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