Monday, June 23, 2014

A Change Is Comin!

June 23, 2014

New Companion - Elder  Xavier
Man, what a week. What a roller coaster of emotions the mission is.... this week was really good but full of different things. We had a meeting with the whole mission with our president because he will leave in just a few weeks. Then we will receive a new president. I have a feeling a lot of things will change in our mission with the new president. You would think I would be used to change by now but, it still freaks me out a little.

       As for the change of companions, Elder Xavier is crazy good. Honestly, like a dream companion! I can’t wait for what will happen this transfer. This week was a lot of taking him around and meeting the
Elder Xavier and Elder Clark
members and our investigators, We are going to start up a lot of things here, the first thing is next Saturday we will be starting an English class, which everyone seems real excited for. Great things are about to come forth in Recanto Das Emas! We found the most incredible family this week, they are ´´prepared´´ if I have ever met prepared people. They already are giving us names of people we can go visit! Our first lesson with them was one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission. I was really fumbling over my words, so I just started to bear my testimony and the words just came. It was incredible. He learned about the church through a friend at work, read some things on the internet and he had a lot of questions. We explained the Book of Mormon to him and he was so happy. He held the book and said ´´All I will do is study from this, learn from this, I don’t need the internet´´ It is the greatest feeling when people truly understand this gospel!

                Claudio is going strong! He was confirmed this Sunday as a member of the church... and guess who did it.. yup.. the only one at church that DOESNT speak Portuguese. 5 minutes before Sacrament Meeting, the Bishop came to me and told me Claudio would like me to do the confirmation. Boy,  was I nervous... I confirmed him, gave him a blessing and besides my shaking, it was good! The members told me I spoke clearly and directly and that it seemed like I had a lot more time here in Brazil than 2 and a half months. I don’t remember a lot of what I said but I am so grateful for that tender opportunity had to perform that ordinance. After church we had choir practice and Claudio showed up! He doesn’t know the hymns but, he was engaged and learning. He will be a great member. Everyone already loves him and knows him in the ward.

                Today is the third game of Brazil! P-day will literally be all day today! In my heart I am cheering for my home USA because I heard they are playing really well, but of course I am repping my Brazil style and cheering for them with everyone else!
Love you all, keep the faith!
Until next week!

Elder Clark

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Soccer Overdose

June 16, 2014

This week was pretty crazy. Everything is about the world cup. The day before the cup started, everyone was running around, preparing for it, all wearing their yellow soccer jerseys. The day of the cup, everything was closed, except the bars, and parties were everywhere! We went to the area of the zone leaders and watched the game with some members there, in one of the biggest houses I have ever seen, I wish that I had taken a picture of the house. It was amazing! We watched the game on a projector and every time Brazil scored, people would light off fireworks... every time.
It sounded a little like a war zone. It was so much fun, and the crazy thing is that all the people here say that Brasilia is very weak with spirit for soccer, that the celebrations and everything in other parts of Brazil are a lot better. I can only imagine what that is like. After the games of Brazil we have to go straight back home. But all the rest of the days we can work like normal, this is practically impossible... EVERYBODY is watching the games. The games usually start about 1 or 2 in the afternoon and every one will watch.. It is impossible to not watch the games.. haha I have seen more soccer in the last 5 days then I have in my entire life.. It is impossible to get away from it!
BUT better news then the Cup is that Claudio was baptized yesterday! It was a very sweet thing to witness. Half the ward was there to watch, and Claudio was so excited. He is old but he has the spirit of a child (That is what his wife says).  His son baptized him and their hug afterword was one of the moments that make all the hardships of the mission worth it. I am so grateful for that experience. Elder Queiroz and I sang a hymn as a duet for the baptismal service. That was nerve racking but it turned out ok! Two things that I never thought I would do on my mission 1. Play the piano for church and 2. Sing in front of a lot of people. What have I become! Missions truly throw you out of your comfort zone until there is no such thing as ´´nervous´´

I have a new companion! His name is Elder Xavier (Sha-vee-ear) He is great! He is from the very southernmost part of Brazil. He looks white, well he is white. He has blue eyes, and everyone thinks he is American. He has about 7 months on his mission and I am really excited to work with him! Even if half this transfer will be trying to pull people away from the TV screens.

I have passed 8 transfers on my mission and I have 8 more to go. I can’t believe how fast it has gone by and how much I still have to learn. I am so grateful for the time I had in Arizona to serve my mission. I will always hold that time close to my heart. The people I met there and the things I learned there I don’t think I will ever forget. As for Brazil, it is pushing me and making me give everything I have.  I am grateful to be here in Brazil, to be a part of this wonderful country. I have half of my mission left and I cannot wait for what will come!

I love you all! Thanks for all the love and support!

Elder Samuel Clark

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A World Of Yellow And Green!

June 9, 2014

Things are getting pretty exciting here for the World Cup. All over the cities people have been painting their houses, the streets, the curbs the colors of Brazil and Hanging flags and things around too! It’s been really cool to see and everyone is pumped! As missionaries, we have been given permission to watch all of the Brazil games, but just that. And we have to watch at a member’s house, and after we have to go straight back home and stay there for the day. It’s going to be one giant party! The first game will be this week and I will report how it goes!

As for missionary work! It’s going well. The highlight is Claudio. I wrote about him last time, but we had family night with him and his family Tuesday. My companion and I planned really hard for the message and everything so that it would be just right for him. We ended our message with singing a hymn to the family. Afterwards we invited him to be baptized. The spirit was so strong, Claudio said, ´´Let’s do it!´´ Ahhh, it was so great! After, he said the closing prayer, first time for him in public ever. It was so great and sincere and I am so pumped for him. He will be baptized this Sunday by his son! We stopped by his house the next day, and the first thing he asked was ´´When will we start preparing for my baptism´´.... Umm, today Claudio! He is awesome and I am so excited for him and his family.
Wet Elder

I sure do miss cars...  one day a huge rain storm from nowhere hit us as we were walking and we got real wet... We had to work in wet clothes for the rest of the day.  Next week is transfers and I will probably get a new companion because Elder Queiroz has been here forever.

I love you all and thank you for your prayers!

-Elder Clark

Elder Neil L. Anderson's Visit
(Elder Clark is standing on the left front)
Here is a link to an article about Elder Anderson's visit to Brazil: 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hot Days, Cold Nights, and Tender Mercies of the Lord

June 2, 2014
Some Comforts of Home - A Walmart!

The Lord is mindful of every one of his children. He never ceases to amaze me. This week was really difficult for me because I felt like we found NO success. Nada. Zip. Zero. It was really hard to find people home this week and our lessons with people were not very good, and I found the more I became frustrated, the more I stumbled over my words. I found myself on my knees a whole bunch this week, humbled and begging for help from my Savior.

The beginning of the week I went to Santo Atonio again for trades. I was there with Elder Furphy who has only been there for 3 weeks, and the area is HUGE... so we got lost and walked around a lot looking for the people they are working with. Santo Atonio is an interesting city.  They have a GIANT catholic church that pretty much runs things there and is always blasting music or bells. It is pretty crazy. The missionaries live right across the street.. haha

Shadow Elders
I returned to my home in Recanto das Emas and me and Elder Queiroz went to the zone leaders area to help them out for the day. It was actually probably the best day of the week. We returned to Recanto the next morning and starting our work there. Like I said I felt like we had no success, and on Saturday night I was so bummed out. I was frustrated and so tired. That night, I prayed so hard for strength, and for the Lord to help us. I felt like I did all I could but I just couldn’t see anyone we worked with coming to church the next day, not because I lacked faith but because no one was receptive. I asked for a miracle, I asked for SOMEONE, ANYONE to come to church that we could work with. And the Lord truly answered my prayer. Sunday came around and as we greeted people before the meetings started, we found that the Lord didn’t bring just one person to church, He brought many!

Claudio, his family was baptized about 2 years ago but he just never has been interested. His family wants him to join so much. He has just wanted to do his own thing. We have been trying to work with him but weren’t able to find him home once this week. But, he came to church!!! He even brought his own Book of Mormon. During Priesthood meeting he made a comment that he started with ´´I am not baptized yet but...´´. We told him that his own 17 year old son could do it and he became very excited! We will have family night with his family tomorrow night and I am praying he will continue to walk towards baptism! Miracle - 1 person at church.

Random Family: This beautiful family came to church that we had never seen before, a dad, wife, and two young children. They came to church because a cousin of the wife is a member somewhere else in Brazil and told them a little about the church. They stayed all three hours and really enjoyed it. I am excited for them. They are in the Sisters area, but hopefully we will see more of them! Miracle - 5 people at church.

Some members brought their friend who has really been struggling with things, quit drugs and drinking months ago and really wants to change. We taught her yesterday and she seems pretty solid. Miracle - 6 people at church.

Another family came with some different members. They loved church and are very interested; they are in the Sisters area too. Yet another miracle - 10 people at church.

Manuel came to church! We had to drop his Baptism date because of drinking, but he was at church too! Miracle - 11 people at church

God truly does answer our prayers and lifts us when we are at our lowest. I love this gospel, I love my Savior, and I love being a missionary.

-Elder Samuel Clark