Monday, October 19, 2015

Family History and Stories

This weekend we had he opportunity to volunteer at a Family History Expo in Colorado Springs. I was walking around the building when my built in political antenna starting going off. There was a man running for the US Senate checking out the event. Of course I introduced myself and gave him some advice on his campaign :-). 

His name is Darryl Glenn and he is currently the county commissioner for El Paso County. We talked for a while and we were able to get a picture too. I think he is the first politician I have ever met that is shorter than me! (I haven't met Robert Reich). He shook some hands and gave a little speech but he was mostly at the expo to get some information about the Freedmen's Bureau indexing project. ** He was floored when I told him I live near Penn Center, where Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his "I Have A Dream" speech. He was equally excited to hear that Beaufort, SC is where Memorial Day actually originated. (He is a retired Air force JAG) It used to be a West African holiday called All Flags Day and it slowly grew and evolved into modern day Memorial Day! 

(Freedman's Bank Indexing project: - a little overview of the Freedman's Bank Project - a neat clip with Gladys Knight explaining her excitement at the Freedman's Bank project)

The expo was an amazing experience and anyone who knows me knows that I love stories. Well this family history expo was stories, stories, and more stories. One man I talked to in particular has quite the amazing story. His name is Seiko Tran. Mr. Tran was born in Saigon in the year 1966. Anyone who knows a lick of history knows that was a dire time in the Vietnam conflict. Mr. Tran's father was a South Vietnamese pilot and a good one at that. By 1975 when the US had all but pulled out, Mr. Tran's father had two options. Stay in Saigon while the NVA continued onward or try to get his family to safety. He made a bold decision that paid off. 

He stole an NVA plane and got his family aboard. He tried to remain as incognito as possible but once he crossed over into border airspace the NVA knew he wasn't an NVA pilot and was trying to escape. They shot him down and he crash landed in Thailand, where they sought refuge at the US Embassy. The Embassy was able to get them to Guam but the man working at the embassy told his father that there was probably no chance he could get him into the United States....This didn't stop the brave Tran family. Long story short the Tran family was able to get sponsored by a family in Colorado to come to America. Turns out the sponsor family were actually members of the Mormon faith! The Tran family however were strict Buddhist and were not interested in joining the Christian faith.

After a few weeks Seiko noticed something was wrong with his mother. They took her to the hospital where they were informed that his mother had a blood clot in her heart and she would not make it through the night. The Tran's did not know many people at the time so they called their sponsor family and informed them of the situation at hand. They were told , "Don't worry we will be there within 30 minutes." When the family arrived they asked Mr. Tran's father if they could give his wife a blessing of comfort. Mr. Tran Sr.'s distaste for Christianity was overshadowed for a minute or two by their kind offering and he accepted. When they gave Mrs. Tran the blessing they said that she would be ok and that no lasting effects from the clot would be a bother to her in the future. Young Seiko was a youth but he knew the dire situation of his mother. He raised his eyebrow at the fact that this haughty Christian man would disregard such a well-respected medical professional by saying his mother would be ok. 

The next day when Seiko and his father came back to check on his mother - She was nowhere to be found. Young Mr. Tran was so heartbroken. Even his speck of faith in the Christian blessing was shattered when he assumed his mother was dead. After so many long nights wondering if they would make it to freedom, and eventually getting all the way to the United States- she was dead. (Or so they thought). When they asked the nurse where her remains would be found, the nurse replied by saying, "Mrs. Tran? We just discharged her this morning, she should be home by now!" 

They ran home as fast as they could to see if this was really true. It was! They could not believe it. Tran's mother told them she had a dream that night where a man dressed in white (This was odd for them because Buddha wears yellow) told her everything would be ok. That Sunday when they went to church with their sponsor family she saw, right as she walked in, a beautiful painting of that man in white. It was Jesus Christ. 

After many weeks of thoughtful discourse, discussion, and testimony the Tran family all but knew the church was true. The only problem was Mr. Tran Sr. would not allow his family to be baptized because of their family's honor. He felt his father would be disgraced if they turned away from Buddha. 

That night he had a vivid dream, his father visited him along with that man in white, and comforted him saying that this man in white was a good man, and in fact was the Son of God. He told them it was very important for him to be baptized. Soon after they were baptized as a family here in Colorado. 

Seiko went on to serve a mission and serve in many other positions in the church where he was able to help others come unto Christ. He now has a wonderful little family with 2 young children. His faith is strengthened by the knowledge that families can be together forever. 

We had a woman who we are teaching come to this event on Friday night! She really enjoyed it and Saturday night we went and visited her to see how she was doing. I won't use her name here to respect her privacy but I feel compelled to share her story with all of you. 8/9 years ago her family was everything she ever wanted. Her husband and her children meant the world to her, you could say they were her world. 

Well, that world came crashing down one summer day. Her daughter, A. and her son, N. were outside riding bikes one summer afternoon. A single scream from her young son pierced the humid Florida air and Mrs. Smith (just using a name) knew something was very wrong. 

As she flung open the door she witnessed every parent's worst nightmare. Her beautiful young daughter lying face down on the side of the road. Her bike was destroyed. It didn't take long for her to realize her daughter was just hit by a truck. As an RN she knew her daughter was dead when she got to her. However with the divine power of a mother she began CPR. As her tears streamed onto the pavement she wondered where God was. When the EMTs showed up they pushed her away and called in a life-flight chopper. Mrs. Smith had revived her daughter but now there was more work to do. As she fought the EMTs and Police officers to try to get to her daughter, she caught a glimpse of the man who turned her life upside down. The man who hit her daughter

Fast forward many surgeries, long nights, fighting with insurance agents, pessimistic "friends", and a divorce. Mrs. Smith now takes care of her quadriplegic daughter everyday 24/7 with the exception of the occasional nurse coming by so she can get an hour of sleep or so. As I futilely fight to hold back my tears, Mrs.Smith recounts this unfinished story & she blows out a puff of smoke from her cigarette. The smoke clouds her face and may hide her tears for a few seconds but it does not obfuscate the unimaginable pain that lies behind her eyes. The amazing part is that through all of this hell she has not lost faith in her Heavenly Father. She is absolutely and openly jaded towards organized religion or "man-made religion" as I call it, she hasn't lost a drop of faith for her Father in Heaven. 

She has every reason to hate religion and God and life itself. The first pastor she talked to after the accident told her that because her child wasn't baptized, if she were to perish she surely would eternally burn in hell. (To make everyone who is reading this feel better I will let you know she punched him in the face.) Just the mere fact she lets us in her home is a testament to her faith. 

She is slowly starting to see that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints isn't a church of judgement or condemnation. She takes great solace in the scriptures we share with her about our belief that children aren't accountable for their sins until they reach a certain age. She also appreciates our belief that not just people of our faith go to heaven and everyone else burns in hell. (FYI We believe that no one burns in a lake of fire and brimstone). It's people like her that keep me going when the mission gets tough. People like her are the real reason us missionaries are out spreading the healing gospel of Jesus Christ. I truly hope that she comes to embrace the gospel and realize that it will help heal her aching wounds. 

If even one person accepts the gospel in their life and can feel that calming relief that only Jesus Christ can bing than I will consider myself a successful missionary. 

"Limon changes a man." - Tyler Clancy
Love and prayers for all, 
Golfing in Limon, CO
 Jason Zeiss is 42 and disabled.
He does track for the special Olympics and is one heck of a Broncos fan.
Don't mention the Oakland raiders to him unless you want to start trouble
At view from the Zeiss's house.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Three Marbles

As a missionary, you get to see many sides of many people. The vast majority of people trust us enough to confide their problems, fears, and wants within us. There is no better therapy for your own shortcomings, then for you to help others overcome theirs. I can honestly say I have witnessed some of the rawest and most visceral emotions while on my mission. Sitting in the chilly living room of a woman whose hands are weathered from age and undoubtedly many trials, tells you soberly - she needs food. Our church liberally gives food to those who ask. Sometimes, however- the seemingly mundane task of asking for help is so hard for people to do. 

What I find time and time again, and what people can't seem to grasp is that poverty in itself does not just consist of being hungry for bread. Rather it is a tremendous hunger for human dignity. Just like when the Spanish Conquistadors destroyed the walls of the ancient city of Cuzco they destroyed more than mortar and stone. The human soul goes much deeper than monetary infatuation. I would like to share a quick story about such depth. 

Three Marbles 
During the waning years of the depression in a small southeastern Idaho community, I used to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively. One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me. 
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"

"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank 'ya. Jus' admirin' them peas ...sure look good."

"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"

"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."

"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?"

"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."

"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"

"All I got's my prize marble here."

Is that right? Let me see it."

"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."

"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"

"Not 'zackley .... but, almost."

"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble."

"Sure will. Thanks, Mr. Miller."

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said: "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."

I left the stand, smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys and their bartering. Several years went by each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and composed, by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary, awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. Eyes glistening she took my hand and led me to the casket. "Those three young men, who just left, were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded" them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size... they came to pay their debt. "We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but, right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three, magnificently shiny, red marbles.


Truly Mr. Miller was the richest man in Idaho. As you move about through life, experiencing different people and places one will find that there is a different kind of poverty. A poverty that no amount of money or temporal possessions could satisfy. A poverty that is running rampant throughout modern society. This is a poverty of the heart- a spiritual poverty if you will. Today we have unlike anything else a lacking of the human soul. I say this not from reading a book or hearing a lecture. I say this because of the people I meet, the eyes that gaze back at me with an empty stare. The hands I shake that have the texture of regret. The broken voices of those of whom desire peace in their hearts. This poverty comes about when the gentle warm glow of the sun recedes and all that is left for one to look at or dwell on is the painful prose of the what could have been's- the what if's and the why not's. This is truly where our society lacks. As Ernest Hemmingway put it (The Sun Also Rises) “It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.” 

Let's be honest for a minute. Religion as a whole has a very bad connotation in today's society. From the jihad to heartless street preachers many view religion as an intolerant medium and even (many times) a weapon to be used against the weak. Oh how wrong they are. Surely there are some instances where religion is twisted to fit the carnal goals and aspirations of a nefarious few but the true purpose and depth of religion is much more sincere and serene. Jesus calmed the storms. He healed the sick. He raised the dead. He wiped away tears. True Christianity goes so much father than today's world wants it to. I hear a lot of people talk about how they "found Jesus". I could not be happier when I hear that phrase. Finding Jesus means the void in your heart is filled- it means the pains which you hold onto for so long, can be set free. It means when you are at your breaking point, when you can't hold on to what little you have left anymore - That's when you can find Jesus. 

As a missionary I was called to be a representative of Christ. That entails helping the poor in hand and the poor in spirit. The joy that Christ has brought to my life is unrivaled by anything else in life. The knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves us beyond our comprehension is something you can hold to and never let go of. The eternal truth that families can be together forever can heal the pains of sickness and death. The blessings of the scriptures and prayer, allow us to have constant counsel with the one who loves us most is something that can heal broken hearts. The constant companionship of the Holy Ghost will bring light to the dark and assist us in making tough choices in life. These blessings are made manifest not just when you have a smile on your face and a warm house to sleep in. These eternal truths are solidified in our times of need.The Christlike purity of a young child who was taught to love, and not hate her captors in the hell of a Japanese concentration camp. The faith of a young American pilot, shot down over Vietnam and tortured in the jungles of Hanoi. The diligence of a father who without a job, without any way to care for his kids, refuses to give up and keeps on fighting. The patience of two parents who, despite teaching their son right and wrong, have to witness their precious child suffer through hardships brought upon by poor decisions. The hope seen in the eyes of a brand new mother, which shines through her new child, with visions and dreams of who she will become. All of these emotions and attributes that swirl about in our crazy world, show us that their is a little bit of Christ all around us. It is my job as a missionary to help magnify Christ in others lives. To bring to those in the dark a glimmer of light, a spark of hope. And with God's help I can turn that spark into a raging inferno of love and joy.

Love , Elder Clancy
This week we helped build a fence,
make some repairs and add a little mulch to this family's yard
Ready for action in the District Nerf War last PDay ha ha
Nerf is BIG out here!

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Dad - Oct 5th, 2015

When you apply to college you have people write letters of recommendation for you. I can honestly say that the most meaningful letter of recommendation written on my behalf was from our good friend Mr. Jim Curry. He wrote a line that I take great pride in. He said after speaking about my father briefly, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." He may have thought that this was just a nice gesture but to me it was the greatest compliment I received. Being frank, my dad is my role model. I strive to emulate him in all of my actions and decisions. He is my greatest advocate and support when times are great or when times are rough. Since the day I was born he was there for me. When I got hit in the face with a baseball bat he picked me up and drove me to the hospital. He taught me how to ride a bike. He showed me the correct way to speak my mind when appropriate and to stay quiet when it is not (sometimes I struggle with this one). From teaching me to tuck in my shirt and wear a belt to throwing a lacrosse ball I have been lucky enough to have him by my side through it all. 

He was there during my first T-ball game when I played for the Braves and he was sitting in the stands for my final high school lacrosse game. Beyond physical development however, my dad has helped refine my maturity and composure as well. He taught me a very important principle that was described well by John Newton (the man who wrote amazing grace) -  "We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it."
This did not come easy for me to say the least. When I was younger I used to play baseball. Pretty much everyone in Beaufort played baseball from 5-14. I loved baseball and everything that went with it. Sunflower seeds, clay in your shoes, and the sound of the ball hitting a bat. Sadly, I never once made the all star team for baseball! (I sure loved it but that love didn't translate into performance haha) I was devastated every year when all of my friends made the all stars but I never did. I probably said I wanted to quit every year after the all star roster came out. My dad never let me. He told me the only way to make all stars was to keep working hard and get better!! You have to leave behind the problems and the shortcomings of the past and get ready for the future, get ready for today! Little things like that stick with a young man, even if his father doesn't realize or remember. 

When I got older and life progressed there were many times when heartbroken, I laid on my couch upstairs bemoaning my situation and told my dad I didn't want to go to church (I'm sure much more dramatic at the time). That same principle of perseverance was then translated into a more important situation. He told me it is when you are feeling at your worst or hurting the most that you NEED to go to church and do the things you know you must do. I have never forgotten that.

Now, believe it or not I haven't always been perfect in choosing the right but my dad has never left me behind or condemned me. The times when I was at my lowest would have been insurmountable if I had not had my righteous father to lead and guide me. Even on days when I was totally fine he was a bright light. His super generous gesture of buying doughnuts pretty much every Saturday (except in wrestling season) definitely will carry over into my future family :).  He taught me the ways of the world and the importance of standing up for what's right. 

When I went to the NRA youth summit in Washington they wrote about me- "Tyler consistently stood out as a leader in the group. He was always presentable, attentive, eager to learn, and conducted himself like a southern gentleman (think Atticus Finch for comparison)." 100% of this great compliment I can attribute to my Atticus Finch like father. He taught me to open doors for women, to look someone in the eye when talking, he taught me humor goes a long way. Most importantly he taught me to treat EVERYONE with the same amount of respect that you would expect. He taught me this not because it is socially or politically advantageous (although it is) - not because the laws of God demand such (although they do). He taught me this from the goodness and purity that is found in his huge heart. 

He is the most morally oriented person I have ever met in my life. He maintains this extreme emotional equilibrium even in his public work setting. From the mayor to the guys that work for him, they always say great things about him. Even a former drug dealer I worked with had good things to say about Matt Clancy (apparently he bought him a drink at a gas station or something a few years ago). 

One of my wrestling coaches (who also is a police officer) told me one night after our banquet - "Tyler, I don't know if you realize it - but you have one hell of a father". I told him I did realize it. 

Last February my wrestling team was in the state championship. We were up against the defending state champs and we all knew it was going to be a tough battle. During the weigh ins, our top wrestler was low blowed by a shoddy ref who said a scratch on his arm was "probably dangerous" and he was disqualified. We were all devastated and it would have been really easy to give up hope. When it was my turn to weigh in I weighed in at 189.7 pounds. My opponent who weighed in next to me was 220.2 pounds... I knew this was going to be a dogfight. The pressure was on. 

The stands were packed and all eyes were on the ONE mat in the very center. The match started at 195 lbs. My friend unfortunately got pinned really quickly and before I knew it, I was strapped up and ready to go. The music was blaring and all eyes were on me. The guy I wrestled was over 6 feet tall and anyone who knows me knows.......I'm not. 

When the whistle blew I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Since he had such long legs I was going to ankle pick him and work off of that. Anyone who has wrestled up (wrestled above their normal weight class) knows you don't want to spend a lot of time on the mat wrestling because they are bigger and it will wear you out very quickly. Unfortunately for me, my plan didn't exactly pan out. Although I was able to take him down we spent quite a bit of time on the mat and it took pretty much everything I had to keep that big ox of a kid down. When the third and final period arrived it was tied but I had the choice to choose down in referees position. That meant all I had to do was escape and not get taken down for the win. Easier said than done when you have an angry 220 pound kid from upstate South Carolina on your back determined to not let you do so. 

Before I knew it I was a minute into the final period and I was being forced into a cradle. Suddenly, everything was silent. I couldn't hear a thing. I was in the zone. I took the path of most resistance and forced myself out of the cradle. He recovered for maybe one second but that was all I needed I swiveled and squirmed my way out of that big cat's arms and got on my feet. That was it, I was winning. With 30 seconds left in the match I had to give everything I had to not get taken down (because my goodness that kid was going to try). I was running on fumes and my grip was shot but I kept on pushing. The buzzer rang. That was it, I won! 

After that I definitely was able to hear everything the crowd was cheering and I saw my family and friends. I was so happy. (I almost passed out though). On the way home I watched the match on my dad's phone. He was yelling and cheering me on the entire match and encouraging me (that is an understatement). It was weird though because as loud as he was yelling I was sure I would have been able to hear him on the mat. It wasn't until after the trial that I heard my father's voice cheering me on. 

Many times in life we will find ourselves in similar situations... a sort of figurative state championship if you will. You will be wrestling for survival in this crazy and unforgiving world. If we push through and fight tooth and nail to get through, we will soon realize that our Father in Heaven was cheering for us all the time. Once we get off the mat he will help you stand up and give you something to drink too :-).  I realize that not everyone has a great role model of a father like I did. There are very few in fact who have such a blessing in my life as I do. However what we must always remember is that we all have our Father in Heaven who loves us all with a perfect love. He is constantly cheering us on and hoping we make the right choices. Whether we sin or do good our Father will not love us any less. 

More than anything he wants us to get down on our knees and ask for help. I know my dad expects and wants certain things for me, and because I love him I want to do those! Our Heavenly Father is the same way. He knows what choices will lead us towards eternal happiness and cheers when we do those things. If everyone knew that they had a Father In Heaven who loved them dearly, I am sure we would have a much different world. 
Love to all
Elder Clancy

Click the link below to see the video of Tyler's last few minutes of the match he is referencing:

At Winterset Lofts where a man we visit every week raises pigeons.
Winterset, Iowa is where John Wayne was born.

Batter for "reeses muffins" a Clancy/Fox concoction

Some super thick fog we have had this week

Battling Sister Park and her Asian fooseball powers
between general conference.

A photo taken of Elder Clancy 1964....jk on a polaroid camera
Our new mascot/air freshmner/tiki man

Sunday, October 4, 2015

SEPT 28th - Advice from Rocky!

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

This story of faith comes from Matthew 14. Most of us will not have the opportunity to walk on water toward our Savior Jesus Christ but there is a very important reason Matthew included this story into his record. (PS it isn't because he walked on water and although that is amazing there is a more important reason.) Whatever our age, circumstance, or stage in life we will all face trials that test our faith. Maybe you are an 18 year old missionary who left his family behind for two years or perhaps you just lost your job and don't know how you will pay the rent next month. As an 18 year old young man, intrepid and brave- it is relatively easy to say 'Of course I want to go on a mission!" or "I will go where you want me to go Lord!" Just like when Peter asked if he could come walk out on the Water to Jesus. When things are going smooth heck everyone has major faith!! However just a verse later in comes the description of the scene. Matthew mentions the winds got boisterous. Peter, being a man of large stature probably wouldn't be swayed by a small little breeze. I can only imagine the powerful gale and torrential weather that befell them. In life all of us will have moments when the winds get tough. The important thing to remember is that Jesus Christ, our Savior is ALWAYS there. His arm outstretched. All it takes is one more step one more struggle. Christ wants nothing more than our best. And life, definitely will take you to that point. Now of course it's one thing just to write or say this and a completely different thing to put it into action. I can affirm to anyone reading this that a mission is not easy in the slightest. Every missionary has different struggles and challenges but nonetheless a mission goes against the natural inclinations of every 18/19 year old kid. Anyone who knows me knows that I love the Rocky movies. (My mom doesn't because me and Connor would always punch each other after watching them) But in the most recent Rocky movie there is a scene that I really enjoy 

I know that’s not what you wanna do, but that’s just the way that it is. Don’t you care what people think? Doesn’t bother you that people…are making you out to be joke and that I’ll be included in that? Do you think that’s right? Do you? 
You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here.
I’d hold you up to say to your mother, “This kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.” And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. 
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! 
I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life. Don’t forget to visit your mother.

Now in my case its "Don't forget to email ya mother" but nevertheless the principle stands. Its so true that whoever you are life will beat you to your knees in probably more than one way. We just have to keep on pushing and take the hits. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just waking up, getting out of bed, and fighting the urge to give up and go home. There is a guy in the ward here in Falcon named Brother Levesque. He is a good man. He was baptized at age 30 I believe. This week at church was testimony meeting and that is when the stand is open to anyone who wishes to go up and bear their testimony. He bore his testimony of what he calls "the bedrock gospel" . He testified that (from experience) life is tough with or without the gospel with or without Jesus in your life. Being frank - in his words he said "You would be stupid to try and tackle life by yourself!" Brother Levesque was an Army Intelligence agent in Panama, Nicaragua, and other places all over the world. He quite literally tried to tackle life's challenges by himself haha. 

There is a guy in our ward who just moved in and he used to be the conductor of the President's Own Marine Corps Band for the 8th and I parade. He is super cool. He was recently baptized a little under a year ago. His new wife is from the Philippines  He is older and so we helped them move in. They always talk to us for a long time and I gave him a red white and blue tie I acquired as a housewarming gift. He loved it and said he would wear it to the D-day Memorial he puts on in Normandy every year. Pretty cool. 

Our ward mission leader is a District Attorney for El Paso County and he keeps saying I should be a lawyer. He said Law School applicants are down 80% this year. 

All in all life is what you make it. "It's not about how hard you hit its about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward". I testify that no one can get hit too hard for our Heavenly Father. There is ALWAYS someone who is there watching out for us. He loves us so much he sent his only son to die for us, so that we might live again (Read John 3:16). With so much turmoil and unrest in the world I exhort all to find out for yourself God's love for us. I testify that he does love us ad he knows us each by name. He knows the trials we face and the miracles we enjoy. He wants nothing more than for us to be able to live with him again someday.
Love to all
Elder Clancy

P.S. By the way tomorrow is my 2 month mark! 22/24 haha. November 3rd is our next transfer.