Monday, November 30, 2015

LESSONS from the BULL PEN

Just a reminder of what the real Christmas is all about. Please enjoy this video!!
Click on the link:

CHRISTMAS VIDEO 2015


Hope everyone had a wonderful week! It was very cold here in Falcon this week. It snowed and it was like 10 degrees one morning when we woke up!! 



The freezing Turkey Bowl on
Thanksgiving morning - 17 DEGREES!!!!


Anyone want a 1 POUND Reeses?



On Monday we went out in the boonies to Simla, CO and watched some BULL RIDING (YEAH!). It was pretty awesome. We went with Tommy Taylor who is a professional Bull Rider. That night however, he didn't ride he was helping others practice and he was bull fighting. It was a lot of fun. Everyone was doing great and enjoying themselves. Tuff, the guy who owns the place we were at even let us sit on a bull. They are some powerful creatures. There was a young man there who was a very good rider. He rode 3 bulls and on all of them it looked like he was in complete control. He decided to take on one of the bigger bulls (Although I guess small bull is an oxymoron...) When he got on he looked so calm I eve thought to myself I don't think he even needs bull fighters he is great! He rode the bull for a little more than 8 seconds but he got caught when he was trying to jump off and ended up getting tossed off. As he was trying to reorient himself the bull charged him and literally flipped him in the air. Before he had time to land the bull was already looking for round 2. Some people were screaming and others were speechless but it was clear that he was going to get smashed into the side of the wall by the huge 2 ton bull. All seemed hopeless until Tommy stepped in. He LITERALLY grabbed the bull by the horns and virtually tossed it aside. The bull snorted and then ran back into it's pen. I was stunned. I knew Tommy was strong (he also played football for the Air Force academy).. but I had no idea he could do such a thing! After the dust cleared and it was clear the young man would be alright, I asked Tommy how he was able to step in and toss the bull like that. His answer was simple but powerful. He had been with this bull for a number of years and the bull recognized him every time he went there. The bull definitely did not fear him but nonetheless he respected him. If it was any other bullfighter the bull would have surely plowed right on through. However He was the only one who could step in and save him. It reminded me of the powerful message of our saviors atonement.

 Some years ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley told “something of a parable” about “a one room school house in the mountains of Virginia where the boys were so rough no teacher had been able to handle them.
“Then one day an inexperienced young teacher applied. He was told that every teacher had received an awful beating, but the teacher accepted the risk. The first day of school the teacher asked the boys to establish their own rules and the penalty for breaking the rules. The class came up with 10 rules, which were written on the blackboard. Then the teacher asked, ‘What shall we do with one who breaks the rules?’
“‘Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on,’ came the response.
“A day or so later, … the lunch of a big student, named Tom, was stolen. ‘The thief was located—a little hungry fellow, about ten years old.’
“As Little Jim came up to take his licking, he pleaded to keep his coat on. ‘Take your coat off,’ the teacher said. ‘You helped make the rules!’
“The boy took off the coat. He had no shirt and revealed a bony little crippled body. As the teacher hesitated with the rod, Big Tom jumped to his feet and volunteered to take the boy’s licking.
“‘Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed?’ the teacher asked.
“After five strokes across Tom’s back, the rod broke. The class was sobbing. ‘Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck. “Tom, I’m sorry that I stole your lunch, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I will love you till I die for taking my licking for me! Yes, I will love you forever!”’” 8
President Hinckley then quoted Isaiah:
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. …
“… He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” 9
No man knows the full weight of what our Savior bore, but by the power of the Holy Ghost we can know something of the supernal gift He gave us. 10 In the words of our sacrament hymn:
We may not know, we cannot tell,
What pains he had to bear,
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there. 11


So many good families here in Colorado.
I am thankful for every single one!
This is the Hurrey Family
The fact of the matter is, no one but Jesus Christ could step in and save us from our sins. The amazing part is that .... HE DID! The magnitude of that great gift cannot be measured. I am so grateful for that gift he gave us and that is the real reason why I am on my mission- to share that knowledge with others. The atonement can free us from sorrow and heal our wounds. I wish nothing more than for everyone to truly realize what an amazing love our Savior has for us. I hope to share that love with everyone who I come in contact with.
Love, Prayers, and Hugs!! 


Elder Tyler Clancy
Elder West and I - A selfie of a selfie

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Snowball fights and inspirational thoughts for today!

"Always remember the power behind you is greater than the obstacle before you" - unknown

" A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without his trials" - Chinese Proverb

 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand
(Doctrine & Covenants Chapter 58)












 








"Why do we think to earn a great reward, if we now shun the fight? (Come, Come Ye Saints - Hymn #30)
"Don't let what we don't have blind us from what we do have"
"Sometimes the Lord calms the storm..but more often than not the Lord lets the storm rage and calms his child."
God didn't promise days without pain  , laughter without sorrow nor sun without rain. But he DID promise strength for the day comfort for the tears, and light for the way
"The most practical, workable philosophy on this planet...won't work unless you do!"
"Obviously there is little you can learn from doing nothing"

"Don't be distracted by criticism- the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you."

"Your talent is God's gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to God!"




"Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices"

"Every day is worthy of your best performance"

"Happiness comes not only from receiving forgiveness but also from extending it!"

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow is our doubts of today."

"Failure is an event not a person, yesterday ended last night."

"A smile is a gentle curved line that sets a lot of things straight."

"Anytime the going gets easy, better check and see if you're going downhill."

"It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice."

"Don't necessarily think you are on the right road just because it is a well beaten path."

"When life becomes too rough, and you just can't stand seem to get up on your feet, get on your knees."

Love you all
Elder Clancy






Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Baptism, Snow, and Feeding the homeless

Look what we woke up to on Tuesday!





This week was stressful but it all was worth it in the end! The reason for all of the stress was that we had a baptism! A young man we have been teaching for a while, decided he wanted to be baptized. His name was D and he is 13. We were excited but we also knew that we were now undertaking a huge logistical behemoth. After countless phone calls, 3 key exchanges, 49 texts, a broken phone, and 3 drives into the springs we finally made it happen! 
It truly was a great experience. I was so proud of D for making this decision on his own. He is very shy but he is also very astute. He hangs onto not only the principles we taught him in the living room but also the messages and feelings he has in his heart. There was no question in my mind that he was ready to take this step. At the service, I was able to speak to him about baptism. I told him a story of how my Coach, Coach Clifford, told me how much of a responsibility he was putting on my shoulders when he gave me #22. Now, I told D, he was putting on the jersey so to speak for Jesus Christ. When you are baptized you take the name of Jesus Christ upon you and show him you are willing to do as he did, and be a light for him. Now just like in football when you first put on your jersey it will be fresh and clean. But wait just a few plays into the game and it will start to get rough. I have played against some of the biggest and strongest players in SC but none come close to the adversary himself. Satan will try to tackle you and take you down but there is one stark difference between Beaufort High and The Lord's team. We lost plenty of games back in high school but Jesus Christ is undefeated. As long as you stay true to him and stick out the hard days, you will have nothing to fear. 

Walking down into the water was an experience I will never forget. It reminded me of the day I was baptized 10 years ago! After I said the prayer I eased him in and out of the water. It was an amazing experience. As we embraced I felt the Savior's influence smiling over D. I cannot explain how much it meant to ME to even be a part of that special day.  Our closing song was "I am a child of God" and it's simplicity exacerbated the special meaning it has. As D's grandmother wiped her tears away she told me that we are children of God and she wished everyone would remember that. I couldn't agree more.

Click on the link SAME JERSEY below to see a great Mormon Message video which reminded me of Tyler's story up above:




One with Elder LaRose (he came out with me) is at the breakfast event 
Earlier in the week we were able to take part in a service project in Downtown Springs. It was hosted by a Methodist church downtown and it was for the homeless. We gave out clothes, blankets, and a breakfast. The pastor of the church also gave a sermon. It was a great event and probably over 70 homeless families showed up. It reminded me a lot of HELP of Beaufort where I volunteered right before my mission and did my eagle project as well.  I was the designated pancake guy and tried to make everyone laugh as I gave them the hotcakes. After all was said and done I had about 20 extra pancakes (this is after everyone had gone through as many times as they pleased.) A man I had talked to earlier came up to me very humbly and asked in a broken voice if he could have an extra plate for his friend who woke up late. Naturally I said of course! have two why don't ya. After he thanked me he began to hobble away (he had one leg) but before he could take 3 steps the woman next to me looked at me with a face that should have turned me to stone. Dripping with condescension, she said "you know that man probably doesn't have any friends and will just eat those by himself"... I was taken aback by the so called altruistic saint who was volunteering to help the homeless... not judge them (or so I believed). I kindly told her that wasn't my call to make and I would probably ask for more if I was in his situation as well!! Before we had time to clean up the rest of the food- The man's friend arrived...with a family of 4 following behind. He gave them both plates and they at every last morsel. As the lady next to me amble doff surely in shame, I wondered to myself, what kind of judgments do we make on a daily basis? I am not just talking about the panhandler on the side of the road that we drive by everyday, but maybe the coworker that always seems to have a chip on her shoulder. Maybe the Customer service rep that is just a little to sharp with his voice to you. How about the waitress who gets your simple order wrong. Maybe all of these people are truly and sincerely malignant forces who desire to thwart your lunch hour by nefariously and purposely putting mayonnaise on your sandwich and your customer service rep has been brainwashed by the evil corporate gods into ripping you off when your washer breaks down...However I would like to believe that these are all good people who are just going through tough times. Possibly your coworker is going through a rough divorce and the only way he can cope is to keep a fa├žade of toughness on. Most likely the customer service rep you are talking to has been reamed all day long and just wants someone to give him a break. The waitress can't remember your order because she was up all night counting receipts, bills, and meager paychecks - deciding if she wants to keep the electricity or the water or for this month. If we were able to look past our righteous indignation for just a day I wonder how many lives we could better. How many smiles would be converted from frowns. 

This week I was informed of the tragic atrocities committed in Paris. My heart aches for the families and friends of the victims. No matter how hard I try I can never understand what would compel another human being to destroy and unravel the life one has labored for so long and so hard to sloppily create. Why do people not understand we all breathe the same air on this small earth? So many questions riddle and harrow my soul when senseless murders like this take place. The one thing I hate most about these types of killings is the paradox of the human soul. For the killers and the aloof viewers on television these poor men and women are faceless, nameless, and without smiles or laughter. For the families and loved ones of the ones killed they are brothers sisters wives mothers fathers friends & soul mates. The joy & bliss that was brought to their hearts by the folks that now lie in body bags is immeasurable. How can you heal a heart when the one they love most was ripped from them in their prime? The holes and voids created by these mindless heartless acts cannot be quantified. What troubles me most is that there is a double standard of toleration when it comes to killing. In Syria and Iraq death tolls similar to this weekend in Paris are a daily occurrence. In South Sudan if 129 people were killed in a day most of us wouldn't know and we most likely wouldn't have a #PrayforSudan handle on twitter and in our other social media outlets. Boko Haram & ISIS kill hundreds weekly in Africa and in the middle east but it takes some of our elected officials an attack on a European country to truly and candidly acknowledge the great moral threat of violence. 

In no means do I intend to downplay the tragedy in Paris I only wish to bring to light the others who have no global support when times get tough. In our society I believe that we glorify bravado, swagger, and violence too much more than reason, restitution, and meekness. Games like grand theft auto are glorified and praised by critics and the media but yet we wonder why 15 year old kids are involved in murders. We need not wonder why young men are afraid to express their true feelings, for if they do they will surely be called names and Not only as American citizens but as global citizens we need an honest triage of where this sickness in our soul begins. It is unacceptable to tolerate any violence - of any kind - towards any people whether they are Muslim or Mormon, Black or White. I truly believe our indifference and selective outrage when it comes to killing is another type of violence and in my opinion just as insidious. Although I love the song by John Lennon "Imagine" I don't think it really is a pertinent song for healing. Imagining there is no Heaven seems to me as a bitter pill to swallow for one who just lost their true love. I actually believe quite the opposite. In fact that is why I am on a mission. I believe that true healing and true peace will come through the healing message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. As a missionary it is my full time prerogative to share that with others but if you are reading this right now I would exhort you to always take advantage of an opportunity to mend spiritual wounds. 
Love and prayers to all,
Elder Tyler James Clancy


Click on this link to see a video of the BYU Women's Chorus singing this amazing hymn:

Where Can I Turn for Peace BYU Women's Chorus

Where Can I Turn for Peace?

31243, Hymns, Where Can I Turn for Peace?, no. 129
1. Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart,
Searching my soul?
2. Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
3. He answers privately,
Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

Text: Emma Lou Thayne, b. 1924. © 1973 IRI
Music: Joleen G. Meredith, b. 1935. © 1973 IRI
John 14:27
John 16:33
Hebrews 4:14-16


Monday, November 9, 2015

Transfer Week!

This morning we were up at 4:30 AM.... Pumped and ready to watch some Bull Riding with Brother Taylor in our ward (Two-time world champion Bull rider)
He had invited us last night to watch him ride at 5. Turns out as we were sitting on his doorstep at 4:50 a.m. we realized he may have meant 5 pm soooo needless to say we are a little tired today and sad we didn't get to watch him. But we might make it out there tonight haha. 
Here is a video clip of Tommy Taylor riding: 
His ride appears at 22 seconds.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnY9pvQOGGI

This week was pretty interesting. The earlier part of the week we spent mulling around the area saying goodbye to families (Elder Fox was getting transferred) He ended up going down to Alamoosa to be a zone leader. 

On Tuesday we had transfer meeting. This happens every 6 weeks and one of the major events is training assignments! I am going to be a trainer these next two transfers so I was going to get called up! There were 9 new sister missionaries and 5 elders. 2 of the elders were Spanish speaking so I knew there was only 3 possible choices! My new companion is Elder Johns! He is from Fredericksburg, Iowa and loves to play sports and sing. He was in show choir for all of high school. We wasted no time this week jumping right into the work. We taught many lessons- one however more interesting than all of the others. 

On Wednesday evening we were having scripture study with an older woman who lives out in Peyton. About 15 minutes into it, her daughter in law who is a member of the Jehovah's Witness Faith came home from her daily proselyting.  We asked her if she wanted to sit down with us and join our discussion. She kindly declined and almost walked away when I asked her to teach me why they do not celebrate Christmas! Needless to say an hour and a half later we had a full lengthy discussion and very civil at that. 

From what I could see the biggest difference in our religions are fundamentally we believe God the Father is a loving warm God and they believe he is a vengeful and wrath-filled God. It was very sad to me when she explained to us that only a certain amount (144,000) of people are going to heaven - and she believes she is not!! In fact, none of the people in her local congregation believe they are! How sad to live your entire life just dreading the day when God "zaps you" as she put it. 

As Mormons we fundamentally believe that God is our loving Heavenly Father and because of that he will do everything in his power to help us and strengthen us throughout life. (And beyond that). Kind of like what any Father wants for their son or daughter - Multiplied by a million and without any earthly interference. We are going back this Tuesday.

Yesterday we filled in for a Sunday School teacher who was ill. We had the wonderful opportunity to teach the 5 and 6 year old children in our ward (congregation). The faith of a child is amazing to me. What takes scholars and scientists years to deliberate and decide on is just common knowledge for a young child. This faith however is not a blind hope. It is a pure and innocent recognition of the simple fact that God is good and families are important. It isn't rooted in vain indoctrination nor foolish stories they are told over and over! This is the pristine awareness that only a pure young child can possess. It was a great blessing to witness this firsthand. 

On Sunday we were asked to give talks along with Brother Taylor (the world champ bull rider mentioned above). I will attach my talk below but I would like to take this opportunity to talk about Brother Taylor & his wife. Brother Taylor's wife was raised in Massachusetts in a liberal household. She was raised with certain beliefs and ideas about God and religion (just like most of us are). When they first met they were both working at the Air Force cademy (both had graduated from the Academy as well). Brother Taylor had served a 2-year mission (like what I am doing) in Argentina - and his soon to be wife had some experiences that brought her even further away from God and religion. 

Despite these somewhat glaring differences in belief they hit it off right away. It is hard to describe Lauren like Brother Taylor did - he loved her so much from the very first moment they met. When he talks about her you envy their relationship right away. Needless to say, shortly after they started dating they were married. Something unique about our church is that we believe that families can be together forever! Most people have seen a Mormon temple before but few really know what they are for. We believe they are sacred because that is where we can get married and sealed together for time and all eternity! Not till death do we part. So needless to say, Brother Taylor loved his wife so very much, naturally he wanted them to be married in the temple! However his wife was not very interested in God and really had some doubts about it. Obviously, though she really loved her husband and respected what he believed and so she decided to have the missionaries over and talk to her about what the church was really all about. 

It was not easy for them at this time- because right when she began to take the missionary lessons, Brother Taylor had to leave for 9 months! It was tough. Lauren (Sister Taylor) asked the missionaries really really tough questions that came right from her heart. She asked those 18 and 19 year old young men every little doubt, question, or inquiry she had in her heart. She sincerely wanted to know things like- did God really love her, Is the Book of Mormon true? and other questions like that. 

One particular night the missionaries left her with a scripture to read from the Book of Mormon. Sister Taylor by this time had already read the Book of Mormon several times (she had an MBA at age 25 while being a 1st Lt , Teaching English at the Air Force Academy so needless to say she is pretty smart.) That scripture was Moroni Chapter 10 verses 4 and 5. 
 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Right after she prayed and was about to go to sleep - Brother Taylor sent her a little video about Eternal love. https://youtu.be/KdCPMwhvJ88 

After she saw the video and read the scripture she really felt the spirit. Although she had doubts - her faith overcame her fear and her determination and love overcame her shortcomings. She KNEW she wanted that eternal marriage. And that is exactly what she set out to do. Brother Taylor was able to come home and baptize her. This past summer they were able to go to the Temple in Washington DC (where my parents were married) and get married for eternity. It is a beautiful story but what makes it even more fulfilling is the fact that it is true. 

The gospel truly can change lives and that is exactly why I am on a mission!!
I love all of you guys and hope to hear from you soon!!
Elder Tyler Clancy




My talk from Sunday's Sacrament Meeting:

The prophet Amos spoke of a time where there would be a famine on the earth. This famine wouldn't be of a hunger for bread - nor a thirst for water. He said "They shall wander from the North even to the East...They shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it." A spiritual famine if you will.

You don't have to have a PhD in Global affairs to realize today, that many people are lost and without the truth. In far off lands, leaders with an iron grip of authoritarian rule prefer to keep their people in ignorance to religion and the truth, rather than allow them to worship freely. There are millions who have not heard Jesus's sacred name. 
The same rings true in the sweltering sands of the middle east. Fanatic religious tyrants do not even allow the slightest search for truth, if one believes that truth lies elsewhere.
Even in modernized, developed, western countries, the compass of righteousness lies askew. As society and mass media constantly inundate their viewers with odious immorality and egregious vulgarity - one should not wonder why our young folks reflect such filth. 

But this afternoon however, I wish not to speak of fallacies in far off lands. No this afternoon I would like to speak of the crisis of value that lies within our neighborhoods and our communities. This isn't an imaginary problem found in a textbook. You won't hear of this in a college class. This is however, a venomous virus that I witness firsthand everyday as a missionary for the church. 

This Virus has many forms and varieties- which people claim countless catharsis but let me assure you there is only one cure. This disease that I speak of is that of spiritual poverty. Chances are, you and I both know someone afflicted with this pain. 

In the Book of Mormon, (Mosiah Chapter 4 verse sixteen) King Benjamin admonishes his people to impart of their substance unto the poor. Many people when they read this (rightly so) believe that this speaks to giving physical substance to the poor (which I am sure it does). But as we know, in the scriptures there is always a deeper meaning. Obviously when Jesus admonishes Simon Peter to "Feed his Sheep" he doesn't mean for Simon to go out back and give some corn to his livestock....he is telling Simon to serve his fellow sisters and brethren. Likewise this dichotomy exists in Mosiah 4:16! 
 16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

This holiday season in Colorado, 31.9% of Women and Children will spend Christmas in Poverty. These young mothers will struggle and scrape futilely to make ends meet. Saving every dime and penny to make the holidays special for their beloved children. Christmas night, as these voiceless nameless children of our Heavenly Father lie down to sleep - they will wrestle with the hunger in their bellies but more so - the pain that they couldn't do enough for their young son or daughter. But not too far down the road from this home of broken dreams and what if's- there is another house.

This house lies in stark contrast of the former. Saturated in gifts, gadgets, and goodies - the children who reside in this home will not hunger for material needs. However as I spoke of before, there is another poverty in this society of ours. This poverty isn't as tangible or as visually noticeable as physical poverty. 

In the second home - Filled with every physical desire these children could dream of....there is still something missing. This gaping void becomes noticeable after all the laughter and the smiles wind down for the evening. When the night is nigh and almost everyone is asleep. When the young boy with the innocent curiosity only a child could posses, asks a simple yet potent question - "Dad who is Jesus, and what do we celebrate Christmas for?". As the young man's father searches and stumbles with his words...This poverty becomes apparent. As the father, embarrassed and confused lies down to sleep, a hole ever growing larger in his heart...This poverty becomes apparent. As his young son ambles down the hallway, catching a glimpse of the winter stars - wonders to himself "Where did I come from?" "Where am I going when I die?" Why am I here?"....This poverty becomes apparent. 

This Christmas in Colorado - over 10,000 of our brothers and sisters will sleep on street corners, under bridges, and in freezing ditches...Homeless and no where to rest their weary body. But how many of your neighbors will spend their holidays without the strong spiritual foundation they need, to provide their family with spiritual safety to keep them safe from the wild winds of this world. The spiritual homeless one might call them, with nowhere to rest their weary souls

This Christmas over 1.5 million people all across America will spend the holiday season in prison. Isolated from their family and friends because of mistakes they have made. No one would wish that upon anyone, but think about how many loved ones you hold close to your heart - that will spend the winter spiritually incarcerated. Lost and wondering the same old a dead end avenues of pain and suffering. How many friends do you have that have their soul shackled and locked with the manacles of past sins or mistakes, mistakes that they just can't let go of. You may refer to these folks as the spiritually imprisoned. 

But do not lose hope my friends, for their is hope sitting right in front of me. As you sit in these very pews you are manifesting to your Heavenly Father that you have the substance to impart to your starving brethren. You have the materials to help your neighbor build his foundation. You have the key to release your loved one from the shackles of the past and the medicine that will heal those painful wounds. Brothers and sisters we have the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today and it is here to comfort those who are afflicted. 

I know what I am asking is not easy. But anything that was ever worth something wasn't easy to achieve. When the winds begin to howl and the waters begin to churn, strong men and women dig down, dig deeper, and keep pushing down the rocky road of righteousness. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said - "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life."

I am sure it wasn't easy for Dr. King to turn the other cheek as he was being spit upon by racist fools. I know it wasn't easy for him to continue to preach non violence as women and children he knew personally and loved were being bludgeoned and bloodied on the streets in front of his teary eyes. Many of you sitting here know it isn't easy for a soldier to leave home and fight a war in a far off lands. In some respects it is even harder to say goodbye to that soldier you love and to keep fighting battles here at home everyday. But brothers and sisters it wasn't easy for Jesus Christ our Lord to drink the bitter cup of sin and death...but he did...for us.

We need not suffer aimlessly like Don Quixote or struggle based on mere principle alone. There are people all around us who need that soothing soul healing gospel of Jesus Christ. From the stay at home mom working hard to keep her kids in check, to the young man who is ostracized by his friends and family after coming out, to the young veteran barely old enough to rent a car returning home from Kuwait. Everyone needs help. Tonight as we lay down to rest a young mother will check into a shelter for victims of domestic violence. She needs a warm meal and a warm blanket for her and her son, but even more importantly she needs to know she is loved. She needs to know her Heavenly Father has not abandoned her, even if everyone else in this world has. She needs to realize he knows every hair on her head and each tear she has let hit the floor. She is loved beyond measure. 

As Diciples of Christ it is up to us to do as Jesus told Simon Peter - Feed his sheep. Dr. King speaking of compassion in 1967 said - On the one hand, we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. Let us rebuild this Jericho Road together. If we each do our part we can transform these broken hearts of pain and suffering. Let us make sure that everyone has the opportunity to be healed by our loving Savior, The First Born, Only Begotten son of our Heavenly Father. I say these things in his sacred name Jesus Christ - Amen.
NERF wars for the fun of it! 

"Three generations" Elder Fox, Elder Clancy and Elder Johns 






Lumberjacking it at the P's house!!

Elder Johns was new and in missionary slang
we say "he's a greenie". So in classic form,
the sweet P family created a dinner where everything
was GREEN!!!!!!!!


Nov 2nd - See that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength


Weekly email - 11/2/15
A day in the life of Elder Clancy

Most people grimace and groan when they hear their alarm go off at 6:30 on Monday morning, but us missionaries smile! Monday is our preparation day or P-Day for short. We get to do laundry, go to the store, and email our families back home. 

This past Monday was a fun one. We went shopping at Safeway right by our house. They had a sale on yogurt - it was 10 for $6.00 #YEAH! Needless to say I stocked up on them. I really enjoy breakfast smoothies by Boathouse Farms but they are ridiculously expensive. (No wonder why college kids gain the freshman 15 when a hamburger at McDonalds is $1 but anything remotely healthy starts at like $5!). I try to eat healthy for breakfast and lunch - I normally have yogurt or an egg of some sort & for lunch I have some soup and a sandwich or maybe even a salad if I am feeling really hipster.

For dinner however it is a different story. For most people it is like a big event when we come over and so they always bring out the 5 course meals and sometimes it is a real struggle to eat everything we are given. People in our ward are so kind to us!! We get $139 put on our debit cards once a month and we learn very quickly how to be frugal. I am normally fiscally conservative (Don't tell my liberal friends) but this Monday I saw Taylor Swift notebooks on sale for a dollar fifty and I just couldn't resist. 

After we emailed home and ate lunch, we headed out for Manitou Springs. Manitou is the quintessential hippie town and reminds me of a Patagonia commercial. Manitou lies at the foot of the front range and the scenery is second to none. It is definitely my favorite town I have visited since being in Colorado. Last time we made the trek we hiked the Manitou incline. It is literally 2,000ft vertical and hundreds of steps to the top. (Lungs destroyed). But this week we decided to drink all of the famous Manitou Spring water. They have 7 or 8 different fountains with mineral water from the local springs and they are kind of hidden around town. Personally I really enjoy wandering the streets and talking to people. Manitou is perfect for that kind of activity. Whether it was the homeless guy asking me for a Book of Mormon or laughing in my broken Spanish to a visiting exchange student from Panama, I enjoy learning everyone's "story". (PS I didn't have a book of Mormon on me so I gave him an Oprah Winfrey quote I had in my pocket instead.) 

Manitou has tons of antique shops and thrift stores along with the normal touristy stores. I haggled the owner of a thrift store to give me a map of the world for $5 instead of $6 and I bought some vanilla jasmine soap at another place before we found our first spring. The water was....um....minerally. It basically tasted like if you put rocks through whatever process they put almonds through to make almond milk. The good news however, is I most definitely hit my daily values for both iron and magnesium! 

You meet interesting people at these little hidden fountains. It kind of reminded me of a low budget movie I saw on Netflix after I got my wisdom teeth out. One guy was a scientologist who drinks the water everyday and we also met a group of bikers from Arizona. I was half expecting to see Kevin Bacon when we arrived at the last one. 

We spend our Monday evenings with the Howell family. They invite us over every Monday night for dinner & "Family Home Evening". It is a lot of fun but we always leave physically exhausted after playing intense games of hide and seek. 

Most weekdays we wake up at 6:30 & exercise. Some days we work out at our neighbors home gym, some days we play basketball, and others we exercise by walking to the living room and back. Last week when we were playing basketball in the morning I tried to dunk and I hit the ball on the rim and almost did a backflip. But hey ball is life.  I am still working on how to turn that stumbling block into a stepping stone. After we exercise we clean up and get ready for the day. After breakfast we study our scriptures for a few hours and plan out the lessons we are going to teach for that day. 

It is really hard to characterize a "normal day" in the mission. Tuesday we went and had morning scripture study with an elderly lady who can't really leave the house. She was so nice to us and really appreciated us coming over. Scripture study was one thing but more than anything I really think she enjoyed us coming to spend time with her. She has some memory issues and struggles with her daily activities. I made her laugh when I put her hand in mine and said, "Even if I get older and start to lose my memory, it will be impossible to forget that smile of yours". Many people might think I am channeling my inner Bill Clinton but honestly sometimes laughter is the best medicine. I remember one time when I was heartbroken I watched the movie Tommy Boy and I felt a lot better!! 

Wednesday we had an activity at our church called the "Trunk or Treat".  It is a fun little shindig for younger children who might not be old enough to go trick or treating, so everyone backs their car into the parking spots and gives candy from out of their trunk.  Some of the older kids try to finagle some candy too so I gave them the old "Bernie Sanders" and redistributed their wealth. It was an old trick my friend Sheldon and I devised back in the day. We take one piece of candy out of our bowl and pretend to put it in theirs but in reality we take like 5 from them... Hey they said TRICK or treat. So the kicker for the adults to come, is the world famous chili cook-off. Elder Fox and I decided that we would throw our hat in the ring, kind of more of a Don Quixote/Lincoln Chafee 2016 bid than anything else, but none the less we entered. We got Elder Fox's mom to send us her chili recipe and we made it but we really wanted to make it stand out. We added in Hot dogs, Bacon, ground beef, and just a little more bacon. When there are 16 chilis involved you have to do everything you can to stand out. Basically it was like the Republican presidential race and we were Donald Trump in September. Needless to say we won....with a little help from my early evening canvassing of undecided voters. 

Thursday evening we were able to eat dinner with the Root family. They have a very special place in my heart. They had been taught, moreover preached to - that our Heavenly Father was a condescending and quite frankly, mean, God. Obviously they had been pretty jaded to religion for a long time. The reason that fiery sermons of death and hell don't resonate with people is because of the fact that our Heavenly Father doesn't operate that way. He is (as the name implies) the Father of us all. Just like a Father or Mother love their children and want the best for them- He feels the same for us. In fact, just the mere fact that we are down here on this earth is a testimony of his love for us. John 3:16 reads-
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
I don't know about you but that doesn't sound to me like a condemning & vengeful God. In fact, quite the opposite. It truly strengthens my testimony to see others build a relationship with their Father in Heaven once again. The impact of a heart touched by Christ is an immeasurable blessing- not only to the heart that was touched, but to those that dwell around it. Ms. Root has pictures of her daughter Amy on her dresser. I told Ms. Root that I was sure that her Father in Heaven has a picture of her on his nightstand, & just like she loves her daughter more than life itself- he does too. 

Being a missionary is an amazing experience. Every 6 months in our church we have something called general conference. It is a meeting broadcast around the world where church leaders speak to us and give us advice and encouragement. I really enjoyed a talk given in October's conference by Elder Dale G. Renlund. He was a heart surgeon and he talked about how tough emotionally it was for him to witness so much grief and pain.  He had one patient in particular that he really became connected to. His name was Chad and he had a rare heart condition that didn't allow many people to survive but Chad was doing relatively well. Here is an excerpt that meant a lot to me, especially as a missionary. -

One evening, he was brought to the hospital’s emergency department in full cardiac arrest. My associates and I worked for a long time to restore his circulation. Finally, it became clear that Chad could not be revived. We stopped our futile efforts, and I declared him dead. Although sad and disappointed, I maintained a professional attitude. I thought to myself, “Chad has had good care. He has had many more years of life than he otherwise would have had.” That emotional distance soon shattered as his parents came into the emergency room bay and saw their deceased son lying on a stretcher. In that moment, I saw Chad through his mother’s and father’s eyes. I saw the great hopes and expectations they had had for him, the desire they had had that he would live just a little bit longer and a little bit better. With this realization, I began to weep. In an ironic reversal of roles and in an act of kindness I will never forget, Chad’s parents comforted me.
I now realize that in the Church, to effectively serve others we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes. Only then can we begin to comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Only then can we sense the Savior’s caring concern for them. 

As missionaries we have the unique opportunity to serve others in a place far from home. You would be surprised however, how quickly your heart begins to open up to these wonderful people. As we begin to see these people for who they are - children of our Heavenly Father, and not just "someone" we also begin to empathize with them. Being a missionary has given me so much perspective on life that I sometimes feel overwhelmed. So many times we are able to empathize with big name heroes such as John McCain in Vietnam, Todd Beamer, or maybe brave Malala Yousafzai (The girl who stood up to the Taliban for Women's education). But there are so many other brave men and women who are nameless to most. The nameless but brave young mother who is struggling to continue day to day as she lives in a shelter for battered women. The uncelebrated recovering drug addict who has worked so hard to get clean. How about the unacknowledged first responders, who go out every morning risking their lives for the betterment of others who get no glory and in many cases, receive vehement attacks. All of these people from all walks of life- They ALL are important. As we serve others we will truly understand more of God's love for us and for all of his children. I have been blessed enough to serve and if anyone who is reading this is trying to decide if they should serve or not, serve!
Love
Elder Clancy