Tuesday, February 28, 2017


¡Hola todos!

I am still in Centenario with Elder Sears. I am so excited to keep working hard with him with the amazing people here. I know there is still so much for me to learn from him. This Sunday, Alejandro came to church again. He has a lot of questions ablout baptism and is really thinking about how it will help him. We are excited for him!

Divisions in Pirane with Elder Carter and Elder Afane. Pirane is a beautiful town 2 hours from the city of Formosa.
There is a lot of work to do here, but we have been really busy doing divisions in Pirane and we will be going to Resistencia this week for a zone leader meeting. We have had to go inside early several days in a row now because of a crazy holiday called carnival. I´m excited for when it is all over and we can start to work hard again.

This morning, we went to a part of the city where they sell a bunch of really cheap things from Paraguay. A lot of shops were closed for the holiday and the rain, but It was cool to see all of the things to buy.
Yesterday, I met some really cool people in the terminal for the buses and I had some really good conversations. As we open our mouths, God will fill them, even for a few hours, as was the case with me and Pedro. He accepted a Book of Mormon with my testimony and I got to tell him that he would see his wife again after this life (she passed away over thirty years ago.) That made him so happy.

I met a really cool man in the terminal yesterday as we were helping missionaries during transferes. I gave him a Book of Mormon with my testimony in it. He said he would read it during his trip to Buenos Aires.
I invite all of you to open your mouths, and just as God promises, I also promise that you will be filled to know what to say and filled with the joy of the gospel.

Have a happy week!

Elder Cloward

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Facundo´s Baptism!

¡Hola todos!

A rainbow after a five minute downpour that left us soaked.
This was a very happy week. Facundo Mencia got baptized! We had his baptism on Saturday at 8:00 in the morning because all of the youth afterward were going to go to a service project and then go fishing. He brought one of his less active member friends to his baptism too. Elder Sears got to baptize him. When he came out of the water, there was a look of pure joy on his face. Later, he told Elder Sears, "you aren´t going to believe me, but I am so happy right now!" It is incredible how baptism frees you from all of your sin and we see it every time someone gets baptized. Then, on Sunday, he was confirmed member of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. During priesthood meeting, he received the Aaronic priesthood too. He has only come to church three times, yet it already seems like he´s been a member most of his life. All of the members are helping him to feel welcome and he is thinking about preparing for a mission. He is so cool and we a re so happy for him!

Cleaning the font for the baptism. Here, the baptismal fonts are emptied using a pump and it takes a long time, especially when the pump doesn´t work well.
Facundo got baptized!
After Facundo´s baptism, he went to a service project and went fishing. All of the young men participated in his baptism.
We are teaching several other great people too. Many of the members here are helping us teach awesome people who have desires to be baptized. I am really grateful to the members in the ward here who invite their friends to church and invite us to their homes to teach them.

Alejandro from last week is still progressing well. He is very sincere and has many questions. He is trying to change his life from where he was earlier and is beginning to smoke less thanks to Belen.

We are also teaching three brothers (Santiago(11), Nauel (8), and Lautaro(11)) who are friends of Axel (9). They all pay really close attention when we teach and have already come to church a few times. I am so happy for little missionaries like Axel!

Some members showed Elder Sears how to cut down a tree.
We are still waiting on the paper for Lidia´s marriage, but we have a new plan and a goal for her marriage and baptism in two weeks. Please pray for her and the birth certificate we are trying to get.
This is the last week of the transfer, so next week I will write on Tuesday. I may have a different companion, but I am almost positive I will stay here.

I am excited for an awesome week!

God loves us. He knows us and our needs. He wants us to succeed and does all He can to help us find joy. As we accept Jesus´ sacrifice and Atonement and continue to change every day of our lives, we will find great joy now and after this life. 

Remember your many blessings, share them, and find joy in your lives!

Elder Cloward

Sunday, February 19, 2017

An Invitation to Baptism


We have been really busy this week and I am super happy. The progress we are seeing in our area is incredible, a true miracle. This Sunday, 7 investigators came to church and we only looked for one of them. That one is Facundo Mencia (17). He is going to be baptized this Saturday and he is super excited! He understands everything we teach him at a level I haven´t seen in many people and it is clear that the Spirit is teaching him and helping him to change. Please pray for him so that he can overcome the trials that will come his way this week.

I had divisions with Elder Nuñez from Southern Chile and we got drenched. We didn´t bring jackets or anything and the rain caught us by surprise!
Lidia is not married or baptized yet, but we hope and believe it will happen in the next few weeks. We are trying to get the birth certificate of her future husband Jose, but it is in Buenos Aires. We are looking for other options and have several good plans. Please continue to pray for them.

The mosquitos here come in all shapes and sizes.
We met a great young man, Alegandro, who came to church for his first time yesterday. His girlfriend Belen is a recent convert and is helping him a bunch. From the very start of the lesson we had with him yesterday, he told us he is trying to change his life. We shared with him how the Book of Mormon is a guide to become a better person. At the end, I felt prompted to invite him to be baptized, but I was nervous how he would respond. I invited him anyway as we read a scripture in 3 Nephi 11. The invitation surprised him and he told us he would have to see. Just as we were about to say the closing prayer, he interupted "wait! What was that you were saying about baptism? How can I prepare myself to be baptized?" We were so happy! We marked several scriptures to help answer his questions and Belen shared her testimony with him. After the lesson I was just so full and happy. I imagine that heaven is a little like that, but a whole lot better. I am happy to be a missionary. I love God and his son Jesus Christ. Only through them can we receive a fullness of joy now and forever. As we have our eye "single to the glory of God," we will find greater joy in our service.

Elder Sears, my amazing companion.

¡Que tenga una semana feliz!

Elder Cloward

Everyone playing basketball. We play every preparation day.

Future Baptisms, Service, and The Book of Mormon

¡Hola todos!

This week was super full and great. We did divisions with the Elders from Pirane, a small city 2 hours away. I got to go with Elder Afane, who started his training 2 weeks ago. He is really great at loving the people we teach. He and I found a really great family, the Dasilva family. Maria and her four children really loved what we taught and we enjoyed being goofy with them. We visited them once more the following day and when Elder Afane had to go, the youngest girl (4), started to rub her eyes, and the others started to tear up too. He pulled out a minion beanie that his sister had hand made and gave it to the young girl. It was really sweet.

We did divisions with the Elders in Pirané. I went with Elder Afane from El Salvador, who has been in the mission just two weeks now. He is really great!

We have been teaching Facundo (16), who is really excited to get baptized. He asked us if he could be baptized and we didn´t even invite him. We chalenged him to prepare for the 18th of February and the next lesson, he told us he had stayed up late because he was so excited thinking about it. This past Sunday, we went early to look for him because he was really excited to go to church, but wanted to go with someone he knew well. He stayed for the whole three hours and he knew some of the members from before. He loved it a lot! We are super exited for him. He wants to serve a mission some day.

We are also teaching Lidia, who has been trying to get baptized for over a year. Just recently, her boy friend (Jose) finally decided to get married with her. They are going to get married on the tenth of February and she will get baptized the following day. We are so happy for them.

We also cut the grass of another partial family with a gas powered weed wacker. That is what they normally use to cut grass here.

All of us after cutting the grass. The mom (Lidia) and dad (Jose) (far right) are going to get married on the 10th of February. They have been trying to get married for over a year because Lidia wants to get married. Jose recently decided he would get married for her. Please keep them in your prayers.
Finally, we got to do some really fun service projects, including moving 12 kilo cement cylinders from a room of a house to a place outside. There were a lot more cylindars than we thought. We also got to cut the grass of Lidia and Jose with a super cool gas powered weed wacker. That was fun work.

For service, we helped a partial member family move 12 kilo cylinders from a room to outside.

Please continue to pray for all of these wonderful people. It is incredible how God is answering all of our prayers to help the people of Formosa.

It´s still hot, but this week it was a bit cooler.

Have a happy week! Keep reading the Book of Mormon. It is the way to know that the church is true and also have the protection from God every day, to always have the protecting power of the Holy Ghost, and to remain active in church. It contains all of the teachings we need to know to be able to be saved. I know it is true.

Elder Cloward

Six of us ate asado with a really great member family. It was really fun and delicious! We eat meals with members every day here.

The Work in Formosa

¡Hola a todos!

This week, we had a multi zone conference and I got to cunduct the meeting. That was a neat experience and I learned how important it is for the conductor to invite the spirit into the meeting, President Franco taught us the importance of the Book of Mormon in the conversion in every investigator. We are going to try to study better and use it more in our charlas (discusions).

Elder Cami (from Peru) and I had divisions. We cooked arroz chaufu (fried rice) with a member family.

We invited a lot of people to church this week and almost everyone said they would come. But when Sunday came, we woke up to the sounds of thunder. It didn´t rain very hard, but not as many people came. However, 10 minutes before the first hour of church ended, four new investigators came to church. We recently started teaching them and they are friends of Maria, another investigator who is trying to get married. The people who came to church are named Lucía, Melani, Laura, and Mauro. They are great and excited to learn. We will be working with them more this week.

It rained really hard really fast and for 2-3 hours, all of the streets were just full of water. Crazy!
This Friday, Lidia Jara will get married to Jose so that she can get baptized on Saturday. We are really excited for her! She needs a lot of prayers so that they can make it. Please continue to pray for Facundo. He plans to get baptized in two weeks and is really exited to keep learning.
¡Que tengan una feliz semana!

Elder Cloward

Every preparation day, we play basketball. It´s pretty fun! (I took the picture.)

I am happy and hot!


I´ve really enjoyed my first week in Formosa, though I´m still getting used to everything new here. We have lunch every day with members and a member that washes our clothes. We are working in the largest ward in the mission and there are a lot of members that are ready to help us. Because we have so much area to cover, and for all the work previous missionaries have done, the work here is very different. We are working with several parcial member families, including several couples that are waiting to get married. They have to wait until the middle of February because everyone is on vacation. Their names are Maria (investigator), Raul (member) and Lorena (investigator) and Jose (also investigator). They are really great families. We are also working with Pricila (8). She is from a less active family and wants to be baptized but never makes it to church and we are having a tough time being able to teach her. Diana (9) is in a similar situation, except that it is harder for her because her dad isn´t a member and seems to be convincing her that she shouldn´t get baptized. Please pray for them!

Elder Sears and I got to try cover a wall of a house with cement. It was a lot harder than it looks. First you have to throw the cement at the wall with just enough force that it sticks without falling, then you have to spread it with enough force that it doesn´t stick to the trowel.
I have really enjoyed being a zone leader so far. We got to go to a zone leader meeting with President Franco and he taught us more about our purpose: to "preach repentance and baptize converts." We discused how we need to focus on teaching people how to repent and put it in practice in our own lives. When peaple understand repentance, they will want to accept invitations, especially the invitation to be baptized. We also got to practice iniviting people to come to church by helping people feel the spirit of sacrament meeting. President Franco helped us to see that the sacrament is one of the most sacred ordinaces outside of the temple. When we talk about the sacrament, we can help those we teach feel a little bit of the temple as we teach them. I enjoyed relaying what we learned in a zone meeting the following day.

Elder Sears and I in a zone leader meeting. He is a pretty silly guy, but he is really good at making friends and helping missionaries and investigators feel loved.
That´s a pretty good summary of what my area is like so far. We walk a lot and the sun is hotter than I have ever felt the sun be before. This next week the high for three days straight is 106, which is plesant here. It´s going to be hotter in February, they say.

Our zone.
My companion is awesome and I am learning a lot form him. He´s from Georga, and has 18 months in the mission. We are good at teaching together and I feel the spirit in the lessons more than I have in a long time. I am happy and hot!

Have a happy week!
Elder Cloward

Home sweet home. We have a large pension with 2 bathrooms, our bedroom, and two storage rooms. It gets really hot inside!

Our pension is the storage area for the zone. There used to be 16 missionaries that cover out area, but now there are just 4.