Wednesday, September 5, 2012

3 Notes Home, 9/3/12

Dear Family,                                                       August 13, 2012

Wow.  It’s already been a whole year since I left home.  I’m doing great here and it looks like we are going to have tons of baptisms in the next few weeks.  It has been really interesting working with temporary missionaries.  But what is nice is that my comp, E.J. Tavares has already served for a transfer so he isn’t really lost, just new.  Elder J.T. likes to talk English and a lot.  I guess its really cool for him that he knows how to speak two languages.  I want to speak Portuguese and learn more but he is almost always speaking English. 

The other day we were walking in an area that was pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.  We saw a guy in his late 20’s dealing drugs with a young man about 16 years old.  The kid left and the dealer was looking a bit nervous with us walking up to him.  I was always told here that to keep on good terms with people like that you need to talk to them and not just walk by looking scared.  So we pass by, I say hi and smile at him, he seems to lighten up a bit smiles and responded respectfully.  When we turned the corner some guy that was really high stumbled over to talk to us.  I ended up giving the man a pamphlet of the Word of Wisdom. 

Daniel, keep your stick on the ice.  Emma, keep your chin up and always look to the future.  Eliza, Vai e conquistar!!!!  Ellis, keep up the Radicalism.  Dad and Mom, thanks, you both are the best parents ever J

Love, Elder Clark, Ben

Dear Family,                                                                                                       9/3/2012

These past 4 ½ months have been pretty crazy but it looks like things are improving.  We are going to have transfers tomorrow.  Elder J.T. will go back to Vila dos Cabanos and will leave on his mission on the 11th of October.  He is going to the mission Joño Pessoa (Brazil).  I think at first he was pretty bummed about his call because he is in love with th U.S. and worked as an English teacher here and even sent his mission papers in English.  He told me that in his patriarchal blessing it said that he needed to leave for his mission with “real intent.”  Well, I think he is getting there.  The thing I think is cool is that he will do much more good here in Brazil because he will be able to train and teach Americans easily because of his experience with English.  The Lord will use him well.

So the big news here is that Magno, Marilene, and Kezia were baptized and confirmed this last Saturday and Sunday!  It was really gratifying/fulfilling to see the changes this family has made.  They are completely different people now.  I had the honor of baptizing Kezia and participating in the confirmation of all three.  Saturday I was afraid that the baptism wouldn’t happen because Magno was really sick (he had a super high fever) but we visited them before the baptism and gave Magno and priesthood blessing and Magno started to feel a lot better and the baptism went very well.  Marilene bore her testimony after the baptisms were performed and she cried.  It was a beautiful meeting. 

Now Sunday Marilene’s mom, Dona Rosa (who is not a member yet because of a problem with smoking) bore her testimony and told the story about how I and Elder Vale gave her a priesthood blessing (when she was too weak to talk and she says now “she thought she would die”) and she was cured of the chronic diarrhea.  Don’t worry, she didn’t specify the sickness in the Sacrament Meeting testimony J.  I thought that was cool how she has the courage to bear her testimony in front of everyone. 

So finally I will talk about some interesting news.  I will train a new missionary these next 12 weeks (2 transfers).  His name is Elder Gonzalez, I think that’s how you spell it.  And get this, he is from Argentina!  So, I will pick him up tomorrow (9/4/2012).  These last few weeks have been great, the work is going forth.  In fact, we have met the mission standard of excellence for a month now and have had baptisms every week for the past four weeks (this is something that I want to keep doing!  J).

I really hope that everything is going well for you all and I’m sorry that I didn’t’ send these letters sooner.  I love you all, and please pray for me and my new companion!  Can you all believe it.  I’m finishing up month 13 of my mission.  I really don’t have much time left but don’t worry, I will endure to the end!

Love, Elder Clark


Hey this week has been good.  A lot of things are happening, which is good because it looks like I will stay in Laranjeiras for another 3 months.  I will train an Argentinean!

I also sent an email with a letter or two explaining about these last few weeks.  I haven’t received the package yet but it should get here soon. 

We have been working a lot with people that live close to our house.  There are a lot of youth here and it looks like we will baptize a few of them in the next few weeks.  I have this master plan of reactivating a young man that lives on the next street over and baptizing people here so that they can support one another.  I think it will work out.  I have been thinking a lot about becoming a trainer and I’m going to have to get a lot better as a missionary because I won’t have a native as a comp.  I will also have to be a good example for him.  But I know that it will work out and the Lord will help me fulfill my calling. 

I thought it was funny a few weeks ago Emma asked me if I got more internet time now that I’m a district leader.  Well the answer is no I don’t get more time.  I think it was a fluke that week that I was able to write more. 

But as a district leader, I have been very short on time.  At night I have to check on my district and then report to the zone leaders and since I’m with a short term missionary it seems like I clean the house and work with planning for lessons and activities during the day more than usual.  I have been super tired these past few weeks.  But it seems like everything is running smoothly.  Relations with the members are good and I feel good.  I have lost a lot of weight and am looking more in shape now.  I did 13 pull ups in a row the other day which is more than I have been able to do for months.  I hope to improve even more so that when I get home the rock climbing will come back fast.  I hope Elder Gonzales likes to run and teach Spanish. 
Good luck to everyone with school and work, moving and know that i am praying for you all!!!!

I love you guys and I promise I will send some pictures of the baptisms next Monday.

Your Missionary,
Elder Clark

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