Elder Clay Green

Elder Clay Green

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 12 - the work continues in Obidos!!

    It was great hearing from all of you! Glad all the kids did well in their primary programs. And Scarlett was nervous! haha! 
    So this was a good week. Nothing really new or exciting happened but it was a solid week.
      Everyone keeps saying that I look skinny in all the pictures but I eat a ton! They feed us so good here and I love the food! There is never any leftover food at lunch! I am really trying hard to maintain a healthy weight. But we walk a ton. Elder Capello is trying to gain muscle before he goes home. So we go and workout every morning and he brings a container of meat and potatoes to eat at night because we usually don't eat dinner until 9:30! So I will probably start bringing food to eat in the evening as well this week.
      We had one baptism this week - an 11 year old boy. He is the cousin of the girl who we baptized a couple weeks ago. It was really good. We were supposed to have 2 but the other woman backed out Friday night. It was really sad because she was progressing very well. Her life could have changed so much for the better. Her eternities could have changed. I wish everyone could see the happiness this gospel brings. But our 1 baptism was great. Our zone reached our goal of 21 this month. Our missionary numbers are down and our baptisms are way down. But hopefully that will improve.
       Transfers were this week and every companionship in our zone changed except ours. Elder Kautai left so that is sad. But I think we are getting an American sister in the zone so I won't be the only one!
        I have progressed more in the past week with the language than the whole time I have been on my mission. Elder Capello can't believe it. He is telling everyone that it is a miracle! haha. I hear him speak all the time so I can understand almost everything he says. We never talk in English anymore unless I am helping him. Other people are more difficult though. But I am progressing each day. Truly a blessing. 
       I read a lot of conference talks this past week. I think President Utchdorf is my favorite. I get super pumped up everytime I read one of his talks. I read one "Lord is it I". I couldn't believe all the things I learned from that one talk! I have set a goal that after my mission. I will start with the first conference that was documented and read every single talk and write one page of what I learned from it. It will probably be a lifelong goal but I want to do it! 
   Here is a scripture I love - Ether 12:27
   We all have struggles and difficulties in life. Some things are harder for some and easier for others. But with humility and the Grace of Christ, weak things will be made strong to us. We always have things to be thankful for. That will make our weaknesses easier to bear. If we are humble enough to recognize our weakness and ask the Lord for help, they will be made strengths. Have faith in that. I know it is real. Keep doing good and always try to improve. That's eternal progress.
       Well we are at a different cyber today and this computer stinks and we don't have any more time. Love yall. Thanks for the support! 
         Elder Green

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 11- Obidos: First Zone Meeting!!!

Ola minha familia!!!!
      Hope everything is going well with yall. Thats cool mom got to go to Texas. I bet you are having fun. Is your wrist getting any better? Sally and Jim are serving a Family History mission in Salt Lake? That is so cool. Thats on my list of things i want to become really good at when I get home. That was a funny Alabama joke! I laughed! 
      My week was good here in Óbidos Prime. We took a boat Tuesday night to Santarem for the zone meeting so that was fun. We met up with some sisters when we got there and went to the church. Once the zone leaders got there I went with Elder Kautai (the only other American in our zone) to the police station to get my address changed or whatever they did. Elder Kautai is super cool. He is from Texas but his family is from Tonga so everyone thinks he is Brazilian. He finishes his mission with Elder Capello in December. But then we took about a 30 minute bus ride back to his house to let him pack because he came back to Óbidos with us to observe. Since we are so far out no one visits here very often. We also got all the packages and what not for the zone. I did recieve one package with candy and gatorade and stuff in it. I didnt get the one with the debit card yet but transfers are in a week or two so I will probably get it then. We went back to the church and had a really good meeting. The president was not there but I am pretty sure he comes in a couple of weeks. Then Elder Capello Elder Kautai and me and one set of sisters had to take a boat back to our area. So while we were waiting we ate dinner at this sushi place. It was really good. But we were a little late getting to the boat so there was already a ton of hammocks taking up all the space. But we finally found three open hooks but they were reeealy close together. We were very packed. The old lady next to me was kicking me all night. But it was good! We made it!
       We went as normal and Elder Kautai tagged along. He was really fun to have around. He is a big time football player. He has a brother playing at BYU right now and another brother at Utah. But the one at utah will be serving a mission in December. Then he will play again when he returns. Elder Kautai will also go play at Utah. So we talked a lot of football. He served in New Jersey in a Portuguese branch for 10 months waiting for his visa so he was already fluent in Portuguese when he got here. He is super cool. So Thursday and Friday went by and he was supposed to return to Santarem on Friday night but the guy feeding us dinner was super late so he just decided to stay one more day. Then on Saturday we were eating with the bishop and we found out there is no boat on Saturday. So Elder Kautai had to stay Sunday as well and just left last night! His companion wasn't very happy but we had a good time here. Every bit of the food in that package is gone haha! We went crazy on that candy and gatorade! I still have some gatorade but that's it! I made the spaghetti last night and I think I messed it up but I gave half to Elder Capello and he said it was good so whatever! 
       It was ward conference this weekend so the Stake Presidency was here. So that was good. We had 4 baptisms on Saturday but 2 of those were for the ward so we really only had 2 for the mission. One girl is 10 years old and was baptized when she was 8 but we found out they forgot to do the confirmation so we had to baptize her again... 2 years!! But that was good.
       So something I have really learned here on my mission is the importance of prayer. Prayer is the key to everything! No one will be truly converted unless they pray to know the truth. It is sad because most people here have never prayed. We have to teach and help grown adults pray everyday because they don't know how. When we pray we are literally talking to an actual being - having a real conversation with the Creator of the universe! I have really tried to make an effort to make my prayers more meaningful. We should prepare before we pray. Not pray for things in general but specific things we need that specific day. I have felt so much peace in my life when I pray with real intent. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is one of the most important things we do here on the earth. Alma 13:28
      Love yall and thanks for all the support and what not!  

Elder Green

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 10 - More Adventures in Obidos

    Thanks for all the emails. It was great hearing from everybody.
Glad yall had a good week and that mom is doing better.

    So last p-day I got attacked by a dog for the first time!! We were early for an appointment so we were making some contacts and it was dark outside. We talked to this one lady for a little while then as we were leaving I heard something approaching me very fast from my side. Instinctively I jumped back on the road. It started barking and growling and I ran! It got a little bit of my pants but I didn't get bit. It didn't really chase me - just snuck up on me out of nowhere and tried to eat me! It scared the mess out of me and I almost had a heart attack! I was yelling in English and of course Elder Capello was about to pass out he was laughing so hard... The crazy stuff only happens to me it seems!
      And it finally rained! We got back to the house Friday night I think and it just started pouring. It didn't last very long but it was still nice. I just wish it would've rained while we were out walking all day in the heat! We got to go into the jungle a little bit this week! We had lunch and some contacts in some crazy places. So that was an adventure!
      This week we are starting an English class! The members here
have been bugging me about it so we finally agreed. They are going to make little cards to pass out to people on the street that say "Free English class with an American!" Haha!!! Because I am literally the only American here a lot of people might show up! Everyone wants to learn English and its a good opportunity to find new investigators. I am a little nervous though because you all know that English wasn't my strongest subject in school and now I will be teaching people!! But it will be alright.
     We have our first zone meeting this week. We will take a boat I think to Santarem and will be there for Wednesday and Thursday. The president will be there too so we will have our interviews. I am pretty excited. Another adventure!
      We had 2 baptisms on Saturday between the 2 sessions of
conference. They are both really good and I think they will be firm. We are teaching pretty much everyone they know and have dates set for a lot of them. Its amazing to see the Spirit literally change people and families. So again I didn't get to watch the first session of conference. It took awhile to get it set up and working. But we watched the rest of them. It was in Português so I struggled to understand but I still learned a lot from it. I loved hearing the music in English. It was so great to hear English! My favorite part of conference had to be the talk by President Eyring. I have been studying a lot about the Holy Ghost recently and that is exactly what he talked about. We all want the Spirit but it is sometimes difficult to maintain a close relationship. As we courageously follow every prompting of the Spirit we will begin to receive more and more promptings and our eyes will be opened to the Lord's plan for us. The Holy Ghost enlightens our understanding and we recognize God's word more clearly. Only through the Holy Ghost can we see people as God sees them. 

     Mosiah 3:19-My Ponderizing scripture for the week ;)- By yielding to the Spirit we put off the natural man. D&C 67:12- Natural man cannot abide in the presence of God. Therefore, follow the Spirit to return to live with God. Submit to the will of the Father as a child submits to the will of his father. I love studying about this. I know that the Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ùltimos Dias is true. It gives me chills just saying it. I know this through the Spirit. We must always follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
     Well that's it for this week. As far as the Christmas package the only other thing I can think of is could you send a little photo book? Just of all of yall and the kids and what not. And even some pictures from here that I sent you. That would be nice. Thanks!
     I love yall and I'm thankful for all you do! Get better soon Mama!

Elder Green

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 9 - Obidos - Watching Conference and Killing Spiders!!!

Hi there!
So thanks for all the emails! Sorry for not responding individually but time is short today. I love hearing about everything and I’m glad yall enjoyed conference. Me and my companion were just laughing at the picture of Scarlett and Sadie watching conference in a tent trying to be like the people of King Benjamin. Too funny! Sorry about your wrist Mom! It is kind of funny because in Moms email she said she just hurt her wrist a little bit. Then Emily said Mom broke her wrist. Then Dad said Mom broke her arm AND has a big ole cast!!! So I am a little confused but I’m glad that she’s alright. That’s good about Alabama! I sure do miss those Saturdays sitting around eating good food and watching football with all of yall! But I like what I’m doing now just a bit more;)
     So a funny story – It might have been Tuesday, but we were doing companionship study and Elder Capello was about to share his thoughts when out of the corner of my eye I saw something come out of the hallway. I looked over and saw a HUGE HAIRY spider coming right toward me! It was seriously one of the spiders on Harry Potter. I flipped out. Then Elder Capello got a broom and stood as far away as possible and started whacking it with the broom. We killed it but the question was – Did it come from the kitchen or from the bedroom? AND did it have children??? I haven’t seen any more so hopefully we’re done with those! Haha!
     We had 2 baptisms on Saturday – the brothers I told you about last week. The time and day got changed for the baptisms multiple times because of the conference confusion and what not. But we finally did it! I have some pictures I’ll send to you.
     So I did get to watch conference this weekend! We went on Saturday and they had the Women’s Session going but could only get it in English and Spanish. So the bishop said we will have regular church on Sunday and watch conference next week in Portuguese. But after the baptism me and Elder Capello went in and watched it in English. You can only watch the sessions live and when we turned it on it was halfway through the second session and the end of Elder Hollands talk… So that was disappointing. Then we only got to watch half of the Sunday morning one because we had to walk forever to our lunch appointment. Then we watched most of the last session but then they came in and hooked up this new device thing and started watching the women’s session in Portuguese. So we had really loud English and Portuguese going at the same time and everyone kept looking at us cause they couldn’t focus. It was really awkward. We were there first but we decided to be the bigger persons so we turned off the English. And it was right before Elder Bednars talk (my favorite) so that was disappointing too. But I’ll get to watch it all in Portuguese next week!
     I loved what I got to see of conference. I was praying that I could watch at least some sessions in English and the little bit I did see was exactly what I needed to hear. I love the Prophet and the apostles. The spirit was so strong as we watched them speak. Afterwards I just wanted to go talk to everyone on the street about the gospel! This church makes me so happy and it breaks my heart when people reject what we teach because they don’t know what they are missing out on. The Lord is so merciful. I love my mission and I love all of you!

Elder Green