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.

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