Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sunny Days

Jan 26, 2015

``Oh my goodness`` was my phrase of the week. Every time we walked out of a home or shade into the blaring sun... this week was by far the sunniest and hottest week of my mission! Every day was sunny without a cloud in the sky until Saturday! It got to the point that my companion and I had to walk on the street and stop to cool down under every tree with shade... it was killer and it made it real hard to talk with people because nobody wanted to stay in the sun to talk to us. But, now it is raining cats and dogs. I think Brasilia has the strangest weather ever. But, I am grateful that the sun is hidden for now. I am sure that it will return soon.

Today we had a zone activity and it started to pour rain. My companion and I had to go back to the house to get some things and we rain through the streets that turned into rivers. We got absolutely soaked but it was great and very refreshing after a week of being baked alive in the sun. Our activity was good and we had hamburgers!! It was a good taste of home!! Tomorrow we will have a zone conference and since our zone is HUGE geographically, everyone arrived yesterday, so today we partied! haha

We have met some really great people! We met one family that offered us water during one of the days of the killer sun. We talked to them and they accepted another visit from us the following day! Barbara is the most receptive one and the next day she actually read the pamphlet we gave her and she said that she basically agreed with it all! She said that she has to study a little bit more but that she is really liking what she is learning! We are excited for her and we are anxious to help her! We met another woman who was putting together a trampoline in a park. She got laid off recently so she is setting up a tramp in a park where kids can pay to jump on it! We decided to help her because it was just her and her 3 year daughter! We helped her set it up and she was so grateful! She said that this was the first day that her husband didn’t come to help her because he was caught up at work and that it was a little miracle that we came to help her! We will teach her this week!

I don’t know why this area is hard... but it is. The branch here has more than 50 years of existence and almost nothing to show for it, But I am super excited to see what happens with not only this branches but all of the branches in our zone (every area in our zone is branches!) because the leaders of the district are super excited to work with us missionaries and we are having meeting after meeting to coordinate how we are going to help things grow!

I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE PASSED MY 1 YEAR AND 6 MONTHS! It is crazy how fast it passes by and I am so grateful for all that I have learned and I have learned so much. It incredible to me how much you can notice and change on your mission. But also how easy it is to ignore it all and not change at all. It’s something that you have to work for because maybe it will come naturally, but in that way, it will come so slow. I love my mission. I love every moment of it. It’s crazy to think that it is ending but I am so glad for the huge amount of time I still have left to learn and to grow!!

I love my church! I love my Savior! and I love you all!

Elder Clark!

Friday, January 23, 2015


January 19, 2015

What a week what a week! With the new transfer we decided to split up our area between the two companionships because Planaltina basically has 4 cities within itself. So we split it 2 and 2. Our area is mainly Aropoangas; which is a huge, huge area. People tell us it is a dangerous area here in DF... great. Well, we have been blessed and have not seen anything that even seems dangerous.

Investigator's New Baby

The people there are great! There are a lot of members that aren’t going to church too. We have found a whole lot of people this week and we are excited to work with them! We also started an English class this week that we will have 2 times a week! People seem pretty excited about that and we hope it will be a way to keep the chapel open and meet more people!

My new companion is great! Elder Semmler served in the army and he works like a mad man! He is way funny and has a super strong accent from the south. Sometimes, he will say a whole sentence and I don’t understand a word that he said. But, I am learning words that only people use in the south!

The work is moving and the branch is growing! Thank you so much for your prayers and your love! I feel them every single day! Life is hot, but, good here in PLANALTINA!

Elder Clark

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Planaltina - Part 2

January 12, 2015

So today were transfers and I had to say goodbye to my good friend Elder Goodsell. He was transferred to a land far away. I loved this transfer and it was probably one of the fastest of my mission. The work was hard but it was so much fun too! Elder Goodsell is a GREAT missionary and will change lives here in Brazil! I am so grateful for the time I had with him but I am also grateful for a new adventure with Elder Semmler, my new companion. He is from Rio Grande do Sul. The same state of Brazil as Elder Xavier! He is a good missionary. This is his 4th transfer and we were in the same zone in Taguatinga when He arrived on the mission. I am excited to work with him and help Planaltina grow! Elder Laurintino stayed here with me but Elder Josephson left and Elder Shipley from New Mexico is his new companion.

This week was HOT! That made it hard to stay outside. So we tried hard to enter into houses but it was hard to get in. So, every night we were dead when we got home because the sun here just sucks out your energy. But, we had a great miracle happen this week. Andre was baptized! He is a great guy. He has been investigating the church for over a year but didn’t want to commit to baptism because he didn’t want to be baptized just for his girlfriend (who is member). We have been good friends with him but never pressured baptism on him because he doesn’t like when the missionaries do that. Last week we had a family night with him and his girlfriend’s family and we left a spiritual message with them. He told us after that he just felt good and that the church was the truth, and a few nights after he decided to say a prayer. He told us this time he REALLY wanted to know and that after his prayer he got his answer immediately! He is a great guy and he just understands the gospel and its principles and everything. During his baptism I just got the best feeling that this man will become great and that his life will never be the same. I think I have learned more from Andre than he learned from me!

This week was a little strange on the missionary sports side. We found out that there is a park where every Saturday a lot of people get together and play basketball, and they play so well! Many of them play for professional teams here in Brazil. The three Americans played a couple of games. We only won once! It was kind of embarrassing losing to Brazil in a sport that America dominates! But, here is the funny thing... We lost in basketball, 3 on 3. But, a couple of days later we played soccer, 3 on 3, and we won... yes, we won 10 to 9! How? I don’t know, but maybe we are turning more Brazilian than American now... lose in basketball but win in soccer..... Go figure!

The branch is going well, we didn’t reach are goal of 100 this transfer but we did get 82!  That’s not too bad! It will only continue to grow!

I love this work and I love the Lord. There is no place I would rather be!

Love you all!

Elder Clark

Thursday, January 8, 2015

History will Change in 2015

January 5, 2015

Its 2015 and this year will be the year that Planaltina changes forever! Planaltina has a whole lot of time with missionaries, more than half a century... but the thing is it is exactly in the same spot that is was when it began! Our goal for 2015 here is to change this pattern. 2015 will be the year that Planaltina grows and continues to grow; not only our branch, but all the branches in our zone. The key is that the missionaries will work very closely with the leaders of the units and not just do everything for them. I have a lot of hope that this region of Brasilia can grow and be an example for others.

Amazing Storm
This week was great, we celebrating New Year with a bang... literally, everyone here buys fireworks and goes crazy at midnight for about an hour. Needless to say we didn’t sleep. This weekend we also had one of the beautiful storms I have ever seen. It was a lightning storm but the lighting was constant. I looked like a paparazzi in the sky. The clouds were huge and the bolts of lightning were crazy! I captured on in a video and it is amazing!

Our work is going well here too, one our main investigators finally made it to church with his wife! During one of the classes he bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon. It was great and really powerful! He works nights and went to bed at 5 in the morning but still made it to church at 8:30! He and his wife are very special and are close to becoming members of the church!

Elder Clark at the World Cup Stadium
We are also working with a family that I have grown to love really fast. They are returning to church after about 3 years not being active and they only have about 5 years in the church. We have had really good visits with this married couple and we are setting goals for them to go to the temple together because they haven’t gone yet! They are super funny and I love to joke around with them! They also gave us purple mangos the size our heads (my favorite type of fruit here!).

Life is good and only gets better here in Planaltina!

I love you all and wish you the best 2015 ever!!!!

Elder Clark

Monday, January 5, 2015

He is the Reason!

Package From Home!
Christmas was very good. Lots of food and great packages from home! The best part, of course, was my skype call with the family! I miss and love my family so much, and it was great to see and talk with many of them! After I closed the laptop, it hit me that I still have so much work to do here! So, the work began again.  

I can’t believe 2014 is over. What a year it was! It passed by so fast and I am so excited for the adventures of 2015! Bring it on.

This week we were just on the hunt for members that had fallen from the church. This is our main focus now. How can we bring people into a home (the church) if its foundation is weak? I love working with less actives and really hope that the work will get better every single week. The number of people in church was about 70 again. But, it will get better this coming week for sure! 

Familiar Picture
We had to go do two interviews in a city about an hour away from here. While we were at the bus station, a man just started talking English with us. He actually spoke very well and we got on the bus and sat with him. We explained who we are, why we are here and everything... in English! haha While we were on the bus, everyone was very confused why us 3 were speaking English, because the bus was super full and lots of people were around us. One group of teenagers started talking about us and saying that we must be from England and what not, thinking that we didn’t understand them. We told them we are Americans (in Portuguese) and then one young women said “I think they understand us” hahaha then the phone rang and I had to talk to another missionary in Portuguese and everyone on the bus got real quite with surprised looks on their faces it was great! Then I just started talking to some of them about who we are and everything. It was a very funny bus ride and we got the interest of many people. 

We finally had a meeting with our Branch president and made up a plan for our Branch here! We are going to work very closely with the leadership and everything is looking great for the branch here.
Life is sweet and the work is good! Love you all! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and have a great new year!

Elder Clark