Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Oi Família!!!

Let´s just say that I have a lot to tell you guys about this week. Last week we had quite a few new people visiting the ward so we had a lot of visits to make this week. For starts, Elder Mielke was taking role in the Sunday School class when he came to a young woman who wasn´t on the role but was a cousin of another member. Her name is Yngrid and she invited us to visit her this week. We got to her house and we saw that her grandma was one of the strongest members in the ward. We also found out what had happened last Sunday. That Yngrid lived with her mom and dad, but her mom had a nervous breakdown on Sunday morning and left the family. She was so sad that she just decided to go to Church with her grandma. When we got there on Monday to teach her, she told us that she had always wanted to be baptized because she always knew that the Church was true but her mom never allowed her to be baptized. We taught her throughout the week and she studied all of the material that we gave her. She is almost done with the Book of Mormon and her dad signed the paper for her to be baptized without any problems. This young woman had been going to Church ever since she was three years old and now she is 12. The bishop had already gone there, the primary president, a lot of family friends, and countless missionaries to help her get baptized. Her grandma asked us in the last visit on Saturday how it was that so many people had come by to baptize her and only we were able to get her baptized. Her other grandson who is preparing to serve a mission looked at her and said, "Grandma, it needed to be THEM!"

There was another man named Erivaldo. He is a friend of another member of the ward and he has been coming to Church for about two months now. We passed by his house this week a few times because he is a truck-driver and only got home early when the traffic was nice, other than that he only got home at about midnight. He already got an answer that this is the true Church and now he was just wanting to wait a little more to be a little more sure. But we went there with a member who helped him understand the reason why he needed to be baptized as fast as possible. Then at Church today a sister was giving a talk when she was telling the story about how she was baptized. She prayed to God so that He could give her that answer she needed so that she could be baptized as fast as possible. She told the story with so much enthusiasm and happiness that he told us after the meeting that he, too, wanted to be baptized today. It was litterally one of the best talks I have ever heard in my life!

The third person was an even greater story for me. There is another family that was baptized about two and a half years ago, but the father wasn´t baptized because he suffered a stroke, is over-weight, is in a wheelchair, and has always been a little stubborn. He came to Church for the first time last week and we took advantage of the situation and went to his house to talk to him about baptism. He was extremely blunt when he told us that he didn´t want to hear anything about this "baptism business!" But we didn´t give up. We went back the next day and taught him again about baptism. He said the same thing and about swore at us and told us to not come back. He got sick the next day and we gave him a blessing and told him that if he promised to prepare for baptism that Heavenly Father would bless him with the strength that he needed in his legs and the health to keep going strong with the family. He looked at us and said that he would do his best. The next day we saw an amazing difference in his voice and in his attitude. He was happy to see us and was even waiting for us to arrive. He asked, "What took you guys so long!" Every day he seemed as if he was getting more and more excited for the baptism. He even started saying prayers and making comments in the messages. When we got there this morning with the car to take him to Church, we saw that there was a whole bunch of other missionaries from another church trying to get him to not get baptized. We were walking up to the door when we heard good ol´ José say "I´m getting baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ today!" We got to his door and the other missionaries went away with a mad look on their face as they looked at us. José said, "What took you guys so long!" :) We took him to Church and everything went smoothly.

At the baptism, we needed three people to help baptized José because he is so big and doesn´t have very much strength in his legs. He got into the font without any problems and I said the prayer. When I said "amen" the three of us helped him go down. I was so afraid of him falling that I was practically down in the water with him to help lift him up afterwards, but I had an extremely wierd feeling as he came out of the water. I saw a big smile on Jose´s face and I saw how he was trully happy. I really felt the old José leave him and the new reborn man come out of the water.

I left the Church today feeling something so bright within my heart. During the sacrament meeting, I cried again because of all the joy I have felt and all the success that the Lord has given us here in this ward. I see so many people happy because of the gospel in their homes now. I really cannot explain how happy I am that I have been called to this part of the world. My patriarchal blessing says that I would be called to a place where I would be uniquely accepted. I trully do know that this is true. I feel extremely at home here. I know that everything has an end, but I would rather not leave now. I love this Church. I love being a missionary. I love the Lord. I love my familiy too :) Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Clark

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