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.