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Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Companion and Area

Family and Friends,

My new companion is awesome! He is Mongolian, and his name is Batkholboo (pronounced Batxolthba). He is an incredible example of obedience and dedication. His previous companion warned me he likes to work, and I was thinking 'sweet so do I', but man this guy is working me to the bone!!!! I'm loving it! We are in a new area now and its a lot smaller than my first one. We are now able to visit a lot more people in one day, which I'm loving. My old area was so big and so far away we couldn't meet with a lot of people before we had to go home. It was really disappointing. Now in this new area its right by our house so we are teaching lots of people! Its awesome!

He has been teaching me a bunch and told me flat out that one of his top priories is to help my language. We have been speaking a lot of Mongolian and I feel like I'm learning a ton!! I already love my new companion and cant wait to teach more with him.

My new area is a place called Khanuul. Its half apartments and half gers (small tent-like houses). There were only 2 Elders there, but now there are 4, so we've had to split places. My companion and I have the apartments. Little side note, most of the buildings here are Russian, almost all of them have basements that were used for storage and small jail cells. There are now many people living in these places. These are the people I teach. Very poor and very humble, and I love them all.

Investigators. Right now my companion and I are learning names, areas, and personal information so we can better teach these people to their needs. Right now we have three investigators we've gotten to know pretty well and taught a couple of times. Like I said they are very humble and very poor. They are very willing to hear our message, the problem lies in them understanding.

Weather. Summer months are good, not too hot and not to cold its really great. Only problem is that it rains at least once a week. Its always super wet! haha I haven't had a winter yet but from what Ive heard it got to -56 last year. I'm pretty pumped!

Alright here's some stuff I learned this week. There is an awesome Liahona story called Transparent Adversity. Its about how sin is transparent to God. Sometimes our vision is blocked by the potential 'fun', or 'self-rationalization', but God sees through that and knows the dangers that lie behind it. Just like a bee cant see the glass that blocks him from going outside, sometimes we cant see the adversity that blocks us from freedom.

On the bus to work one morning, I took a window seat. Before long I became aware of a little bee trying to get itself out of a fix. It was trapped between the two glass panels of the window, and no matter how hard it tried, it couldn’t find its way out. Encased in a transparent prison, it could see freedom but couldn’t find an escape route. Perhaps frightened, it beat its wings furiously and desperately threw itself against the glass.

I’ve always been a person who didn’t like to see anyone or anything hurt. So after observing the bee for some time, I began to try to get it out of its difficulty. But lacking trust and understanding of my desire to help, it didn’t take advantage of the assistance I offered. In fact, all it did was continue to throw itself against the window. Finally I began to get a bit irritated.

But then I started to think about how sometimes people find themselves in similar situations. We get into predicaments—some not of our own making. We also make mistakes, even serious ones. Like the bee, we may feel imprisoned by these adversities. Unfortunately, even though the Lord knows what we need in order to escape our trials, we often don’t turn to Him—or to those He has called to lead us—for help in our times of need. We give no heed to the whisperings of the Spirit and try to face our challenges on our own, rather than relying on those who have greater vision.

As Latter-day Saints, we actually do know how to overcome adversity: we have the scriptures, prayer, and the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Our leaders have been called by the Lord and are ready and willing to help.

Before I got to my stop and after the poor little bee had suffered much, it managed to get out of its predicament. From it I learned that we also can overcome trials—suffering less if we turn to and trust in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, to whom all adversity is transparent.

Ok a really cool blessing happened to my companion and I a couple days ago. We were far from home and at a baptism for someone in my companions old area. We needed to get home, but we didn't know what bus to take. My companion felt inspired to take this particular bus. We got on and realized it didn't go anywhere near where we needed it to go. We were desperate. We talked to the driver and he said he would go to our area. We sat in the back both praying silently he would be good to his word, because his current route would take us far from home and if he decided he didn't want to take us anymore we would be stuck there for the night. The bus makes all its stops and finally pulls into the last stop. This is it, if he turns around we're ok, if not we're in big trouble. He turned around!! He went to the opposite side of the city and dropped us off. My companion, over and over again, said how much of a blessing this is because he has never seen any driver do this before. It was truly a blessing and an answer to our prayers.

I love you guys, keep strong in the faith and trust in God

-Elder Clement

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