Friday, December 25, 2015

¡Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas everyone! We have had another two weeks of much learning and many miracles.

First, some of the fun stuff. I bought some indoor "slippers" (Toms, I think they are called), or traditional Argentinian shoes for less than $8. I also got a potato peeler, which is so nice because before, I had to use a knife.

New Shoes

We have learned that whenever we get lost (sometimes even when we have the map) it is for a reason. One day, we were going to a specific investigator's home and some how passed it by 6 or 7 streets. We walked back by another way and saw another investigator that we had met a few days previous. We ended up setting up a member lesson with her (a lesson with a member of the church involved), which was amazing because it was our first set member lesson and both the member and the investigator were available at the same time the following day. God works through small miracles. Another day, we accidentally passed someone we had intended to teach and ended up teaching a different investigator who has relatives in the church and is more likely to receive Jesus Christ's teachings. We make plans for every day, but sometimes God uses our talent for getting lost to accomplish His purposes. It is both funny and humbling; a powerful testimony that this is His work, not ours.

Oops, I should probably get our of the road. However there is a siesta in Argentina that lasts for several ours in the middle of the day, otherwise, it would be really busy. Also, 9:00PM is the normal time for dinner. Pretty crazy!

This week was also a week of practice and listening. My Spanish is improving, though always much slower than I wish. I am able to teach more parts of the lessons now and Elder Takapu let me take charge of one of our lessons. I taught what I thought was an excellent lesson and shared my testimony. Then the lady we were teaching turned to my companion and said something to the effect of: "I don't understand him. What is he saying?" This is harder than I thought... I can understand a lot more than I can say at this point and just need more practice. I practice frequently with my companion and learn through the spirit every time. I am learning what it means to teach a lesson (bad), and teach through conversation with an investigator (very good). That's why in Spanish, we call it a charla (or chat) because we learn so much more through conversation than through lectures.

Buying Meat for the Asado. Mmmm!

The people in Argentina love to talk! And sometimes we can't get them to stop talking. It's great because we get to know who they are really well, but frustrating sometimes because we can't say anything back and have to interrupt them constantly if we want to say anything and cut them short when we have to leave. Its great practice for listening to Spanish, but I don't get many opportunities to speak. I know that God will help us in our individual trials. He knows each of us personally and wants to helps us. We just have to show Him that we are willing to work hard for His help.

Where we buy eggs and vegetables.

Christmas is a little different here, especially because it is so hot. Fortunately there have been a lot of clouds so it's only in the upper 80's. Last night, I couldn't sleep because there were so many fireworks right above our pension and it got really hot because the power went out in the city. Many stores and homes have small decorations, but as for Christmas traditions, I have heard that it is a special day to be with family, eat food, and watch a movie. As for whether there are many presents given, I'm not sure.

Our district and the zone leaders.

I am well and happy! On this special day, I get to talk to my family through Skype, which is really special because I only get to do that on Christmas and mother`s day. My parents will probably write how that goes below. I love my family and know that they are a blessing from God. My goal as a missionary is to share the happiness I have in my family with the people of Argentina so they can have this great joy in their lives as well.

My favorite bird here. It looks like a dinosaur and sounds so cool!

An Astronomy center in Villa Angela.

Cicada- yes, they are here too and as loud as ever.

Breakfast for the Zone. My companion is a great cook!

I know that Jesus Christ lives! He loves us and died for us so that we can change, repent, and return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I love them so much. I know that if we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we will live with our families with God forever!

You all are awesome!
Elder Cloward

1 comment:

  1. Hello elder, I am the woman that bought your Journal. It sounds like you've had an amazing Christmas in Argentina. Have you tried the empanadas Yet? I pretty figure you probably might have. May the new year 2016 bring you nothing but love and comfort and peace and more of a command of the language. Remember you will be given the gift of tongue and you will be able to speak to the people. I will hold you in my prayers in this area for you. Well I wish you a very late Merry Christmas and I wish you a wonderful new year. A new year filled with many many beautiful memories that you will be able to recall in your future and be able to smile about your relationship with your Father in heaven. Well Matthew, I hope the new year brings you peace and I hope you don't mind me writing to you every now and then and seeing your progress. Sister Pam