Tuesday, July 20, 2010
This week really cruised!!! I was just thinking about how long these last two weeks at the MTC were going to go, but they have not slowed down yet. Like I said last time, this will be my last week here and I am getting so anxious to get out. My district is now the oldest district in the building. It´s so weird to think that no one here has been here longer than us. I don´t know how my transfer will go next week, so if you don´t receive an email from me next tuesday, don´t be scared. Today for P-day, my district and I went to a place in town called Rodízio! It is exactly like Tucanos or Rodizio Grill, except better and way cheaper! I stuffed my face so much and I didn´t even care lol. I got to go proselyting once again this last Friday and it was such an amazing experience. I´ll tell you about one of the six people who we handed Books of Mormon. His name was Ronaldo and he was wearing his motorcycle gear and walking down the street, looking very intimidating. My companion and I just kinda were pulled to him like a magnet and we started to get to know Ronaldo. He said that he didn´t have a religion but he had studied the Bible for about a year. I piped up and told him how amazing that was and that we were here in Brazil for two years to not only study the Bible and about Jesus Christ, but to teach people about him too. We then introduced the Book of Mormon and said that it was another record of the teachings and life of Jesus Christ to the people in America and Ronaldo got very interested. When we finished he looked at us and said, what a coincidence it is that you two would stop and talk to me out of all of these millions of people in São Paulo. I stopped him and plainly said that this was not a coincidence and that, as representatives of Jesus Christ, we were meant to talk to him. I had no idea what I was saying, but it felt so good! Ronaldo accepted the Book and also agreed to call the missionaries´ number on the front. We saw him reading as we walked away... I know that this work is true, and I know that the Spirit of the Lord would not be with me if I was doing something wrong. My mission has only just begun but it means everything to me right now. I am amazingly excited that the language is coming along just fine and that I will be entering the field in week from today. I hear it all the time, but I will work my hardest so that I don´t regret one minute of this! That is so nice of the Darby´s to let you guys crash there. I am so glad you get to watch all of these amazing baseball games while you´re out there! I would love to do that someday. Please let me know how the temple goes! I hear that the Celestial room is so pretty there. You´re right dad, I do love going to the temple. I am eternally grateful that you were there to show me the ropes. You definitely started my fire to serve in the Lord´s house. I appreciate so much that you all do for me. I really do feel your love each day. Thanks for the support! Até próximo semana!!!! I love you guys!
Posted by Elder Braden Clark at 4:59 PM
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Well, I am officially starting my eighth week here at the MTC! How crazy is this? I cannot believe how quickly everything is going by. By the way, if you send me anything to the mission home, they won´t forward them to me here, but they will hold them for me until I get out there. I sometimes feel like my MTC depature date couldn´t come any slower though. Each and every day I get more and more anxious to leave this place, but I know that I still have a lot to learn, but on the other hand I know that I´ll learn more from the field than in this place. My Mission President came and spoke at a fireside here this last Sunday. Presidente and Sister Moreira are the coolest people I´ve ever met so far (no bias there). They reassured all five of us who are going to the São Paulo East Mission that we will be placed with an American as our trainer so we don´t get too overwhelmed about what we need to learn. Meeting them did not help my anxiety to start working like a realy missionary. It´s hard because we see all of these Brazilian missionaries come in and it seems like I blink and they´re already leaving for the field and I still have two weeks left! But next Tuesday is my last P-day and I probably won´t get to contact you on the day that I leave, which is the 27th of July. This week we will get to go proselyting once again, but this time it will be in downtown São Paulo! It will be so incredibly fun because I can speak a lot more Portuguese than I could the first time we went. I have this strong urge to tell everyone about the Restoration and how important this book is to our lives. I have learned so much about how the Lord really does prepare people in his own way. I had a "Best 2 Years" experience during last P-day. This guy pulled up to me and my district on his motorcycle and started talking to us in Portuguese and then he automatically switch gears and spoke in perfect English and I had no clue what he was saying for a little bit! He started asking us questions like how we study the Book of Mormon and the Bible together and that he prays for us every day because he knows that Brazil needs more people to preach about Jesus Christ. He asked if we believed in miracles by laying on of hands and if he could come visit church. Well, after I picked up my jaw from off the ground, we told him about the number that he could call for other missionaries to come and teach him more. He said "great! We can sit down, talk about Christ, have some coffee..." Hahaha He was extremely prepared for the message and it felt so good to be able to talk to him about what a blessing this Church has been for me and my family. I love being a missionay! I am way jealous about that San Diego trip Dad and Jill! That is so awesome! Tell the Darby´s that I say hi! Or Oi, I suppose haha. Sounds like my siblings are going to be twice the athlete I ever was! Not that it was difficult. I am glad that you all got my letters too! I hope you liked them! I am sorry if I ever miss any of your questions, I get so rushed with my shortage of time. I love you all! Have a fantastic week!
Posted by Elder Braden Clark at 10:43 AM
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Oi Família! I hope you all know that you can translate my Portuguese sentences through the internet if you don´t quite understand them (except for Uncle Jeff, he already speaks Portuguese). This week was absolutely amazing! I felt like a real missionary, not just a missionary in training. We had the opportunity to go proselyting in the city around the MTC here and give out Books of Mormon, or Livros de Mórmon! My companion and I were each given three books to place and only two hours. I was a little apprehensive at first because I didn´t know what to say to people to begin talking about the Book of Mormon, even though we had been practicing that for the past four or five days. The first person we talked to completely shut us down and told us that we are devil worshippers and that we don´t really believe in Jesus Christ. That definitely knocked the cobwebs out of my head and I was determined to not let my testimony be bashed like that again. So said a prayer in my heart for Heavenly Father guide me to someone who would be more receptive, and sure enough we found him! We were walking up the street and this guy had his iPod in and I didn´t think he would stop to talk to us, but I stuck out my hand and said "Tudobem Senhor?" and he talked to us and I bore my heart to him about how this book, along with the Bible, has helped me grow so much closer to Jesus Christ. He took the book and said that he would read it and call the number if he had any questions about it. I was so happy and I smiled for the rest of the time. I didn´t care that nearly everyone else wouldn´t talk to us or were rude, because I knew that we had been accepted just once. We continued and ended up passing out ALL of our books and when we returned, we were the first companionship finished so our instructor gave us one more to pass out. We wanted to make this one extremely special, so we both waited until we felt the Spirit really tell who to talk to. We failed three times until we finally came across an old man waiting at a bus stop. I am not exaggerating when I say that he was litterally reading the Book of Mormon before we had even left. We were so happy to finally be able to practice doing what we had been called out here to do... to invite people to come unto Christ through His restored Gospel. This was a complete testimony builder for me, especially when I would see that these people were happy to take a book that they knew would help them grow closer to Christ. I love this country so much as well!!! Brazil is my home away from home and I love it here! It´s so good to hear from you all! I am really jealous that Brady is already taller than me and that he is still growing. And I am especially jealous about the Stadium of Fire! That is really cool! Dad and Jill, you guys are so lucky to be able to go to Cali and watch baseball!!! I love you all and thanks for the letters! Fique bem e eu amo vocés muito!!! Love, Elder Clark
Posted by Elder Braden Clark at 7:51 PM