Monday, July 27, 2015

Every New Beginning Comes From Another Beginning's End.

July 27, 2015

Wow. I don’t even know what to say. My time in Padre Bernardo is over and my mission just has a few short days left. I will be leaving for Brasilia tomorrow and I will stay there, close to the mission home until Friday when I board on the plane. I am beyond grateful for my time here and the way I was able to finish my mission. Padre Bernardo will always have a spot in my heart. Saying goodbye is the worst part. I finished my last week of my mission running. We were able to accomplish much this week and the week ended with 3 Baptisms and a wedding for the Padre Bernardo Group!

Mazinho and Divina got married and were baptized this week. The other companionship taught most of the lessons to them but we were able to see the progress and help them get married and baptized! It was a great experience. They are so great. They will be great leaders here in the church. Elder Kesler was able to finish his mission baptizing the family he has been working with since we got here. We also had the baptism of Maria Paula, She is another daughter of Carina and it was very special witnessing her baptism too. Carinas family is changing so much and I am so grateful for the time that I had to work with them and watch their liveschange! I just hope that they continue on the path that they have started.

Nativa, who was our very first baptism here, gave a talk on Sunday, Imagine someone who is very shy, open up and give a powerful talk. She spoke about endure to the end! It was a perfect talk. Nativa has so much faith and has had nothing but struggles in her life. She spoke about how she was almost ready to quit when two missionaries meet her and started to teach her. It’s these small moments of happiness that make all of our struggles and heartbreaks worth it.

Elder Nascimento and I have been working hard, with just a little bit of help from the Lord, Padre Bernardo will turn into a Branch in the next month or so. This week we had more than 40 people participating at church. The school that we meet in is starting to become a church building with members talking to each other, little children running around and many hymns and laughter.

I am so grateful for my mission. Words cannot describe my feelings and what I would like to express. I hope in the last few days I will be able to find the right words. But, I know that God knows of my journey and what I have learned and experienced. My prayer is that I will be able to take everything that I have learned and continue to serve my King, long after my service here is done. I love Brazil, I love Arizona too, I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t think and pray for the Scottsdale Mission too. I love my Savior. I love this Gospel. I love being Mormon. Thank you for all the love and support that everyone has sent my way. And in just a few short days I will be with you once again!

With all my love, for the very last time,


A Birthday to Remember!

July 20, 2015

A "do it yourself"  kind of lunch!

This week was a wonderful week compared to last week. Man oh man... It was a lot of fun and we were also able to accomplish a whole lot! We found some beautiful families that accepted our visits and we were able to help some other investigators make one more step towards baptism! The biggest blessing is that we were able to find men who wanted to hear us too! I think one thing that I have learned one my mission is that women have more faith... I hate to say it being a man but it has been the hardest thing to find men who want to hear us, but this week the Lord blessed us with that success. Which left us very excited because in the weeks to come the church will grow a whole lot in little Padre Bernardo.

One family that sticks out is that of Roni and Flavia... They are the perfect couple. I have never seen a couple more simple but more happy than they are. And they just understand everything we say and leave with them. I am so sad that I won’t see them be baptized because they have to get married first. But man, they are going to be such a blessing for the church here. I have never seen anyone that works as hard as Roni, from 7 in the morning until 8:30 at night, every day, with only one day off every 2 weeks. He is so happy. One thing that amazes me is that when we visit them 8:30 at night, he has just arrived from working all day and he takes their new born baby in his arms to give his wife a rest because she had been holding him the entire day.....Roni is the man.

We had a baptism on my birthday! Jaqueline was baptized! It was a very special baptism. Jaqueline is the daughter of one of oldest investigators, Carina. Their family has become a second family to us here. Carina loves the church and is one that just understands everything too.  She will be baptized soon. But her 17 year old daughter decided that she didn’t want to wait for her mom and so she went ahead and was baptized! This family has had miraculous changes in their lives. After Jaqueline’s baptism, we were able to teach her step dad, who didn’t want anything to do with us before. One more man that God gave us to teach! Carina has 4 other children that have been going to church and one more child of hers will be baptized next week! Once again, I am sad that I won’t see the baptism of Carina. But, I am super happy that I was able to participate in the first baptism of her family. The best part of it all was when we had a BBQ after the baptism and her whole family was around the yard talking and goofing around, and she said out loud, (I don’t know if she knows that I heard) looking around at her children “Everything is going to change” in a very satisfied voice… I love the mission.

My birthday was great! I had a surprise party that Silo and his family did for me with almost everyone that is going to church with us! His house was FULL of people and it was so much fun to see everyone together, laughing and talking. I got some super cool presents and then the day was full of lessons! Who could have asked for a better birthday on the mission!

This will be my last full week of work. It’s time to go all out... I am not going to leave anything on the table! I love this work and I am going to miss it so, so, so much! I love you all! Until next week, with the LAST EMAIL!

Elder Clark

Thursday, July 16, 2015


July 13, 2015

Elder Clark
This week was a little difficult for us here in Padre Bernardo.... Last week we fast and prayed a lot to have a great week and we felt like this week was one of our worst here. We worked and worked but each day it seemed like one more disappointment after another. We have been talking and we are getting about 30 ALMOST 40 people to church each Sunday, but the problem is there are few people that are able to be baptized right now... We have a goal to become a Branch next transfer. That will make it a branch in less than 6 months! But, we need a few more members especially more men. That was our goal this week; to find the men and families that have been waiting for us. And it seems like we didn’t complete our goal. We had other people that we were helping prepare for baptism and because of one thing or another, they ended up not wanting more visits... well they wanted visits but just didn’t want to continue with preparing for baptism. It got so frustrating and by the end of the week we were pooped and we felt a little helpless. ITS SO CLOSE to being a branch here... it just needs a little bit more. We are trying to help this group get there! For sure the results of our week were not what we were expecting, and we are praying that this week will be much more successful.

But, it’s not all sad! The Lord always has a tender Mercy to give to his children when they need his help. Sunday was a very special day and by far the best day of the week. Shirley who was baptized a few weeks ago was asked to give a talk yesterday and during the whole week, we would go to her house, asking if she wanted help with the talk and she just said no, I think I got it all covered. Well Sunday came and without any help she gave a wonderful talk about the light of Christ! Everyone was blown away. It seemed like she was a member for a long time. The spirit was so strong and I just couldn’t stop smiling and thinking about what a strength she will be. The other talks given at church were great too! She really set the tone for the whole meeting block. After church, everyone stayed a little later at the school just chatting and visiting... it really felt like a church of Jesus Christ. We left the school uplifted and ready to work again, and we actually were able to find a few people that were actually wanting to listen to what we had to say. The Lord provides a way to uplift his children... always! What an unexpected end to a tough week.

Life is sweet and I can’t believe my life as a missionary is ending. Just 2 more emails and I am home!! I love my Savior and I love you all!

Elder Clark

Monday, July 13, 2015

Family Matters

July 6, 2015

Celebrating July 4!
This week was a week full of work but it was also a really fun week! First off, Happy Fourth!! Man I miss celebrating Independence Day. But we had our own little party here in our back yard... We made a little fire and we found marshmallows!! So what did we do? Roasted marshmallows and made s’mores! A good ole American thing to do! 

As for the work, we had a real special baptism. Palloma was baptized, Palloma is Shirleys oldest daughter. What a sweet story it’s been for this family... While we were teaching Shirley, Palloma didn’t want anything to do with the church... but after she watched her mom’s and her sister’s baptism, she started to think about it a whole lot and decided that she wanted to make the same change in her life too, so we helped her learn and Saturday was her baptism!! When Shirley started meeting with us, she showed a lot of concern for her family and that she wanted to start something new and right with her family. She was hoping that through her example, others in her family would follow in the future, she had no idea that her prayers would be answered so fast! Her husband wants to be baptized too. I think next month he will be baptized as well! In about 3 weeks, her cousin’s family will be baptized too!! This church is all about the family and it’s amazing to see the miracles the gospel does for those who embrace it and apply it.



There was a tragedy on our street where we live this week, a toddler was struck by a car and died... our street is usually full of kids and families laughing and visiting one with another, but this week was very different, very solemn. The family is very active in another church and it was great to see that although they aren’t of our faith, the Lord comforts and helps his children with the difficulties of life. This family has received a lot of support and comfort. We have talked a little with them. They had a lot of faith in God and are not angry with Him, but trust Him, knowing that everything will be alright in the end.

This week I was able to learn a little more about the plan that God has for me. I hope that I am living my life in a way that pleases Him. I know he will help me become better each and every day. One thing that I love here is that I am teaching the youth class on Sundays. I learn so much when I teach and I love hearing the answers from the youth about God and His teachings. I just love this gospel!

Elder Clark

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Light to the World

June 29, 2015

Thanks for the food!
I hope these last weeks of my mission will be the same as this week was; Full of work, miracles and laughter. I love the mission so much and I am starting to arrive in panic mode, because I want to go home real bad, but at the same time I want to stay here and continue the work that I am able to do. But I know that all great things must come to an end and that life has more plans and adventures to send my way. We were able to find a lot of people this week that are super willing to listen to our message. We have seen miracles working here in Padre Bernardo!

We are teaching a whole lot of women, and not that that is a bad thing but we want to have a balance of women and men at church with us. So this week we did a fast so that the Lord would help us find the men here that are ready and willing to follow the Savior. And boy, were our prayers answered! We are teaching a young man that is really smart. He loves to read and stopped us on the street and told us that a couple years ago he lived in another city and the missionaries went to his house a couple times but he didn’t really remember what they taught him. We went to go visit him and he showed us a book that he had read when he was 15. It was the “Teachings of President Brigham Young”.... yupp, when he was 15 he read the whole book. He even remembered a lot of what was written! He had a lot of questions which we answered teaching him about the restoration. We told him to pray and read about what we told him. A few days later we returned to his house, and He told us that he had been waiting to talk to us for the whole day.... he even wanted to go to the gym 6 AM because he knew that we would be there exercising. He told us that when he woke up he had a clear answer and that he believed that what we told him is true and that he would like to continue to learn more! We have also been helping another man who went to church for almost a year in another state but when he moved here there was no church and he wasn’t baptized.  He loves the church and its teachings and we are helping him prepare to be baptized too! God is the true missionary and I know we are just here to find the people that he is preparing and has already prepared.

This last weekend we had to teach in the dark a whole lot because the city had two power outages... It was fun to work so in the moonlight but it was also a little harder because nobody is on the roads when there is no power... because its dark... haha but some of our best lessons and visits were in the dark with a single light to help us see. How could a missionary not think of Christ and how He is the light of the world. Without Him, there is no light in our lives, there is no happiness and boy, a city without light is a sad sight... and where does everyone go? To the houses or places that have a lot of people and a lot of light. Because we are comforted by the light, we are attracted to it. Like Christ. I am so grateful for the light that I have and the time I have had to share it with others!

Missionary Meals

Padre Bernardo is becoming another home for me. We have made such great relationships here and I truly love the people here. We have gotten to be great friends with our only member family that when we eat with them, it is just laughs and laughs and laughs. Our recent converts are starting to feed us too and it is always so much fun! The work is progressing really well here and we are finding people that will be the rocks of the church here in the future. Please continue to pray for us and the people we are teaching. There are a lot that are ready to be baptized but just have a little problem or two to resolve before they can enter the water! I love this work and this church. Thank you so much for the love and support!!

-Elder Clark

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Beginning of the End

June 22, 2015

Still Companions!
Today is official the first day of my last transfer of my mission. Can you believe that? Because I sure cannot!! This transfer will be the best of my mission I know it. We went to transfer meeting today and Elder Nascimento and I stayed together for our 3rd transfer together! I think he is getting a little sick of me but at least he will be able to kill me (It’s a missionary thing - to call a missionary who is returning to his home as ``Dying`` and his companion who is with him is the companion who ``Killed`` the missionary who died, haha) He is excited for that. But I don’t think it’s helping him very much because he only has 5 months on the mission! But after 2 transfers together we know how to work together and we are going to work until our shoes fall off… because my shoes are literally dying too...

This week was a normal week of working. We have a family that we have been working with for a long time now that has grown really close to us. We are trying to help them stop bad habits and the parents to get married so that everyone can get baptized. They love the church and participate in every activity that we do. They will make such great members when they are baptized and will contribute a whole lot to the growth of the church. The dad isn’t very interested but the mom and her 5 kids are preparing to be baptized! I sure hope I will be able to witness their baptisms before I head home.


We found some people this week that are amazing! They have amazing stories and amazing personalities! We started teaching a lot of people this week that seem like they have a lot of potential! I hope that this week we can follow up with them and have a lot of success with them. The work here is so much... work! But I am loving every minute of it!

This week we had the baptism of a man named Raimundo (Hi-moon-doh) and boy, this is man is probably the most simple man I have ever met. But also one of the best men I have ever met too. He has so much faith and just wants to do what is right. Talk about a man who is in tuned with the spirit. He is the perfect example of broken heart and a contrite spirit. His life will be changed forever because of the gospel.

We also found a woman who was baptized over 20 years ago, really it was her that found us, we were walking on the street and she yelled to us “Are you two Elder??” Of course we said yes and went to talk to her! She was baptized more than 20 years ago but shortly after her baptism she moved here and lost contact with the church! She is now married and has a family! She didn’t remember a whole lot about the teachings of the church but she told us that she never started going to another church. This week will visit her to meet her husband and her children. We are super excited for her because it looks like we will have one more family coming to church with us.

God is great and loves each of his children! I love being his servant! I love all of you! Thanks for everything!

Elder Clark

Lives Changing

June 15, 2015

I love this gospel and the blessings that it brings to anybody that embraces it. We have had seen miracles in the lives of the people we are working with. Shirley who was baptized last week with her daughter is amazing! After her baptism she has become a different woman! Her biggest worry about the church was that she would have to do everything alone because her husband and her other children were not very interested in our messages or the church. but she had faith and went ahead with what she believed was right and now the rest of her family is seeing the happiness and the difference in her life in just two weeks, and now her oldest daughter and husband have a baptismal date too! Every time we visit this family, we can see the difference the gospel in making in their lives, and all the sweat, tears, and lack of sleep become worth it just to see these blessings in the lives of others.

Nativa, who was baptized 3 weeks ago is having a lot of difficulties in her life right now, but she always tells us that it is different this time; That she is facing these problems with more faith, less fear and that she has been more patient, because before she acted irrationally to some things but now, she is calmer and able to handle the things that are thrown at her. I have no doubt that this is an effect of the gospel! I love being able to hear these stories and feel the happiness that others are gaining!
We have been working and working and it seems that we have the base of the church here settled. We have 5 families that are going to church regularly now, each family started with just one member of the family coming to church but now each family has most of not all of the members coming to church! We are very excited because the people that we have are very special, and have just been waiting for the gospel in their lives, and now they have found it!! We hope that threw these families, we will be able to find more and more and that the church will just continue to grow! Everyone that is going to church is preparing to be baptized but the thing is that almost each one has something that we need to work out before they will be able to make this passage in their lives.

We went fishing again this morning... it wasn’t for piranha but it was still super neat! I was able to catch 3 fish on my bamboo fishing rod!

I love this Gospel. It is so simple but yet so eloquent. I don’t ever want to stop learning and progressing in it. I love everything about it, I am so grateful for my mission and everything that I have learned. There is no place I would rather be then where my Savior wants me to be. Next week is the start of my last transfer. I can’t believe it has finally come. This last transfer will be the best transfer of my mission! And then it is all over. 

Thank you for everything, I love each and every one of you!

Elder Clark