to keep them in your prayers so that they can stay strong and have the spiritual strength until their baptism. 

We are also now working with this single mom who has 5 children and has had some rough experiences in her life.  She has come to church the past two Sundays with her children and her progress in returning to the church looks really good.  I am great friends with the kids and they are awesome.  Two of them are over the age of baptism but haven’t been baptized yet so we’re working on making that happen.

Another thing that happened this week that was really fun was finally after 20 months in the mission I got to work with my best friend from the MTC,  Elder Washburn!  We’ve been waiting a long time for this and we spent the entire day laughing and talking as we walked and walked the streets of Canete making contacts.   He’s such a good guy and will be a lifelong friend. 

I have been doing baptismal interview with some really amazing people.  Hearing their conversion stories is so incredible and strengthens and grows my testimony so much.  The changes that happen in the lives of people when they make the decision that they want to follow God and keep His commandments are miracles and hearing about the blessings that come into their lives as they choose to leave their old lives behind, addictions, fears, doubts… When they start to forgive themselves and feel God’s forgiveness… This is truly the work of the Lord, the work of Salvation. 

I don’t know how it will be after the mission, but I will continue in the service of my fellow beings, in the service of my God.  I love all of you and hope that all have a good week.

Elder Clay

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My new kid, Prayers for investigators

                                                 My new kid!

                                    Hermana Johnson went to Viewmont with me

Friends and Family,

This week went by really fast and it was a really good one!  Tuesday I went up to Concepcion to pick up my “kid” and get some capacitation.  I had a bunch of friends up there who were training also so we had a lot of fun together. The room where we got our new companions brought back so many memories into my mind about how nervous I was and then getting Elder Casperson as my trainer and everything that followed.  Except this time, I was on the other side of it.  As I stood up in front of everyone, introducing myself, President Bluth said the name of my companion, “Elder Gordillo”!  My “son” in the mission is the best haha. 

Elder Gordillo is from Mexico and is 24 years old.  He is a very good guy with good intentions and is very humble.  We get along very well and I pass the day laughing because he’s so funny.  He speaks English pretty well and I’m helping him with that.  Something that is really funny that will help you guys understand a bit more about Chileans and how they talk is, constantly during the day my comp has to ask me what the person or people say because he doesn’t understand them.  My comp speaks Spanish, it’s just that the people here speak Chilean haha.  It’s so funny because he gets so confused why the people here speak so fast and drop letters off of the end of words.  It’s not as drastic as having a gringo kid, but as well, I have to help my son learn the language.

C and D did not get baptized this past weekend because C felt like he was not prepared enough but we have had some really good and spiritual lessons with them and they know that they are going to get baptized they just need a confirmation on when they are going to do it.  We are hoping for some time within this month, so if you all could keep them in your prayers, that would be awesome.  I have done pre-interviews for the baptism and they are both SO ready!

I am now living with a kid named Elder Inman, who is from my group and we actually sat next to each other on the plane when we left from Utah! He is from Kaysville and is hilarious.  We get along very well and this transfer should be a good one! 

Other than that, there is nothing really new going on, my ankle occasionally pains and swells but I have a brace now that I’m always wearing so it should be good. 

Book of Mormon chapter of the week, Alma 5.  Absolutely love it and the inspired questions that are asked.  I hope everything is going well back home, about 4 more months left. Love and miss you all. 
Elder Clay

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Wedding and A Kid!


Sorry for not writing the past couple of weeks, every P-day that I had had something  happened that prevented me from having time to write a blog letter. 

Remember the family of C and D who we have been working with for a long time?  Well last week on P-day they invited us to a little picnic and told us some big news, that they are going to get married!  We have been working so hard with them and doing everything we can and now it’s happening!  They have seen a lot of opposition from family and friends and other things but they have been strong and continued on.  Thank you to everyone who have included them in your prayers, I know that they have helped.  

The next day we went to the place where you have to go to put a date to be married and they told us that the closest date was March 20, but after some convincing and a miracle, we had a lady who helped us get it for the 8th today! So they will be getting married today and then they have plans to get baptized this weekend, the whole family!  It has been a crazy order of events but I know that God has been blessing us and them so that they can receive the fullness of the restored Gospel in their lives.  I ask you all to please include them in your prayers this week so that they can stay strong and overcome the opposition.  I have seen many miracles these past few weeks and I know that God has been our support.  Next week I will tell you how everything went and how they are doing!

The other big thing that is happening today is that we have transfers!  Elder Tornero my companion is leaving and I am going to be training!  I’m finally going to be a papa in the mission and I will be going up to Concepcion tomorrow to find out and meet my kid!  I’m really excited and grateful for the opportunity that I am going to have!

I wrote most of this email in the morning but I just got out of the marriage of C and D and everything went amazing!  I feel like I was more nervous that they were haha, but they are married now!  I was one of the witnesses for their wedding and Elder Lee was the other.  I think it’s the first wedding in Chile that has had a gringo and an Asian as the two witnesses hahahah. 

I’m so excited and content right now.  This gospel changes lives.  I will let you guys know more about their baptism and my kid next week!  Have a good week, love you all!