Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Week (Dec 26th, 2011)

We got to Video Skype with Steven this week. It was awesome. He looks great, nice and Tan. He said it was 110 degree's in Sao Paoulo. They had 11 baptisms on Christmas day. He's doing great and I told him that he has to send an email this next week, since he's missed two weeks now. Although we did get to speak and see him.

Til next week...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, Dec 19th

No Email from Steve this week. He will be skyping with us on Sunday.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oi Família!

Once again, I am really sorry that I didn´t get around to sending an e-mail last week. We got stuck in the office arranging the transfers and I was really worried about how a few missionaries were going to make it to their new areas and I just couldn´t get myself to the computer to write a good letter to you guys. So I hope that this week´s letter makes up for the lack of last week´s.

We have actually been training a new misisonary these past two weeks. His name is Elder Amorim and he is a Brazilian from the north zone of São Paulo, but he isn´t your ordinary Brazilian. His first day he told us that he wasn´t going to stay with us for very long because his actual mission was Toronto, Canada. He is just here waiting for his visa, but he has lived almost half of his life in the United States, including two years of studying at BYU. He speaks English better than I do! He doesn´t like to tell people but his family are pioneers in the Church down here in Brazil. His grandpa was the first Brazilian general authority and his dad was also the mission president in Lisboa, Portugal when they were the highest baptizing mission in Europe. So basically he´s a stud! But he is such a humble and good guy, and a tremendous missionary. Everyday, when we are working together, he always acts super happy and energetic and talks with everyone on the street about the Gospel. He came on the mission pre-trained practically. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with him, but fortunately for him, and unfortunately for me, he got his visa this week and he will be heading for Toronto this Wednesday. He is going to be a great missionary there and I am excited for him.

This Elder Amorim helped me out big time this week. Just this Saturday, we went out working and trying to visit all the people we found this week to take to Church on Sunday morning. Earlier this week we had met a woman with her kids walking up this giant staircase. We stopped her and started explaining to her about the Church and she told us that she really wanted to find a good Church for her family to go to. She was married legally, didn´t have a determined religion and really liked our message, so I thought "golden investigator!" Well, we passed by the next day and she said that she couldn´t make it to the ward activity because it was raining. The next day we passed by again to invite her to the other activity that night as well, but it was still raining so she didn´t come. Then, on Saturday, we passed by once again. I knocked on her door and she answered. I asked her how she was doing and she answered me very shortly, "I´m really busy and you are really annoying!" I felt like I had just witnessed a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde thing because it most definately wasn´t the woman whom I had talked with just a few days before. I asked her was still interested in visiting the Church and she answered me saying, "No! I told you that I would go and you still kept coming by and you are annoying. Go away!" She slammed the door and I walked away. I was a little shocked and I tried to joke around saying, "Well, that could have been worse." But I won´t lie, it hurt a lot, and it affected my Spirit a lot. I went the whole day thinking about that woman and how I felt like I had blown it with her and her family. I kept thinking that it was all my fault and that they wouldn´t be baptized because of me. Elder Amorim kept trying to cheer me up because he could tell that something was wrong. I just kept praying in my heart that Heavenly Father would help me snap out of this trance that I was in. We went the entire day without getting into one single house until our very last appointment at 8:30 at night. It was a family whom we have been teaching for two weeks and finally had a free weekend to go to Church this week. We sat down and started teaching about the Restoration of the Gospel. We had already talked with them about baptism and they didn´t really understand the whole concept of needing the priesthood to baptize someone. Elder Amorim was teaching with such a great Spirit that I ended up catching it as well. There was a huge party right outside their house and they were playing this really loud music, but it didn´t even matter because EVERYONE was paying attention. When we got to the part about Joseph Smith´s first vision, the whole family started to cry. Every single one of them committed to be baptized on the 18th of this month after coming to Church today. I looked at Elder Amorim after that visit and he just kind of smiled and looked at me. I know that my simple prayer had been answered and my Heavenly Father really took care of me when I needed of comfort most.

I know that God lives and I know that Jesus Christ really did die for me and everyone else in this world. I know that he loves me like a real SON. When I am sad, He really does take care of me. When I am happy, He really does rejoice with me. When I am teaching the Truth, He is there with me at my side. I know, because I feel Him. There are so many things that I still need to learn and improve, but as long as I have a loving Heavenly Father by my side, I will never be afraid. In this Church, there is no such thing as fear. I love my family and I am so grateful that I came on a mission. This experience is changing my life. There was a talk at conference by a Brother Richardson, I believe, where he says that his mission was the two years FOR his life, and not OF his life. I agree. I love this Gospel and I wouldn´t switch places with anyone right now.


Elder Clark

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday, December 5th 2011

Hey All:
Steven sent an email today to let everyone know that he was in the office today for his P-Day, however he said he wouldn't have time today to send an email. He was working on transfers for his mission president.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011

Oi Família!

Sorry I didn´t my e-mail off to you guys yesterday. There is quite the epidemic here in the mission. Everyone is catching the Chicken Pox! It all started last month with one Elder, then it spread to another... then to another... and pretty soon we had to put about four or five missionaries in quarantine! Seriously, we had a house right by the Mission Office reserved for the sick Elders and no one could go in if they hadn´t already had the pox. So why does this have anything to do with me not sending an e-mail... well I have a companion who is deathly afraid of getting the chicken pox, so instead of sleeping at the secretaries´ house we had to go all the way back to our area which is more than an hour away from the office. Therefore, I did not get to use the computer there. End of story. The funniest thing is that Elder Fassini is paranoid at the fact of catching the pox that I see him scratching a little bit and he already starts to panic haha.

This week was a great experience for me. This Sunday was the Primary Program for the ward, so we got to see all the kids singing to us. It was such a great program that they all put on, and I was so happy to have brought our investigators to watch it. They all told us afterwards that it was really cute and they all felt really good inside. I know that Christ wasn´t joking around when He said that the little children are heirs in God´s Kingdom. You can just feel such a great Spirit when little kids are singing and baring their testimonies about Jesus Christ or the Book of Mormon or the Church. They really are the most pure at heart. It kind of makes me want to go back to that stage of life. The best part of the program, I thought, was when they invited all of the full-time and returned missionaries to come up and sing "Called to Serve" together. I saw more than 20 men and women up at the front with us all wearing their missionary name-tags, some a little older than the others. I looked out at the congregation and saw about four or five of our converts looking at us. I recognized the look on their face because it was the same look that I had when I saw the returned missionaries that I knew before the mission. That look of "I can´t wait to be a missionary like him!" It was impossible to not notice the way they were feeling because I still feel the same about my own dad who I am so proud to say that really was a true missionary of the Lord. The fact that I am going through similar problems and situations that he, too, went through helps me have a lot more respect for him. Knowing that I am almost finishing this part of my life is something very sad for me, but I am so glad they called me on a mission.

Hope you all have a great week and that the Spirit can help you all in every tough decision you make. Always rely on the Lord and everything will turn out all right. I love you all! Thanks so much for everything.

Elder Clark

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday, November 21 2011

Oi Família!

This week was rather full of events and then at the same time very still. I did an exchange with another Elder this week who had begged us to come help him figure out what to do in his area. He was opening an area in a ward that hadn´t had missionaries for about seven months now, and he was getting pretty nervous. I went there and the exchange was awesome! We were able to find out a few great things that he could do to help his area. I really love being able to help these missionaries out. Sometimes I think that I am still extremely unqualified to give advice because I don´t see myself as anyone full wisdom... very far from that! haha I see how our exchanges always leave the missionaries more excited and happy, so I know that the Spirit really does work with us. When you have two Elders who really want to make a difference in an area and are willing to be obedient, the Lord is obligated to bless us. I told this Elder that that blessing wouldn´t all come at once; he´d have to work a bit, but they would be blessed by their obedience. I truly love the experiences I have doing this job.

This week was rather bittersweet for me. I learned a very good lesson about obedience through things that happened this week. With my calling, my companion and I handle almost everything that happens in the mission. I am so very grateful for the mission rules. I see how they really do protect us here on the mission. When we look at all the commandments of God, they really are here to PROTECT us! Sometimes, we look at commandments as RESTRICTIONS that God has given us to make our life hard and difficult. We think that we cannot have fun AND keep the commandments at the same time, but in all reality, God only gives us these commandments because only He sees the horrific consequences that will come if we decide not to be obedient. It´s just how our parents work. They tell us to not do something because they already know what will be the consequence for that action, but we question them still and think that we know what is better. In the end, we are hurt... sad... repentant... alone... and we only wish that we could go back in time and take that thing back. Heavenly Father gives us commandments because He doesn´t want to see any of His children sad OR hurt! I know that if I smoke, I will have bad health and I will die early. I know that if I don´t keep the law of chastity, I will hurt my family. The problem is that we don´t see the consequences from not keeping the small commandments like going to Church or paying tithing or reading scriptures or praying everyday. I know that the Lord sent me on a mission to learn these things. I know that while I am here, I need to realize how Heavenly Father is opening my eyes to how obedience to even the smallest rules will save me from a world of pain and misery. I´d rather make the little sacrifice right now to obey the small things, than disobey the small things and sacrifice my happiness in the future. Just how Alma taught us, "Wickedness never was hapiness."

I hope you all have a great week and I hope that we can all think about how our Heavenly Father loves us SO much and how much it hurts Him to see us suffer. Let´s all together make the best choices so that we can all prepare to live with Him once more after this life. I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Elder Clark

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Monday, November 14 2011

Oi Família!!!

So the ward here went to the temple this Saturday. All the youth planned to meet at the chapel in the morning so that everyone could get up and go together on the bus to get to the temple. Around 15 youth went to the temple that day. Of the young women, the majority were members with more time in the Church, but the young men didn´t have any experienced member with them, but seven of our recent-converts went! Our converts are LOVING the Church and I am extremely happy with the work that my companion and I are doing here. It´s really rough sometimes having to take care of so many things at the same time, but the Lord has really been blessing us with His elect children to teach and baptize! We have quite a few young men who have already made plans with the bishop to serve a mission next year! So I will be sending a lot of mail to Brazilian missionaries this time of year next year!

Just to show you all just how blessed this area has been, I will tell you that we broke a record in our mission today. Today, we baptized 11 people! The ward was SO surprised and happy to see so many people in white and excited to be baptized. There were youth and a mom who we had been able to help this week. I felt so happy seeing all of them taking such a big stride in following Christ. I just cannot explain just how much Brazil has been a blessing to me. I see so many humble people here who are looking and searching for an exit to this corrupt world they live in. SO many people have been accepting our message and it´s been such an overwhelming feeling to me. At times I get to thinking how the Lord prepared His children and then puts them in our path for us to find.

I´d like to share something very spiritual that happened to me this last week or so...

On my birthday in 2010, I had just gotten out of an interview with our mission president. He had asked me if I had set a goal for how many of God´s children I wanted to baptize on the mission. I told him that I hadn´t ever thought about setting a goal of baptisms yet. I looked at what I had done in the mission until that point. I went home and started studying the scripturs a lot about baptism and whatnot, and I decided that it was time for me to set a goal with Heavenly Father. I got down on my knees and asked Him how many people I should baptize from October 2010 until October 2011. I threw out a fairly low number to Him first, and I didn´t feel good about it. I threw out a number a little bit higher... still nothing. I threw out a number that I thought was absolutely ridiculous, but when I stopped and waited for an answer, I felt a burning in my heart that I had never felt before. I knew, better than ever before, that God had told me that that ridiculously high number needed to be my goal to reach until October 2011. Well, I wrote down the experience in my jornal and made some plans. I went to work and the very next month... we didn´t baptize anyone. Then next month... about the same thing. Then the next month... one person. Can you feel the discouragement coming in? I started to feel like that answer from God that I had received really wasn´t God talking to me but just my own head messing with me. I started to really doubt that God really could answer my prayers and I got really discouraged on the mission. You can all read my letters in about January and February and you can see how I really wasn´t happy. I even remember telling Dad how I didn´t have a single spiritual experience to tell about my mission with almost one year out. I read letters from my friends in other missions and it seemed like they were all having great chances to baptize families and whatnot, and I was the only one not doing anything. I decided to change my attitude a little bit. My new companion and I started to work better and we baptized a little more. Then I was called as a leader in the mission. I saw how my spiritual experiences were happening more often as I continued to work harder and harder. When I was looking at the list of all my recent-converts last month just after my birthday, I started to count. When I was counting, my hands started to sweat and my finger started to tremble as I passed it along the page. When I came to the end of the list, that ridiculous number that Heavenly Father had confirmed to me... had been reached. That exact number that Heavenly Father showed me was the number of people that were on my list. I felt the Spirit fill my heart and show me just how much Heavenly Father loves His children. When I was unbelieving, He still answered. What I learned from this experience was that when Heavenly Father gives us an answer to a question we have, His answer is ALWAYS true, and He WILL fulfill what He tells us.

I love the mission and I love the experiences that I am having! I love you all!

Elder Clark

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, November 7th 2011

Oi Família!

Let me just start this e-mail off telling you all just how great of a week we had! After all of our work throughout the week we were blessed with the opportunity of baptizing 8 people this week! Would you all like to know how? Of course! haha Well since we arrived in this ward, we have started a weekly schedule of activities in the Church. Monday we have Jiu-Jitsu classes in the afternoon, on Thursday we have English class, on Friday we have soccer, and Saturday has Mutual with the youth. We go through the neighborhood inviting all the youth to attend these various activities and they go crazy for it all! They all say stuff like, "I have never seen a Church do such cool things. I am SO going on Sunday, too!" The youth are so enthusiastic here about the Church, a LOT more than the adults in the ward, and we are able to help a lot of youth start preparing for missions! We have already baptized a group of friends here in this ward that are absolutely amazing. We have Diego, Paulo, Roseval, and Patrick who are all close friends, but the thing is that they are all our recent-converts and they weren´t even friends before they joined the Church. They met each other in Seminary and all the other activities and now they are stronger than ever! Yesterday, after Church we saw that there was a bunch of cars in the parking lot at about 5 o´clock. We walked in to see who was all there and it was just the Relief Society Choir, but we were looking in the other rooms and we saw our converts there just playing the piano and singing hymns! They even wrote on the blackboard "Elder Moreira, Elder Jappah, and Elder Mascarenhas". I am so proud of these guys! We even have a family that is starting to come to Church. We baptized the children these last few weeks and they became fanatics for the Church. They came to Church yesterday in dresses and everything! They even saw us and showed us their new purses they bought to carry their scriptures to Church! And next week we are going to baptize their mom!!! There was even a young man yesterday who came up to my companion and asked, "Hey! How many times do I have to come to Church before I can be baptized?! I have been here three times already and I want to be baptized!!!" We just thought that he was a member already! So we went to his house after Church and we met him mom and his older sister. They loved the message so much that they also accepted to be baptized in two weeks! Another whole family!!! I am really just astounded at the many blessings that we are receiving here in this ward. The members are extremely happy, especially the youth leaders and seminary teacher! And we are feeling the Spirit so much! I give all the credit to obedience and hard work, because I know that the Lord would not trust us with His children if we were slackers, especially these special children! I love the mission SO much!

Well, last Monday we had a Family night in a recent-convert´s house. So we ended P-day and went running there. I got there and started to tell that everyone was acting funny. When I entered the room, everyone turned on the lights and yelled, "Surprise!!!" They had thrown a delayed surprise birthday party for me. They made a cake and gave a few small gifts that were amazing! I really did love it. But the best part wasn´t even that. Here in Brazil, there is a tradition here where on your birthday you get eggs smashed on your head and then they throw flour all over you, but usually they don´t do it, they just threaten you... but I got egged anyways! You can see it from the pictures that they didn´t spare any part of my body. I got ambushed by my companion and converts with eggs and flour and my clothes were completely covered! We all got a big laugh until I started threatening to hug everyone! Haha It was fun!

Well, that was my week! Hope ya´ll liked it! haha I love you all and hope and pray that we can all keep working hard in school and at work so we can feel good about our work at the end of the day. Heavenly Father really does reward His children who try their best with amazing results. I am seeing this every day here on the mission. Have a great week! Love you all!

Elder Clark

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monday, October 31st 2011

Oi Família!

Well, I had my birthday this week. I can´t believe that I am already 21 years old. I don´t know how the time has passed by so quickly. It feels like just yesterday I was still going to high school preparing for a football or basketball game, or studying for a test. But now I realize that high school was almost three years ago for me! I am getting like Dad saying things like, "when I was your age, I had to get up at 4 in the morning to milk 40 cows, and then go to school!" Don´t worry, I don´t think I can pull the ol´ "when I was your age" card yet. But it was great here on the mission for my birthday. My mission president´s wife took very good care of me and made me a strawberry cake with my name on it and everything! She really is like a mom to us all here. She always buys everyone a new tie when it´s our birthday.

I had an amazing week this week. Just to let you all know what happened, I will explain to you all about someone really special from our area. His name is Diego and he is a 15 year old young man who we found here in the ward. We found him about three months ago and we took him and all of his friends to Church. They all loved it the first time and all of them wanted to be baptized the next week. We went around to all of their parents and they all allowed their children to be baptized... except Diego´s mom. She didn´t want him to be baptized in only two weeks and wanted him to wait a little bit more. So we let him wait a little more, and in the meanwhile, Diego went to Seminary every single day and participated in the ward choir, the theater piece that the young mens and young womens put on, and he even wanted to go to the temple with all the youth but got really sad because he couldn´t go. Everyone in the ward knows who he is and loves him to death. He is one of the most polite and coolest guys I have ever met. He always talks about serving a mission! We brought the bishop to talk to his mom and not even he was able to convince her to sign the baptismal form. Well, just the other day, my companion and I set a goal to not leave the house without a signature. We talked and talked... and talked... then his abusive dad came in and it started to get ugly. We stayed calm and bore our testimonies to them both. Diego wasn´t there during our conversation. Both my companion and I felt the Spirit so strongly in that moment that not even the hardest parents could have said "no". She took the paper and signed it, and even his dad signed it! We ran to Seminary to show Diego. When he saw the baptismal form all signed and everything, he started to cry and hugged us both! Just think of a young man who really wanted to be baptized! His baptism today was one of the best I have ever been a part of thus far. When he got out of the font, he gave me a big ol´ hug and said, "now I can go on a mission!" I love this Diego! We have about four other recent-converts who are getting ready to go on a mission next year as well! This stuff is great!

I went to the temple this week as well. There was a young man who always went on companion exchanges with me in my last area who finally got his mission call. He doesn´t have anyone in his family who could be his escort, so he called me up and asked me to be his escort. I got there and I saw his excited face seeing the beauty of the temple inside. I remember how I was my first time. Super curious and feeling the Spirit so strongly. He asked me so many questions and I really was happy to see how much he appreciated what he learned in the temple. I love meeting all these people on the mission. I got really sad this day thinking that I probably never will be able to see the majority of these people again when I finish the mission. I love all the experiences that I am having!

I love the mission and I love my recent-converts! I love seeing how they are growing and learning with me. I will be even more happy when they all go through the temple! My families that I baptized and the young men that will go on a mission in a few more years. There really is not a more gratifying work than this. I am really getting worried about the end of the mission. I can´t let any more moments pass me by! I love you all and thank-you so very much for all the support for my birthday! I love my family!

Elder Clark

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, October 24th 2011

Oi Família,

Well, I truly took advantage of having pancakes and maple and peanut butter this week!!! I have a new calling in my house now; I am the official pancake cooker! We have an official dish washer, floor sweeper, and now I am the official pancake maker. I love the Elders I live with. Elder Paul is from Idaho and I am trying to convince him to go to Utah State right now. I don´t think there is a single missionary here that I haven´t tried to convince to go to USU lol. I guess my recruiting attitude hasn´t gone away yet. The other elder here is Elder Uchôa from the Pará, where Spensor is serving his mission. He is a really cool guy who likes to goof around. It is a really nice thing to know that I can come home and there is someone who still wants to joke around to keep the light spirit around instead of the "I just had a horrible day and my comp is bugging me" feeling.

I learned quite a big lesson this week during my personal study. I was reading in Revelation 3:15-16 where it says that God wants us to be either cold or hot, but those who are luke-warm will be spewed out of His mouth. What did I understand from this scripture? God wants us to be dedicated in something. We need to be "hot" and really decide to follow God and really keep the commandments. But if we aren´t "hot" we can´t be luke-warm because this is the lazy attitude. Heavenly Father would rather that we be super "cold" than be luke-warm because a luke-warm person doesn´t have any desire to do ANYTHING! Heavenly Father cannot put desire into us, but someone "cold" can be turned to someone "hot" really easily because at least they are dedicated to SOMETHING! Look at the Apostle Paul. He was a great example of a "cold" person. Because he was so against the Church, God was able to use his abilities to convert him and he turned into a "hot" person. A luke-warm person doesn´t really care what happens and will not change for anything and God cannot work with these and they will be "spewed out" of his mouth. I want to be "hot!" I want Heavenly Father to be able to call me one of His best instruments and that I am really involved in everything that I do for Him.

I attached a few photos here to show you all what I have been doing. There are a few pictures from the BANESPA building here in São Paulo which is the tallest in the city. Look at all the buildings! It was really fun being up that high.

I love you all and hope you all have a great week! I am so proud of all of my brothers and sisters and my parents as well. I know that I was placed in this family for a very good reason. Thanks a bunch for the letters and birthday package! Love ya!

Elder Clark

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, Oct 17 2011

Oi Família!

Just to let ya´ll know, I love my recent-coverts here in my new area! Just four weeks ago, my companion and I were looking for some kid whom we had talked with on the street, but the problem here in São Paulo, and even worse in the favela, is that the house numbering system is totally whack! You could be walking down the street looking at the order of the number of the houses and you will see #12, #14, #16, #84, #76, #12940... and so on. So it´s basically impossible to find the right house here, but we thought we had found the right house and we knocked. It was the wrong door! But it was a family who was super happy to see us and they let us in! We taught them all and baptized all of them in two weeks! More than eight people in the family! The best thing was that one of the sons who is 16 years old has a problem, or HAD a problem. He always wears a hat because he is really embarrassed by his really large forehead. He told us that he would never take his hat off, not even at Church. But the bishop talked with him and gave him a recommend for the temple to do Baptisms there, but he told him that he would have to take off his hat. The next day, I passed by their house and the kid was walking around with pride and not ashamed of his forehead and was super excited to go to the temple! I was so impressed with him and it really did build my faith to see how he would make a such a big sacrifice, because it really was a sacrifice for him, just to go to the temple. This Sunday he even baptized one of his best friends as well and he was so happy! He said that it was so fun that he will bring a new friend each week to baptize! I love my recent converts and they are my pride and glory of my work that I do here. I love you all and I am sorry that my letter is so short this week but I know that this Church is true and I know that it is because my converts are knowing it too! Love you all!

Elder Clark

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oi Família!

I remember very well the advice that everyone gave me as I was leaving home for the mission, but the piece of advice that I remember the most was from Dad. He told me that no matter what I always had to send an email to him and Mom. Well I can honestly say that for one year and four months I had never missed a week... But just as every great movie has its end, so does my little angel streak haha! Last week got super busy for me and I only had one hour to send my email and it just so happens that on that hour the internet was down. Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you´re gonna get next... and sometimes there just aren´t enough rocks! haha

So what was Elder Clark doing these pat two weeks. Well last week were going around with our mission president giving training and whatnot to all the zones in the mission. We taught everyone how they can work better with the ward members and how to gain the confidence of the bishop in your ward. After that week I got an extremely strong desire to become a bishop one day outside of the state of Utah so that I could have more involvement with the missionaries so that the missionary work could flow so well. I have gained such a strong testimony about baptism here on the mission. When the bishop and the missionaries work together, you baptize a whole lot more and your converts stay strong in the faith. My new bishop in this ward is so good! He really shows his concern for our converts and he interviews them every Sunday! We have baptized a LOT of young men and he has already set goals for all of them to serve a mission! We got together all of the leftover white shirts and dress pants that missionaries had left in our house, and we gave them to these young men so that everyone can be dressed like priesthood holders. All of them are saying how great the bishop is and how they love seminary and it has made the biggest difference! As a bishop you have SUCH a great influence in the lives of the youth of the ward. I would love to have that opportunity one day... not that I want it really soon, but one day when I am ready.

Now this week I was still traveling throughout the entire mission doing companion exchanges. Right now, my area is the most successful area in the mission because of the way we are working. So we do these exchanges with the zone leaders so they can see what we are doing and they can put it into practice in their areas. I had the chance to revisit my old area! It was amazing! The zone leader I was with didn´t tell anyone that I was coming back to visit, so everyone got super surprised when they saw me. There was one family in particular that really marked my life there. When I first arrived, they told Elder David and me that we needed to baptized their son-in-law and their neighbor. We ended up baptizing them both and we created a HUGE friendship. When I was called as the Assistant, I didn´t have time to say goodbye to them, so I decided to give them a surprise. We knocked on the door and one of the daughters opened the door. I hid myself to the side of the door and popped my head out. She screamed and said ELDER CLARK!!!!!! The entire apartment complex looked out the windows wondering who had died lol It was so nice to see them again. Then we went and visited their neighbor whom I had baptized as well. We got there and he was telling me how he was already preparing his little boy to be baptized this week because he turned 8 this week! He has a 17 year-old daughter as well that isn´t baptized and I invited her that day to be baptized with her little brother. She accepted! I told their family that before I returned home that their whole family would be baptized. Little by little this prophecy is being fulfilled. I love that family so much!

Well that is pretty much all that I have! Just like always, when I have a period of time that I work extremely hard and then get a little break I always get sick, right? Well, I got a migraine headache on Saturday that knocked me out! I needed to do so many things that day and I knew that I couldn´t stay in bed. They gave me a blessing and I was able to do what was needed! I have such a great testimony that this Church is true and that the priesthood is true and that we are truly protected when we are giving our best to the Lord. I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Monday, October 3rd 2011

No Letter yet from Steve this week. He must be busy...



Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Oi Família!

Wow... this whole new working schedule is sure tiring. This whole week I spent traveling around the mission doing companion exchanges with the zone leaders. When it was all said and done, I finally got to stay in my area and rest a bit. And when I say "rest" I mean go back to work with my own investigators in my own area. I really do love doing these exchanges because I get to work with some of the best missionaries on the mission. I learn a lot and I have a bunch of spiritual experiences with their investigators. Just this Wednesday I went back to the zone where I first started the mission. I went and visited their investigators and we invited them to be baptized, but at first they said that they weren´t ready, but then we worked with the Spirit and they ended up accepting the invitation and were baptized on Sunday! Then I got to go back to my first area in the mission to do a baptismal interview for the Elders that are working there now. I got off the bus and I looked around and remembered all the things from my first months on the mission. It was like I was homesick or something. I felt like I had just gotten home from a really long journey. It had been almost a year since I´d left there and I got to see a few of the members that helped me learn Portuguese when I first arrived in the area. When I knocked on their door, one of the brothers came out and looked at me for a while and said, "Whoa! Young man are you a little lost around here?!" He came out and gave me a big ol´ hug and I got to talk with him about all the things that had changed and stuff like that. I got a tiny glimpse of what it will be like when I come back home to my REAL home.

I really don´t have a WHOLE lot to tell about the week other than that I am really grateful for this new calling because I am learning how to be more firm and forthright with my standards in the Gospel and my work. I know how important it is to be obedient and to be a good leader, because if we aren´t good leaders and if we don´t show the example to the other missionaries, the work will never move along. I see how I always need to be motivating these mission leaders to do their best because it is through them that the other missionaries are going to do better in their own areas. I see how important it is to always do my best because the reward for hard work is really gratifying, but the consequence for a lack of work is sadness and disappointment. The beautiful thing is that is all up to us whether we have good or bad results. I love the examples of hard work that I´ve had in my family. Thanks for all the help you´ve all given me! Keep up the amazing work at home! I love hearing about all the good stuff you´re all doing! I love you all!

Elder Clark

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday, Sept 19th 2011

Oí Família!!!

Can I just tell you all that I am amazed at how fast a week can go by on the mission. My duties and responsibilities are a WAY different than what I am used to as a regular mission leader. I finally got to go to the temple this last week as well. It had been almost one year and 3 months since I last went to the temple! I had missed those peaceful feelings of the Spirit each time I used to go. We went with all the American missionaries that were going home and I was able to reflect on a lot of things when we were in the Celestial room of the temple. I was extremely nervous for my new calling in the mission and I was really doubting whether I´d be able to do a good job or not, so I asked Heavenly Father if He had really called me to be in this position. I love the fact that I have a Father in heaven who loves me, because I felt so good inside afterwards and I left the temple feeling more confident than ever. I know that God calls people through revelation and now I just need to find out my specific duty that I need to fulfill while I´m serving in this spot. I am so happy and excited to work side by side with one of the smartest men in the Church, my mission president. He is one out of 6 people in the entire world who is authorized to teach Isaiah in Europe. He is extremely intelligent with the scriptures and I hope that by the end of my time here, I will have even 10% of the knowledge that he has. I know that that is one of the greatest reasons why I am here as well.

Life as an assistant is way different than what I am used to. I don´t have an area to take care of anymore... I have a MISSION to take care of! Any type of little problem that happens with companionships or certain missionaries, we have to go out and ressolve the problem ourselves. Whatever assignment our president gives us we have to stop everything we were doing and do what he´s asked. This week my companion, Elder Fassini (another Brazilian), and I need to prepare a training segment to give to the entire mission! We have an hour a piece to teach about how we can improve our relationships with our bishops and our members. It´s a little stressing at times with all these extra tasks on the side of our other missionary responsibilities such as teaching and baptizing, but I know that all of this is going to help me learn how to be a better person after the mission. I imagine that real life afterwards is about as rushed as life as an assistant. Even more rushed when you live in the third biggest city in the WORLD!!!

Speaking of where I live right now, I am sure Uncle Jeff can explain to you all about my new home. It´s called Heliópolis. It´s the second largest favela in the world. If you don´t know what a favela is, you should all ask Jeff lol. It´s supposedly one of the most dangerous areas in São Paulo, but I have never felt more safe in my entire life. Everyone loves the missionaries and they always ask us if we need any help with anything. It´s really great actually. As a kid I always wanted to know what it would be like to live in a big city like New York or something like that. Now I am living in the center of São Paulo! I see how crazy of a life it is to wake up and grap the metro then grab two more buses to get to a big office building to start working. I see how so many people are just doing everything through the motions and I stop to wonder... "How happy am I to know the Gospel." I know why I need to wake up every morning and I know what my goal is after this life is over. How many more people would be happy if they also knew about Heavenly Father´s great plan for us. I have such a great desire to share these things with all of them because I know that it will benefit EVERYONE! Everyone would be happier if they would just learn to live and keep the Lord´s commandments. Choose liberty! Not Eternal misery! Heavenlly Father must get pretty sad when He sees so many of his children sad. I know that every single person deserves to know what I know, and I have until May to tell as many people as I can! That´s not a whole lot of time lol. I love this new calling that I have and I am so happy that my president felt like he could trust me enough in this spot. I love my family and I know that it´s only because of you that I am here.

I love you all! have a great week!

Elder Clark

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, Sept 12, 2011

Oí Família!

Hello everybody!!! Well we have hit the end. My companion is finally headed for home. I will be getting my new companion tomorrow, whom I don´t know yet, and he will be grabbing the next plane to Fortaleza. Elder David is a very special missionary and has become one of the people whom I respect the most. He has been a great partner here in this ward with me and I can honestly say that I have never helped SO many people with him than I have in my entire mission. We have baptized families, sturdy and solid priesthood holders, husbands of member families, and we were able to change the reputation about the missionaries of the entire stake. My companion has an amazing story as well and I would love to tell it to you all.

When he was three days old, his mother became extremely depressed and decided to take away his life. A stranger offered to take care of him and raise him instead of letting him die with his mother. So this man raised him, but wasn´t the best thing for Elder David. This man mistreated him and beat him and forced him to beg for money on the street. At nine years old, Elder David ranaway from home and lived alone on the street for three years. After these three years he was found and put in an orphanage. He joined the circus and travelled around the world with them. Through a friend, he was apresented to the missionaries, where he was baptized and followed strongly. Then he joined the marines and had a very good job through them, including a house. He battled with himself whether he should serve a mission or not, but finally decided to go and now he is finishing a very honorable mission. He has been my favorite companion thus far and a very, very good friend of mine. I have marvelled at his faith and I wish that I could have as much faith as he has. When times of much doubting came over my head, I looked at him and he always believed that we could do anything we wanted to. I will never forget my good ol´ buddy Elder David.

Well, as I am typing this e-mail, I just got off the phone with my mission president... I will be packing my bags... He called me to be his assistant. I need to be in São Paulo tomorrow to meet with him. I am still a bit shocked and I am hardly able to type this e-mail.

Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Clark

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday, Sept 5, 2011

Oí Família!!!

Hello everyone! I just have to warn you all that this letter may not be extremely lengthy because it is my companionś last P-day, so I gotta be fast.

This Sunday was by far the BEST day of my entire mission. The entire day I felt as if I were living a dream. Everything that happened made me feel like I was litteraly in a movie. Elder David and I have baptized 11 people in this ward in these past two months here. With these 11 people are fathers of families who had been praying for such a long time that their dad or husband would accept to be baptized, others were mothers and children being baptized together, but there was one that makes me even more proud to be a missionary. We baptized Benjamim last month. Benjamim is a father of a huge family, but only he was interested in the Church at the time. He was baptized and automatically made friends with the Stake Presidency and everyone in the ward. He got so enthusiastic about the Church that he has already made goals to help his entire family come to Church. This Sunday was an experience that I will never forget. We were in the bishops office with Benjamim and we were ordaining him as a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. But do you know why? Because his 15 year-old son had chosen his own recent-convert dad to baptize him! I had never baptized anyone who ended up baptizing another person, let alone his own son! I was so happy and emotional because of the amazing work that is beind done in this ward that I felt a huge urge to bare my testimony in Church. I told everyone that when it comes my time to leave this ward, I will leave crying because I have never helped so many people, nor met so many families who have changed my life than I have in this ward. I know that the Church is true because of these experiences. When I see my converts growing in the Gospel, the Holy Ghost testifies to me that this REALLY is the Church of Jesus Christ! This IS HIS WORK!

After Church, we had lunch at the Stake Counselorś house. This was what just topped off the day... He started to express the feelings of the Stake President about our zone and the work that we are all doing in their stake. He started to get a little teary and said that they were so proud of the things that have been happening in the stake since Elder David and I had arrived. This stake had had a lot of problems in the past with bad missionaries and they were pretty fed up with what was going on, but he looked at us and said, "We know that all missionaries are special and good... but some are just a lot better than the others. You two are amazing missionaries. There are some who fake humility, but you are two Elders with truly humble hearts." For me, there couldnt be a better compliment than what he told us. I left his house feeling like my leaders were happy with my work, but more importantly, I know that my Heavenly Father is happy with what we are doing. My whole life, I have always searched for approval from my Heavenly Father and yesterday I truly felt Him telling me that He was proud of me. There really is not anthing better that a child looks for from his father... to know that he is proud of his son. My father and mother here on earth have taught that so well to me. I am so extremely grateful for this chance to be a missionary. I am so happy that I didnt let this opportunity slip away. My life is set from here on out. Celestial Kingdom or nothing! I love you all and I hope you all have a great week! Remember who loves you!

Elder Clark

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday, Aug 29th 2011

Oí Família!

Just to start off, GOO PAYSON FOOTBALL!!! Brady gave me a perfect description of the game and I was sitting here in my seat sweating and full of goose-bumbs! What an awesome game! His description made me a little homesick for football haha. It´s so great to see that everyone is starting school again and super happy. I hope that this year you all can reach your goals that you set and that you can all have a blast because "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have JOY!"

This week I received the compliment that I have been waiting for so long on the mission. I was interviewing a young man that the Sister missionaries had been teaching when I had the chance to meet the entire family. The mom and dad were baptized in 2006 but unfortunately had fallen away since then, and their two children that they had at that time weren´t old enough to be baptized, so the Sisters went after them and reactivated the entire family! I was talking with the dad and we were just chatting about the Church and about soccer (the two main topics here in Brazil), and out of nowhere he asked me where I was from. I said, "Utah." He then gave me a wierd stare and said, "Wait... you´re an American?!" He told me that I didn´t have an accent and that I was talking exactly like a Brazilian so much that he thought I was from the southern part of Brazil where there are a lot of whites. I got all red and embarrassed, but I felt really good that the Holy Ghost has helped me so much with the gift of tongues. I thought back to when I was in the MTC, depressed and pessimistic to whether I would be able to learn the language, and I recognized one of the biggest blessings that the Lord has given me in my life so far. One of the hardest things I have had to overcome was the language barrier and now it is not even a question. This goes to show that the Lord really does help us in our weaknesses, so much that they can become strengths. (Ether 12:27)

I have also developed a talent here on the mission. I am now the barber of the house. I bought clippers last year for like 12 dollars and they are still going strong! It´s almost been a year that I haven´t paid for a hair cut and I am not half-ugly! But one of the other Elders asked me to cut his hair and so I did. The only problem was that I didn´t have my glasses on and I was tired. We left the house and I saw that I had completely butchered his hair! But I tried being the nice Elder and kept telling him that the people were only laughing because I am American and super white. Then that night I suggested that I make a few touch-ups lol. Now his hair is good!

I have yet another thing to credit to my wonderful and loving parents. My house here is one of the WORST in the mission. It is small, the sewage blocks ups constantly, one room doesn´t have a light socket nor light bulb, and the bathroom always wreeks of... four men. I dedicated last Monday to a super fixer-upper day. I started with the sewage. I went out to the front of the house and opened up the sewage to see what was causing the cloggage. I stuck my hand in the pipe and guess what I found... a sock! Some smart Elder had put a sock down the drain and forgot to tell anyone. I took it out and the clogging stopped. Problem number one solved. Then I went to the store and bought a light socket and lightbulb to fix the lack of light we have in our study room. I had to tear down a chandelier that the other Elders had broken one day from playing soccer in the house, and then I messed around with the wires and found the right ones to install the new socket. Then I put in the light bulb and turned on the lights and, "Let there be light!" Problem number two solved. Then I bought all sorts of cleaner and whatnot to get rid of that smell in the bathroom. I spent the entire afternoon scrubbing and now we have a bathroom clean enough to eat in. The other Elders in the house just sat there and looked at me while I went to town on all this stuff. They asked me, "Why do you clean and fix stuff when it wasn´t even you who made the mess?" I love these Elders who live with me, but this is one part of responsibility that they haven´t learned yet. Sometimes we pay for the ignorance of others, but that doesn´t mean that we have to live with the mess they left behind. I felt good afterwards and now the house is pretty respectable.

We had another baptism yesterday! The man´s name is Sílvio. Here´s a little bit about Sílvio´s story. We met him about two months ago when we were at Church. He showed up out of nowhere and asked for some help from the bishop. He lives in a very poor house with no running water, very little food, not very many clothes, and five dogs. The bishop gave him a basket of food and other necessary items and he kept coming to Church every Sunday. We taught him a few times, but he had a horrible problem with smoking so he didn´t really progress very well, so we had to stop teaching for a while, but he never missed Church on Sunday. One day, he stopped me and told me that he had quit smoking and that he wanted to be baptized. We got super happy and organized everything for him. This past week, the life of this man changed. The bishop got him a good, steady job, and bought him a suit and tie to go to Church. Sílvio was MORE than ecstatic for his baptism and the bishop was able to baptize him. The members showed so much love and respect for him and I was extremely impressed by the bishop and all the care and love he showed for this poor man. He may be poor financially, but once he left the Church yesterday, he was the richest person spiritually. I love this Church and I know that God calls His servants to work in this great work. I am so honored to be His missionary and for all the opportunities that I have to see lives be changed. I love you all so much and hope everyone has an amazing week once again!

Elder Clark

Monday, August 22, 2011

Blogger Pictures

Monday, Aug 22nd 2011

Oí Família!!!

Can I just tell you that I am getting quite confused nowadays. I left Utah for sunny Brazil and I still feel like I am in Utah with this cold weather all the time!!! Oh well, I know that I am not here to enjoy the weather. So school has started once more? To tell you all the truth, it´s extremely wierd for me to think that this time of year has already begun. It´s almost surreal. I know that this year will be better than the last if we all remember to do the simple things everyday; reading the Book of Mormon, saying family and personal prayers, having family home evening on Monday night, going to Church every Sunday, and always trying to be like Christ. These are all the things that I wish I had learned how to do BEFORE the mission. I was talking with a brother from the ward last night about this stuff because his family is starting to get sluggish with coming to Church every Sunday. I told him that before the mission, I really slacked off when it came to this kind of stuff. If I missed one Sunday, I was all right. But now it is TOTALLY different. I KNOW just how important it is to be at Church EVERY single Sunday to take the Sacrament. It is the absolutely most important part of the week! I will only miss going to Church when I get home if I am on my death bed because I am litterally addicted.

Well, I did splits with the assistants this week. His name is Elder Fassini and let me tell you all that he is an amazing missionary. He has a bad reputation on the mission because he has a personality a little rough and thick headed, but he knows how to teach with the Spirit and how to ask the right questions to get the investigator thinking. I learned a lot with him and I am now working hard to be able to teach at his level and beyond (always gotta try to better, right?). We visited our only investigator that we were preparing for baptism. His name is Sidney and he is the husband of a member with two kids. The elders have been passing his house for YEARS and he had never accepted to be baptized because he just never felt the need. When we got there, we started with a great conversation and I looked at him straight in the eyes and asked, "Sidney, what do you think about becoming a member of the Church?" He started to think and said that he needed to know for sure that it was the right thing for him. I then challenged him to pray that night to ask Heavenly Father if his time to be baptized had arrived. The next day we went to his house to see how the prayer went. He said that something had touched his heart and that he had a dream. In this dream, Christ was standing in front of him and said, "So many people rejected me and continue to reject me... will you be another one?" I looked at Sidney and invited him to baptized that Sunday so that he could finally tell Christ that he accepted Him. He sat there in silence and it felt like an hour to me, but it was really just a few minutes. He looked up with a smile on his face and said, "All right, let´s do it!" I leaped up for joy, litterally, and gave him a huge hug right on the spot. He told his wife and she started to cry and the rest of his neighbors who are members also started to get really happy. I felt the Spirit SO strongly in that lesson and it was such a great experience for me. Then, at the baptism, his wife and two kids were there to take pictures with him and he asked me to baptize him. The testimonies were great, but the best was his wife´s testimony. She told him that she had been praying for seven years for this day to come and now that it had come, she was so eternally grateful. They had gone to the temple that afternoon before the baptism and they both knew that they would be sealed there as a family in a year from now. His wife told me thanks after the baptism and I told her that I would be following her family for the rest of my life. What a great chance I have to be a missionary. I left my family for two years to help other families become eternal. THIS IS THE LORD´S CHURCH. I KNOW IT! There isn´t anyone in this Universe that could make me deny what I know and feel everyday here on the mission. Families can be together forever.

Elder Clark

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday, Aug 15, 2011

Oí Família!!!

Well how exciting it is! I still can´t believe that everyone is getting ready to go back to school! It feels just like yesterday that everyone was just starting last school year! The time is going by so ridiculously fast that I am not able to keep track of things. I will actually be back home before this school year ends. How weird is that?! I also got the goosebumps hearing about Brady´s Green-and-White game! He tells the stories so well that I get imagining everything in my head and I want to be there watching in real life. But I will be back for the senior year! And now all the girls are in braces hahahahahaha I already went through all that. Oh all those school days after orthodontist appointments where I could only eat the Campell´s Chicken Noodle Soup that Mom made me... :)

This week was pretty interesting. I actually felt super strange because it finally came to the time for me to renew my visa!!! It really hit me because I can still remember when I went to the Federal Police Station the first time in MTC!!! I couldn´t speak and I felt so stupid around all the Brazilians, but not this time! This time I could actually communicate my way to wherever I wanted to go. Then, to make it all better, we saw about 30 missionaries there from the MTC as well. They all looked at us and we looked at them and we already knew that they were from the MTC because all of their white shirts were still white! Ours are turning that yellowish color already haha. They all asked things like, "Is the language hard?" or "Does the mission go by fast?" All the things that we asked when we were in their place a year ago... poor things lol. I learned so much after the MTC. It was a great learning experience in itself, but I learned much more in the field and I know that my testimony grew more in the field. I met up with the secretaries from the Brazil São Paulo North mission there as well, and he let me call and say hi to all of my friends in that mission that I met in the MTC! It was just a big day of remembering things from the past! I was going back home and I saw a McDonald´s on the side of the road. I looked at one of the other Elders that was with me and said unto him, "Let us partake." It had been just a little over a year and three months that I hadn´t eaten McD´s! It´s super expensive here, but it was SO worth it! A Big Mac has never tasted so good.

We also had a blast today for our Zone P-day. We all got up early and went fishing and caught absolutely nothing! Imagine the Spring Lake Trout Farm only really dirty and no trout... ya that was pretty much it. My pole broke and it was a grand ol´ time! We all left happy and cheery still. Then we went to a barbeque (churrascaria) and ate a ton of meat! Then we went to a big park and played around and took pictures with everyone! It was nice to get out and enjoy the sun today... but I think I enjoyed it a little too much because I got burned again. The downside of being a whitey haha.

Well, we had an amazing baptism this Saturday. His name is Benjamin and he is the friend of a member. He is the father of a huge family and he is SUPER spiritual. When we invited him to be baptized, he told us automatically that he knew that he needed to be baptized in this Church. He got all prepared and stopped drinking alcohol and coffee right off the bat. The only problem that came up is that when it came to the baptismal day, his family didn´t want to come and watch. They all told him that they had better things to do. I found it so sad and odd because it is so hard to get men interested in the Gospel, so when one does want to follow, usually the rest of the family is behind him, but this was a different case. He got a little discouraged, but didn´t let it affect him. He showed up in the chapel with normal clothes and when he was baptized and came out of the bathroom, he had put on a white shirt and tie and social pants he had bought the day before. He said that he is here to stay. I saw a future Elders Quorum President in him.

We also saw that one sister of the ward brought her husband to Church for the second time in a row. We decided to ask if we could pass by their house and talk with him and he accepted! He later told us that night that Christ had appeared to him in a dream and asked him a very serious question. Christ asked, "When I was on the Earth, everyone rejected me... Will you be the same?" Him telling us that allowed us to help him realize that he had been called to follow by the very Savior. He accepted to be baptized this weekend! I can feel the work that Heavenly Father is doing here in this ward! I love it! I know that what I am doing is true! I wouldn´t rather be anywhere else! I love my family and I am so grateful that I had the chance to grow up in this Gospel. It is the place that my future family will be forever! I love you all and thanks so much for the thoughts and prayers you all give me.

Elder Clark

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday, Aug 8th 2011

Oí Família!!!

Unfortunately, we did not baptize this week. There was a little hiccup in the work this week and we ended up not having anyone prepared to be baptized this week. But the good thing is that we have a father of a family who we are teaching. His name is Benjamin and he is a member´s neighbor here in the ward. He went to Church with the member and fell in love with it at first sight! He came to Church in a suit and tie and scriptures and everyone started asking him which ward he attended, as if he were already a member. In the classes, he answers all of the questions and reads and participates and loves to go to Church on Sunday. His member neighbor got him a job this past week as well where he works and they talk about the Gospel during their two hour travel from home to work every day. Benjamin set a goal for himself. His entire family is split. One goes to one church, another goes to another church, some don´t go to church at all, and he really wants his whole family together one day. He told us that as soon as he is baptized, Heavenly Father will start to work miracles in the lives of his family, so that everyone can go to the same church... together. It´s been rather simple and easy teaching him because he is so willing to do what the Lord asks of him. He stopped drinking coffee and beer when we challenged him and he is already praying and reading the scriptures everyday. When I look at him, I see the next Elders Quorum President. He will be baptized this Saturday and we are hoping that his whole family will come and support him.

Well, I feel rather old on the mission now. My trainer just went home and my companion is going home next month. It´s already been a year and two months that I have been out here and I don´t even believe it! If I were a sister, I would be home in four months! I also met someone from Chad Marvin´s mission here. The next time you see Chad, tell him that I met Elder Carlos, his assitant to the president. He just got home, too, and he was telling me how well-loved Chad was in ALL of his areas. I told him that not too many things change about good ol´ Marvin.

Well, what did I learn with my mission president this week? One thing that I really appreciate about being a leader in the mission is the chance I have to listen and be taught by my president more frequently. He started to explain to us about Cain and Abel. I will quickly explain the story of these two for those who don´t know too well. Cain and Abel were Adam´s sons (Adam and Eve). The two of them were high leaders in the Church because they sat in meetings with Adam while they would be taught by angels from on high. So Cain and Abel both had a GIGANTIC knowledge of what was right and what was wrong. In fact, Cain was supposed to be the prophet after Adam died, but what happened? Cain and Abel were commanded to give a sacrifice to the Lord. This is were things get interesting. Why did Cain fall? Because Abel gave a bigger sacrifice than he? No. In fact, Cain and Abel both gave the EXACT SAME THING. But now you ask, "Then why was Cain banished and condemned as the son of perdition?" Because Abel gave the sacrifice with his whole heart, and Cain was tempted by the devil and didn´t give the sacrifice with his whole heart. So... They both did the same thing, but one was punished and the other was granted eternal life. The thing that we all need to understand is that we can do exactly what the Lord has commanded, but if we do it the WRONG way, we are doing it for our own condemnation. For example, if we do not magnify our calling, or if we lie about what we are doing or just try to do it the quick and easy way just to gain recognition, it´s better to not do it at all. Just how President Packer said in Conference this April, "It´s not easy to be a Latter-day Saint, but this is the only true path that will lead back to Heavenly Father´s prescence." We need to do everything with our WHOLE heart so we can help our Heanenly Father build his kingdom here. I loved this training that President Moreira gave us this week and I am trying to apply it in everything I do now. Am I really doing things the correct way, or what do I need to improve?

I love you all and I am loving the mission! I hope you all have a great week and get ready for school!!! P.S. my house is super clean! So I know that my shorts have gone missing in the suitcase of a few slick and sly Brazilian companions lol.

Elder Clark

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, Aug 1 2011

Oí Família!!!

All right, just to let everyone know how this month started for us, our mission president put an extremely outrageous goal for us to reach this month in baptisms. Anyone want to guess how many we had to baptize?... 300 sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father in the month of July!!! Crazy huh? 300 is a lot of people, but we all were ready to accept the challenge and we started working really hard to help our mission president baptize these children of God. Well, we had our ups and downs this month, as usual, and we ended up finding, teaching, and baptizing... (drum roll) 314 people this month of July!!!! We broke the record in this mission. Never has Brazil São Paulo East baptized more than that! We are making so many big steps and it´s all because our president knows that if we work hard and keep the commandments, we will have the Spirit. And if we have the Spirit, we can teach the people the Truth. And if we teach the Truth, they want to be a part of it! My president gave a huge congrats to us and told us that because we accomplished such a huge goal, we now know how to accomplish whatever kind of righteous goal that we set with our Heavenly Father. If our goal is to graduate from college with good grades so we can support our family, if we keep the commandments and do our absolute best, God will help us reach that goal. I am saying to everyone that EVERY righteous request or goal that me make with Heavenly Father, He is willing to help us if we do our part.

Last night, there was another person who was getting baptized and we had to heat up the font for this little kid. He was 9 years old and had a huge fear of cold water! We went to fill the font, but the heater wasn´t really working very well. I got super discouraged and didn´t know what to do. The sister missionaries showed up at the chapel and asked what was wrong, and I explained the situation. Then I had an idea to go to the kitchen and start to boil water and throw it in the font. I went to the kitchen, and guess what... no pots or pans. I gave up and almost called it quits on the baptism, but the sisters told me to wait a little bit. The left for about 10 minutes and came back with three big pots! I asked where they found them. "We borrowed them from the neighbors!" They went and knocked on the neighbor´s door and borrowed their pots. We heated up the font perfectly and the kid was baptized without any problems! I was so impressed with the sisters! They are really amazing missionaries.

We had one of the best baptisms ever this week! Just this month, we started talking with a family here in the ward. Almost everyone in their family is a member, except one son and one son-in-law. We made a goal with them to baptize the two of them. The son-in-law got married to their daughter in the middle of the month of July and we started teaching him immediately! He fell in love with the idea of being able to baptize his entire family in the temple, and accepted to be baptized on July 31st. He automatically stopped drinking coffee and committed to not go to parties anymore and to stop playing soccer on Sunday, which is a HUGE thing here! He said he would rather sleep now haha And he went to Church yesterday and after sacrament meeting, the ENTIRE family was there and we took a picture outside under the sign of the Church. After the baptism we all walked back to their house together. The entire family lives in one apartment complex together. The guy we baptized, Sérgio, told us that now he will help us teach the son of the family that isn´t baptized yet. He said, "I want to baptize him!" We invited him to hear the messages and he ACCEPTED! We are going back to their house tonight to teach him for the first time! I am so happy to see all these blessings falling from the sky! There is also their neighbor who we are teaching who told us that he LOVES the Church and that he will be baptized this month of August and then we can baptize the rest of his family! He has a wife and 6 kids!!! Life really doesn´t get any better than this :) I left my family for two years to help others be together for eternity. This couple is now preparing to be sealed next year and I am so tempted to extend my mission two more months just to see it. If only it were possible.

I love the mission and I am learning so many great and wonderful things. And I love my family so much too :)

Elder Clark

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday, July 25th 2011

Oí Família!!!

Remember how last week I told you all about the wonderful blessing that fell from the sky? We baptized that woman and her daughter, remember? Well the Lord has not ceased His blessings upon us and he put another person in out pathway this week. Last Sunday there was a 12 year-old girl who went to Church with her friends and guess what happened? She fell in love with the Church! On Tuesday, a member passed by us and told us that they had a family night on Monday and invited this girl to come. The family night´s theme was, can you guess? BAPTISM! The girl got super excited and said that she wanted to be baptized that very week! We came over to her house and started to teach her. I asked her, "Roberta, what are some of the things that we cannot do once we are baptized?" She started off, "You can´t drink coffee, tea, alcohol, can´t smoke, can´t use drugs, and have to wait until you´re 16 to date." My companion and I sat there with our mouths wide open and we asked if she was willing to do all that and she said YES before we could finish the question. She comes from a very sad situation. Her parents are both drug addicts and alcoholics and because of that, all of her brothers and sisters are, too. She knew that all that stuff was horrible and she has been looking for a Church to join to help her stay on the right path. At Church she offers to say the prayers when even the older members are still too shy. At her baptism on Saturday, all of the youth from the stake were there to watch and right after she danced in the presentation that she had been practicing. When I saw her after we confirmed her on Sunday, I saw a little girl who will be eternally blessed by her decision to be baptized. I truly love this work.

We painted a member´s house this week as well and I officially don´t have any more clean normal clothes. All of my regular clothes that I brought from home are all dirty from all the service projects we´ve been doing. From building houses to painting walls I have ruined pretty much them all, but I wouldn´t have it any other way. My companion asked me if I was upset that I got my jeans all covered in paint, and I told him, "No, I brought them for this purpose."

I am in a member´s house today and we are going to make brownies! We are getting the recipe from the internet because brownies don´t exist in Brazil. I know... sad story. We are going to have a blast! I love love love the mission and I am so happy for all the things that I am learning. Just about everyday I am finding something that needs to be improved about my attitude, my personality, my bad habits, my testimony and many other things. I know that the mission is converting me more than it is converting these people. I love you all and hope you all have a great and fabulous week!

Elder Clark

p.s. send me pictures of everyone! it´s been almost 9 months since I have pictures of you all and what you´re all doing. I am starting to forget what you all look like! haha Love you all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday, July 18th 2011

Oí Família!

Just let me begin telling you that this week was full of blessings from the sky. Just when I start to think that all hope is lost and that I am a failure in life, Heavenly Father seems to bail me out time and time again. For example, there was a time in college when I was taking a Nutrition class. This class was one of the most time consuming and difficult classes I have ever taken in my life. It required more than two hours of studying every single day. When it came to the final exam at the end of the semester, I studied more than I have ever studied and even still I walked into the classroom thoroughly unprepared. I looked at the test and it was missing half of the questions. The teacher´s assistant had messed up while printing, therefore our professor gave us all 50% free on the test. I walked out with an A even though I knew that if I had taken the full test, I would have failed miserably. It was truly a blessing from the sky. This week was not much different. This Wednesday we had a special training with the our mission president which was really good! We learned a lot about the Holy Ghost and how we need to refocus on our missionary purpose. We headed home and had to go straight back to work. There wasn´t any time given to go home and rest or anything, even though we all had woken up at 4 in the morning. My companion and I went to visit a kid who was getting ready to be baptized that week and we found out that he had just had surgery on his eye and couldn´t be baptized that week. I lost all hope. He was our only investigator ready to be baptized that week and now we have no one. I said a little prayer to Heavenly Father to bless us with a family or someone to teach and baptize. As we were walking down the street, my companion and I were really tempted to just go home and call it quits for the day. We were both extremely tired and neither of us wanted to keep walking around with nothing to do. Then I felt something come to my memory. We had received a referral from another missionary last week about a woman who was attending Church in my first area of the mission, but she lived in this area. I suggested that we went to visit here. We knocked on the door... and there it was... the answer to my prayer. We walked into the apartment and there was a mom and her daughter sitting in the living room waiting for us. We found out that she had been going to Church in another ward and we felt the Spirit tell us to invite them to be baptized that Sunday. They both accepted!!!! I walked out of that house with the biggest smile on my face and I knew that Heavenly Father had blessed the lives of that mom and daughter because we didn´t give in to our selfish needs. We could have went home to sleep, but if we did that woman and her daughter wouldn´t have had the chance to be baptized and start on the true path. I was so extremely blessed and happy and I really cannot express my true feelings about the mission here in this e-mail. I am so glad that I am having this experience. I know that the Lord put me here in this part of the world for a reason. Thanks for all the updates that everyone sends me. I love hearing about what´s new with the family :) Read the scriptures, say your prayers, the Lord is always watching and listening. I love you all so much!

Elder Clark

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday, July 11th 2011

Oí Família!!!

Just one quick question... can someone go into my closet and look at my mission call letter? I am pretty sure that it said BRAZIL, right? All right then, please explain to me why I am so darn cold down here?!!! It is like a constant 50 degrees here everyday and in the morning it´s like 45! I know that it wasn´t this cold this time last year. I wake up and it gets really hard to get out of bed because I know that our house doesn´t have a heater nor do I have very many warm clothes to wear! You pack for the sunny tropical weather and you end up getting three months of cold fog! Oh well, it´s my last time going through the Brazilian winter haha. I actually should be counting my blessings because I know that come September, the unbearable heat will be back and I will be praying for the cold to come back. Human beings are never satisfied with where they are. When it´s hot they want cold, when it´s cold they want hot. I think Jill is the only one who would be okay with 90 degree weather all day everyday haha.

Actually, my letter will have this very theme; being grateful for where you are at any given time. I met a member down here from another ward. His name is Gregson Querino and he served in New Jersey and just got home a year ago. He asked me where I was from and I told him proudly, "Payson, Utah!" His jaw dropped and he told me that he served with two guys who I knew pretty well from high school, Cody Burton and Shane Halverson. I couldn´t believe it and he even told me that Cody had given him a Payson High basketball jersey that he used to wear to all the Payson basketball games. I couldn´t believe at how small this world is. He started to tell me how amazing his mission was and how grateful he was to have served in the U.S.. Here in Brazil, it is every member´s dream to go to Utah or the U.S.. When he was in the MTC in Provo, he said that he stopped one day on the soccer field to just look at the mountains, at the blue sky, and at all the green grass. He started to cry when he realized that he was living the dream of just about every member here. He said that his time there was a great adventure and he misses it a bunch. Later in the week, I saw that a member was watching the Women´s World Cup and guess who was playing? USA and Brazil. The U.S. ended up winning and I just sat there thinking for a bit... I cannot believe that I am in another country. I saw the Red, White, and Blue and actually began to tear up as well. I am in a different country and I am seeing how much different the world really is from life in the USA. We are so very blessed to live in a country like the United States. It is everyone´s dream to go there. I know that this time on the mission has been the BEST thing for me. I am learning so many things spiritually and socially as well. I am really living in an adventure! I love my time here and I wouldn´t ever rather be in any other place. When I get home, I will miss it a bunch, but I will remember that we are so very lucky to live there. The Lord blesses us in so many ways that you can´t even begin to list the things. I am so grateful for the supportive family that I have, and for the blessing that I had to be born into the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Have a wonderful week everyone! And be careful in New York Dad and Jill! Happy birthday to Everyone! I know that this month is full of birthdays!

Elder Clark

Monday, July 4, 2011

Monday, July 4th 2011

Oí Família!

What a great week it was! I have quite the funny story to start everything off...

So I live with three crazy Brazilians, right? There is absolutely never a dull moment in our house. We are always super happy and goofing around when we´re at home, but the minute we walk out the door we are always looking for souls to bring to the Gospel. Actually, this week our zone baptized 11 people! We all work really hard and it´s so fun to come back home and talk about what happened with the other missionaries. Well, as P-day was coming to an end last week, I jumped in the shower after playing American football with the kids on the street. Just an FYI, in our house you basically have to sleep with one eye open because you never know what the other Elders are planning. As I was in the shower, I heard a little bit of laughter outside of the bathroom and then all of the sudden, the door swung wide open and I only saw three grown men with firecrackers ready to throw at me! Well, I am sure you all get the idea... I freaked out as the fireworks went off as I was taking a shower. I got out and spoke calmly and reverently as I tackled the three perpetraitors!!! In our house, it´s not abnormal to have a bomb go off at 3 o´clock in the morning. These guys are nuts! I love the mission!

All right, so this Friday was the President´s Counsel meeting with all the zone leaders in the mission. We all went to President Moreira´s house to hear what he needed to tell us. He got up and told us all what was expected of us. Something that I absolutley love about my mission president is that he is very direct and to the point. He tells us how we need to act and doesn´t sugar-coat the insults. He told something like this... "Elders, Let´s all turn to Alma 5. These scriptures tell us that if we are not doing everything to serve Christ, we are not serving Him, but we are serving the devil. I am sick and tired of hearing about slacker missionaries and if you all don´t ship up, you will never enter in this house again because the devil´s servants DO NOT enter into my house!" We all signed a paper telling President Monson that we would dedicate ourselves to the work and we need to live up to this responsibility. As I have mentioned in my last few letters, our mission is number one in baptisms in Brazil and the general authorities are asking President Moreira to send a report saying what he is doing to baptize so many people. He told us that if we don´t knock it off with the disobedience, he will not send the letter to them. I totally agree, I want him to be able to tell the Apostles that we are true servants of the Lord, not slackers. I love my president so much! He is such a great example of hard-work and obedience and I am so glad that I was called to serve with him.

Well, we baptized a really special family. A few weeks before I got here, my companion was walking next to this woodsy area and saw a woman working. He stopped and yelled to her, "I found you!" She stopped and looked at him all funny and said, "I don´t even know you!" Well, the started teaching her and she told them that exactly one year ago she had a vision. In this vision she saw a giant mansion and God had told her that that mansion would be here home and she needed to look for it. She denied the invitation to go to Church the first few weeks and then finally went one Sunday. She told us that as she turned the corner and saw the Stake Center, an absolutely beautiful building, her heart started to laugh and she knew that the Church was her mansion that God had shown her one year ago. It was the same color and shape and everything! She always wondered why God had told her that she would have a mansion one day because she has always been a poor woman and could never afford a house like that, but she recognized that she was at home whenever she entered into the Chapel. She and her son were baptized yesterday and she even got up and bore her testimony during sacrament meeting about how well she knew that this is the Church that Heavenly Father needed her to be in. It was really special to hear her tell her story to everyone. The water was super cold, and my companion and I were almost dying from the frigid baptismal font, but she told us that she only felt the warmth of the Holy Ghost within herself. This woman, Maria, was a child of God waiting for an answer, and received her mansion, just as He had promised.

I know that this Church is true. I know that God is preparing so many people everyday to be brought unto the fold. I love this work and I am so happy that I am a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Joseph Smith was a true prophet and now we have President Monson to guide us in these last days. I would not be here if I wasn´t sure if all of this were true. I KNOW it´s true. I love you all! Have a great day!

Elder Steven Clark

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27th, 2011 Monday

Oí Família!

Hey, do you all remember last week in my letter when I said that I really hope that I don´t get transferred because everything was going so smoothly out there in Lorena? Well, that day I woke up and told myself, "Heavenly Father would be playing a pretty big joke on me if I get transferred right now." Well, once again, I have found out that our loving Heavenly Father has a great and full sense of humor, because I have been transferred from my favorite area in the mission. Now the name of my city isn´t as easy to say as Lorena. Everyone repeat with me, "Itaquaquecetuba." Did you get it? Pretty cool, huh? I really like this place and the members are really nice! I spoke for about five minutes in Church yesterday without knowing that I would have to give a talk. My companion told me that this ward never calls on the new missionary to present himself on the first Sunday, so I relaxed and thought that I would only have to say hi to a few people. Nope. But it was nice, I went up and told a few jokes about my tiny hometown of Spring Lake and then bore my testimony.

Something that really caught me by surprise this week was what happened when I was transferred. This month of June I didn´t baptize anyone. I really didn´t work really hard, or at least as hard as I used to, and the results showed it. I thought that my president was disappointed in me, because I was a little disappointed in myself, and I knew that Heavenly Father wasn´t entirely pleased with my work. I made a promise to God that if He would forgive me for the poor month that I had, I would work twice as hard in July. What happened? I was called as a zone leader. I was absolutely surprised at how quickly He answered my prayer and now I know that I have to dedicate myself even more to help this work continue onward. Brazil São Paulo East has just moved up to the highest baptizing mission in Brazil and the third most baptizing mission in the world. We have to keep workin hard to keep bringing these souls unto Christ. We aren´t working to be better than everyone else, but we are working to be OUR best for the Savior.

As we were walking down the street this week, we had in our minds that we would invite EVERYONE to go to Church. We passed everyone, handing out little flyers that we made and giving service to people who needed it. We were passing by one house that was working on their house. All of the houses here in Brazil are made differently than the houses in the U.S.. All of the houses are made of this huge type of brick that is pretty heavy to carry around. This particular house had about 300 bricks outside of their house that they were all moving piece by piece into their garage. We put down our backpacks and just started to help. We didn´t even ask if we could help, we just went at it. We were with one of the young men of the ward and he and I and my companion started going to town! It felt so good to help them and all the neighbors just sat there watching three young men in white shirts and ties helping these people move brick inside their house. Sometimes words don´t need to be spoken to share the message of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I can´t even believe how fast the time is flying by out here. I live with two other missionaries now in my house and one of them is an Elder who arrived in the MTC with me and will leave with me at the end as well. We both only have 11 months left and that really is not much. We have a duty to fulfill with God out here and there is no time to waste! I am so happy to be a member and missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I know that we are taking the message of repentance and baptism to the entire world. Christ is coming and we need to prepare these people for His coming. I love these people and I love the mission! I love my family and I get so proud of you all when I hear about your stories during the week. Have a great week everyone. Tambi, read the scriptures if there isn´t TV at Mimi´s house :)

Elder Steven B. Clark

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday, June 20th 2011

Aló Família!!!

Let me just apologize for the lack of the email from last week, but now you can bet that there is a pretty crazy awesome story for this week, huh? Well, my companion and I were really hurting for people to find and teach these past few weeks and I had really not been completely motivated to work as well, unfortunately. I started to feel really sad on Sunday night because I knew that I hadn´t done very well that week and I wanted to do better. I really prayed to Heavenly Father that He could help us find someone to teach and someone to help come to know the Church. As we were walking home on Sunday night last week, we passed a guy on a bicycle heading our direction. I waved at him and said hi and he just kept on going. I put my head down and kept walking as well. All of the sudden, I felt something walking with me at my side, and I knew it wasn´t my companion because he was on my other side. That man had turned around and started walking with us. He asked where we were from and what we were doing. He got super interested in the Church and followed all the way to the Chapel. As we were talking, I could tell that he wanted to invite us to come to his house one day, but he was too scared to ask. So I took the initiative and asked, "Robinson, could we visit you and your wife tomorrow night?" He got extremely happy and said he would tell his wife and they´d be waiting for us. That night, I didn´t realize the answer that God was giving me. We went to his house on Monday night and taught him about baptism and how it helps us get closer to God and that it will help his life. He lives with his wife who has suffered mental problems her entire life and he was kind enough to become her husband to help her through her difficulties that she has. He works with painting and in his spare time he fixes computers for his neighbors (I spoke a lot about my dad with him after I found that out!) We came back the next day to teach about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel. As were got to the part about the Book of Mormon, I reached into my bag to grab one to give to him, but I had accidentaly left it in another house we were visiting. I got extremely sad and upset with myself, but then Robinson said, "wait a minute brother, I found something 10 years ago that I think you guys could help me find out what it is." He went into his room and grabbed the oldest Book of Mormon I have ever seen! He said that he found it one day 10 years ago and saw "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" written on it and decided not to throw it out. The Spirit then testified to me that this was the man that Heavenly Father wanted us to find. My testimony and heart were edified after this experience and I really couldn´t explain all of the happiness I felt because He had answered my prayers.

We have also been teaching a family of 10 this month! There is the dad and nine children! The mother of the family left the house nine years ago and doesn´t want any type of responsibility with the children, so now the dad has to work twice as much and take care of everyone! He has so much love for his family and really has done well in teaching his kids the good values of being a successful person in society. He teaches them all about the Law of Chastity, the Word of Wisdom, and pretty much everything that a parent of the Church would teach. He came to Church yesterday and he and his WHOLE family will be baptized this Saturday!!! Can you imagine all those people in white???!!! I am so extremely happy! Then next month we are going to marry another couple and baptize them and there little son! The Lord has truly blessed us here in Lorena!

Well, it´s the end of the transfer again and I am truly praying that I don´t leave. I love this place and I have so much more to do here, but if the Lord wants me to go, I will. We don´t have lunch today so I am making american pancakes for my companion!!! We are both extremely grateful for the package! All of members loved the Twizzlers!!! I love you all and am so grateful for all of help you all give me! Have a great and fabulous week!

Elder Steven Clark

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oí Família!!!

To start everyone off with a laugh, I´d like to share a story with you all that happened to my companion this week. So, as you all know, he is a new missionary. We were walking down the street last Monday when all of the sudden there was this 14 year-old girl who stopped us and started asking about the Church. My companion got all excited and started telling where the Church was and when it started and I started to notice something really fishy. She started looking at us with a weird look on her face and cut off my companion and said, "you guys are cute!" I told her, "well, yeah... we´re gonna go now." Then my companion went to shake her hand and she took it and went in for the kiss! She kissed him on the cheek and he sat there stunned! She went to me next and I told her that we couldn´t because we were missionaries of the Church and then she went away. I waited a while, then looked at my companion who had this scared look on his face, and then I started busting out laughing! Haha I couldn´t take it. We had quite a good laugh about it for this week.

Not much happened this week and unforutnately, our President cancelled our P-day today. I wish I had more time but I will fill you all in on more things next week! I love you all!

Elder Clark

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday, June 6 2011

Oí Família!

My, oh my, what a great time it is to be in Lorena! It´s absolutely freezing here at night and in the morning! I am turning into the biggest wimp! I can´t even stand the 65 degree weather here in Brazil. How am I going to be able to move back home to the -10 winters of Utah? Seriously, I wake up in the morning all refreshed and renewed, and once I take off the covers and put my feet to the frigid wood floor of our house, I get back into bed and put on the covers again! It´s crazy! Right now it´s like 70 degrees and as I am typing, my fingers are trembling. I am going to have to buy another sweater out here because I gave my only one to my companion out here, who is from the North part of the country... right next to the equator haha.

I am doing pretty well out here in Lorena! I am loving the ward, too. We have done a great work here in this little town. That family that we baptized is looking to go to the temple this month to do baptisms there. They also got super excited this week because the ward is having a dance this weekend! They said that they will bring ALL of their friends! The oldest one, the one that looks like Big Mike, is wanting to help one of his friends get baptized because he wants to be able to do the baptism himself. Yesterday, after Church, he started talking to me how he is wanting to go to the temple so badly and that he is going to start going to Institute every Saturday! I can tell you that the ward is really excited to have this Jadson, and I am so thoroughly grateful that the Lord trusted me with these special children.

Speaking of my companion, I am really liking him. He´s a good missionary and really knows how to hold himself during our discussions with people and looks like he´s been in the field for almost six months in spite of this being his first month in the field. The problem is that he and I have our differences in opinion, which is normal, but he doesn´t like to hear my side nor understand my side. It´s really difficult because I feel like I have to teach the investigators and my companion at the same time because doesn´t agree with the way that I phrased a sentence or something like that. Last night, however, the Spirit really helped me find a solution to my problem. As we were talking with the mother of a member of the ward here, she started to talk badly about a lot of the members whom I have grown to love a lot over the time here. I told her that I didn´t appreciate what she was saying and told her that she shouldn´t be saying things like that about others, and my companion started to try to explain things his way to her. When we left he let me have it. He started saying how I don´t have any patience with anyone and that I need to learn how to hold my tongue and say things differently and as he was saying all this stuff I was just getting angrier and angrier. I almost reached a point where I would have exploded and started playing the blame game. But out of nowhere, I felt something whisper to me to not say anything. I put my hand out and shook his and said, "thank-you, I will do better." And I said it with all sincerity. With a lot of people, we can argue and argue and plead our case and try to show them that THEY are the ones who are wrong and not us, but this only results in hurt feelings and pride. I was really glad that I was able to hear the Spirit above my anger because it may have saved our companionship. It was a humble pill to swallow, but pride is something that cannot abide in my heart. Maybe I was right, maybe I was wrong, but I know that I reacted the way that Heavenly Father wanted because I felt a peace fall upon us afterwards.

Sorry I don´t have much to say this week. Just thought I would share with you all what I learned. I hope you all have a great and wonderful week. I love you all! Remember who you are and what you stand for! :)

Elder Clark