Saturday, January 21, 2017

Formosa la Hermosa (y Calorosa)

¡Hola a todos!

This past week has been really great and really busy. We were helping a couple prepare to get married and we did several errands getting birth certificates and getting a time set so they can get a blood test.

Angel Franco is preparing to get married on the 25th. They were super fun and silly. He isn´t too excited to get married, but he´s willing to do it for his wife so she can get baptized.

There are so many people preparing to be baptized there, including Nasareno (9), the son of a less active member, and Fabian, his uncle. We gave Nasareno the kids version of the Book of Mormon with drawings and invited him to read the first chapter for the next visit. When we came back the next time, he told us about all of his favorite stories of the Book of Mormon, especially Abinadi the prophet. He read the whole book in just three days. We were so happy and surprised! His family isn´t very intesrested in comming back to church, but his uncle did come and is super excited to keep learning and prepare for his baptism. They sure are great and need lots of prayers.

President Cardozo is the Branch President of the Belgrano Branch. He was really great!

As the title says, I´ve moved to the other side of the mission: Formosa! The sun feels closer here and I´m already sunburnt. There is a lot of Paraguay influence here and many more of the people go to the Evangelic church. I am excited to work here with Elder Sears. We are both zone leaders, serving 8 other missionaries in our zone. I am excited to learn and grow in this new assignment.

The clouds in Goya were fantastic. It aways seemed like a battle was going on up there.

I know that God is aware of me and knows my needs. He lives. Jesus lives and loves us. He defeated death and sin. Through Him we can live with God again. I want to do all I can to show my love for Him!

Elder Salas Mora has been one of my favorite companions so far. He was amazing and showed his faith through his actions.
My new pension in Formosa is huge! I´ll try to send better pictures and pictures of my companion next week!
¡Que tenga una feliz semana!
Elder Cloward

Monday, January 9, 2017

Commandments are Blessings

¡Hola todos!

This is the last week of the transfer, so I will be writing all of you on Tuesday next week!

This week we didn´t get to work very much because we were sick several days.

We finally changed the water filter this week. I know better now.
We also got to go to the capital of Corrientes and we had a big meeting with the mission president and other missionary zones. President Franco invited us to invite the members to share spiritual messages through FaceBook and other internet sites and invite their friends to listen to the missionaries. That is going to be great. On the way back from the meeting, there was an accident about half an hour away from the city and we had to take a longer way to get back. While the man driving the bus we had rented went to see what happened, we stayed in the bus. The music he had playing wasn´t very good. Our zone leader had the courage to turn it off which was really good. The extra time we had in the bus gave me time to talk to the driver who was really nice and wants the missionaries to go and visit him. That will be great!

Elder Salas Mora and I have been really great companions.
We have begun to teach Agustin Franco (11) and Nasareno Valenzuela (9), two boys from inactive families here in Goya. They need a lot of prayers so that their families can help them get ready to be baptized and come back to church.

Finally, we are teaching a couple that the missionaries have been teaching for over three years. Recently, they told us they would get married and we went to the "registro civil" to obtain a date for their marriage. They are going to get married on the 25th! We are super excited for them too and they need a lot of prayers because there are a lot of problems in their home and getting married is going to solve a lot of those problems.

Commandments are God´s solutions to the problems we face here. When we are obedient, we can be happy and we will be worthy to live with God after this life. I love Him!
Have a happy week! We will see were I am next time I write home!
Elder Cloward

Monday, January 2, 2017

God's Children

¡Feliz año nuevo a todos!

We are finding and teaching so many people that are interested in learning more. It is amazing! Eleven people have goals to be baptized this month. Some of those people may be baptized next month, but we have a lot of work to help each of them get ready. Every one of them has different needs and interests and it is amazing how the gospel, no matter what, applies to each of them.

On the 24th, we cooked asado in the oven. It was tasty!

We recently began to teach family members of a recent convert named Alberta. We had a really spiritual lesson with Analia, Alberta´s daughter, and Marian, Analia´s daughter. They both accepted to be baptized, but didn´t come to church because they stayed up for the new year. We pray that they can make it this next week.

We were going to have a meeting, but the meeting was canceled and we decided to go to a part of the city we haven´t visited in a long time. We found Karina, who really enjoyed the Restoration and also accepted a date for her baptism. An hour and 3 kilometers later, we found her and her husband in the bank. That was incredible, especially because there are multiple banks here. She didn´t come to church, but we are going to keep teaching her too.
We ate tacos for christmas lunch.

I am happy here and the work here is fast, even with holidays and other things that prevent us from working harder. I am happy for all of the growth I am experiencing and I know God loves me. He loves each of His children. I am happy to serve them.
For new years, my companion made fiambre aleman, a tasty meal of pancakes with layers of tomato, cheese, ham, lettuce, and eggs. They were really good!
Have a happy week and a joyful new year!
Fire works! It is Argentine tradition to fire of fireworks at 12 on Christmas and new years. We wolk up both nights to see a few.
Elder Cloward

Participate in God´s Miracles

¡Hola a todos y feliz navidad!

I hope you all have had a merry Christmas!

This week was excelent! Christmas isn´t as big here as it is in the states, but there were decorations everywhere an a lot of things are still closed. Argentine traditions for Christmas include a lot of fireworks on the 24th at midnight (we woke up and got to see them. The whole city was shooting fireworks. It was amazing!) and asado (we cooked a bunch of meat in the oven. It was really delicious!) We had to enter the pension early on the 24th and 25th, but even still, we got to work hard this week.

Maria Aguirre didn´t end up getting baptized this week because she went to go visit her family in Rosario, Santa Fe. We are hoping that if she chooses to move there and stay with her children, that she can get baptized there. 

We are teaching a boy named Lautaro (14). He understands really well what we are teaching and loves that we pass by. His parents don´t want to listen to us but are okay with us teaching him. The last time we taught him, he prayed at the end of the lesson to know if what we are teaching him is true. He gave a beautiful prayer. After the prayer, we could tell that he felt different, that he felt the spirit, but that he didn´t know exactly what it was. We are excited for him and plan to talk more to his parents so he can come to church.

We are also teaching Dante (18), a friend of some of the members in the ward. He loves to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon and is currently listening to two or three different churches that come to teach him. We are praying that he can make it to church this week so that he can get baptized.

Finally, we reacently started to teach Jose (8), a young boy the sisters were teaching. Almost all of his family are members of the church and the only reason he isn´t baptized is because he hasn´t received permision from his dad. We got to talk with his dad and after diligently pleading with him, with boldness and with the spirit, we received permision to baptize Jose if he receives a testimony and feels that it is what he should do. There is a lot of opposition from his parents, but he is excited and wants to learn and be baptized. We are praying for him too.

I got to skype my family on the 25th and I am so happy to have been able to see and speak with them. I love my family and they made me excited to work even harder, listen better to the spirit, and study more diligently the scriptures. At the end of the skype call, all of my family gathered around and we sang Angels We Have Heard On High. What an angelic choir! I love my family. The invitation I gave to them is an invitation I wish to give to all. I invite each of you to ask God in prayer who you can invite to learn more about Jesus. He will answer as you are diligent and willing. Act on the prompting you receive and invite that person to do somthing that will bring them closer to Christ. Remember that the invitation is more important than how they answer the invitation. As you invite, you and your families will participate in miracles, share joy, and find more happiness.

¡Que tenga una feliz semana! I´ll see you all next year!
Elder Cloward

What a Miracle!

Tuvimos una semana muy feliz (we had a very happy week).

I am happy to be a missionary! This is God´s work and He gives us many wonderful opportunities to serve his children.

The rain caught us by surprise twice this week. I left the apartment with my sombrero sweating and came back soaked with rain. The weather here is crazy!

At the beginning of the week, we began to teach Eliana more frequently. She´s about to have her baby soon and so we decided to teach her really fast so that she could get baptized. We asked her, "do you want to get baptized this week, or next week." She surprised me when she told us she wanted to get baptized this week! We past by just about every day of the week so that she would be ready. The last day we told her. "Satan does not want you to get baptized and will do what ever it takes so you don´t arrive to your baptizm." The next day was her baptismal interview and her baptism was planned for that morning. We called her before her interview. She told us that something bad had happened. Her mother had set fire to her own house that night and was in the hospital. Eliana was about to go see her when we called. We talked about how important her baptism was. What happened next was one of the greatest shows of faith I have ever seen. She came to her baptism! When we saw her sister and her in the distance, we waved and shouted! It was so exciting! I got to baptize her and I was so happy for that privilege.
Eliana, the sister of Yanel and mother of Maira, got baptized this past Saturday!

We are super happy for her. It was an incredible series of miracles!

She didn´t make it to church this past week, but we are praying that she can make it this next week to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We are teaching Maria Aguirre really fast now so she can reach her baptismal date this weekend. She is super excited! Please pray for her that she can understand everything we are teaching and that she can be ready this Saturday.

We played football today. It´s really hot here!

I get to skype my family this Sunday. I am excited to see them! It is in the low 100´s here, but I am happy and excited to keep serving in this happy time of year in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus who came to teach, suffer, and save us. What a miracle!

We had a great dinner (asado) in the church this week. One of the sisters who is about to have her baby dressed up as Santa Claus.

¡Que tenga una feliz navidad y año nuevo!
Elder Cloward

Lots of Happy Work

This has been one of the better weeks of my mission. Elder Salas Mora and I are getting along really well and we can see how our unity is affecting the work in wonderful ways. We´ve been working harder than I have ever worked in this area and we have two people preparing for their baptisms in two weeks. Maria Aguirre is still super excited for her baptism and told us this week that she doesn´t want to get back together with her boy friend. She is super excited for her baptism and asks us every time we pass by what more she needs to to to be prepared. We are happy for her.

We are also teaching Maira´s Mom, Eliana, who also wants to get baptized the 24th. She is about to have her baby soon, and she has a few other large obstacles. We are praying for her that she can receive an answer from God for what she should do. She has a lot of really great questions that really surprise us, but that show that she has a real and strong desire to do what is right. Hurray!

God also lead us to find some really great people in a poorer area of the city. We started teaching Jose (14), Juaquin (13), and Joel (12), three friends. They are pretty goofy and sometimes don´t pay attention, but they all told us they would be baptized when they feel they are ready. Jose really felt the spirit when we read about Joseph Smith´s prayer. Joseph in Spanish is Jose and they´re both 14 years old. We plan to work with the organizations here and some of the other youth to help people like them.

Elder Salas Mora and I went to play football today in the plaza. He showed me some Rugby moves from when he was in school.

We are really happy here and are looking forward to another great week! I know that all of the blessings we are receiving are from God. Without Him, we are nothing, but as we help these people come to Chirst, He can bless them and save them.  I love Him! 

¡Que tenga una feliz semana!
Elder Cloward

Tierra del Fuego

¡Hola todos!
Elder Zabala finished his mission and is headed back home to Paraguay.

Elder Zabala and me. He was a really great companion! He recently finished his mission and is headed back to Paraguay.

My new companion is Elder Salas Mora from Argentina, Tierra del Fuego.

My new companion, Salas Mora. He is from Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, and he is awesome! We also got our haircuts today and they turned out bad again...

He has been serving as a missionary for six months and he and I are excited to work hard this transfer. We are currently helping an elderly lady, Maria Aguirre, prepare for her baptism on the 24 of Dicember. She is really excited and loves to read the Book of Mormon. Every time we pass by, she tells us that she feels a strong peace and happiness.  She is super prepared, but needs to get married with her husband, or get separated so she can get baptized. Please pray that she can work things out with her husband.

We have been sharing the new church christmas video with lots of people here and we are finding new people to teach. Every time I watch it, I feel Christ´s love for us and a desire to serve more people. I recommend that you watch it at

A lot of really great things are happening here, but I will have to tell you more about them next week!

¡Que tenga una feliz semana!
Elder Cloward