Elder Clay Green

Elder Clay Green

Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 51 - Goals and blistered hands in Marambaia

Service opportunity!


So this was a good week! We really worked hard this week and got a lot of things done. We ate lunch 3 times in our house this week. Sometimes the members can't make food for us so they give us money and we buy our own food. So we did that 3 times! It was cool.

So we have been struggling a little bit this month. Haven't really found good investigators but we have been working super hard. I've never really liked goals and numbers when doing missionary work. I felt like when we made goals to get this many contacts or lessons we were treating God's children like numbers and sort of working for the wrong reasons. But this week I learned the importance of goals. We make goals for the key indicators in preach my gospel. These key indicators are inspired by God to help prepare people for baptism. If we have good numbers for the key indicators, we will have more baptisms. We work hard to fulfill our goals because we know that reaching our goals will help God's children. After 1 year I finally realized that. And we worked super hard this week to reach all of our goals. We were running around like crazy at 8 o'clock at night trying to reach all of our goals before the end of the day, and we saw the results. We were able to bring 4 people to church yesterday and 3 of our investigators are progressing very well. We really saw the blessings of setting and achieving goals this week.

It's summer break here and everyone is traveling on the weekends so it is really hard to bring people to church. Last week out district brought 1 person to church - 4 areas only brought 1 person!!! So we made goals and plans as a district this week and did LOTS of fasting and praying. And yesterday, the district brought 10 people to church! We can always do better, but I sure love seeing progress!

We are teaching one guy who loves to talk. He really talks a lot, but he is super smart. He has been to lots of churches and tells us everything he sees wrong with them and how things should be. And then when we tell him about our Church everything kind of clicks with him! We are also teaching a 15 year old young man. He has already been taught by some other missionaries. We had a really spiritual lesson with him and he is reading and praying and going to church - really searching for an answer. 

We taught a lady 2 weeks ago. She listened to the message because she "never rejects a word of God" but she didn't seem very interested. Two Saturdays ago we went back and she hadn't read or prayed. We tried to mark another day to come back and she said only Saturdays. We almost took her off the teaching list because she wasn't showing much interest or putting forth any effort. But Saturday we passed by just to see how she was, and she was waiting for us. During the week she read the pamphlet we left with her and prayed and felt she received an answer. She asked for a Book of Mormon and we gave her one. She even cried during the lesson. She said she has lots of little pamphlets in her house from other churches but she never had a desire to read any of them. But when we taught her the Restoration, she felt a huge desire to read and pray. It was one of the best lessons I have had on my mission. To literally see a person change so much in 1 week because she read and prayed. We saw lots of blessing like that this week.

Saturday, we were walking on the street at like 2 o'clock and a member stopped us. She said she needed some help at her house. We went to help thinking it would be a little project... We got there and saw a mountain of dirt in the road. They are doing work on their house and were throwing all this dirt inside to make a new floor. Just the lady and her husband and their 2 teenage daughters hauling all that dirt. So we started helping and finally finished about 7:30 Saturday night. My entire body is sore and I have blisters all on my hands! But it was good to help them. And they fed us.

Thats about all that happened this week, love yall!!


Tired after moving dirt!

Lunch appointment last week!

They stopped by a birthday party and left with a gift!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 50 - Movie Night in Marambaia

Clay with Sister Zanella and Sister Antunes


So this was a good week. It was pretty normal. We had an exchange Wednesday. Elder Nickels came to our area with my companion and I went to Belém. I got to spend 1 day in the mission office with the secretaries. We were stuck inside a lot but we got to go out and work a good bit. It was a good exchange.

We have a few good investigators here. It is really hard to bring people to church because everyone is out of school for this month and EVERYONE is travelling. So it is a little annoying not being able to take people to church but its ok. We have a few really good people we are teaching and I think they have potential.

I ate subway 2 times last week. I never thought Subway would make me homesick but when I walked in there I literally thought I was back home. Everything looked the exact same as the Subway where I worked. The smell and everything. And the country music they were playing also didn't help. And it is super expensive here. What would be like 6 dollars at home was 33 reais. But it was still good.

Saturday we had an activity at the church - maybe the first ward activity in the history of this ward. We had a movie night. Only 10 people showed up but it was still good. We watched the Prince of Egypt. It has been so long since I watched that movie but it is pretty much my favorite. Everyone loved it.

And Socorro got baptized! You remember the lady from Cabanagem we were supposed to baptize right before we got transferred but she got sick and had to go to the hospital for a few days? The sisters have been working with her and we are so glad she got baptized! 

Thats about it for this week. Sorry this is short and that I didn't take any pictures. But a lady in the ward did and she said she'd post some. 

Love Yall

Elder Green

The sisters with Socorro who just got baptized!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 49 - Mission Meeting and reunion with CTM Group in Marambaia

 Most of the missionaries in the Belem Mission

 Clay talking to Pres. Stasevskas

 Clay with Elder Hall (and another missionary - can't read his nametag!)

 Clay with some elders

 Clay with some sisters

Clay with his two Cabanagem companions - Elder Steindorf and Elder B. Silva

 Part of Clay's CTM group

Clay with his CTM companion Elder Black - this is the first time they have seen each other since they arrived at the Mission Home last September


So this week was good. We are still working hard and looking for new people to teach. We had a conference this week with all the zones in the grande Belém. I was asked to talk about chapter 11 of preach my gospel, "Cumprir Compromissos" (Fulfilling Commitments). It was only 15 minutes but I hope it was good. I got to see Elder Black for the first time since the MTC! It was super cool. He is so skinny! I took a few pictures but I forgot to bring my camera here to send them! I got to see my whole group and 3 of my 4 companions. 

Serving a mission is great but it is not easy. The sisters in our district had a baptism super firm this past week. His interview was good and he was ready. But Saturday, satan worked a lot with his family and they started telling him a lot of negative stuff about the church. So when the sisters went to get him for the baptism he gave up and said he didn't want to be baptized anymore. We all have experiences like that and I can't help but be frustrated when it happens. A person just lost a chance at salvation because they gave up on the path that would lead them there. I have to ask myself if there was something more I could have done to help that person have more faith. Why couldn't he see past the lies and see how perfect this gospel is and the blessings he was about to receive? We know that everyone has their agency and we just have to do our best to help them, and in the end, its their decision. But it still makes me sick when these kind of experiences happen. Especially when someone comes so close. But the work goes on!! And maybe someday he will change his mind.

We are teaching a family! We were knocking doors and found a family who is already married!! They are really good. We just have to bring them to church. It is difficult to bring people to church here because you have to take 2 buses or walk a whole lot. But we will find a way!

We do this thing here in the ward called the "Mini CTM". Its where we teach the youth all about missionary work and the lessons and everything. The idea is to help them be missionaries now and develop a desire to go on a mission. And hopefully when they go on a mission they will be well prepared and super powerful!!! We do it every Sunday and I like it a lot. I think it is something that would benefit anyone before a mission! I even taught English for 30 minutes!

So thats about it for this week. Love Yall!
Elder Green


Excerpt from Elder Steindorf's email for this week - 

We're getting along well here in Marambaia. It is a most difficult place to work because the chapel is far from the neighborhood. Wednesday we had a meeting of all areas near Belem. It was very special with inspired talks and training. Elder Green gave one. Friday night there was a blackout in the entire neighborhood - all were without light. We had to walk back to our house in the dark and the people who seemed kind in the light looked sinister. And it didn't help that we had to pass in front of the cemetery hahaha. On Sunday I spoke here in the ward. Here they have an activity called Mini CTM. Every Sunday afternoon we missionaries teach young people how to prepare for a mission or just share the gospel. It was pretty cool.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 48 - Turning 19 in Marambaia


So this was a good week. The door of our house here isn´t very good. Its like rusty or something because it is super hard to turn the key to lock or unlock. So Thursday night we got to the house and I was trying to unlock the door and it wasn't working. Eventually, the part of the door that you put the key in broke. Not the key, but a little piece inside the door. So we weren't able to unlock the door. So we went to a window that doesn't lock and tried to get in that way, but we had arranged a piece of wood on the inside to keep the window from opening. So there was no way to get in. Eventually we talked to our neighbor and he gave us a knife. We were able to slip the knife in the little slit of the window and knock the piece of wood out of there. So since then we have been getting in and out of our house from the window... And once we got in the house, we didn't have light!! The other elders didn't pay the bill and they cut our energy off!! Talk about annoying. So we had to sleep without a fan or anything. But the next day we went and printed off the 2 bills that were late then called the electricity people. But they said there are 3 unpaid bills and we have to pay the 3 before they will turn it back on!! But the 3rd bill wasn't on the website. So we had to travel to their office and get the 3rd bill and pay the 3. But luckily they turned on our lights on Friday.

So we had our first Zone Meeting with the zone Entrocamento. It was cool. 

My birthday was Sunday and it was a really good day! We went to church for the first time in our new ward. The members are very supportive so we are thinking of ideas and activities we can do to strengthen the ward and help missionary work. After church we had a very good lunch. Then we went to our house and did our weekly planning. And then we went to the house of a member here in the ward for dinner. It was the same member me and my companion ate with a couple of weeks ago with the zone leaders when we came to their area to do a baptismal interview for them. They had a huge cake and pizza and a ton of stuff and it was super good! So we stayed there for a little while. Then we went to the house of the secretary of the ward and we had a little meeting with him to plan a few things. He gave us food as well. So we were already eating a ton. So then the phone rings and it was another member. He was like 'Elder are you going to come to my house? We said today that you would pass by'. So I said okay we'd try to pass by. At this point it was already 7:30 and it was really far to his house. So we took off and we made it to his house about 8:30. He did lasagna that was really good and Cleo (bishop's wife from Cabanagem) went to his house too and she made a cake for us. She brought her son Thomas so we had a good little time there! Then we came back to our house and that's about it for my great birthday!

We are working hard here in Marambaia. The members are really good. It might take a couple of weeks but we will have lots of success here.

Thats all I have for this week. Love yall!!

Elder Green

Excerpt from Elder Steindorf's email this week - 

Hi mom are you okay? Around here we're doing well. This week was good. We were very well received by the ward in Marambaia. It's one of the oldest wards since the church has arrived in Belem. Monday we had lunch in the house of this brother (in picture above). It was pday and we did not know anything about the area still. We were in the middle of the street looking like tourists when he saw us. We explained that we were new to the ward and he took us to lunch at his house. He knows Robson (friend of Elder Steindorf's brother Lucas) and Rulian (son of a member of their home ward). We live in a set of apartments, it's a tidy little house. Yesterday was the birthday of my companion and a sister here did a lot of things - cake, mousse, pudding, pizza and sweets. It was very good. Then we went in the house of Igor, a return Missionary. Cleo (wife of the bishop of my previous area) combined with him and was there last night to surprise us with a cake. She also gave us pretty cool shirts. The previous missionaries from this area left 3 people to be taught. We spent a little time just getting to know the neighborhood, the members, and looking for people to teach. Well, I'm liking it here. Lunches in the mission are always good. Everyone tries to give the best for the missionaries. Just imagine back home when you would make lunch for the missionaries we always had a few special things. If I keep eating like this every day I'm going back home on a freighter plane. hahaha. Thursday we will have a meeting with all the missionaries who are serving in the great Belem area. That should be fun!