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. 

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.
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