Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Meet The Mormons!

June 8, 2015
Showing "Meet the Mormons"

This week was a successful week! We worked hard and had a lot of fun too! We had a special activity that happened this week. We did a movie theater/drive in on the main square of the city. The movie “Meet The Mormons” just came out in Portuguese and we came up with the idea to show the city this movie so that people could.. well.. meet the Mormons! We set up a projector and screen in the middle of the main park. We invited the members in Brazlandia (Our closest ward) and about 30 members and 6 more missionaries came a few hours early. Then we stormed the streets, invited everyone to come and watch. We the sun went down we played a few Mormon messages before the movie started. The activity was a big success, few people stayed and watched the whole movie, but during the movie a ton of people passed by watching a little and we were able to make contacts with them and explain to them that the church that we represent isn’t just a church in this small town but worldwide! It was a great way to show the city who we are and it was so cool to have so many members helping us! ("Meet the Mormons" is available on Netflix)

Padre Bernardo Pioneers
We had 2 more baptisms this week! Shirley and Bruna, mom and daughter! We have been working with them since our second week here and Shirley has read almost all of the Book of Mormon! Bruna is 11 and super smart. Shirley is real special, she would have been baptized sooner but she wanted to be absolutely sure that she would baptize and stay in the church and not just quit when it got hard! She is married but her husband has some things to take care of but he told us after the baptism, “I’m going to be the next one to be baptized!” Which is funny because we found her older daughter on the street after the baptism and she told us too, that she´ll be the next one baptized! So, we are going to have a race in this family! Her cousin is being taught by the other Elders and she and her husband will be baptized next month after their wedding! We have finally found our pioneer family! They are a huge family that is going to bring lots of family members to the church too!

The church is growing slowly but it’s growing! We are working hard but it’s been pretty difficult! But, I love it. I just hope it can start picking up here soon! We are teaching a huge group of people, but the amount that are understanding and wanting to learn more is pretty small. This week in my studies I had a lot of answers come to questions I had because of this area, I am so grateful for the scriptures that we have and the time we have to study them too! I had a real neat experience that an investigator asked one of the same questions I had and I was able to speak clearly the answer, and while I was explaining, I understood the answer better too, and that was the Holy Ghost teaching me, while I was teaching someone else. The gospel is amazing and full of miracles. This was a successful in in all aspects! I love the work and I love the mission. I hope that I can finish these last few weeks running and seeing even more success.
Soccer Feet

Thanks for all the love and support, I love you all and can’t wait to see everyone!

Elder Clark

Monday, June 29, 2015


Jun 1, 2015

This week was a very special week. This week was a week that I could see and feel the change that is happening in the lives of so many here in Padre Bernardo. I love being able to see the gospel working miracles and changing lives. The first of this week was our 1st baptism here! Her name is Nativa and
Baptism in a River
literally we met her our first day here. We have been working with her and her family for all his time and she finally had the desire to be baptized! She is super special and has a very sweet spirit. She is very simple but a strong will. She has 4 kids who we are still working on to be baptized but they will soon follow for sure! She made history here in Padre Bernardo and it is amazing to watch her life change right before my eyes! We had a baptism service at a farm and I was able to baptize her in a river! Now, that was a neat experience! She is already taking us to her friends to teach them too. She is the first of many to come unto Christ here in Padre Bernardo! Remember her in your prayers.

We have another family here that has become dear friends of ours. They are learning and progressing a lot! Here in a small city, there is a lot of gossip and everyone talks about everyone... and so a lot of people talk about us, and they tell this family lots of things that I just not true. We had a super sweet lesson with them where they expressed their concerns and questions and we were able to respond so bearing our testimony. Carina (the mom) got real emotional and told us that she has already gone to many churches and always had doubts about the things they teach and say, but she said to us that “I know it’s true, I don’t have doubts here. I don’t know why, but there is no “if” about it, I don’t even know a lot about the church but I don’t have doubts.” Man, she is wonderful and has a wonderful family, the only problem is that we have to get her and her husband married. Here in Brazil, that takes at least a month to do all the paper work. But, we are very excited for them too!

This week Silo, our ``Dad`` here.... took us hiking... it was awful! There wasn’t a trail and we just starting climbing a mountain to look at vultures... he is a big nature guy and thinks they are beautiful… but I don’t think they are beautiful birds no.... aaannnddd I got stung by a bee, right on the lip... but it didn’t swell or anything so that was a good thing!

Elders and Friends
The other companionship is teaching a couple that just needs to be married and then they will be baptized! They are great and love to give us food. Yesterday we had a BBQ feast and I almost died because of all the food I ate and then I went to walk in the hot sun working... Think about something that is hard to do... but I am glad that today I have time to rest and recuperate.

This week we are starting Bible study and let’s see how that goes! We hope it will attract more people to just get to know who we are! We are trying anything and everything here to teach and help the church grow here. We are working hard, worn out but we are happy.

The work is moving here in Padre Bernardo! We are so happy here and love the work! We have met so many people and have made great friendships. The gospel is transforming the lives of our investigators, the one family of members here and the missionaries serving here. We are having the experience of a lifetime here.

Elder Clark

Living the Good Life

May 25, 2015

Padre Bernardo is just a dream! Life is so good and the work is going really well. I am tired beyond reason but I have so much energy at the same time. Elder Nascimento and I are working really hard
The Elders of Padre Bernardo
to help all the people we have progress and make decisions in what they need to with their lives. We have so many people we are working with that there isn’t enough time in the day to do all that we want and need to. I am so grateful for the time I have to work here and the miracles I am seeing every day. The church is truly a church of miracles and love. I have loved being here and helping people get to know a church unlike any other church that exists here, I am proud to be a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ!

We met a couple this week that are really intelligent and have lots of questions for us! One thing that they said really made me happy and confirmed to me that we are doing the right kind of work here. A couple of weeks ago I said that we decided to change our way of working from just teaching and searching for the people who are ready to hear to searching for opportunities to serve and help and be friends with everyone. This couple told us that everyone speaks super well about us. She works in the government building helping families and she said that LOTS of people pass by there and mention us. Everyone says that they are really liking our visits and that we are so different, dignified but cool. There is another religion here that does the same type of missionary work here that NOBODY likes and at first everyone thought we were from that church but now people know the difference. That was the goal, to put a good name out there for the church!

We helped a family move from one house to another and we were able to ride in the back of the truck on top of all the stuff and we felt like celebrities because in 6 weeks we have gotten to know A WHOLE LOT of people and as we were driving through the little city on top of a giant truck, we were waving and talking to a ton of people on the street. Another great thing about knowing lots of people in the city is that we get rides a whole lot. Even people who don’t want anything to do with the church but who we have visited give us rides. That’s a huge blessing because this city has a whole bunch of hills that kill us when we have to climb them during the afternoon in the hot sun. Each night we come home with some kind of fruit or food that people give us and we are starting to eat meals and have BBQ´s with people here in the city! But it’s not all just fun and games; we are working a ton but having even more fun doing it!

Attendance at church is growing, very slowly but its growing! We are excited because there are a lot of people that are attending every week. They just need to resolve some problems before they can be baptized but we are so excited because when the first baptism happens here, they will just come and come and come! Padre Bernardo is on the edge of the cliff, just needing a little nudge and this city will start to fly! Thanks for all the prayers and Love! The Lords hand is in this work and I am grateful I have the chance to participate!

Lots of Love,

Elder Clark

“Stay in the Boat” Matthew 8:23-27

May 18, 2015
Baking Sweet Rolls and Cheese Bread
Wow, what a week. This week passed by SO fast but when I think about last Monday, it seems like almost a month ago. Time is literally playing with my head. We started the week with a little trip. We had to head into the city for a Zone Meeting and we spent almost the whole day Tuesday traveling. Our meeting was productive but it about killed us with the traveling. I don’t know why but it seems like the days that we have to travel and I don’t work very much are the days that I become most tired on my mission. There something about traveling on the bus that just drains your energy.

Speaking of draining energy. Man oh man. We started English classes this week for anyone who
wants to learn. Elder Kesler and I are the Americans who give the class. I don’t know how but I got stuck with the children 8 years old to 12 years old. (Think of the funniest class ever.) We have been doing the classes for two weeks and we only do them two times a week. Each Wed. and Sat. and we already have a ton of people coming. One day I think I had about 30 children in my classroom. It was pretty hard to keep control. But, the cool thing is they are actually learning! We play lots games and they are learning pretty fast. It is super funny too because we walk in the streets the children yell “Hey teacher! Hey guys, that is my English teacher!” “TEACHER!” There is one kid who wanted to teach everyone the word teacher so that they could call me teacher, but the thing is all the kids remembered the word as TIO (TCHEE-O) which is the word for Uncle in Portuguese. So during class, when the young ones have a question they yell “Tio! Tio!” (Uncle, Uncle) I can’t help but to laugh. Oh what an adventure it is! There was a little miracle that happened. A kid brought his deaf brother to class Saturday and we started to play a game where I yell out a color in English and the kids have to find the color on the board. Not wanting to be left out the small deaf boy stood in line, but also not wanting to play because he can’t hear when I yell the words, he always let the next kid go in front of him. (I don’t know if I have already told you but we are teaching a deaf young woman and she is teaching us sign language.) I got his attention and started to sign the colors that I would choose. He became super excited and started to participate and even won many times! I was very happy I was able to help him have a good experience and I am so grateful for the opportunities God gives us to help other people, even in the most simple ways!

Stake Center
We spent this whole week preparing for our stake conference that happened this weekend. We were super stressed because it was to happen far away, like everything is from us. It was a huge challenge and we were all super stressed because it seemed like we were going to have a wasted Sunday without church here. But, that was the miracle. It was one of the best Sundays of my mission! We were able to get a Bus to take people to the conference, organized with the stake to have food after the conference before our trip home and confirmed investigators to take the journey with us. The stake center for our stake is one of the biggest and most beautiful church buildings I have ever seen. We wanted a whole lot of people to go with us to see a church building and how the church really is a worldwide, super organized church. We took about 30 people with us and had one of the best, most spiritual conferences I have been too. The giant church was FULL of people. Everyone is excited to see Padre Bernardo grow and so when we arrived, many people came to greet us, and to help direct everyone. Our investigators from a small town without one big building were all eyes as we entered the beautiful church building, full of happy, shining people in shirts, ties and skirts. The talks and messages of the conference were amazing, each person was very, very inspired! The theme of the conference was “Stay in the Boat.” Everyone talked about how we need to have courage to follow Christ! Just to wrap it up, everything went perfect. Nobody wanted to leave to come back home. I can’t even describe all the miracles and tender mercies the Lord helped us with! I don’t think I will ever forget this stake conference.

Elders and a cow

I am so grateful for my mission and everyone that I have met. I am so excited for Padre Bernardo the upcoming weeks! I think the conference lit a fire in us, the stake and our investigators! Thank you so much for your prayers and support! I love you all!

Elder Samuel Clark