I am sorry for not sending an email last week! I sat at the computer just replying to all of the personal emails that I actually forgot to send a letter to you all! So last week was pretty interesting. I had just passed the entire week before traveling through the upstate of São Paulo doing exchanges, so when I got back to my actual ward, I didn´t know any of the investigators that we were teaching and I even had to find more people to bring to Church that next Sunday. So I went to work like a mad man and we found a few people who were interested. Just as I was getting into a groove and finding new people, I got a call from my mission president. "Elder Clark, we need your help in another stake." He told me that he was going to send me to work with another zone leader because they were having difficulties in finding new investigators and taking them to Church. I thought, well that´s all right. I´ve already done a lot of exchanges, one more won´t hurt. But little did I know that my president would put me there for the entire week! I got there on Monday and didn´t come back until Sunday! It was a long time away from my area, but I actually enjoyed everything that we accomplished. Right on the first day of work, we were walking down the street and we saw a man walking his dog with his two kids. We stopped to talk with him and he said that we could come over to his house. We went there and they fell in love with all of the things that we taught them. They started reading the Book of Mormon and got really excited to go to Church with us that Sunday. His wife told us that it had to be God who put us in their path because usually her husband doesn´t like church. haha There was another man whom we found and he was willing to give up his job on Sunday so that he could go to Church. He was very easy to teach because he always asked us questions and always read the Book of Mormon. The best part about all these people is that they will all be baptized this next Sunday. Even though I won´t be there to see the baptism, I am still very happy that I was able to be a part of their first few steps into the Gospel.
Another story now... When I was in Lorena, a city WAY far away from São Paulo, about 10 months ago, there was a family who treated my companion and I extremely well. In fact it was that family that spoke to uncle Jeff on Mother´s day last year. Well, the dad of the family is not a member but always goes to Church and everyone loves him. He and I had a really good friendship but he never committed to be baptized. Well, I went back there two weeks ago and I saw him again. I invited him to be baptized once more and that time he actually accepted to at least try. I put his date as February 25th. Well, I received a phone call this last week from his wife telling me that I needed to buy a bus ticket for this Saturday because I would be baptizing her husband. My heart dropped and I got this feeling as if finally a huge prayer had been answered. I went back out to this little town to see my big friend Sérgio all dressed in white waiting for the baptism. I also saw the support that he had because half the stake was there to see the baptism. It was something that truly marked my mission and I will never forget this family I will keep in touch with them forever now. In all of my areas that I have passed through I have been blessed to have at least one of my converts stay strong in the Gospel, except in Lorena. In spite of the work we did there and the people we baptized, none of them were able to stay active. But now I know that Sérgio will stay strong forever!
I am so grateful to be a missionary. These are experiences that no one else will have. It feels like 30 years of experience all jam-packed into two short years. Today is transfer day again and now I only have two more. Three more months to find more families!!! I love you all! Thanks for the support and love and prayers that I receive from you all every day. It is such a help that I don´t even stop to recognize it as much as I should. Have a great week!