Elder Clay Green

Elder Clay Green

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 38 - Baptism, Electricity, and a little sickness in Cabanagem

Pictures from this week's baptism (thanks to Steffani Silva)


So this was a good week. Tuesday we got our power turned back on. SO that was great. 5 days without power in Belém is quite difficult. 

We did another exchange on Wednesday. I went and stayed with Elder Gann again. It was funny because when I went I had already made up my mind that I wouldn't speak English with him. But he's more comfortable with English so it's hard to resist. But he is a cool guy. 

So we had another baptism this week. He has 17 years and has lots of friends in the church. He is super cool. My companion Elder Steindorf baptized him and it was a really special meeting. We had a girl firm to be baptized this week but she didn't come to church on Sunday so we will have to wait another week to baptize her. 

This email will be short because I don't have much time and I have been a little sick. Yesterday as we were planning our week, I started feeling a little weird. Then we went to the church for a few meetings and I started feeling real bad! I had a super bad fever going on in the middle of the ward counsel meeting! But the members there took care of me and gave me some medicine and what not. The fever passed but I still have a headache. But its all good!

So next week I will write a better email.

Love yall!

Elder Green

Thanks to Cleo Raiol Caravalho for 
feeding these boys AND taking pictures!!

Sick boy :(

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 37 - Miracles Continue in Cabanagem

        Clay drinking 'Mr. Green' soda.

Clay and Elder Steindorf celebrating their baptism with pizza and more soda - but without electricity (and it doesn't look like he's doing too well with cutting down on soft drinks!)


So this week was good. We have seen lots of miracles lately and had more this week. 

SO we have been praying real hard to find people to teach that are prepared to receive the gospel and be baptized. There are always people prepared to receive the Gospel and be baptized. Sometimes they just don't know it until they hear it. That is why we have to talk with everyone. 

So Tuesday we were walking down the street thinking about some slight possibilities for baptism on the 23rd. We started teaching a woman and during the lesson a member passed by and asked us to come to her house when we were through. So after the lesson we went to her house and she took us to this kid who has 17 years. He went to general conference and our last baptism meeting... We taught the Restoration and challenged him to be baptized. He accepted and is very excited for his baptism on the 23rd! It was crazy that as we were trying to find these prepared people, this reference dropped out of the sky. We truly are seeing blessings!!

So we did another exchange this week. I went back and stayed with Elder Gann for a day and a half. He is super cool but we speak lots of English and it is hard for me to switch back and forth between languages. But we had lots of fun.

So a few weeks ago a lady came by our house and left 4 papers talking about light bills we haven't paid. Two of them were from October and November. We weren't even here then - the other missionaries that were here didn't pay it. We sent them to the mission office but somehow they weren't paid and Friday our electricity got shut off.. So this weekend was quite the experience. Hopefully they will turn it on today or sometime this week.

We had a baptism this week. The lady we have been teaching who didn't want to change churches but changed her mind after General Conference was baptized. Her son got to baptize her and it was a very special meeting. It was was almost a disaster because we got to the church to clean the font and what not, and when we went to turn on the water nothing came out... We got real nervous real quick. But there is a solution for everything. So we ran the emergency fire hose into the room and filled up the font like that. It was pretty sweet. 

We like to celebrate all of our baptisms. So we bought some good pizza Saturday night and ate it in our dark, hot house. But we still enjoyed it a lot!!

It is quite difficult to walk in these roads because there is a lot of construction going on. All of the roads are dirt with lots of pot holes and now they will put asphalt down. But as they are preparing to do that, the roads are terrible. And it rains everyday so it is just mud. We were walking down the road one day and had to avoid this huge hole in the middle of the road. So I went on one side of the road and my companion went on the other side. As I was about to get through all the bad mud, my companion screamed for me to help him. So I had to go back around this hole to help him get out of this mud. He took a wrong step and sunk in about to his shin in mud.. I had to pull him out, which was even more difficult because I was laughing so hard. So that was fun!!

That's about it for this week. We are seeing tons of blessings in our work. I know this is the Lord's work and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Love yall!
Elder Green

There is a solution for everything - Clay filling the baptismal font with the emergency fire hose...

Clay and Elder Steindorf with their baptism and her son!

Clay and his 'signature drink' with Sister Anunciacao

Clay and Elder Gann

Elder Steindorf dealing with the mud.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 36 - The work goes on in Cabanagem

Clay and Elder Steindorf at their baptism last Saturday!

"Aqui tem Milagre!" means Here's the miracle!!


So we found out about transfers yesterday and me and my companion are staying here! We were happy to hear that because we are just starting to get things rolling in the area.

We had a really good zone meeting on Wednesday. We talked a lot about the importance of spiritual experiences. Since that meeting me and my companion have recognized at least 1 experience every day! They are always happening, we just have to look for them.

After the meeting, we did an exchange so our district leader could interview our 2 people who were going to be baptized. So he stayed with Elder Steindorf and I got to go to his area for a day and a half. His companion is American and just arrived in the mission so he doesn't speak much Portuguese. But he sure loved having me there so we could talk in English. I haven't had a real conversation in English in quite a while so that was fun. I enjoyed staying with him. I learned a lot and I think I was able to help him some too. 

So we have been teaching this lady for a while. Her son is a member but she was very firm in her other church and didn't have any desire to change. But we have been working with her and little things have been happening to help her receive an answer about the church. She finally decided to be baptized, but wasn't very firm. Her husband doesn't want her to be baptized because he wants her to go to church with him. But we took her to conference last week and afterward she said that she will be baptized on the 16th no matter what. She said, "I already made my decision. I know this church is true and I can't deny the answer I received. I won't change my mind." That was a really special moment for us. The same woman who just a few days ago couldn't commit is now willing to be baptized into the true church! But we don't want to cause trouble with her husband so we will start teaching him and baptize him too! :) So that was one cool experience we had this week.

We had two baptisms on Saturday. We have been teaching one lady for 3 months and finally she was baptized. The other lady was a reference that we taught for 2 weeks and she was ready to be baptized. It was a wonderful day for them and for us.

So another experience: We were walking down the street with a member last week and a man walked past us on the other side of the street. The member said, "That guy is really good, he was taught by the missionaries 4 years ago and really wanted to be baptized, but the missionary that taught him was transferred and after that his mom didn't allow the baptism. His name is John Baptist." Weird right. So we decided to pass by his house the next week and talk to him. But then on Sunday, a missionary that served here in 2011 returned to visit the ward. Guess who it was? The same missionary who taught John Baptist! So after church, we went to John's house and he wasn't  there, but his mom remembered the old missionary and was super excited! She said John still talks about the missionaries and he hasn't forgotten about the church. So we marked a day to go back this week and talk with them. It was super cool - the whole thing!

We have been studying a lot lately about faithful prayer. Prayer is essential in missionary work. If we don't pray right we won't have the Spirit, and if we don't have the Spirit then we won't convert and baptize people. Prayer is a conversation with the Lord. We are literally talking with a real person. The Creator of the universe. Prayer shouldn't be taken lightly. Prayer is something very sacred that we should prepare to do throughout the day. If we pray with faith, God will hear us and help us. Once me and my companion realized this and started praying more faithfully, we have had more experiences like the ones I have shared here. Prayer is a great privilege. So we should make the most of it!

That's all for this week!

Love yall!

Elder Green

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 35 - Conference in Cabanagem/TEMPLO BRASIL BELEM!!!!!

Clay drinking that delicious Brazilian soda!

                          Serious in his suit...

Admiring his supplies from home

                     Clay and Elder Steindorf at a special baptism!


So this was a good week. Tuesday we went to the mission office for interviews. My companion had 2 boxes and I had 1 so we have tons of stuff in our house! But the difficult part was returning to our area on a bus full of people with 3 big boxes!! But the interview with the president was really good. He always is looking for ways he can help us. 

Wednesday we went to our district meeting and no one had the right key to the chapel.. So the whole zone went to our chapel in Cabanagem and we had a super good meeting. This week was very special because the Prophet and the Apostles were going to speak to all of us. So we did a few practices on how we could invite people to conference in a contact on the road. The only problem here is that conference isn't broadcast to every chapel, only the Stake Center. So it is more difficult to take investigators to conference especially since none of our investigators have a car so we have to find a ride for them or they have to catch a bus!

This week me and my companion Elder Steindorf had a cool experience. We didn't have many investigators, so we decided to focus on that. We have a map of our area in our house. So we both said a prayer and picked 5 roads in our area and didn't show each other. After we both picked 5 roads we compared them and had 2 roads in common!! So we went to one of them that day and got 4 new investigators in one day! It was a cool experience for us and this next week we will go and hit the other road!

I greatly enjoyed conference. All the talks were really good and our investigators especially liked the music. I was excited to hear Elder Mazzagardi speak (Clay interviewed with him at a Zone Mtg in Santarem). We got to watch all of the sessions. When President Monson went to announce the new temples I had a feeling he was going to say Belém. And boy when he said Belém you should have seen that chapel. Everyone literally went nuts! Clapping and everything! But after about 2 seconds it was like we all realized that we were in church and got quiet. I got to thinking about it and they have a right to be excited. At home we have a temple 30 minutes away and people can visit every week - every day if they want to. The closest temple to the members here is days away by bus and it isn't easy or cheap to go. There are members here that have been very firm in the church for years and have only gone to the temple one time because of the distance and expense. They are SO happy to be getting a temple of their own that they can attend often. And I think they deserve it! I will definitely return here after my mission for the dedication!

We have a few good investigators we are working with. We are teaching this one lady and she is a little crazy but very excited about her baptism. She has a little problem with coffee, but we taught her the Word of Wisdom and bought some cevada for her. Then we did a trade. We gave her the cevada and she gave us all her coffee! So she is progressing. We also have 2 other women we are teaching. They all went to conference and are progressing well. 

So I hate to say this but I have started to develop a little gut. And to think that when I arrived here I had a 6 pack!! ;) I think it is because of all the soda the people drink here. The soda we have here is totally different than the soda in the U.S. and it is so good! But I have made a goal that I will only drink soda one day per week. And we will start running every morning. We ran for about 2 minutes today and we about died.. I literally have not run in 8 months. But we will stick with it and get better. Soon maybe we can make it 3 minutes.

The new shoes are good. We got rained on the other day so they are soaking wet but I left them in the house to dry.  You can send the brown shoes I left at home if you want and then I'll have an extra pair to rotate!

That's about it for this week. I will try to send some pictures later! Love yall!!

Elder Green