Monday, July 17, 2017

El Evangelio de Jesucristo

¡Feliz lunes a todos!

We worked a lot on finding new people this week and teaching the new people from last week. We are teaching Cristian, who has already come to church twice, about faith and it´s really cool to see his faith grow and our understanding grow together as we teach. We are praying that he will find his answer about the Book of Mormon. He didn't come to church again this week.

Grido with Elder Roberts!

We taught the Muñoz family again and it went fantastic! They are really receptive and willing to learn more. When we taught them about the first vision of Joseph Smith, they were a little surprised, but they want to know that it is true. We read a lot in the Bible with them and gave them more parts to read in the Book of Mormon. They have really good questions!

There are a lot of little miracles going on besides these, like that one of the members has two grandchildren that want to get baptized, that a man tried to get his work scheduled changed to stop working on Sunday after we invited him to church and promised blessings. We were guided after a prayer in the street to a less active family that had never accepted us to pass by. My companion and I gave talks after just 10 minutes notice. I shared about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel and Elder Roberts taught about charity in a clear and understandable Spanish. An older couple of investigators, the parents of the branch president´s wife received a wheel chair that they had been waiting a long time to receive. The father stood up in the pews right before sacrament meeting started and thanked everyone for their help so that he could again make it to church with his new wheel chair. He was so happy! What incredible miracles they were!

But most of the miracles, I feel, happened inside of me this week. I really feel like I am being polished, just as President Eyring said in the Liahona of this month. It is such a difficult experience in the moment, but it is so much better afterward. The peace after repentance is priceless and real! Don´t put off repentance. Pray and ask for forgiveness with a resolve to correct mistakes and go forward. Don´t hold on to the past, but pray for strength to keep going. Jesus Christ already suffered for the mistakes you have made. As you live the gospel of trust in Him (faith), change to be more like Him (repentance), and take of the sacrament each week to remember Him, you will be clean and have the peace of conscience described in Mosiah 4:3. I Invite you all this week to prayerfully consider of something you want to improve and ask in prayer for help to change it. As you do, you will find greater peace and excitement to continue, just as I did this week. Isn't the gospel just great?

¡Que sigan felices!
Elder Cloward

My shoes are a bit old now.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Invite!

¡Hola todos!

This past Saturday, we had the branch's Capilla Abierta or "Open Chapel." These past weeks, we have been inviting people to attend and we were really exited to see so many people who said they would go. Then, just before the event started, it rained and no one that we invited came. That was a little sad, but everyone that did go felt something special.

Capilla Abierta!
Elder Roberts and I got to dress in white and explain baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. He did a really good job explaining, even though he´s only been in Argentina for 4 weeks! Our part in the tour was very short and it was interesting to ponder the most important parts of baptism. I shared something like this:
"Welcome to the baptismal room! Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, who had authority from God to baptize. He was baptized going under the water and coming out of the water. We are baptized in the same way today. We are baptized to make a promise with God to keep His commandments and he washes us of our sins. Jesus taught, ´and no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom.´ When we are baptized, God opens the doors of the celestial kingdom so that we can live with Him again as we are obedient. After we are baptized, God promises us the gift of the Holy Ghost."

 The branch president's family and us.
From there, my companion explained the Holy Ghost. I am grateful for my baptism that gives me the chance to be clean of my mistakes every time I take the sacrament on Sunday. I find peace through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our zone at the Capilla Abierta.
This week we found several new people to teach. At the very end of the day, we decided to go down a street we didn't know. After talking to several people who weren't interested, we reached the end of the street. At the very end, there was a light in the last house. We clapped the home and a young man came out. We asked him "may we enter and say a prayer with your family?" They turned out to be a large family very similar to mine. They have three older boys and two younger daughters. We shared the Book of Mormon with them and each of the boys read a verse of Moroni´s invitation in Moroni 10:3-5. They are going to read it together and ask God to know that it is true. They, the family Muñoz, are a great happy family!

I am happy to be a missionary! I know that this is God´s work and as I do His will, putting my trust in Him and acting (faith), that everything will be the best. I know that the Holy Ghost is God´s messenger and that by him, not us, the people learn. I invite each of you this week to seek and follow the inspiration of the Holy Ghost as to which of your friends you can invite to learn from the missionaries. If you don´t know the missionaries, get to know them! As you do, you will find more joy in your blessings from God and will help others to have those great blessings.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward

That's a lot of trash!
Making empanadas.
Our new water heater! We don't have to shower with a bucket and a cup and heat water on the stove. Woohoo!











Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Without the Book of Mormon

¡Hola!

Elder Rossi and I got to the mission together.
We working a lot this week with several less active families to help them come back to church. We got to meet one man who haddn´t come to church in many years. The spirit testified very strongly to him about eternal families and without even inviting him, he told us that he wants to come back to church. It is so happy to me when the spirit teaches the people and they are ready to listen.

We have been teaching a young man named Cristian who has already come to church twice. He is learning a lot and has great questions. There aren´t very many young men his age in the church here, but we plan to teach him with a recent convert that is going to another branch. Please pray for him and that we will know how to help him.

Elder Roberts is a great companion. He is learning spanish really fast and is teaching more and more during the lessons. He often looks at me when he doesn´t remember a word and I smile at him urging him on. He has a powerful testimony and is really great at helping the people relate the doctrine to themselves. I am happy we can be a team.

Both Saenz Peňa zones on the way to the multi-zone conference.
I learned a lot about personal testimony this week. We had a multi-zone conference in which we were asked to share what we would lose if the Book of Mormon suddenly didn´t exist. It made me ponder my own testimony of the book. To me, it is the evidence that the priesthood was restored to the earth again. By this priesthood athority, my family is sealed together for now and after this life. We will be together forever! The Book of Mormon also teaches us where we go when we die. I know that my grandpa and great-grandma are still there and that that I will see them again. What great joy and confort that brings to me! It is important to remember our personal testimonies, not just the testimonies of others. This week, I shared mine! I invite each of you this week to answer this question for yourselves "What would I miss if the Book of Mormon didn´t exist?" The answer will help you find your personal testimonies. If you haven´t yet read the Book od Mormon, read it! It will bring your great peace and joy.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward

Elder Ruatta, one of our zone leaders.
This is how we wash clothes here. It's the best pension I have seen yet to wash clothes. Normally the buckets are smaller.

We went and bought alpargatas today. They are traditional Argentine shoes.

There were many options.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Excerise Your Faith

¡Hola!

It´s been a crazy week! We are working hard and there seems to be a lot of opposition in the work. Even still, God led us to find several amazing new families to teach who are looking for God in their lives. One family recently lost a son and another has a newborn daughter. The people are in really key moments in their lives and I pray that we will be able to help them see clearly.

We haven't been taking very many pictures, but we made a delicious chicken alfredo.

Three people went to church this past Sunday, all for the first time! That morning, we past by to walk together with one of them who wanted to go. He has so many problems in his life that it´s been hard knowing where to start to help him out. But as he sat in church, there was a noticeable change in him. He told us after the meeting "when are you going to visit me again? I´m going to have everything swept up when you come." We don´t make the change in them. The Holy Ghost helps them make the change in them as they begin to keep the commandments and live more righteously. A great example is King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon. Only when he prayed to God for forgiveness did he have the mighty change. It´s the same way for us. Only as we exercise our faith by living what we know with we receive the joy and peace we search for.

"And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them (Mosiah 4:10)."

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and the more I learn about it, the more I want to follow Jesus. My weekly challenge is that you each study a basic principle of the gospel such as faith, repentance, or one of the commandments and then set a goal to apply what you have learned. As you do, I promise that you will have greater peace and joy and will grow in knowledge of God.

"And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true (Mosiah 4:12)."

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward


I bought a really cool statue of an Argentine Gaucho (cowboy).

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Training!

¡Hola todos!

My companion took a picture of me!
This week has been soooo exciting, first waiting until Wednesday to know who my new companion would be, meeting him, and beginning to teach him everything I know from the start. His name is Elder Roberts and he is from Georgia. He did a lot of sports in high school, has a huge family, and is a hard worker. He has a fresh perspective that has enlivened the work here in Saenz Peña and in my mission. We have been learning a lot together about following the small promptings of the spirit as we find new people to teach. Just yesterday, we were walking in the cold to the next planned lesson and a man entering his house called out "¿que estan haciendo en el frío?" After asking what the man had said and understanding, my companion suggested we turn around and tell him. We went back and shared the Book of Mormon with the man, who didn't have very much time, but is searching for the truth in his life. I am so happy to be training a missionary that is ready to give his all. We will be working really hard these next few weeks!

There is a couple, the Diaz, that the missionaries have visited for over 20 years that finally this week decided to get married and be baptized. There are still several obstacles that are keeping them from doing it. Please pray for them!

Fathers day was a really special day for us. It made me so happy to be able to tell people "fathers day is the perfect day to show your love for your Father in Heaven and go to His house."

We like to eat! I'll have better pictures next week.
There was a member here that was super busy cleaning her house. We insisted in helping her clean and we got to help her clean mold that had started to grow on her ceiling. As we were there, she told us that she would be busy and might not be able to attend church. I shared that I had never done homework or school related projects on Sundays and that God blessed me to never have to turn in a late assignment. It made me so happy when she chose to go with her two daughters and put God first.

My invitation this week is to examine your daily habits and choose one that you want to replace for something better. For example, instead of reading Facebook posts, you could write letters of encouragement and love to your neighbors, friends, or relatives. As you choose to make better choices, I promise that God will help you see your potential as His son or daughter and you will feel closer to Him.

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward




Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Baptism and a Testimony

Hurray for another week in the best two years so far of my life! I know that God has a perfect plan for me, so as I do my very best to obey Him, everything that happens is what is best for me. That brings me joy. If only we could always step back a moment from every situation with gratitude and our end goal in mind, I know we would find more joy.

My old zone. We are each holding up the number of transfers we have in the mission. 17 is the max amount of transfers. I've got two more!
I have been assigned to train a new Elder in the mission. I am excited for the chance to guide another missionary in his first few steps of his mission. I am very likely to finish my mission as a trainer because I only have two transfers left. We will see what God has planned. It will be a lot easier to stay focused, that´s for sure!

Transfers. Elder Lundgreen was assigned to serve in the city of Resistencia. I will be training a new missionary in Saenz Peña!
While we wait for our new companions to arrive, Elder Butler and I enjoy our pizzas. Our companions get here today (Tuesday) and we get to meet them tomorrow (Wednesday)
Eduardo Perez was baptized this week! Last Monday, we asked him if he wanted to be baptized a week earlier than we had planned and he said yes! He was very prepared to follow God and it has been such a joy to watch him prepare to be baptized. He is exited to serve and is looking for more people we can teach, including many of his relatives and co-workers. From the beginning, he wanted to be baptized and is one of the most prepared people I have ever met that was ready to receive the gospel.

Eduardo Perez was baptized! We are so excited for him. He is super prepared to serve in God´s church.
All of the missionaries in our branch (4) got to give talks in the church service this past Sunday. I was the last one to talk and only had about five minutes to speak, but I talked about receiving a testimony of the Book of Mormon. As we read the Book of Mormon and apply what we learn, we learn of it´s truthfulness. However, we must also accept Moroni´s invitation to ask God in prayer if it is not true (Moroni 10:3-5) As we do, the spirit will confirm that it is true through feelings of peace and joy. I invite you just as I did last week, to strengthen your testimonies of the Book of Mormon and take the challenge of the living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, to read the Book of Mormon every day. As you do, you will find greater protection from the evils in the world and find greater peace and understanding.
We made pizza!
Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward






The Restoration

¡Hola todos!

This has been a great week. We did divisions with some of the other Elders in the district and I got to do a baptismal interview for one of the investigators in their area. I was happy to see his baptism in Saturday. Hermano Perez went to the baptism and to church this past Sunday. He is really excited for his baptism and we will see today if he will get baptized this week or next week. We are super exited for him!

I got to do the baptismal interview for this young man. It was exciting to be a part of his baptism! He goes to the other ward in Centro.
My companion and I have been a little sick this week, but we are doing much better. We have seem many miracles of protection this week from unexpected dangers and have also been guided to find several prepared families. One day, I felt impressed to contact a house in an area we in which we never had been. After clapping twice, no one was there. However, just as we were about to leave, a man walked by. "Elders!" He said. He and his family were members and had moved in to the house next door less than a week before. Latter, we passed by and we shared a scripture with the whole family. They are going to start going to the church again and have some relatives that could get baptized soon. I am happy to be a servant of God.

We play ping pong on p-days here.
I know that this church is God´s church on the earth. God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. The priesthood is restored. The Book of Mormon is true. It brings me peace and answers when I read it. I promise that as you read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true, he will answer you. This week, I invite all of you to read the Book of Mormon meditate in what you have read and then ask God if it is true. As you do, you will learn to appreciate the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love Him. I love His teachings!

I will be writing on Tuesday next week! We had a short transfer.

Have a happy week!

Elder Cloward