Monday, November 12, 2012

A Tough Week in Outeiro

So this week has been really tough.  We worked out the marriage of José and Lourdes but unfortunately Irmã Lourdes got really sick with a super high fever on Saturday and so the batismo was cancelled. That caused a few problems and the Assistants and my Zone Leaders where thinking seriously about closing our area!  That was not good so I had to explain to them the situation and all that.  I will have to work really hard to help this area stay open and progress.  My comp is having some problems.  I think that a lot of these problems originate with me.  Unfortunately, his first companions didn't not train him effectively and he is really stubborn and doesn't accept a lot of my ideas or counsel from the local leaders of the church or our zone leaders.  I am pretty frustrated with him.  I think that he has good intentions but he thinks that he knows everything already.  I have started to actively move my comportment [Portuguese translation "for change my behavior"] for example, if I'm really mad at him I don't pout or walk around looking sad or angry, I try to smile more, say hi to people in the street and act more happy.  I have found that this helps me be more happy.  Depression is a choice,  I have chosen to be a happy person especially when in difficult times. We are now going to church at a chapel that is a half hour bus ride from Outeiro.  That is a bummer.  Our attendance in the sacrament meeting was about 36 people, with 4 missionaries and representatives from the stake.  Many of the members don't have money to pay the bus fare for everyone so a bunch of people didn't come. I have been talking to the mission president to resolve a few of the problems here with the location of the branch, but it looks like there is a fault of money [Portuguese translation for "lack of funds"] to reform [Portuguese translation for "renovate/fix"] the new location or God is testing the members here in Outeiro.  It has been hard to invite people to church, especially with the location moving all the time.  

I love you guys a lot,  I really wanted to say that.

I have found a lot of help in the lessons that have been given in Sunday School and the Elders Quorum.  It's like God is talking to me through these lessons.  I have tried to pay more attention during talks and the lessons in Church meetings.  I have received a lot of inspiration from the speakers.  This last Sunday we had a lesson about how we need to correct people in a way that they will feel loved and change.  Afterwards, there were a few scriptures shared from Proverbs 15, Matthew 6, and Ephesians 4,  I think, that talked about how we should act towards others and how we should not judge or be hypocritical in our corrections, always applying the things we say to ourselves first. I'm trying to apply these things in my work and especially in my companionship.  I was raised like this and I am really thankful for that influence in my life.  I am amazingly lucky to have been born into our family in the gospel.  This gives me a lot of responsibility to work and share these blessings with others.  

Thanks for the letters

Elder Clark

P.S. Oh I was a bit surprised when Obama won.  I thought that more people were going to vote for Romney.  I really had no bias towards one or the other because I don't know what they want to do.  Here in Brazil, people were a bit interested in the election.  But a lot of people here wanted Obama to win because Brazil has good relations with Obama already.  It looks like a lot of the world likes Obama.  

P.P.S. Today I made pancakes and maple syrup and improvised chocolate chip cookies for José and Lourdes and Gabriele.  They really liked my cooking!  I think that cooking will be a great life long hobby of mine.  Mom can you send me a recipe for chocolate chip cookies?  

Love you all again!

Elder Clark

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