Tuesday, April 19, 2016

It´s not our work, it´s yours

¡Hola todos!

Still raining here. We haven´t seen a dry day since last Saturday!

Last Monday, we had a family home evening and taught them how to make pancakes. That was really fun and they loved them enough to buy a new pan so they could make them again. I taught that our lives are like the pancakes: we start as just the mix and just as it takes extreme heat to make pancakes, we become better through trials and dificulties.
Family home evening.
Making pancakes.

 We are still teaching Samuel, the ll year old I mentioned last time. He came to church again yesterday and he is getting ready for his baptism in a few weeks. We pray that he will understand what we teach him and that he will be ready for his baptism day.
Out in the middle of nowhere.
I learned a lot of important things about Christ and His gospel that I wouldn´t have learned if I hadn´t come on my mission. There is a common phrase here that translates to "there´s only one God. I believe all churches are good because they teach about the same God." While this is true, they can´t all be the true church of God because they all teach different things and God is not a god of disorder. We have to find Christ´s church that he established when he was on the earth, because it is the only way by which we can return to live with Him. We find His church by studying Christ´s life, reading the scriptures and praying to God to know what is true. I invite each of you to read the Book of Mormon and then pray to know that it is true. I promise that if you want to know the truth and do what the truth requires, God will answer you.
Our friends in Las Toscas.
Keep praying that God´s work will go forth and that those who are ready will find the truth. Use the missionaries as a tool to help your friends come closer to Christ. It´s not our work, it´s yours and we are here to help you! Remember, your responsibility is to invite. Whatever the outcome, you will be doing your best if you invite others to act.

Have a happy week! I hope all is more dry where you are than it is here!
Ice cream! Goal for this week achieved!
Elder Cloward

A Week of Miracles!

What an incredible week!

It rained every single day this week, starting past Saturday, and it hasn't stopped. It´s made things quite exciting!
I had my birthday party Tuesday in a member´s home. We invited a bunch of people and most of them came. I got to share my favorite scripture with all of them (Alma 17:8-11). It made me really happy to teach about the power of prayer. They made me a chocolate cake. They stuck this crazy firework candle in it. I didn't know if I was supposed to blow it out, or what, it was crazy! It was one of my favorite birthday parties ever!
The crazy chocolate cake the members made me. I didn´t know what to do with that candle!

Friends at my birthday party.

There was a baptism on Saturday and the Sister missionaries invited me give one of the talks at the last moment. I kept it very simple and felt the Holy Ghost speak through me to the man who was being baptized. It was a very happy day for him and I am glad I could be a part of it. 
Vero invited her friend to come to the baptism and he loved it. The next day we past by his house and taught him about the church and God´s plan for him. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes! The work is moving very fast here and it is incredible! I am so happy to be God´s servant here. Thank you for all of your prayers. I know that God loves me and loves each of you. He wants you to know that. Wherever you may be, He is there to give you a hug if you just go to Him. Keep doing your best and serve others and He will be there for you.
Samuel (11) a young investigator we helped get to church this Sunday. It was raining so hard, but he came and enjoyed it!
Have a fantastic week!
Elder Cloward

Sunday, April 10, 2016

First week in Avelladeda

¡Hola todos!

This week was fantastic! Avellaneda is even more beautiful than I imagined and there is a lot of work to do. This first week, investigators and members found us, instead of us finding them. A few times we nearly got lost, but then someone would call out to us, "Elderes!" There are so many prepared people here. I´ll tell you some of their stories.
We met Agustine on Tuesday. He is a 13 year old member, the only member in his family, but he comes to church regularly. We met two of his other siblings, Samuel (11) and Camila (9), who are also interested in the church. Camila has wanted to come to church for a long time, but her father won´t let her go because he wants her to be Catholic. Their mom lets her children listen to us, but is not very interested herself. This week, we´re going to try to help their parents see what the church is doing for their children so they will suport them with this exciting change in their lives.
Agustin made dinner for us!
Julio and Lilia are a couple with two young children who will likely be baptized this month. They are waiting on some papers so they can get married and be baptized. We are so excited for them! Their son is 7 and his father will be able to baptize him when he is 8. Julio is cutting our incredibly long grass today (see the photos).
The grass in our backyard is super tall! One of our investigators is cutting it today for us.
Veronica (Vero) is 13 and loves to help the missionaries in Avellaneda. When she first called us, we thought she was 20, so when we saw her for the first time, we were really confused. It was pretty funny!
A miracle happened this week. We received a reference from the asistants to the president of a lady who is interested in the church. Alejandra is a single mom with a young ten year old daughter. One day someone living in Chile asked her to be his friend on FaceBook and she accepted, which she told us she never does. This man from Chile served a mission just like I am serving and invited her to learn more about the church. She began investigating online and even read a little bit of the Book of Mormon. However, the complete Spanish Book of Mormon is not avalable online so she asked us to come and visit her. She lives in Las Toscas, about 1.5-2 hours away from Avelladeda, but we got special permission to visit her. We went on Thursday and she is amazing! She has so many questions and is prepared to learn more. We taught her about the Restoration and she feels that it is true. 
Elder Felkins and me on the way to Las Toscas.
Though she didn´t have enough money to make the trip to church, she watched General Conference from her house. We are so excited for her and plan to go back this next Thursday.
General conference was great. We got to listen to the living prophet and the apostles and we learned a lot about how to help our investigators. We got to watch it in English fortunatly, which made it easier to understand, we only missed two talks because of a black out. It´s been raining so much here.
Two really great members here. Vero and Hermano Villalba, who has an incredible conversion story in which God helped him stop drinking.
There are so many more amazing people here, but I can´t tell all of their stories now. I am so happy God gave me this chance to work with all of these people. I am learning so much from my companion and hope that I can change to be the missionary that God wants me to be. Because of Jesus Christ I can!

You can! Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward

P.S. Tomorrow is my birthday! We are celebrating with a member here. It´s going to be great!

Two young members Agustin (13) and Vero (also 13) waiting with us at the bus stop to go to church.