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!!!!