Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27, 2010

Oi Família!
Well, what a great week it was this week! We have been teaching this 16 year-old kid named David and he was baptized this Sunday. He is a really special kid and all through our visits with him, he accepted all of the commandments with an open heart and tried his best to fulfill our commitments we left for him. One of those commitments was to stop drinking coffee and obey the Word of Wisdom. He said that he has been drinking coffee since he was way little, but he stopped that very day and never went back. He´s been going to our English Class that we teach here in the ward and he has already made a lot of friends with some recent converts and members. At his baptism, I had the opportunity to baptize him, and after I said the prayer and baptized him, he came out of the water and said, "Ahh... Born again!" It was really funny and everyone was laughing in the room. The kid knows how to keep the commandments! We went to his house later that night and I asked him what his plans were for the future, and he said, "To be an Elder." I love this Gospel so much! I love what it does and I love the way that it touches the hearts of the people. I´m telling you, missionary work is addicting! Even with recent converts, they can see how important this work is. I know that Brazil is a very high baptizing area, but if I baptize the least amount of people in the history of this mission, but all of them stay firm and/or serve a mission, I will feel like I have done my part for the Lord. So far, all three of my converts have told me that they want to serve a mission and my first one will be leaving for his mission by the end of my mission! I love this work!!!
Well, to give an update on how I´m doing with the language, I am fairly confident in my knowledge of the language right now. Elder Roblyer and I only speak in Portugese and it is helping me out more than I can recognize. I know that it is only because of the help of the Holy Ghost that I am learning so well, and that is something that I will remember for my entire life, because the minute that I start to think that I am doing this with my own power, the help will stop coming. To give you bit of taste of how much we are speaking in Portuguese, we tried teaching the message of the Restoration this morning for companion study in English... it was a train wreck for me. The way I used to talk in English is being transformed into Portuglish. The phonecall for Christmas will be really interesting haha.
Well, that is all for this week! I am having a blast with my companion! We are doing a lot to try to strengthen this area and we are having a lot of fun at the same time! I love this Church and I love who I represent... My Savior. Right now, I have no other desire other than find more people and teach them. This is absolutely a once in a lifetime opportunity to serve a mission of the Lord. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday, Sept 21, 2010

Oi Família!!!

Well this was a great week for me and Elder Roblyer! He and I are speaking in nothing but Portuguese, so I am learning twice as fast as I was in the first transfer. He is really awesome and it is really nice to be able to swap stories about sports and stuff like that with him. My trainer didn´t play sports at all so it was a little bit more different last month haha. But we are working a lot during the day and hopefully we will have three baptisms this weekend. We are teaching a 16 year old kid named David and he told us something really cool yesterday. He has been going to another church as of late and the Church of Jesus Christ as well, but his mom told him to make a choice between the two or else he will drive himself crazy. He told us that he chose the Church of Jesus Christ! I know that the Lord was there to help him make that decision and he is getting David ready to be a great member of the His Church. We are also teaching a mom and her daughter. Maria and her 23 year old daughter Amanda we have been teaching for a while now and they know that the Church is true and everything! But they have so much fear of being baptized. I told them that we really feel the love of the Savior when we fulfill what he has asked of us. Our test of faith really comes when we choose to follow the commandments of God, even when the reason doesn´t necessarily make sense to us or we are a little afraid of what will happen afterwards. The Lord will bless everyone who makes a sacrifice to follow Him.

This week is going to have to be a little short, but I just want to tell everyone back at home that I love them with all of my heart. This mission is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, but it is also the most rewarding thing as well. I am learning so much about my faith and personal level of obedience and I am seeing the Lord not only bless my life but also the lives of the people around me. This ward here in Brazil is making me feel like I´m at home. They are all very interested in my life and the lives of my family as well. I am so grateful that the Lord has chosen for me to serve His children here. Thanks for everything and keeping me updated on all of your lives back at home! Next week will be a longer letter, I promise!

Dad, you can use pretty much any of my letters that I have already sent to tell the ward back home. You can use that paragraph above as well!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday, Sept 13, 2010

Oi Família!
First of all, I want to apologize for not writing a lot in my last letter to you all. I was in such a hurry because that day wasn´t even my preparation day, but we are still required to email on Mondays, so I didn´t have a much time as I wanted. I pretty much spent the majority of the time giving Brady dating advice, but it looks like he doesn´t even need it! haha I´m glad you had fun Brady! I want to hear how school is going for everyone else! Only Brady is writing to me about these things lol Tambi is writing to me too, but she only talks about Kitty and Pumpkins growing in the front yard haha just kidding Tam :) But that fire pit in the backyard is a really good idea. Did you guys pull out that old swing set? I think we should have done the firepit thing a long time ago. Good idea Tambi! Sounds like Payson football is still limping around... I hope they end up doing well in Region-play. I heard that the Cougars had a bit of a hiccup with Air Force this weekend. What happened there? And I was in the house of a member yesterday and they were watching football... Yeah, American Football! I wasn´t watching, but I did happen to glance at the TV and see that the Rams were winning their game, did they pull it out?!
Well, my trainer Elder Stott was transferred this week and I stayed in my area. My new companion is Elder Jordan Roblyer from... go figure, LOGAN!!! How crazy is this? It´s like Utah State will never leave me, no matter where I go in my life. He has been on his mission for nine months now and he graduated the same year as me, so he was friends with all of my friends from USU. It is so weird that we have the same inside jokes between us and we never even knew each other before the mission. He is my exact height, my exact weight, and he played football and basketball in high school. When we walk down the streets here, we look like two big white giants. It´s pretty amazing. He is a really good missionary when it comes to teaching people, but he is a little loose with the rules and it is definitely taking a tole on me right now. He and I get along really well, but there is always something that we could do to make ourselves better. I just know that it is really important to not let the way others act influence your attitude. This will be a fun transfer, I am learning how to teach better and better each day, and I am speaking Portuguese better than I could have ever imagined. That is another good thing about Elder Roblyer; we don´t talk a bit in English. I can´t wait to call you guys on Christmas and show you how far I´ve come!
I have a cool thing I´d like to share that I learned from the Book of Mormon this past week. If you look in 1 Nephi 8 you will read about Lehi´s vision of the Tree of Life. The purpose of the Tree of Life is for everyone to taste of the fruit of the tree because it signifies the Love of God. We have the Iron Rod that is the Word of God that will lead us directly to the tree and we have the large and spacious building with the wicked people who are in it. Lehi sees great multitudes who are on the path to the Tree of Life so they can taste of the Love of God. They are progressing and finally reach the fruit and taste of it. In verse 28, Lehi sees people who have already tasted and known of the Love of God, but the people in the large and spacious building start to make fun of the people who are trying to follow God. Unfortunately, the people who listen to them fall away and start down paths away from God and are lost. Then in verse 33 and 34 we see that the people started making fun of Nephi, but Nephi did something to not let it get to him... he didn´t listen. Unfortunately, people will make fun of you because you believe the way you believe, they will try to persuade you to deny the very Love of God that you have already felt in your life. But we just need to do what Nephi did... don´t listen! We are children of our Father in Heaven and He wants us all to return to live with Him, so don´t let people persuade you to stray from that path. Unfortunately, some of that bad persuasion comes from within the Church itself as well. Stand firm and do what you know is right, and in the end we will have the reward of living together forever as a family.
I love this Church, I love this work, I love the scriptures, I love my family, and I love my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. I know that They have given us a plan to follow so we can make back to him. I am so grateful that I was taught this plan and that I have the opportunity to teach it to the people here. I hope everyone has a great week! Oh and Dad, I didn´t get an email from you this week again, I hope everything´s all right! Love you guys!
Elder Clark