Thursday, April 30, 2015

Progress and Opposition

April 27, 2015

This week absolutely flew by... I don’t even know what is happening with the days. The work is going really well here and the days pass by so fast. There is so much to do and so little time! This week we had a lot of success but we have had some setbacks too...

We have met a lot of incredible people here and they will be a grand force in the church here very soon! We are very excited because it turns out that some of our strongest investigators are a family the other elders are working with.  This family seems like they will be the pioneers here. They are so great. They are reading and defending the church against people that are starting to talk bad about the church. This is the same woman that told us that she wants to be able to say the same things that we say about our testimony. If she doesn’t get baptized this week, I think next week, for sure! We are excited for these upcoming weeks because we are hoping for a lot of success and the beginning of the growth of the church here in Padre Bernardo! We have a lot of people and families that are progressing really well! But with all this progress, there is opposition too. Almost all our families are facing problems or friends and families are discouraging them to participate with the church. Even so, they are going strong!

We are trying to just get the name of the church out in the open with a good reputation... and one way we have been doing that is we visit other churches... and boy it has been super cool. We have visited some already and the people love it. They appreciate that we are willing to visit churches with other people. It has gotten to the point that when we are walking on the street people yell for us to visit them in their church. We have learned that some churches here are better than others. We visited one that I will not name, but they just screamed and then when we had to leave, the pastor came up to me and started talking in a language that wasn’t Portuguese... nor English.... and then she took my hand and told me that she took away the band of death... because I would have died that night is she had not blessed me... man... I left feeling a bit strange.  But mom, your son is still alive thanks to revelation! I love the gospel music here. There are a lot of churches with bands that play really good music! haha for sure,  has been a really neat experience to learn about other churches first hand!

We have one more missionary here from Arizona. He was waiting for his visa for 3 month and got here this week. He is in a trio with the other elders. His name is Elder Adams and he has the best area to start out his mission here in Brazil.

I am super tired and working hard. I am so grateful for all that I have and the opportunity to serve my mission here. I am loving every minute of every day! I love you all and thanks for all the prayers!

Elder Clark

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good People

April 20, 2015

I caught a Piranha!
Padre Bernardo is a small town that has people with the biggest hearts. I love the people here. This week was full of difficulties but also full of blessings and miracles. Padre Bernardo is growing to be one of my favorite areas on my mission! It has been so fun to open this area, being a small town, people noticed and started to talk about us real fast. It is not every day that 2 young men, 2 being from the USA walk around in the blazing heat with shirts and ties. This week was so great that I don’t even know where to start.

So at the beginning of the week we started to think about the way we are doing the work here. We had been working super hard, teaching, teaching and teaching. We got a little frustrated because the majority of the people we are teaching love our visits but are not trying to learn more. They are not keeping their commitments. We decided we were doing the work all wrong. We got here and we were hungry for baptism’s and the church to grow super-fast but then we realized that just knocking on every door and teaching was not the best way to do the work. We are here and we are the first contact that most of the people here have ever had with the church. So it is even more important to leave a good image and impression of the church and of the missionaries here. We put ourselves in the place of the people here and what they think about us. So, we decided to change the work a lot. We started to attend meetings of other churches with our investigators and man is it cool to see how other churches work. Everyone there treats us super well and they get very happy that we are visiting them! Even some people said that they want to visit where we congregate too! We are going to go on the radio, do more service and be happy and friends with everyone. After we made that decision, the work here exploded! We aren’t the missionaries who will try to force our religion on people anymore, We are those Mormon boys who are here to help the city in any way we can!
Our first week we had only 14 people, 10 not counting us, 4 not including the 2 families that are members already, and this week, with our new philosophy and excitement...... WE HAD 31 PEOPLE GO TO CHURCH WITH US! The best part was that they were families! We got super, super excited! Everyone that came to church liked the meetings a whole lot! Only about half of the people that promised to come to church did. The missionaries (us) gave the talks for sacrament meeting and I think that will be the first of many talks that we will give (haha). We have many other people who are reading the Book of Mormon and who want to know if the church is true that didn’t go to church. We love it here and the work exploding! We have one family who told us that they want to be able to say the same things that we say about the church and about our Savior, and almost all the families want to feed us lunch! We eat with Silo and his family (only members who live here) everyday, haha so it will be good to take a load off them.

This upcoming week we have much to do! We are going to the radio to let people know about the church, we are going to have lunch with a family of pastors that are very interested in the Book of Mormon. Who have about 100 people who go their church too, Can you imagine? We need your prayers! The heat is trying to beat us. But we are going to work through it, pray that we have cloudy days! I love this work and I love every single blessing that the Lord sends my way. This would be impossible without Him.

OH! Today we went to a lake and went fishing for piranhas! We had to use the heart of a cow to catch them! Then we had a BBQ, one of the best p-days of my mission!

All my love!

Elder Clark

This is Country

April 13, 2015
Piranha for dinner, yes Piranha!
Man, I love Padre Bernardo! This city is so cool! It is a farming city. Almost everyone that lives here works on the farms. There are a ton of trucks here and lots of people that walk around in cowboy boots, jeans and cowboy hats. There are a ton of wild life and strange food!  I love it! But it is also hard because how the farms work here is that the men go and stay there during the week and so come home on the weekends. So basically the town full of woman during the week. Still, we have found some amazing families!

I never thought I would be in an area that we have to introduce the church to people who have never
Meet the Mormons
even heard of missionaries. It is so cool to be able to explain who we are, and why I, an American, am in the middle of nowhere Brazil. The people here are super receptive too. There were many times this week that we showed up at someone’s house, and before we could explain who were, they already invited us in and just started talking to us. It is amazing! I love this small town. We have been teaching like mad men this week and the only problem that we are seeing is that everyone accepts us super well here, but few have a desire to learn more. They are all amazing people but already are strong in the religion that they have. There are some churches here that have been here since the dinosaurs. The Catholic Church is the strongest here. I think about half the population is Catholic here.

Everyone at Church
 Church was neat; we had a whopping 14 people there! haha Man, I hope that number grows fast. We are working so hard to find the people who have just been waiting for the gospel! My companion is great. He only has 3 months on the mission but he teaches well and knows how to work! I love this gospel and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to start the church here in Padre Bernardo. Pray for me and the city here. We need all the help we can get!


Elder Clark

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Beginning

April 6, 2015

So we had transfers this week and you know that little town that I have already talked about called Padre Bernardo? Well I was transferred here today. I am more than excited! This city has 8 people that are members and they meet in a school building for church. Missionaries have never, ever worked here! I came here with a new companion, Elder Nacimento from Sao Paulo and another companionship. The city is basically in the middle of nowhere and super far away from Brasilia.  We arrived here 10 minutes ago and our day is almost over.  I am in the state of Goias.  I am so grateful for this opportunity and it looks like I will spend my last 3 transfers here. President spoke with us today and told us that he wants a branch here soon! I am so excited to work and start church history here in Padre Bernardo. I know it won’t be easy. But, I am ready for the challenge! 

My last week with Elder Dobner was the best week that we had together too. We worked super hard and found some incredible people! One young couple that is super interested and another family! I hope and pray he will help bring them into the gospel! I loved Brazlandia and the people there. I am sad that I only had one transfer there and I didn’t see much success. But, oh the things that I learned! I know that I left my heart and soul there. I worked hard and I know the Lord is pleased with the work that I did.

General Conference was the best. I had to watch it in Portuguese and I have to say it’s a whole lot more meaningful and spiritual for me in English. But it was a cool experience to watch in Portuguese. I loved the talks and messages that were given! (

Sorry this is so short and not very detailed but I don’t have much time and there is a whole lot to do, I love you all and thank you so much for all the prayers!!

Elder Clark


Mar 30, 2015

Man, this week was very... interesting. We met a whole lot of people and taught a whole lot. We are working as hard as we know how but the thing is that no one is really listening, story of my life right now. We found some really good people this week though. I am super excited to teach some of them this week. We found one young man (that is 19) when we were knocking doors. It started to rain while we were talking and he told us that we shouldn’t enter his house because of problems that they have there. So, we invited him to come to the church with us because he lives pretty close, and he says “why not?” Saturday we taught him at the church with another young man that was already there. We are real excited about him! We have found a lot of new people to work with! I just hope that next week, I am not transferred!

One day we walked passed the church and the young men were playing a game called ``Bate Bola`` in the middle of the street. It’s a game that for sure I’ll bring to the states to play. You have 2 teams of two players and it’s basically baseball but with only 2 bases and 2 players. I don’t know how to explain it but we played with them for a little bit and it was so much fun! My companion and I lost the first game, because we were still learning. But after that no one could beat us! I should’ve have taken a picture but I didn’t even think to do so!
More Tile Work

The biggest challenge we have is getting people to church! We were so sick of almost nobody coming to church that we spent the first hour and a half of church running around the city, trying to get everyone we know to church... but the thing is EVERYONE that we passed have some sort of excuse or wasn’t even home. We got so desperate that we started inviting people on the street to come to church and knocking on doors inviting them to wake up and go to church with us! We actually got 3 people to come visit with us that way! We had not met them before but we are going to their home today to teach their families! Yesterday was a tiring Sunday.

This is the last week of one more transfer. I can’t believe how fast it is going. Sometimes I get a little down because I feel like I don’t have anything to show for all the work I have been doing. But I know the Lord has his plans and his way of doing things. I am so grateful for all the experiences I have had that have changed and shaped me. I love this gospel and I love this work.

With much love,
Elder Clark