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

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