Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fotos galore

Fotos from the past few weeks:
Elder Cloward loves his tree and all the ornaments!
Elder Cloward and Elder Wagner and the "trunky" tree (haha)

Thanks for the ornament, Adriana! And what is Joel doing on the tree?

Fotos from service (cleaning the Young Women President's rug):

Fotos from Elder Cloward's mission Christmas party: Elder Butterfield, President Jones, Elder Cloward
Elder Cloward, Elder Mawhinney, Elder Krainik

The Jones family (Mission President, wife and children)

Semana 9 en Los Arcos

"So right now I`m sitting in an internet cafe on the other side of the world, and `Take on Me`is playing in the background (does he mean 'Take a Chance on Me' maybe?). nice. So we didn`t do email yesterday because we were in the Christmas activity pretty much all day. It was really fun. We went to the chapel of Rivas Vicuña at about 8:30 and changed into our pday clothes to play (you guessed it, soccer) and some other games that Sister Jones had organized. Then we watched the `restrospectiva`which is like a slide show of the past year, and we all got a copy of it after. Then we ate lunch, sang some christmas songs, and President Jones spoke, then we took a pic of the whole mission, but I don`t have it, because they didn`t want to take the picture 160 times for the whole mission. So they will email it to me and I will email it to you.

"The Christmas activities for our ward and stake were this weekend, too. The ward activity was Friday and the stake activity was Saturday. On Saturday we had a whole stand set up outside with pamphlets, Liahona`s, pictures of Christ, etc. and we contacted pretty much every person that walked by to invite them to come in to the activity. Fernando Tapia (the 11 year old that we have been teaching from Flia. Tapia) came to the activity, but didn`t want to go in because he wanted to be outside with us and help us talk to people about Jesus Christ. He is a really great kid and we are going to try to set a date for his baptism tonight. Yesterday I asked him what he wants to do when he grows up and he told me he wants to be a missionary so he can help people. He also told us that he has been reading 4 pages from his Book of Mormon every day and he brings it to school and sometimes reads it with his friends. So yeah he is basically golden. His dad, Angel, came to church for the first time on Sunday and loved it. He was very impressed by how kind the members here. He told us they treated him like someone that they had known for a long time even though they were meeting him for the first time. Fernando didn`t come on Sunday because his dad told him he had to stay home and finsih his homework, so yesterday we told Fernando to make sure he has his homework done before Sunday so he can come to church.

"We are still teaching Katy but it is hard to get an appointment with her. Her fiancè, Erick, got fired from his old job and is now driving a radio taxi (basically someone calls him whil he is driving around and he picks them up and drops them off where they want to go) and he gets home very late from work and works every other Sunday. And Katy wants Erick to be there when we do the lessons (as do we) so we will see what happens with that, but they are going to get married January 30th and after that Katy can get baptized.We still have lunch every day with the members, but we are not sure who we will eat Christmas dinner with yet. Here Christmas dinner is always on the 24th and they open all of the gifts at midnight, which I guess is kinda cool, but then they just don`t really do anything on the 25th. They all think that I am crazy because we open the gifts on the 25th in the morning. I tried explaining that you have to go to sleep early on the 24th so that Santa Claus (here his name is `viejito pascuero`, literally `the old christmas man` haha) can come during the night to leave the gifts. oh well different country different traditions.

"I will take a picture of me by the tree and one up close of adrianna`s ornament. I really like the one that cousin Connie made of my new cousin `oopsie`hahaha. I put all of the ornaments that you sent me on the tree, so please let everyone that made an ornament know and tell them thank you. Thank you so much for all of the gifts the 12 days of christmas makes me laugh every time I open one. I try to guess what it will be before I open it and I have gotten a few of them right (animal crackers, fruit rollups) when I opened the Payday bar I was guessing it would be 100 grand, so I almost got that one write haha. well everybody I love you very much and cant wait to talk to you tomorrow! (2:oo my time 9:oo your time) talk to you soon!"

Feliz Navidad! or, Semana 10 en Los Arcos

"Merry Christmas and happy 2009!!! (almost) It was great to talk to everyone on mom`s birthday. Thank you so much for all of the ties and tell grandma Sharon thank you so much for the white shirt and tie! I really love all of the ties you sent. I decided that I am going to call the white and black one my zebra tie haha but I really do like it I wore it the day I opened it. I am feeling better too I just need to rest a little bit (he was a little sick when he called us).

"Today we are going to play volleyball for our zone activity I am so excited!!! finally! For the 24th we went to one of the sisters in Los Arcos and had dinner with her. She gave us socks for Christmas! haha I opened the gift from Lidia and she gave us socks too she is really funny. That is really exciting that Mitch is going to have his first baptism I am very excited for him. I am going to (try to) write them today I am not sure if i will have time with the zone activity. have you listened to the tape i sent or tried some of the cookies? I hope you like everything.

"Things are going well here yesterday Angel and Fernando came to church again. Angela didn`t come because she was feeling very sick again. Apparently she went to the hospital on Saturday and they are going again today. I really hope she will be okay. Apparently her mom died of ovarian cancer and her mom`s sister died of breast cancer and they think she might have the same thing, but she is only 16 years old. I feel so bad for the family and just hope that they will let the gospel help them overcome the challanges in their life. Well I have to go buy some stuff to get ready for the activity and I will talk to you again next week. I love you all so much!"

Christmas Call

Elder Cloward got to call us on Christmas Eve (which is also Rebecca's birthday) because the train stations and other public places wouldn't be open on Christmas. We had a great talk for about 45 minutes, and then the line went dead in the middle of his story! We were so sad, but we figured he had to go. About half an hour later he called us again! He said the power went out at the train station he was calling from, so he and his companion got on the next train, rode it up a stop, and called us again. It was so great to hear his voice and we're excited to talk to him again in May!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fotos! Semana 8 en Los Arcos

The Christmas Tree! See if you can find your ornaments
Also, please observe the musical Christmas ties from Dollar Tree

"Some old Catholic cathedral I thought looked really cool"

Elder Cloward & Elder Krainik at the mission home

Semana 8 en Los Arcos

"This week was pretty interesting. On Thursday I had to go to the mission office because I had to get my carnèt, which is basically my foreigner Chilean I.D. We had to go to three different gov't buildings throughout Santiago to get it and waited in lines for about 2 hours at each place. It was a good oportunity to make some contacts and talk to some peeps, but it was also a trial of my patience haha. So my card should be arriving in about 3 weeks. We had to wake up at about 5:30 a.m. and we did not get back to our sector until 6:00 p.m. but the sister who made us lunch, Hermana Corina Cancino, saved food for us. She is really cool and helps us a lot. I think it is because she has a son on the mission too and wants to help us as much as possible because she wants the members in Argentina to help her son like that. Her son, Elder Cancino, is serving in Buenos Aires North, is that Elder Anderson`s mission or Elder Williamson`s mission? They should know him since he is about to finish his mission.

"We also have taught the Familia Tapia to more times since last week. The daughter went to the hospital on Tuesday for a check up and the doctor could not find anything wrong with her, which I am pretty sure qualifies as a miracle considering how sick she was on Sunday. Also, they found the dad`s car which was stolen last week. So this family is seeing a lot of miracles which is really great. We have another lesson with them tonight.

"Thanks so much for the packages. I wasn`t sure about the stocking so I already opened it (but not the ties, I saved them for Christmas!) and gave the CTR rings, pencils, and stickers to the Primary kids and they loved them! The Primary president and her counselors were very grateful and wanted to thank you very much! I gave Elder Becerra his stocking too and told him to wait to open his tie until Christmas, but he openend it right away. I told him it was a very nice tie and he needs to take care of it, and he wanted to say "sank you very much" to the family (he has some problems making the "th" sound haha it doesn`t exist in Spanish). And I already put the treee up on the wall and finished decorating it today. I put the ties and the shirt from Grandma, along with the 12 days of christmas gifts "under" the tree it all looks pretty cool. I will send a pic today. The cookies and candy from your package were still very fresh I think putting the pieces of bread in there helped. As I was eating the cookies I thought how lucky I am to have a family that cares so much to wrap each individual cookie and send them in a container like that just so I could get them fresh. Thank you so much for all of the packages they are making our pension much more Christmas-y. Thanks for the cassette tape too I already listened to the whole thing during my exercize/get ready for bed time. I started laughing so hard when Mitch started talking. I also thought it was really funny when Elisabeth said that she couldn`t here me talking to her then when the girls explained to her that it was a recording that I would hear later and she said "oooohhh" haha made my day.

"We should be having Christmas dinner with one of the members, and we get to stay out until 11:00 p.m. woo-hoo!!! party day!!! haha."

(we get to talk to him in 9 days!!!!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fotos Semana 7

We have no idea what is going on here, but the statue is cool.
Elder Cloward and - we think - Elder Kranick outside a pretty church.

Lidia's baptism - Elder Cloward, Lidia, Raul, Elder Becerra

Monday, December 8, 2008

Semana 7 en Los Arcos

"This Thursday we had interviews with President Jones and he knew about the situation with Lidia from my weekly email and he told us he had been praying about it a lot, and he felt from the Spirit that the baptism on Saturday was okay. He said that it is possible that I was wrong when I saw the tunica above the water, or it is also possible that it went under the water and came up after. He said that one time he saw a baptism and both of the witnesses said it was good, but he was sitting to the side and to him it looked like the person had not gone completely under water, and he wanted to say something, but he felt the Spirit confirm that it was okay. Lidia definitely showed her true intention by being baptized (about 6 or 7 times) and if part of her clothes left from the water, it is okay. President Jones told me that if he is wrong, then it will fall on his head, not on mine. I thought that was pretty funny, but it also made me feel a lot better. So we told Lidia that everything was good with her baptism and she was very excited. So that is the good news of this week, but here comes the better news... get excited!

"We had a great experience this week with a new family (sorry this is kind of long, but it is a good story, I promise!). We only found them through what seems like an accident (but we don`t believe in coincidences, right?). We were standing oustide of an investigator´s house (his name is Emilio... he is a great investigator too but that is a different story for a different day) last Monday and a member from another stake, Hna. Sandoval, stopped to talk to us and told us that we should go visit this family, la familia Tapia, that was a good friend of hers, and lived in the apartment building across the street from Emilio. So we went and visited the next day, and set an appointment for Thursday. On Thursday we came by, and someone had robbed the dad`s car, so it was not the best time to teach a lesson. We invited Àngel (The dad) to say a prayer with us, but he didn`t want to. He said that there are so many bad things that have happened in his life (his wife passed away about a year and a half ago) that it is hard for him to have faith. We came by again on Saturday, and Àngel was in the hospital with his daughter, Àngela (16 years old) and it seems that she is pretty sick, but we are not sure with what. I called saturday night and talked with the son, Fernando (11 years old) and he said that his sister was still in the hospital, and I invited him to pray for her and asked if he could come to church Sunday and he said yes. Sunday morning we went to their house and only Fernando came to church, because his sister and dad were waiting for a doctor to come by and do a house-call (I think that is what they are called). His dad told us that he had never let his son go out without him before, but he let him go with us. As we were walking to the church (which is across the street from their apartment) Fernando told us that when he prayed for his sister saturday night, she came home from the hospital right away. This kid is amazing! When he saw us paying fast offerings in the chapel he asked us what it was for, we explained it to him and after he wanted to pay (of course we explained to him he didn`t have to, but could if he wanted to). When we went back to his house he took out $300 pesos (about the equivalent of 50 cents) to give to the church! When we went back to his house, his sister was lying in bed and was feeling very sick. The same member that told us to visit the family, Hermana Sandoval, was in the house visiting and explained to the dad how we do blessings of health in the church. He wanted Elder Becerra and I to give Àngela a blessing, which we gladly did. We came back later that night to share a lesson with the family (the plan of salvation) and the daughter was feeling much better. The dad said that after the blessing she felt some of the pain leave and slept for a while, and after her nap they went to the store and she was walking around perfectly fine. The dad said that he wasn`t quite ready to say it was a miracle or to convert immediately to the Mormon faith, but he did say that there was a huge change in the health of his daughter, and that he could tell that there was `something good going on with the mormons.` He also thanked us very much because he could see that we were truly worried about the family and wanted to help, not just try to convert them. So we are very excited to teach them (we are going again tomorrow night). Fernando wanted us to come by today, but his dad said no because they are going to be out of town. It is amazing to see the ways that the Lord brings us to the people that are waiting for the truth. I also think it is kind of funny/ironic (or maybe a lesson in humility for me) that it was through no effort of our own that we were led to this family, so it is impossible for Elder Becerra or me to say ´I found this family.´ We were simply in the right place at the right time. So that is the really cool story of the week, I hope you enjoyed it.

"Katy and her member-boyfriend Erick are still taking the lessons and coming to church. They have a goal to get married this January and then in the temple one year later. We need to hurry up a little bit with the lessons though, it has been hard to teach them a lot because Erick works a lot (we have only done a lesson twice since I have been here) so we will see how that goes.

"Last week I got the letter from Mom and Dad, and also a letter from Elder Jensen and Elder Jergensen it seems like they are doing very well, they make me laugh. That is so cool that Ben is coming to Chile, too, now Jonah will have three cousins in Chile! (Aside from Elder Cloward, two of Jonah's other cousins will be serving in Chile very soon, but different missions). The Christmas party will be more like an activity. We are going to the chapel of Rivas Vicuña on the 22 and we are going to play soccer, which should be fun."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meeting Elder Butterfield

Elder Cloward's first companion in Chile was Elder Butterfield. Elder Butterfield's mom sent Rebecca a bunch of pictures and video clips of them together, and here is one of our favorites!

Five month mark

Only 19 months to go!

too soon to count down? nah!

Semana 6 en Los Arcos

"So now comes the story of the year: I call it the almost baptism of Lidia Jara Santibañez. So yeah Saturday we had some problems getting the keys to the chapel and the bishop went to fill up the font. When we got there the font was filling up way too slowly so we used the emergency fire house in the chapel to fill it up faster. Then when Raul tried to baptize his mom, her knees could not bend and her whole body just floated up. She is 74 years old, not exactly flexible. So we closed the doors to the font so the whole ward wouldn`t see. I think Lidia was feeling a lot of pressure. So we closed the doors and went around back and tried to do it again, but Raul was having problems. So the bishop used the extra pants and shirt that I brought (I have been learning from past experiences) and came into the font to do the baptism. I was one of the witnesses and every time that they did it she did not go under. And then the bishop told her that they were going to do it only one more time, and she did it, but her clothes were floating about the surface of the water. I said that she didn`t go under, but the other witness said yes and the bishop said yes and told Lidia it was okay, so she left the font and started drying off. So yeah I talked to our district leader and he said that both witnesses need to agree that the person and their clothes went completely under water, and since that didn`t happen we need to do the baptism again. Nice. The only problem is that we have not been able to talk to Lidia since and she still thinks that she did it fine and is good to go. So that should be an interesting conversation. Needless to say we will be praying and fasting very much for her to have the courage to do the baptism again. She was basically a golden investigator and I knew that everything was going too easy! Oh well we will work from where we are and do our best to get the problem resolved as quickly as possible. So that is the catostrophic news for the day.

"Now some happier news. Elder Krainik had changes this cambio and now he is in my zone, so I get to see him once a week for district meetings and possibly on pdays too. Elder Mawhinney is in his 3rd change in the coast, I wonder how he is doing. We will see him for the mision christmas party. This morning we went and hiked the same hill that the president took us to on our first day here. It was weird to be there again. 3 months have gone by pretty fast, I would say. The weeks are short but the days are long, as we say here. We have been teaching a lot of different people / families. Most of them are just from contacts we made or doors we knocked, and others are referrals from members or other missionaries. I don`t like to say too many details when we have only started teaching them though, because a lot of times we teach them once and never see them again, so I will wait until things are a little more sure befor I get my and your hopes up. Although I do have a funny story from one of the investigators. In Los Arcos, there are two teenage boys we are teaching, Nacho (nickname for Ignacio) and Jeffry. They are friends of Rocìo Muños, the only active young woman in the ward. They are both ready to be baptized but there are two problems: Nacho lives outside of the sector, and Jeffry does not want to set a date for his baptism. We are talking with President Jones about Nacho to see if he can be baptized here or if he needs to go to his own ward. But Friday there was a stake youth dance and they went with Rocìo and were wearing white shirts ties and slacks, they borrowed our nametags and pretended to be missionaries, it was pretty funny. They taught us a lesson about prophets which was good because it showed us that they understand what a prophet is and why they are important. I am hoping we can get everything resolved with them too so that they can be baptized soon. So we will see what happens with that. Thank you for your prayers love and support (and packages!!!) I love you all so much and can`t wait to talk to you!"

Mas fotos

Elder Cloward & Elder Bacerra on top of the hill San Cristobal which we hiked today as a zone activity.
Elder Cloward's version of "O Jerusalem" (except in Santiago instead of Jerusalem).

Raul Padro, ward mission leader, filling up the baptismal font with a fire hose for his mother's almost baptism (see semana six email).

Monday, November 24, 2008

Semana 5 en Los Arcos

Spanish words of the week:

La Mirada = the glance

Granada = pomegranate or grenade (nice)

Fome = lame (Elder C's response to BYU's embarrassing loss to Utah this weekend)

"So today is my first official day as a non-greeny. The greeny-ness only lasts for 2 cambios (changes) and my second change ended yesterday. Elder Becerra and I do not have changes, so we will be here together for 6 more weeks.

"I am choosing to ignore the news about losing to Utah. Next year!

"So yesterday we had the baptismal interview for Lidia and it was quite the fiasco. We talked with the bishop of Lo Ovalle in sacrament meeting and told him that we were going to come by his house at 4 or 4:30 to get the keys to the chapel, since the interviews have to be done in the chapel. He said yeah sounds good. So at 4 we went to Lidia's house then went to the bishop but he definitely was not in his house. To give some context to the story, Lidia is 74 years old, and she cannot walk very fast. It was also about 90 degrees outside. Good times. So we went to visit the second counselor of Lo Ovalle but he didnt have keys, then we went by the house of the ward secretary and he wasnt home. It turns out that the bishop from Lo Ovalle was in Los Arcos (the stake center) practicing singing in the choir. nice. So we called the Muños family from Los Arcos to come pick up Lidia and take her with Elder Skinner (our district leader; district leaders or zone leaders have to do the baptismal interviews) and his companion Elder Sanchez to Los Arcos to do the interview there. It was good times. Haha it was fun to have a challenge it makes the experience more worth it, right? Lidia is very excited for her baptism and so is her son, Raul. He will do the baptism, which will be a great experience for him. Her baptism will be the 29th of November, which is also her son's birthday. His birthday present will be pretty great, I would say.

"We did the English class again Saturday but only one person came. We need to anounce it better so that more people come. But Ignacio and his family are doing well. Nacho (the nickname for Ignacio) came to Mutual this Thursday to play soccer with the youth and there was another activity Saturday morning and he came to that too. He and his family couldn't come to church though because he had a soccer match in the morning, and they went out of Santiago in the afternoon so we could not go by and teach them, which was kind of sad but we have another appointment with them next Sunday so we will see what happens."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Semana 4 en Los Arcos

"I will start by answering some of the questions from the letters: Yes they do talk faster in Santiago and a lot of the people are hard to understand but for the most part I can understand what we are talking about in most situations and I am able to respond. My Spanish has been getting better since I pretty much don`t speak English anymore. But yeah the Chilean accent is interesting. I am not sure if I would call it beautiful... haha I think it is actually kind of funny. The way that most people talk here is flaite (fly-tay) which basically means gangster talk / ghetto. Both sectors I have been in are pretty flaite but they are not dangerous, it is just the way the people talk. I am not sure if I have told you, but here they say `po`a lot. It does not mean anything, but people just say it. I don`t know why. For example, if you ask me if I am having a good day, I could say `sì` or I could say `sìpo` and it basically means the same thing, I think the po just adds more emphasis. You can also say no or nopo, basically just through it onto the last word in the sentence and you will sound like a Chilenopo. So that is our Spanish lesson of the day!

"I have not gone to the temple yet but I will sure let you know when I do. I saw only the back of it when we got to Chile in September (the pic of me and Elder Butterfield and President and Sister Jones was taken behind the temple). I have heard that we go once a year usually and also we get to go if one of our converts receives their endowment or gets sealed, so I am hoping I will have that opportunity some day, maybe with the familia Correa.

"About the old buildings there was one we went to in my old sector called estaciòn central (central station) we went there every monday to do email, but I never got a picture there. I think you can see it on wikipedia. We also went to the post office in central station. It is called correos chile. They are pretty much like ours.

"I believe I am actually farther from the ocean now, but we can still see the mountain range through the lovely Chilean smog. I wouldn`t exactly call the sector pretty... I have often thought that Cara would have a heart attack if she were to see the state of the interior design of some of the houses here. We do not do service on pday we usually do service in the morning before we eat lunch. We are very close to the grocery store in our sector, it is called santa isabel. And the members still feed us and do our laundry.

"And yes President does give us hugs when we see him haha. The way of greeting is really cool here, I think. When two men great each other that are friends they first shake hands, hug, then shake hands again. When a man and a woman greet or two women greet they first shake hands then kiss each other on the cheek. Obviously as missionaries it is not the best idea for us to be kissing girls on the cheek, so we just shake the girls' hands haha. So yeah just get used to that idea so you dont get surprised when you come to Chile. A lot of times the women don`t know that we elders don`t give `besitos` (little kisses) on the cheek and they try to do it and we have to take evasive action. haha then we have to awkwardly explain that we dont do that and they always get really embarrassed. good times.

"So this week we had some good things happen! yay! I told you before about the ward mission leader`s mom, right? We started teaching her this week. We taught her all of the first three lessons and now she has a date for a baptism! she came to church for the third time in a row yesterday and her date for her baptism is the 29 of november. She is very receptive and understands very well. She is a very strong christian (which usually makes people not want to listen to us) she used to think that we worshipped joseph smith in place of jesus, but know she understands that we worship the same christ as her and that Joseph Smith was just a man. A prophet, but still a man and we do not worship him. So yes we are excited about that.

"I also believe I told you about the family that we met last week? when all of the families were at their moms house for Sunday dinner? Yesterday we went to the house of one of the families. The dad, Hèctor, is an inactive member who got baptized when he was 13 but stopped going to shurch about 3 years later. I helped his son Ignacio study for an English test on tuesday and he came to the English class on Saturday too. Yesterday we went to their house and taught the plan of salvation and it was pretty much awesome. The only downside is that we can`t teach them again until next Sunday becasue they are so busy during the week. I don`t want to get my hopes up too much because we have a lot of great first lessons and then nothing happens after a lot of the time, but it was just cool to teach a whole family again.

"So that was my week! Thanks for the emails I will try writing letters today since we should have time. Love you all talk to you soon (Christmas is only 1.5 months away! yay christmas!) and tell the Dickens family congrats, tell Nicholas hi and also let me know what happens with the fires. I am glad to hear that everyone is okay."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Semana 3 en Los Arcos

"My week was good, I feel like things are getting better here. Katy is still taking the lessons and coming to church, but we can only teach her once a week (Monday nights) because we have to teach her in her future-husband's house. It will take a while to teach her all she needs to know, but that is okay because she can't get baptized until she gets married, which they are apparently going to do in January, so she will be prepared by then. They have a ten month old baby, Tómas, who is also taking the discussions, although he doesnt understand anything ;).

"The Spanish is steadily improving, which is great. Now I can focus on learning how to be a missionary haha.

"My companion has 3 siblings and they and his parents are all members for about 7 years now I believe.

"We had our mission conference this week in Rivas Vicuña and it was really weird to be back there and see Elder Butterfield again. He gave me a letter that Alfredo (from fam. Correa) wrote me, it was a really great letter.

"The other day we contacted this man from Spain. He had a Spanish accent, apparently. But I couldnt really tell. He did say "vosotros" a couple of times, which is the modern equevalent of "thou" but plural. That is how they talk in Spain. Crazy Spaniards. But yeah we talked to him about the church and he told us that he was a free mason, like the secret society from National Treasure! haha that was the first thing I thought of when he told me that. But yeah we showed him the pictures in the intro to theBOM and when he saw Moroni burying the plates he told us to wait a second and went into his house. He is an artist, and he came out with a drawing he had made a few weeks ago. It looked a lot like the painging of Moroni. It was a warrior kneeling, holding a sword in one hand and a book in the other. Pretty interesting.

"Yesterday for the first time we finally got into someone`s house. It was the first time that we have found new people to teach since I got here. yay! haha it felt good to have someone finally let us into their home. It turns out that a few of them were members but havent gone to church in a while. But we set up an appointment to teach one of the families this Saturday (there were about four families there, kind of like when we have Easter dinner at grandma`s house) the grandma is a member and all four of her kids, but the spouses of her kids and her grandkids are not members. We did a review of lesson 1, the restoration, with two of her sons that are members. So we will see what happens with that.

"For Christmas I honestly dont know what I want still. Maybe one more short sleeve shirt would be good it is really hot here now and I wear short sleeves every day but Sunday (I still refuse to wear a short sleeve shirt with a suit haha I hope my sisters will be proud of me (we are)).

"Mi compañero está molestandome tengo que ir. Haha my comp wants to go our time to email is up talk to you later"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Semana 2 in Los Arcos

"So our new area is really big, since there are two wards. Yesterday we went to Los Arcos for sacrament meeting then to Lo Ovalle for Sunday School. They are pretty far apart from each other, about a 20 minute walk. We heard that a couple of investigators bore their testimonies in Lo Ovalle, which is pretty great I would say. We have found that there are a lot of investigators that were being taught by the previous elders, but we are having trouble finding new people. I know I need to have faith and be patient and keep working hard, but yeah it has been kind of dificult.

"We live in an apartment above Pizza Hut and there are two other elders in our zone that live in the pension above us. Apparently we are right next to the zone that Elder Krainik is in. This Thursday we will have Zone Conference with half of the mission in the Rivas Vicuña chapel.

"We have some really great investigators in Los Arcos, but the only problem with them is that they don't live within the ward boundaries. One of them, Patricio, came to church yesterday and he was fasting (no one told him he had to) he also brought his aunt to church and I think she is going to start taking the lessons from the missionaries too. But he lives in La Blanca, another sector within our zone. I don't think he can be baptized in our sector so I think we have to tell him to go to La Blanca. We also are going to teach tonight (hopefully) an investigator from Lo Ovalle (and yes she does live in the ward boundaries of Lo Ovalle woohoo!) Her name is Katy and she is 16. She has a baby and the father of the baby, Erick, is a member of the church, and his sister, Rebecca, is the president of Relief Society in Lo Ovalle (here Relief Society is Sociedad de Socorro, or Soc Soc for short. haha) But Erick has recently become active in the church again and we heard that Katy bore her testimony in church yesterday. They have to get married before she can get baptized though. Also the mother of the ward mission leader in Lo Ovalle came to church yesterday and bore her testimony and we are going to try teaching her this week too. So yeah we have some potentials we just have to wait and see what happens!

"I still have district meetings every Wednesday, and we still have lunch with the members every day except for pday, we make our own or buy fast food. We live in an apartment that is directly on top of a Pizza Hut, and there is also a McDonalds down the street. I am in a new zone now too, it is called La Cisterna.

"We got a little pushed back today because we went to the MIM, the interactive museum in Santiago, again. I went with my old zone about 4 weeks ago I believe, but we went today with La Cisterna. It was fun.
I would love to have some brownie and pudding mixes. We can cook the brownies to use in family home evenings with investigators everyone here loves brownies. They didn't exist here before the gringos brought them and everyone calls them brownies in their funny Chileno accents.

"Thanks for the package and letters and emails! I gave some dum dums out on Halloween to all of the little trick or treating kids. They stole the holiday from the U.S. about 4 years ago haha."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Transfer to Los Arcos! & Semana 1 there

So interesting stuff happened this week. On Thursday we were supposed to have divisions with the zone leaders, I was going to stay in Rivas Vicuna with Elder Claros and Elder Butterfield was going to go to the sector of the zone leaders with Elder Wilke. But Thursday morning we had our interviews with President Jones, which we have every change. President pulled me and Elder Butterfield aside and told us he had to talk to us. He said we would have special changes and that I was leaving Rivas Vicuna and Elder Butterfield would stay. He told us at about 11 in the morning, and said I needed to be ready to leave by 3 in the afternoon.

"I talked with him about it in the interview. He said that being a misionary is like being a surgeon´s knife. To be useful, the knife has to be sharp and clean. The knife is the one that has to get dirty and messy, and when all is said and done nobody tells the knife that it did a good job on the surgery. Obviously the knife really didn't do anything, but was just an instrument in the surgeon's hand. The surgeon, of course, being Jesus Christ, since He is the one that is guiding this work. President also told me it was really important that I place my faith in the Lord and not in my own talents or abilities. He is really a great man and always knows the right things to say. So Thursday we went to visit people to say bye after I packed up. We went to see the Correa family and it was really hard to say bye to them. They made me and Elder Butterfield a dvd slide show of pictures and it was really cool. We also went by Cristian and Javiera's, but Javi wasn't there because she was with Vicente doing doctor checkups. It was really hard to leave. It is amazing how close I got with all of the poeple there in just 7 weeks.

"President told me the work in Los Arcos would be really slow and I would have to be really patient. He was definitely right. For the first time in the mission (which I admit has not been that long) we had zeroes across the board for our weekly numbers. I know that numbers do not matter but they are still a good indicator of how the work is progressing; they are called the key indicators for a reason. My new companion is Elder Becerra. He is from southern Chile. He has about 1 year 5 months in the mission. He does not speak English. So yeah i am speaking a lot of Spanish but that is definitely the best way to learn. We have two wards in our sector, Los Arcos and Lo Ovalle, and we have a lot of ground to cover. Elder Beckstead was here with Elder Becerra, I switched with him and now Elder Beckstead is in Rivas Vicuna with Elder Butterfield. Elder Butterfield said that there is always a reason for special changes, thus they are called special changes. But I have no idea what it was, and I know it doesn't matter. I am here now and this is where the Lord needs me. So I will write more about my new sector next week.

"I love you all, thank you for your prayers and support. I think I need them now a little more than I did before in Rivas Vicuña."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Semana 7 en Rivas Vicuña

This week's email is pretty short and sweet, but we did get some more photos!

"Vicente´s parents (Javiera and Christian) have not gotten married yet but we talked to Christian on saturday and he said they are going to go soon in the next few weeks so that she can get baptized before Elder Butterfield or I leave at the end of this change. yay! They are seriously my favorite people here. You will have to meet them someday. We also confirmed Eduardo and Michelle this week. We are still teaching Carlos, Daniela and Marta but they are not really progressing. Carlos still wants to get baptized but we are not going to baptize him without his sister and mom because he wont go to church without them. So we will see what happens this week."

Vicente and Javiera
Elder Cloward getting his shoes shined in Estación Central by an anti-Mormon (Elder Cloward tried giving him a pass along card and he started tearing into the church. It was interesting to say the least. Nice guy though)
Elder Cloward building a shelf out of the card board boxes they get the Books of Mormon in (still a little bit of the engineer in him!)
Invitation to Michelle and Eduardo's baptisms

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fotos of the Baby and the Baptism

This sweet guagua (baby) is Vicente Andrés, Javiera´s baby! He was born on Oct 6 at 5:33 p.m. and weighed 3.5 kilos (about 8 lbs)
Vicente with his parents, Javiera & Christian.
The baptism for Eduardo and Michele. Elder Cloward got to baptize Michele! And Eduardo's baptism went very smoothly as well.

Semana 6 en Rivas Vicuña

"So as you might have noticed it is Tuesday,not Monday. We had pday today because there are cambios (changes) this week. Last night we received a call telling us if we had cambios or not. Thankfully, I am staying here for another 6 weeks, as is Elder Butterfield. We don't want to leave because all of the families we are teaching are so great. I know if I get moved then that is where the Lord needs me, but for now I am glad to still be here.

"The baptism was great! It was amazing how different Eduardo was, he just jumped right in and did it. yay! So yeah that went well and I also got to baptize Michelle! It was really hard though because the water was really low. I kind of threw her down. I think I scared her a little bit. Well at least she always remember her baptism. haha. But yeah I wasnt expecting to do the baptism because the bishop had priests assigned to do it, but by 7:00 when the service was supposed to start one of the priests still wasn't there so the bishop told me to get dressed and do it. The only problem was that I had only brought my pants and white tie to give to the priest to wear since he didn´t have any, but I didn´t bring extra garments or an extra white shirt since I wasnt expecting to do the baptism. So after I baptized Michelle I was in the bathroom for about 20 minutes wringing out my clothes to dry them, and Abraham's dad, Hermano Rossi, was handing me paper towels to dry myself off. haha good times. And Josseline and Michelle started going to seminary this week. It is Tuesday through Thursday from 8 to 9:30. It is really cool to see converts going to seminary and mutual and enjoying it. yay!

"Javiera had the baby last Monday the 6th. He is a stud, and is perfectly healthy, as is his mom. We went over to their house to teach like 3 times this week and we took pictures too. They are all very happy together.

"We are still teaching the Garcia family. Carlos still wants to get baptized but Daniela and Marta still don't. But Daniela and Carlos went to church on Sunday, which was good. And Daniela wants to go to mutual this friday. Marta is kind of losing interest though. She is making up the weirdest excuses to not go to church, such as Camila (her 1 year old daughter) bumping her head and wanting to stay home (we saw Camilla and there was not a bruise on her head and she seemed perfectly fine) and she would not let Carlos or Daniela go to the baptism Sunday night because Carlos ´needed´a haircut. I know those things could have waited and we are sure that there must be another reason why she doesnt want to go to church or read her Book of Mormon. I think she is just afraid of change. She beleives its true though. We watched the restoration video with them and after asked them if they believed that Joseph had really seen the vision and they all said yes, so we told them if that is true than this is the only true church. But I am glad that Carlos is being a good example to his family. I think they just need time.

"Sometimes the people that are ready to accept the gospel are the people that seem the least likely. Like yesterday we had a really good contact with this family that was sitting outside together all smokiing. It turns out that the mom's cousin is a missionary right now and we have an appointment to teach them tomorrow."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mas Fotos de Rivas Vicuña

Elder Cloward & President Jones, on a hill overlooking Santiago the day Elder Cloward got to Chile

Elder Cloward & Elder Butterfield with their kites (they call them volantines)

The Correa Family (Michelle, Alfredo, Josseline, Eduardo, Angelo & Isabel) and Gabriel (a priest in Elder Cloward's ward)

Semana 5 en Rivas Vicuña

"We watched all 4 sessions (of conference) and preisthood too. They were great. I really liked Elder Holland´s talk on angels and all of the missionaries loved Sister Allred´s talk on missionary work and the importance of helping missionaries and giving referrals. We started clapping and cheering when we heard her say that members should give missionaries referrals, it was exciting to hear. I also really enjoyed hearing Bro. Aidukaitus´talk on the converting power of the Book of Mormon. It´s really cool to see the changes that that libro (book) causes in peoples lives. We got to watch it in English in the high counselor room in our chapel, which was nice. Pres. Jones and his wife and daughter and son came to the Saturday morning seession and watched it with us, since there was a baptism between the sessions and someone needed a special interview.

"Our zone leaders told us that our zone is leading the mission in baptisms, which is really exciting. Next Saturday, there will be 7 baptisms throughout the zone and then 2 more on Sunday the 12th. It´s really exciting to have baptisms but also really sobering because I honestly don´t feel like I´m doing any of the work. We just present the material and the lessons and then it´s all up to the Spirit and that´s what really causes the change in people.

"Michelle and Eduardo´s baptisms were moved to Sunday at 7. Eduardo has been practicing in the tub at home. haha sweet boy. I dont think I told you what happened with the font at the baptism. We started filing it with hot water at about 11 then we came back at 2 to see how it was going and it was pretty much empty. Somebody had turned off the hot water. So we started filling it with cold water and it got done just in time, but Josselline and Eduardo had to get baptized in cold water.

"Abraham Rossi and Gabriel Matus are ward missionaries in my ward. (Quick background: these two young men got in touch with Janessa this week and we've been chatting in very broken English about Elder Cloward. They are great kids!) All of the ward missionaries are young men and young women. Poor Gabriel was supposed to baptize Eduardo. I really like him though, he was so patient with Eduardo for about 30 minutes he was with him in the font trying to help him go under. So he's going to try again Sunday. Abraham Rossi is 18 hes getting ready to go on his mission. He has 3 younger brothers and one litter sister who is the youngest. Their family is very active and he and his dad go with us to teach lessons a lot.

"We found a new family last week. They are the Garcia family. The mom is Martha, and the kids are Daniela, 13, Carlos, 10, and Camila, 1. We found them on Sunday and have already taugh them the first 3 lessons. Carlos is going to get baptized on the 25th of October. He came to the morning session of conference yesterday (Sunday) and sat with the Correa family. Apparently he and Eduardo are friends from school. When we taught the plan of salvation, lesson 2, they all said they wanted to go to the celestial kingdom. I thought that was a good idea, too. We explained to them that they had to get baptized to get there and Carlos said he wanted to do it, but Daniela and Martha are more hesitant. So then Daniela asked us, if Carlos gets baptized doesn't that mean he´ll be alone in the celestial kingdom? Wouldnt it just be easier if none of us got baptized, that way we could all be in the terrestrial kingdom together? That was pretty funny I´d never thought of it that way. We explained to them that the only way to be with their family was to all get baptized and go to the celestial kingdom together. Then Carlos turned to Daniela and started shaking her shoulders and told her "¡Bautizate, bautizate!" like, "get baptized, get baptized!" It was really funny.

"Javiera should have the baby this week. She and Christian asked Elder Butterfield and I to bless the baby when he's born, which was really cool. They said that they want us to do it since we are helping Christian come back to church and giving Javiera the lessons. We gave Javiera a blessing of health so that everything will go well with the birth. She started crying as soon as I started the annointing with the oil. She is very sensitive to the Spirit. I think Christian was a little teary eyed too and his mom was definitely crying too. The baby's name will be Vicente Andres, and his due date is today! Wow that's weird. I'll be sure to send pictures when he is born.

Random info about his mission:
"The members cook a lot of different things, a lot of pasta, mashed potatoes, chicken, meat, soup, not too different at all from American food. There's this thing called churipan which is just a piece of bread with a sausage in it. Very creative, right? We had a lot of empenadas for the weekend of Sept. 18th since its their independence day. Salads here are interessting. A salad here is just chopped up lettuce with lemon juice and olive oil, or chopped up tomatoes with some salt. I never liked raw tomatoes before but I'm getting used to them and starting to like the taste. We havent played volleyball or soccer lately since we can only do it on pday and when we do it takes up the whole day. We can't see the ocean from our sector we are about 60 miles from the shore."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Semana 4 en Rivas Vicuña

"The baptism was really... interesting... to say the least. So first the bishop´s son baptized Josseline, nice and easy. One down, one to go, right? Wrong. So Eduardo got in the water and he was about to be baptized, but was too afraid to go underwater! Apparently he´s terrified of going completely underwater. His mom told us that he´s always been that way and he´s never taken a bath or gone swimming in his life. They said that that should be added to the baptismal interview questions: ¿Tiene miedo de agua? (are you afraid of water/going underwater/something like that). Anyway, his parents and Elder Butterfield and I tried talking to him. For about half an hour the poor guy just stood in the water trembling too scared to go under, but he couldnt do it. So just one baptism.

"But there is good news: we talked to the family later that night and Michelle told us that she wants to get baptized now! We asked her if she was sure and she told us yes. So she has her fecha (date) for the 11th of Oct. And Eduardo is going to practice overcoming his fear of water in the bath tub so he can get baptized on the 11th too. I don´t know what caused the change in Michelle, i think she probably felt the Spirit when she saw her sister get baptized. Elder Butterfield and I also got to stand in the circle when she was confirmed on Sunday, so that was cool. My talk went well, I spoke about the baptismal covenent... in Spanish! haha yeah Spanish is crazy.

"Javiera (the pregnant lady we´re teaching) is doing well. The baby is due the 6th of Oct, his name is going to be Elder Butterfield... haha jk it´s Vicente. We've been talking to them about marriage, probably after the baby is delivered.

"The weather is getting warmer. Spring in September/October is very interesting.

"Today we went to an interactive science museum with our zone. It was funny because we were there and the only other people there were 10 year olds on field trips from school. Good times.

"Zone Conferences are once a change. We had ours this past Wednesday. I saw Elder Krainik again so that was cool. I also met Elder Whipple he´s awesome. We talked about Alta and Shayla and Cara but i´m not sure if he knows Cara. I sent a picture of me and him...

"Elder Butterfield has two older sisters and they are the same age as Janessa and Cara, so that was kind of a nice coincidence. He has always lived in Utah, in the same house.

"We will get to watch General Conference in English, in the chapel.

"Ciao ( yeah it´s kinda weird they do say that here... I actually don´t think I´ve heard adios since I got here, all they say is ciao.)"


Elder Cloward with Elder Whipple at Zone Conference.

Elder Cloward and Elder Butterfield at Josselin & Eduardo's baptism. Angelo (their 3-year-old brother) is in the front.

The awesome scripture cases and coin purse Elder Cloward had made.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Semana 3 en Chile

Quick update before the email: If you want to write to Elder Cloward, he asks you to use Dear Elder because that way he has more time to write his weekly email (if he gets too many emails, he spends most of his time reading them instead of responding to them). He gets Dear Elders once a week.

"So yesterday was our stake conference (conferencia de estaca). Our stake is 5 de Abril, literally April 5th. It´s the name of a really big street that cuts our sector in half. I don´t know if anything significant happened on April 5th, but i don´t think so.

"We have a baptism scheduled this Saturday, which makes me happy. Yay! Two of the kids in the Correa family, Jossellin, 16, and Eduardo, 10 are getting baptized. They also asked me to give one of the talks, so that should be interesting. I´ll let you know how it went next Monday. So yeah we´re still trying to find a lawyer that can work with the parents of the Correa family to get the mom divorced and get them married. They are so ready to be baptized, but this needs to be taken care of first, obviously. It was great though when we practiced the baptismal interview questions with the kids and if they didn´t know the parents helped them, and we really didn´t have to say anything. They have a three year old boy too who always listens to the lessons, his name is Angelo. And his dad told us to ask him the questions and he knew the answers! He´s already prepared for his baptism 5 years early! And his dad will get to baptize him that will be great. They told us to ask him about the word of wisdom and he told us the 5 things we can´t use/drink: alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, and drugs. Then they told us to ask him what the law of chastity was (which i thought was kind of weird, since he´s 3, but i trusted the parents) so he said: wait until you´re married to have kids. Nice.

"The English classes are going well. I love walking down the street and hearing people yell stuff at us in English. When they speak nice things in English we always invite them to the class.

"The city we´re in is called Estacion Central. Go to Google and look for the intersection of Rivas Vicuña and 5 de Abril and our chapel is right there. That´d be cool if you could do the street view and see the chapel. " (Note from Janessa: I can't figure this out. If any of you reading this can, please leave me a comment and explain! Thanks!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

View of the Andes

Elder Cloward took this picture from the airplane window as he flew into Chile! Pretty, huh?

Semana 2 en Chile

(Note from Janessa - sorry it's been so long between posts! It won't happen again.)

La familia Correa is doing well (that's Alfredo y Isabel, from last week's letter). The mom and dad and one daughter and one son want to get baptized... but we are still trying to find a lawyer to get the mom, Isabel, divorced and then get married to Alfredo, the dad, and we don´t think that that can happen by the 27 of September, but the two kids, Jocellin and Eduardo, will be ready to be baptized by then. The other daughter, Michelle, still doesn´t want to be baptized, so we are still working with her. The family has already gone to Church 3 weeks in a row, and you have to go 3 times before you can get baptized. (obviously we hope they will keep coming after, but I´m not worried about it because they go go every week).

"Javiera is still taking the lessons, we have a cita with her tonight to teach lesson 2 and have a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening). We also had a NDH with la familia Correa on Saturday and it was way fun. But we found out that Javiera and Christian aren´t married either... so yeah that could also be a problem. But marriage is really easy, it´s just divorce that is really hard. Hopefully they´re not married to anyone else.

As far as meals go, "we don´t really have dinner. We buy a little snack or just eat something in the pension when we get home. It´s not bad though because lunch is so big that we don´t really get hungry. We go shopping once a week (every pday) and buy bread and jam and juice and cereal, otras cosas para desayunar (other things to eat) and it´s really easy to cook breakfast.

"We walk most of the time, our sector´s not too big. We only take buses here to central station to email and to zone meetings. The Andes are pretty and we´ve been able to see them better the last couple of days because the sun has been out. It´s already starting to get warm, which is great. We can´t see the ocean from here, but someday when I get to the coast I will!

"The English class we teach is just whoever wants to come, usually it´s adults.

"This pday we didn´t have very much time because we were playing futbol (soccer) in our chapel for like 2.5 hours. Our chapel is a stake center and it´s really nice. It´s the only one in the mission with an indoor court. It actually looks a lot like a temple. We had our greenie meeting there on Friday, with all of the new missionaries. It was great to see Elder Krainik and Elder Mawhinney again. We also got to eat Pizza Hut pizza, which was awesome. Pizza here is really expensive.

"Last night we were in this apartment complex and as we were leaving there was this crazy demon dog standing in our way. It was really small, too, but it kept barking at us and we were really afraid of it, I don´t know why. So we tried pushing it out of the way with our bags, then we just walked past it. Good times."

Semana 1 en Chile, Parte Dos

"So I have some cool news from our lessons. Things are going really well here. A couple weeks ago, Elder Butterfield and his last comp, Elder Bagley, met this family through simi. Simi is this list of all the members in the area listed by street, so we see a family name, and at least one person in that family is a member, and we go to the house and see if there are other family members that are not baptized. So they went to this man Sergio, who´s like 70 and was baptized a long time ago and is inactive. (There´s only like a 10% activity rate in chile.) So Sergio said he wasn´t interested in the Church anymore, but the elders kept coming back, and they met the rest of his family. Sergio lives with his daughter Isabel, her husband (we assumed he was her husband) Alfredo, and their four kids. They taught them the first lesson and the family was really interested. We went to their house and taught them the third lesson, which is basically the 4th article of faith, but in more detail. We challenged them to be baptized, and Alfredo and his son Edaurdo, who´s ten, said they would be. Their fecha (date) is the 27th of Sept. The rest of the family said they would need more time. They came to church yesterday, and the week before. (You have to come to church 3 times to be baptized.) Last night we taught them the law of chastity, and found out that Isabel and Alfredo aren´t married. Isabel is still married to some other guy, who she had her two daughters with. Then she moved in with Alfredo and they had Eduardo and Angelo (Angelo is only 2 so he can´t get baptized yet, but he´s a cool kid). So she needs to divorce her husband and marry Alfredo before they can get baptized. We are still aiming to get Eduardo and his two sisters, Jocellin and Michelle, baptized on the 27. I just hope this obstacle won´t keep them from being baptized. They seem excited about the gospel. Alfredo reads his LDM (Libro de Mormon) every night and they pray together. We are very excited for them.

"We had another really cool experience yesterday. We were just walking down the street, and this guy was working on a car, and he said, "Hola elders," so we stopped and talked to him. He said that he was baptized, but his wife (fingers crossed that they´re married) was not baptized. He invited us into his house, and his mom who lives with them came in and she is a member too, but she and her son are inactive. The mom is Alejandria, the son is Christian, and the wife was Javiera. Javiera is like 8 months pregnant. So we talked to the three of them (4 if you count the guagua, pronounced like wawa, which means baby) about the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and we taught Javiera how to pray, then her mother in law, Alejandria, said a prayer to finish the lesson. After the prayer, Javiera was crying. We asked her why and she said she just felt really peaceful, so we explained to her that that was the Spirit confirming to her the truth of what we had taught her. We are going back to there house tomorrow to see how their reading and prayer went.

"So yeah we´re doing well. It was actually a much easier adjustment than I thought it would be. Every Saturday we teach English classes in the capilla (chapel) from 330 to 430. The chapel here is really nice. It´s got shiny floor tiles and it´s two stories.

"Anyway...our area is basically in the city, so we´re not really near the coast, but that´s fine cuz I love it here. It´s so easy to love the people and have a desire to help them."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Semana 1 en Chile, Parte Uno

Lots of good stuff in this week's email! So I'm splitting it into two entries because if not it'll be too long to read. In this first entry, there is some basic info about Chile, Elder Cloward's area and companion, the weather, his daily schedule, etc...

"My area is called Rivas Vicuña, and here they don´t call them areas, they call them sectors, since they are smaller than areas. It is just me and my companion in our sector, so we have our little piece of Santiago that we are in charge of.

"My trainer is Elder Wesley Butterfield. He´s from West Jordan UT (really close to Salt Lake City). We have our own pension (apartment).

"Yesterday was our first sunday. We are in the Rivas Vicuña barrio (ward). We meet from 10 to 1. First is sacerdocio (priesthood) then sunday school, then sacrament. I got to bear my testimony in the testimony meeting, it was cool.

"The weather is not too bad. we are starting to go into primavera-spring. It really doesn´t rain that much.

"The Spanish is coming along, but here they don´t really speak Spanish. They call it Castellano... i think it's still Spanish, but they just have different pronunciation. The don´t really pronounce all of the s´s and they usually cut off the ends of words. It makes it a lot harder to understand.

"The grocery store in our area is just like the ones back home. The food is great. It´s a weird eating schedule, though. We make our own breakfast in the morning, then we have lunch at a member´s house... lunch is a huge meal here, and we have to be careful about how much we eat. Salads here are just lettuce with lemon juice and oil. They have these things called completas, which are basically hotdogs, but for toppings they but chopped tomato, avocado-guacamole, and this special mayonaise. They are really good.

"We also have members wash our clothes, and they do it for free, at least in this area."

Daily Schedule:
700-730 wake up exercise
730-830 shower, get dressed, eat breakfast
830-930 personal study
930-1030 companion study
1030-1100 language study
1100-100 go out proselyting
100-200 lunch at a member´s house
200-300 more study time
300-330 extra 30 min of language study for greenies... it lasts for 2 changes (1 change is 6 weeks)
330-930/1000 proselyting, go tracting teach lessons etc. If we are teaching a lesson we have to be back by 10, but if we don´t have any citas (appointments) we should be back by 930. When we get back to the pension, we have 30 min of planning, then we get in bed by 1100. in the summer, everything gets pushed back 30 min because people are out later.

Also, an address update: If you want to send Elder Cloward a letter that is longer than the pouch requirements, it takes a 92 cent stamp, and the address is:
Elder Michael B. Cloward
Chile Santiago West Mission
Pedro de Valdivia 1423
Santiago 29

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bienvenido a Chile!

Elder Cloward's flight landed safely at 9:04 a.m. Santiago time. I will send further news when I hear from his mission president. Thanks for all you love, prayers and support. He loves each of you and is looking forward to serving his Heavenly Father in Chile. Have a great day.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

How can I write to Elder Cloward in Chile?

That's a great question!

You have two options: Dear Elder or Pouch. For Dear Elder, simply go to, select the Chile Santiago West Mission (FREE) from the drop menu, click Write a Letter, and fill in Elder Michael Cloward, plus your own address information, at the top. Then write in the text box and click Send Letter when you're done. It should get to him in 10-14 days.

For Pouch, the rules are very strict, but it's the best way to get a handwritten letter down to Chile. Simply write your letter on ONE side of a sheet of paper, fold that paper three times, tape the TOP only, and write your return address and his address on it. Then attach a 42 cent (or whatever it is for normal US mail these days) stamp and send it off. Here's the pouch address:

Elder Michael Bradley Cloward
Chile Santiago West Mission
PO Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130

In case you're wondering why you are sending a letter to someone in Chile by way of Salt Lake City, these letters are sorted into big bags by mission and sent down from Salt Lake City with whatever general or regional authority is going down there. It's much more secure to send mail to South America this way than to trust the country's mail system.

He leaves in just 2 days, so don't send anything to the MTC at this point. I'm sure he'll love to see mail in Chile just as much as he loved seeing it the MTC!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekly Email #8 - Last One from Provo!

Elder Cloward leaves for Chile on Tuesday! They leave the MTC at 10 and their flight leaves Salt Lake Airport around 1. They then have about a 5 hour layover in Texas, and then fly to Santiago around 9 and arrive around 8 am on Wednesday, September 3.

Here are this week's MTC highlights:

"Yesterday in the R.C. (referral center, where people call in after they see church ads for free copies of the Book of Mormon, etc.) this man called in and asked for someone who speaks Spanish. I looked to the teacher in the room and asked him to talk to the man, and he said, "No, you do it. You speak Spanish." So I was slightly terrified at that moment. But it went pretty well. The man was actually trying to call his cable company, but he accepted a Book of Mormon and a visit from the Missionaries, so that was cool. I just kept saying, "es un libro gratís" over and over again and he accepted."

"I'm already 1/12 of the way there (done with the mission)! That was easy, wasn't it? just have to do that 11 more times, in a foreign country, and in a foreign language. Doesn't sound too tough to me. I know that with the help of my Savior I can do it! My favorite scripture from the B.O.M. is 1 Ne. 21:14-16, and it just helps me to know that our savior is always thinking of us and loves us more than we can ever comprehend."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Weekly Email #7 - Lots of Good News!

I'll let him tell you in his own words, of course.

-"12 days to go til Chile!!! Dulce! (sweet, although I'm pretty sure that wouldn't make any sense if you said it to a native spanish speaker... oh well) We get our flight plans tomorrow!!!!"

-"We finally had an Apostle for Devotional! Elder Oaks came on Tuesday night! It was pretty funny because somehow everyone knew an Apostle was coming. At 6:15 there were already hundreds of people lined up for the devotional. I found out around 5:15 it was going to be Elder Oaks b/c when Elder Low and I went to choir practice, the tech room at the top of the gym was open and one of the screens had the teleprompter showing and it said, "My dear fellow missionaries, Sis. Oaks and I are so happy to be here with you tonight..." It was pretty funny... also they had the teleprompter things up that they had at General Conference, you know the glass panes at an angle that they read from? So that kinda let us know someone important was coming, too. He spoke to us about the sacrament, and the importance of always having the spirit to be with us. He said that as we all know, every member a missionary, but we shouldn't forget every missionary a member. It was a really great devotional."

-"So we are now officially the oldest district in the zone. District E left on Monday and Tuesday. It was sad to see them go, since we knew them the longest since we've been here. Elder Lee and Elder Waites were the zone leaders, and when they left President Evans had to call new zone leaders, and on Sunday he told Elder Low and I that he felt that the Lord wanted us to be the zone leaders. He said he thought it was kind of strange since we would only be here for two more weeks and then he'll have to get two new elders to do it, but he felt that it was the right thing to do."

-"Elder Low and I definitely had an interesting first night as zone leaders. On Sunday night, somebody burned popcorn in the basement and the fire alarm went off, so we had to evacuate the building and make sure our whole zone got out, which at the time was about 38 elders. Then, around 10:35, when we were finally back in the building, getting ready to get to bed, we found out that we were missing 3 elders from the zone. So Elder Low and I, along with Elder Waites (one of the old zone leaders) had a prayer and looked for them in the building, then headed up to the main office building to look for them there. Then Sunday night and Monday morning Elder Low and I had to check out the elders from district E who were leaving. And the last 2 nights during the time when we're supposed to be getting ready for bed, we've had elders lock themselves out of their rooms so we've had to go to 1M and get keys to get them in...nice. So yeah being zone leader is pretty interesting, it's a bigger responsibility then I thought it would be. We have 30 elders in our district and 3 hermanas, so it's not too many people. Elder Low and I have just been praying a lot for guidance and trying to be friendly and set good examples for the zone. So the next two weeks should be pretty interesting."

-"Spanish is coming along great, but i've heard that it's way different in Chile. Elder Mawhinney got a letter from his friend who is in our mission and he said that he can't understand the Chilenos, and they can't understand him, even though he's speaking correct Spanish (Elder Mawhinney said his friend is way smart and was really good at Spanish). It's just different the way they speak it out there. So I'm a little nervous, but just a little. I'm way more excited then I am nervous. I can't wait to get there and rely solely on the help of the Lord and that's when I'll be an effective missionary."

-"Elder Low and I have had a lot of T.E. (teaching evaluations) where we teach to a teacher who pretends to be an investigator, and they've been getting a lot better. Elder Low's Spanish has improved so much. It's amazing how much we've learned in only 7 weeks. Last night our teacher, Hermano Jensen, told us that what we've learned in 7 weeks would take about 4 years in high school. It's amazing seeing the gift of tongues at work in my everyday life."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Weekly Email #6

"The T.R.C. was really cool too. Last week we got to teach our old teacher, Hermana Rodriguez, and yesterday she brought her parents to the T.R.C. to volunteer. They're from Mexico and THEY DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH! Elder Low and I taught her dad it was an awesome experience to be able to teach a native, but it was extremely difficult to understand him at times. I think we were able to get the gist of most of what he was saying, though. I was just really nervous when I was teaching him because i didn't want to do a bad job and make him think it was his daughter's fault."

"We finally have enough people that are good at volleyball to get a decent 6 on 6 game going. One of the new elders, Elder Larson, played on the Utah State team so he's really good."

"Short little story for the last two minutes. About a month ago, one of my shirts got ripped (just the pocket) in an extreme game of thumb war. You should be very proud of me i sewed it back up and it looks just like new. So no more extreme thumb war for me... "

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weekly Email #5 ("It's hard to remember")

"So just another standard weekend in the MTC, not too much to report..."

"TRC was cool. We gave the 1st lesson in Spanish, for the first time in the TRC, although we've done it many times in teaching appointments and in the class. But the funny thing was that the volunteer was our old teacher, Hermana (sister) Rodriguez! So we got to teach our teacher haha I hope we didn't make her feel like she did a bad job, we did the best we could."

"I had a pretty cool experience on Tuesday for the devotional. The man who gave the devotional on tuesday was James Paramore Jr. (the son of the man that ordained Grandpa an elder). I saw that and got really excited and told Elder Low we would have to go talk to him after so I could talk to him about my line of authority. Anyway, I was really excited to meet him after the devotional, then, to my astonishment, I was informed that I would be giving the opening prayer for the devotional. Now this was somewhat nervewracking... I knew that our zone/branch was in charge of ushering and saying prayers, but I figured that they would assign the person giving a prayer more than 15 minutes before the start of the devotional... so I was basically pretty nervous, having to pray in front of 2200 missionaries, the MTC mission president, and a general authority. Keep in mind that it's been over a month since I've prayed in English... haha so I was pretty nervous, but I managed to say a prayer, and after the meeting I talked with Elder Paramore. I just thought it was cool that out of the 50-ish branches in the MTC it was ours that was in charge that night, and that our branch president assigned me and one other elder, out of the 30-ish elders in our zone, to give the prayer"

"I got to bear my testimony in fast y testimonio meeting last Sunday in Spanish. It was pretty cool, I thought I should do it since it's my last fast Sunday in the MTC... time flies, right? haha kind of but sort of not at the same time..."

Thanks for all the postcards, letters, packages, etc.! And Jonah, thanks for the cool pictures!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Weekly Email #4

More updates from the MTC:

-"The choir is pretty fun. It only takes an extra 2 hours a week. I sing bass every time we go, because it's the manliest part, and also cuz my voice cracks when I try to do tenor or baritone. On Sundays we learn the song and practice for 1 hr, then Tuesdays we practice for another hour, eat dinner, then perform the song for the devotional."

-"This next week is our first week teaching in the TRC in Spanish. We are teaching Lesson 1. From here on we will probably be doing lessons in Spanish. It should be fun. In the TRC we start off with a Spanish task (getting to know the person, helping them move, setting up return appointments) then we take a 10 minute planning period, then return and teach a lesson for 35 minutes. We only go to the TRC Wednesday nights, usually 6 or 7."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Halfway to Chile!

It's Elder Cloward's halfway-through-the-MTC mark! We dropped him off four weeks ago today, and he'll leave the MTC four weeks from yesterday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Weekly Email #3

(Sorry this is posted so late. I've been celebrating my heritage all day, as you'll see below.)

-Happy Pioneer Day! For those of you who aren't in Utah (and are missing out on the state holiday and multiple fireworks shows, rodeos and carnivals), today we celebrate the arrival of the pioneers in Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Elder Cloward's thoughts on the holiday: "Pioneer Day is such a huge deal here it's ridiculous. tThe bookstore closes early and we don't get any mail! Oh Utah... there'll probably be a parade or something ridiculous like that haha gotta love Provo." (FYI, there is a parade, but it's in Salt Lake. It involves the Prophet and Apostles dressed like pioneers riding in covered wagons down the middle of downtown.)

-They won their volleyball game, "but it was just for fun"

-Their district is down to six elders, all going to Santiago! A sister missionary who went to Santiago West came in to talk to them about it. Here's what Elder Cloward had to say about that: "Apparently in Santiago they stay up late, so our schedule is to sleep from 11:30 to 7:30, so that should be interesting. They apparently also have a national nap time between 1 and 3 (it's called a siesta), so we will have lunch at 1 and do an hour of personal study at 2. They don't let us take naps with the rest of the country. She said it gets pretty cold in the winter and rains a lot, but whatever I can deal with it. I just want to get out there!"

-Elder Low and him are in the MTC choir. At first they did it for better seats at the devotionals and to find friends in other districts, but now they also really like to sing.

-Yes, Diane, he is taking his vitamins, washing his face, brushing his teeth and eating his fruits and vegetables (just no salad for breakfast...yeah that would just be gross)

-They taught the second discussion (on the plan of salvation) in English at the TRC yesterday. One set of volunteers was a returned missionary and his very pregnant wife. "Elder Low and I saw a golden opportunity and talked a lot about eternal families and what not. It was really cool to teach them." At the RC, most of Elder Cloward's phone calls were wrong numbers, but one of the wrong numbers talked to him for awhile and then asked for the missionaries to come tell her more, and even gave him two referrals!

-His branch president is President Evans from Fresno, CA. He's "pretty laid back." Aside from Elder Low, Elder Cloward's roommates are Elder Krainik from Lonetree, CO, and Elder MaWhinney from Midway, UT.

-Here's a peak at an average day at the MTC:
6:30 Wake Up! (but if they want to get ready, they need to get up at 6:15)
7-7:30 Personal Study
7:30-8 Breakfast
8-12 Class
12-12:45 Lunch
Gym for 50 minutes, or straight to class
2:30-5 Class
5-5:45 Dinner
Either gym or straight to class
5:45-9 Class
9-9:30 Plan
9:30-10:30 Get ready for bed

Whew, that's a long post! Elder Cloward says thanks for all the packages, letters and Dear Elders!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Weekly Email #2

Some things are better said in Elder Cloward's own words. Here's what he's been up to this past week:

-(Shout out to The Best Two Years) "We received a notice from the mission president that we shouldn't say "Book of Mormons" or "Books of Mormon" but "copies of the Book of Mormon"... I thought it was pretty funny"

-"So yesterday in the R.C., Elder Low received a call from a man that was a member of the church already, but he was calling to file a complaint against his bishop!!! It was so funny. Elder Low answered the phone and then just said "Can I put you on hold?" He had to ask the guy that ran the R.C. what he was supposed to do. We're not supposed to take complaints about bishops! So Elder Low spent about ten minutes talking to the guy and trying to get him to just talk to the bishop about his problems. It was pretty torpe (Spanish word for awkward)."

-"This Saturday my district is challenging another district in our zone to a volleyball match. It should be pretty interesting but I think we can win! Elder Moser, who is going to Santiago North, is from L.A. area and he played volleyball in high school too so we play pretty well together. We also have Elder Mahwinney, who's 6'5", so he's just automatically going to dominate... so that should be pretty fun."

-"The food at the cafeteria is a lot better than the CANC (Cannon Center at BYU, where he was supposed to eat last year, but usually didn't). They usually have 4 different meals to choose from, and at least 1 of them is edible."

Other updates:
-They taught the first lesson in Preach My Gospel (about the Restoration) in Spanish in the TRC on Tuesday.

-He's seen lots of friends, including Elder Williamson now, and a lot of BYU friends! "I guess in a sense it's kinda like BYU all over again, except for the whole 'missionary' thing... haha"

-He's already getting a haircut (lol) because, as he puts it, "my hair is mas o menos (more or less) out of control." It's the Bellino in him.

Thanks for sending him letters! He loves them and you!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MTC Pictures!

Through a series of unfortunate events (well, only one unfortunate event) Elder Cloward was without a camera charger when he entered the MTC. Being the accomodating sisters we are, Cara gave him her camera and I gave him my batteries and charger (since Cara and I have the same kind of camera, it was a perfect fit). Mom has since shipped up the right charger, so Elder Cloward mailed the camera, charger and batteries back to me. Why is this important? Because that means we got some pictures from his first week in the MTC!!!

(I have no idea who these other people are, so forgive the lack of captions.)

(I'm guessing Elder Low's ankle)

Typical "Matrix" shot using the ironing board. Too bad Elder Cloward's not in it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Weekly Email #1

We got our first email from Elder Cloward! He included a tidbit for Bishop Thompson to read to the La Mirada Ward on Sunday, but here are a few other highlights:

-They can already pray and speak in Spanish!

-Yesterday they went to the RC (referral center) and made some phone calls. (The referral center is the place people send their contact information to if they want to know more about the Church. It's great practice for being on a mission.) Elder Cloward said, "I was really scared to talk to real people, but I think it went pretty well."

-They also went to the TRC yesterday (teaching resource center, where volunteers pretend to be investigators and ask the missionaries-in-training questions about the Church). They taught a 30-minute lesson on the restoration of the gospel to a volunteer. Next week they are supposed to be able to give the full lesson in Spanish!

-He's still playing volleyball (of course!) but, sadly, his companion Elder Low sprained his ankle playing volleyball on Tuesday. Two other elders in their district did as well. So now 1/4 of their district is a little crippled. They should be better soon, though!

-Since the Provo temple is closed, they got to go up to the Mount Timpanogos temple today! (That's right next to my/Janessa's/ office, and I'm sad I didn't know what time because I definitely would have tried to meet up with him, even though I know it's against the rules.) Anyway, that temple is gorgeous, don't you think?

Well, that's all for this week! Elder Cloward sends his love and thanks everyone for their love and support.

Hasta luego!