Monday, June 13, 2016

The Climb (Like the Hannah Montana song)

Today we hiked the Manitou incline in Manitou Springs Colorado. Here is the description of the hike posted at the base: 

This is considered an extreme trail and is an advanced hike!
The Manitou Incline gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation over less than 1 mile. It's not for the faint of heart, but people from all walks (or climbs) of life have given it a go. It is, perhaps, the most unique and challenging trail in the country, attracting runners, Olympic athletes and cyclists from around the world. The trail is also used by military personnel and even soccer moms. More than anything, the Manitou Incline is famous for dishing out a tough workout. "I can’t think of any particular workout, route, or activity that forces you to push your boundaries quite like the Incline does," said Cameron Chambers, national mountain bike champion. "Redlined - that is the only word I can think of when describing the workout the Incline gives you."For a successful experience, consult your physician, bring plenty of water and energy snacks and be sure you've adjusted to the high altitude of Colorado Springs (6,035 ft) before you attempt this trail. Pace yourself and rest when you need to.
About three-quarters of the way up, the Manitou Incline intersects with Barr Trail and you can take that way back down if you like. Don't be fooled by the false summit. After you crest it, there are still about 300 steps to go. Once you've made it to the top - or rather if you make it to the top - you can hike down the bottom four miles of the Barr Trail.
Downhill use of the Incline is strongly discouraged.
It's a true Colorado workout that is enjoyed by many.
Give it a try, if you are inclined!!
Needless to say the hike is a tough one. When we left this morning at 10 am the sun was shining and we all had a smile on our faces. We were all ready for the challenge. About 15 minutes from Manitou Springs we realized that we were driving right into a storm.. We were about to get really wet. We parked a mile or so away from the trailhead (it was free parking). Almost simultaneously as we exited the car, the rain began to fall. hard. 😨 It was nasty and our socks were soaking wet even before we got close to the hike. Our little group of 4 (the rest were coming later) looked up at the incline and we couldn't even see halfway up it, that is how rough the storm was. So, as the bright young men we are, we began to climb. Now, the incline is hard during the day with hiking shoes on... I was hiking this in the rain with some sneakers I bought at a thrift store, probably from the 90s.. As we climbed up, many of the others around us began to turn back.. It almost felt like we were the only ones on the mountain.. I began to look around and I stopped to drink something. It was miserable to be honest. I began to climb up again and then I just stopped in my tracks. I sat down in the pouring rain, and thought about what I was doing. I was ready to turn around and climb down. I was done. 
Many of you might not know it, but recently I have been having a really hard time staying on my mission. It is really hard to be away from friends and family for such a long time. I miss the south and I miss swimming and I miss so many things. It is easy to lose focus. But as I was sitting there soaked to the core, shivering but also sweating somehow...I thought about my life and where I was going. I took a cold hard look at where I was who I was and what I was doing with the countless blessings my Heavenly Father gave to me. I realized, here sitting in the rain that if I turned around on this hike and gave up, that it would mean much more than saving my legs a little bit of pain. It would be indicative of the man who I would become.
 There are so many things that a lot of people will ever know. Bike rides in the 100 degree weather. Unanswered doors. Rude comments. Tears shed alone. No one will ever know about that.... 
But you know what? Jesus wasn't treated fair. Jesus was wronged his whole life! He faced more injustice in his short 33 years than most would in 3 lifetimes. Luckily for us however, He didn't give up. When the going got tough he bore down and did what a man had to do. Unfortunately, I am not Jesus. 
I stood up and began to walk down. I got down about 3 steps and turned around. What would I tell my kids? What would I tell my future wife? What would I tell my parents? That it was just too hard for me? That I wanted something easier? 
I said "I refuse to let the world act on me, I will act on the world." 
Then, I ripped my shirt off and began to sprint up the darn Manitou incline. I realized right then and there that life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to have fun in the rain. 
I didn't get far sprinting because its 2,000 feet straight up in the air, but I was determined to finish what I started. I was so fired up that I beat my PR by 37 minutes. I also decided I would give high fives to everyone that I passed. When I reached the top I felt great!! (emotionally of course, physically I was destroyed) 
On the way down I continued to give high fives and I made sure to give a smile to everyone who was everyone!! haha
I have made so many dumb decisions and mistakes in life that I could write a book about them, but in my opinion the worst mistake you could make is giving up on something you want.
It took me 19 years, 1 rainstorm,
2,000 stairs up a mountain and 
103 high fives to figure it out, 
but I am sure glad I did.
Also just in case you were wondering about the jersey I am wearing in the incline photos
it is a Samoan national rugby team jersey that my buddy elder Migi gave me before he went home.

Elder West (Center) went home this week. I will miss him.
Me and Sister Talili

Elder Ngauamo (center) completed his mission this week as well.
I will miss him and Elder West so much.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lessons from the Bike Lane

This week was pretty great. We taught a lot of people and had a good time. Unfortunately,Elder Hughes is getting transferred and I am not happy about that. 

This week since we had great weather we biked around a lot. I knew I wasn't in great shape by any means but within 5 minutes of riding I was DEAD. I just kept pushing and pushing. Going downhill was ok, but once we got flat or uphill I was really struggling. All my life I have had pretty large and powerful legs but my guess was that they had deteriorated in my 9 months as a missionary or SOMETHING! I couldn't imagine how I had gotten so out of shape in such a short time. I don't exercise to the degree I used to, but I still do what I can....maybe it was the altitude? Elder Hughes on the other hand was just cruising like he was on a cloud. Needless to say my self esteem was in the basement. By the end of the night I was really feeling the burn.

We were at John & Kristen Trujillo's house and after our lesson, John was nice enough to offer us a ride home instead of us riding back. (They live at the very bottom elevation wise of Pueblo). Elder Hughes looked at me and I looked at him and we were both thinking the same thing.....Wait what? Ok, no we weren't thinking the same thing. I was thinking YESSSS!!! He was thinking NO.

Anyway, I decided to be a man and ride the last 4 miles home uphill....woohoo!! The last little bit was the worst. Even when I was on flat ground it seemed like I was pushing uphill. By the time I got up the three flights of stairs and into my apartment, I sat down on the couch and thought my legs were going to fall off. My thighs felt like I had just squatted 400 pounds... All in all we had biked 15 miles.

The next morning we strapped up our bikes onto our truck and went to the church to help clean. My legs were on fire. Before we started riding again, Elder Hughes did a little tune up on my bike. He was trying to spin my tires when he just started busting out laughing. He called me over to show me something. My brakes had been on all day the day before. 😐


It made me think - I wonder if in life sometimes we are "riding with our brakes on".
It might be time to do a spiritual tune up. Maybe we are holding onto a grudge and not forgiving someone and therefore it is holding us back. Maybe we can't let go of something we did in the past. Whatever it is that is weighing us down - letting go will do a lot of good.

The common saying in society goes something like: If you love something let it go and if it loves you it will come back and buy you dinner.. etc something like that.
But in my humble opinion something that rings more true to me - is "If you DON'T love something...DEFINITELY let it go - otherwise it's going to make life MUCH harder."

Message for the week: Don't ride through life with your brakes on!
Elder Clancy


Sunday, April 17, 2016


Discernment is a great attribute to have. The ability to make a clear headed decision is one that is lacking in society today! There is a scripture in The Book of Mormon that illustrates how important decisions in our life can be.
It is in 2 Nephi 2:27

 27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

This scripture puts the cards on the table quite candidly. The prophet who is speaking (Lehi) says that many key choices we make lead us into following one of two paths: Captivity & death through the adversary's decisions or liberty and eternal life through Christ's admonitions! 

We will all be tempted, it is just a fact of life. Even Christ himself was tempted! In Matthew we read the story of his temptation...

 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Christ's temptations at first glance are not extremely relateable. I admit, I have never had the inclination to make stones into bread, nor jump off of the temple...However when you take a second look you will realize there are some great lessons we can learn from this. 
The first temptation was physical. Christ had been fasting for 40 days when Satan tried to get him to make stones into bread! I can barely fast for 40 minutes without getting hungry! Obviously we all have physical temptations in this life. Some might feel inclined to commit adultery, some people are lost in the cesspool of addiction, not seeing a way out. Christ proclaims that his Father operates on a higher plane. Through the word of God and through prayer, he overcame this first temptation, and we can too!
When Satan tried to tempt Jesus to jump off of the temple, he was trying to play of Christ's emotional needs. He said that if he were to cast himself off of the temple that sisnce God loved him so much he would send his angels to catch Jesus and he would see how much he was loved. I can 100% relate to the emotional temptation Jesus felt. All of us will feel inadequate or abandoned at some point in our lives. I know especially on your mission it gets really lonely and you feel isolated from your loved ones & friends who you want to see everyday! Who can say that they haven't ever felt lonely before?
The last one was a social temptation. C'mon who doesn't want to be king of the world? Since Jesus was perfect he would have been a perfect king and everyone would have loved him. I think everyone from age 5 to 500 wishes they could be a celebrity. Jesus knew he was going to have a VERY tough life. When Satan showed him all of the kingdoms of the world, he was offering him an "easy way out" or a cushy easy life instead of the tough job he had  before him. 
All of us will have one if not all three of these types of temptations throughout our existence here on earth. The key to helping make these decisions is discerning where they come from. Because let's be honest when we re tempted normally Satan in the disguise of the witch from snow white doesn't come out of our closet at night and exhort us in a raspy voice "cheeeeeat on your tesssst tomorrow" and cackle as he rides away on a broom... If that's the way it was then I am pretty sure we all wouldn't cheat on the test the next day!! However many of the temptations we face sound a lot more like us than the wicked witch of the west. 
There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that helps us judge and discern our thoughts and inclinations. It is found in the Book of Moroni in chapter 7
11 For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.
 12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.
 13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.
In our lives we will have to discern a lot of voices. It is important to hear your coach tell you NOT to blitz. It is important to understand what your girlfriend means when she says she is "ok". You need to know when your mom isn't messing around. But most of all we need to recognize and understand the voice of the Lord. If we hear and recognize his voice we will be able to overcome all of our challenges and temptations we face in this mortal life.  
38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd. (Alma 5:38)
Elder Clancy


Humility is a great attribute to have. It is an attribute that Christ himself exemplified. Humility although many times seen in this society that praises bravado and strength over anything, as weakness - is actually quite the opposite.

Humility takes inner fortitude and not giving into impulses. Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino said Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success.

There is an experience that I had in high school that reminds me of this Christlike attribute. Back in the football season of my senior year, I was having a great time. Our team was great and we were very close with one another!! One particular game against Hilton Head our team did great and I personally had the best game of my career. I had 17 tackles and on a key 4th and 1 I sacked the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage to put them away. The week following the Hilton Head game the Island Packet published a little story about our season and I was the one who was interviewed. I thought I was just the coolest kid. That Friday before our game I pulled up to the local circle K to get a quick drink. I brought my Gatorade to the front and swiped my card. The cashier looked a little familiar, I thought he may have graduated the year before I did...Right then he looked at me with a smile and said "Can I get your autograph big man?". Wow. I was stunned. I knew I had a good season but I had never had anyone ask for my autograph before!!  I said sure of course! And I looked around for a pen or paper to sign this hometown fan an autograph.. I asked him if he had anything in particular he wanted me to sign..(At this point I wasn't sure if there was any Clancy merchandise out on the market yet but hey who knows)...

He looked at me with a confused gaze and pointed down at the card reader where I had just swiped my debit card....he wanted my signature on the card reader.

Looking back I laugh thinking about my foolish and pretentious error but truly I walked away from that gas station, my head a few sizes smaller. Humility allows us to progress in life. If we walked around thinking we were good enough players to sign autogrpahs at circle K, what would be my response when a coach tried to correct me or fix a kink in my play? Humility is almost always equated with the #1 intangible attribute coaches look at - teachable. I always use sports as an example because I love them so much but in our spiritual lives we need to be humble as well. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves and how great we are, we lose sight of the progress we can make. One way to always keep yourself humble is to do service for others. It is hard for you to be prideful when you are kneeling in the dirt pulling out weeds or when you look into the eyes of a man who is desperate need of food. On our mission we use a website called to find the majority of our service projects. and it is great. We volunteer at local food banks, the zoo, and many other community venues. is a great resource not just for missionaries but for students who need community service hours or a passionate person who wants to make a difference in their community. changes desire into action. 

I once heard that "humility isn't thinking less OF yourself, it is thinking less ABOUT yourself". Turning outward is the best way for us to change lives, many times those will be our own. I definitely testify that when we follow Christ's example of serving others that our eyes will be opened. There are kids here in Pueblo, CO that wake up and can see their breath. Until that changes here in Pueblo and all across the world there will always always be work to do. You don't have to look halfway around the world for someone in need, you can look halfway down the block.

 You know they say the Lord helps those who help themselves and I think that is true to some extent, but when it comes down to it - I truly believe the Lord helps those who help others. I believe it because I am living proof of it. I promise the same to you.
Elder Clancy

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Easter #2/ All scars have a story

One of my earliest memories is an interesting one to say the least...

On my 5th birthday we had a lot of family and friends over! We were doing what I loved most - playing sports (in this instance, baseball!). For one of my gifts I was given a full baseball set - uniform, hat, glove,and a bat all included. It was great!! 

We were having a blast (or a "ball" should I say) and everyone was enjoying themselves. For whatever reason, my 5-year-old self decided I did NOT want to play catcher anymore! In fact, I was so set on not playing catcher that I couldn't even wait until the batter was done hitting....yep I took a brand new bat to the face in a full swing!

A long trip to the hospital and 7 stitches later - I now have a scar under my eye! Even though I am now 19, 14 years later - I can still see where I was hit with the swing!

Scars are an interesting vehicle of nostalgia. Scars come in all shapes and sizes - from my own scar from a silly mistake in my youth, to large ones on a veteran from battle in a far off land. Some survivors of the Holocaust still have their prisoner number branded into their forearm, a constant reminder of the hell they once lived through. 
Some scars aren't visible. 
Regardless of the diversity of scars  - they all have one thing in common; They all have a story, they are proof of conquering a challenge. Proof that God heals.

In this Easter season - there is one story of scars that trumps all.
After suffering for all of the world's sins, enduring merciless temptation, and a terrible crucifixion, Jesus Christ rose from the tomb.  
He overcame all of this for us! 

When he returned to his apostles he said 

Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earthand have been slain for the sins of the world.

His scars were proof of the prophesy told by the ancient American prophet, Alma who said 

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
 12 And he will take upon him deaththat he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
 13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
For all of you out there who may be embarrassed of your scars, either physical or spiritual, my challenge for you is to look to Christ's example and see the marking as proof that you are stronger than your challenges, more powerful than the adversity in this world, and through Christ's merciful hand, able to move on and become a stronger man or woman because of that. 
Love, Elder Clancy
Service at a local food pantry
Photo moment!

Elder Boatman and Elder Clancy meet for the first time!
(NOTE FROM LISA: This was a special pic for me b/c Matt and I
were close friends with Elder (Tanner) Boatman's parents before
all of us had kids! They were stationed here in Beaufort while Tanner's
Dad served as a Navy Dentist. They now reside in CA!
Fun to have our boys meet for the very first time!