Monday, October 16, 2017

A Witness for His Name



¡Hola a todos!

I got home just two weeks ago. Diego went to church again and is really starting to change his life around. He received a very powerful and personal witness that the Book of Mormon is true. I am so excited for him and for the changes he is making. They are changes that you can see in his smile and in his actions. Not only has he stopped drinking, he has begun to teach his family members what we have taught him. That's what the gospel of Jesus Christ does when we live it: we change and have an increased desire to serve others.

Valeria went to a branch activity and loved it and stayed all three hours at church again. I am excited for her too!
On Sunday, we found some new families to teach. Hopefully, one of the kids we met will be able to got to the English classes we planned to set up.

On Monday, I traveled to the mission office in Resistencia where we stayed until we had dinner with President Patanía, the mission president and Sister Patanía, his wife. There were only four of us finishing our missions, so it felt really personal being with them. It was so satisfying that evening going to the hotel and knowing that we had done it. We were going home!

The next day, we took a plane from Resistencia to Buenos Aires, stayed there in the airport all day, then got an all night flight to Georgia. It was an interesting feeling leaving Argentina. As I saw the city lights through the parcially cloudy night sky, I felt a little sad, not knowing if I would see it all again. I remembered a few particular families I had taught. But most of those feelings soon left me and I felt super excited for the future. From there, I took a plane to Austin. Another missionary coming from Brazil was also on board. I got to talk to a great couple with great questions on that flight.

As I came down the stairs, I was expecting just my mom or dad to be waiting for me because of school, but everyone was there! I am so happy to be with them again!

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing
All of my family was waiting for me when I got off the plane. I love them!

I just recently found work at Chick-fil-a, where I worked before my mission. I'll be going up to BYU Provo in January to start college. I am excited to continue a life of dedicated service. It is important to me as I move forward to continue the good little habits I developed on my mission. I know that as I continue to study the scriptures daily (as the Prophet President Monson instructs), develop my relationship with God through sincere and frequent prayer, go to church every Sunday, and seek always to serve others, I will continue to become the man God wants me to be and be an "instrument in the hands of God" for the rest of my life (Alma 17:9). That is my wish. I will be a witness for His name!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Last Week!

¡Hola a todos!

This is my last week in Argentina. It´s a mix of emotions knowing that I will see my family after two years and recalling all of the people I met and served here. I´m not who I thought I would be, but I´ve changed so much that I can´t really recal who I was two years ago. We spent a part of today buying some last minute treats to share with my family and I´ll be packing up all of the suveniers I´ve collected. However, the most valuable thing I take home with my will be my testimony.  I know that families are for forever! This past Saturday, we got to help with another Capilla Abierta and Elder Roberts and I got to present the pamphlet about family history. I felt the spirit talking through me: "this is my favorite part about the church because it means that my family can be together forever. It has everything to do with who I am and where I´m going." We invited all of them to start learning about their ancestors and to prepare for the temple.
Diego came to church for the first time! He really liked it!

I also know that the atonement of Jesus Christ is real. Jesus suffered, died, and rose again. Because of Him, all of us will be resurrected after we die. According to our diligence and repentance, we will be able to live with God again in our families. I have felt the peace of repentance and I know that God forgives me when I change.
I know that  the Book of Mormon is true and that the fullness of the gospel was resored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know because I read the Book of Mormon, considered it´s message, and asked God, multiple times, if it is true. Though I have to wait paciently every time, He answers through a peace that I feel. He has answered many of the prayers of the people I have visited. He answered Valeria this past week!

Missionaries preparing for the Capilla Abierta In Quitilipi. Lunch was delicious!
I know that President Monson is a prophet. I feel the peace of the Holy Ghost as I listen to his words.
I am super excited to continue with these amazing truths into the world. There is so much still left to learn and so many more people to serve. I am excited to go out and do it!

This week, I have an invitation with a scripture. In the Book of Mormon, there was a king´s servant named Abish. One day, a missionary came an preached to her king and queen. Abish had already "been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father" but had not yet "made it known"(Alma 19:16-17). Once she saw the incredible miracles happening in the lives of the king and queen, she ran out into the streets inviting everyone to come and see. God doesn´t always ask us to go door to door talking to everyone, but we can follow a similar pattern. First, we must become converted. This is a constant process, not just an event. I invite you to study the scriptures and pray daily to continue the process of conversion. As you do, look for oportunities to invite others to come and see (John 1:39). Invite them to activities and to learn more. Invite them to become converted too! As you do, you will come to know God more and more and you will find greater peace in your life.

See you soon!
Elder Cloward

The Conradi family. Hermano Conradi is the District President.




Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Good Job

¡Hola!

The work has been a little slow this week, but Gustavo is still progressing. He accepted a baptismal date and we´re looking forward to visiting him tonight. He just seems to understand more than others that we are visiting not just to share nice stories, but to help him change and prepare for baptism.

We´re in Las Breñas!
We had a really great field trip this week that turned out to be a miracle. This past Saturday, we were asked to spend the day in Las Breñas (about 2 hours away) to help with a Capilla Abierta. We got to dress in white and teach about baptism and the Holy Ghost. In the second session, a family I had met two years ago in divisions, entered the room (see my letter from 1/25/16). I was so excited to see them! What was even more special, the whole family remembered me and my very short visit to them that long ago. It was so amazing to know that I had been able to create that kind of an impact on someone. It was God´s way of telling me "you have done many good things on your mission. Good job." 

Capilla Abierta with the Enriquez family.
I am so grateful for this opportunity God has given me to serve Him and His children. I know I could never repay Him for all He has done for me, but I am so grateful to be able to grow and find joy in this service. I know God lives. He is real and He loves us. I know that families are forever. Jesus died for us and lives again. We will all live again after this life. Through our diligence and the Grace of Jesus, we can all live with God again.

I invite each of you this week to share your testimony with someone and strengthen them with your experiences and words. As you do, you will feel God working through you and your testimony will increase.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward


Eating out at Pizza Libre.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Asado and Repentance

¡Hola todos!

This week, we found several new potential families to teach. It´s such a wonderful experience to find someone new. You walk up to person(s), not knowing beforehand what you will say. You are constantly aware that what you say may influence whether or not they choose to learn more about the message. With many people, you can tell almost instantly that they don´t want to change their lives. But with a few, they accept to learn more and it brings a happy feeling. The really hard part is working with them and inviting them to change. They don´t know what they are missing until we invite them to come to Christ. Each of them has unique needs and interests and it´s impossible to help them with out the help of the Holy Ghost. He helps us to say exactly what every person needs.

A little bit of Argentina.
In one such encounter, a lady asked me why I was serving in a mission. I remember always wanting to, but not knowing when I would send in my mission papers. As I prayed, God answered me in a very personal way that I had to go right away. I know that God wants me here right now!

Valeria, one of the investigators here is slowly obtaining her testimony. She seems to know that the Book of Mormon is true, but she doesn´t know it yet. We´ve been visiting her in the house of the Ayala family, a couple of two return missionaries. The lessons with her are so great! Please pray for Valeria.

Today, we made asado (Argentine BBQ) with Hermano Ayala. He taught us a super easy way to start the fire and how to make a super delicious condiment on top. It was really tasty!

That looks tasty!
Asado with Hermano Ayala.
More than anything, I learned this week about humility and repentance. Our mission as missionaries is preach repentance and baptize converts. Elder Roberts and I realized that if we don´t know very well for ourselves how to repent, it is difficult to teach others. Repentance is more than just changing our behaviors, it´s changing our desires and our will, who we are. For example, we found that just reading the Book of Mormon doesn´t changing anyone, it´s applying the words to oneself, asking God if it´s true, and seeking for truth, that makes the change. I invite each of you to ponder a weakness you have and with God´s help, make plans to change not just your behavior, but your desire. As you will, the change you make will be eternal and you will grow closer to God. You will come on know Him better.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward




Monday, August 28, 2017

Gratitud- Busque las Cosas Pequeñas

¡Hola todos!

Today, we went to the Saenz Peña zoo! It was really fun to see lions, bears, tigers and a hole bunch of birds. We basically had the whole zoo to ourselves because we went during lunch time.

Lots of water
That´s a big tiger!
Us enjoying the tigers.
It´s a tucan! It was really colorful and made clicking sounds with it´s beak.
We are teaching a lot of great investigators. This past Sunday, five of them came to church and they all enjoyed it. The members really helped sitting with all of them and helping them feel welcome. We focused this week on really trying to understand who the investigators are, what they hope for the future, and helping them see how we can help them. Valeria is still reading and looking for her answer to know that it is true. Cristian is also reading and praying. A recent convert came with us for the first time to visit another young man named Gustavo. There is a bunch of work happening and it is great!

A lot of investigators are finding their biggest obstacles and we get to help them overcome them. That is really hard, but so exciting when they move past them and become truly converted. I really hope that happens within the four weeks I have left, but mostly I want to be able to say that I did everything to help them. I hope that all of them can get baptized in the future!

I know that God lives! He loves us! He wants us to succeed. Many times God helps us in ways so small, but so profound that it is difficult to see them. I saw many of those little things this week. I would invite each of you, especially if you feel overwhelmed, to each day of the week find at least one thing that God has done to help you and thank Him in your prayers. You will probably find that the list is much more extensive than you thought! Be grateful and you will find greater peace and happiness.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward





Monday, August 21, 2017

Talents

¡Hola todos!

This week, we had the branch activity. A bunch of people came and we had churri-pan, basically sausages in bread, and Elder Roberts and I presented a video demonstrating the unity of the missionaries with a member family of the church. I love this video because it shows that this is not the missionary´s work, but our work together. The missionaries are always happy to help the members of the church with their service, whether it be giving advice, or teaching a friend with them. "Ask the missionaries! They can help you!"

We found some great new families too. One is a young mother of three who heard the missionaries over 5 years ago. God led us to her door. She accepted a baptismal date and seems really ready to accept more in her life. When we invited her to church, she sad "I´m bring my husband too! It will be good for both of us." We are excited for them.

Gregorio and Marilin are doing great too and already know that the Book of Mormon is true.They still have a lot of challenges to overcome before they can get baptized, but we recently introduced them to a member family here. They love it when we pass by.

Valeria is an investigator that we have been teaching ever since I got to Saenz Peña. She´s started to read a lot in the Book of Mormon and she went to church once. We've introduced her to so many of the members already and she went to the branch activity. She just needs to ask God to know if the Book of Mormon is true and we are excited for her to receive her answer. Please pray for her too!

Every week is a new battle, but every time I say a prayer asking that God will help me focus and be patient, He sends a peace and a resolve to do my best. I know that everything will be okay as I continue to love Him and His children with all that I am and have. He has given me distinct experiences and talents to do His work and I am a unique and special tool in His hands. As I continue to encounter new situations and experiences, I can help even more people come closer to God. This week, I invite each of you to use one of your unique talents to invite someone else to come closer to God. As you do, you will find greater joy in your gifts and a stronger testimony that God is your father.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Be Bold!

¡Hola!

It`s my last transfer and I am staying here in Saenz Peña in the Obrero branch with Elder Roberts. We are happy to be together and excited to serve!

This week was really hard, but very rewarding. We are talking to a lot of people, but not very many people are interested. The progress of the investigators has been slow too. It has been a time of much inner reflection. Each day we have made huge changes. I have recognized at a new level the need to see things positively. One´s point of view changes drastically one´s ability to handle a situation. As I remember that this is God´s work and trust and love Him, I am able to love His children even more, listen to, and help them according to their needs. 

Sometimes I feel that I have had to look harder for God, but He is always there. There were several times during the week when I felt the Holy Ghost quietly confirming the truth of what I was teaching. Many of the people we teach have felt it too and that is the most exciting. For example, we have been teaching Gregorio and Marilin, an really amazing and open couple. They both know that what we are teaching is true because they have asked God and received a confirmation. They still have a lot of obstacles to come, but we are really excited for them! I love God! Though many challenging things happen and I don`t understand everything, I will trust in Him.

Be bold! No one can receive the blessings of the gospel if they aren´t invited to receive them. As you open your mouth not to please, but to invite others to learn more about the restoration of the gospel, they will be able to choose for themselves to receive more blessings. I invite all of you to invite with courage your friends to learn more about the gospel. This is eternal life we are talking about! They can choose it as you invite them. As you do, you will find greater courange in your lives and feel even more that God is helping you in all of your endevors.
Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward
We forgot to take pictures this week. Tomorrow, we have a big lunch with all of the branch, so there will be pictures next week.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Your Efforts Are Never Wasted

¡Hola!

This week, I focused on my testimony of the Book of Mormon. Elder Roberts and I quickly recognized the need to have a firm testimony of the book, especially after talking to another religious leader. The Book of Mormon and the accompanying witness of the Holy Ghost that it is true are esencial to know that God restored His truth through the prophet Joseph Smith. It was really great to make a short list of some of the scriptures that have helped me to become who I am and bring me closer to God. The list of scriptures included scriptures about the atonement of Jesus Christ (Alma 7:11-13), the time between death and the resurrection (Alma 40:11-12), faith and trials (Ether 12:27), and paciente in the face of trials (Alma 17:9-11). I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and can say with greater surety that I know that it is true.

We had some really amazing experiences in which the investigators we were teaching received their own personal witnesses that what we are teaching is true. It was so happy to see them find more light and advance on the path to God. Two of them are Gregorio and Marilin, a young couple we have been teaching for three weeks now. I was so happy when Gregorio told us that he prayed and received his answer that the Book of Mormon is true. Marilin also shared a story in which our prayers for her were answered.

On the other hand, we also saw many investigators lose interest and a couple tried to give the Book of Mormon back to us. That is such a sad experience, because they reject more blessings before they have even tried them. Not all or even very many people get baptized after the first contact with the church and it is important to remember that these efforts are not lost, but that they can lead to future baptisms. For example, the first sister I helped get baptized in my mission had heard missionaries 20 years ago and only after did she choose to be baptized. Her baptism lead to the baptism of several of her grandchildren and last I heard, one of them just recently went to the temple for the first time. Do not fear inviting others to learn about the gospel. It is more likely to have a greater impact than you think!

I invite each of you this week to reach out in a simple way to share a part of the gospel that has helped you with a friend or acquaintance. You can do this through a number of ways: through social media, a short note, or talking with them. As you are inspired, invite them to listen to the missionaries! I promise that as you do, you will strengthen your testimony in that aspect of the gospel. Your efforts are never wasted.

¡Que sigan ayudando a los demás a tener felices semanas!
Elder Cloward

The owner of our pension and his family gave us some Argentine plants to try. We made a salid of brucula (I still don´t know what it is) and rebanete (radish) and boiled some batata (it´s like sweet potato, but not as sweet). It was good except that we put too much oil and vinagre in the salid!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

La Expiación

¡Hola todos!

Service at the Casco family's home.
It´s amazing how much I change every day in the mission. I´m learning things in a week that would take months to learn in any other circumstance with less pressure. It´s super hard to be a missionary, but I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

This week, we had a multi-zone conference in Resistencia and we got to meet President Patanía and his wife. They´ve only been here for a few weeks, but they are already confident and working hard. President Patanía invited us to want to do more (desear hacer mas) and to serve with all of our "heart (feelings), might (actions), mind (thoughts) and strength (health) " (Doctrine and Covenants 4). I am excited to do more! It´s like running fast and then finding out that you can run even faster.

We found some very prepared people right when they were ready to receive us. One lady invited us into her home even before we had asked. We learned that her mother had passed away only a month before and that she is now a bit separated from her siblings. As we shared the plan of salvation, I testified that she would see her mother again, just as I will see my great grandmother. I am so grateful for our forever family! It gives me such hope and happiness and a drive to prepare myself for eternity with them.

We had several ups and downs, but with the help of our leaders, the scriptures, and my patriarchal blessing, we overcame our challenges and found greater strength.

How is everyone doing with the invitations I give every week. Are they helping? My hope is that they stretch each of you to come closer to the savior and help in the missionary work. If you've had any great experiences, I would love too hear them!

President Suarez, the branch president from Villa Angela,
my first area. It was good to see him again!
In the end, the most important act in the history of the world was the atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered all of our sins, all of our trials, all of our pains, and all things unjust and unfair in our lives. He knows exactly how to help us because He knows exactly how we feel. Because of Him, when we repent in faith, the weight we feel in our lives is lifted. He lives. He was resurrected after three days. Because of Him, we too will live again. I love Jesus!

I invite each of you to prayerfully find one thing you can give up this week that is adding unnecessary and harmful weight in your life. This may be an attitude or grudge or some physical object or activity. As repent of harmful actions and thoughs, I promise that you will feel a lifted weight and will find greater peace, just as I have this week.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward






Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Truth Has Been Restored

¡Amigos!

It´s been a tough week, but we've seen many blessings. We taught Gregorio and Marilin, a very young couple searching for more truth in their lives. I feel that God led us to find them at just the right time. They don´t attend any church, but Gregorio has a strong testimony of service and that God exists. He is very dynamic as he uses his hands to express his love for God and desire to serve everyone. Marilin is much more reserved, but excited to learn more. They accepted a goal to be baptized when they come to know that the Book of Mormon is true. We are super excited for them!

We found several other families that accepted us warmly and are very likely to progress. One lady told us that when she was younger, she used to escape her mother to go to our church. Now she already has grandchildren and we are inviting her to come back and receive blessings for her whole family.

We also gave a personal tour of the chapel to one of the investigators, something I've never done before. It was a great experience for her to get to know the building and it will be more likely that she attends a church service soon.

Thinking about our purpose as missionaries, preach repentance and baptize converts, it becomes very clear that we as 18-26 year-olds can´t do this work with our words only. Elder Roberts and I very frequently invite investigators to find out for themselves by praying and asking God to know the truth of His message. The Book of Mormon is also convincing evidence of the restoration. Without the book, our message of latter-day prophets and restored truth has no foundation nor power. I love the Book of Mormon. As I read, I feel peace. It helps me see clearly what is true. Many times in my life, I have opened the book with a doubt and found an answer that has changed my life. 

I invite all of you to write your testimony in a copy of the Book of Mormon, mark your favorite scripture, and share it with a friend or acquaintance. As you share this invitation, your love and understanding for God and His truth will increase.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward

Monday, July 17, 2017

El Evangelio de Jesucristo

¡Feliz lunes a todos!

We worked a lot on finding new people this week and teaching the new people from last week. We are teaching Cristian, who has already come to church twice, about faith and it´s really cool to see his faith grow and our understanding grow together as we teach. We are praying that he will find his answer about the Book of Mormon. He didn't come to church again this week.

Grido with Elder Roberts!

We taught the Muñoz family again and it went fantastic! They are really receptive and willing to learn more. When we taught them about the first vision of Joseph Smith, they were a little surprised, but they want to know that it is true. We read a lot in the Bible with them and gave them more parts to read in the Book of Mormon. They have really good questions!

There are a lot of little miracles going on besides these, like that one of the members has two grandchildren that want to get baptized, that a man tried to get his work scheduled changed to stop working on Sunday after we invited him to church and promised blessings. We were guided after a prayer in the street to a less active family that had never accepted us to pass by. My companion and I gave talks after just 10 minutes notice. I shared about the first principles and ordinances of the gospel and Elder Roberts taught about charity in a clear and understandable Spanish. An older couple of investigators, the parents of the branch president´s wife received a wheel chair that they had been waiting a long time to receive. The father stood up in the pews right before sacrament meeting started and thanked everyone for their help so that he could again make it to church with his new wheel chair. He was so happy! What incredible miracles they were!

But most of the miracles, I feel, happened inside of me this week. I really feel like I am being polished, just as President Eyring said in the Liahona of this month. It is such a difficult experience in the moment, but it is so much better afterward. The peace after repentance is priceless and real! Don´t put off repentance. Pray and ask for forgiveness with a resolve to correct mistakes and go forward. Don´t hold on to the past, but pray for strength to keep going. Jesus Christ already suffered for the mistakes you have made. As you live the gospel of trust in Him (faith), change to be more like Him (repentance), and take of the sacrament each week to remember Him, you will be clean and have the peace of conscience described in Mosiah 4:3. I Invite you all this week to prayerfully consider of something you want to improve and ask in prayer for help to change it. As you do, you will find greater peace and excitement to continue, just as I did this week. Isn't the gospel just great?

¡Que sigan felices!
Elder Cloward

My shoes are a bit old now.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Invite!

¡Hola todos!

This past Saturday, we had the branch's Capilla Abierta or "Open Chapel." These past weeks, we have been inviting people to attend and we were really exited to see so many people who said they would go. Then, just before the event started, it rained and no one that we invited came. That was a little sad, but everyone that did go felt something special.

Capilla Abierta!
Elder Roberts and I got to dress in white and explain baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. He did a really good job explaining, even though he´s only been in Argentina for 4 weeks! Our part in the tour was very short and it was interesting to ponder the most important parts of baptism. I shared something like this:
"Welcome to the baptismal room! Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, who had authority from God to baptize. He was baptized going under the water and coming out of the water. We are baptized in the same way today. We are baptized to make a promise with God to keep His commandments and he washes us of our sins. Jesus taught, ´and no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom.´ When we are baptized, God opens the doors of the celestial kingdom so that we can live with Him again as we are obedient. After we are baptized, God promises us the gift of the Holy Ghost."

 The branch president's family and us.
From there, my companion explained the Holy Ghost. I am grateful for my baptism that gives me the chance to be clean of my mistakes every time I take the sacrament on Sunday. I find peace through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our zone at the Capilla Abierta.
This week we found several new people to teach. At the very end of the day, we decided to go down a street we didn't know. After talking to several people who weren't interested, we reached the end of the street. At the very end, there was a light in the last house. We clapped the home and a young man came out. We asked him "may we enter and say a prayer with your family?" They turned out to be a large family very similar to mine. They have three older boys and two younger daughters. We shared the Book of Mormon with them and each of the boys read a verse of Moroni´s invitation in Moroni 10:3-5. They are going to read it together and ask God to know that it is true. They, the family Muñoz, are a great happy family!

I am happy to be a missionary! I know that this is God´s work and as I do His will, putting my trust in Him and acting (faith), that everything will be the best. I know that the Holy Ghost is God´s messenger and that by him, not us, the people learn. I invite each of you this week to seek and follow the inspiration of the Holy Ghost as to which of your friends you can invite to learn from the missionaries. If you don´t know the missionaries, get to know them! As you do, you will find more joy in your blessings from God and will help others to have those great blessings.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward

That's a lot of trash!
Making empanadas.
Our new water heater! We don't have to shower with a bucket and a cup and heat water on the stove. Woohoo!











Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Without the Book of Mormon

¡Hola!

Elder Rossi and I got to the mission together.
We working a lot this week with several less active families to help them come back to church. We got to meet one man who haddn´t come to church in many years. The spirit testified very strongly to him about eternal families and without even inviting him, he told us that he wants to come back to church. It is so happy to me when the spirit teaches the people and they are ready to listen.

We have been teaching a young man named Cristian who has already come to church twice. He is learning a lot and has great questions. There aren´t very many young men his age in the church here, but we plan to teach him with a recent convert that is going to another branch. Please pray for him and that we will know how to help him.

Elder Roberts is a great companion. He is learning spanish really fast and is teaching more and more during the lessons. He often looks at me when he doesn´t remember a word and I smile at him urging him on. He has a powerful testimony and is really great at helping the people relate the doctrine to themselves. I am happy we can be a team.

Both Saenz Peňa zones on the way to the multi-zone conference.
I learned a lot about personal testimony this week. We had a multi-zone conference in which we were asked to share what we would lose if the Book of Mormon suddenly didn´t exist. It made me ponder my own testimony of the book. To me, it is the evidence that the priesthood was restored to the earth again. By this priesthood athority, my family is sealed together for now and after this life. We will be together forever! The Book of Mormon also teaches us where we go when we die. I know that my grandpa and great-grandma are still there and that that I will see them again. What great joy and confort that brings to me! It is important to remember our personal testimonies, not just the testimonies of others. This week, I shared mine! I invite each of you this week to answer this question for yourselves "What would I miss if the Book of Mormon didn´t exist?" The answer will help you find your personal testimonies. If you haven´t yet read the Book od Mormon, read it! It will bring your great peace and joy.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward

Elder Ruatta, one of our zone leaders.
This is how we wash clothes here. It's the best pension I have seen yet to wash clothes. Normally the buckets are smaller.

We went and bought alpargatas today. They are traditional Argentine shoes.

There were many options.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Excerise Your Faith

¡Hola!

It´s been a crazy week! We are working hard and there seems to be a lot of opposition in the work. Even still, God led us to find several amazing new families to teach who are looking for God in their lives. One family recently lost a son and another has a newborn daughter. The people are in really key moments in their lives and I pray that we will be able to help them see clearly.

We haven't been taking very many pictures, but we made a delicious chicken alfredo.

Three people went to church this past Sunday, all for the first time! That morning, we past by to walk together with one of them who wanted to go. He has so many problems in his life that it´s been hard knowing where to start to help him out. But as he sat in church, there was a noticeable change in him. He told us after the meeting "when are you going to visit me again? I´m going to have everything swept up when you come." We don´t make the change in them. The Holy Ghost helps them make the change in them as they begin to keep the commandments and live more righteously. A great example is King Lamoni in the Book of Mormon. Only when he prayed to God for forgiveness did he have the mighty change. It´s the same way for us. Only as we exercise our faith by living what we know with we receive the joy and peace we search for.

"And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them (Mosiah 4:10)."

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and the more I learn about it, the more I want to follow Jesus. My weekly challenge is that you each study a basic principle of the gospel such as faith, repentance, or one of the commandments and then set a goal to apply what you have learned. As you do, I promise that you will have greater peace and joy and will grow in knowledge of God.

"And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true (Mosiah 4:12)."

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward


I bought a really cool statue of an Argentine Gaucho (cowboy).

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Training!

¡Hola todos!

My companion took a picture of me!
This week has been soooo exciting, first waiting until Wednesday to know who my new companion would be, meeting him, and beginning to teach him everything I know from the start. His name is Elder Roberts and he is from Georgia. He did a lot of sports in high school, has a huge family, and is a hard worker. He has a fresh perspective that has enlivened the work here in Saenz Peña and in my mission. We have been learning a lot together about following the small promptings of the spirit as we find new people to teach. Just yesterday, we were walking in the cold to the next planned lesson and a man entering his house called out "¿que estan haciendo en el frío?" After asking what the man had said and understanding, my companion suggested we turn around and tell him. We went back and shared the Book of Mormon with the man, who didn't have very much time, but is searching for the truth in his life. I am so happy to be training a missionary that is ready to give his all. We will be working really hard these next few weeks!

There is a couple, the Diaz, that the missionaries have visited for over 20 years that finally this week decided to get married and be baptized. There are still several obstacles that are keeping them from doing it. Please pray for them!

Fathers day was a really special day for us. It made me so happy to be able to tell people "fathers day is the perfect day to show your love for your Father in Heaven and go to His house."

We like to eat! I'll have better pictures next week.
There was a member here that was super busy cleaning her house. We insisted in helping her clean and we got to help her clean mold that had started to grow on her ceiling. As we were there, she told us that she would be busy and might not be able to attend church. I shared that I had never done homework or school related projects on Sundays and that God blessed me to never have to turn in a late assignment. It made me so happy when she chose to go with her two daughters and put God first.

My invitation this week is to examine your daily habits and choose one that you want to replace for something better. For example, instead of reading Facebook posts, you could write letters of encouragement and love to your neighbors, friends, or relatives. As you choose to make better choices, I promise that God will help you see your potential as His son or daughter and you will feel closer to Him.

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward




Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Baptism and a Testimony

Hurray for another week in the best two years so far of my life! I know that God has a perfect plan for me, so as I do my very best to obey Him, everything that happens is what is best for me. That brings me joy. If only we could always step back a moment from every situation with gratitude and our end goal in mind, I know we would find more joy.

My old zone. We are each holding up the number of transfers we have in the mission. 17 is the max amount of transfers. I've got two more!
I have been assigned to train a new Elder in the mission. I am excited for the chance to guide another missionary in his first few steps of his mission. I am very likely to finish my mission as a trainer because I only have two transfers left. We will see what God has planned. It will be a lot easier to stay focused, that´s for sure!

Transfers. Elder Lundgreen was assigned to serve in the city of Resistencia. I will be training a new missionary in Saenz Peña!
While we wait for our new companions to arrive, Elder Butler and I enjoy our pizzas. Our companions get here today (Tuesday) and we get to meet them tomorrow (Wednesday)
Eduardo Perez was baptized this week! Last Monday, we asked him if he wanted to be baptized a week earlier than we had planned and he said yes! He was very prepared to follow God and it has been such a joy to watch him prepare to be baptized. He is exited to serve and is looking for more people we can teach, including many of his relatives and co-workers. From the beginning, he wanted to be baptized and is one of the most prepared people I have ever met that was ready to receive the gospel.

Eduardo Perez was baptized! We are so excited for him. He is super prepared to serve in God´s church.
All of the missionaries in our branch (4) got to give talks in the church service this past Sunday. I was the last one to talk and only had about five minutes to speak, but I talked about receiving a testimony of the Book of Mormon. As we read the Book of Mormon and apply what we learn, we learn of it´s truthfulness. However, we must also accept Moroni´s invitation to ask God in prayer if it is not true (Moroni 10:3-5) As we do, the spirit will confirm that it is true through feelings of peace and joy. I invite you just as I did last week, to strengthen your testimonies of the Book of Mormon and take the challenge of the living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, to read the Book of Mormon every day. As you do, you will find greater protection from the evils in the world and find greater peace and understanding.
We made pizza!
Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward