06 December 2013

11/25/13

Dear Family,

This was a very different week! Started off with doing a division with the Sisters in Ilhéus. As you may recall, I served there for 5 months. It was very difficult, but my testimony is ROCK solid and I tried something new everyday because  of that little Branch that I served in. It was interesting to see how other Sisters are doing there and what things they are trying in an extremely difficult area of the mission. Found out a lot of things had changed for the better and sadly for the worse. But it was none the less a great day working with these Sisters. We went to a Recent Convert´s house who is a belly dance instructor. We arrived, after 10 minutes of her screaming that she thought she´d never see me again, she demanded that we put on coin skirts and she does a dance for us. Who am I to refuse that?? 

I called the Sisters yesterday and asked if she was at church (because she´s super flakey), turns out she was. So I´m counting our little belly dancing sesh as a positive, teach people not lessons.
 
Then the next day arrived in my area. Let me tell you about a little girl named Lucineide. Love this girl to death, and beyond. A member told us on sunday after church that there was a little girl who is 9 years old who´s been to church a lot, isn´t baptized, and loves the church. She wasn´t at church fo the past two weeks because he mom is 9 months pregnant and needs help with her little brother. So we met Lucineide. She said other missionaries had taught her and they told her she couldn´t be baptized because she was only 7 at the time. We told her that we had some great news and that she can now be baptized! Her parents didn´t immediately authorize her baptism, but with FERVENT prayers like none other and with the help of the Lord, they let her and were even excited for her baptism! We have a new rule on the mission, any person who is 8-14 years old we need the authorization of the Bishop as well. Turns out the Bishop made a new rule last week in an executive committe he forgot to tell us about, that we are no longer allowed to baptize any child without their parents being baptized. If you baptize a child without other family members you need to have someone responsible to bring them to church. This girl, Lucineide has 3 members who all were more than willing and able to commit to be responsible. So what happened? She got caught up in politics. I don´t know if she will be baptized soon because her parents don´t like going to church on sundays (theyve already been). So because she was born into this famiy, she probably has to wait until she´s 12 to be able to receive more blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Oh man, never fought for a baptism as hard as I fought for her´s. I cried in a member´s house, at my house, made the Bishop hate me. It was just a GREAT week. But that is me complaining. My Bishop here is amazing, he really makes sure everyone is taken care of and has created so many plans to help the less actives. 

The primary program was also this week, and 1/2 of the kids there were kids that just showed up to church for the first time because we invite anyone and everyone on the streets. I do not know if they will be allowed to be baptized with this new rule, but we´ll see! I´m in favor of preaching the gospel to anyone, no matter the age, color, or status. Everyone is entitled!

So what did I learn this week? Be on the good side of the Bishop and he will help you accomplish more things than you thought previously possible. Pray to know the will of the Lord and then Do IT!!
I love this church, we are all learning and growing and just trying to do good.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
-Sister Clark

1. Lucineide. Absolutely love this girl. Can I bring her home with me?
2. Division in Ilhéus. Went to visit one of my FAVORITE recent converts who is a belly dance teacher. This girl in the picture is Laís who went out with us almost every day!
3. These 2 couples ALL served in the same misison at the same time, and they live really close to eachother. They LOVE LOVE LOVE the missionaries! 





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