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!
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.
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!
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!!!


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!


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!
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!
Elder Cloward