Thursday, June 10, 2010

There is so much I want tell you guys! I don´t even know where to begin! I could tell you about the plane ride. The minute I got on the plane to Sao Paulo, I didn´t really know how to feel once it took off. The feeling is so weird to know that I won´t be in Utah for the next two years. I really don´t think I was completely in my right mind when I left because I just had the excited missionary attitude and the knowledge of being away for so long just hadn´t sunk in yet. On the plane, the excited feeling still didn´t go away and I sat next to a guy who was from Cortutiba, Brazil, and he was so nice and friendly to me. His name was Jonas and he was a businessman. He was asking me about why I was going to Brazil and I got to explain my purpose with him. That kind of got the early jitters out of my system because I really had to reflect on the reason I was going to serve a mission in some dangerous place that I´ve never been to in my life. He gave me his business card and said that if I was ever in Cortutiba, that I should call him and he´d show me around. Now, even though I won´t be I won´t be able to see him, I still took it and gave him a pass along card with a picture of a temple on it and told him that there was on like this in his state, too. He took it and told me to keep in touch with him. I won´t lie, it was scary to just give him the card, but I knew that I would have regretted it if I hadn´t. When we arrived at the MTC, or the CTM as they call it here, there were 13 of us all together and they split us up into two different districts. My district included me and five other elders. Elder Smart is from Dallas and he is very knowledgeable in the Gospel. Elder Jackson is from Boise and he is really quiet but he works hard in class to know the stuff. Elder Thomas was the one from Taylorsville and he is a really cool guy. Elder Walton is from Atlanta and he and I get along the best because we were both three sport athletes in high school and he even played baseball at BYU this last year. Then there is my companion, Elder Bracken. He is from Salem and he´s a very nice guy. He wants to work so hard at learning the Gospel and the language that sometimes he frustrates himself, but he always has a good attitude. Our personalities don´t really mesh well, but we both want to be obedient and work hard while we´re here, so we get along just fine. We had interviews this Sunday with our branch president to see how we were doing, just in case any of us wanted to pack up and go home because we missed our families too much. When it was my turn, he asked me about you guys, and I don´t know what it is about you guys that gets me so emotional, but any time I get to share my feeling about my family, I can´t help but breakdown and cry and bare my testimony of how grateful I am for teh sealing powers of the temple that bind us together forever! Our branch president then later told me that the Lord had impressed him to call me as the district leader. I know that it doesn´t mean that I´m better than anyone else in my district because all of these elders are so talented, but I just have a little more responsibility now. I think that the Lord called me to this because he knew that I´d be thinking about you guys too much if I didn´t have something else to occupy my mind. I love teh elders in my district and I´m very grateful that the Lord feels confident in my abilities to be a district leader. My teachers here are great! We are learning so much and very quickly. I can already pray and bare my testimony in Portuguese. Both are very simple in words and sentence structure, but I´m more confident in my ability to learn this language now. At first, I was a little doubtful, but I know that the Lord will help me with whatever I need. The food here is so good! I say that now because it´s my first week, but I really like the rice and beans and all of the meat they feed us. There are some things I cannot tell what they are or where they came from, but I usually end up liking it anyways! This may turn into a very bad thing because I have already gained about four or five pounds here... not good. This city is huge! Seriously! I see so many tall buildings everywhere and most of them are just apartment complexes FULL of people! I love the humidity right now, but they say that it´s the dry season right now, so I´m in for more change by the time I get out of here. The warmth is nie because the toilet seat is never cold when you sit on it in the morning. Yet another blessing from not going to Provo... I love this place so much and I am really beginning to love my mission and my whole purpose for being out here. I was really doubting my faith at the beginning of this whole adventure, but my prayers have become so meaning full out here. I feel closer and more receptive to God´s love out here while I am learning how to do his work. I love this church, and I love my Savior so much! Everything he´s given me is a blessing that I know that I will not take for granted for the rest of my life. You guys are one of those huge blessings, and I love you all so much! I hope you know that I miss you and love you very much! Love Elder Clark...

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