Thursday, March 26, 2015

Time Flies

March 23, 2015

Car Selfie
This week was crazy. First of all it was super hard because we had to stop visiting a lot of people because they just were not wanting to progress. They liked our visits but just were not willing to do more than visit with us. It did help that it just continued to rain ALL week and this time it was cold rain, nothing compared to what is happening back home, but it was cold for me.

This week passed by so fast and I just can’t help but feel that I don’t have much more time. The time is flying so fast past me and I just can’t get ahold of it! We are working so hard but I think we just have to work a little bit harder to get the results that we are hoping for. But as always, the Lord is changing and shaping me. I just hope I can take in everything that he is trying to teach me.

We found a super special family this week that I am hoping and praying will progress. The mom has had questions for a long time about what church is the true church. She loved our message and said that she really needs to search for herself! She has 5 kids and a husband that all seem super promising!

We spent all day in Padre Bernardo yesterday, a city that is about an hour by car from Braslandia. That place is super special and missionaries should arrive there this week. They will be the first missionaries ever there. The Lord has prepared so many people there. Yesterday made me super excited to see how it turns out there.

So today went by very fast, we had our actividade da zona (zone activity) today and we don’t have much time to write our emails. Sorry to anyone that I did not respond to this week too!

But, I love you all and thanks for everything!

Elder Clark

Christmas in March
(The package just arrived.)

Rain, Mud, and Missionary Work

March 16, 2015
Current Companion
                This week we saw rain like Brasilia has never seen rain before. For 4 days straight, it just rained and rained and rained. It got to the point that our house started to leak! We got used to walking with wet feet and trudging through the roads that had turned into rivers. The rain made the work a little harder but we were still able to teach and find people. Brazlandia is super good. The members here are great too; they are willing and ready to help. The best part is we are starting to do more service projects! That is something that I was missing a lot in the other areas. But, the members here aren’t afraid to put us to work!
We are teaching and teaching lots of people here but the thing is that they are not progressing very well. It’s so crazy how much you practice and plan for people and then you get there and they barely pay attention! haha Our biggest problem here is that while we are finding lots of families to teach, no one is married! The process to get married here is 30 to 90 days! We are working with some couples to get married!
We have one couple that is really special. We found them Saturday night and the next day they were in church!! When we sat down to teach them, the first thing she asked is ``if there is only one god, why are there so many churches? How can we know which one is the true church?" HOLY COW! Our message is the exact answer for that, the Lord truly prepares people.
                This week we had our Mission Leadership Counsel. It was great! It is always great to hear from President! It took almost 4 hours to get home because the buses were on strike and we had to wait at the bus station for almost 2 hours. What would the life of a missionary with a car be like? Haha!
Former Companions - All Zone Leaders 
                Life is good and we are just working. We have to work harder and harder because the enemy is working harder and harder against us. We had one family that was progressing ALOT and this week they dropped us out of nowhere. It was a heart breaker but we will continue to try and help them. The enemy is strong but will never win. I love the mission for everything that happens that helps ME, shapes ME, and betters ME. I know that when I am better, I can better help those around me.

Love you all!

Elder Clark

In a Blink of an Eye...

March 9, 2015

My companion and I put all of this tile here!
This week flew by unbelievable fast. The work here is super-fast too. The thing about this area that we are learning is that people accept our message and let us come into their homes, but they pretty much only will do that. They are willing to listen to our message but they aren’t willing to do the things they need to do. They just like to hear the good word of God and do not really understand the importance of our message. I am not complaining because we are teaching and the days are full of appointments but it makes the work hard to keep up because in one week we will find lots and lots of people to teach, and in that same week we stop teaching them too because they have no desire! But, it’s always a process and we are having a lot of spiritual lessons.

Elder Dobner and I teach really well together. We are able to knock on doors, walk into a home and teach the first lesson in about 10 minutes if we need to. It’s been really great to teach with him. Our normal message is about 30 min on the dot from the time we walk in to when we leave. The best part is that we don’t seem like robots, because that’s one of the things that I worry about a whole lot.

We travel a lot here too. This area is super far from all the other areas in our zone. Our zone is basically the city of Ceilandia (which is the biggest city in DF) and our city that’s about an hour away. So for all our meetings and interviews, we travel for a long time.

I got super sick for the first time on my mission. I am still recovering with a small cough. I don’t even know what I had, but its passing and I am able to work normal again!

We found a super sweet couple that we are super excited about. They are so ready for the gospel! The only thing is that they need to get married and the process here in Brazil takes forever! Almost more than a month! But, good thing comes to those who wait!

I love the work and I love my Savior!
Until next week,

Elder Clark

Sunday, March 22, 2015

History Made.

March 2, 2015

Elder Clark

Brazlandia is completely different from Planaltina.. We taught almost 30 lessons this week and that was with knowing nothing about the area, because my companions and I arrived here at the same time. But the people here are very receptive and always open their doors for us.. They may not be super interested in the church but at least we are giving them a chance and we are teaching!!! It’s amazing and a complete 180 for me. haha The work is still hard but it is so much better when people actually listen to you.

We have some investigators that are so good! I hope that we will have a wedding and baptisms of families in the weeks to come. My companion is a great teacher. He was baptized 3 years ago and has about a year on the mission. He has a great testimony and we have already had great experiences in our first week together. I hope that we can continue with what we have started!

I had the great opportunity of witnessing history of the church this week. There is a city that is about an hour from here that literally is in the middle of nowhere called Sao Bernardo. This city has never had missionaries but has 2 families that live there that are members. They started a group there 2 weeks ago and this week we went there to help the group of members and do a baptism. An elderly man there was baptized in a river close to the city. Why is this cool? Well, first it’s a baptism (!) and second, it’s the first baptism of that city in the history of the church! The church is growing and history is being made!! It was such a tender thing to witness and after talking with the members, they are SO excited and have said that they already know families that are interested in the church. President is planning on putting missionaries there in about 3 weeks. When they get there I know that the work will explode!

Life is good and I am loving my new home, it’s a little city but the people here have big hearts. Sorry but I don’t have much time to write! I love you all and I’m sending my prayers your way!

Goodbye to a Good Friend.

 February 23, 2015

This week was CRAZY! I traveled a whole lot and we had a baptism!! Thursday we had a zone meeting that left everyone really excited. The Sunday before we had a meeting with the District president who is new and ready to work! We had a meeting with our zone on how we can help this district grow into a stake! To get to that point the missionaries have to work, and I mean work. But our meeting with the missionaries went really well and everyone was ready and eager to get started! We hope that in 2 years, we will hear of the Formosa Stake! We had the meeting in another city that is in Goias, another state, because there is the center of everything! The only Problem is that is more than an hour away and the buses there aren’t very reliable!

Remember a city called Cabeceiras? The next day, Friday we had to head over there to do some interviews and boy was that a long day. We spent about 10 hours traveling and 2 hours in the city, but it is amazing there. All the members are super excited. Because before it was just a “Group” of members, but 2 weeks ago they turned into a Branch, an actual organization! (A Branch is a small congregation) Everyone there is super excited and they are working really hard and growing!

As for our area, we worked and worked and this week it really paid off! We have been working with a family that was less active but now they are getting ready to go seal in the temple for forever! I met them my first week in Planaltina and they have become great friends. We had a visit with them the other day and it was very spiritual. They told us of how they felt lost and alone, but now they are participating in all the activities of the church and that hole they had in their life is being filled again. I love this gospel and the opportunities we have to help people every day, missionaries or members!

We had the baptism of Adrielly this Sunday and boy was it a challenge! She lives with her Aunt and Uncle and we assumed that they have legal custody of her... but we were wrong. Her dad, who lives far away from Planaltina is her legal guardian. We didn't find this out until 7 o clock Saturday night...... and of course lots of things happened to make it almost impossible to have her baptism the next day. but long story short... we got a hold of him, explained who we are and why we need his permission... with the help of a member we traveled an hour to find him at his work... which he is a security guard at the central bank. We couldn't find him when we got there so we started wandering around this huge building. That didn't go well with the other guards. Finally we found him, got his signature and the next day had a wonderful baptismal service. Adrielly is so strong and has a real special spirit about her. She is already planning on going to the temple and loves learning more about the gospel. She is already friends with almost everyone at church and she is going to help the missionaries help her family learn more about the church. 

Planaltina was a HARD area, one that beat me down, twisted me around and kicked me a few times, but I loved it there. I loved working there and the people there and even the wild dogs. I am super sad to say that I have left Planaltina and I am now serving as the zone leader of the Ceilandia zona. I am in a city called Brazlandia with a new companion, Elder Dobner. I am very excited to be here and to continue my work, but I will miss Planaltina dearly and will pray that the missionaries there continue to work and take care of my good friend Planaltina.

Monday, March 2, 2015

This… is… Carnival?

February 16, 2015
This is Carnival!

So Carnival has begun here in Brazil.... but no need to worry, here in Brasilia, nothing is happening. It seems like everyone travels or just stays indoors.... haha the roads are completely empty and nobody is home! We have seen a couple of reports this weekend about the parties that are happening all over Brazil. But here everything is just closed so it is more of a pain for us missionaries! But, today there will be a day long party at the church so we are excited to pass our p-day partying with the members of the branch!

This week was super hard, we didn't have a lot of success and we worked way hard. We are excited for some of the families that we have found but we are tired to death! Last week was probably one of the most tiring weeks of my mission. Each morning 6:30 came way, way, way too fast. You know you are tired when you are walking on the road, and closing your eyes because they are just so heavy and thinking maybe if you walk with them closed, I can get like 3 seconds more sleep..... This week was hard. BUT we are excited for the work! We should have a baptism this week. Adrielly is progressing a lot and it looks golden for her baptism. We also have many others that will be baptized in the next couple of weeks. We should be having a lot of baptismal services!

 I really do love it here in Planaltina, Time is passing by so fast and there is so much I want to do here still! I hope I get one more transfer here! Transfers are next week and we have no clue what could happen! We are excited for not only Planaltina but our whole zone! Yesterday an area that was just a “group” of members turned into a Branch (small congregation) yesterday! The work is progressing and growing!! I love the work and I love being a missionary!

We have one investigator that is amazing! He has a great knowledge of the Bible and of Christ, he is very accepting to our message! It has been a long time since we started working with him but It is incredible to see the difference in him, this week we were pretty straight forward with him and he is pressing a lot. He told us that Joseph (Smith) was a prophet, or he was absolutely crazy. It has been really hard for him because he has spent his life studying and believing one thing and now these 2 young men are telling him that some of the things he believed with such conviction aren't really the way that he imagined or believed. Working with him has helped me a whole lot to because of his questions. They always leave us stumped, but we always study and return to him with an answer and it is always great to see his face pondering and accepting our answer! That is why I love missionary work and this gospel. Everything has an answer and everything just makes sense. I know the gospel is true because it makes sense.
I love my Savior and my Father in Heaven. Thanks for all your love and prayers! I feel them every day!!

-Elder Samuel Clark