Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Be Bold!


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


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


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


¡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


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


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


¡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

The Restoration

¡Hola todos!

This has been a great week. We did divisions with some of the other Elders in the district and I got to do a baptismal interview for one of the investigators in their area. I was happy to see his baptism in Saturday. Hermano Perez went to the baptism and to church this past Sunday. He is really excited for his baptism and we will see today if he will get baptized this week or next week. We are super exited for him!

I got to do the baptismal interview for this young man. It was exciting to be a part of his baptism! He goes to the other ward in Centro.
My companion and I have been a little sick this week, but we are doing much better. We have seem many miracles of protection this week from unexpected dangers and have also been guided to find several prepared families. One day, I felt impressed to contact a house in an area we in which we never had been. After clapping twice, no one was there. However, just as we were about to leave, a man walked by. "Elders!" He said. He and his family were members and had moved in to the house next door less than a week before. Latter, we passed by and we shared a scripture with the whole family. They are going to start going to the church again and have some relatives that could get baptized soon. I am happy to be a servant of God.

We play ping pong on p-days here.
I know that this church is God´s church on the earth. God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. The priesthood is restored. The Book of Mormon is true. It brings me peace and answers when I read it. I promise that as you read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it is true, he will answer you. This week, I invite all of you to read the Book of Mormon meditate in what you have read and then ask God if it is true. As you do, you will learn to appreciate the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love Him. I love His teachings!

I will be writing on Tuesday next week! We had a short transfer.

Have a happy week!

Elder Cloward

Old Friends- Preparation Makes a Difference


Elder Lundgreen and me.
This was my first week in Saenz Peña! I have really enjoyed my time with my companion, Elder Lundgreen. He is really funny and has a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. He's still pretty new in the mission, but he is already confident and knows how to teach really well. We've gotten lost several times because he's also pretty new to the area, but we're making good progress.
We eat a lot, but Elder Lundgreen eats more. He ate 24 empanadas in one sitting. He's got an iron stomach!

There are many parts of our area that are dangerous. Please pray for all of the missionaries that we can be safe, especially after dark.

There is a man here, Hermano Perez, that has been going to church regularly for the past month and wants to be baptized. We are working with him so that he can receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon. We are excited for him! We also found a family that is willing to get baptized when they receive and answer to their prayers. At the beginning of the lesson, the father told us he had no desire to change his beliefs, but after the lesson, he said he would prepare to be baptized. That kind of change only happens when the Holy Ghost is present. He is so amazing as he touches our hearts and brings us peace. He tells us, this is true!

A member here has the Book of Mormon in more than 27 different languages! He helped us find some new people to teach.
On Sunday, we participated in a district conference in which all of the members of the church nearby attended. My companion and I were a part of the choir. When we sang during the meeting, it was our best performance. The spirit was present very strongly throughout the meeting and it really helped me to put everything back into perspective. As I said last week, it is hard to stay focused. Church meetings and activities help us keep our perspective centered on God's plan for us. I invite each of your to prepare for the next time you attend a church meeting so that you can receive the full benefit God is preparing for you. As you do, you will find greater peace and understanding.

Many of the members in Villa Angela, my first area, came to the district conference here. Milton was a boy we began to teach right before I left the area. He got baptized! We were so happy to see each other!
The Caseres family from my first area. Their boys went on splits with us a few times and the family gave us lunch on Thursdays!
Leonel, an awesome young man from Villa Angela. Five of the youth I met in Villa Angela are serving in missions throughout the world and Leonel should be on his mission by next year!
Elder Cloward

Prepare for Eternity

¡Hola a todos!

I´m in Saenz Peña Chaco, in the Obrero branch! I wasn't expecting to go so quick. I'm going to miss everyone in Formosa, but I am super excited to get to know the people here. My new companion is Elder Lundgreen from Nebraska USA. He is super great. He´s been in the mission very little time, but he´s confident and happy. He´s a lot like me, tall, skinny, eats a lot ,and cheerful, and I know we´ll get a long well.

This past week, we had another baptism! Maria Da Silva accepted an invitation to be baptized this past Saturday. It felt a little rushed, but we felt that everything had come together for her to be able to make a promise with God and there was no reason to wait. These thoughts were swirling in my mind, even during here baptism. But as I baptized her, and sat beside her after her baptism. I could feel God´s love for her and her desire to follow Him. I felt the room filled to the brim with the joy in heaven for her decision. She is going to do a lot of good for her family and for the church.
Maria Da Silva got baptized!
This was in the font when we filled it up for the baptism. Ahhh!
I am happy and well! I know that when we follow God, trust in the Spirit, and are obedient, everything turns out okay. Focus on eternity, on our goal to live with God after this life, clean and pure, with all those you love. I challenge each of you to do at least one thing this week to prepare for eternity. That is the purpose of this life!

¡Que tengan una semana feliz!
Elder Cloward

Lots of mud!

It´s hard to walk fast to lunch when you can slip and fall. Even walking carefully, the mud splashes everywhere.

Baptisms to Come

An ¡hola! from Argentina!

We are really excited here in Centenario. This next week is going to be really busy as we work with four different people who are preparing to be baptized! On Friday, Lidia Jara... I mean Espinola, got married! She has been waiting for nearly two years and the day finally came. She was so happy and it was beautiful to be able to participate in such an incredible miracle! We have invited her to prepare to be married in the temple for time and eternity and we have faith that it will happen. She will be getting baptized on Saturday.

Lidia Jara, I mean Lidia Espinola´s wedding. Yay!
Lautaro and Fabricio are also ready to be baptized this Saturday. Sometimes they get what we´ve taught a little mixed up because they are so young. but they have strong testimonies and many people supporting them. As I look back to my baptism, I don´t remember much of what happened before, but I do remember that it was what I wanted and that I was my choice. I wanted to be good, and they do too!

Maria Da Silva is also very close to being able to be baptized. All of these people need many prayers!
This Saturday, we will be having a Capilla Abierta (Open Chapel) for all those who want to learn more about the church and what we do. We have a lot of work to do to get ready.

We got to sing in the stake choir this past Sunday and all of the practices we had came together to produce a beautiful sound. We felt the Holy Ghost as we sang and shared our testimonies with the congregation. I love to sing!
The choir assistant taught the stake choir really well.
The stake choir.
Elder Oliva and I are working really well together and yesterday, we were the means of answering the prayer of a family that was waiting for us. I am so happy that God trusts us with His work and that He gives us the opportunity to receive so many blessings. I love Him!
Elder Oliva and me on the bus.

Elder Cloward

A lot to clean up in our huge pension.

God´s Peace is Real!

It been another great busy week!

We had multi-zone conference and interviews with President Franco. I always feel better after these meetings because they help me put all of my thoughts, expectations, and actions back into place. I feel more at peace and I know what I am doing. I realized that this is how we should feel after partaking of the sacrament every Sunday. As we prepare ourselves for church meetings, they will become tools for our growth and meetings in which we can learn what we most need to learn by the spirit. I want to prepare not just physically for Sunday, but spiritually too.

Elder Oliva and me in the multi-zone conference.
A bunch of great missionaries.
We are starting to work even more with the members here and we have so many references, it´s difficult to visit them all! The ward has made a ward missionary plan and they have called an assistant to the ward mission leader. We also are making a list of all of the members that want to visit with us and the list is really long! The ward here has so much potential, we just have to help them reach their potential.

Elder Oliva and I were the last missionaries in Formosa to receive our interviews with President Franco.
I am happy to be a missionary. Every day, I realize more deeply how important my work is. We invite all, just as Jesus did, to be obedient, to read the scriptures, to pray, and to go to church so that the y can find peace and joy. As they do, we invite them to prepare to make  a promise with God and be baptized to receive even more blessings. God´s peace is real! I invite each of you to seek this peace this week by reading the scriptures.

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward
Elder Oliva helped the sisters install their new water filter and chlorine dispenser.

Rainning Blessings

¡Hola todos!

It rained a lot this week! On Wednesday, it began to rain really hard, and instead of stopping quickly like it normally does, it kept going. The first day my companion got to Formosa, his boots got mixed up with another missionary´s stuff and that missionary ended up taking them. For all of this week, he had to wear his normal shoes in the mud. Finally now that everything is dry, we got them back. It was pretty silly. It was also pretty sad too. The very day it started to rain hard, we went to one of the poorer neighborhoods of our area and many of the houses were a foot or two under water and that was after most of the water had left. We ended up in it up to our knees trying to get to Facundo (a recent convert) to teach him. It was pretty funny to see his reaction. His house was fine, but he was not expecting to see us on his door step. There was another family that we were teaching that didn't have anything because the rain made it so they couldn't work. I am grateful for the means God has given me to work hard in whatever condition and to comfort and serve those who are looking for God in their lives.

On Sunday, we had our ward conference and a lot of people came, including some less active members we've been visiting. We were so happy to see them all! Several investigators came too. I was feeling a little sick that morning, but seeing so many happy faces and being able o sing in the ward choir made me feel a lot better. In the afternoon on Sunday, we practiced in the stake choir, and got to see the children´s choir practice. Their energy and excitement brought the spirit so strongly. I am grateful for the pure testimony of the children as they testified of their desires to prepare for their own missions and be good.

The stake primary choir. We were so happy to see Lautaro, his brother Fabricio and Fabricio participate!
That night, we had a lesson with the Da Silva family with another really strong family in the ward and we shared the story of the tree of life (1 Nephi 8). Each of the members contributed and at the end, we invited Daiana, the oldest of the Da Silva children to be baptized this Saturday. She thought about it and even considered a later date, but then said "no, este Sábado sería mejor." We are so happy for her! Please pray for her this week!

Keep sharing your lights!
Elder Cloward