Monday, September 5, 2016

Listen, Listen to the Still Small Voice


Thank you for all of your prayers and emails. You all are great!

The branch mission leader Sebastian. He just turined 26!
We had a really exciting week and are starting to see great progress in the area. We found some new promising investigators. One family, the Biaz family accepted us very well and the mother is full of questions for us. They felt the spirit as we taught about the Book of Mormon and want to know more. A few days later, we passed by to invite her to church. She would have come if it hadn´t rained. She said, though, that she is reading the Book of Mormon and really likes it so far, but that she had some questions. When we taught her the last time, we told her it is "a rule" we have that someone without a tie says the first prayer and someone with a tie says the last prayer. She didn´t get that it was a joke so when we passed by, she asked us why that was a rule. That was pretty silly!
It rained hard Saturday night and on through Sunday. There were only eight people at church, five of us being missionaries. That was an interesting experience. We´ve got some work to do to strengthen the members here, and we´ve already started working more closely with the Elders Quorum president, Presidente Escobar. He and his wife have only been members for about a year, but they are very active in the church. Presidente Escobar told me that if he´s not doing something every day to strengthen the church, he feels empty. He is an incredible example to me!

Walking to church on a rainy day. There were only 8 people that attended because the rain was so strong.

We had two really great opportunities to teach large groups of young children. It is one of my favorite things to do on the mission. At one time, I got to teach five to six young boys (ages 8-11) the ten commandments using hand signals to remember them. They enjoyed it so much and asked us when we would be coming back. Another time, we got to do an experiment with about six to seven young girls (ages 10-12) using yerba (kind of like tea leaves), soap and a bowl of water. We taught that as we got to church, we keep ourselves clean of the dirtiness of the world. They loved getting their fingers dirty in the yerba and watching the soap repel the leaves away from their fingers. I love children because they listen so closely and the lessons have to be powerful and brief to keep their attentions.

My companions bottle cap collection. Currently, he and I have collected about 242 bottle caps. It´s a fun thing to do while walking from place to place.
Many times this week, we missed really important opportunities and didn´t get to help people because we were late, or spent too much time with other people. I am glad this is God´s work, and that as I do my best, He makes up the difference. I love Him and I know He loves us! He guides us every day to find people who are prepared to listen. One day, we were walking past a family and I noticed that a young boy and girl were trying to get a ball out of the ditch with a stick. I went over an pulled it out for them and waved at their mom. We kept going on, but after a few blocks, I felt more and more that we needed to go back and share a message with the family. We did return and found that the ball was in the ditch again. I felt like time had rewound as I pulled the ball out of the water again and then asked the mom if we could share a message. She accepted and we had a very spiritual lesson. As we seek to recognize, understand, and obey the promptings of the Holy Ghost, God works through us to bless His children. I am so very grateful for the experiences He has given me that have made it possible to understand the Spirit and how it communicates with me.

Do all that you can this week to listen and obey promtings you may receive. Sometimes it may be difficult, but it will always be right and good. You will feel a powerful peace that God is happy with you.

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward

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