Thursday, March 24, 2016

Last Week of Transfer 3

What a great week! So much has happened.
Argentina Landscape
The weather has been really fantastic the past few days. It rained and it actually feels cold.

It rained a lot and got really cold. The temperature actually reached the 60´s!
We had a activity for the branch on Wednesday and spent a good portion of the first half of the week inviting people. In the activity, we learned more about how service benefits both the person serving and the person served. We each brought an item and put it on a table. Then we traded it for another item, demonstrating how we always get blessings back. It was fun.
Taking a shade break. It got really hot again this week!
We also have been searching for more people to teach and there were a few days where we felt guided to specific houses. We found a family who hasn´t been to church for a very long time that used to be very active. We look forward to helping them come back. We also found a man who is almost always working in Santa Fe, another province, but happened to be home and available to listen to us. He invited us in and was very open to learn more. As we spoke with him, he asked a lot of questions and it was clear he was searching for the truth. I testified to him that we can pray to know what is right. God listens to us and answers us too. He answers through the Holy Ghost. When we feel the Holy Ghost, we feel peace and joy. As we taught this man, we all felt this joy. It was incredible!
I know that God lives! He answers us. He sent His son, Jesus Christ to die for us so we can live with our families with God again!

Have a great week!
Elder Cloward
My really nice boots and a rubix cube I bought last week for 100 pesos. 1 minute and 33 seconds is my record time!

We bring the truth, invite people to come closer to Chirst... and do cartweels.

This week we walked a lot, and taught a lot. That´s it!

Just kidding. Some really amazing things happened this week and I am learning so much.
First, I bought boots! I don´t have a picture, but boots are a must after it rains here.
My companion loves to describe games and movies to me as we walk between appointments. He´s really good at it and I feel as if I´m watching them with him. It´s really fun. He´s taught me that I don´t need to feel stressed out to know I´m working hard and doing my best.
We are teaching three or four different young mothers in Villa Angela who are searching for the truth for their families. Mother´s are almost always more open to receive the gospel, it´s miraculous! We taught one lady who is 26 with four children. We taught her about Nephi in the Book of Mormon when he obeys the commandment of God to get the Brass plates of Laban. He feels very lonely as his older brothers lack the faith or desire to obey God.  Yet Nephi knows that what ever God asks him to do, he can do it (1 Nephi 3:7). As we read with her, she was learning things for herself that my companion and I didn´t at first see. After reading, she told us that she felt peaceful and happy; that there was nothing to worry about. All the while, her children were screaming and playing behind her. Yet we all felt the Holy Ghost. It all testified to us that the Book of Mormon is true and that God loves us. The lady hugged her Book, she was so happy. She began to speak more softly to her children and we could see a change in her. She is progressing and is finding the joy of the gospel.
After the lesson, Elder Sender and I tried to do hand stands and cartweels to the delight of all of the children there. They all started trying to do it to and asked us to do it again and again! It was super funny, but we had to go. That is who we are as missionaries. We bring the truth, invite people to come closer to Chirst, and do cartweels. I love it!
We are teaching several more people that are reading the Book of Mormon and learining for themselves that it is true. Yet each of them don´t feel prepared to go to church or be baptized yet. We pray now that they will each have a change of heart and come to church.
God is real! I feel his presence and His love for His children more than ever before. He has given us our families so that we can be happy. He guides us through a living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. When we have faith, change and repent, and go to church, we will be happy and progress.

Love you all!
Elder Cloward
More Ice cream

A train in our zone leader´s area.

A water tower in Villa Angela. This is very strange, because here, every house has it´s own basen of water on the roof to create sufficient water pressure.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Week of Testimony

A lot of little things have happened this week that add up to a great big whole. This is how God works, through lots of small things that make a huge difference. I feel like I have changed a lot, my perspective especially.

Monday, my companion and I got ice cream at a place called Grido. This is probably going to become a tradition. Elder Sender got a kilo for his birthday. Ice cream traditions for missionaries here are really silly.
My ice cream, yum!
Elder Sender`s ice cream, yum, yum!
Tuesday, we were looking for new people to teach and a little dog came up and bit me. It was`t serious, but he tore my pants a little, and now I have to pass by every so often to make sure he`s still alive and doesn't have rabies. That`s a bit scary, but I think I will be okay.
We are continuing to teach a pre-MTC class for six young men in the branch to prepare them for their missions. They are all really amazing and most of them have callings in the the branch. It was incredible to practice teaching with many of them and see how strong their testimonies are and how much they already know. I look forward to the class again tomorrow.
This week, a lot of our plans have fallen through, so we have had to walk a lot. We are finding a lot of new people to teach and that is exciting! We are teaching a new family tonight that has a lot of potential.
We are teaching several people that have desires to be baptized, but have a lot of obstacles that are pushing against them. Mabel loves learning from us and has begun to read the Book of Mormon from the beginning to learn for herself if it is true. She has trouble going to church because of her work, but she feels that the church is right. We are also teaching a young mother who also feels that baptism is right, but is having a lot of challenges in her family. We are excited to keep working with them!
God lives! He loves us! He wants us to return to Him, so he gave us prophets and the scriptures to guide us. He gave us His son to die for us so that we can return to live with him. Jesus Christ lives, and because He lives, we can live together with our families forever. When we follow God, we are happy!

Have a fantastic week!
Elder Cloward


My first spagetti!

Hair Cut Before

After... woops, that was a buzz cut. I hope it grows back quick!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Another Step Closer

This week may have been the longest of my life. It´s really exciting to be with my new companion. He´s very different from my trainer. We both don´t have a lot of experience in our missions and we have to work together to be understood sometimes.

Yummy Argentine hamburgers with Elder Sender.
On Wednesday, we had a missionary broadcast for our area of Argentina. Elder Bednar, an Apostle of the church taught of the importance of acting in faith. All that we do should be in faith, meaning that we should first believe that God has power to help us, and then we do all that we can afterward. We read the Book of Mormon and go to church with the intention to act on what we learn. We also pray, with the intention to do what we say. For example, he told us, we pray "Heavenly Father, after this meeting, we are going to go help those who couldn`t come to church today. We only ask that you will help us not all go to the same house!" When we show God we are willing to do, or to act in faith, there are miracles. This idea completely changed our invitations during lessons. "Will you read this book and pray to know it is true? When you do know, will you act on your answer and be baptized?" This comitment is difficult, but powerful and those who are ready will accept it.

Empenadas we made! Eggs and meat.
We´ve seen many miracles and God is guiding us here. I have felt the Holy Ghost guiding me in many lessons, helping me know what to say.
Sunday, I got to sit next to an investigator that lives in the sister`s area during Sunday school. I helped her understand how to use the scriptures and asked her questions to help her learn and understand better. She began participating in the lesson and sharing thoughts with the class. It was so great!
Six wild horses on the chapel grounds Sunday. Not something you see every day in the States!
I know that I am weak. I feel really awkward sometimes as a missionary and have a lot of anxiety. I learned in my studies that anxiety is like empty hope, hope without faith. It`s "I want this now" and "I don`t know if things will be okay." However, I know that if we do all we know how to do and really want to do what is right, God will make everything okay. I am happy to serve Him and I am doing my very best!

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward