25 June 2012

June 25, 2012


Dear Family/Friends-


Sorry for no letter last week. Ive been having the same heart problems as when I was in high school. But Im on beta blockers now, the first day I took beta blockers, I took 50mg and I felt like I was HIGH all day. The Word of Wisdom is true. I couldn´t feel the Spirit all day, and I didnt have a care in the world. Jeez, that was a crazy day, but now I am fine and dandy! And I am being transferred tomorrow! (So sorry if you sent letters to my actual address, they will take a while to get to me) I am being transferred to Lauro de Freitas, Salvador. From what I´ve heard from the other missionaries it is about 30 minutes away from the Mission Office/Home. Which I am SUPER excited about cause that means I will be about to get letters super fast! Yeeee!!

A lot of things have happened as of late- so sorry for the jumble of stories/thoughts, but they all good, I swear. Theyre all just short stories for you.

Sister Ferreira and I have been teaching a family who´s son is an alcoholic. We taught the son a lesson while he was sitting in the bar and we were standing in the streeet. Pretty awkward, but we shared a scripture and I gave him a picture of Christ to look at whenever he is tempted. The next day he was in the hospital cause of alcohol poisoning. Wow. Some help we were, oh well!

Sister Ferreira and I taught a less active woman and we were asking her why she left the church. She said the members did not accept her husband. Yeah, I can understand why: the woman is 70 and her husband is 30. The woman is very overweight, is missing toes and teeth and the husband is very attractive. I was really confused... She said she didn´t wamt us to come back.

Yesterday we were walking to an investigator´s house when we walked past a man standing outside his market. We did our normal schpeel about being missionaries and why we are here. When we said this he had a huge smile on his face and immediately wanted to shake our hands. He said he could feel the light of Christ in us and that it was a privilege to shake our hands. Pretty cool to have someone WANT to shake our hands with a strong grip instead of us putting out our hands and receiving a dead fish handshake (which is normal). That little sign just made me so excited for this man´s journey in finding the truthfulness of this gospel!

We taught a man/woman who had taken one too many steroids. His/her muscles were all messed up. I was really confused (per usual). I really didnt want to go back. It grossed me out. And it didn´t seem like she/he was too interested in the gospel.

Last week I fasted (obviously to help my portuguese, so I can better help these people) and there was such a significant difference in my proficiency to understand and speak portuguese. Fasting really works. Try it. But for reals, it was pretty cool to read my journal entry the day before I fasted and realize how much fasting helps me concentrate.

There is a HUGE catholic church in our area. We walked past it last week and they were having a huge celebration with floats (resembling the arc of covenant) and a lot of people walking behind it playing brass instruments. I secretly wished I could join in in their festivities. But there´s work to be done, and missionaries cant proselyte near other churches! Sad day!

On sunday the Bishop said my name over the pulpit, obviously being the awful missionary that I am, I looked at Sister Ferreira and said, what? what did he say about me? She said, oh, you are giving a talk cause the speaker didnt show up today. (There were 40 people in sacrament meeting (normally 120) due to the holiday this weekend festas do joao (sp?)) So, I went up and gave a talk on family and charity. I think I knocked it out of the ballpark. I brought the water works and spoke through the power of the Holy Ghost. THANK GOODNESS for the Holy Gost. The enabling power is amazing and powerful.



Even shorter things that are happening in the life of sister clark:

-didnt have water for 3 days in my apartment. may or may not have stolen water from the church which somehow DID have water even though its in our neighborhood. (water is usually delivered to neighborhoods)

-one man, robelio, asked if sister ferreira could teach his parent and i teach him. ummmmm no. we quickly left. the strange part was was that his parents wanted that to happen to. we literally left as soon as he asked that question.

-there are fireworks every day. one night our apartment was filled completely with smoke from all the fireworks on our street. and one night sister ferreira and i were walking up our street and it felt like we were walking through a field of land mines, pretty scary... but more fun! (at least i thought it was hilarious!)

-ive become addicted to cervada, its some sort of coffee substitute all the members drink here. i think its similar to perro (becky has it in her house)

-this morning for p day we went to a ward and played games with the other elders in our zone, just waiting for the tranfers. i asked sister ferreira the night before if wed be playing soccer. she said probably not since no one has water in their apartments, thus they cant shower. wow.



This church is true, I am so grateful to be here helping these people,sharing this message about the Restoration and TCIT.

Love

Sister Clark


me and sister ferreira

 decorations everywhere! and the streets are a mess from fireworks, decorations, and everyone had bonfires on the streets. it looked like anarchy... 

 our apartments storage for water for the next few days. these brazilians are ready for ANYTHING!!

cant see it too well, but i thought id send it anyways. a picture of the smoke on our street from the fireworks

11 June 2012

June 11, 2012

dear fam bam,

I had my first baptism! It was amazing! The first day I got to my area was the first lesson Sister Ferreira and I taught Andreia. It was sweet to be there through out the entire conversion process. She is 14 years old and has a lot of faith, and her family will hopefully be baptized in the coming weeks.

The Manaus Temple was dedicated this week and we got to see the broadcast of the dedication and the Cultural Celebration (which was kinda strange, and frankly i wish i could have been out teaching instead of watching it). President Uchtdorf and Elder Cook were at the dedication and President Uchtdorf said that our temple recommends reflect whether we walk before the Savior with ALL our hearts. So keep a current temple recommend!

We also had a Mission Conference this week with my President, President Vecchi and the AP´s. They pretty much talked about the transition process in a few weeks when we get a new President. The interesting part was that in the beginning President Vecchi announces who will teach a ´practice´10 minute lesson in front of every. Guess which companionship it was? Yes, me and Sister Ferreira. I had no idea what was going on. I just heard my name and someone pointed at where I should sit. I turned to Sister Ferreira and whisped, ´what the heck are we doing?´Ohhhh yeah, she doesnt speak english. I didn´t know if it was a first visit, second visit, baptism interview or what... Sooooo, obvs I just relied on the Spirit to teach (and know what the heck we should do). I was basically on the verge of tears the entire time, either from nerves (my mission president was staring at me!) or the holy ghost. All in all, we pulled through and in the critique everyone said it was perfect because it was simple and to the point (well that is the only way i know how to speak portuguese!)

Some greaaaatttttt things about this week:
-Sister Ferreira and I went to the neighborhood cairo this last week (30 minute bus ride). We taught a lesson with a man and a woman. The man had no teeth. I couldnt understand a word he said. He had faith and wanted to learn more though. We were there for about 30 minutes and then we said we had to go. So we asked if he would pray. Sister Ferreira taught in how to pray and he said okay. He prayed for 10 minutes straight, He was kneeling down, facing the wall and screaming/crying at the top of his lungs. The house was really small and was extremely echoy... i literally had to plug my ears. To add to that, there were about 30 flies on me at once, and a donkey barking right outside their house. It was a different experience to say the least.

-Speaking of flies, Sister Ferreira and I visited a less active member and we walked into her house and there were 5 man-made wooden crates in the front yard. The second we stepped in her front yard, the crates started barking and rolling around, and moving towards us. Turns out there were huge dogs in them. I couldn~t even see what type of dogs were in these crates, but im guessing huge attack dogs. I hate dogs. Then we walked in her house and on the couch there were remnants of raw meat and thousands of flies. It literally looked like a person had died on that couch and the flies/attack dogs had eaten the majority of that person. But, it turns out it was just meat from yesterdays lunch. gross. i use hand sanitizer like none other.
 love you lots, the work is amazing. i am so grateful to be here. thank you for your prayers.

-sister clark

1- i found sweedish fish in my apt! who knows how old they are but they are soooo yummy! my brazilian companion didnt dare touch them cause she thought they were fish in a bag
2-dias dos namorados- aka valentine~s day. the official day is tomorrow. im sure itll be all fireworks and magic.
3- tan line. i love my chacos.
4- MY FIRST BAPTISM!! sister ferreira, andreia, and me! saturday afternoon.

     
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04 June 2012

June 4, 2012

Family,
What a change this week has been! Last week I can utterly say was the worst week Ive ever had. Ive gained a testimony that there needs to opposition in all things. Thus, this week was amazing. It had its struggles, but Ive never been happier with the work me and my companion are doing here.

On tuesday we we walking to an appointment and we saw a family outside their house (well, literally everyone is outside, its like brooklyn), we talked to them about the church. The mom said we should go visit her daughter inside. We went inside and met her daughter, an 8 year old girl who was severly crippled. I sang ì am a child of god´ in english and sister ferreira sang in portuguese. This girl was smiling the entire time. It really hit me then and there the importance of loving those you serve. I have ALWAYS known the concept, but it really hit me like a brick. I just wanted to help this family so bad!

We´ve also been teaching a 14 year old girl and her family, she is really interested and everyone is just there for the spiritual enlightenment. Long story short, she flaked out on her baptism interview. She had no excues and acted like it was no big deal. We talked about the influences in our lives, that the good things are of God and the bad things are not. The next day we visited her she said she prayed all night, repented of her sins, cried, andis now ready. She had the biggest smile on her face and it made me so happy to see how happy she is now! This next week, I should have my first baptism! Woot woot!

Sister Ferreira and I have been visiting this neighborhood named Cairo, its about a 30 minutes bus ride from our apartment. It is straight up poor of the poor. Think of Nacho Libre and thats this hood. I thought the area where we´ve primarily been teaching was poor. Guess not!

Dad, you would love Sister Ferreira. she invites people to be baptized with a baptismal date within 5 minutes of talking to someone. A lot of people say yes to it. (I have yet to do this because of lack of language, but I know I will be in the near future). It is frankly surprising that something as important as baptism is being suggested in the intial 5 minutes of meeting someone. People here are literally waiting to receive the restored gospel. I am grateful everyday that I am serving in this area and that the only struggle I have is the language. The language is coming along and I can understand about 70 percent of what people say. I dont think my ability to make sentences in portuguese is improving as fast but I know the accent is getting better.

This last week Ive been thinking a lot about what I have to offer besides bearing my testimony and sharing bits and pieces of the lessons. On wednesday night, there was an activity at the church and while Sister Ferreira was in the bathroom I was waiting in the hallway talking to all the youth. They loved me! And it was such a relief to talk to teenagers and laugh about life! After Sister Ferreira returned she said she doesnt even know any of the youth cause she gets along better with little kids and adults (shes 32 and was an elementary school teacher, so its understandable). Anyways, Ive found my place! or at least where to start! I even invited one of them to come out with us teaching. He went out with us on sunday and it was amazing, the lessons were perfect, and i was so glad he was there! He is 17, and I was talking to him about college and girls. I told him Sister Ferreira and I will baptize his future wife since there are barely any young women in the ward. (Dad, I thought of you when I said that).
The goods;
  • -ive seen 2 brazilian midgets. score!
  • -i already have a sweeeet chacos tanline
  • -vanessa chivers, etheringtons, butters- i should have memorized my scripture mastery, because sometimes i have no idea what scripture my companion is sharing. i mean, i usually know for the most part the idea. but i should have memorized them! oops, my bad. so kiddies, memorize them so your foreign language missions wont be crazy.
  • -everyone here has dogs. all the dogs look like they have rabies. they are all ratty and nasty. im never getting a dog. ever.
  • -because im blonde people actually stare at me on the streets. its strange because in america im pretty sure EVERY NONMEMBER avoids eye contact with the missionaries. its strange. but definitely a blessing that i have blonde hair. very easy to talk to people. thanks mom and dad for your genes.
  • -i saw the jehovahs witnesses knocking doors. they looked like pioneers. im glad i dont have to dress like that. maybe it was just them. but they knocked on the door, opened the scripture and started reading. i guess thats a door approach. 

address for the next 10 weeks; i think it takes about 2 weeks to get to me. so only 8 weeks i guess. please write cause i only get letters once a month from the mission home. 
sister abigail clark
rua juquinta franca, 559
guarani, vitoria da conquista, bahia
cep 45.002-020 BRASIL
love you lots. thanks for the prayers and love.
-sister clark

cherish this picture: i barely have any makeup on. we have no water in our apartment today :)
 
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