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!
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!!!
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.
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


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."