Saturday, September 10, 2011

Excerpts from Mailed Letters to Family, August/Sept 2011

Dear Family,

Sorry for the short letters.  I have a lot going on and I didn't get your letters until after I e-mailed.

Dad, thanks for your thoughts on mercy.  I think they were helpful.  I am going much better today.  I just needed to unwind on my p-day.  I really don't know know why I get frustrated with people.  I think I'm just going to be more encouraging, but at the same time more accepting. 

Well, that's OK that you guys sold my 4-Runner.  I'll get something better when I get home : ) or maybe I'll just be a hipster for a while.

Portuguese is much better is now.  I know a lot more words so I can put together more sentences.  We have two teachers and they only speak in Portuguese.  We learn grammar from new books.  They have been teaching us pronunciation with a program called TALL, with recordings of native speakers saying phrases and words.  It is really cool.

The food is not very good.  It's the same thing all the time and it's just not very good. 

Thanks for the letter, Emma and Liza.  I sounds like you two are enjoying the end of your summers.  All those movies -- I'm jealous.  And Emma, don't worry about the stuck-up thing because I probably was and that's the point.  Sometimes people see things in you that you may not, so make sure what they see is good even when you don't think they are watching. 

Liza, you asked how I was called to be district leader.  They had all of us in a room (the branch presidency, 3 zone leaders, and the two districts that arrived on the same day).  We went around the room and introduced
ourselves, shared a little about our families and what we had done over the last year, along with our testimonies.  After that everyone was interviewed by a counselor in the branch presidency.  Then, the presidency went out of the room for a few minutes and than they came back in and called me out to talk with them, along with another Elder from the other district.  They told us that we were called by God to lead our districts.  So, that's how they decided. We are called Elders.  Irmou is brother.  We actually found out a bit ago that Sisters are just called Sisters because Irma is lika a nun.  I hope both of your teeth feel better!!!

Love you guys!  Elder Clark (Ben)

Hey, Mom

I feel like I need to write you.  I miss you guys, but I'm doing pretty well.  There's just a lot of work.  It's good though.  How is your new calling?  I hope it is tons of fun.  What class are you going to teach?  I hope you get to take Emma, Liza, and Dan on some crazy adventures before summer is over!  Love you.  Write soon.  /Ben

Dear Eliza,

I was really happy to get your letter the other day!  And, thanks for Heber's address.  I hope school is going well for you. 

It's crazy here.  I study Portuguese about 8 hours a day and it's coming along pretty fast.  I can bear my testimony, say prayers, and express feelings and expectations fluently.  Sometimes I find it hard to see how much I have learned.  There is always a new word that comes up or an idea that I don't have the vocabulary to explain, so I feel like I'm still at square one.  But it really is pretty good. 

What is your schedule at school?  Mom told me you got it worked out with your counselors.  Are you going to do any clubs or sports?  I think I benefited a lot from the extra-curricular activities I was involved in.  I learned a lot, built character, and made some really good friends, even though when I first went I didn't have many.  How is the organ, church, and seminary going?  Who is your teacher?  I hope you are doing well.  Write me soon!  /Ben

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