Tuesday, May 31, 2016

¡Una hola a todos!

We found so many new people to teach this past week, and most of them were big families! We are excited to keep teaching them.
There were several disappointments and some amazing learning experiences. Lilia and Julio are some investigators her that have been investigators for almost two years. They come to church almost every Sunday and are basically members. They are waiting so that Lilia can get a divorce so they can both get married and be baptized, but the papers have already taken nearly a year. This week, they were so close, but then they found out that they need another signature and have to wait at least another week. It´s really hard for all of us to wait so long, but we trust God has a plan for them. Lilia´s mother came to church last Sunday for the first time and she loved it! We went and taught her twice and she loved everything we taught. However, on Saturday, Lilia sent us a message that her Mom doesn't want us to teach her anymore. That was really sad and really hard for Lilia too. We hope to go at least one more time to help her mother overcome her doubts and not fear the changes that will come.

We made pizza! Mmm...
This week I have been praying for charity. Moroni in the Book of Mormon, says that charity, the pure love of Christ, is a gift from God. I want to have greater desires to serve and teach others, not just because I should or because I am a missionary, but because I love them and want them to be happy. There were several lessons we taught this week where I noticed a huge difference when I loved the people and wanted to help them and others when I was just telling them what I know about Christ´s church. Both are good, but when I have love for those I teach, the Holy Ghost is the teacher and we all feel more peace and happiness.
Another divisions picture from a few weeks ago. We are standing in a field in Avellaneda.
For example, yesterday, we found a new family to teach. We taught Susana and three of her 14 children. Her three children were all 9 years or younger. They all sat in their own chairs and listened as we taught the restoration. My companion began to teach to the mother and I felt the impression to teach to her children and to be very simple. I taught them what everyone does when we pray and then I told them, pointing to a picture, "this is Jesus! When we do what he says, we are happy. I love Him!" I knew then as I know now that He is my savior and I do love Him!
The children loved the lesson, especially since I gave them some paper and they all tried to draw Jesus. He is the center of our message and we should never forget Him, especially in our daily lives when other things seem more important, but really aren't.
A young boy with his pet bunny. It was funny watching him run all over the place trying to catch it.
This week, I also realized again how important church is, especially for those who are investigating the church. If these people to come to church, they can´t receive the blessings of baptism, of the gift of the Holy Ghost, of the Temple, or any of the other blessings God is waiting to give them. It´s the same for members of the church too. The blessings of church attendance are worth infinitely more than anything else we can do on a Sunday. Infinitely more, because when we do, God blesses us abundantly and we come so much closer to our ultimate goal to live with Him with our families after this life. As my dad always said, people have a two-second decision to make every Sunday. They have to decide to get up out of their warm beds and go out into the cold or rain or heat and go to church, or just keep sleeping. Our job as missionaries and members is to make that decision easier for others so that in those two seconds, they chose to get up. This week, we did all we could, but not very many people came to church, especially because it was so cold. It´s a good thing we have next week to try again!
Alejandra is doing much better. She is out of the hospital and recovering in her home. We have a Skype call with her in an hour. She may be baptized this week with her daughter, but we still don´t know. Keep praying for her. She says she really appreciates all of your prayers!

¡Que tenga una buena semana!
Elder Cloward

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