Thursday, September 29, 2011

September 28, 2011 - Letter from the Mission President

Dear Parents,
We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.
They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.
The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.
Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”
Please accept our love,
President Donald L Clark and Sister Zaza Clark

September 27, 2011

Dear Family,
Yes, Elder Sherrill is pretty sad I'm leaving but he has a cool new companion from our District named Elder Heath. And Elder Sherrill keeps saying he believes we get our visas based on our readiness so he thinks i am ready or something to go to Brazil. I don't know if I am language wise but hopefully I will learn faster when I get there. I sent you my first sim card from my camera. There aren't too many pics on it but I figured you would want some before I left and it would be cheaper to send to you while I was still in America.
   They actually took the sign down that was in front of the MTC... I'm not sure why and my whole district was pretty bummed. But I think I have some in there in front of the Provo Temple that may work. 
  Well I said all my good-bye's to my teachers and to Shawna. It was pretty sad but I have all their addresses and stuff so I can write to them.
  I don't think I have 12 pounds of books lol, and that may be because I didn't get all the books I was supposed to. They run out of Portuguese books here all the time. But also I am trying to put most of the heavy stuff in my carry on. oh, I'm still using that tiny backpack that is like falling apart. I borrowed some duct tape from one of the Elders in my District (Elder Heath I think, or Elder Cornwell) and taped up all the places that were starting to rip. I think it would be fun to try and take it with me on my whole mission and see how long it will last and how many repairs I will need to make to it. Of course, I still don't want to look like a Bum walking around with a backpack falling apart so I'm sure eventually I'll need to replace it.
  From now on I think it will be cheaper just to send me emails and dear elders cuz just a normal letter to Brazil takes like $0.98 which is three stamps. And that is just 1oz. Or I hear you can buy international stamps but those would cost the same I'm sure. Once I get down there I will figure out if I can send mine through the church for cheaper or if it's the same for me and let you know.
   Well, my time on the computer is about up. Tell everyone I love them all!! And thanks Mom and Dad, for everything you have done for me in helping me get ready for my mission, and all the time and money you have put into this. Until next time I can email you.
             Love Always,
                                 Elder Daniel Bent Baldwin

Daniel's MTC Experience

We have someone known as a progressive investigator who is really a teacher but she pretends to be an investigator with different needs and such. Elder Sherrill (my companion, Jesse) and I have to teach her entirely in Portuguese, so it is very difficult. We had our third lesson with her last night, and taught her a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. We were the third group to go and pretty much everyone before us had challenged her to baptism and she had accepted.So Elder Sherrill and I were pretty confidant when we challenged her to baptism...until she said no. We challenged her as the last part of our lesson, so we were completely done. We had prepared nothing else to say to her or anything, and with what little we know of the language if you don't prepare what you are gonna say then you don't say it.It wasn't until she said no, however, that I began to feel the Spirit. The Spirit told me not to give up, not to accept no for an answer, so I had to call upon all of my Portuguese that I knew to teach her. So for the next 15 minutes I talked with her in Portuguese that I had to pull out of my brain somewhere. The Spirit definitely helped me find things to say because I am pretty sure i did not know how to say half the stuff that was coming out of my mouth. But I bore my testimony to her about my baptism and explained to her a little more about what Baptism was. When I bore my testimony the Spirit entered so strong that she actually began to tear up.I felt prompted again to ask her to be prepared to be baptized and she accepted the second time. This has been the first time Elder Sherrill and I really felt like missionaries,and it felt amazing.