Thursday, January 28, 2016


¡Hola todos!

I am happy to be able to write home again. A lot has happened, though the week felt short. I am happy here in Argentina!
My companion playing the piano. He can`t play any hymns, but he`s still pretty good.
This week there was a satellite transmission for all missionaries. Six other missionaries came to Villa Ángela. We had a little time before the transmission, so we split up to serve even more people in our areas. It was really neat to lead another missionary around the area. When it came time for the meeting, we got to watch about 15-20 minutes of it and then the power went out. Apparently it was a mission wide power out. While we waited for it to come back, we sang hymns about light (Noche de luzJesús es mi luz, y Hazme andar en la luz). It was really silly, but I felt the peace and happiness of the messages we were singing. Song is such a joy!
The power came back, but only long enough to go back out again, but it was okay. I learned a lot from our songs.
Right afterward, we had divisions, which means that missionaries with leadership positions split with us. I got to go with another missionary to his area and learn from him. I learned more of how we need to talk with all that we see and not walk past. I also learned about truly loving the people we serve and desiring to help them.
In the last family I visited with him, all of the children were members, but the parents were not. We shared a breif scripture and a few laughs. Finally at the end, my companion asked, "Do you have anything to add Elder Cloward?" "No," I said. But as I looked at them, I saw my own family and how happy this family would be with the full gospel of Jesus Christ. "Your family is amazing! You are why I came on my mission, to teach the gospel to families so they can have the joy and happiness I have in my family." I know that families can be together forever!
As we were leaving, the father called us back. He thought that I was the other missionary`s companion and that he would see me again. But because I was leaving, he gave us 100 pesos, $10, to buy ice cream. We ended up buying a kilo of ice cream, which I couldn't eat very much of and my companion finished it off. That was really fun and silly, but it strengthened my testimony of what I am doing. God loves the family. He wants us to treasure it. It is a place where we learn more about Him and learn to love.
This week was a week of miracles. There were many times when we were in the right place at the right moment doing the right thing. We spoke to so many people that approached us. That almost never happens, but when people are looking for help hard enough that they call out to the missionaries, that is a miracle! Meeting specific people in a big city isn't just a coincidence. God is helping us find those who are ready to listen.
There is a young boy, just slightly younger than me who has been going to church, but is not yet baptized. We had a lesson with him and his friend and invited him to be baptized this Saturday! We are going to talk with him tonight about his decision. We are excited for him!
To answer some questions (I will answer more next week):
I haven`t been able to see the mission president very much, but we have interviews with him every other month. We get to see him this Friday, and I am excited!
We have a meeting with the other missionaries in our city every Tuesday and one with the missionaries in the surounding area once a month.
I do kind of stand out from the other missionaries in our area. But I don`t feel left out. The other missionaries are great!

See you next week!
Elder Cloward

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Week of Change and Learning

¡Buenos dias amigos!
This week felt very short, but a lot of incredible things happened.

Tuesday night, we walked to an appointment that was really far from the pension. As we were walking, we saw big black clouds in the distance. Before we knew it, the wind picked up really strong and dust started flying everywhere. The temperature felt like it had droped by ten degrees. Big drops of rain started to fall. Just before we got to our destination, we looked up at the sky and saw the clouds circling, the beginnings of a tornado! We were able to make it inside just in time before it started raining really hard. We taught the family by candle light, because the lightning and the storm had caused the power to go out. We taught that our faith is like the light of a candle. It begins small and is very weak. It is important to act for ourselves according to our faith to strengthen it. I would add that we can expect great storms to come. They will come, and for these we prepare. God will always protect us and He did. The tornado didn't touch the ground and a friend of the family we taught took us back safely in his car through the flood. As we do all that we can do act according to our faith in Christ, God will protect us and help us. 

My zone from last transfer. Now we have two sisters in our district, one from the States!
God helped us find new people to teach. We met one man who was sitting beside the road in the shade. He had hurt himself in an accident and had a cruch. We sat beside him in the mud and taught him how Jesus Christ loves him. I know that He loves us and wants to help us. That day we all felt God`s love for us.

Just yesterday, God helped us to find a lady who wants to stop smoking and her father who was happy to talk to us. He was very drunk, but it was neat to speak with him. I told him: "God loves us as much as you love your daughter." After that, he gave me a big hug. That was kind of supprising! I hope that we can help them more the next time we visit.

There were a few times this week where I became discouraged. Discouragement is natural sometimes, but should not be continual. I learned that positive thinking goes a long way. Just telling yourself, "good job, you did that part right," or "good job saying it that way!" Also, humming and singing uplifting songs goes a long way.

There is a lot more I would like to say, but the power went out in the internet cafe for about 20 minutes as it does nearly every day here in Argentina. However, I am happy to be a missionary. I know God helps those He has called if they don`t fear and work hard. And so he has.
¡Hasta luego!
Elder Cloward

A really fun toy. Thanks family!

Realy good icecream! It was expensive here, $3.50 for a quarter kilo, but sooo good!

Friday, January 15, 2016

First Transfer!

¡Hola todos!

What a blessing it is to be able to talk to you. Technology is really incredible. Don´t take it for granted.

This week was really crazy. The mission time is organized into 6 week periods. Every 6 weeks, we get a call. They tell us whether we´re staying in our area, or moving to another part of the mission. They called me and my companion and said "¡se queda!" You stay! Hurray! I love Villa Angela and know there is still more for me to do here.

Moving in with the other Elders

We spent a good part of the beginning of the past week traveling to various meetings. It`s frustrating to me at times to go to meetings because it means we aren't there with our investigators, but I know they are important.
Our old pension. Now clean!

For a large chunk of the end of the week, we got to clean our pension really well because we were notified that Sister Missionaries will be joining us here. I think it`s super exciting; Sister missionaries can teach in a way we Elders can`t. It does mean, though, that we have to make everything perfect and... we have to split the member lunches. That means less food and more cooking. Still, I am excited to have more missionaries in our district. We`ve been searching for a new apartment, which has been tough. A lot of the things we do here take away from teaching. I hope we can find a good one soon.

This week, we had consejo (planning meeting with the leaders in the branch) and invited many people to accompany us to lessons. We already had two of these lessons and they were outstanding. The members can teach, often way better than we can, and the Holy Ghost is with them when they speak. I can`t wait to share the work with the members. I invite you, if you can, to go out and teach with the missionaries. It`s a really good way to grow your testimony of missionary work, make good friends, and have the spirit.

I have really been stretched and pulled this week. I feel like God`s torta frita (fried tortilla). Throughout our lives, he rolls us out with His great big rolling pin of tests and trials. He does this because He loves us and knows the great potential we have. God will always provide a way to accomplish what He asks of us.

Bread! It is good!

I have found that some of my minor health issues before have now become a burden here. I`ve been getting sun rashes and the soap we use to clean the dishes hurts my hands. Also, I have a minor case of hypoglycemia which means that if I don`t eat enough, by blood sugar gets low and I start to feel like everything is going wrong even when everything is fine. These trials are hard, but I know that this is part of God`s mission for me and just means I have to take care of myself a little more.

I know that God loves us. He knows each of you personally and wants you to be happy. He has provided a way for each of us to have joy in this life and in the life to come. Jesus Christ is the way. Keep his commandments and repent and He will give you the greatest gift of all; to live with Him with your families. I testify that this is true. I invite you to have faith in His plan and then to act to receive these great blessings.

Looking forward to a happy week! Remember, happiness is a choice, not a circumstance.

See you next week!
Elder Cloward

Sunday, January 10, 2016

¡Feliz nuevo año!

My companion and I in the rain.
¡Hola todos!

What a year and what a week! I hope all of you had a safe Christmas break. Don´t forget to celebrate Christ always, it´s not just an annual event! I forget to mention that last Sunday, we got to sing in church as a
district. We sang "Cantos Santos Angeles" (Angels we have heard on high) and it was the best we have ever sung it! I was happy to proclaim the joy of Christ´s birth through song. Afterward, the Brother who was supposed to teach Elder´s quorum forgot and I got to teach. I only had about 2 minutes to prepare and then I was teaching a lesson in Spanish. I´m so glad I got to practice teaching classes at home. The best lessons are discussions and the people here love to talk!

I learned so much this week. There was a lot of time to study because both the 31 and the first, we had to stay in our pension to be safe during the celebrations. My companion also got sick. This was the week we wanted to go out and find new people to teach, but God had other plans.


As I said, my companion got sick Tuesday morning, but some how was able to get up and work in the afternoon, even with a fever! Probably a bad idea, but that is the strength of a dedicated missionary! What a blessing he did because that day, we found Juan. He was reading his bible when we saw him and he was so ready to receive the Book of Mormon and learn more of God´s words. Wow! That same night, my stomach started hurting really bad. I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital and that scared me, but the next day it was better. Right now my companion and I are well.

I learned a lot about myself this week. In the Book of Mormon, it says: "and if men come unto me, I will show unto them their weakness" (Ether 12:27). That happened to me, thankfully in a very easy way. God helped me discover one of my greatest weaknesses. Now that I know where I am weak, I can repent and change. This is a great blessing! 

On the 31, it rained super hard and we got to walk through it. It was super fun. Fortunately, I have boots now because the water reached over halfway in some places.

Wit and will. What a can!

 We got to buy ice cream which was so good! My cone was only 1 dollar! Today was a crazy day (Monday). We were informed yesterday that we had to go to Las Breñas again. Our bus arrived at 5:45AM, so I set my alarm for 4:45... PM. Well I woke up in the night and decided to check my watch. It was 5:40! I woke up my companion, who freaked out because he was having a dream about snakes. The other Elders in our district called us: "hey where are you?" and my companion told told them "yeah, we´re on our way." We rushed to pack and actually made it to the bus stop before the bus. Crazy!

Serving as a missionary for Jesus Christ is really hard, but also super fun! God blesses us so much! We do all that we can to invite the Holy Ghost into our lessons because he is the true converter. When we teach because we love, not because we are supposed to teach, the Spirit is there. Love invites the Spirit. I invite each of you to love someone this week. You and that person will be so happy. "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy!"

Make this the best year!
Elder Cloward

P.S. To answer some questions:

Our A.C. wasn´t ever broken, but every day its really hot (so everyday) the power goes out for a few minutes. It would be funny, except that it gets up to 95+ degrees in the pension without air conditioning. Ow!
Popcorn in a pan!

Arroz con leche.

We cooked pancakes with banana and cinimon this week. They were really good! We also made arroz con leche. Delicious!