Elder Clay Green

Elder Clay Green

Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 43 - Reaching goals in Cabanagem!!!

They all bought t-shirts and designed the logo - then a sister in the ward 
put it on the shirts for them! District Cabanagem!

So this was a good week! We got a lot of stuff done and met a lot of new people. We have been really praying and fasting as we are looking for new people to teach. We know that the Lord has people here for us to teach and we are doing everything we can think of to find them! Tuesday night as we were walking the street, this guy came running up to us and freaked me out a little. He tried to shake my hand but I was suspicious about him so I didn't shake his hand. But then he told us that he is a member in a different ward. He was baptized in our ward and his mom still lives in our area. She isn't a member so he introduced us to her and we marked a day to go back and teach her. We left the Restoration pamphlet with her and she read the whole thing! She enjoyed the message and went to church yesterday all by herself and she has already accepted a baptism date!! I have a really good feeling about her. Truly the Lord blesses us when we do our part! So that was 1 little miracle we saw this week. 

We were tired of knocking doors all day and not finding anyone with potential. So we prayed real hard that the Lord would guide us to the people that will accept us. And the first 3 houses we knocked this week, the people let us in and listened to our message. We were able to find 12 new investigators this week! We were very thankful.

So it was transfers last week and one of our zone leaders went home and my old district leader got bumped into being our new zone leader in Cabanagem. And I got bumped into being the new district leader. It is a lot more responsibility than what I was used to but I am very thankful and excited for the opportunity I have to help the other missionaries the best I can. Our district is just 3 pairs. Me and my companion, and 1 pair of sisters and 1 of elders. I got the call on Wednesday and Thursday I had to travel to the elders area and do an interview for their baptism. Friday I had to go to the other district leaders area and interview their baptism. So it was a real busy week!

In April our zone reached our goal for baptisms and we had a wonderful dinner in the presidents house. Now it is almost the end of May and this past week we were 5 baptisms short of our goal. But we fasted and prayed everyday for the people we have in our zone that were possibilities for baptism last Saturday. And on Saturday, our zone baptized 5 people!!! And we will be heading back to the presidents house for another delicious dinner! I learn so much from the missionaries in our zone, I am really so thankful for the time I have had to be in the Zona Cabanagem.

So that was about it for this week. I am absolutely loving my mission. Especially this area. What a privilege it is to serve the Lord everyday and see the Spirit work in my own life and in the lives of those we teach.

Love yall!
Elder Green

An excerpt from Elder Steindorf's email for the week (he wrote to his family in Portuguese so this translation is thanks to Google Translate - and is not completely accurate - but it's fun to see another perspective on the same week!):

This week it was really cool, we teach a lot of people, and we get new investigators. We want many baptisms this month of June. Our area hit the target again in the month of may so some day we'll have dinner again in the house of the president, monthly visit there lol my companion is leader of district now, which means that he is in charge of taking care, besides us, Two more doubles of missionaries of our area, and he does the baptismal interview of their investigators. Holiday in the mission is like normal day in the mission, the difference is that it is more difficult to find people in the house because the people like to go out. Thursday, Friday and Saturday we went to other areas to do interviews. We work hard.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 42 - Six More Weeks in Cabanagem!

 Selfie Clay took with a ward member's camera when he was supposed to be taking pictures of the sister missionary who was being transferred!

 Clay wearing Bishop Carvalho's work shirt that might be his now...

Zone Cabanagem May 2016

Cabanagem Ward Elders' Quorum 

Clay and Elder Steindorf with Felipe Monteiro 
who just received his mission call!


So this week was pretty good. It had a lot of ups and downs.

So at the beginning of the week we had 2 people we were preparing to be baptized. We talked to one of them on Tuesday and she was super excited for her baptism. Then Wednesday was a very hard day for us. I am not sure what happened Tuesday night. We think one of her friends said some negative stuff about the Church and made her rethink the whole baptism thing. Because we went back Wednesday and she had completely changed. She said she doesn't want to be baptized. We were so sad. It is so disappointing because even though she is only 15 years old she already has a lot of difficulties with the commandments. But when she learned about the gospel she really started changing and she stopped doing some of the things she used to do. But she gave up at the last second. She could have changed her life forever but she chose a different path. Of course we will not give up on her, but it will be a lot harder now. So that was sad. And on the same day we went to see the other possabilidade for baptism and she also gave up. Her mom thinks that she needs to know more and prepare better before she gets baptized. Satan worked hard against us this week.

So we had transfers this past week and I will stay another 6 weeks in Cabanagem! After this transfer I will have 6 months here. To be honest I was expecting to leave. I have been here for a while and we finished Elder Steindorf´s training so I thought they would let him have the experience of another companion. But we both stayed and we are glad. We know the Lord still has work for the two of us here in this area. There are also 2 sisters in the ward here, and one of them was transferred and we will receive an American sister. So that's cool! I am super excited to stay here another transfer. It will be really sad when I leave, the members here say I have been here so long I am basically a member of the ward now!

So me and my companion have a lot of goals for these next few weeks. Our investigator list is small so we will really have to pray and trust the Lord to help us find "those who are being prepared to receive the restored gospel". It is exciting!

I love my mission! I cant think of a place I´d rather be than here in Belém! 

Love yall!

Elder Green

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 41 - Baptizing, Teaching and Learning in Cabanagem!

The baptism of Luan's mom!

Farmer's tan is an understatement! It looks like he's wearing 
a white collared shirt under his jumpsuit!

Either pensive or tired of having his picture taken...

The traditional after-baptism pizza celebration!


So this was a good week for us. I finally got better and was able to work normally.

On Monday I was feeling pretty sick, but we HAD to teach 1 person that was going to be baptized on Saturday. So I said a little prayer and I made it through. My companion had to do most of the talking but it was a good lesson. We got back to our apartment Monday night and I was feeling real bad. I went to bed and fell asleep without taking my medicine. But I woke up Tuesday morning feeling normal. They told me to take that medicine for 7 days but I felt better once I stopped taking the medicine so I was afraid to take it again. And I've been feeling fine.

Tuesday afternoon we took a little trip to the Mission Presidents house with the rest of our zone and ate some of the best lasagna I have ever eaten. We will have to start reaching our goal every month! While we were at the presidents house he told us that the mission will only be receiving 1 missionary this next transfer... Poor kid. He will be arriving here all alone! And 7 missionaries are leaving. The next transfer we are receiving 7 new missionaries and 14 are leaving.. So our mission is going to get small! 

We did another exchange on Wednesday. I went to Castanheira with Elder Gann again. It was good! We did a lot of walking that day. They just recently moved into a new house that is super nice. They are living there with 2 other missionaries. And one of the other missionaries is Elder Bartoski - a Brazilian elder I roomed with for a couple of weeks in the CTM! It was nice to see him and actually be able to talk to him. 

So do yall remember Luan? He was baptized 3 weeks ago and already received the Priesthood. He is super good! He is always at the church activities and is wanting to serve a mission! This Saturday was super special because we have been teaching his mom and she was baptized on Saturday. When we did the exchange on Wednesday so that she could be interviewed, my district leader called and said she chose me to baptize her. I asked if she knew that Luan could baptize her and he said he didn't know... Obviously it would be way more special if her son got to baptize his mom so I wasn't planning on baptizing her (which is why I'm wearing a jumpsuit in the pictures instead of my own white clothes). We didn't get to talk to her before Saturday but we just expected that Luan would come to his moms baptism and if he didn't know already we would tell him that he could do it. But a member in the ward who has made good friends with Luan took him to Institute... I know he was just trying to help and didn't realize Luan would miss his moms baptism. But anyway Luans mom showed up to the church all by herself on Saturday. We tried to call Luan to get him to leave Institute and come to the church but no one answered. So he didn't get to baptize his mom but it still was a really special meeting and a great experience to see this little family accept the gospel.

I am learning so much here. I absolutely LOVE the people here in Belém. They live a simple life but they are always happy. It is an honor to be able to serve these people and the Lord. I wake up every day determined to try my hardest to make someone's day better, to strengthen someone's testimony. But after 9 months I have realized that these people are helping me way more than I am helping them. My mission is passing so fast it is ridiculous. It feels like yesterday I arrived, and today I am here, and tomorrow I will be returning home.  But I have lots of work to do here and lots to learn!

Love yall!!

Elder Green

Dinner at the Mission Home

Clay and Elder Hall

Clay and Elder Varela

Clay and Elder Case

Clay and Elder D. Santos

Clay's trainer Elder Capello's thumbprint on the Mission Farewell Tree

Clay pretending to play piano...

Volleyball in the rain...

Game Faces

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 40- Fasting in Cabanagem!

                Eating Acai and getting blue teeth.


So this week was good. It was nice to Skype with all of you yesterday! The internet connection was a lot better so I could actually see yall this time! I enjoyed it! It was nice to see all the kids and I even got to meet a new niece! Everyone is getting so big! It doesn't feel like I have been out all that long. Just think, next time I talk to yall on mothers day I´ll be getting ready to come home!

So I told yall that I was pretty sick this past week and it hasn't really passed yet. My stomach is hurting me pretty bad right now. I hope it goes away soon. Friday we went to the doctor to find out what is going on with me. They said it was nothing serious - probably just something I ate. They gave me a couple of shots and said I'd be better soon. So our week wasn't the best as far as numbers because we had 2 days that I wasn't able to do anything!

So we have been really trying to find new people to teach. We have been praying real hard that the Lord will put in our way the people who are prepared to receive us. So we decided to do a fast this week. The whole week! We fasted Tuesday after lunch until lunch on Wednesday. We ended that fast, ate lunch then started another fast. We only did 2 days because I got sick on Thursday. But the cool part is, we found 2 people in those 2 days that we fasted and they both have potential to be baptized this month! Blessings of fasting! 

Our zone met our baptismal goals for last month so we are invited to the mission home for dinner. I hope I feel good enough to eat by then! I've lost some weight since I've been sick and that's good because I was getting fat.

Well that's really about it for this week.


Love yall!

Elder Green

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Call - 2016

Note from Betsy - We got to talk to Elder Green today. The missionaries (2 elders and 2 sisters) went to the Bishop's house for dinner and then took turns Skyping with their families. The connection was good and we had a wonderful visit. It was hard to say goodbye but we have pleasant memories of his smiling face to pull us through until Christmas!

Clay and the Bishop watching from the couch while
Elder Steindorf talked to his family!

Now it's Clay's turn - the poor Bishop is still monitoring from the couch - 
Elder Steindorf took the other couch to the left

Visiting with family members in Idaho and Mississippi using the iPad

Clay talking to his nephew John (2)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week 39 - Goals and Traditions in Cabanagem!

Clay and Elder Steindorf at their baptism last week.

Cabanagem tradition - celebrating with pizza!


So this week was pretty good. Nothing really exciting happened. A guy in the ward went out with us on Tuesday. He was the companion of our cousin Elder Campbell from Alabama who served in São Paulo. So that was pretty cool! A kid in the ward here got his mission call last week. He will go to Salvador Sul. He was super excited. He was only baptized a year ago so it is really good that he is going on a mission. Another kid in the ward will get his mission call this week!

So we had a baptism pretty firm for the 7th of May. All she needed was 1 more Sunday at church. We had it all planned out that she was going to be at church. But she called the Bishop's wife Saturday night and said she wasn't sure she was ready for baptism. We didn't figure that out until Sunday when she didn't come to church. So that was really sad. But we will talk to her this week and hopefully she will be baptized soon.

So here in Cabanagem we have a tradition. We have a little place across the street from our house that sells pizza and hamburgers and what not. So every time we have a baptism we buy a pizza, and everyday that we teach more than 6 lessons we buy a X-BACON. So this past week we didn't eat pizza but we ate a X-BACON. I still have those packs of Zaxbys sauce yall sent me so I decided to put a whole bunch on my X-BACON. It was literally the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. I don't know how I didn't have a heart attack afterward, but it was so good.

We had a really good testimony meeting yesterday. It wasn't the best day as far as bringing investigators to church, but the meeting was good. It is really really frustrating when we literally confirm with all of our investigators every day of the week about church on Sunday. Then Sunday comes, and everyone has an excuse. But it is our goal to improve this. We will keep working and it will get better!

I don't have a set time yet for our Mothers Day call. I will be at the bishops house. If Skype doesn't work his wife said we can do FaceTime. I don't know but we will figure it out! 

Mom asked for suggestions to put in my birthday package. A guy in my zone got a tape recorder thing from his mom in Mexico. It has a USB drive so he can record what he wants to say for the week. Then he sends the recording to his mom by email and she types it up for his family to see. I thought it was cool and doing that I could say more things in less time! It would be hard for me to find something like that here so if you think that is a good idea maybe you could send one. If you want. And deodorant! I haven't been using any for 3 months because I broke out in a rash using the deodorant here. And beef jerky and an Alabama shirt for my companion!

Something I have realized on my mission is the importance of the Holy Ghost. Nothing happens in missionary work without the Spirit. Actually, not much good happens in anything without the guidance of the Spirit. A constant relationship with the Spirit is something that we all want, but it is difficult to maintain. The glorious promise of the Sacrament allows us to "Always have the Spirit to be with us". When we have the Spirit, we receive promptings. And when we recieve promptings, we MUST act. As we act upon the promptings of the Spirit, we will gain the trust of the Lord and He will start to give us more promptings and responsibilities. As we begin receiving more revelation from God, our eyes will be open and we will be able to understand the will of the Father in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Mosiah 3:19 - Be as a child and always submit to the will of our Father, and we will recieve the blessings that are promised. 

Love yall! Talk to yall on Sunday!

Elder Green

Clay and Elder Gann cooling off in the heat!