Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mission Office Work

June 27, 2013

Hey fam,

So I´ve been a bit stressed out with a few things here in the office but fortunately they are being resolved.  A few minutes ago I had to resolve a serious problem with some marriages. I can’t give details but it has been stressing me out and taking up a lot of my time.  I got your updates about the trek I loved it and I got Quincey´s address.  The one I used was wrong.  I'll send a letter today I think.

Divisions in Laranjeiras.  So last weekend I was sent to help out a zone where I had already worked – the zone Cidade Nova.  I did a division with E. Rosa.  I had a really good experience there. Elder Rosa is a really special elder that is obediente and has a strong desire to work and help others.  He was born with a cleft palate which I think has been a struggle for him to deal with for a big part of his life, but people are able to understand him fairly well. We were able to find a lot of new people to teach through many of the people I had baptized.  We worked on working better with the members and having a better relationship with them.  I think that E. Rosa was happier and more prepared to meet the challenges of the ward after the division.  I was called upon to give a talk during the sacrament meeting.  I talked about faith.  I didn’t feel like it was too spectacular because I was really tired and did not have much time to prepare (I was swamped even far away from the office with mission missionaries that needed counsel).  I saw Magno and Marilene and we taught Magno's sister and I got to visit almost all of the other people that I had baptized.  It was a special experience to be thanked for the role I played in the conversion of many of the people I have taught.  I noted that almost all of the people that have been baptized in the last year have been people that I had found and taught.

Protests.  So, I sent some pictures of the protest.  There were a lot of policeman working crowd control.  The other day they went to city hall and broke a lot of stuff.  We have been trapped in the office about 3 times because there were really big crowds.  But for us missionaries it has not been much of a problem. 

Elder Kevin Fonseca/Guaraná da Amazonia.  Elder Fonseca got here on Tuesday.  I went to the airport with E. Leite and President Scisci to pick him up.  It was pretty cool talk with him and get some updates on his family.  We are short a missionary in the mission so while we have been trying to find a short term missionary he has stayed with me and E. Leite.  The other day we went to the Praça Brasil and we drank guaraná da Amazonia.  It was really good.  I’ll have to send a photo of guaraná later.

I will have to go now because I’m out of time.

I love you all!!

July 3, 2013

Hey so I am doing well.  I am not doing great because I have gotten a cold.  You know how grandmas always say “don’t get your feet wet because you will catch a cold of and stuff like that,” well I never believed Grandma when she said it.  Until now.  We were working the other day and we went out in the rain which was coming down hard, in a few minutes we were completely soaked (mostly because our appointment fell through).  We ended up staying wet with the same clothes until we got home at a little past 9 at night.  The next day my nose started to get really runny every 5 minutes it seemed like I was blowing my nose.  (I think I lost about 5 pounds in mucus...TMI ; )  Now I’m feeling better, but I’m still not 100%.

Elder Fonseca stayed with us until Monday afternoon.  It was nice to have him with us.  There is a spirit that new missionaries have that is very special.  It was rather inspiring and was a nice experience.  (I remembered training and missed it).

Just to clarify a few things it’s called Guaraná do Amazonas.  It’s like a smoothie or milkshake.  You can look it up on Google and find out what it is.  We drink it at the Praça Brasil which is a park not the mall :) we can only enter the mall with permission from the president.

The protests have not been disruptive for me there where only a few times when we were trapped in the office because there were lots of people protesting in the street but where I was they certainly where not violent.  But I have heard that they sacked the city hall a week ago.  The protest is pretty interesting because they are not very organized they are protesting for a lot of things not just reductions in bus fares but for education, asphalt, and lots of other things.  It is kind of like a big encounter for youth -- they all like protesting.  I think it’s cool.  People say there is a lot of corruption here in Brasil. They say that the politicians steal a lot of money and from what I have seen the distribution of wealth is very even. 

 I am going to Laranjal de Jari tomorrow 2 in the morning.  I will be there until the 14th.  Laranjal is in Amapá it is a group and it isn’t a branch yet.  I will work there with a lider de zona and Elder Leite will work with his companion.  

I hope you have all started applying the "work of Salvation" talk to your friends!



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

May 9 to June 21

May 9, 2013  

Dear Family,
It’s been super crazy here.  I have been trying to recuperate from the transfer and it’s been going well.  I have been going running with E. Leite and that has been nice.  Unfortunately we live in the middle of the city so it’s hard a bit hard to find a calm place to run.  We run between 6:30 and 7:15 ish well we leave our house a bit after 6:30 and get back home in about half an hour.  It’s pretty nice.  There is a Park (Praça) were we like to run with some exercise equipment and stuff.  Frequently we see large groups of old ladies doing tae bo!!!

I have been busy finding people to teach with Elder Leite and our first Sunday in our new ward was really great.  We bore our testimonies and the ward looks like they like us a lot and many members said that they wanted to help in the work!!!  I hope that we will start having success here.  In the past, the ward disliked missionaries because they did not work to get the confidence of the members, along with a few other things that happened.  But I am trying to help them out with that stuff.  One member gave us a referral of a young woman (Elaine) that has been to church a bunch of times but hasn't been baptized yet, she is almost firm for Baptism this Saturday!  Pray for Elaine so that she can get an answer to her prayer!!!

Oh I bought new dress pants and one white shirt, and two ties.  I also got my hair cut by a gay guy for 2 dollars.  The gay guys cut hair better than anyone else.  After the hair cut I noticed that a lot of women started to eye me like I was a Bacon Swiss from Camas Cafe (in Grangeville) and cat call when I pass in the streets.  I will think twice about where I cut my hair....   Americans get a lot of attention here because everyone thinks that we are rich and hansom because of the blond hair.

Oh I got to go to a Museum that was more like a botanical garden and small zoo it was pretty cool. I went with E. Leite, E. Hitz, and E. Figueroa.  I attached a photo of me in front of a really big tree.

oh I will try to call you guys about 12:30 your time oh have the Skype ready I think that I will use Skype here in the office but I’m not sure if it will work out yet.  But be prepared!!!  If anything changes you can send me an email!

Elder Clark

May 21, 2013
Sorry for not writing earlier.  It’s been really crazy lately.
I have been a bit stressed out because it looks like 4 Elders will be sent home early.  None of the causes are related.  It has been an interesting experience for me to work with these elders.  Each one is very different.  I find that I don’t have much patience with some of the elders that are going home.  I have had to find temporary missionaries to stay with these missionary’s companions.

Yesterday I went to Abaetetuba to pick up a missionary that woke up with amnesia.  He will be sent home today.  I went there with a member that helps move missionaries around.  We gave a ride to a policeman and a young man.  I got there addresses and passed them off to the missionaries in Abaetetuba.  I find that I have to do a lot of contacts to feel like a missionary because I have a bunch of other responsibilities.  

But it’s all good. 

We brought 5 people to church on Sunday!!  We have started to teach 2 families and they are really great.  This Sunday the fathers came to church but the mothers didn’t go for some reason, I still have to find out why.  I think I’m getting the rhythm of being an assistant to the president I’m starting to balance proselyting and work for the mission.

I’m Glad that you all are doing well and that you guys are having so much success.  

Ellis Good luck with the defense and the move!!!

Eliza what are your plans for this summer? 

Emma congrats for the award nominations!!!

Dan your awesome!  (Dan, do you think that you could teach me karate when I get home?)

I don´t know when I will come home yet I have not had a chance to talk with President Scisci about that yet (there have been a lot of other things to resolve that were more Urgent) but be prepared I want to climb a mountain and fix something before I dive into school!!!


May 21, 2013
Hi family!!!
So I will explain a little more about the elder that had amnesia, because everyone has been asking about it.  Ill tries to take the hint as well and write with more details. 

So the elder had been having some problems with his comp (he was really new on the mission and was also having problems with Portuguese).  He didn't have any previous head injuries that I know of.  But he forgot almost everything.  When I went to pick him up he didn't recognize me (i had been there at the airport to pick him up and I translated for him during the meeting with the President the first night of his mission).  The other elders said that he didn't remember who he was or anything about his family.  He only talked a little bit and only gave short answers to questions.  But by the end of the night with me and president scisci talking with him he started to open up a bit more (i think it helped that sister scisci gave him a late dinner and dessert).  When we picked him up we had to go really fast because we had to catch a fairy so it looked like we kidnapped him.  We drove into the city really fast and we threw him into the car with his luggage and we speeded off to the port.  

I hope I answered your questions.

So this past week was not super eventful but some cool stuff happened.  First we brought a family to church Odoval and Fatima.  They believe in "Spiritism" that's a religion that believes in the bible... well actually they have really high moral standards like the church but they don't believe much in the priesthood.  And they believe in reincarnation.  That has been interesting to deal with.  But they have gone to church for a 2 Sundays now.  The father is an executive clerk and a bank here.  The last visit we had with them we tried to teach the plan of salvation but it didn't really work because they talk a lot the lesson move back to some of their doubts about the Restoration.  In the end when I got a word in I explained powerfully about how the Restoration.  I really felt the spirit helping me explain and answer their questions.  I explained that we don´t worship Joseph smith and that we invite others to pray about him so that they can know for themselves that the authority of the priesthood has been restored to the earth.  at the end I invited them to be baptized again (2 time) and the 24 year old son in the family that I thought had the biggest doubts said that he would pray and that he wanted to know and he said that if he hadn't been born into his church he would be Mormon.... well that was a lot of progress but we still have a bunch of work to do to help them get baptized.

The other family we are teaching is doing great (the family of Clark) everyone has received an answer to their prayers but they couldn't come to church the other day because their baby (Kate) was sick/throwing up all night.   

Other than that things are pretty normal here.  It looks like only 2 of the 4 missionaries that might go home really went.  (That made me happy that two of them are working through their problems and will continue to help in the work.)

Mom I read your letter and I could help but yell when heard that Hayden didn't have enough credits to transfer this semester.  I feel bad for him but now I might have an old friend to hang out with this fall! Oh and what are mikes plans? I thought it was cool that you guys have been helping others and inviting my friends to dinner!  : )  I'm proud of the wonderful family that I have!

Thanks for all of your letters, prayers and happy mind waves that you send to me!!


June 5, 2013
So this past week was not the best.  I have been super stressed out for the last week.  There are a lot of things contributing to that.  Sometimes our training meetings are not planned as well as they should be and that sort of thing gives me headaches.  It doesn't really work to just "wing it" with these sorts of things.  The communication in my companionship and between me and the president is not being as affective as I would like.  But I can’t blame others when things don't go right I need to find a way that I can change to better the situation.

I´d like to say sorry for being a little distant these last few weeks.  I don't know if you guys have noticed.  I feel a lot of pressure to finish up strong.  And maybe being preoccupied with that has made me forget other important things.

Dan, congratulations for turning 12 and being ordained a Deacon!!!  I think that is awesome!  Did you pass the sacrament last Sunday?  

The end of school for you guys has kind of snuck up on me I hope that you guys have a lot of fun this summer!  Emma I thought that you said something really interesting about how you wanted this summer to be the best ever.  There is something really interesting that I have noticed about that how fast we perceive the passage of time.  When your day is full of activities and well planned the time passes really fast but if you don't have things planned it feels like time passes really slowly.  In the beginning of my mission I felt like the day would never end but now I feel like I don't have time in the day to finish what I want.  I think we need to find the happy medium where we are satisfied with the work we do and don't feel overwhelmed by all the stuff we can’t seem to finish and at the same time don't leave ourselves too much free time to feel bored.  

I am out of time right now to write but I love you guys!!!!


From: Benjamin Clark
Sent: 13-Jun-13 1:52 PM
To: Paul Clark
Subject: I survived Transfers!!

Hey so this last week was pretty good... well I thought that it was a lot better than the week before.  I've worked out some of the problems from last week.  I'm feeling a lot better about things.  I´ve been talking with Elder Leite about how we can do better.  I'm really glad that he is my comp.  We are not perfect, and a lot of times we don't get along perfectly but in the end we help each other out and I'm thankful for him.  We are getting better with our planning and I think that we are more able to help our mission now.

This week we have a baptism planned for Saturday.  We will baptize Clark!!!!!  He is 11 and he is really great. He told me that he was ready to be baptized and that even if his family didn´t want to follow he would.  I thought that was really great.  Fortunately his whole family is really excited about church (all of them went to church!!!).  The parents will be baptized next week!!!  

This week we had transfers.  I started to use a program called C-MAP Tools.  It’s a program that is used to make concept maps.  I used it in Advanced Biology.  I found that it was a lot easier to organize the transfer and keep track of who goes where and how to send them to their new areas. This transfer went a lot more smoothly than the last one.  I was not nearly as stressed about it this time. The other elders in the mission office helped a lot to.

I just got back from a division that I did with an elder that has 6 weeks in the mission, Elder Sanez from Bolivia.  We taught a man that is going to be a lawyer but hasn’t taken the Brazilian bar exam.  So that was cool. He understands really well and has read until Alma already and he has only been investigating the church for a week and a half.  He will be baptized on the 22th or the 29th.  I could feel the spirit and it felt good to be teaching.  Teaching is awesome!

So that’s what’s happening here.  Hey I will have to go now but I will send a short email tomorrow to tell you guys exactly what day I will return.

AV.NAZARÉ ,532 SALA  412  
66035-170 Belém PA Brasil

June 21, 2013
Hey Fam!

I'm doing well.  I hope you all have gotten the last email I sent about my release date.  I will be coming home on the 20th of August.  But I will only get home on the 21st at the soonest.  I looked at a few flights and most of them had long layovers most of the options would take more than 30 hours even 40 hours to get from Belem to an airport close to Moscow.  So in a few days I think that my flight will be purchased and I will be able to tell you all the exact day I will get home.  I will see if I can get a hold of the secretaries in Josh´s mission and see if we can plan to catch the same flight back home.  The executive secretary is from Chile and so he can probably help me negotiate with the mission there.

So this past week I marked [marked=scheduled] an interview with the President to confirm my return date and every time I had to remark the interview.  President is really busy but today I finally was able to have a meeting with him.  I haven’t been interviewed yet by the president but I hope that in the next few weeks I will be able to find an opening in the schedule.  We are entering the month of zone conferences so I doubt that things will calm down very much.  in the next few weeks we have a few trips planned -- one to a group that unites[unites=meets] in the sticks in Macapá.  Tthe city is called Laranjal de Jari, and tomorrow I will go to Cidade Nova to do some divisions with the elders there.  I worked in Laranjeiras one of the areas in the zone and I think that I will be able to help a lot.  

Our baptism for last week fell through because the family traveled to pass [pass=spend] the week with the father who is working across the river.  The whole thing was pretty stressful because they don’t have a phone and we had no idea what happened.  They traveled without telling us and it took us a few days to figure out what happened.  I hope that this week they will come home so that we can remark the baptism of Clark, Tamiris and Edson.  I think that when they get back we will mark the baptism of all three for the same day.

We are starting to find out which members can help us more in the work.  I talked to a young man from the ward that told me that he had a friend with whom he wanted to share the gospel but he didn’t know how.  I simply told him that he should tell his friend that he wanted to visit him and share a little bit about what he believes and that he would bring two friends (the missionaries) to leave a message.  He did and we have a lesson marked for this evening.  I think it will be great.  It’s easy to share the gospel we just need to open our mouths (but not when chewing ; )  

Hey mom I sent a letter to Quincey but I haven’t gotten a response yet.  I don’t know if the address I used was right because dad gave two different addresses and I found a third on the church website.  Mom did you ever get a hold of Holly Cole?  I think that I would like to know what address they use to send letters so that I can be sure that she gets the letter.

Mom I want to put a lot of details in the letters but I run out of time....  sorry

I hope you all are doing well with all of the anniversaries and trips.  Have a great time on the trek!!!!



Sunday, May 5, 2013

Ben works through transfer logistics

Friday, May 3, 2013 7:48 AM

Dear Family,
So the Transfer is over.  It has been really stressful   I was not prepared for the transfer and because of that I did not have a very nice week.  The transfer was passed to me on Sunday afternoon (really late because President Scisci had to resolve some problems that appeared when he filed his taxes, he is really super rich owns his own IT business so you can imagine how there can be a lot of things to resolve).  So Sunday afternoon I had to handle almost all of the logistics.  Thankfully the secretaries helped a lot.  But it got really complicated with 48 missionaries being transferred to different areas.  That means a whole lot of logistics.  Many of the missionaries had multiple parts to their trip and had to go by taxi, plane and boat to complete the transfer.  Along with the planning that it takes to not leave anyone alone, it got really frustrating really fast!  Only one elder lost his plane home and only one other elder was stranded at a rural airport when his flight was changed.  In the end, it all worked out.  I didn't get enough sleep about 5 hours a night for a few days. And I didn't have much of an appetite.  But it is over and I got to go running today and eat breakfast!!!!!  I wish that I had been briefed on how I could have handled it better.  Needless, to say I will resolve these problems before the next transfer.

Last week we finished the last zone conference here in Belém.  Many people commented on how my presentation was nice.  I have attached the presentation I used.  I just remembered that it is in Portuguese.  I also incorporated a practice on how to "follow up" on the commitments we extend to help our investigators progress.  And at the end I showed a clip that I edited from "the First Ascent (the part from the hanging rocks in Thailand) I would recommend the film if you have not seen it already, (it's about rock climbing).  I edited a part where a bunch of young climbers where trying a route and the fall a lot at a specific part.  But at the end one of them make it to the end.  It’s cool because they don’t use ropes they just fall in the water.

My new Companion is.....    .... Elder Leite!!!!   

It has been nice to have him as my companion again.  We worked well together in Satelíte.  I am excited for this next transfer!!!!

Got to go now!!  I will have my first real p-day for weeks today!

Love you all.  I’ll write more next week.

AV.NAZARÉ ,532 SALA  412  
66035-170 Belém PA Brasil

A Return to Abaetetuba


Hey family,

I have been really busy with stuff here.

But I have a good story for you all.  Last week I got back from Santarém and had a really short p-day that really was not a p-day, because I had to finish a lot of work here in the office.  After that I talked to Pres. Scisci and made plans to go to Abaetetuba for the dedication of the chapel there.  So the next day I traveled to Abaetetuba with President  Scisci and Sister Scisci (that is the second time I have gone by ferry to Abaetetuba with the Pres. and his wife -- once I went with Pres. Campos when I arrived in the mission and the trip last week).  It was a nice trip.  I got to see a lot of people I baptized.  I also got to baptize a man that I had taught more than a year ago.  He found the missionaries a few weeks ago and he started going to church.  I got to do the baptismal interview and he chose me right before the baptism to baptize him!  I didn't have clothes but it all worked out.  Luckily I was wearing mesh garments so I dried fast.  The dedication was nice and I loved visiting.  Apparently I'm well known there and everyone liked calling me Clarky Kent.  The Brasilian accent is funny.   It’s like “Clarky Kainche” it sounds like they say “quente” which means “hot.”  It´s pretty funny.  I think the best part was seeing that a lot of the people I baptized are going to church and then one of the young women even went to the temple this week.  A lot of family members of these members have also been baptized, so that was really sweet.

 I think that I saw almost all of them.  There were just three that I could not find.  I know that I should use more details but I'm a little stressed out and tired because of the constant traveling.  My companion, Elder M., went to visit one of his old areas with some other elders and so I have been pretty alone here...  Well, you know, not alone because I have been with other missionaries, but being without a normal companion has been a bit sad.  

I think that my companion is a bit ticked off at me.  The day before I left for Abaetetuba we had a dinner for a missionary that was leaving the mission and afterwards, during the interview of that elder, I had to wait for him to finish the interview with Elder.  Sister Scisci put us to work putting the dishes in the dish washer while she left to run an errand.  I did most of the work with the dishes while Elder M. went to sleep on the couch of the Pres.  I ended up washing all the dishes alone, but I felt good about it because I didn’t have anything else I could do and for the moment washing the dishes was, well,  what I had to do to Magnify my calling : )    

Google picture, not actual dishes.

The next day I called Pres. Scisci to talk to him a little about how the mission was in terms of baptisms,  and Sister Scisci answered the phone and said thank you for the work I had done with the dishes, she said, “Thanks for doing all the dishes while Elder M. slept.”  (Apparently she came back for a moment and saw my comp sleeping and me working.  She is pretty stealthy because I did not hear her).  Then the next day she saw Elder M. she chewed him out in front of me.  That put me in a tough spot because what I did made him look bad.  Luckily the encounter was when we were loading up the car to leave for Abaetetuba so he had a few days away from me to cool down.

P.S. The internet fell and I wasn’t able to send the message earlier.


So Elder M. finished his mission and is in São Paulo right now.  And I am here in the office working on the transfer with the secretaries.  I don’t have a new companion and will only get one on Monday I think.  So this week end will be really crazy, especially because I have never done a transfer before.  But like Mom always says, keep calm because it will all get done... well she said something like that when I had a lot of big school work and stuff.  

Love you all!!!  

Ben Visits Santarém

April 15, 2013

Dear Family,

I’m now in Santarém.  Look for it on Google maps.  

It’s in the middle of the rain forest and has very few paved roads. There is a stake here that was formed about a year ago.  The zone is doing well with the exception of a few areas, with whom I have done divisions with to help out.  Yesterday I had a really great experience helping a family prepare the papers to get married they are really fun and where really excited to marry so that they could get baptized.  I attached two pictures.  One is of the family I helped get married (they are Raimundo and Jess, and they live in Santarém) the other picture is the view from the super cool 3 story house where I live (the staff house).  [The pictures weren’t attached so I’ve put in a pic I found on Google.]

I also got to teach a man (Rodrigo) that is was really prepared to be baptized about tithing.  It was really cool.  Afterwards I did his baptismal interview.  It was amazing to get to know him and play a small part in his conversion.  He was a referral from a member.  The member was old friends with him and invited him to an Adult singles retreat, and the young adults of the stake all helped him integrate into the church.  It also helped that he is 27 good-looking single and plays the guitar...  he probably won’t be single for long.  So give referrals to the missionaries!!!! Comparing my mission with the mission in Moscow, one of the largest differences is that here the members talk a whole lot about the church with others and are not as shy about inviting friends.   There are a few other differences but that is one that we can control regardless of our culture of population.  There is a part in PMG that says that "nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach".  Before my mission I preferred to bear my testimony with my actions, and be an example to nonmembers.  This sort of tactic in missionary work I have come to realize is a little bit unbalanced.  We also need to invite.  Without an invitation it is almost impossible for people to change.  So Dad, you talked a little about how there will be a lot more missionaries in our area with few people to teach personally I think this is one thing that is lacking that could help a lot.  Our family is really good at the example part showing others what we believe and that we are Mormons but our family I think can improve a lot on the other side of the missionary work that is the invitation.  Remember to help the ward with this they will need some strong leaders to show them the way.  The best leaders lead by example!

To finish up...
Ellis, my favorite food here is Tacacá, and the craziest thing I have eaten is Turú (worms that eat wood, you eat them raw) 
Emma, I hope you took don’t get nervous about the track meets, you just need to beet yourself the others don’t matter.
Eliza, what did you end up deciding about the mission?
Dan, I hope you passed your belt exam!!!

So I’m a little out of time to write.
Love you all!!!

PS. I sent a letter to Quincey so I hope she will respond here in about a month.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Visit to Macapá

April 8, 2013
So I’m here in Macapá.  The last few days I did a division in Santana that is located about 45 minutes from Macapá by bus.  It has a port that is located on the Amazon River.  It was nice to get out of the office and work like a normal missionary.  I went there because the companionship that is there now has been having problems for some time (no baptisms).  I spent 3 days there with Elder R.. Elder R got into the mission field the same time I did.  It was interesting.  He left on the mission with 18 years and 3 months of age, and I doubt that he was ready.  I am sure that a lot of missionaries are prepared when they have 18 years of age but there are a lot of others that I think need to wait.  I think that I was one of those elders that needed to wait a bit to go on the mission.  Observing him I saw that he didn’t have much going on in the area because he didn’t have much attitude.  He had problems but didn’t have the attitude to resolve the situations.  Many times when looking for addresses or when presented with opportunities to talk to people he would try to avoid it.  He is a bit closed and lacks confidence.  I tried not to be really hard with him. Instead I tried to understand what his problem was.  I tried to give I’m an example of how he could have a bit more success.  We finished the division after finding a young woman that is super prepared (she almost cried when I invited her to be baptized).

I have been really lost in the last two weeks but now I feel calmer.  I am also preparing to give a talk/training to the zone during the zone conference this Wednesday.  I will talk about resilience and consistency again and hopefully be able to use some new examples.  I have been thinking about what you guys said comparing my wanting to stay with how I play hockey and soccer.  And I thought that would be a good thing to use during the zone conference.  We will see how it works out Wednesday.

I have not had the opportunity to take a lot of pictures unfortunately I’m not here in Macapá to site see.  But I will see what I can do.  

I loved general conference and was lucky enough to see all of the sessions.  They have live translators that switch every few talks.  I thought it was interesting how many of the talks cited the scripture that says something about a stone being cut from the mountain without hands and rolling to fill the earth.  I heard a long time ago that the speakers don’t receive topics but pray to know what to speak on.  So I thought it was interesting that there where a series of scriptures that the speakers used that where the same.  I took 9 pages of notes.  

Sorry, Emma, I do read your letters but I have a hard time using my time wisely so I end up without time to send a letter.  But congratulations on the FPS triumph and the 100% on the science quiz retake.

I was really sad to hear that the Carmans are moving.  They have been good friends.  Send them a really big hug, and wish them luck for me.  

Got to go know and finish some of my A.P. work!!

I love you all a lot!!!!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Learning the Ropes

Hey Dad,

I have had an exciting week.  I have been a little stressed, and have not gotten enough sleep but I think things will calm down now.  

First off, something about emails.  I think that it would be best if you all continued to send emails on Monday morning.  Because I don't have a p-day that is the same every week it will be best for me if you continued to send emails in the same way.  If you all would like to send emails on other days of the week feel free but I may or may not be able to read them, but it is always nice to get unexpected messages.

Last week we did a division. Elder Moreno went to Entroncamento (45 min going by bus) and I stayed here in Telegrapho.  I worked with Elder Cardozo, who is from Paraguay, on Friday until Sunday.  We both were new in the area and we did not know anyone, members or nonmembers, so it was a bit rough.  We looked in the area book for a few people to visit but the records were really old -- 2008. So we spent a lot of time doing contacts.  Unfortunately we were not able to locate many of these people.  But at the end of the week, I had a meeting with the Bishop and he helped a lot.  Unfortunately for me I will have difficulties working in the area because I will be traveling a lot this month.  So that will be a challenge without work in Telegrapho.  

We had a zone council yesterday.  So the past few days we have planned the topics of our talks/trainings.  I still feel a bit lost in my calling and I don’t talk a lot in the meetings we have with Pres. Scisci, mostly because I don’t know what to say...yet.  I´m learning fast.  At the Zone council I gave training on how to help missionaries become more resilient.  There is an all too common problem with missionaries staying dedicated and constant in their work.  Many times missionaries lose their drive when they encounter difficulties.  Ironically that is the time when we need to work even harder.  I shared an article from the Liahona about how to raise more resilient children.  It was an interesting article and had a bunch of principles that can be applied to leaders in the mission field as well as parents. When I read the article I noticed a lot of tactics/principles that you and mom had already used raising us.  I think that they worked.  

This week I will be flying to Macapá to go on divisions with the elders there and have a zone conference. I will leave tonight and get back on Wednesday of next week.  After that I will fly to Santarém that is located at the fork of the Rio Negro and the Rio Tapajós.  So that will be exciting. I have to go and prepare for the trip now!!

I love you guys!!!