Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17th 2011

Oí Família!!!

We have passed another transfer and Elder Fernandes and I will be making a sequel here in the good ol´ Presidente Dutra area! He wasn´t too excited when he heard that he´d be staying here again because he´s already been here for four months and now he´ll be here for another month and a half. I find it very interesting here in the mission. There are missionaries here, like my first companion, who only stay with their companions for one transfer and switch for their entire mission, then there are others, like me, who stay with each companion for two transfers at a time. It gets rough the second time around, as I learned from my second companion, but at the end you always become closer friends when the one is transferred. It´s like any other friendship; you really get to know someone when you´re both at the end of your ropes and discouraged, and then when you make it through the rough times, you become better friends.

This week was really rough for me because Elder Fernandes got really annoyed with staying here for one more transfer. During the week, he didn´t say ONE word to me on the street walking to our next appointment. In the houses of our investigators, he was talking and joking, but when we left he turned completely silent! It was so strange for me because I want to talk on the street so I don´t keep thinking so much. When we are always silent, we let our minds wander and start thinking of things we shouldn´t; like home, what friends are doing, what I am missing at home. That is something that I tried to work on this week. When I found myself in a situation when my companion didn´t want to talk, I started to sing, or think about what I could teach my investigators, or anything else to not let my mind stay idle. Unfortunately, the flesh is very weak and I slipped up a lot this week and let my emotions get the best of me, but I was always able to bounce back and regain my strength in the Lord. I am so grateful for all the help that He gives me out here. I am thousands of miles away from my culture, home, friends, family, and if it weren´t for all the protection He gives me, I would be in quite a bit of trouble out here. But I know He cares, I know He recognizes when I am sad, and I know that He is ready to help me in my difficulties. I find it very interesting that whenever I need an answer to my prayers, He always puts an answer in the scriptures. Almost all of my prayers have been answered in my study the next day. It really amazes me at how much He does just so I don´t feel sadness. All the way to the very Atonement that He suffered for me. I know that all of this life would be in vain if it weren´t for that very act of pure love. It always gives me the strength to keep going. I fall... a lot... but I always have what´s necessary to get back up again because of Him. I feel bad when I have lapses in my faith because of my own weakness, but He is forgiving as long as we are willing to work harder the next time.

We ended the week on a very high note. We started an English Class here in the ward and our first class was this Saturday. A member made a poster for us to put outside of the chapel. When we told him what to put on it, we tried to think of the things that would drive the most attention of the people. We said things like, FREE, For Everyone, Teacher from the U.S., 6'3", blue eyes, sandy blonde hair, cute american accent... but then we thought that it would draw the wrong kind of crowd :) We had quite a few people and the class went really well! Everyone liked it and said that they´d bring more people this next week! I still really can´t believe that the Lord has helped me learn a new language. I am amazed that everyday I wake up and talk with my Brazilian companion as if it were normal to speak in Portuguese. This is just another piece of proof that the Lord loves His missionaries.

Well, that is about all this week! Thank you all for all of the emails you send! I am so grateful for the support of my family and friends. I am in the best place right now and all because of my wonderful family and Heavenly Father who love me. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Clark

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