Friday, December 25, 2009

Ana Karina's Baptism

Dear Family of mine-
Hope you are enjoying the sights out there in New York!!! Hope you are enjoying shopping!!!! HaHa! Sorry Dad we`ll go do a bunch of manly guy activities when I get home (remember I still haven`t even seen the second batman movie!). I`m glad you are all having fun!! I remember when we were there in 200.....7? visiting with Melia and Josè. Remember when we went to ground zero and they said that they were going to build another, bigger building on that spot? how`s that going? Just a thought.
So Ana`s baptism on Saturday was GREAT. Honestly in my life I have never been in a baptism that was so spiritual. Ever. There were only about 15 people there (because that day there were 5 activities going on in the chapel AT THE SAME TIME!!!) But it was honestly incredible. One of the sisters in the ward (the district choir director, and one of Ana`s co workers and best friends) sang a special number from a Y.W. disc called " You are a daughter of God" and it was such a good song. Half way through the sister that was singing started to cry and so did Ana and so did I (almost). In a part of the song it said something about how before we were born our Heavenly Father had us in His arms right before we left His presence, hoping that some day we would be able to come back to Him. I could honestly see that happening with Ana right before she came to earth, and I could feel (in a very small degree) how happy and pleased Heavenly Father was because He knew that as she took the step of baptism it was making it possible her return to Him. It was great!!!!
Also, we had another really really good experience this week with a family called Familia Gaete. When I got to this sector 2 months ago, there was a letter in the apartment for that family from one of the missionaries that used to be in this sector. But Elder Butròn didn`t know who they were. Every once in a while when I saw the letter sitting there I felt that we had to find them. But every member we asked didn`t know who they were. Until.......last Thursday we were teaching Carla (she`s a whole different story) with Maritza (a member of the church who`s preparing for a mission, and Carla`s sister in law) and after the lesson with Carla we were going to go visit Max (a recent convert who`s 90 and says he used to be a Mason. He`s really inteligent but a little crazy) and we asked Maritza if she knew who Familia Gaete was. She was "heck yes I do, why haven`t you guys been visiting them?" I said "cuz we don`t know where they live!!" So Maritza brought us to their house! The mom, Wilma, is a member, but inactive. Her daughter, Barbara, is 13 and is not a member. The missionaries were teaching her about 3 months ago but they stopped coming by. We sang some christmas hymns with them and then shared "Permanaced", the lesson to invite inactive members back to the church. They said they would come, but they didn`t come to the chapel yesterday, but we had a cita with them at 5:00 and we went. They said they didn`t come to church because they couldn`t wake up on time, but next week for sure! Then we started teaching lesson 1, the restoration. After the lesson, Barbara asked her mom if she could please go outside for a moment and talk with us privately, so her mom went outside. Then Barbara started to tell us why they missionaries stopped coming. She was preparing to be baptized, but started to have some doubts and insecurities, The missionaries thought she didn`t want to get baptized so they stopped visiting her. But she said that during those 3 months that the missionaries stopped visiting she felt like something was missing in her life, and she couldn`t stop thinking about the church. She said that she knows that this is the path that she wants to follow and has January 16th as her baptismal date!!!!!! So that was way cool. This year for our christmas gift to President Jones, each companionship has to think of a miracle that they have had in the last two weeks, then do a 1 minute recording describing the miracle. Today we recorded all of the miracles in the zone before we played soccer, and we have to burn them onto a dvd tomorrow. So there will be 90 minutes of miracles for President Jones! Elder Marìn and I decided that Barbara should be our miracle. I gave a talk yesterday about the "family mission plan" That was a wonderful experience.
Yesterday Maximo received the Aaronic priesthood, and was ordained as a priest. and I did the ordenation!!!! Màximo asked me to do it for him. This was the first time I have ever done a priesthood ordenation. Màximo is incredible. He will be going on a mission some day. We talked to President Jones about Daniela, since she is so young and her parents aren`t members she will have to attend church for 3 months before she can be baptized. Sad bears. We need to focus on Rafael, her brother, so that he can be worthy of his priesthood. If he stays active, so will she. But without him it will be very difficult. There is much more to tell, but i`ll save it for the phone call!! I sure do hope that you`re flight doesn`t get canceled so that you can be at home when I call! Because answering machines don`t replace families! Everything will be fine. No worries. Suave, porque sauve es todo, as Elder Marìn always said. And by the way I love Elder Marìn. quite possibly more than any other companion. Although I also really love Elder Butterfield and my boy Elder Cannon. We are having a great time now. I`ll send another email with details about the phone call. Happy Birthday Mom!!! Thanks for all you have done for me. I love you so much!
Much love!

Elder Cloward

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tiempode de elecciones

Dear Family:
So yesterday was the day of the Chilean Presidential elections. Here politics is a lot differente. Instead of just two big parties they have seven. And there were 4 presidential candidates. But in order for one of them to win, one person had to get over 50% of the vote. No one did, so they took the top two candidates and there will be a second election in January. Sadly there were 3 investigators that commited to come to church but then didn`t because they went to vote instead. But they will come next week! I`ve learned to be patient with things like this. All that matters is that people accept the gospel. If they do it after I leave the sector, it doesn`t matter. So I decided that this week, due to a time scarcity, I will share my funny stories with the whole family. So there are two new missionaries that we live with, Elder Johnston (from new york, he has two weeks left in the mission), Elder Urbina (from Honduras, he has about 8 months in the mission), and my new companion is Elder Marìn from Colombia. We are both staying here in Talagante. He got to the mission the same time as Elder Krainik, Elder Mawhinney and I. He lived with Elder Mawhinney on the coast for our first 6 months in Chile. He is a great missionary and works very hard. I think we will get along just fine. So yesterday, due to the elections, there is a law about public buildings not being in use for more than one hour, so that everyone can vote. So we had a big combined Sacrament meeting with our branch (Talagante) and the other branch that uses our chapel (Cordillera). So the two new elders, my new companion, and the two sister missionaries that just got here (5 missionaries in total) were asked to introduce themselves in the Sacrament meeting. So the two new elders went first, and after they finished, this little old man walked up to the stand, and stood up to go share his testimony. It was really sweet because he thought we were just doing a testimony meeting and wanted to share his testimony! So he stood up but the branch president explained that it wasn't a testimony meeting. So the other three missionaries introduced themselves, and they let the little old man share his testimony with us. Later on in the sacrament meeting, one of the sisters was giving her talk. There were 3 people that had been assigned talks, but due to the 5 missionary introductions, plus the little old man`s testimony, time was pretty short. And the hermana talked for a long time! So the branch president passed her a little paper, which we all know said something like "your time is up, please finish your talk." but the hermana just kept talking and said "the little paper they just passed me said "your doing a great job with your talk!
keep it up!"" We all laughed pretty hard. When she finished her talk, the sacrament meeting ended and the other two people that had prepared talks didn`t give them. Next week! Also, after the sacrament meeting Ana had her baptismal interview. and passed! So that`s good news. Màximo now comes to church in a suit that one of the members gave to him. Yesterday he was sustained to receive the Aaronic priesthood in the office of a priest, but he will have to be set apart next week. We found out that his grandma was a member. Rafael came to church too, the third time in a row. but his mom went to vote and Daniela was sick.
So being a zone leader is a lot different from being a district leader. In some ways it is easier, but in other ways it is harder. The good side is that my companion and I are both zone leaders, and we both have almost a year and a half in the mission, so any challenges we have we can face them together. In our zone there are two districts, one has 4 companionships and the other has 5. The district leaders do the interviews for the investigators of the companionships in their district, and we interview the investigators of the district leaders, since they can`t interview their own investigators. Instead of doing district meetings every week, we only have to plan one zone meeting every 6 weeks. We also have to plan with the district leaders, the iniciatives of every change. There are usually three iniciatives each change, which are all like fun little plans to help the missionaries improve and learn how to do the work better. On the first Friday of every change we have a meeting called "concilio" where all of the zone leaders (about 18 in total) go to the mission home and we talk with President Jones and he tells us about the vision that he has for the next change and what we wants the missionaries to focus on the next 6 weeks, and he asks for ideas from all of us. We had the meeting this past Thursday in Santiago. It is from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and we eat breakfast and lunch in the mission home. The weird thing about the meeting this Thursday was that President Jones never took time to just talk to all of us. He made most of us talk about how to make the mission better. He usually takes the last half hour of zone conferences and concilio to give one last super spiritual class and then finish with his testimony, but he did it differently this time. He stood up and said "I want all of you to think about who Jesus Christ is and pick the scripture that the spirit indicates to you." and so we all picked a scripture and read them one by one. here is a list of the scriptures that we read:
Alma 7:11-12
Mosìah 3:7-81
Nephi 9:19
Mark 15:24
Alma 34:14-15
Moroni 7:47
D&C 6:363
Nephi 11:10-14
Ether 3:13-14
Mosiah 3:172
Nephi 2:26
Isaiah 40:29-313
Nephi 27:13-14
Mosiah 14:2-7
D&C 45:3-5
D&C 50:41-45
D&C 19:16-19
Luke 22:40-443
Nephi 15:9
Alma 42:23
Mosiah 15:8-91
Nephi 21:14, 16 (my favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon, but nobody read it during the concilio, I put it in after). It was a very spiritual meeting. I have come to realize early in my mission, that the only reason that this work even exists is because of Jesus Christ. And the only thing that can truly motivate us to participate in His work is Love. Nothing else is a strong enough motivation to keep working as a missionary for 2 years. I know that He is sustaining me in every step that I take. President said in his closing testimony that day: "I am here so that I can use every last bit of energy that I have in the service of my Saviour Jesus Christ. Every time I think that I can`t go any farther, that my energy has all run out, He gives me more energy, He makes me stronger and helps me keep going." I know that this is true. I hope you all have a great Christmas and can feel the love of the Saviour and help bring that love to other people, as you have already done to me. I love you!!!
Elder Cloward

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good News

Dear Family,
Well,there are many eventful things that have happened this last week. Most eventful starting with yesterday. We were eating lunch and we got a call from President Jones. He talked to Elder Butròn and called him as assistant! Haha Elder Butròn was definitely not expecting that. President always calls the assistants the Sunday before changes so that they can be there Tuesday morning and help with changes. So Elder Butròn had about 3 hours to say bye to a few people and then pack up. Elder Finter and Elder Williams (the assistants) came to the pension and picked him up. Elder Williams is going home in three weeks, and he will be a traveling assistant until he goes home, which means that he goes to a different sector every day and does divisions with a different companion every day. Elder Butròn will be with Elder Finter. Right now my companion is Elder Delong, but he is just a temporary companion. On Tuesday we will go to changes together, and we will take his new companion back to his sector, and I will come back here with my new companion. Also, in order for you to understand a little better the sitiuation, there is something I have to tell you that happened 6 weeks ago when I got to Talagante. On the day of changes President called me and asked me if I would accept the calling to be a zone leader, and of course I accepted even though I was really nervous. At first I didn`t want to tell the family because I really want to avoid the whole "look at me I`m a zone leader" attitude, cuz that`s just stupid. I`ve met a lot of moms in the mission who have missionary sons and they only talk about the leadership positions that their sons have "my son`s a district leader and he only has 7 months in the mission blablabla". Although I know that they are just proud of their sons. But if I had a son that was a missionary I wouldn`t be proud of him for that, I would just be proud of him for working as hard as he can, whether he has a leadership position or not. It`s really not that big of a deal anyway. But as I thought about it more, I realized that it was selfish of me to not tell you about my experiences in the mission. So then I decided to tell you about it, and then I just kinda forgot. So now I am telling you. the end. So the zone leaders are usually a companionship. Last change, Elder Butròn and I were the zone leaders, and now that he is gone, a new companion will come to help me with the zone. I will let you know who he is next week.
In other news, President jones is going to send 4 new missionaries to the zone to help in two of the branches that need more support: Esmeralda and Cordillera. They will only be here for 3 weeks. The two missionaries that will be working in Cordillera will live with us, since they obviously can`t live with the sister missionaries that are currently working in Cordillera. And the Elders in Esmeralda will live in Esmeralda.
In other news, Daniela the nine year old, is very excited to get baptized. She made a deal with her brother Rafael that he has to get reactviated so that he can baptize her. When we were in a lesson with her on Friday she said "I`m already ready to get baptized, I`m just waiting for Rafael to come back to church" Every time that she prays in the lessons she prays that Rafael can try harder to become active in church again. Rafael came the last two weeks, but he is struggling with the word of wisdom. The Branch President said that if he works hard he should be ready to baptize her by the end of the month. Also, yesterday as Elder Butròn was saying his goodbyes, we talked to Ana and told her: "Ana, you could get baptized two weeks from now. You are ready. Will you prepare yourself for an interview next weekend?" And she said yes! So Elder Delong and I went by last night to teach a lesson and she has a fecha for December 19.
To answer your questions: 1. i got the package from grandma and grandpa. Thank you very much 2. No, we did not get to watch the Christmas Devotional - so thank you for taping it. I think that's all for this week.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cuenta tus bendiciones

Dear family,
Thanks so much for the list of blessings that you sent me, that was a really great idea. I feel like my greatest blessing is having a family that loves me and supports me and lives the gospel. There are so many Elders here who are the only members in their family (like my companion, well his little brother is a member too, but they are pretty much alone) I am also grateful for the blessing of being on a mission and having the opportunity to dedicate this time to the salvation of my brothers and sisters here in Chile. It`s pretty great. It makes me so happy to know that my small sacrifice during these last...17? months has blessed our family so much and also my many new friends here in Chile that have accepted the Gospel as well as those we have taught. Although, I also know that you are all being blessed through your individual efforts to live the Gospel.
As I have study the Book of Mormon throughout my life, I have realized that one of the phrases that is most repeated is when the Lord says “inasmuch as ye keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land”. I know that this promise is true.
This past weekend we had district conference (like stake conference, but with the district) and the person that presides over the district is the mission president, so President Jones was there and he spoke. He said that life is really just easy, but we are the ones that make it complicated. If we just do what the Lord asks of us, our lives will be easy. I can see that in his family (and also in ours) that we have truly been blessed with happiness because we just keep the commandments. Sometimes we are stubborn and think that our way is better than the Lord`s way, and that`s when we start to have problems. To Mom and Dad, thank you so much for raising us kids and teaching us correct gospel principals. I know that none of us are perfect, but as I grew up I could see that both of you had the desire to keep the Spirit of the Lord in our home, and I thank you so much for your efforts. Your love for others has been a wonderful example to me. To Janessa and Cara, thank you for being my big sisters and being my example. I have seen how both of you have fought with different trials and challenges, but have never put aside your values. Your faith and perseverance are truly examples to me. You have both shown me, in two different ways, how it is possible for us to live the gospel every day. I know that the Lord will bless you for your obedience because you truly seek to do His will before your own. This Thursday I barely realized that it was Thanksgiving, but I did open the tie, and wore it all day. Thank you so much-I love it! Elder Butròn and I both enjoyed the fudge. I got all of the packages and letters, thank you so much for sending me everything.
President Jones always says that if we are unhappy it is because we are only thinking about ourselves. When we think about others and count our blessings we are happy. Therefore, in this moment I am happy, and hope that all of you are too! I love you all and can`t wait for next Thanksgiving when we can all count our blessings together.
Love,
Elder cloward
Elder Cloward standing by a train bridge on the outskirts of his sector.

A gringo cow (Elder Cloward) and a peruvian cow (Elder Butron).

Elder Cloward milking a cow.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


Elder Cloward eating mashed potatoes

Feliz Dia de Gracias!

Dear family,
So here`s a cool story: I went to the coast! We had zone conference on Wednesday. one of the hermano`s from Isla de Maipo (one of the sectors in our zone) took all 14 of the missionaries in his van to San Antonio (the sector where Elder Butterfield was born). The sad part is that we didn`t get to see the coast. The chapel wasn`t on the coast like I thought it was. San Antonio is really pretty though, it`s like a city built on a bunch of hills.
The investigators have progressed a lot this week, despite some challenges that they have had. For example, Nicolas broke up with Ana on Friday. Elder Butròn was really mad at him, because it is really hard for Ana to feel the spirit when they keeping breaking up and getting back together. The good news is that Ana came to church anyway yesterday, even though she broke up with Nico.
Margarita and Daniela had to go to San Antonio this weekend for Margarita`s mom`s birthday, but next Sunday they should come.
We also had a good experience with permaneced this past week. Our branch president gave us a list of 20 names of inactive members to visit, and we were able to visit 18 of the 20 addresses, but sadly of those 18 we were not able to teach permaneced a single time. (due to addresses that don`t exist, peolpe moving 10 years ago, etc.). But yesterday Elder Butròn and I went to do a follow up visit with Dania, an hermana that we had taught Permanaced to a couple weeks back. We went by her house and her younger brother Màximo answered the door and said that Dania wasn`t home, but invited us to come in anyway. He then told us that he was also baptized about 10 years ago (he`s 19 now) with his sister, so we taught him permaneced. What`s funny is that we had already visited Dania 3 times and we had never seen Màximo before, we didn`t even know she had a brother. After the lesson, Màximo commited to come to church yesterday. We went to pick him up and he stayed for all 3 hours. He has an interview with the branch president on Tuesday! we are excited to see his progress. we really need more priesthood holders here so that the church can grow.

1. I got the package on Wednesday. Elder Butròn got excited when he saw the tree and wanted to put it up, but I told him it is better to wait until after we have changes (changes are december 8). We are hoping that we will stay together for another change, but we`ll see what happens with that. I just don`t want to tape everything up and then get changed to another sector.
2. I haven`t seen any protestors. The only thing I can tell you are that the Chilean presidential elections are coming up in December, and they only have elections every 6 years so it`s kind of a big deal. But everybody`s calm about it. They are just campaigning a lot.
4. I have two bags because the other one is my bag I take on divisions. when I got to Talagante Elder Butròn and I had a meeting in Santiago early Friday morning, so Thursday night we traveled to Temple Square and slept in the MTC and mission home.
5. In our chapel there are two different branches, Talagante and Cordillera. the sister missionaries from Cordillera teach the english class Saturday mornings. so that way Elder Butron and I have time for service and other things. Although we were considering starting a piano lesson class. I`m not exactly professional, (very far from it) but I can teach some basic steps. The only problem is that there is only one piano and it would be kind of hard to teach a group.
6. There are a few sectors that use bikes (3 in our zone, a couple sectors in the coast too) because the sectors are so big that it takes literally hours to walk from one end to the other.

Well I hope you all have a great week!
Love you and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Karaoke night in Talagante

Dear family,
This Friday we had a ward activity: branch karaoke night! We have been planning it since I got to this sector. The only problem is that we share our chapel with another branch (the Cordillera branch, Cordillera meaning "mountain range") and they had a ward talent show planned on the same night. So we said why don`t we just combine the two activities into a super 2 branch extravaganza? They were like "nah, I`m good". We decided that our branch would do our activity from 7:00 to 8:30 and they would start their activity at 8:30. Then of course we know that complications would come. Chileans are never punctual. Elder Butròn and I got to the activity late too because we were doing a service project. The guy with the sound system didn`t get there til 8:00, and he got to the chapel slightly drunk (my companion tells me). Luckily Elder Butròn worked in sound equipment before his mission and he knows how to set up sound equipment. So we didn`t really start our activity until 8:00, and then Cordillera started getting to the chapel at 8:30. Once again we offered to just combine the two activities, and they said they didn`t want to because the young women didn`t want to dance in front of so many people. So we kept our activity going until 9:15 then told our branch they had to leave because Cordillera had to use the chapel. The activity turned out really well, despite all of the complications. There were almost 60 people there, which is pretty good considering that the attendance on Sunday is around 115. Everybody had a great time. I`m not sure if I told you, but our branch here is divided in two sectors, just like El Rosal. We share the branch with sister missionaries, Hermana Miguel from Argentina and Hermana Maples from Norcal. The sister missionaries and i sang karaoke too. We sang "I heard him come" (I think that`s what it`s called). Elder Butròn couldn`t sing with us because he was working the sound equipment.
In other news, the investigators are progressing pretty well. There was a problem on Wednesday. Margarita and Daniela came to the chapel because the soc soc had an enrichment activity and they made fruitcake. Daniela was playing with the other kids in the chapel while her mom was baking. Apparently Daniela fell off of the stage in the cultural hall and hurt herself. That`s a pretty considerable fall, but she is fine now. Her wrist is just a little bruised. Margarita didn`t want to come on church on Sunday because she said that there`s no point in coming to church if she can`t get baptized. We need to explain to her that she will still receive blessings in by going to church even if she can`t get baptized yet. Ana is doing well. She came to church for the second time this week. We invited her to be baptized, and she said she wants too! But she doesn`t have a baptismal date yet because, as she told us, she wants to make sure that she gets baptized for the right reasons, not just for her boyfriend. Elder Butròn should be able to help her, since he had the same experience in his conversion. Also, I got a letter from Andrew on Wednesday. He seems to be doing well. It`s ironic how we can contact a complete stranger on the street and talk to them about the church without any problem but with our own friends and family we are much more hesitant.
This past Thursday I did divisions with Elder Jergins. I went to another sector called La Islita (the little island). They had bikes there! I have not had bikes in any of my other areas and it was nice riding. We stopped by a retirement home and visited people in the home.
Well family, thanks for your prayers, love and your support. I love all of you so much and of course I miss you all, but I am working as hard as I can every day so that the Lord can bless all of you. You are in my prayers always. The church is true and I love seeing how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change peoples lives.
Love,
Elder Cloward













Elder Cloward in front of the Santiago Temple








Elder Cloward and Presidente Aransibia






Elder Cloward & Elder Butron resting after a service project

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Goin to the country -Gonna eat a lot of peaches

Dear Family,
That`s what Elder Cannon always said when we were together. He really wanted to go to the campo. I love that kid. Anyway, this week was pretty good. I haven`t continued taking the medications (since they ran out) and I feel a lot better. The members here told me when I arrived that the fresh air of the campo would heal me. I had been in Santiago pollution for 14 months, but now we have wide open spaces. (not in our sector, but just outside of it.) I wanted to go take a pic next to the campo and send it to you for the christmas card but we haven`t been able to yet. If we have time I`ll take it today and try to send it to you later, but if not i`ll have it for you si o si next Monday. Also, just a heads up, the new balance shoes I had were all torn up. Therefore, today my compi and I went to buy some sick fùtbol shoes so that I can dominate when we play soccer. I bought them with the wells fargo debit card and they cost $22,000 pesos, which should be around $38 màs o menos. So that`s that. So here`s that low-down on some investigators: Ana- she is the (ex)girlfriend of a member in our ward. There is a family here by the name of Pineda, the first Pineda family that I have met in my mission! Pretty cool, huh? So Nicolas, the son, is about 24 years old. He got baptized 4 years ago. His parents got baptized about 2 months ago. His girlfriend Ana came to church yesterday, but we think they broke up, but we are not sure. We want to teach her, but away from her boyfriend. Elder Butròn was introduced to the church thanks to his girlfriend (who is now serving as a missionary in Perù, isn`t that sweet?) but when he took the discussions he didn`t want his girlfriend to be there, it was just him and the missionaries, so that he would get baptized because he wanted to do it, not for his girlfriend. Margarita and Daniela- Margarita is the mother of Rafael, a recent convert who is about my age. Daniela is his little sister. They are both really good investigators, but Margarita has the famous “I`m married to my ex still and now I live with another man” problem, that great stumbling block to the progress of all golden investigators in Chile. Hugo- the friend of Bernardita, another recent convert. He`s a cool guy, and he is passing through some hard times economically. He lives with his daughter and with his grandson (a little baby boy) we went to his house on Saturday morning with a group of members to cut his grass and clean up his lawn a little bit. Hector and Josefina- An married couple, about 60 years old each. They are really catholic, and have been investigating for a long time and aren`t really progressing. They just like to listen. Elder Butròn and I are considering the possibility of not teaching them anymore. So that`s who we`re teaching! Good times. We`re doing great here, I`ll let you know as soon as I get the package from Mario. Thanks so much for sending it to me! I love all and hope you have a great week!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Talagante!! Ever heard of it?


Dear family,As you can see from the subject line, I am in Talagante. Now I am sure you are all wondering where it is. Let me explain: Talagante is an itsybitsy little city about 35 kilometers to the west of Santiago. I am outside of Santiago for the first time in my mission!!! So that`s cool. We are not in the city of Santiago or on the coast. We are right in the middle, the part of the mission that is called "El Campo", which means countryside. Our sector is mostly city, but when we are near the boarder we can see these huge green beautiful fields of grapes and other assorted produce. It is so beautiful. Also, another funny story: Elder Mawhinney is in my district! So that`ll be fun. My companion is...........................Elder Butròn from Perù!!!! Hurray! Elder Butròn is amazing. He has about 13 months in the mission (the time I had after I finished my first change with Elder Cannon). He has been a member of the church for two (count em, two) years. He got baptized when he was 23 and one year later he left on his mission. He is honestly one of the hardest working companions I`ve ever had. He started his mission in El Rosal. He got there right before I got special changes out of Rivas Vicuña, so I knew him for about a week, and all my mission I`ve heard great things about him. Also, Talagante is not a stake, it`s a district!!! There are no wards here, they are all branches!!!! So the church is still growing here, and the local leaders have missionary work as one of their top priorities. We also heard from the district presidency that by the end of the year President Jones will send in the papers to make this district a stake. So we need to focus a lot on the branches. More than anything we need priesthood holders. In order to be a ward, a branch needs to have 25 active, worthy, tithe paying priesthood holders. So we will definitely be looking for them, both inactive members to bring back to the church and future priesthood holders that still haven`t been baptized. We definitely have our work cut out for us but I am so excited. I love the Lord and I know this is His church and I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve Him. Well there are tons of things I still want to tell you but we have to go because every Monday at 12:30 we play soccer in our chapel with the zone. Have a great week. Love you all, and thanks for the package!!!

Love,

Elder Cloward

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes out of Rosal 2

Dear family,
So I have changes this week. We have a ton to do today between packing and saying chaito to the members of Barrio El Rosal. I had a great 6 months here but now it is time to move on. I have seen the lives of many change while in this ward and I will always have a great love from this ward and the people that have touched my life. The Lord knows what is best for me and it is time to move to a new area. With each day of service my love for our Savior, His gospel and my testimony have grown.
Primary children: El Rosal
Sad to hear that BYU got owned. Oh well it`s been known to happen. I`m also sure that Mom is not happy with the Yankees being in the world series... again.... The appointments went well last week. On Tuesday and Wednesday we had to stay in a few hours so that I could rest, and then we went out to the appointments that we had. On Saturday we had a really good lesson with Pedro and his family. We were finishing the lesson with Pedro, talking about the importance of service. As we were finishing the lesson, Cristina and Ariel church for the first two hours. She said that the problem she has is with Relief Society. Firgot home, and sat with us. We were there talking with them for another 45 minutes. Cristina opened up a lot to us and explained the REAL reason why she doesn`t want to go to church. She told us that she actually has no problem with going tost of all she doesn`t like being separated from her husband because she doesn`t know any of the hermanas (Elder Hernandez and his new comp will work on that by bringing the sisters to her house to meet her) and second she said that the hermanas are cry babies and kind of fake. I thought it was really funny. So we told her no problem, she can start by coming to church for just the first two hours. We`ll see. We are also teaching this lady named Mirka, a reference from one of the families in the ward. She is a physics teacher and she is very catholic. She said she is afraid that everything she has believed all her life could be wrong. So she is a little scared of changing religions. Also last Wednesday we went to teach Maicol (in spanish it is pronounced the same as Michael) and his girlfriend Susana. Maicol is a member, but inactive and wants to come back to the church, little by little. He and Susana are in their early 20`s and they have a one year old daughter named Isidora. Darling`s baptism was great. The sister missionaries did a great job teaching her. I had to interview her twice, cuz the first time I felt that she needed more time to prepare. But she was very happy to be baptized. She originally asked me to baptize her, but we are trying to have the members do the baptisms so that the new members can establish friendships with the members, not with the missionaries, because obviously we missionaries won`t stay here forever.
Darling's Baptism

Our plans for halloween are the same plans we have every day. We have the same schedule as always. It`s basically a normal day for us, it`s just that people walk around in costumes asking for candy. Some companionships exchange name tags for the day. That is the most extreme we can go on the costumes! So I have a funny story for you this week. We are teaching this guy named Osvaldo. His wife is a member of the church, but he is not very religious. At all. He believes in God but he hasn`t prayed to know if the church is true, mostly just because he doesn`t care whether or not it is. But he`s a really funny guy. Anyway, we were teaching him yesterday. On Saturday his wife went to get her Patriarcal Blessing. And she told us the in her patriarcal blessing it is says that she will go hand in hand with her husband to to be sealed in the temple. So she told Osvaldo, "Well osvaldo, looks like it`s already been decided! Looks like you`ll just have to be baptized after all" his wife told him that she would laugh so hard the day that he gets baptized. It was pretty funny. Well that`s the lowdown for this week. I will be looking for your package in the district meeting this Wednesday! Although I`m not sure which district I`ll be in! Haha- aren`t changes fun? Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Cloward Backyard Mowing Finished !!

Noches de Hogar

Dear family
So i have very little time to write today, sorry I didn`t write to Janessa or Cara either. We had our zone activity in Rivas Vicuña and we played soccer and ate pizza, and we were there way too long. Then I got home and I was/am feeling a little sick and fell asleep for about an hour. After getting showered and dressed we only had a half hour left to do internet, and we have an appointment right now. Well here`s a quick review of the weeks activities: we did two family home evenings with members where they invited their friends, we have another appointment with one of them tomorrow, and the other family said they would talk to their member friends to say when we can come by. Yesterday I interviewed Darling again, and now that she has permission from her parents to be baptized I felt the spirit confirm that she is ready for baptism. She and the sister missionaries were both very excited. Well that is sadly all that I have time for today. Sorry. next week I`ll write more! Thanks for all of your emails and fotos!
Love,
Elder Cloward

actividad de servicio

Dear family,
Well first of all Ithought I should explain why I am writing on Tuesday and not Monday. Yesterday was a holiday for South America called "day of the races" meaning all the races of the world. So the area presidency of Chile decided it was a good opportunity for a service activity. Every stake in Chile picked a different activity to do. We went to an elementary school in our zone. We painted the walls in the staircases and pulled weeds, cut the grass and many other things. It was like doing an Eagle project. Very fun and it was nice to help the community! There were about 130 members and missionaries there. Speaking of yard work, we have to cut the grass in our front and back yard. it is getting to be very very long. When I got here in May there was no grass in the front or back yard. Then it rained a lot and a bunch of stuff started to grow. I am actually pretty sure that it`s just weeds. idk. Here is some good news: Pedro was ordained a priest on Sunday! We weren`t able to visit him all of last week because of his work schedule but we have a visit with him tonight. He is doing great. Maybe he'll be able to soften Cristina`s heart a little bit. Liliana came to church yesterday, but she is just as stubborn as ever. We are starting a new iniciative with the members in our ward. We want to go to as many member families as we can and challenge/invite them to invite a friend or neighbor to an fhe with us. We think it will be a good way to find new investigators since it has been so hard for us lately. Thank you for sending the package I can`t wait to get it! Elder Holland`s talk was so good! He always takes out the trash in general conference. He studied law at yale apparently. I don`t know what that has to do with anything, but it`s interesting. Tell Alta and Thomas congratulations! How has Thomas`s health been? We got to watch the conference in english with all of the gringo missionaries. of the 14 elders and sisters in our zone, only 3 of them are latin and there are 11 gringos. It was a pretty normal weekend. We just watched conference and between the sessions we ate lunch with our ward in the stake center. I hope all of you have a great week. The church is true and I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve. I love you all!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Monday, October 12, 2009

Semena 23 - Another Temple in Chile!!

Dear Family:
This past March we had a special conference for the entire Southern half of Chile. We had several area authorities here and there was some discussion about different locations in Chile. So we figured they were planning on building a temple in the South, but we weren't sure of the exact location. And it HAPPENED!!! That is so exciting. The only sad part is that for the Saturday morning session there were only about 55 members of our stake in the stake center to hear the news. Although there were many people watching it on the internet at home. We got to watch conference in English with all the Gringo missionaries. Of the 14 Elders and Hermana's in our zone, only 3 are Latin. We watched conference and in between sessions we ate lunch with our Ward in the Stake Center. Elder Holland`s talk was so good! He always gives the best talks in general conference. He studied law at Yale, apparently. Tell Alta and Thomas congratulations! How has Thomas`s health been?
I am actually pretty sure that I`ve gotten a little chubbier while on the mission, but not much, maybe about 5 pounds. But if I look thin that`s great. Maybe I grew.
At the conference center i saw Eduardo Oneto Correa. He is super active in the church and comes every Sunday. He is twelve now and will soon receive the Aaronic Priesthood. It is hard for him though because he is the only one in the family that comes to church every week. Joselyn and Michelle come to seminary and mutual during the week, but not to church because it is too early Sunday morning and they like to sleep in. That is what the elders in that sector told me.
We are having a hard time finding new investigators. But little by little we are finding more people. Last night we taught Fan Fan (the Haitian) for the first time in 5 months. He is doing well but is working Sundays. We have another appointment with him tonight. We are also teaching another Haitian that lives with him named Joab. Joab was going to come to the conference with us this weekend but he got sick yesterday. We went to the conference with Pedro, who came to the morning sessions on Saturday and Sunday. He really enjoyed the conference.
Next Sunday he should receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be ordained as a Priest. Cristina is being a little stubborn, but that`s okay. she is progressing, but very slowly. She came to the FHE at the Bishop`s house last Monday. The Bishop gave the lesson and talked about testimonies and how to get a testimony. She told us on Saturday that we will not get her to come to church. I told her that is fine; we will just bring the congregation to her house and do the church services there. She laughed but didn`t think it was the best idea.
We are also working with a physics teacher named Mirk. She was a reference from Familia Campos, some members in the ward. She used to live under their apartment building but recently moved away. She told us she would come to conference, but didn`t so we will have to go by and see what`s up.
I`ll let you know next week. Hope everything is well! Have a great week.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Semena 22 Elder Rossi-Herrera's Farewell

Dear family:
So I thought that Elder Butterfield looked kinda different in the photo, then I realized that it is because he didn`t have his namebadge on! haha. Thanks for the foto - I'm so glad you finally met Elder Butterfield and his family. That is neat that there were 3 Hermana's from our mission there as well. I saved the picture on my usb drive so I won`t lose it. I always have to delete the emails with the pics due to the mailbox size.
Cool story-last night we had a genealogy activity for recent converts in the Stake Center. They just so happened to be doing Abraham Rossi`s farewell at the same time. He was so excited to see me. I took a couple of pictures with him. I told him that my family wanted to write him and send him cookies in the MTC and in California. His parents were thrilled with the idea. They will send me his mtc and mission adresses in a letter. His Mom and Dad said that I can`t lose contact with them throughout the years.
That ward still remembers me, which is great. I think they will always be my favorite ward here. The young men wanted me to take a picture next to Ariel Ortega, the Bishop`s Son, bc they say we look like brothers.
So this sector needs a bit of a jump start. We are working hard trying to find new investigators, since pretty much all of the investigators, for one reason or another, aren`t progressing. Although tonight Cristina agreed to come with Pedro and us to a FHE at the Bishops house. Tomorrow Pedro will have his interview with the Bishop so he can receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Lilana still comes to church and wants to get baptized (in a river). We are hoping she changes her mind soon. I sent a letter home today. It should get there between 15 to 20 days from now.
We are going to fly kites right now with Felipe and family.
Sorry I ddin`t write much but there`s really not much to write about.
We are working really hard- trying to find people to teach. Hopefuly next week we will have more new people to tell you about!
I am so thankful for this opportunity I have to serve my Heavenly Father. The church is true and I am looking forward to watching conference this weekend!
I love you all and you are always in my prayers. Have a great week.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Sunday, September 27, 2009

18th and Elder Hernandez

Some members of El Rosal dancing the cueca on the 18th

Elder Mawhinney and I the day of changes. He is in Talagante, which is in the campo just outside of Santiago. Elder Hernandez was his companion last change.

Elder Hernandez and I the day of changes

Semana 21 18 de Septiembre

Dear Family,
This Friday Chile had their national Independence Day holiday party extravaganza. It was kind of a hard day to find people. The sister missionaries gave us some brownies, so I naturally put them on a paper plate and went out with Elder (not telling you his name yet), my new companion, to go knock some doors with brownies. We said something like this "oh, well I hope your having a great day and enjoying the Chilean Independence fiestas. I wanted to offer you a dessert from my country. They are called brownies. now I also know that you don`t know me, so I will also eat a little bit to show you that it is okay to eat. (I take a piece of brownie and eat it) would you like to try some?" So that almost worked. haha. Some people took the brownies, but everybody was busy with guests and family members partying it up, so nobody let us in. In the morning we went to the ward activity and watched the Chileans dance cueca, the national dance of Chile (I`ll send fotos). We also ate mote con huesillo (a dried out peach in a glass of preserve juice with wheat, weird, but strangely delicious) and lots of empanadas. I tried to fly a kite, but the wind was very inconsistent. So I just gave a bunch of kites to small Chilean children, and they broke them. haha. oh well they were cheap (20 cents each). So about the investigators:
Flia Casas: Victor started drinking and smoking again! and said he won`t come back to church! Irene said she doesn`t really see the point in us going back to teach her, she`s not willing to do anything until Victor steps up. Fabiàn said he "thinks" he`s an atheist. We`ll just have more time to dedicate to other investigators. My new companion says that Fabiàn might have a chance of progressing. We`ll see, its already been 3 months.
Pedro is doing well. We did an fhe in his house with Cristina. We watched finding faith in Christ. it was cool. We invited Cristina to stay with us and Pedro when we teach him. She said she would do it, but that we can`t ask her questions or make her read.
Liliana still wants to get baptized in a river.
The eight new people we found last week, none of them have been able to receive us and teach them again. nice.
So it`s been a long week and kind of difficult, but we are just going to focus on finding new investigators. and when I say we I mean my new companion, Elder Hernandez from El Salvador who has 7 months in the mission and is the 5th of 8 sons in his family and who is kind of short, and I. Yes family, that`s right. my new companion is Jaime Adonài Hernandez Hernandez. He no speaka english. Haha but we`re working on that. He`s pretty cool. I`ll send a pic.
so yesterday I interviewed a 16 year old girl named Darling who the sister missionaries are teaching. I felt that it would be best for her to wait 2 more weeks to be baptized instead of this saturday. She was alright with it, but it was kind of hard for the Sister missionaries at first, but they said that they trust my judgment and know that i am doing my best to listen to the spirit. The problem is that Darling`s mom is a super inactive member of the church. she started coming to church when her Aunt, from Viña del Mar, came to visit her, every week she comes with her Aunt. the problem is though that soon her Aunt will go back to Viña, and I am worried that without her support it will be harder for Darling to keep coming to church. So we are going to give her a couple weeks more to have a firmer foundation.
Elder Cannon went to las naciones, olimpo stake, still in maipù, so he`s not too far from me. It is weird when the kids grow up and move away, isnt it?I honestly felt sad when he left, I`ve never felt that way about any other companion. I was sad when Elder Butterfield and I got changed, but when Elder Cannon left it was different, I was worried if I taught him well enough, how he`ll turn out as a missionary, etc. but I know he`ll turn out right, he`s a good Elder.
well that`s about it for now, I`m gonna bounce and send some fotos!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Monday, September 14, 2009

Work left to do in El Rosal ll

SURPRISE!!
Elder Cannon has changes and I don`t. So that`s cool. There is still a lot of work for me to do here in this sector, since I am still here. I really thought that I was getting changed, but I trust that this is the Lord`s will for me at this point in my mission. I know that Elder Cannon will do well wherever he is sent. So I will continue as district leader, and have a new companion to train. A gringo or latino I don`t know, we`ll find out tomorrow! I`ve been with gringos since February, my last latin companion was Elder Noguera. That was.... 7 months ago, WOW. It's been a while. So this last week we worked really hard looking for new investigators. I didn`t want to leave Elder Cannon in this sector without investigators. We found 8 new people to teach this week, so we were pretty excited. 4 of them we found doing a brownie activity with an hermana, 2 from visiting inactive members (part of the permaneced program) and 2 from a door that we knocked. I will be sure to inform you more about these people next week. We prepared a lesson plan for familia Casas to teach them tonight based on Moses and the ¿brass? serpent. All they have to do is look in order to be healed. It was Elder Cannon`s idea. I thought it was an excellent idea. Maybe we can help them to start living the gospel as a family again. Last night we had a cita with pedro. We left him with a goal to start reading scriptures to Cristina and Ariel everyday to help them learn more. Liliana is still coming to church for Sacrament meeting, then she leaves to go to work. We will see what happens with that. Well, i`m excited to be here for another change, hoping to see lots of miracles and be guided by the spirit to those who are waiting for the gospel. I love you all so much and you are always in my prayers!

love,
Elder Cloward

Friday, September 11, 2009

Semana 19 El Veranito de San Juan

Dear Family:
So I thought spring was coming, because last week there were two days that were super hot. but apparently there is something called the "veranito de San Juan" (the little summer of Saint John) which is just a tiny summer that happens in the middle of winter, but then winter comes again. So it has rained a lot the last couple of days. We are working very hard. Fabian and Irene aren`t progressing anymore. They are so busy with their negicio. We might have to stop going by them, which I believe is pretty much the worst thing that happens to us as missionaries. I told Irene that they have to start keeping the comandments and God will bless them. She said that God won`t just come to their house and give them money. I told her that obviously it won`t happen like that but God will not let her family go hungry if she keeps the commandments. She said "Elder, you are wrong" and I told her "no hermana, I`m not wrong. God is not wrong, and this is a promise from Him, not from me" so we left it at that. I just don`t know what else to do with them. We need to focus our time on the people that are progressing and making an effort. We just haven`t found many other good people to teach. We are going to focus on that this week so that I can leave Elder Cannon with some good work. I am pretty sure that I am leaving this change, but nothing is set in stone. Yesterday we ate lunch with the stake president. he`s 38. Friday night we had a big FHE in the chapel. We watched this movie about missionary work and had all of the members write down the name of someone they know that needs the Gospel. Pedro is doing well, he paid his tithing on Friday! He couldn`t come to church yesterday because of his work schedule, and he can`t come next week either. After that i think he`ll be able to come for a month straight. That`s good that Mitch got my tape. I hope we can get that around to a lot of people before we finish our missions. So that`s about all for this week. I hope all is well at home!
Love, Elder Cloward

Monday, August 31, 2009

Semana 18 Almost Primavera in Santiago

Dear Family,
So Friday night we went by Familia Casas home. We wanted to teach Irene and Fabiàn about faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation ETTE. So when we were talking about faith we asked both of them if they have faith in Jesus Christ. They both said no, or that they weren`t sure. Irene said that she has had a terrible week. The lesson was just really sad and there was a strong lack of the spirit. I told them "you haven`t been reading the scriptures or praying as a family, have you?" They were shocked and asked me how I knew. I told them that we could feel the difference in their house. There is so much importance in doing the basic things of the gospel, read the scriptures, family prayer, FHE, etc. They said that they could feel a difference too, so we commited them to start reading and praying as a family again. They still haven`t come to church because someone always has to be in the negocio to open it on Sunday mornings, and they have to come three weeks in a row before they can get baptized. So that was a low point in the week, but we will keep working with them and helping them all we can. Yesterday there was a special fireside about "permaneced", a special message from the Area Presidency in Chile about the importance of staying active in the church. We went to the stake center. I saw Abraham Rossi and his parents and brother Andrès there. Abraham is so excited to go to California. He was asking me a lot of questions about California and the area he will be serving. They told me to make sure I stay in contact with them. I talked to Alejandrina, Cristians mom (of Cristian and Javiera from my first sector). Abraham`s Dad said that Javiera keeps coming to church on a fairly regular basis. They said for me not to feel bad that she didn`t get baptized while I was there. Sometimes we reap and other times we sow, but he said that there was definitely a seed planted and that someday Javiera will be baptized, hopefully soon! Mom, that was just me assuming that I will leave on the 15th. I`ve been here a long time. but we`ll see what happens. I would love to stay. We went by Noelia's home on Tuesday with the Sister missionaries. They visited her yesterday by themselves and she told them she hasn`t had a drink since Tuesday. She is so different when she is sober, and much much happier. Cristina and Pedro will be coming to the chapel on Wednesday because they are doing a cueca class (the national dance of chile). Apparently Cristina loves to dance. Pedro wants to get her involved in the church, so we are going to focus on fellowshipping her and meeting the sisters in the ward. I feel this will really help her and the sisters in the ward are great. Pedro was confirmed yesterday, and Felipe blessed the sacrament (for the second time). Liliana`s son Eric had his birthday party yesterday. We came by after it was over and she gave us some cake. Her and Eric were arguing because she hid his beer from him (he just turned 18) and he was mad at her and wanted to know where it was. It was awkward. I feel bad for her because she just wants to help him. We told her to pray for guidance to know what to do to help her son.

We had a cool experience yesterday. On Saturday we went to amengual (another ward in our stake). The whole zone worked in that sector for the day. They have 1000 members registered and 90 come to church every week. Wow. Anyway, we were supposed to write our testimony in two Book of Mormons to give out while working there. I wrote my testimony in the books while driving the bus on the way there. I felt the spirit very strongly as I wrote my testimony in the second book. I didn`t end up giving the 2nd book out on Saturday. Yesterday we went with a Hermana to meet her neighbor, Ines. Ines is 80 years old and has had a very hard life. When she was 6 years old her parents left her in a nun convent against her will. She said she was not sure if God exists. I then remembered the Book of Mormon I had written the dedicatory in. I had it with me and I read to her what I wrote on Saturday. I told her that I believed that I had written those words especially for her, before we had ever met her. She was very grateful for the book and said she would read it. So that was a really neat experience. We are visiting her again this week. Well , we`ve gotta go we have a cita with Javiera (the girl that got baptized in a different ward) pray for us! I`ll keep praying for all of you, of course. Have a great week!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pedro's Baptism


The food pyramid, painted by Elder Cannon and Elder Cloward. I painted the dairy products, the fats and sweets, and the carrots.


A lovely rainbow coming out of the chapel.


Pedro's Bautismo Semana 17 Rosal ll

Dear Familia:
So Pedro`s bautismo was very good. Everything went smoothly and the spirit was so strong. Plus Fabiàn Casas came to see the baptism too. After Elder`s quórum Victor went back home and brought Fabiàn to the Chapel for the baptism. Cristina is still not coming too church. I think she is just scared still. We are going to focus on helping her make friends in the church so that she will feel confident enough to go to church again. Ivàn is member of the church here. He got baptized the week before I got here. He investigated the church for almost a year before he got baptized, but while he was still an investigator he gave the missionaries 5 references that all got baptized before him, which include his parents, a guy he works with, and two other people. So we met Pedro through him when I was with Elder McBee. Familia Casas is doing well but they still haven`t been able to come to church. We want to talk to them about that this next weekend. I know that they won`t get baptized while I am here (I'm pretty sure I will be leaving September 15th, unless there are special changes, which I doubt). So I just want them to get baptized whether I am here or not. We need to focus on fellowshipping them too, because they might be too close with Elder Cannon and I which could cause problems when we leave. We want to teach them to trust in the Lord, and close their negocio on Sunday so that they can keep the Sabbath day Holy and come to church etc. We`ll see. Liliana is still in the same boat. She came to church yesterday but she hasn`t changed her mind about her baptism. Elder Cannon is more optimistic about the situation than I. So we`ll see. Friday night we were leaving our pension after dropping our clothes off and this lady walked by our house crying. So we caught up with her and talked to her. She was just crying for like 5 minutes and we couldn`t understand anything that she said. I could smell alcohol on her breath too (I find it funny that I never knew what alcohol smelled like before I got to Chile. The things I`ve learned on my mission...) so we told her to tell us about her problems and she wouldn`t but she gave us her address to pass by and visit her. Her name is Noelia. Saturday we ran into her again, (this time she was walking around with a bottle in her hand) and after talking to her we found out that her husband had cheated on her (I`m pretty sure that`s what she said but it was really hard to understand her). We told her that we would go to her house the next day. We went by yesterday and met her husband, Luis. He said that she has been an alcoholic for 4 years. He is sorry for what he did, but he just wants her to get better and stop drinking, but she still can`t forgive him. Luis also explained to us that Noelia has had a very difficult childhood becuase her Dad left the family... we talked about the importance of the atonement, repentance, and forgiving others. We told her that she won`t find the answer to her problems with alcohol. she has to turn to God and trust in Him and Christ. We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her to read and pray the next time she is tempted. She lives on the other side of El Rosal, the street that divides our sector from the Sister missionaries. So Tuesday we will pass by with the three of them and then we will let them continue teaching Noelia and Luis. So that is the news from this week. Hope all is well and that you are having a great week! Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!!!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Semana 16 en Rosal II

"So Saturday morning Pedro had his interview with Elder Finter, one of the zone leaders. when they came down, Elder Finter said, "well, we talked about it and we decided that Pedro needs to set some goals and work towards them and then after a couple months he can get baptized, if he does get baptized" and then Pedro asked "I don`t get it, I thought I was prepared. Did the elders just do a bad job teaching me?" and then they were like "just kidding Pedro will get baptized next Sunday!" It was pretty funny/mean. I am just glad that he is getting baptized. He is a great man and truly wants to change his life, and he is setting the example for his family. I did divisions on Friday with Elder Finter. he is really cool. He is from Mesa Arizona, and grew up with Amy Giles. Brad Gulbrandsen was his roommate at BYU and is one of his best friends. weird, huh? He was in stover hall at BYU, and all of the girls from my freshman academy classes were in his ward. So we had a lot to talk about.

"Liliana is having a hard time. She said that she doesn`t want to talk about baptism anymore because she won`t change her mind. President Jones has been really concerned about her, but he said that there is nothing else we can do. It is just so sad that she is ready to be baptized and is letting something so trivial keep her from getting into the celestial kingdom. We are just praying that she will have a change of heart.

"So tonight we are having a noche de hogar at Pedro`s house and I am going to teach Cristina how to make brownies. Pedro is confident that she will get more involved in the church, but slowly, step by step. Ivan is going to come to the NDH with us, since Pedro asked Ivan to baptize him. Familia Casas is also doing well. they have set the goal to close their negocio on Sundays, since they have no time to be together as a family anymore. so Pedro just called me to confirm for the noche de hogar haha he wanted to know what exactly we would be doing. So anyways yeah the Casas family is doing well, Victor keeps pressuring Fabian to get baptized but Fabiàn still doesn`t feel ready, but I know that he will be baptized some day, and that is all that really matters. and Irene will too, she will just take some more time. so on Saturday Victor asked Elder Cannon to do him a favor, he asked him to paint the food pyramid and the solar system for Javiera`s colegio. So we had to do that this morning during p-day time which was cool. I will try sending pics of our paintings next week. I want to know if you can tell the difference between the parts that I painted and the parts that he painted.

"So that`s pretty much it for this week. Everything is going well. I am having a great time from Elder Cannon. He is doing wonderful. I am so happy to have the blessing of being a member of the church. I know that it is true. I am so thankful for that knowledge. People just need to soften their hearts and they will realize that this is Christ`s church. As Nephi says, sometimes people harden their hearts to such a level that the spirit has no place in them. We can just do our part and give them the opportunity to accept the gospel and there will always be people that will receive it and that makes it all worth it. Thank you for all your love and support. The end.
Love,
Elder Cloward"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Semana 15 en Rosal II

"This week went really well for us. We have seen a lot of progress with Pedro Muñoz and his family, and other investigators are passing through some challenges but that is what this life is all about, right? So on Monday Elder Mcbee came here because he had to go home due to his back problems. He won`t be coming back as a missionary, so he is finishing his mission with 20 months. He went to Liliana`s house and we did an FHE there with her and a few members, Felipe came too.

"On Tuesday I called President Jones to ask him about Liliana`s baptism and he said that he felt she had to do it in the font and not in a river. So last night we went by and explained the situation to her. We told her basically that the only thing that she has to decide is if God is commanding her to be baptized in the chapel or if it is just some man. She said that she felt that it was just a man telling her to do it, so we told her that if that is the case than she is not ready to be baptized. She needs to understand that the Lord`s house is a house of order and he speaks to us through his authorized servants. So she will pray about it and see how she feels, but the answer is no... so that was fun.

"Familia Casas is having some challenges too, mostly due to the family business that has to be open 7 days a week. Victor just started a new job this week and now Irene has to stay in the negocio, and Fabiàn stays with her so that she doesn`t feel lonely. So we are going to talk to them about faith and help them to take the next step, which would be closing the negocio at least for a couple of hours on Sunday morning to come to church. We will see.

"Pedro is doing really well. He has his baptismal interview this Saturday morning, so we are helping him to prepare for that. Yesterday morning we went to his house before church and I made some scrambled eggs (with cheese, turkey, and sauteed bell pepper) so we all ate breakfast together, then Pedro came to church with us. His wife Cristina hasn`t been participating in the classes for the last few weeks, but now we know why. It is very hard for her to read, so she gets embarrassed when we ask her to or when we ask her questions and she doesn`t know the answer. She said that she will accompany Pedro to the church again, but with the condition that we don`t make her read or answer questions. So we said that is not a problem, and asked Pedro to read to her. Tomorrow we are going to have a noche de hogar with them at Familia Gallardo`s house. Hermano Gallardo is the new ward mission leader. Thanks for your efforts to help the missionaries you will be blessed through your service!"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fotitos

Service = moving a couch out a window. Naturally.

Elder Cannon drew this. Beautiful.

Mixing brownies for noche de hogar.

Semana 14 en Rosal II

"This week went well. On Monday we took Liliana to a noche de hogar with Hna. Lili, and the two are just great friends now. We talked about tithing and how when we have faith and trust in the Lord the windows of heaven are opened. We then had to go to an appointment with Pedro, and Liliana wanted to go with us and participate/help in the lesson/meet other investigators. We ended up talking about tithing in that lesson too, and Liliana helped out a lot. Pedro is a really good person, but it is hard for him to trust in other people when it comes to money. He has just seen so many other churches that take their members' money and buy sports cars. So Liliana told him that in our church the tithing funds are only used to build chapels, to help missionary work, and for church activities and the bishop's storehouse. So that helped out a lot.

"On Wednesday we went to see Pedro again, this time to talk about the Word of Wisdom. We went with our homeboy Victor Casas, since he quit smoking a month or so ago, and he did it in one day. Victor told him about the importance of prayer in overcoming addictions, since one day in the morning Victor knelt down in his negocio (little tiny stores that are scattered around the sector where they sell food and stuff) and asked Heavenly Father to help him quit smoking, and after that he hasn`t smoked again. So now Pedro is making changes in his life to follow the Word of Wisdom. Instead of club tea, herbal tea, and instead of coffee, there is this thing called "cafè de ecco" which is made out of toasted wheat and is awesome. I drink it all the time. It isn`t addictive or against the Word of Wisdom, don't worry.

"The Familia Casas is doing well, but the biggest challenge with them is their attendance to the chapel. They can't go because someone always has to be in the negocio to open it on Sunday mornings. And now Victor has a new job so he leaves Irene and Fabiàn in the store. So we will have to find a solution to that problem, but I have faith that we can. So those are the investigators.

"In other news, Elder Cannon and I will be staying together for another change! We are both pretty psyched about it. I just hope that Elder Butterfield can come meet his grandson before he dies (in missionary terms, a trainer is a father and the trainee is a son. So Elder Butterfield was Elder Cloward's father, and Elder Cannon is Elder Cloward's son. That would make Elder Butterfield Elder Cannon's grandfather. Hope that makes sense). We'll see, cuz this is Elder Butterfield`s last change starting tomorrow."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Semana 13 en Rosal II

Things are going well down here in good old Santiago. We had a good/bad week. But I have decided to focus on the good things and forget about the bad things. And plus the bad things weren`t really that bad. Here are the good things:

1. On Tuesday we ate lunch with Flia. Casas (Irene cooks really well, almost as good as mom!) and then all 6 of us (Victor, Irene, Fabian, Javiera, Elder Cannon and I) crammed into Victor`s tiny little two door pinto and drove to the temple. We had a tour there and Fabian and Irene felt the spirit a lot.

2. Liliana is progressing well, but she couldn`t come to church yesterday due to a conflict in her work schedule. We did a review of the baptismal interview questions with her and she knew all of the right answers. we are still waiting on Pres. Jones' answer though.

3. Pedro is also doing well. He got back from vacations yesterday and we have an appointment with him tonight.

4. We are working with some really good inactive families helping them to come back to the church.

5. We have good plans coming up this week to find some new investigators.

6. Yesterday Javier was confirmed and Felipe received the aaronic priesthood and was ordained a priest.

7. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Fabian Casas went to play soccer with the young men in the ward. On Saturday they had a match against another ward in the stake center and they won. Fabian is getting along well with the youth in the church. He is reading the Book of Mormon and has prayed to know that it is true so that is good news.

So yeah everything is cool here. Elder Cannon`s Spanish is getting a lot better and we are teaching better as a companionship. It is not that cold and it really hasn`t rained that much.

Fotos



Monday, July 20, 2009

Fotos (finally!)

Javier's Baptism - July 18, 2009

The volleyball team Elder Cloward's been coaching

A Chilean sunset

Semana 12 en Rosal II

"This week went really well for us. Yesterday President Jones came to our sacrament meeting! After the sacrament meeting was finished he spent the whole second hour talking to Liliana about her baptism in a river. He told her that he will pray about it and let her know. Yesterday Javier, Felipe`s nephew, was baptized. Hno. Costa, the ex ward misión leader, did the baptism and I was one of the witnesses. Felipe gave a talk during the service about baptism. It was one of the best baptismal services I`ve been to.

"We have been working a lot with Victor Casas and his family. So yeah he was an inactive member when he got married, and after that he kept yoyo-ing back and forth between activity and inactivity, but this time he says that he is sure that the change he is making will be permanent. We talked to Irene about the Word of Wisdom this weekend. We made her a sheet entitled “plan to overcome addiction” and had her write all of the reasons why she wants to quite smoking. Elder Cannon drew a picture of Christ on the sheet and it looked really good. We should be going with Victor, Fabian, Irene, and Javiera (their five year old daughter) tomorrow to a temple tour. Fabian has progressed a lot too, he said that he`s not an atheist anymore. Now he just has to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and he will know that the church is true.

"Saturday while we were playing volleyball with the hermanas a member came to talk to us. He said he is inactive but wanted us to come visit someone at his house that afternoon. We went over there and met Pablo (20 years old) who was a friend of the member`s daughter. We had a really great lesson with him. He said he is not sure if God exists and just wants to find a place where he belongs. We left him Enos to read in the Book of Mormon and he loved it. He is only here the weekends so I will let you know more about him next Monday.

"Also we taught this inactive family, Familia Campos. They came to church yesterday and we did a noche de hogar with them last night (I taught them how to make brownies of course).

"And in the primary all of the kids drew pictures of us missionaries. Victor`s daughter Javiera gave her drawing to us, so did the little girl from the Campos family. (Danissa, also 5 years old) we have them on the fridge. Well that is all for this week I hope you enjoy the fotos!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Semana 11 en Rosal II

"This week went really well. We have been working a lot with Familia Casas (the ones we had the noche de hogar with last Sunday). On Thursday we taught Irene and Fabiàn the Restoration, and Cristobal Matamala (one of the young men of the ward) accompanied us to fellowship Fabiàn. Fabiàn was atheist a month ago, but on Thursday he said the prayer to finish the lesson. He seems very similar to me, he loves math and science and wants to be a mechanical engineer, and since he could never see God he never believed in God. But he said that he is now opening up his mind to the possibility that God does exist. Irene told us that she smokes like a chimney haha but we told her that with God all things are possible and change and conversion are possible. They are progressing really well. This week Fabian is in El Quisco (the coast of Chile) with his aunt. Yesterday we had a lesson with just Irene and her husband Victor and talked about eternal marriage. Irene doesn`t want to make too much of an effort with the church until she sees that Victor has stayed active for a long time. Elder Cannon and I explained to her that she should make her choice about the church independent of the actions of her husband. We told her that if the church is true, and her husband goes inactive again, the church is still the right place for her, and if her husband stays active and she doesn`t feel the church is true, then she shouldn`t join the church. It is as simple as that.

"We have also been working with Pedro and Cristina, but Cristina doesn`t want to participate anymore. Pedro has a baptismal date set for August 22.

"This week I have learned a lot more about patience. I have realized that a lot of times the work has not gone as I have wanted but now I am starting to accept that things happen at the Lord`s pace and that we always must respect people`s agency. As long as we are doing what we need to we can be calm and wait patiently for the Lord`s blessings. For example I was really upset at first when Cristina said she didn`t want to take the discussions anymore, but now I feel okay about it. I am still sad for her of course, but I am confident that if we help Pedro to be a faithful member then Cristina will someday have a desire to join the church. It could be years from now but I know it will happen.

"Also Liliana is about the same, still coming to church every week. President Jones has`t talked to her yet. She wants to wait until Septemer still when it`s warmer and she can get baptized in a river... yeah...

"Last I`ve heard of Elder Mcbee, he was being sent home to have his surgery there because Salt Lake doesn`t want him to have the surgery here. We don`t have as many meetings anymore, it was just for that one week. Although this week we will be having 3 meetings... so maybe that is just the way it`s gonna be from now on? We`ll see."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Semana 10 in Rosal II

"So on the fourth of July I didn´t really realize it was the fourth of July. But the hermana we ate lunch with remembered. She had steak and mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy sauce and brocoli with ceasar dressing. I haven´t had ceaser dressing in like... a year so that was cool. The hermana is the secretary for the area presidency in Chile. So I took advantage of the situation to ask some probing questions about the church's history in Chile. She told me that there are 32 closed chapels in Chile, all because of a lack of good planning. She said in one part there are two chapels NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER!!! Nice. And one is closed. Good call. She also said that the missionary who baptized her husband (who is still active unlike many others in his situation) told him: "Well if you want to you can just get baptized, and if you don´t like the church you don´t have to go back" so that was pretty interesting. She also said that a bunch of people got baptized in exchange for free appliances, and also because they lost ping pong matches, and that there was a mission president who told his missionaries that all that a person needs to know to be baptized can be learned in 5 minutes. So they would invite people to be baptized in contacts. Also she said that because of the language barrier, they did baptisms for the dead by going to cemetaries and writing down their names from gravestones then baptizing vicariously in the chapel and counting it as a convert baptism. The adress written down to contact the new member was the cemetary. haha Chile.

"So yeah. Lots of meetings this week. So I didn´t tell you last week but along with becoming a senior companion and training, President Jones also called me to be a district leader. He told me in our interview that this is the most responsibility that any missionary can have at one time, especially cuz they are both new assignments for me. He said that either one of the assignments by themselves would be a lot to handle, but I have both at once. I told him that I feel pretty overwhelmed and stuff but he said that he trusts me and the Lord trusts me so I don´t have to worry. I just have to learn how to prioritize and organize bien mi tiempo (my time better) and work as hard as I can and the Lord will take care of the rest. I am doing my best to trust in that promise and keep working hard. So this week was pretty hectic. Tuesday I had a leadership meeting with Elder Williams (our zone leader) and Elder Ballard (the other district leader in our zone, he goes home next month) where we talked about our districts and how to be better leaders. Wednesday we had our zone meeting. Thursday we had interviews with President Jones, and Friday we had the greenie meeting for greenies and trainers to help us out. I learned a lot. I am just feeling like I have so much I need to do (teach my comp Spanish and how to be a missionary, and how to teach and everything) plus I need to be studying the leadership manual I got from the office and prepare classes for district meetings and also worry about the missionaries in my district. It´s just pretty crazy. I think sometimes the Lord just gives us assignments like this so that we know right away that we can´t do it on our own. I know that I am not capo (able or capable) enough to handle all of this, but that is the first step that is necessary to receive the Lord's help. So that is good.

"This week we went to an inactive sister´s house to talk about that permaneced iniciative (reactivation efforts) and bring her back to church. She had a Lladro in her house. I was like "¿is that a Lladro?" and she was like "Yes." I thought that was cool I haven´t seen those in a while, since we left home for the airport. Also yesterday Liliana came to church. She is progressing really well. She is ready to get baptized, it´s just this whole wanting to do it in a river thing that is holding her back. I explained the situation to President Jones and he said he would call her and talk to her. Also I think Elder Mcbee had his back operated on here in Chile and he is resting in the office, but i´m not sure. Also last night we had an awesome family home evening with Familia Casas. I think I told you about them. Victor (the dad) is a member and his wife Irene and son Fabián aren´t, but we are teaching them now. Fabián is the man. He is kinda atheist but he is a great kid, he doesn´t smoke or drink or even dance inappropriately. And he likes ska music. What else could one ask for. So we had a FHE with them and Familia Costa (the ex ward mission leader´s fam). I taught them how to make brownies using Elder Mcbee´s recipe and they were SO GOOD!!! And Hermano Costa gave a class about the atonement and we watched "To this end was I born" (por esto he nacido). It was good. I have a lot of hope for that family. They want to be an eternal family so I am pretty psyched about that.

"Elder Cannon is doing well. His Spanish is improving more and more every day. He always has really creative ideas of how to help the investigators and stuff. I am really grateful to have him as a companion. Other than that we are doing well. We are trying to visit 10 inactive families cada semana (this week) to help them out, and we are working hard."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

Elder Cloward has been on his mission for exactly one year! The halfway mark is jokingly called "hump day" and to celebrate Elder Cloward's hump day, here is a review of his mission in fotos!

Companions:
Elder Cannon (Rosal II)
June 24, 2009 - present

Elder McBee (Rosal II)
April 30, 2009 - June 23, 2009

Elder Carpenter (Parque Subercaseaux)
February 23, 2009 - April 30, 2009

Elder Noguera (Parque Subercaseaux)
January 5, 2009 - February 23, 2009

Elder Bacerra (Los Arcos)
October 30, 2008 - January 5, 2009

Elder Butterfield (Rivas Vicuna)
September 2, 2008 - October 30, 2008

MTC District
July 2, 2008 - September 2, 2008

Elder Lowe (MTC)
July 2, 2008 - September 2, 2008

Baptisms:
Felipe, May 23, 2009

Maria, January 17, 2009

Lidia, November 29, 2008

Michelle and Eduardo, October 12, 2008

Josselin, September 27, 2008

We love you, Elder Cloward! Keep up the good work and we'll see you in a year!