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 in front of the Santiago Temple
Elder Cloward and Presidente Aransibia
Elder Cloward & Elder Butron resting after a service project