Elder Clay Green

Elder Clay Green

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 17 - In Obidos they call me Elder Fish - because I am always in the water :)


Thanks for all the pictures! That's exciting about Tommy's baby! And that's awesome that Alabama won!

So this week was good. We have a lot of good investigators we are working with. I told yall about the elect family we found the other week. They came to church on Sunday and said it was "strange but interesting"... Haha. But they said they liked it. 

I also told yall about the couple with the baby who the missionaries have been teaching for 8 months. They have just been waiting on her to turn 16 so they can marry and get baptized. Then they said they didn't want to marry anymore because they had a big fight then they changed their minds and signed all the papers and we sent them to Belém. I already told yall about that miracle. But since then they changed their minds again. It is very frustrating because a lot of people in the ward are helping them and they won't make up their minds. 

But we had 3 baptisms this week - 2 kids and 1 older man. The man has been coming to church every week for 3 years but he finally got legally married. His wife is a member and her family is very strong in the church. The marriage was really good. Lots of people came and we took lots of pictures. Then Saturday morning we baptized him and confirmed him on Sunday morning. It was really special and the whole ward was so happy for him.

We invited the couple with the baby who can't decide if they want to get married to the wedding. They came and had a really good time and said they were the next ones. So we set a wedding date for this Friday and called Belém and told them to send in all the papers. Well on Sunday morning we did a split. Elder Capello went with a youth to get the engaged couple and I stayed at the church waiting for the "elect family". Elder Capello didn't return until 9:30 and only the mom and their baby came to church. He said the husband said he doesn't want to marry anymore... Like I said - frustrating. But since they told us to send in the paperwork I think they already are married whether they want to be or not! So now they can either fix their problems or get a divorce. It really is sad because they are good people and they want to live like the Lord wants them to. Satan is just really working on them.

Anyway, overall it was a good week. 

I ate figado on Saturday at lunch.. Thats liver in English!! I ate lots of liver! It actually wasn't too bad. 

I studied a talk by David A Bednar this week from the April General Conference. He talks about godly fear and how it is a really good thing! I don't have time to explain what i got from it but I encourage yall to go read it for yourself because it was really good! 

Well that's about all that happened since last Monday. 

Love yall!!

Elder Green

Wedding Planner


 Elders with the Bride and Groom

Golden Contacts!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 16 - Reunion in Obidos!

Last week during the Zone P-Day Elder Capello broke his wrist. Clay told me to edit all mention of that out of his email before posting because he wasn't sure if Elder Capello's parents had been notified yet. So that's why it seemed like there was a lot of confusion and missed boat rides! Really they were going to doctors and trying to determine if Elder Capello could remain in the mission field or if he was going to have to go home and have surgery. He did have to go to Belem for a few days but thankfully the doctors there decided he could stay. And I put Clay's actual words about the incident into last week's email. Now for this week's email!!

Elder Capello and Clay in Santarem at the Mission Tour Training

Clay and Elder Capello back in Obidos


Yeah so I got the new debit card and it is working in the atm. Idk about the dang exchange rate but every time I take out some money it always takes out an extra 40 I think. But I haven't really been using it all that much only for the boat and lancha fees.

So this week was good! I spent the first half of the week with Elder S Leite and on Thursday we went back to Santarem for the Mission tour. We had a General Authority come and do some training - Elder Massagardi. He is the first counselor in the Brazil area presidency. He trained from 8 am until noon. Then we had a big ole lunch and he did some interviews. I was chosen to be interviewed and it was really good. He did it in English so that was nice. It was a really quick interview and he didn't say anything particularly special, but I felt so good afterward. I truly knew he was a servant of God just by the spirit I felt when he talked. He has a reputation of being very strict and chastising missionaries so everyone was super stressed out, but he was calm and nice. So that was great!

Elder Capello went to Belém and saw 3 doctors and they all said he didn't need surgery so he returned back here and is with me in Óbidos! He gets real emotional talking about it because he was very close to going home, but he convinced the mission doctor to let him stay and finish his mission! So that is exciting! He said president asked him to suggest a missionary for my next companion and he is considering it very seriously! Haha! 

We had 2 baptisms this week. Was going to be 3 but one girl needs to prepare a little more. But the 2 baptisms were great! I think they will stay firm in the gospel. Since Elder Capello only has one arm I am having to pick up a lot of slack - like ironing his shirts and washing all the dishes.. He is loving it.... But it also means that I get to baptize everyone so I'm not complaining! 

This week the older gentleman I mentioned last week will get married and then we will baptize him on Saturday.

It seems like a lot more exciting stuff happened this week but I can't think of it so whatever.

I read a story this week about not letting your torch go out. There is a sport somewhere where each team gets a lit torch and they have to go around a track and pass it off to other teammates like a relay thing. But the winner isn't who finishes first, but who finishes with their torch still lit. A lot of times we start new goals and are really excited at first and do really good, but gradually we start to fall behind and lose interest in our goal. For example, I am less motivated to study Portuguese now because I'm finally starting to get it, but i have SO much more to learn. It is so important that we continue to improve throughout our whole lives and endure to the end. When Nephi and his family were on the ship coming to the Americas they knew where to steer it because of the Liahona. But once Laman and Lemuel tied up Nephi, it stopped working and a storm came and pushed the boat back for 3 days. The Liahona worked off of faith and diligence. We see a lot of times with people who have been members for a long time they think they know enough and can rest from studying the scriptures and what not. We can never stop. Because when we stop being diligent in our church duties and callings, we don't just stay still, but we do like the ship did and go back. We lose progress when we stop. Nothing in this world is more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Never stop! Enduring to the end isn't easy, but its not supposed to be. When we make a goal, we have to stay excited and determined about it. And the Lord will always help us!

Love yall!

Elder Green

This is a crazy shirtless guy we see every day so we decided to get a picture with him!

Elder Capello's arm hurts a little if we walk too much so we've been flagging down vehicles and catching rides!!

Clay looking through the stuff from his Christmas box - which he opened before Thanksgiving...

Baptismal service where lots of people came!

Fruit lifting is cooler than weight lifting

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 15 - From Obidos to Santarém and back!


So we are here a little early today. It has been a very eventful week. I received an envelope package with pictures and candy and a big box with the scriptures and football. So that was great! Thanks! 

The week went by very fast. We left Tuesday night for Santarém and arrived Wednesday morning. I went to the doctor with Elder Capello and it was just like a typical doctors office. We were in the waiting room for HOURS! But afterward we went back to the zone leaders house. There are 4 missionaries living there and we did a split with the missionaries in our district. I went with Elder S Olivera (everyone calls him Salvador. haha!!) He is super cool and I really like their area. It was a tough day because no one was home but we made a lot of contacts and I learned a lot from him. We had 6 missionaries in the house so you can imagine how crowded it was when we returned that night! 

Thursday was zone p-day so the whole zone came and we had a zone meeting that morning then p-day. We played basketball and ate lunch and it was cool. But here is the bad news. Elder Capello fell against a concrete wall and broke his wrist. He went to the doctor in Santarém with Elder Galindo and I went on a split with Elder S Leite. We weren't sure how bad it was but when they returned he had a sling on and they said he had to see another doctor. So we stayed that night. The next day I went on another split with Elder S Leite and Elder Capello went to a bigger doctor. They decided that he broke his wrist and would have to stay in Santarém for a little bit so Elder S Leite would return with me to Óbidos. But the boat had already left by the time we got everything figured out so we were stuck there another night. We finally arrived here in Óbidos Saturday afternoon and ran around like crazy trying to confirm with our investigators about church on Sunday. Elder S Leite doesn't know the area at all so I was kind of the senior companion for a little bit until he figured it out! But we are having good success here. Elder Capello plans to return to Óbidos at the end of this week.

Also when we arrived in Óbidos, our electricity had been cut off! We didn't pay the bill yet but thought we had time. So our refrigerator smells terrible and we are without light. And most importantly, without a fan!! But we talked to our neighbor and ran some extension cords so we at least had a fan. But we will pay it today and get it all fixed.

We had two new investigators at church on Sunday! It is two young women. One has a child and smokes tobacco. But she is really excited about the gospel and said she will stop smoking. So please pray for her! If all goes well with our other investigators we will have 3 baptisms this week.

Then the weddings are still on schedule and if all that works out we will have 2 legally married couples this week and 3 baptisms the next week!

We had a cool experience last night. We went to an investigator's house who will be baptized this week but she wasn't there. She lives close to our house and we don't have anyone else close by to teach and it was only 8 o clock. So as we were walking I stopped at a house and clapped, and clapped. No one was there. But the neighbor came out and I asked for some water (the best way to start a contact). He brought some and an extra liter for us to carry with us. We asked if we could share a message with him and his wife and they said ok. 

They are very young. Only married for 1 year (LEGALLY MARRIED!) and don't have kids yet. I couldn't believe how great they are. They paid close attention and understood the entire lesson! We think she even almost cried after the 1st vision. They said they visit tons of churches and pray every day that God will show them the way they should live and raise their future kids. These are his words, "We always pray that God will show us the way, and now you two missionaries are here. I will pray about your message, and I really hope it is true." They also asked very good questions. After the lesson the lady asked, "After I pray, how can receive an answer and know it is true?" Me and elder S Leite looked at each other like, this can't be real! Afterward we basically ran down the street we were so excited! It was crazy. Truly a blessing and inspiration. I hope they continue to progress! 

So that is pretty much it for this week. Lots of ups and downs but I can't help but be happy when I am teaching the Gospel. Joshua 1:9. The Lord is always with us and will help us in our challenges and give us spiritual experiences. Always have faith in Him! Hesitation or fear is the opposite of faith! Don't fear! It was hard for me at first to speak with people because I don't speak the language well and some people are scary. But now I will talk to anyone, anywhere about the Gospel. 

The rewards God has promised are greater than any persecution we may have here on earth. I love yall!

  Elder Green


We have seen so much growth in all areas from Clay that sometimes we forget he's barely eighteen. This email exchange between him and his four-year-old niece reminded me...

Email from Scarlett to Clay - 
Did you get the package with dog treats? I sent those in grams package for the dogs. I do love dogs I taught beau how to do some tricks. Oh I hope all those dogs aren't dead already on the road that's why I sent those treats for the almost dead dogs. Do good on your mission.
Love Scarlett

Clay's response - 
Thanks for the email Scarlett! Yes I got the dog treats and I will start to give them to the dogs. I actually saw 2 dead dogs yesterday on the same street! It was basically just bones left! Thanks for the email! Love you! 
Elder Green

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 14 - Weddings in Obidos!!!


So this week is a little different. We have a zone meeting on Thursday in Santarem and we are going to have a zone p-day there as well. So today isn't our p-day but we still are allowed to email. We leave Tuesday night on the boat for Santarém and arrive Wednesday morning. Elder Capello has to go to the doctor there and the guy could only see him on Wednesday. So that's why we have to go a day early. We will most likely do a split with the zone leaders there on Wednesday and stay the night with them. Then we'll be ready for the zone meeting on Thursday. So that will be fun! I am always down for an adventure. 

And the next week we will go to Óriximina for the marriage of an older man and his wife. It is cheaper there and we can get the marriage certificate on the same day where as in Óbidos it takes a long time and is expensive. The man's wife has been a member since the church first started here in Óbidos 18 years ago. She was baptized by the first missionary here, Elder Wilson. He is American and everyone talks about him. He is basically famous here. He came back for the dedication of the new chapel a few months ago so that was cool. The older couple doesn't have much money so Elder Wilson is paying for the marriage. The husband has been coming to church every Sunday for 3 years. Very firm. But he can't be baptized until they are legally married. It has taken us a while to help them get that all worked out but they did and he will be baptized!! So thats cool! 

We will also go back to Santarém next week because the President will be there with one of the counselors in the Brazil Area Presidency - Elder Mazzagardi! So that is special. A lot of traveling these next couple of weeks. I love it!

We had a very special experience/miracle yesterday. The missionaries have been teaching a family for 7 months - a young man and a young woman and their 8 month child. (A very fat child.. seriously I have never seen such a big baby. its crazy) The man is the brother of a very strong member. The couple has been firm in their desire to be baptized the whole time the missionaries have been teaching them. But there were a couple of problems standing in the way. First they aren't legally married and second the young woman was only 15. Her birthday was November 3rd so the plan was for them to get married and then be baptized. That was the plan all this time. The man was out of town all week but we visited the girl a few times and she was very excited. We had to do all the paper work for the marriage so it could be sent to the zone leaders in Santarem because they travel to Belem this week for training. Then they will give it to other missionaries in a city where you can marry a minor without both of the parents present (since her father lives far away). So it was quite the process. We would get the signature of her mom who lives in Óbidos. Everything was set. The girl and her mom were very excited all week. Then on Saturday we went to see them. The man  was asleep because he was very tired so we didn't get to talk to him. But the girl was really sad. She said they weren't getting married anymore because they are too young for marriage. We were very confused. They are already parents and for 7 months they have worked with the missionaries and seemed anxious to get married. And now she just acted like it was all over - no marriage and no baptism. When we left we were very confused. The devil really waited till the last hour to step in and mess things up. 

We said a prayer right outside their house and many more that night trying to decide what to do. Finally we decided we needed to go to their house on Sunday morning and see what was up. We got the man's brother who is a member and has a car to drive us to their house. The man came out and we briefly explained what had happened the night before. He said he was very tired when he got home and said some things he shouldn't have said but he was better now. So we said let's go to church! It was 9 o clock at that time but we said it was ok if we were late. So they all got ready and came to church. Gospel Principles class just so happened to be about Eternal Marriage. Coincidence? I think not! After church we didn't ask them about their marriage plans but said we would come visit them later. That night we brought the bishop and his wife- who was 16 when they got married. It was one of the best lessons I've had yet. The bishop told his conversion story and afterward they were both excited to be married. But we had to have all the paperwork and money sent that night because the zone leaders left today. So we got the brother to drive us to the girl's moms house so she could sign the paperwork. They don't have any money so the brother paid for the whole fee. Then we went to the boat and sent it off! It all worked so perfectly. We fasted and we prayed, and the Lord softened their hearts and made things work out. It may not sound like much but it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. 

We also taught an English class at the church and we found an English teacher at a school. So this morning we went and taught English to 2 of her classes. Its funny because she's teaching English but she doesn't speak hardly any English! We were thankful for the opportunity though!

That's about it for today. I love all of yall!

Elder Green

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 13 - Fishers of Men and Fishers of Fish in Obidos!!


Thanks everyone for all the emails! I love reading emails more than I like typing them but I'll try to make this interesting. Looks like all of yall had fun for Halloween. I asked some people if they did Halloween in Brazil and they all said yes. But we were out on Halloween and nothing was different... I love all the pictures! Those pictures of baby John bout killed me! Elder Capello liked the picture of the Farrer boys because he loves BYU! Haha! And the Power Rangers didn't surprise me one bit! And Avery did look pretty terrified in that picture of Abbie!

To answer Mom's questions - yes we have a washing machine in our house, but no dryer. We just hang our clothes on the line. My shoes are doing better than I expected but I will need some new ones soon. I think I will have to buy them in Santarem - when my debit card comes. I spent all my cash before I left the MTC but the money the church gives me is sufficient for my daily needs.

So here we go with one of the best weeks yet. So our lunches this week were awesome. They all had TONS of good food!!! And it rained a lot this week - I mean like big thunderstorms. It was pretty intense with heavy winds that blew sand up into our eyes but it was nice to get rid of the sun for a little while. 

I had a very humbling experience this week: There are some very difficult places to walk here - huge hills of just sand and big ole rocks. So we were walking in these hills and we stopped at a house on the side of one big hill and talked to this lady. She has 7 little kids. The oldest is 12 and the rest are very young. Their father doesn't live with them anymore and she can't work because she has all those kids. So they are very poor. Her dad helps them a little bit but it is still difficult. They only have one chair so when we returned to teach them she sat in the chair, Elder Capello sat on a big rock and I sat on the dirt. I didn't mind, but it really made me more thankful for the things I have. Then the lady and all her 7 kids showed up to Church on Sunday so that was awesome! I know this Gospel can make her family so much happier and I really hope she continues to progress. 

So here is another highlight of this week. We got permission from the Mission President to go fishing with the men in the ward. So we got up way early on Saturday and met them at the church. There was a bunch of us so we all got on the back of a big truck. The path we took was for cars and motorcycles only - but they said it was fine. It was crazy! We were literally in the jungle on a little path and the dude who was driving went so fast that trees were whacking us from the side! We kept having to stop to clear the path so we could fit through! Like I said - crazy! But it was definitely an adventure I will never forget! Then we fished and then we cooked what we caught on a little fire and ate them straight up. They didn't cut the fish or anything. You just have to be careful not to eat the ribs!! It was pretty legit. And it wasn't fishing with a rod and reel either. We had old bottles and cans with a string wrapped around it and a hook on the end. And also some nets that they would throw in and catch a lot at one time. Definitely an adventure!

And to make the day even more awesome - when we got back we had 2 baptisms. It was a really good meeting and a lot of people showed up! It was a great week!

I absolutely love it here. The language is a lot better and I am learning so much. I know that this Gospel is true. This Church is Christ's Church re-established through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I have no doubts about that. It makes me so sad when people here don't listen to our message or - after they listen they decide not to be baptized just because they don't want to change. We are here to change. The Atonement of Jesus Christ IS change! We should strive to change for the better every day. 

Well, that's it for today. I love yall and thanks again for the emails!

    Elder Green
Adventures in the Jungle!!!

The only fish I caught but I can now say that I have fished in the Amazon River!!

And the fish we ate!!

Sunburned Missionary Feet

And lunch we had one day this week

Me eating some famous acai!