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!