Friday, November 27, 2015

Last Week in the MTC!

Hola amigos!

Western Scrub Jay (Yes I still like bird watching!)

 This week has been really eventful, especially since it has been my last week in the MTC. I got my flight plans last Friday and I am beginning my journey to Argentina this coming Monday early in the morning! I am the only one going to Resistencia, but fortunately, I will be on the same flight as my companion and 16 other missionaries going to his mission of Rosario. We will travel to the Atlanta airport from 2:20 PM to 7:54 PM, then travel to the Buenos Aries Argentina airport from 9:01 PM to 9:10 AM. What a night that will be! I will probably try to call home during my layover in Atlanta or before I leave Utah. After I get to Argentina, I have no idea how I will get to my mission, but I trust both that my mission president will send someone to get me, and that the ride back will take most of Tuesday. Wow!
Diana (one of our practice investigators of the MTC), me, and my companion.
We have spent a lot of time preparing to our departures. We concluded all of our investigator lessons, which was sad to me because teaching is my favorite thing to do here. The cool thing was that we taught our last lessons as if we would be teaching again soon. It's cool because it shows we have trust for the missionaries that will replace us in the field. We are all on the same team, Jesus Christ's team, so investigators are often taught by many different sets of missionaries.
My Companion with Hermano Myers (AKA Lucas); he has a sock and tie match.
I've been busy as Zone leader. We get to interview all of the District leaders about how their districts are doing and plan all of the meetings for our Zone. It's so great to be doing so much good work.
We got to teach a member through Skype who lives in Columbia. She served in the same mission in which I will soon be serving! Her father doesn't go to church, which makes her sad. We invited her to invite her father to pray. Some of the most powerful experiences I have had have come through prayer. It's really cool being a missionary because it gives me an excuse to be fearless. I know though, that being a member of Jesus Christ's restored church on the earth should be excuse enough to be fearless. I invite each of you to invite someone you know to pray and ask God if He is there and if He loves them. I testify that they will receive an answer, even if it doesn't come right away. Know that after you make this invitation, it is up to them to accept or reject your invitation.
Our district with Hermana Ellison (AKA Sandra) with our favorite names for the Savior.
In other news, we went to the temple on Tuesday, probably for the last time in two years. Temples are holy buildings in which we make promises with God and receive blessings. We can also do essential work, such as baptism, in the place of those who have died without the opportunity to do this work for themselves. This means that through temples, people can still be saved even if they didn't have a chance to be baptized. God is so merciful! I will miss going to the temple.
Just yesterday, the MTC missionaries packed nearly 358,000 meals for hungry children throughout Utah. I got to lead a table of missionaries in the packing process which was so much fun! I love to help other people!
Elder Oaks, a modern-day Apostle of Jesus Christ, spoke to us yesterday about the importance of being grateful for everything God gives us, even the trials of our lives, because those trials bring us closer to Him and help us grow. In another meeting themed on Thanksgiving thanks, missionaries shared talents with us, including piano playing, yodeling, organ playing, and even rubber ducky sounds to the tune of "Rubber Ducky." I have no idea how that number made it in...
The coolest package ever from my family. I was ooh-ing for a good 10 minutes. Thanks so much! A missionary couldn't have a better gift!
I have felt the spirit countless times this week. If you want to feel God's love more in your life, you must pray with a humble heart, recognizing your weaknesses. You must be willing to repent, or ask forgiveness from God, and then change your life to live according to His will. I know this great change is only possible through Jesus Christ, who loves you personally. I promise that through repentance, you will feel His love.

Love you all!
Elder Cloward

P.S. - The next time I email, I will be in Argentina!

P.P.S - I accidentally left a read pencil in one of my white shirt pockets and that shirt is now pink. Why did it have to happen on the last week?!

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