Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week #76

Hello mom!

Well this just feels really weird, my very last email. We had a good week, except it did not end in a baptism. Unfortunately. We were doing everything we could to get him baptized but unfortunately, he decided to wait another week. I'm really hoping he goes through with it. 

We had a little going away party yesterday and Friday with the members and investigators and I had to give my farewell testimony in church. That was just a mess and I was trying really hard not cry. It's so strange. A really weird feeling that it all just doesn't seem real. It seems like I'll just be transferred to another area here in Brasil. There's so much that I'm going to miss here - sunshine, warm weather, palm trees, fresh coconut water, AÇAI, fish, music on the streets, loving people, Portuguese, and Brazilians. 

But I'm also excited to start the next phase of my life and a new chapter. And I'm very excited to see all of you! I miss you guys. 

Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 2 John 1:12

See you on Wednesday!

For the last time,  

Sister Clark

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week #75

Hi mom!
I seriously can't believe I only have 6 days left as a missionary. Since today is p-day and I'll be leaving Abaeté next Monday. not sure if I'll be able to email next week because I'm not sure when I'll have to get on the bus, but email me anyway, maybe I'll get to check when I get to the office.
Well this week was pretty slow. not too much to report. Unfortunately, it did not end with a baptism. Junior said he'll be baptized but he wants to talk to his parents first and he's preparing to be baptized this Saturday. So there's going to be lots of prayers and fasting this week. Especially because he didn't go to church yesterday. I'm also pretty sure he has a crush on Sister Fontineles.
Wednesday we had zone meeting. My very last zone meeting ever. It was super sad.

We met some awesome new investigators this week. We were searching for a referral and met his neighbor instead. We went inside and then met 9 of her family members. 7 of which are now meeting with us. Karina just has to get married and then she can get baptized. Her "husband" is super open and I'm sad that I won't be able to see them progress but at least I'll get to teach them for a week.
ALL of the members are reminding me of how little time I have left. It's super depressing actually.
Yesterday was super difficult. We had nobody come to church. yesterday was Círio de Nossa Senhora de Conçecão. Or in other words, the entire catholic church walked the entire city starting at 9 am following a statue of Mother Mary that sits on an alter that they carry. And then they bow to it. I literally felt like Alma the Younger when he arrived to preach the gospel to the Zoramites and they were all reciting prayers on a high tower. Then at 1 pm the parties started. We were walking home from church and every corner and every street had at least 3 houses/bars playing very loud music and tables full of beer. So that was going on all day long and literally everybody was drunk. Keepin' the Sabbath Day holy. So we couldn't really proselyte/make contacts/teach anyone because you hear the music even when you're inside the house and the spirit pretty much left the city of Abaetetuba.
Sorry it's short but like I said, it was a slow week. Sister Fontineles is now walking with two crutches and Sister Scisci told her that she'll have to talk to the doctor and if he says she needs surgery she has to go home. She wants to stay for Christmas in the mission but I'm not sure if that's going to be possible because almost every day we have to come home early because her knees are hurting. And we don't have a lot of members to go on splits.
This week we are going to be way busy. We already have a ton of appointments for tomorrow and an activity every night. It's going to go by fast. I have mixed feelings. It's so so weird to think that next week I'll be home. Don't be late to the airport :)
Love ya mom! Happy Thanksgiving
SEE you next week!

Sister Clark
I literally am in love with açai. But I don't think I'm going to be able to bring it home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week #74

 Can you believe now it's just 2 weeks???? The weeks go by slow (which is just fine by me) but then when it ends I can't believe the week is already over and we're starting another and now I just have like what? 14 days or something. The sisters and members are counting down for me which is not helping.
Sister Fontineles is doing a little better. She got super sick Sunday night because she was so stressed out from having to stay in the house. So Tuesday she bought a crutch and is walking around with it and seems to be a little better. Yesterday was rough it was hurting super bad but at least now people are offering us rides. Tuesday night a taxi pulled over and gave us a lift for free. So that was pretty cool.
Monday for p-day some members took us to a gadapé which was really just full of temptation because they had real pools there and it was super hot and we're not allowed to swim. So we just put our feet in the water.
The rest of this week we were just trying to find people to teach. It takes a lot of time to get from one place to the other because of Sister Fontineles' knees but at least she's able to work now. But she refuses to call Sister Scisci. This week we'll have to go to Belém to see the doctor because she ran out of medicine.
We are teaching some really awesome people that I think will progress. We'll probably only have one more baptism before I go home and I'm hoping it'll be this week with our investigator Junior. He is reading the Book of Mormon, has been to church twice, and prays at the end of every lesson. His prayers are so sincere, like he's just talking to God openly and literally says whatever comes to his mind. It's awesome. I love hearing the prayers of non members and recent converts.
Riti has come out with us twice this week already and there is a HUGE change in her. In just 3 days after her baptism she already seemed more happy and she confirmed that Friday night when she bore her testimony in a lesson. Before, she was just super depressed and was never happy and now all she can think are happy thoughts. It's a complete 180 with her. She seriously is happy ALL THE TIME and it's just so cute. I think I'll miss her the most when I leave.
Sunday I had to give a talk on missionary work and I cried. It was pretty embarrassing. Everybody said they really liked my talk and that it was cute that I got all emotional about leaving except then they just made fun of me for the rest of the day.....
I'm trying to decide if I want to bring açaí home. Are you all interested in trying it? If so I can bring some home but I'll have to put in a cooler or something to stay cold and I'm not really sure how to do that or if it'll cost anything. but I'm addicted to açaí it's probably the best thing in the world. So let me know what you think.
If you're planning a dinner when I get home can I make a request? I just want to eat tacos and cake haha. Two things that I miss the most.
Okay love you mom! Until next week!
Sister Clark

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week #73

Hello mom!

Well, if I said I wasn't excited to come home I would be lying. I miss you guys but I'm staying focused here and just loving the time that I have left. 

Another week of my mission has come and gone and it was a hard one, I'll be honest. On Thursday Sister Fontineles decided to stay in the house because of her knees. So we stayed at a member's after lunch calling other members to go on splits with me. Except nobody was available. But it wasn't all for naught because at least we were at Rita's who was preparing for baptism so we followed up with her and did some service for her mom. Friday we were able to get two members to go out. Man, you can sure feel the difference when you're not with your companion. There's a reason why we are to preach the gospel 2 by 2. When Sister Fontineles and I have a full day working together we're like the power team. But on splits with the members we're not able to do as much. Which is strange because you would think we would get more work done because you have two sets working the area. In our case it's the opposite. There's a reason why we were put together. Saturday we had to fill the font for Rita's baptism so we only had one hour of work after lunch because Sister Fontineles can't walk very fast and lunch was on the other side of the city. So I went on splits with a member and made some contacts. Yesterday we were unable to get a member so I had to stay in. We basically lost our week. I'm not sure what this week will be like. It's basically a day to day thing if she's able to go out and work or not. She finally made the decision that she'll call Sister Scisci and talk about her options. She wants to stay one more transfer because she wants to be on the mission for Christmas but if it continues to be like this, not sure if they'll allow one more transfer. This is the 3rd time this has happened and the last two times she stayed in for a week. So it's getting to the point where it's effecting the work. I'm just trying to be patient and work when I can but it's driving me crazy not being able to work, especially my last transfer. And I know it's not her fault. So I'm just trying to work with it. 

So let's talk about Rita's baptism. This girl really was a miracle. It was absolutely perfect. She has been so excited all week. She saved money to make a cake and buy snacks. It literally was a party Saturday night afterwards. She looked so cute in her little white jumpsuit. her brother baptized her and she had invited also a few friends. We had a good turn out of members and she was surprised that people she hadn't invited showed up. I think in that moment she felt important and supported in her decision. When there's a baptism in the ward, it should be a ward party. EVERYBODY should be there to show their love and support and make the new convert really feel welcome and that this was the right decision. Especially when they're shy and timid like Rita. Saturday was a good day. I'm hoping that we are able to baptize a few more people before I go home. I love baptisms! 

So that's pretty much about all I have to say for this week. Sorry it's short but not really a lot happened. Some prayers for Sister Fontineles' knees would be very nice and greatly appreciated. 

Love you mom! 

Can't believe it's only 3 weeks!

Sister Clark 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week #72

Hi mom!!!!!

Well, we're pretty much still lost here but we're finding our way around. luckily we have awesome members who come out with us and show us around. We've been going on splits with the members a lot because Sister Fontineles has bad knees. Like, super bad. So going on splits is the only way we can actually get all the work done. For sure the Lord's not going to let me have a normal or easy transfer. There's a whole new list of challenges for me here that is definitely trying my patience and working me to the point of exhaustion. and I'm barely even sleeping. But we had a pretty successful week. We had zone meeting Wednesday so I got to meet the other missionaries. There are 3 American elders who just barely arrived from waiting for their visas. one waited for 15 MONTHS. Basically his entire mission. It's so weird to see them try to speak Portuguese because it reminds me of how I was 6 months ago. So to get back to the area we have to take a bus for about an hour and half. So guess what I did??? I got up at the front of the bus and told everyone who we were and that we have a really important message and then I went from chair to chair getting addresses and making contacts. It was so scary but so awesome at the same time. 

Also we met our goal for baptisms last month so we get to go to the fair tonight and ride rides!!!!! We got permission!!!!!!

We had a miracle happen yesterday. Rita, the daughter of a member who has been investigating the church for quite some time, told us that she wants to be baptized - THIS SATURDAY! WOOOOO HOOOOOO! We are seriously so excited. Sister Fontineles has been slowly working with her since she arrived just gaining her trust and friendship. This has had a complete change of heart. 

Yesterday I was sitting in sacrament meeting listening to a young man give his testimony and he said that this was his last fast and testimony meeting i the branch because he's leaving on a mission. Then Sister Silva got up and talked about how it's been 4 weeks since she left home and how the time passes so quickly. So suddenly it hit me. Just like the guy, that was also my last fast Sunday on a mission and in the Abaetetuba Branch. And just how Sister Silva has only been away from home for 4 weeks, I will be GOING hom in 4 weeks. Yeah, the time sure does pass by quickly. I suddenly had this feeling of anxiety and I got a little emotional because my mission is ENDING. Brasil has become my home and these people have become part of my family. I will never get this opportunity again and probably I will never come back. 4 weeks is not a lot of time and suddenly I don't want to leave! I love being a missionary and I love seeing how the simple truths of the gospel can change some one's life. The church is true. It just has to be. 

That's about it this week. Love you mom!

Sister Clark

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week #71

Hi mom!

That would be awesome to fly into Provo and drive back with Robert! And it would be nice to have a car. I could drive back with him too. I really need to talk to a counselor about what I need to do to change my major and if I have to retake any classes. Also I need to find an apartment. So I'm all for that I'll fly to Provo and drive with Robert and then drive back to Utah and fly home? It would be nice to do some shopping THERE too where tax is cheap and they have more stores haha. 

Well I LOVE this area. I'm in Abaetetuba (Uh-by-tuh-too-buh). It's huge. I thought Oriximiná was big but our area is seriously so big. We eat açai everyday for lunch which is awesome. I love açai. I'm trying to find someone who could make the pulp for me so that I can bring it back home. We'll see. It's on the river but we don't ever see it. And we don't have to get on a boat which is awesome. It's a 2 1/2 hour bus ride from Belém. So I'm still pretty far out there. We're opening the area so we basically have no idea where we're going or what we're doing which is frustrating and fun at the same time. We get lost a lot but at least we get to see all the parts of our area. My companion is Sister Fontineles and she is great. She's not shy about anything and loves to talk to people so that's awesome. It's a branch here, not a ward. But the active members are super helpful. I'm still playing piano every Sunday. I was sad to leave Oriximiná but also super excited because I had been there for so long and I wanted to know another area before my mission ended. 

So let me tell you about this week and the trip. 
Monday was p-day so we basically did nothing and knew about the transfer at 5. So we had to run to the lancha and buy a ticket and get some other things situated so we only had time for one lesson Monday. Tuesday morning at 8 I got on the lancha to Santarém. After about an hour the boat hit something in the middle of the river and broke. Yes, broke. We were going so slowly and I thought we were going to sink! After 4 hours we pulled over and switched boats. The other one was smaller, older, and not as comfortable and every wave we hit we were bouncing! It was like the trip from you know where. I spent the rest of Tuesday in Santarém with the sisters there and Wednesday morning we got on the plane to Belém. I met the sisters there and we got on a bus at 3 and arrived at 5:30. After, we had to go to the church for "family night" that's meant for members to get to know our investigators. So I had basically 3 days not doing missionary work. Thursday we were so lost we just made contacts and taught one lesson. Friday we had the mission tour in Belém so we had to go back there and we didn't get home until 6:30. So this week we had 3 days of actual missionary work. This week basically just didn't even exist. But the mission tour was awesome. I was able to see almost everybody from my district and the MTC and I FINALLY saw Sister Sender! My comp from the MTC. During the interval we basically pushed everybody out of the way and hugged. And she started crying haha. I loved being her comp in the MTC and I could not wait to be able to talk to her again! Except she's going home early to prepare for school so we won't even be going home the same time. Elder Fernandes of the Seventy was there for our mission tour and it seriously was just AWESOME. I learned so much and it got me pumped to finish my last weeks strong. Because right now I just feel so tired but I want to work as hard as I have throughout my whole mission so Friday was exactly what I needed. 

Saturday and Sunday we basically just walked around clueless looking for addresses of former investigators and contacting people on the streets. Sister Fontineles has problems with her knees so she can't walk too much. Yesterday we had to go home early because the pain was so bad. We've met some really great people here so far and Sister Fontineles is all about teaching by the spirit which basically nobody does here in this mission. It's more like let's teach the lessons and get it over with and baptize. But she actually likes to teach people. So we're super excited about this transfer and we get along really well. She reminds me a lot of Tessa Schrader. 

So that was basically our week. I'm really excited about this area and our sink has a FILTER so we don't have to buy mineral water. Also today I'm sick haha. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when I get home and I have to re accustom to the food and the water and the cold and lots of things. 

I'm hoping this week will be a lot better and we can actually do some missionary work! 

Love you
Sister Clark

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week #70


OK this week was CRAZY. It's transfers today but we still don't know anything. Everyone thinks I'm staying here for my last transfer. But I really hope I get to know another area in the mission. 

This Saturday we had a service project cleaning the health department...... which I found a little ironic. A place that should always be clean.... it was filthy. So I was thinking the whole day how blessed we are in our country to have clean hospitals and doctors offices. We moan and groan about things but we seriously don't know how grateful we need to be until we're in another country and see how they have to live and how the hospitals are. Remember when I went to the hospital in Santarem? Yeah I don't want to go to any health thing (hospital, doctor etc) until I'm home in the states. 

We had a REALLY good week. We found a ton of new people to teach and our teaching pool is huge. We have two potentials for baptisms this week. FINALLY we are having success here! Manuel and Celia said that they've prayed and have received an answer that this is the truth. We were so excited! Only problem? They're not married. And he doesn't want to marry her. I think he's afraid of the commitment. So that's another stumbling block. We had 7 people at church yesterday. It seriously was a miracle. We met an old man, Raimundo, who is just super smart and accepts everything and turns out he knows a lot of the members. hmmmmmmm. But he loved church and brought his 3 granddaughters. We met a MARRIED couple. But I don't know how interested they are.

This week we were super busy planning a surprise goodbye party for Sister Oliveira. We told her we had a "meeting" with the members Saturday night to talk about missionary work and we were going to do a PowerPoint. Only when we started the PowerPoint it was full of pictures from her mission! We stole her flash drive with pictures...... and she cried and cried and we had one of the members make pizza and cake. It was a huge success and she didn't even know! Afterwards all the members told me that I'll end my mission here too and I told them that I'll be expecting pizza and cake as well :) She left yesterday on the lancha after church and it was so weird seeing her leave. She'll be home in Curitiba tomorrow! And I was just thinking the whole time about when I'll be doing the same thing in just 6 weeks. It doesn't seem real that this is my last transfer. I think about getting on an airplane and it just.... doesn't seem real. It feels like I will spend the rest of my life being a missionary and I will never leave Brasil. But I know that in just a few short weeks I'll be home. This transfer went by SO FAST and I'm only imagining this transfer now. I love being a missionary. But when I get home I still be one! Just not with an official name tag. I am for sure helping out the missionaries when I get home. 

Funny story from this week
A member's dog ran away from home while she was away in Manaus so the house sitter has been going crazy looking for him. Well Tuesday night we were walking on the street and here comes Freddy the dog and he knew exactly who we were. He stopped and we said "what the heck are you doing come here NOW" and he lowered his head and slowly walked towards us. It was super super funny how he recognized us and was super obedient. We took him back home. I don't think they told the member anything. She got back Saturday.

Well I think that's about it. I cannot believe October is almost over and this transfer is over and we STILL don't know about transfers. Usually they call Sunday or Monday morning and still nothing. 

Love you mom! See you in 6 weeks! 

Sister Clark