Elder Clay Green

Elder Clay Green

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 25 - First Week in Cabanagem!

Chapel in Cabanagem

The streets after it rained


I am glad everyhting is going good at home. So yes I'm in Cabanagem now. I left Óbidos last Monday night. It was pretty sad. We went around and said goodbye to everyone. The bishops wife made me a big ole chocolate cake! Probably the best thing i have eaten since i have been here. 

So we caught a boat on Monday night with all my bags and what not. That wasn't very fun. But there was a member waiting for us in Santarém and he took us 4 missionaries that got transfered to the airport. We then caught a 2 hour plane to Belém. There was a taxi waiting for us and he took me straight to Cabanagem. I met up with Elder B. Silva there and we went to work. He is super cool. He is super crazy but really diligent. His old companion is my brother. (Elder Capello trained him as well and he is finishing up his mission). When I arrived their group of investigators was pretty small. But we worked our tails off this week and picked up 10 or so new investigators in 4 days. And we are doing a family night at the bishops house tonight and they have 5 references for us there. So we are doing pretty good already! 

Even though I'm a lot closer to Belem I am not exactly in a big city. The roads are still sand for the most part. But the people here are very receptive and everyone knows the missionaries. The Ward is big here. 2 elders and 2 sisters. It is wierd having 2 sisters in the same ward as us because I am used to being the only ones in the whole city! But I am adjusting. There is a member here who got back from his mission about 2 months ago and said he had a companion from Alabama. Elder Campbell. Turns out Brandon Campbell (one of Mikes kids) was his companion. Crazy that a member here in Cabanagem was companions with my cousin! But it is a really good ward.

We were looking through the area book this week and found a guy from 2011 in there. He has already been taught everything but didn't get baptized because his dad didn't allow it but now he is 21. Turns out the missionary that taught him was Elder Andrus. The same guy from that YouTube video that mom watched 100 times before I left! So we visited him and he was super excited to see us. We talked a little bit about the Restoration and he still remembers almost all of it. He is going to school and said he recieved a call from a school in a different city that wanted him to attend there. It was a great opportunity but he said he really felt like he needed to stay here for some reason, and then, after 4 years, we knocked on his door. It was really cool hearing him talk about how he wants to start going to church again and what not. We are teaching him now. 

We had a broadcast this week. A training done by the church for all the missionaries in the world. A few apostles spoke and trained. It was really good. I was really pumped up afterward. 

But really thats about all for this week. Nothing too exciting. I am still learning the area and we are having success. 

I will pass by the church later and send some pictures using the wifi. The internet is good here but this computer is wierd!

Thanks for the emails! Love yall! 

Elder Green

Monday, January 18, 2016



To begin, I am super pumped up right now after reading all the emails about Alabama winning the National Championship! My companion thinks I am crazy, but he just doesn't understand... 

So we had a good week here in Obidos. We have found a few really good families we are working with. There is this one lady we have been teaching and she is 19 years old. Her husband is 20 (but they aren't legally married). He works everyday from 6 am until 9 pm so we have only taught him once, but we've taught her bunch of times and she is definitely receiving answers to her prayers. She keeps all the commitments and doesn't let anyone touch her Book of Mormon because she doesn't want it to get messed up. We taught her this past week, all we did was read 3 Nephi 11 with her and she was crying during the whole lesson. She was hesitant about getting married at first but now its all she wants to do. Her husband is really good as well. They have a little girl and really liked church on Sunday. We gave them the papers to get married and they said they will fill them out. So that's good!! We taught this lady's sister for a couple of weeks but she is running from us now. So that stinks.

We had a little miracle this week. We were sitting in our house studying and our lights got shut off. We went outside and the guy said we have 2 months of unpaid bills so he cut our electricity... We went to the place and paid both months and the lady said they will turn it back on in 24 hours. As you know it is really hot here and trying to sleep without a fan isn't fun, and we can't even open windows because there are these bugs that come out only around this time of year but there are thousands of them - literally everywhere. They almost cancelled an activity at church because there were so many of those bugs. So we left the electricity payment place and worked that day, and as we were walking back home we were dreading having to sleep in the heat. So we stopped on the side of the road and prayed - and repented for procrastinating the payment of our bills - and asked the Lord to help us be able to rest comfortably. And you better believe we got home that night and our electricity was on and working just fine. A little miracle for the week.

So a funny story. We were eating lunch at a members house on Saturday, and it is very common that if a child is less than 3 years old he will be butt naked. This member has 3 kids and the youngest is always naked. So we were sitting there eating and this little naked baby is running around the house and then he stopped, and pooped right there on the floor. His mom sent him outside and went to get a towel to clean it up, but sure enough he came back in the house and stepped right in his own poop. It was funny because me and my companion both went "OHHHHHH!!" at the same time. So that's a little funny story.

We ate lunch yesterday with a really good family, and the man wanted to show us a cool trick. He said if you lock you hands, and put a normal egg in between your hands with both points of the egg on your palms, you can squeeze as hard as you can but it won't break. I thought it was crazy, but my companion tried and he was trying so hard but literally couldn't break it. So then I tried. I started squeezing slowly but it didn't break. So I squeezed a little harder, and a little harder, and it wasn't breaking. So then I gave it everything I got. And after about 3 seconds you better believe that thing busted and splattered all over us. Oh they thought it was so funny I was covered in egg. But they were also very impressed because they said I'm the first one they have ever seen do it! 

So transfers. We got the call Sunday morning and I am being transferred to zone Cabanagem, area Cabanagem. That is close to Belém. 30 or 40 minutes from Belém. We will get a boat tonight back to Santarém, and my plane leaves at 10 am tomorrow. I have a lot of mixed feelings. I want to meet new people and what not, but I love Óbidos. We visited all the members to tell them I was leaving and they were pretty sad as well. Today is p-day when we usually don't eat with members but one of the members invited us to his house and did a big ole goodbye barbecue for me. But it is what it is. I am really excited for my new adventure. My new companion will be Elder B. Silva, and Elder S. Oliveira will train here in Óbidos. 

But that's about it for this week. Sorry no pictures again. Maybe the internet will be better in Cabanagem and I can send you some from there next week!

Love yall and hope yall have a good week. 

Elder Green

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 23 - Just say NO to fish in Obidos!


So this week was good. But it started off a little stinky. Tuesday we had lunch at the Ward Mission Leaders house. He called us in the morning and asked us if we eat fish. I have eaten fish a few times since I got to Obidos and my stomach handled it alright but the last time I ate it I got a little sick so I heisitated to answer him. But I didn't want to be rude and I didn't get too sick last time so I said ok. We got there and ate fish and rice. He kept putting more and more on my plate and I tried to eat it all. But after I got through about half of my plate I started feeling a little strange and literally could not eat any more. He seemed a little irritated with me because I didn't eat all of it but I just couldn't. 

So we left there and I started feeling a little better. We taught a family around 4 o clock and it hit me during the lesson. My stomach started hurting really bad. After the lesson we went to the bishops house and I drank some water hoping to settle my stomach. The 1st counselor to the bishop lives right next door and there was a bunch of members there just chillin, including the women who made the fish for lunch. We started walking over there and it hit me hard. Thank goodness the roads are just sand and bushes because I threw up in some bushes right in front of the bishops house - and right in front of the members. So that was embarrassing but the members gave me some medicine and all and I felt better. It was a memorable experience! And now I can say that I threw up in front of the bishops house! And Óbidos is a small town so the word spread and now all the members know not to make fish for the missionaries!

There is a member here who has lots of kids, I think he has 11. And all but one of his sons served missions and are active in the church, but he has 12 grandkids living with him here in Óbidos. He doesn't have much money and their house is very humble, but they are really good. He has an 18 year old son who has lots of problems. He can't talk very well - he mostly just screams really loud, but he understands what people are saying and everything. He loves the missionaries. The one word you can understand him say is "Elder". He gets so excited everytime he sees us and just starts screaming and smiling huge! At church and at activities he always hangs around with us, so I have gotten to be pretty good friends with him. I was a little uncomfortable with him at first but now I get sad if he isn't at church! He is always smiling and he is just fun to be around. We went by their house to pick up a reference they have for us, and the dad said he has been looking all day but no pharmacy has his son's medicine. He said without his medicine he doesn't understand people, and he can't walk by himself or he'll fall down. But when his son heard that we were there he came walking out smiling. The dad was telling us how bad it gets sometimes when he doesn't have his medicine and we could definitely tell. It was really sad. But we gave him a blessing and they said that he is doing a lot better now. 

The 2nd counselor in the bishopric moved this week. They moved to Manaus. Actually just his family went, he is here for a couple more weeks for his job and then he will go. But we helped them move on Thursday. They had a lot of heavy stuff and they are traveling by boat so we had to load all that stuff up, drive to the boat place, and load it all in the boat. I was sweating like crazy. Literally soaking wet, but it was good we got to help them and do a little bit of service.

We had a baptism ceremony this week, but no baptism... A lady in the ward has a daughter that just turned 8. Her husband isn't a member and she is trying really hard to help her daughter stay firm in the church. The girl is a baptism for the ward so we really didn't even need to be involved, but the mom really wanted us to help. So we went to their house 2 times in the past couple of weeks. We taught the girl the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and told her about baptism and how it will be and what not. We even helped and organized the whole baptism service. We had tons of people there and the girl brought a bunch of non member freinds. And we had cake, it was a super good meeting. The girl wanted the bishop to baptize her, so he was there and everything was ready. 

But when it was time for the actual baptism, the girl refused to get in the water. Everyone was watching, including lots of nonmembers. Apparently she has a terrible fear of water and they have to force her to take showers. So after 40 minutes of people trying to help her, and the bishop even did an example baptism with his daughter (He didnt say a prayer or anything, just put her in the water.. I still don't know if that is allowed or not, but anyway he did it). And it was all for nothing because the girl still would not touch the water. There was a non members that said, "Just grab her and throw her in there!" We explained that we can't force a person to get baptized and we don't want her to remember her baptism as the most traumatic experience of her life. Another non member said, "Just splash a little bit of water on her head!" My forehead was red from smacking myself after all the crazy things people said that day. But she definitely did not get baptized. Some people seemed annoyed with her but you can't get angry with a little 8 year old who is terrified of water. So we ate cake and everthing and it still turned out to be fun.

We had a bunch of people set to go to church on Sunday - 10 people firm and 8 possibles. We did a division with 2 young men in the ward so we could pass all the houses. I went to a house with 4 people who were firm to come to church. But 1 of them was sick and another wasn't at home, so we brought 2 and 1 kid I had never seen before - so 3. We went to another house where two young men live. They said they wanted to come to church but their mom is really against the church and gets angry when they talk about it so they didn't know if she would allow them to go. So we went there, me and a youth who doesn't talk. We called and called and waited for them, and eventually, the mom came out. She met us at the fence and said she will not allow her kids to go to because she wants them to go to another church. I talked with her for about 5 minutes or so and just when I thought she had changed her mind, she said "Sorry, but they're not going to your church". Then she walked inside and slammed the door! So we didn't get all of our people there but the ones who came really liked the meetings.

Well thats about it! I hope yall all had a good week! I will try to send some pictures using our neighbor's wifi tonight. Love yall! And ROLL TIDE!!!!!

Elder Green

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 22 - Welcome 2016 in Obidos


So this was a good week. We have some good investigators so we taught a lot this week. There is an 8 year old boy that we have been teaching because he has been coming to church with a friend  and a lot of his cousins are members. But he is very difficult to teach. I don't think he is in school yet so he doesn't read and he doesn't understand a lot of things we say. So we taught him and his mom and one lesson we taught them was the Word of Wisdom. He doesn't have any problems with that since he's only 8 but he said when he turns 18 he will smoke cigarettes like his dad... His mom told him that smoking is really bad and that his dad is crazy and shouldn't be a role model.. So that was interesting but effective and our 8 year old investigator gave up future smoking...

Anyway I thought a lot about that this week. Here you have an 8 year old boy, parents are separated, his mom is a little crazy and apparently his dad is too. No one put him in school so he is a little behind, and he is counting down the days until he turns 18 so he can smoke like his dad. I started thinking about how important a parent's example really is. Because he is too young to realize that his parents aren't setting the best examples - he just wants to do what they do. And he definitely isn't the only kid like that. It really makes me work harder and want to be a better future father. And it makes me really thank the Lord for the family I have and the situation I grew up in. But anyway the lessons all went well and we baptized him on Saturday!

We finally got a ward mission leader and he was a member less active so this calling will hopefully help him as well as us. So the batismal font gets really dirty during the week - lots of bugs and stuff. And it is a little inconvenient to try and clean the font real fast on Saturday morning before the baptism. So we planned with the new ward mission leader to go on Wednesday morning and clean it. And it was DIRTY. Lots of bugs and lots of stuff on the wall. Pretty sick, but we cleaned it real good and it was perfect when we left. But there are these little black bugs that apparently only come out during this part of the year. They are literally EVERYWHERE. And when we came on Saturday the baptismal font was full of them! So that was great. But we got them cleaned out again!!

We had a New Years party here at the church on Thursday night. In the U.S. fireworks are a big thing on New Years, but here they are a big thing everyday. Apparently the people here think fireworks are really awesome because they are going off constantly. So that wasn't really a big thing on New Years. But most of the people in Óbidos celebrate by getting as drunk as possible, men wearing womens clothes, and doing all kinds of crazy things. Pretty much a day for Satan, so we stayed safe in the church. And guess how many lessons we taught on Thursday and Friday... 1! But we talked with a few drunk men who wanted to hear a word about God. One of them said he has an angel in his house right now, and the other straight up bore his testimony of how he knows that the Mormon church is true! But he for sure has never been... We were laughing the whole time but we invited them both to church on Sunday. 

The New Years activity at church was cool - lots of people and lots of food. The members here decorated the church all cool and everything. We got permission to stay until midnight so that was nice. It was kind of slow for a few hours until it hit midnight. Then everyone went crazy - playing music and dancing and hugging and saying Happy New Year and what not. So that was fun. But we had to leave at midnight so we missed out on a lot of the fun. But apparently the members stayed there until 5 am!!!

On Friday most of Obidos was hungover so we weren't able to make contact with hardly anybody. We got invited to lunch at the same members house who did a big lunch for Christmas and that was super fun. They had this chalk stuff that they were throwing on everybody to celebrate and that was getting a little out of hand, but they had lots of good food and stuff to do there. We were some of the last people to eat and when we went to get food, there were no clean plates left. I already told yall that the people here treat everyone like family and part of that is that they share the same dishes and cups and what not. So when I saw there were no clean dishes I just used the bishops plate once he finished eating. Nope, I didn't wash it or anything, I just put some food on it and ate. I never would have done that before my mission! 

They had another activity Friday night. Everyone was at the church playing volleyball. And since we weren't able to teach anyone the zone leaders said we could play too. But as soon as we got permission they took down the net and started playing soccer! And Mission Rule number 1 is that we can't play soccer. So we were bummed out about that. Brazilians love to play soccer!

We had 3 baptisms on Saturday but only two were for us, One was a baptism for the ward, but we baptised him because his mom wanted us to. So it was really good. The church was an absolute mess because no one cleaned it after the New Years activities but they came right before the baptism and cleaned it and the baptisms were good. Everyone was happy!

Well that is about it. I had a good week and i hope all of yall did too! I have about 100 pictures to send but the internet here isn't good enough to send them. So next week we'll go to a cyber and I'll send them from there. Love yall.

Elder Green