Sunday, December 28, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS! "Love is putting someone else's needs before yours."

December 22, 2014

Mission Christmas Party
This week flew by so fast. The main event was the Mission Christmas party. It started 9 in the morning with trainings, had lunch. WATCHED FROZEN!!!!, Had a talent show, had dinner, and had some more testimonies, and then we watch Ephraim’s Rescue... The party didn’t end until 9 at night and we didn’t leave the event until about 10, then we had to take the metro and then a bus to get back to our house so we didn’t get home until 1ish. Had to call the rest of our zone to make sure they were home and finally got to sleep at like 1:30... Only to wake up at 6:30.. Needless to say the next day was hard. But, the party was great! The entire mission got together! We had 200 missionaries all together! It was great to see all my companions and friends! The food was great and we got to watch frozen. We watched it in Portuguese but it was still great! haha

President Lundgren and Elder Clark
This week we just visited members. We have tried everything here and nothing is really working. But we are helping the members here get more excited about the gospel! This week every day is marked to make visits with the members, except for Christmas, we are really excited to help this branch. Our goal here is to strengthen the members and have a frequência of 100 people in church by the end of the transfer. We had 68 this Sunday. We have got a mountain to climb but we are up for the challenge!  This week was just rain. I think we arrived home dry only 2 nights this week.  Every night we have to hang our clothes up to dry and put our shoes under the fan. The rain is cold and wet! But, it is way better than the sun beating down on you.

Adventure
There is a line from Frozen that I loved... I know that I am 1 year late but it’s when the little snowman says ``Love is putting someone else's needs before yours´´. And of course as a missionary I wasn’t thinking about love between a couple, but I was thinking about the love of our Savior. He truly loves us. The act that he performed was the greatest act of putting EVERYONE ELSES NEEDS before himself. And as a representative of him, I have to follow his example and do just that as a missionary. It’s humbling for sure. But, I am so much happier when I am trying to fulfill those wise words of Olaf... I am so grateful for this time of the year we can celebrate the greatest birth that has ever happened and that will ever happen. I love my Lord Jesus Christ, and I’m grateful for His love. I am trying every day to love all those around me and follow His example. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! Remember our Savior!


Elder Clark

It’s the Simple Things

December 15 2014

Man, our area is tough. I love it here but it is tough man. We are trying different things every day to try and work better but nothing is really working. We are excited for this week because we have a lot of things planned that we are hoping and praying will help this branch. I love working with Branches (smaller congregations) and being able to be so involved. I am trying to apply the things I learned on the rez but as of now... nothing is really working. We have a lot of hope for this area but it’s tough. All we can do is keep going and work.


My mission has been really simple. I have has miracles happen for sure, but most of them have been little, personal but powerful miracles in my life that I will remember forever. It’s amazing how much love our Heavenly Father has for all of us and how he answers our prayers personally. One night, we found the other Elders on the street and we were dying of hunger! We didn’t have much money with us and the rest of our money was in our house, which was really far away... so what to do? We went to a member’s house! But they weren’t home... dang it. Our hunger was growing and we needed to find a way to eat fast. But without money that’s a little hard. We decided to pray.... in the middle of the street, for food. So, we prayed and then just kind of stood there waiting for a miracle to happen... like food would just appear.  A thought came to mind that we just needed to work and food will come. So the 4 of us went walking to a house of an investigator and one the way some man from a bar yelled ELDERS! Normally you just have to ignore the drunks but what he said next we the miracle. COME HERE AND I WILL BUY EACH OF YOU CHURRASCO (BBQ) WHAT?!? These man was border line drunk... and not even a member of the Church. He met with missionaries 20 years ago and remembered them when we walked passed. We couldn’t believe. We talked with him. Ate our grilled meat and went on our ways with food in our stomach. God is truly kind.
Rain


Our area is really big and we walk a lot. It feels a bit like Taguatinga all over again. It rained a lot this week so the heat wasn’t really a problem! We found a beautiful family this week that was very open to our message! I hope that we can help them progress! We also found a lot of less active members that we are determined to bring back to church. We had 60 people at church this weekend and our goal for the end of the transfer is 100. It’s a pretty big goal but, I have faith that we can do it! The Lord is great and I love him. I love this work and don’t want to be anywhere else!

Love you all!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gringos

Dec 8, 2014  

Proud to be from Planaltina!
This week was crazy hard. We arrived here and didn’t have any work to do. We didn’t have people to visit, or to teach... or really anything. We didn’t know any of the members or where they live because the city is really big. The congregation here is a branch (a small congregation). There isn’t too many members to start with. BUT I am so excited to be working in a branch again! Bringing back the days of Ft. Apache!! But, we knocked on doors and talked to everyone on the street because we just didn’t have anything going for us. We just had to wait until Sunday to meet everyone! Then hard part about our area too is that literally every single person has already talked to missionaries or at least that is their excuse. But this city is the oldest city in DF and the missionaries have been here since the dawn of time. So it’s been a bit hard but yesterday was church and things already are looking better! We meet all the members, already are working with them to do activities in the branch. I am so excited for this area!
Making Pizza at an Investigators Shop. 


My companion is great! He works and talks to everyone! His Portuguese gets better and better every day! Crazy how the church makes the world so small, he knows Elder States who served with me on the reservation in Arizona... crazy huh.


On the way to Caberceiras






This week we went on a trip! Really, it was the longest day of my life! haha We had to go to a city called Caberceiras to an interview. Our zone here is huge... and it was a trip of almost 6 hours... two buses... and a whole lot of waiting at the bus stations. BUT, the trip was so beautiful! In between the cities, there was just farm land and rolling green hills as far as the eyes can see. Then we arrived in the TINY town of Caberceiras... this town is paradise! You can walk from one end to the other in 30 minutes. It’s so little, but so great too! It’s so peaceful, clean and pretty much in the middle of nowhere so there is a lot of wildlife there, and there are a lot of people that work for the church that live there. Because there is a giant farm that the church owns close by so a LOT of people work there. Which is cool. I didn’t know we had the only farm of the church here in Brazil in our mission. I want to go visit it now... but it is far away. I fell in love with that little town in one day and hope I can return there! Sorry, I don’t have many pictures of it. I forgot my camera so I took pictures that aren’t very good with the phone, and Elder Goodsell took photos but his camera isn’t working with these computers. But the trip was truly an adventure and so much fun. Everyone was looking at us ``gringos`` or foreigners, wondering why these two white, blonde guys were in the middle of nowhere.... haha!



Life is so sweet as a missionary and I am so grateful for this time that I have, and it is passing by way to fast! I can’t believe how much I still have to learn and do and such little time I have left.


I love the gospel, I love my savior, and I love you all!

Elder Clark!

To Worlds Unknown

December 1, 2014

Baptism!
 This week was great! Ana Carolina was baptized! She is so strong and such an example to me! It was a really sweet baptismal service, with lots of support from the youth. We had a lot of help from the youth, helping her to activities and going to the lessons with us. It was a perfect way to finish the transfer. I had the privilege to confirm her a member on Sunday. She choose one of the young men who is preparing to go on a mission to baptize her, and I don’t know who got more excited, him or her. During the baptism service, she was all smiles, her mom was all tears and Moroni (the young man) was all nerves. It was great and he did a great job.

The pattern of weather this week was the same every single day. Super hot and humid in the morning and then the afternoon it would get real cloudy and cool off and in the evening it just rained and rained. We came home almost every night soaking wet. But, I would choose to work in the rain any day over the heat.

Santo Antonio with Elder Anderson
I went to Santo Antonio again! I spent the day with Elder Anderson! It was great. Elder Anderson is a great missionary, he only has 3 months on the mission but he isn't afraid to talk to anybody. He talks to anything! haha He is great and I learned so much from him. Its crazy because there everyone is catholic, and they attend this church that is across the street from their house.

So the exciting news.... I am no longer in the Zone Taguatinga! In case you didn’t know, I have about 8 months here in Brazil... and I have been in the same zone since I got here. I love Taguatinga, but I was ready to see more of Brazil! I was transferred today. I am now sending you an email from Planaltina, DF! I am still serving as a zone leader, and my new companion is Elder Goodsell from American Fork, Utah. He has 3 months on the mission and he is great. My other ``companion`` who is in another companionship but is the other zone leader, is called Elder Laurentino, and his companion is Elder Josephson from Lehi. Utah. We all live in an apartment together. I am so pumped because I love living with more missionaries! I am super excited to be here. There is a lot of work to do with less actives and I love to work with them! I am excited for this transfer, and not just because it will be Christmas soon!!!

I am sad to leave Recanto Das Emas. But, I am so grateful for my time there!! I love you all and I love the mission but most of all I love my Savior!


Elder Clark


Monday, December 1, 2014

Be a Man

Nov 24, 2014
Package from the Eging Family - Thank You!

This week was great. I learned a whole lot this week. Tuesday we had mission counsel with the mission president and all of the Zone Leaders in the mission. Our president gave us new rules (1 HOUR FOR EMAILS!) and lots of training. He told us a lot of info and we as zone leaders need to transfer all the info to our zones during zone meeting. Elder Magana and I were thinking all week how we will do that because we didn't want to just report what was said. We decided to ask some member of the zone to give training on subjects that we gave them! We planned to speak after the training to cover what the missionaries missed but the cool thing is that the training of the Elders were exactly the same as President! Sometimes they said the SAME phrase. The meeting was very spiritual and very uplifting. We finished the meeting off with ``Be a Man`` because that is basically what President kept saying in the meeting about the problems we are having in the mission. We have to leave our childhood behind and become men on the mission.

We are teaching a young woman that has 12 years. She is very special. Her mom is inactive but is very supportive. We marked a date for her baptism in December, but she said she wants to do it as soon as possible! So, this Thursday we will have a baptism service for her! She is great and treats our commitments like homework. She wants to learn and goes to church by the bus totally alone! I am very excited for her and her mom. Her mom opens up more and more to us as we visit.

This week for me was about change. As our zone meeting was about changing to become better on our missions, I have really been thinking about how I have changed on the mission. It’s not been easy and I still have so far to go, but I do believe that I am becoming better than I was. Well, at least I hope so. I really think that is the true purpose of our missions; is to shape our lives first, so we can help everyone around us after. I love the mission, no matter how hard and discouraging it can get, because I am becoming the man my Heavenly Father expects me to be.

Love you all and thank you for everything!

Elder Clark

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Riacho Fundo

Nov 17, 2014

First of I want to apologize for all my spelling and grammar errors in my emails. Earlier today I wrote a letter in English and when I proof read it, I was embarrassed how bad it was, and I don’t ever proof read my update emails. So sorry, if they are hard to understand or if you can’t stand grammar mistakes.
The 1 real bill has been discontinued

BUT ANYWAYS! This week passed by so so fast! This week we just were running from place to place with so much to do! We have found a lot of great people to work with and most of them are in Riacho Fundo! We walk around a whole lot because we don’t know the city there very well at all. BUT it’s getting better. The city isn’t too big so it’s not TOO bad. We are receiving a lot of help from the members that live there too because they are way excited to try and start their own branch in Riacho. We are teaching a young woman there that moved with her mom from São Paulo. Her mom is not active in the church but this 12 year old girl will go to church alone until her mom goes too! She is not baptized but we are planning to baptize her in December! Things are looking real good out there in Riacho!

We also found a couple that really special. They will be baptized in December too! They are great! We have been teaching them and they are reading the Book of Mormon and everything! Their dad was there one day and he started to be real rude to us. It was awesome because they were defending us!

The ward here got a new Bishop too when I arrived, and he is GREAT! He has lots of great things planned and the ward is so excited. There are going to be a whole lot more activities for the members. The Bishop is working a lot with us too!

This week was just work. We left our house sometimes at eight in the morning and did not get home until nine at night! We are dead tired, but there is no better feeling then knowing you have done all that you could!

I love you all! Until Next week!


Elder Clark!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Just Do It.

Nov 10, 2014
Elder Clark and His Helping Hands
This week was an interesting one. We have been planning what we are going to do to REALLY help the church grow in our city here. We came to the conclusion that Recanto has had missionaries since the dawn of time, and the people here need a break from us. haha Our area includes the city of Recanto Das Emas, and then on the other side of the highway  there is another city call Riacho Fundo (he-ashe-oh fu-n-doh).  where there has NEVER been missionaries. There have been missionaries from Recanto that go there to visit some people but they never have really WORKED there. We think that there is SO much potential out there. So starting this week, we are going to work there, it’s going to be harder because its super far from our house but we think it will be worth it!!

We a probably going to move to a house this week! No more apartment! Because it has been practically impossible to work with Elder Magana with our zone in 2 houses, so this week the 4 of us are probably going to move in together!! Life is more fun with more roommates!
Elders at Helping Hands

This weekend, in our chapel, we had Helping Hand, which is the charity organization of the church. It was great! This year we had free clinics happening inside the church. Vaccinations, messages, physiotherapy, haircuts, food storage, blood sugar tests, a tramp, English lessons, dance lessons, cooking lessons, ANYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE. It was cool to have a chapel full of volunteers and visitors. Thursday we spent most of the day inviting EVERY SINGLE person on the street to go! We had over a thousand invites and we gave them all away, explaining what was going to happen to every single person. It was so much fun. The four of us were literally running around the city talking to everyone. One elder would go running along with the runners and talk with them, we talk to the people that were at the stop light, bus stop, coming home from school. I have never talked to so many people in my life. Friday we helped clean the chapel and set things up and Saturday was the big event! It was so much fun and so cool to see everyone get together to help! There was a fire truck there too and we got to climb to the top of it!


It was also a great missionary opportunity. We meet many people who became very curious about the church and the next day, a lot of them came to our services!! We will see where that all goes!

Life is good and we are just working. I love the work and I love the Lord.


Elder Clark

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Return....

Nov 3, 2014



This week was absolutely nuts! But, that is my life on the mission, haha when I really get in my groove and I am comfortable, EVERYTHING changes.
The beginning of the week was great! The rain started and almost every day we have had rain! It’s been wonderful, and not nearly as hot. The last few weeks we have been searching really hard for people who are ready for the gospel and we finally found a few of them and things were looking great for our area. We had been praying and praying for ideas to help our area and we came up with great plans and we set up meetings with different leaders and everything was going so well! We marked a couple baptisms for the weeks to come, the first baptisms in this area in over a year!

Everything was perfect, and that is why the Lord changed everything on me! Friday we were making lunch in our house when the assistants called, I answered it and they told me that me and Elder Magana will go to Recanto Das Emas... and I said ``cool, what are we gonna do there´´ and they told me that we would be working there from now on, and that we will leave tomorrow.... what...? So we spent Friday packing our bags and cleaning our apartment. Saturday we arrived here in Recanto... yes, I returned to my only other area. We also split up. He is working in the south part of Recanto while I am in the north part. I am now companions with Elder Bento from Sao Paulo. Sunday was real funny, no one believed that I come back to stay. So I will be here in Recanto for at least the next 4 weeks. As for our people in Taguatinga, we passed them all on to Elder Beale and his companion so now they are missionaries of almost 3 cities. I hope they can continue to help the area there grow!

Elder Magana and I are still Zone Leaders, but we are separated now and spend a lot of time talking on the phone. We don’t live in the same house so that makes things a lot more difficult but we will figure out how to work with it. The Lord is full of surprises but life is good, and it keeps me on my toes. I love this work and it doesn’t matter where I serve.

I love you all and until next week!!

Elder Clark

Monday, November 3, 2014

Just Keep Working

October 27, 2014
Each day it feels like the alarm clock go off just a little bit earlier. Man, have I been tired this week. Elder Magana and I are working real hard trying to find and teach and help people. But, to be honest, we haven’t been finding the success that we want. It is a little discouraging at times, but there is no room for discouragement on the mission so we just have to push it aside and work even harder. This week me and Elder Magana have been trying to discover new ways to work, because the things we were doing before have not worked. We have seen a whole lot of miracles but at the same time, it is amazing how some people we work with don’t recognize that it really was a miracle. But there is nothing we can do but keep working and trying to become better every day. Brazil is shaping me to be a better man and I am grateful for that.

This week we did a lot of walking and teaching on the streets. We had a family night in Elder Pinho´s home (The Seventy) and it was great! And afterwards we had chili, American style; It reminded me so much of your chili mom. The Pinho’s lived in the states for 10 years, so they are very ``Americanized`` and I am not complaining. It was a little taste of home, literally! haha

The rain started this weekend and I am pumped, because Brasilia has a season of rain. It will be really rainy here until almost February! That is a huge blessing because I will walk in the wet, rainy weather any day. It’s so so so much better than the heat. Also, more people have been giving us rides! Like today! We were coming home from buying food and two random strangers gave us a ride! Turned out they were our neighbors and are missionaries for their church!

Our Zone is having the same difficulties that we are having too, so this week we talked to everyone and made the theme of our transfer ``Diligence`` because all we can do is work with diligence and then the Lord will do his part. I have been studying how I can become more diligent almost every day and I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be.
Young Men from the Ward

We are teaching a whole lot of people right now, but really none of them are progressing, but we are working hard to help them, or some we have stopped visiting because they just aren’t that interested. Life is sweet and I am happy, tired and frustrated at times, but really happy. There is no place I would rather be. 

Love you all!

Elder Clark

Jacob 1:19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.

Moroni 9: 6 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

Monday, October 27, 2014

6 More Weeks



October 20, 2014

Today was transfers and the news is that I will stay here with Elder Mangana for another 6 more weeks! He will become my companion that I have had for the longest time on my mission! We are so excited to continue to work together in our area!!
Elder Clark
This week was really good. We did another trade, but this time with Elder Porter! Remember him; he was my companion in the MTC more than a year ago! He is a district leader in our zone and we spent the day here while Elder Magana worked in Elder Porters area. It was so cool to teach with him and talk with people on the street. I remember when we were in Utah, learning how to speak Portuguese and now one year later we were walking the streets of Brazil talking and teaching people in Portuguese! And when we were alone on the streets and stuff, we just talked Portuguese because it is actually easier to speak Portuguese rather than English.

This week we had a lesson with a family that we are teaching their 30 year old daughter but their daughter is vacationing in Europe right now but we still wanted to keep in touch with her family while she was gone. We visited her parents and we took along with us a seventy; He is an Area Seventy and he lives here in our ward. He finished being a Mission President this year. His name is Elder Pinho. And boy was it intimidating to give a lesson with him there. But the lesson went great and tonight we will have a family night with them!! But during the lesson the parents of Luiza just thanked us so much for the help and the change we have been giving there family. It was such a great feeling because some days here we get home and are totally wiped out but at the same time feel like we didn’t help anyone. So, to hear the gratitude they have for our work really helped me and re-energized me work! We are excited for when Luiza gets home and we can start teaching them again!

Pirenópolis
Pirenopolis
We traveled to another city, Samambaia to do another baptism interview; I am really liking traveling around and seeing more of Brazil! I am really excited because President opened a new are in our zone. It’s a city named Pirenópolis. There the church practically doesn’t exist and the missionaries will baptize in a river! One of the assistants will be working there this transfer and it is about 2 hour away from our area, so I am excited to travel there. Look up pictures, it’s a beautiful city!
I love you all and I am so happy where I am! The gospel is true and there is nothing better than it! I love my Savior and I am so grateful for him!

Elder Samuel


Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Seeds are Growing

October 13, 2013

I can’t believe this is my last p-day of this transfer!! It went by so so so fast. And I am so excited for the next transfer! I am almost positive I will stay here with Elder Magana but say extras prayers for me to stay just to make sure. haha We have worked so hard this transfer because the elders before us that were here really didn’t leave a lot for us to work with so we were pretty much starting from nothing but now we have so much going here that I think the next transfer here in Taguatinga is going to be great! Next week we will know my fate... but it is looking a whole lot like one more transfer here!

Our Zone here has a lot of Americans so the last couple of p-days we have been playing basketball instead of soccer. It’s been so much fun, but the quality of basketballs here are terrible and I think it’s already time to buy a new one.

We have been having a lot of success with members less active and the ward here is becoming really excited. And after conference everyone is ready to work, so hopefully we can take this energy and make some good things happen!

Yum!
We are working with a family that is really great. We found them when we knocked of a wrong gate looking for someone else, but we told them who we were and they let us in. Their mom is VERY active in another church and she didn’t like us too much at the beginning, but now we are good friends! She doesn’t want much to do with the church but at least she likes us! The rest of the family is great. They told us that everyone in their church is telling them it is really dangerous to talk with us, but they told us they like our visits and that they like the things we talk about and they don’t see one thing wrong with it! They even went to church yesterday and they loved it!

This week we traveled and were not in our area a whole lot. Tuesday we did a trade and I went back to Recanto for the day with Elder Knight. He has been in Brazil for 1 month, and it was great to work for him for the day! He has so much energy and already is speaking Portuguese really well! 

Missionary Shoes
Wednesday we had a zone conference and interviews with President that lasted practically all day. Friday we traveled to Aguas Lindas, another city in a different state! It is about an hour and a half away from our house. There we needed to do a baptismal interview. It was real cool to see more of Brazil because I still haven’t seen a whole lot. It was only my second time leaving the District Federal here, which is like DC... it’s part of Brazil but it’s not a state.


Life is very busy and the days are passing so fast! I am so grateful everyday here and every person i have met and every experience I have had. God is so kind and life is sweet!

Love you all and until next week!!! 

Elder Clark

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blessings

October 6, 2014
Elder Clark

This week, and this transfer have been full of difficulties and blessings. I am so grateful to my Savior for the experiences and what I have learned. Until this week, even 5 months later, I find myself missing Scottsdale, Arizona terribly. The experience I had there and the happiness I had there is indescribable and I found myself thinking and wanting to return to my first mission. But this week I really took some time to think about that. I have been a little frustrated here because I have not been finding the same kind of success I found in Arizona. I really have been working hard but not seeing much progress until this week. Although I haven’t had as much success as I would like with the people we work with, the growth within myself I have realized has been incredible. The lessons I am learning about myself and what kind of man I am and will be have been incredible. Although we aren’t finding a WHOLE lot of success here, we have been receiving little blessings for our work.

We worked our nametags off this week, trying to find someone, anyone that we could really teach. Friday, we were walking in the heat, and I told my companion that I have been waiting this whole transfer for a miracle to happen because we have been working so hard, but no one seems to be listening, my companion who has more faith then me told me to just wait a little longer and we will get one! Sure enough, conference weekend was the weekend of our miracle! As we were sitting in conference, a member came to us with a woman and her daughter. The first thing she said to us is that she wants to be baptized... WHAT IN THE WORLD? She just moved here from Manaus, Brazil, her brother is a member and she wants to learn more about our church and be baptized!! The Lord works in mysterious ways for sure. Although she came to us, with no work on our part, I believe that Heavenly Father blessed us for the work that we have been doing. I love my Savior.

Another blessing God sent to us was rain!!!! It rained 3 days in a row! haha and the temperature has cooled off! It is still hot, but just less hot!

I also love my Prophets and Apostles. Conference weekend was great! https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng Questions and prayers were answered!! Our only other investigator and her mom went to ALL the sessions of conference and they said that lots of their questions were answered! We are going to visit them tonight. I know that the Apostle are men of God and truly speak for him. I am so grateful for this Gospel and the direction it has given me in my life. 

I am doing well, I am happy and I am growing more than I ever thought I could. I love you all and thank you for everything!!


Elder Clark

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Special Witness

September 29, 2014
P-day in Brasilia
 This week was the best week I have had in a long time. Lots of things happened, I learned and grew a whole lot, and I had a whole lot of fun doing it all! We are finding a lot of people to teach and have a great group of people we are working with. Although this area was made for a car and we walk miles every day, I love it here. My companion is great and I believe we are going to see a whole lot of miracles in the next few weeks!

Speaking of miracles, one thing I absolutely love about being a missionary is that we see and receive a crazy amount of miracles. For example, one night we had to get to the church because we had to share the message for an activity there but the problem was that we were about an hour and a half walking distance and the activity was going to start in 30 minutes. As we were walking my companion said, it would be real cool if a member passed by and gave us a ride... no more than 5 minutes later, a member passed by and gave us a ride to the activity! Since then, we have received a lot of rides, and food and blessings. I didn’t quite realize how blessed we are as missionaries until my companion and I were talking about all the blessing we get as missionaries, service, random rides, free food, free shoe shines from stranger (happened to my companion) the love of people because of the black tag we have, all these blessings are going to be a whole lot more rare when we get home. The scripture in the Bible, in Matthew 19:29 is so true. As missionaries we are truly blessed.
McDonalds!

We are teaching a whole lot of people, but I just want to talk about a few experiences we have had this week. One man we are teaching is VERY smart, especially about religion. He studied religion in college, but now owns a sandwich business. I don’t know how that happened.... after talking with him for a while; we found out that all his personal beliefs are on the same lines as the doctrines of the church! He then said ``Wow, I am Mormon and I didn’t even know it!” haha Not quite Alberto;) but we have had real good lessons with him, and he even gave us a ride to the church and we gave him a tour, he loved it!

Another cool experience was with a family we are teaching, they brought a friend who also knows a lot about religion but is very different then Alberto, she just spent the whole time asking questions to test our knowledge and she didn’t want to accept any of our answers, especially about the Book of Mormon. Finally I just testified about the Book of Mormon, and its truthfulness, and how it is a special witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and how we don’t worship the book, but we USE it to worship our Savior and become closer to Him. After I finished talking, she was silent and barely talked for the rest of the lesson. I don’t know if I will ever see her again, but I hope she was touched and we helped her in some way. ``You can’t argue with a ´´Special Witness`` -Brad Wilcox. I am so excited for general conference, where we get to hear from special witnesses of God!

I love this gospel, I love being a missionary. I have so much more to write about this week but I just don’t have time. We went on a mini trip to Brasilia today to see the sights so my time is very short on the computer. I love you all and thank you for EVERYTHING!


Elder Clark!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Work Is Moving!

September 21, 2014

The work here in Taguatinga is really moving now. We worked and worked this week, trying to find people to teach. We talked to absolutely everyone we saw. From salesmen in carpet stores to our cashiers at a supermarket to calling families in apartments on the second floor and men selling cupcakes on the street.  We tried everything and now we feel a bit more comfortable here because we actually have people to teach now. That is always a good thing right? I am a real excited because we are working with a lot of really good families now, and the ward here is awesome and is helping us a whole lot because they knew that we knew nothing about this area.
New Area - from here to the skyscrapers.
That is a lot of walking!
We are working with one family that is really special. The husband is a member but is less active, He has been a member his whole life but we he got married he fell away from the church. His wife isn’t a member and they have a 5 year old son. They are a beautiful family and have big desires to change and put God in their lives again. They came to church this Sunday and absolutely loved it. The members here were really good with welcoming them too!

We met another woman who is fantastic. She is a friend of some members here and she lost her husband a couple years ago and still misses him terribly. She has a whole lot of faith, but she said she doesn’t know where to put it.... WE KNOW! She has a daughter who is deaf but we didn’t even realize until she told us because she reads lips... so we were having a whole conversation thinking she could hear us, but she is just a pro at reading lips!

Today was real fun! I bought a basketball here and we played this morning with some of the missionaries in our zone. We have a lot of American’s in our zone so we don’t always have to play soccer!! haha It rained today too! What a miracle! I hope it starts to cool off too because the days are killer! We are getting used to the walking but it’s still tough in the heat!

Here is a funny story, one of the young men here had a birthday, so we brought a box of chocolate to him as a present, but they weren't home... but the window to their apartment was open, so we decided to climb the building and leave the present in the window... well my companion dropped the box into a hole like thing where there was a window to an apartment underground... we couldn't reach it so we ended up knocking on the window and asking the lady that lived there for help... she helped us... which was real nice of her, but she wasn't interested in our message,,, dang it! haha So after that, I climbed the building again, and as I was putting the present on the counter in their house, through the window,.. the Dad showed up out of nowhere and we passed a could awkward 5 seconds looking at each other... and then he said "hello", I said hello back... and then after 5 more seconds of awkward silence... I explained myself and things worked out great... man, things you do as a missionary.

I am more tired than I have ever been on my mission but also I am as happy as ever, BIG OLD SHOUT OUT TO JOON HO YEO!! CONGRATS ON THE MISSION CALL AND YOU WILL DO SO WELL MY FRIEND!!

Love you all!

Elder Clark

Friday, September 19, 2014

Strangers in a Strange Land

September 15, 2014

Holy Cow... This week was probably the most tiring week of my mission. We quickly found out that our area is gigantic. I think it’s at least 4 times bigger than Recanto Das Emas. This week was a lot of walking and getting lost and walking some more. haha But I love this area already. I think it’ll take a little more time to really know the area but it’s coming quickly. The Ward we are serving in has 2 sets of missionaries; One set works in the middle of the city of Taguatinga while we work just outside the City in what is kind of like the suburbs of the city. Its name is Vincent Pires. And it feels like Beverly Hills here. The houses are crazy big, like there are a lot of mansions here. The people here are very well off, which makes our work a little difficult because nobody is home during the day because they are working and nobody is on the streets for us to talk to because they all have cars. BUT the ward and members here are incredible! They are all really excited about missionary work and are helping us a whole lot. This week we spent a lot of time meeting the members and getting to know the area. 
Cleaning!

So officially my soccer team here is São Paulo... Brasilia doesn’t have a professional team and a family here convinced me to be a fan of São Paulo... and gave me a tie pin of the team’s symbol! haha so officially I am a fan of São Paulo... even though I have never even seen them play a game...
We are basically started from nothing here so we don’t have a whole lot of people to teach right now but we have one woman that we are working with that has already gone to church a couple times and has already gone to a lot of activities of the church and she is loving it. She is just real busy so it’s hard to schedule with here but we have a lesson with her tonight!

Here is a funny story about how small the world is in the church. Hey Dad, did you know you met my companion about two years ago? haha We were talking about what our parents do for work and I told him about what dad does and that he has traveled to Chicago and visits seminary classes there. My companion is from Chicago and he said once in seminary, a man visited in a real nice suit and sat next to him during seminary. The man asked him what his name was and if he liked his seminary teacher. He like his teacher.... haha Later I showed Elder Magana a picture of Dad and Elder Magana said that he was the man who visited! How about that Dad... you met my companion 2 years before I did... hahah it’s a small world spiritually speaking.

I don’t have much more to report! We are just working and trying to get on our feet. We are learning, walking and getting lost a whole lot but we are happy! Love you all!


Elder Clark
Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad!

A Chacara and Unexpected Changes

September 8, 2014

Well transfers happened today and I left my beloved Recanto Das Emas... Which I kind of expected but I was transferred to a neighboring city, with Elder Magaña serving as a Zone Leader. (A zone leader is a position where 2 missionaries are in charge of about 20 other missionaries in relatively same area) well that was unexpected. We are both coming to this area at the same time so we don’t know anything about the area. We are in the city of Taguatinga, which is a HUGE city just outside of Brasilia. I am excited but also very nervous. Who knows what will come in the next few weeks.
Companions
My last week in Racanto was really awesome. We taught a whole lot and found a lot of success. I hope Elder Kodama will continue the work we started there! The weekend was a lot of goodbyes because I knew that I was leaving on Friday. I feel like I did all I could in this area and I am so grateful for all the people I met and the friendships I made. I learned and grew so much there and I just hope I helped the people there as much as they helped me!

The sisters had a baptism on Saturday and that was real cool to see. Leandro was baptized; he is 17 years old and is so cool. He is already preparing for a mission.

At a Chacara (A Little Farm)
Friday was a real cool day. We went to the outskirts of the city to a Chacara (which is like a little farm) and we passed the whole morning cleaning the yard and helping around the house. The house itself was way beautiful and the yard was even more beautiful with lots of flowers and plants.  It was a lot of fun. I think one of my favorite things to do on the mission is service and I want to do a whole lot more of it, but it’s hard here in the cities. I have lots of pictures but I left my camera in our house so sorry I don’t have any pictures for this week.

Life on the mission is totally unexpected but I love it! Thanks everybody!

Elder Clark

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Little Taste of Heaven and Hell

September 1, 2014


These last few weeks just get hotter and hotter! Every day I say to myself, it can’t get hotter than this, and the next day Mother Nature accepts my challenge and makes it even hotter..... You know it is hot when the locals start complaining. Pretty much until sunset the streets are like a ghost town because everyone stays indoors, where it’s still hot, just not as hot. haha Did I mention that it is hot? And dry, when we wash our clothes and hang them up to dry, not even 15 minutes pass and they are already dry, which is actually pretty convenient! If Hell always feels like 3 in the afternoon here, that’s enough reason for me to work to get to heaven.

Well besides trying to survive the heat, we are preaching the gospel! We are working with a 20 year old right now who is awesome. He gained a Book of Mormon from a friend of his cause he likes to read about religion... while he was reading the Book of Mormon he heard two people talking to each other on the bus about the same book! haha He called the sister over to his seat and they talked with him, got his info and now we are teaching him! He accepted a baptismal date for the 21 of September. He has some obstacles to overcome but he is 100% down to work on them. He is great. His family is too, they aren’t interested yet ... but his mom did cut our hair!

Brazilian BBQ - Churrascos
Oh man... everyone talks about churrascos (BBQ) of Brazil... and to be honest, I have had a lot but never was too impressed... until this week. Holy Cow I think I had the best meat of my life and probably gained 5 pounds in one night. A family had a party here and their friend from southern Brazil cook the meat… and it was like tasting heaven... seriously the best meat I have ever had. Everyone says that southern Brazil is the land of churrascos and he proved it.

OH! and the piano playing went well. It was real funny, because everyone was SO surprised that I played piano. You could hear a lot of whispers when I went to sit behind the piano.

Sunday was a crazy day for us and during church the teacher of our 2nd hour class didn’t show, so I had to give the lesson completely unprepared. But I think it went well. It helped me more than anyone else. It was a direct answer a struggle I have been having. Wasn’t coincident that I gave the lesson! It is amazing how the lord answers prayers in every form possible

I am sweating, teaching, thinking about churrascos and loving life right now. Love you all and thank you so much for your prayers.

Elder Clark

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I SAW A TOCO TUCAN!

August 25, 2014

I saw a TUCAN fly by us this week! This was the first one I have seen and I have been waiting to see one this whole time. haha Everyone here says that they are very common here but this was my first time after 4 months in Brazil was this week! haha It was pretty cool, very monumental moment in my life.

As for missionary life, it is going real well! We are finding a lot of people and talking to even more, but only few are real receptive to us. Everyone lets us talk to them and visit them in their home, but it’s really hard to let them know our message isn’t just another bible study! We do have a few people that are really progressing and accepting though!

We met a teenager this week that is probably about 6´6 and is way cool! He is way intelligent and he loves the teachings of the church and has really good thoughts about them.  Elder Kodama and I were thinking that he was at least 16 or 17, turns out he is only 14! haha He is going places when he grows up! I offered to teach him basketball but he said he´ll stick with soccer... haha so probably not the NBA... His family is VERY active in another church but they are accepting to us and are happy that he is attending church, so that good! He is a friend of a less active teenager too so it’s a double win for us missionaries, we get to help the both of them receive all the blessings of this gospel.
Elder Clark


I think these next 2 weeks will be my last in Recanto Das Emas. This is kind of sad to think about but also is exciting that I’ll get to know more of Brasil! Tomorrow I have to play the piano for a special musical number during an atividade (activity) at the church... so pray for me! I get so nervous when I have to play in front of people...

The work is progressing, the sun is shining and Elder Clark is always learning! I am so grateful for the Lord helping me with all my weaknesses and blessing me continually! I love you all!
Até a próxima semana!

Elder Clark

Friday, August 22, 2014

White Boy Walking with a Shoe in His Hand and a Bloody Finger

Aug 18, 2014

What a week... I guess I will explain the title of this week’s email… So Elder Kodama and I were walking and I stepped on some glass... one piece got stuck in my shoe and so we stopped so we could get it out so it wouldn’t cut my foot... but boy was it stuck... I ended up cutting my finger. The cut wasn’t to big, but by the amount of blood, you would have thought I cut my finger off.  We were about 10 minutes from our house so we started to walk towards home, trying to take a route were people wouldn’t see me with one shoe, carrying the other and a super bloody finger. But of course, the ONE day everyone is outside on this particular street is when I look absolutely nuts. So I am pretty sure a lot of people got a pretty good laugh at the strange white boy. Man, moments of the mission haha

 This week we really tried to talk with everyone on the streets. We were able to get a lot of addresses and what not from people but none of them were really ready to hear our message, which was pretty discouraging as it seemed the more we worked, the less people were accepting us. I had been praying all week that the lord would lead us to someone who is prepared and ready for this gospel. It’s amazing how he works. Sunday night, We went to visit a family who is returning to church that we have been working with for a while now, and the last 2 weeks they brought a friend with them to church but he always said he doesn’t want us to visit him But we arrived at this family’s house and he was there and they were just finishing a movie about Joseph Smith. He loved it and told us he had a lot of doubts about the Book of Mormon and Joseph but now he understands it all, and then after talking a bit more, answering more questions, he accepted a date for baptism and told us he believes it all! WHAT? Where did that come from? haha but how amazing is this gospel. I am so grateful for the reactivation of this wonderful family, and now they are helping us a ton with our work. What a blessing.

We are also working with this super sweet family that has a lot of challenges. They don’t have very much money and the momma works a ton. When we met her, she was almost smoking 2 packs of cigarettes PER DAY.... that’s more or less than 40 a day. Now she is constantly smoking only 7 per day. That is a miracle for sure, in less than 2 weeks! Our biggest trouble with them is church. They are very, very shy and we just can’t seem to get them to come and meet the ward. They read the Book of Mormon every day and love the gospel. I pray they can be baptized soon!

Days are flying by and I am doing well. I know the Lord knows me and every one of his children. He answers my prayers specifically many times and I know he will continue to do so. I love you all!

Elder Clark

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tan Lines and Blonde Hair

August 11, 2014

This week has been unbelievable hot and dry, the sun has been 10 times stronger this week. My hair is turning more blonde every single day and I now officially have the missionary tan lines. I have a line in the middle of the neck were my collar is and my arms are… we will just say farmer tanned! The hardest thing to do now is to work right after lunch. We finish lunch at about 1ish and with stomachs full we walk and try to talk to people in the blazing heat.

Baptism!
This week was good and we had some little miracles. Our mission president is really emphasizing talking to EVERYONE so we spent a lot of time talking with people on the street. It was crazy that as soon as we started talking to everyone, everyone started talking to us. Lots of people have stopped us, asking if I am American, and if I can help them with English, and others have yelled for us from across the street. It’s been fun too because you never know who you will meet. We met one lady who has quickly become one of my favorites. She is not mentally all there but she is so great and sweet. She is a member but the rest of her family isn’t. She is so smart and knows American history better than I do. Her name is Creoza and she has quickly become a good friend of ours!

Fernanda was baptized too! Her friends are investigating the church too and when she heard about that, she started to look around on LDS.org, she became curious and tagged along to church with her friends. She stayed for the baptism of Cristina after church and loved it. She gained a testimony of the church, and was baptized! It all happened super-fast but she was ready! She is 24 years but wants to serve a mission. She is already visiting people with the Sister missionaries.
Super Elder

The Lord is kind, and every day he opens my ears and loosens my tongue a little more with Portuguese. The mission is a lot more fun and passes by a lot faster when you understand and can have conversations with people! Now people don’t laugh at me they laugh with me! ahah for the most part. I know this church is true and the power within it is the greatest thing ever. I love you all and until next time!



Elder Clark!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Working and Walking


August 4, 2014

Family Night
This week we worked and we walked. I do know how we were able to get up each morning because I felt like we walked 1000000 miles each day. We made a whole lot of visits this week, and lots of them were with members that have fallen away from the church and we soon discovered that there are a TON here. Its wasn’t our intention this week to find a lot of these members but it just kind of happened and many are very receptive to us. It’s crazy how my mission has really been focused on helping people return back to church, no matter where I am, Brazil or the states. But it’s also crazy how much I love it. I think I feel a greater joy when someone who hasn’t been to church in years walks through the doors of church than I do for Baptisms.

I just want to tell you all about one of the people that we started working with. His name is Junior and he has 17 years.  His younger brothers are super active in the church and we passed by his house to talk with them about visiting some people with us. Only junior was home, but we welcomed us in and actually was really excited to talk to us. He told us that yesterday he was thinking about the happiness that his brothers have and that he wants that too and that he has a desire to serve a mission! We left him with some scriptures to read and told him we are going to help him prepare to be a missionary. The next time we visited him he told us that he knew that the church was true, and that after reading the scriptures he got a feeling like never before. He is awesome and his family is great too!


Miracles big and small happen every single day of the mission. I am so grateful for this time I have to serve and what the mission is doing for me. It’s amazing how much the mission shapes you while you are working for all those around you! I love this gospel and the mission!

Elder Clark

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wet Weather, A Wedding, A Baptism and Transfers

July 28, 2014
Elder Xavier and Elder Clark
I think this last past 6 weeks was the fastest of my mission... with the World Cup and being companions with Elder Xavier.  Elder Xavier and I became very good friends and the days passed by unbelievable fast because the work was just fun, still had its good share of hard and sad times but was fun. I am sad to say that Elder Xavier already has been transferred, we got transfer news last night and boy it wasn’t happy news. We were both pretty bummed and stayed up pretty late packing up his suitcases. I am still here in Recanto, with my new companion Elder Kodama from São Paulo. He was in our district when I first got here so it’s nice we already know each other. The mission is crazy. Every time I am comfortable, it finds a way to throw me back out of my comfort zone. But it is good. I am learning and growing a whole lot!

Wedding!
This week was a bit crazy. The weather for one, the week started out super hot, dry, and without a cloud in the sky, probably the hottest it has been since I got here, but the weekend was and still is FREEZING, wet. I have not seen the sun in days. It has been strange indeed because this area of Brazil doesn’t see rain usually until September.... but the tradition here is when it rains, you receive wife points, so I am not complaining! (A joke about how cute your wife will be!)



Baptism!
The most excited thing this week was the wedding of Kesley and Cristina, and the baptism of Cristina. Cristina has been coming to church since I got here. She is great and has changed so much. I think she is amazing. I wasn’t able to work with her a whole lot because she lives in the area of the Sister missionaries. She and her now husband finally got married on Friday and she was baptized this Sunday! I don’t think I have seen anyone happier! We will continue to work with her husband who has some other problems but he has a desire. That is the best part of missionary work. Watching people’s lives change for the better right in front of your eyes.


This next week will be a lot of showing Elder Kodama around, introducing him to the members and our investigators. I hope the weather continues to be like it is now because working in the cold is a whole lot easier then working in the heat. As for me, I am healthy, tired, and always learning. The mission is the best and worst experience of my life. haha but I would change it for the world. Love you all,

Elder Samuel Clark


AHH, I almost forgot about my hump day. HOW CRAZY! Time passes so quickly and I still have so much to do and learn! It’s crazy to think that in one year on this day, I’ll be home. ahhhhh

Monday, July 21, 2014

20…

July 21, 2014
Happy Birthday Elder Clark

Man, I am 20 years old... I don’t know why but that is so weird to me.. haha My birthday this week was
great. We had interviews with our new mission president in the morning, then we worked during the day and at night we had a family night planned with some members in our ward that are good friends, but when we got there it turned out to be a surprise party for me! It was awesome, and we even had Ice-cream cake! All in all, it was a good 20th birthday in Brazil.

As for missionary work, we had a lot of heartbreak this week. Earlier in the week we weren’t able to work as much because I was a little sick, and Elder Xavier was REALLY sick, but he was tough and he worked through it. One of our investigators told us she wasn’t interested anymore more, which was killer, but we talked and she will still receive visits from us. We had to change the baptism of Celina and her girls because 1. She still is smoking and 2. They won’t come to church! Something always seems to come up. A family that is less active that we are working with are fighting right now and the wife is staying with her mom. This week has just been a lot of frustration! It’s crazy how strong Satan is and how for everything we try and do, he always throws something to destroy it.

Missionary Shoes!
We started something pretty cool this week. We call it ´´Day of Missionary´´, doesn’t sound as cool in English but it is! There are a lot of youth preparing for missions right now in our ward and so we started this day of missionary; which is literally that the young man spends the entire day with us. He arrives at our apartment at 8 am. He studies with us and then he comes with us to all our visits until 9pm at night. It’s pretty cool and a great way for them to learn the lessons and what being a missionary is before they actually are missionaries! We did one Saturday, and have another day scheduled for tomorrow with another young man!

Next week is transfer week and I am pretty nervous I’ll be leaving. I want to stick with Elder Xavier in Recanto for one more transfer! Pray that I will stay! Next Monday we will know. I love missionary work, even though it’s the hardest thing in the world.

Love you all!

Elder Clark

Monday, July 14, 2014

Whatta Tragedy

July 14, 2014
I solved it!
(Could it a coincidence with staying home all day?)
I think this week was one of the saddest weeks in Brazilian history... Of course the biggest news here is the terrible loss to Germany in the World Cup... The people here are taking it pretty well I guess, pretty much everyone laughs in disbelief. We were watching the first half and after Brazil allowed 5 Goals, which was one of the most unbelievable moments in my life... but we received a call that we needed to return home immediately... and good thing too because as we were walking home, a ton of people yelled and cussed at us… because I look German... but they yelled at me in English.. Calling me German... I don’t quite get that part but oh well. The good part is we arrived home without any trouble! The next day we had to stay in our house for the whole day... probably one of the longest days of my life.. haha But now the World Cup is over and work will start to be normal again. It’s a hard thing to do missionary work during the World Cup.

We lost a lot of days of work here this week BUT none the less we had some success this week. As of right now we have 7 people preparing themselves for baptism! We met Thiaze and Cima this week. They are a mother and a daughter. They are awesome and they really like the idea of eternal families. They are great and I can’t wait to see where they go!
Acai -  A Favorite Dessert
Still the hardest thing is getting people to come to church. I don’t know why that is the hardest thing for people but it is.. And it’s one of the most frustrating things too because you work all week to try and see them and church, and then your heart is broken when the meetings all end and they didn’t show.
As for me, I am doing great. What an incredible month July has been and it’s only gonna get better! I am excited for my birthday! (His Birthday is July 18th) HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!! Ask Dad for your present from me tomorrow ;)

I love you all.
Until Next week!!

Elder Clark