Thursday, June 24, 2010

Elder Cloward's last day!

Brad & Rebecca arrived in Santiago a few hours ago and will be meeting up with Elder Cloward this afternoon. They will be back in the states next weekend. Thank you for your support of my brother and family during his mission. May the Lord bless you and your families!

Janessa

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trunky Papers But I'm Not!!!!

Dear Family,
So in pouch this week I got a paper from President Jones asking me for a stewardship report. I can´t believe how old I am! I remember when Elder Noguera got his. Then Elder Jergins. Now me.
Oh sad story: Elder Jergins got to the airport and his family wasn't there! They thought he was getting home the next day. Very sad. Also he went to the doctor for a check up and realized that he had a broken rib for the last two years. Elder Jergins he´s a great guy.
Here´s a quick investigator update:
1. Karen and David: We had a frank talk with them and said that we can´t keep visiting them if they don´t want to come to church. They both said they wouldn´t come. But then... Pedro, the 16 year old son of Karen, said (without us even asking him) "I will commit to come to church on Sunday" and he came! Awesome! He stayed fore all three hours and got along really well with all the young men.
2. Antonio: had his baptismal interview yesterday. he´s still only "70% sure that Joseph Smith is a Prophet". Turns out he´s been reading some anti-mormon material online. Not the best way to get a testimony. So we´ll keep working with him.
3. Daniela: came to church and institute and is very well integrated into the young single adult group of the district. But.... aparently some Peruvian guy that served his mission in chile 11 years ago is going to come visit and Daniela wants him to baptize her, and he´s not getting here for two months. The whole situation seems a little scetch to me.
4. Andres: still adicted to video games, but hey he came to church without us having to go wake him up and drag him out of bed. He needs to be fellowshipped by the young men but dosn´t like to be away from his mom so he hasn´`t gone there yet.
We have an iniciative in the zone where every companionship starts the day with ten matches in their pocket. Every time we do a contact, we move one match to the other pocket. We really feel that that will help us to find new investigators.
Well I love you all!! I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have had to serve my Heavenly Father, Savior and the people of Chile. I have been so blessed to have given a tenth of my life back to the Lord. The church is true.
We´re gonna go play some volleyball and soccer. Should be fun!!!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Monday, May 31, 2010

Last Concilio

Elder Cloward with Elder Finter and his family
House that we helped build for service

Pictures of all of the missionaries in the Chile Santiago West Mission mission.
I took a picture when I first left the office. This is the way it will look
for the next 4 weeks. Can you find Elder Cloward?????

Dear Family,
Well on Wednesday night we had a pleasant surprise around 10:30 at night Just as we were finishing our plans for the next day, when Elder Finter showed up to our pension with his parents and his little brother! It was so funny because Elder Finter`s parents knew who I was right when they saw me without asking my name. They said "Oh you must be Elder Cloward! We´ve seen your blog and your pictures and read your emails!" "We found your blog right after the earthquake. I thought that was really funny. Thanks to all of you for keeping that blog updated for the last two years. I have yet to see it but everyone that has loves it! It was funny because Sister Finter was giving "Landon" (Elder Finter) a guilt trip for not sending pictures home while he was on the mission. She kept saying things like, "I really loved seeing your pictures and reading your emails, Elder Cloward. It was so nice to see my sons mission, since he never sent me pictures." Haha, we all just laughed about it. They are a really sweet family. They brought american candy with them to give to the missionaries which I thought was a really great idea. They said that they are having an awesome experience meeting the people Elder Finter taught.
So about our miracle family from last week... they are being kind of stubborn! But we will keep working with them. We visited them Saturday night again with my new companion who I just realized that you don´t know who he is yet. But that´s another story. Anyway we were there and Karen and David both told us: "We love it when you Elders come by! We have such a special feeling of peace and tranquility and our whole family just seems better and more united and loving." So we explained that that is because they are feeling the Holy Spirit. I asked them if they wanted to always have that feeling in their home and they said of course. So we told them that they need to come to church on Sunday! They said "no we don´t want to go to church". WHAT??? That was kinda weird. We think that their plan is just to have us come to their house a couple times during the week and feel the Spirit that way. So our plan is to visit them this Wednesday and have a "charla franca" (frank talk?) with them and tell them that we can`t keep coming by if they´re not willing to fulfill the commitments and keep the commandments, starting with coming to church. We truly believe that that is the best way to help them.
We are teaching another family too that lives in Silva Chavez, a different branch in our district. A couple of weeks ago, Victoria, the mom of Trinidad a recent convert and Manuel, an investigator, went to the hospital in Santiago. While she was there, her other son, Victor, has been in her house here to take care of Trinity and Manuel. We have been teaching Victor´s family: his wife Paola, and his daughters Aderlina, Carla, Francisca, and Yasna. They asked us, "so, according to your religion, what does one have to do to be saved?" my comp and I said "great question!" Then we taught them about baptism. Then they asked, "what does on have to do to be baptized in your church?" And I thought, "Even better question!!!" So we are going to teach them as much as we can and send the missionaries from Silva Chavez to teach them once they get home.
Antonio is still truckin´ along. He didn´t come to church yesterday and we don´t really know why. so we´ll find out about that.
Well my new companion is...................................................
Elder Alex Robinson from South Jordan, Utah. Yep, that´s the Elder that´s going to kill me. Then he has to finish off this change with some other companion, then he only has one change left in the mish. He´s my 6th gringo companion and the 4th from Utah!
He´s a cool guy.
He started his mission in Talagante and he was Elder Whipple´s last companion.
Alright I gotta bounce. We´re gonna go play "baby futbol". for our zone activity. This change we want to play soccer against Talgante so we are going to train today for the big game!
Love you family!!!
I know this church is true. Iknow that this is the Lord´s work and He is directing it. I know that this work will advance, not becuase of our abilities but rather becuase it is the Lord´s work and not ours. So He´ll make sure we won´t fail as long as we follow the Spirit and keep the commandments.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Thursday, May 27, 2010

21 de Mayo

Elder Cloward and Elder Jergins with all the desserts
Elder Cloward's 21st birthday cake
(turned out just like Mom's!!!)

Elder Cloward's birthday tie

Dear Family,
Well my birthday week went pretty well. Last year I didn`t really tell anyone that it was my birthday. So in my first couple weeks in Melipilla when people asked me about my birthday I told them it was May 21st. They thought it was cool that my birthday is a national holiday. It's not my style to go around and tell everyone that it is my birthday. The wonderful people of Chile have done so much for me already. Elder Jergins, Elder Bybee and Elder Prado made me breakfast and we made the lemon cake (it turned out just like mom's) and Elder Bybee made me a cheesecake. After we ate lunch at Hermana Meza`s house (the hermana that washes our clothes) we went to the chapel real quick to see how the activity was going. One of the hermanas eating lunch at the activity, Marisol Cabezas, asked me really quietly " Elder Cloward is it your birthday?" and I quietly said, "yes" and she told me Happy Birthday and said "it might be a different birthday for you since you are far from your family and friends and without all the comforts of home but it will be your best birthday ever, because you are in the mission doing the Lord`s work and there is no greater blessing than that!" So that really made me feel good.
I honestly love the whole Cabezas family. The dad is the first counselor in the district presidency (and he just walked into our internet cafe haha), the mom is the district family history director, their oldest son Gustavo is a returned missionary (he got back from Ecuador about a year ago) and they have another son serving in Argentina. They also have two daughters, Belen and Coni that have helped out a ton with fellowshipping the investigators and new converts. We went out and worked as hard as we could on my birthday and we had a great day. I opened my tie in the morning and wore it all day! Thanks for buying it for me I love green ties!
Here`s my informe to President Jones about how it went with our goal to do 100 contacts and find a family to teach:
President Jones,
"Well Elder Jergins and I had a great last week together. He truly was a great example to me of dedicated missionary service and enduring to the end. We set a goal to do 100 contacts in our last week together. We did 76, so we didn`t quite reach our goal but I think we did a lot more than we would have if we hadn`t set the goal! We found more investigators this week than any other week we were together, and all of them were thanks to the contacts and doors knocked. We also set a goal to find a family of 4 or 5 people to teach and baptize, and we found a couple that have great potential. We contacted a man in the street named David. He said that he`d have no problem receiving us in his house. We got a cita and went back, and his pareja, Karin opened the door. Elder Jergins knew her because she is a less active member that he had visited with Elder Krainik a couple times. She had told the missionaries that her husband David was very "malgenio" and wouldn`t want to listen to the missionaries, but he was more than happy to recieve a visit from us, and it turns out that he is also a member of the church! Upon returning for another visit we found that they have 5 children, and three of them are old enough to be taught and baptized. So needless to say we are very excited about the opportunity to teach them.
We also wanted to share with you some things that we learned about contacts this week:
1. An effective contact really doesn`t have to be too long. Most people that will accept a visit from the missionaries in their home will accept after about 2 minutes, and those who truly have no desire to recieve us won`t accept, even if we talk to them for 20 minutes about why they should listen to us. Of course there are always those on-the-fence people that can feel the spirit and be convinced to receive us.
2. Láminas are great to use too, but they´re not always necessary. Sometimes people say they are really in a hurry and then if we offer them a picture of Christ they stop in their tracks and accept it, then they´ll listen for a little while and many accept a visit.
3. It´s a great idea to set a cita with the person right when you contact them. That way you set aside the time that is necessary to go and visit them. I learned from Elder Marin that it`s good to say things like, "On Tuesday and Thursday we have citas that are close to your house, we could pass by tuesday in the afternoon or Thursday night" and they usually accept. If not it can be difficult to find the time to go by.
4. The necessity of following the Spirit. The Spirit knows so much more than we do! That`s one of the things I learned from the beginning of my mission and from Elder Noguera. I might be right on time on the way to an appt but if the spirit tells me to contact someone I should do it (easier said than done but we´re working on improving in that aspect.) On a few occasions early in the mission I have felt the impression to contact someone but I have thought, "no, there`s not time right now we have to get to the appointment" and then we get to the appointment and the person isn´t even there waiting for us. Now when the Spirit tells me to stop and teach I listen. The Holy Ghost is much more intelligent than I am, so I am doing my best to put my trust in Him and not in my own understanding.
"Well I hope you have a great afternoon with all of the returning champions. I´m looking forward to one more change of spiritual experiences in the Lord´s work. I will let you know how the week goes visiting all the missionaries.Have a great week and thanks for al that you do.
"Elder Cloward"
Sorry that was a little long. I went with Elder Jergins, Elder Rosas, and his companion Elder Terán to the mission office in Maipú today we had to be there at 9:30. Elder Rosas and Elder Jergins had their closing interviews with President Jones. I saw Elder Finter there and asked him, "Hey Elder Finter, when do your parents get here to Santiago?" and he said "two hours ago!" Haha so that was kinda funny. He looks so excited to see his family again. I will continue to do my best and do all that the Lord expects of me here in Melipilla.
Elder Terán and I are together right now, we will go to changes together tomorrow and get our new companions. My companion will have to be a zone leader, since I will be finishing in the middle of the change. He`ll have to keep doing the work there for a little while without a comp unless President Jones does a bunch of special changes.
In other news, I´m a little worried right now about the progress of the zone. When looking at the key indicators that we have to send to the assistents, I realized that in this change the zone has gone down in every key indicator. There was also a sector closed in the zone. I know that numbers are not my motivation to do the work, but I do know that we need to do better. There are only 10 elders in the zone now, and we will be working very hard this change to help more people come unto Christ and work our their Salvation. I know that the Lord will bless us when we work hard, it´s a promise! (see D & C 82:10) but I know that He blesses us in His own time and in His own way. But the blessings are worth working for. Well I love you all and I will send some pictures now.
Love always,
Elder Cloward

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Elder Jergin's last week

Dear Family,
It`s me, Elder Cloward!
Sorry we weren´t able to do internet on Monday. Elder Jergins and I went to Santiago so he could see his converts one more time before he heads out. We got lost on the micro and didn`t have time to do internet, but they gave us time to do it today. So here I am!
This last week was pretty eventful for us. We went to the temple on Thursday with the zone of the Coast and 5 de Abril. I asked the elders in El Rosal about Pedro Muñoz and they said that he is still super active and coming to church every Sunday that he can. I asked the Elders in Rivas Vicuña about the Correa family and they said that they aren´t coming to church and don`t want to receive the visits of the Elders in their house. I gave the elders fotos to give to Pedro and the Correa family with a note on the back telling them that I`ll be back near the end of June to visit them again with my parents. I hope the Correa family will receive us. I`m not sure what happened to them but hopefully we`ll be able to share some scriptures with them and they`ll feel the spirit again and feel the desire to come back to church.
Antonio is still doing well, he has his baptismal date now for the 12th of June, we`re hoping that that will be the day for him. He and his wife, Leticia, come to church every Sunday. He is worried about buying some sort of special cane to be able to get down the stairs in the baptismal font. I don`t know if I told you but he had an explosion accident when he was younger.
Manuel Guajardo we haven`t seen this whole week. His mom Victoria apparently got really sick and they had to go to the hospital in Santiago the whole week. We saw a light on in their house last night, but there wasn`t time to visit them, so we will pass by today in the afternoon. I don`t think Elder Butterfield knows him, since he is the older brother of Trinidad, a recent convert that Elder Krainik and Elder Jergins found about 4 months ago. Benjamin´s last name is Oviedo. Tell "Wesley" that he is Joselo`s little brother maybe he`ll know who he is.
We visited him last night and talked about the importance of baptism. He still hasn`t read the Book of Mormon we gave him last week or come to church, so we taught him that he needs to do all of these things so that he can be baptized, and he needs to be baptized to enter into the kingdom of God. So he committed again to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and also come to church. He`s only 10 years old so he`s trying to understand the importance of a few things still. We`re still doing the best we can to follow the spirit and find new people to teach. Elder Jergins and I set a goal to do 100 contacts during his last week, and we`re at 20 right now. About half of them have given us their addresses to go and visit them this week.
We also have the goal to find a "cool" family of 4 or 5 people that can be baptized in the church. Actually it really doesn`t matter if they are cool. But if they want to get baptized I think that`s cool enough!
We don`t have too many special plans for my birthday but it`s all good. Several of the hermana's want to make dinner for me but we have several appointments that day. So we will try to make it to all the homes because Elder Jergin's needs to say good bye, too. Maybe we´ll find our family on that day! That would be a pretty great birthday day gift. There`s a branch activity in the chapel to celebrate the holiday, but I`m not sure if we have permission to go. We are thinking of planning a noche de hogar with Viviana, one of the recent converts. Their family is way cool and we are teaching the youngest son, Andrès. So we can teach him, and I`ll be able to enjoy my birthday without wasting time. It`s a good deal.
After the district meeting today I got a letter from Grandma Sharon and a birthday card from her, Grandpa, and Priscilla and Cliff Nielsen. Please thank them for me. I`m sure your cards will get here in pouch next Wednesday. Thanks for sending them!
Well I hope you all have a great day and week, talk to you all again on Monday!
Love,
Elder Cloward
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!!

Elder Cloward and Elder Bybee
playing beach volleyball (without a net)
at a zone conference.
Elder Cloward with his companion Elder Jergins
at a zone conference on the coast

Elder Cloward and Elder Jergins
at Leticia's baptism with her
husband and grandson.

Dear Familia,
It was wonderful talking to all of you on Saturday. I can`t wait to see all of you again. But for now there`s still work to be done here in Melipilla, and as I always say, somebody`s gotta do it. Elder Butròn always said when he was my companion, "Si nosotros no lo hacemos, ¿quién lo va a hacer?" in other words, "if we don`t do it, who will?" Good question Elder Butrón, good question. This last week as I was reflecting upon life and other details, I remembered a quote from President Jones. He said, "the windows of heaven open and we start to see miracles when we stop counting time and start making time count." That is the quote I have written in front of my desk: "Stop counting time and start making time count." So we`re doing our very best in that department.
I forgot to tell you about a cool experience I had when I went to Bollenar on divisions this past week. I went there with Elder Terán, a Peruvian Elder who has about 6 months in the mission and has an insane amount of ánimo (energy). Bollenar is a campo sector, and is one of the biggest sectors in the mission. The missionaries use bikes there. When I got there Wednesday afternoon we had to go pick up the bikes from one of the hermano`s houses. He patched up one of the bike tires that had a leak in the tire. Very nice of him. So then we took the bikes out on the freeway (freeways here only have two lanes.) we were on our way to a cita with Alejandra, a 15 year old girl that I interviewed on Sunday (she should be getting baptized on May 23rd, which is awesome since there has only been one convert baptism in Bollenar in the last 2 years. There are only about 40 active members in the branch but we have faith that someday it will be its own stake!). So anyway we were on our way to her house. our appointment was at 5:00 and it was about 5 `til five. When suddenly... I heard a pooffff sound coming out of my back tire and realized that it had popped. So that was a bummer. Elder Teran informed me that we were still very far from Alejandra`s house, that we`d have to go back walking without bikes and leave them in a member`s house and then take a bus to Alejandra`s house. So that was a bummer. But then I thought, hey, if our bike tire popped in this exact place, it must be for a reason. We are always praying for the Lord to put is in the right place in the right time, aren`t we? I had a very strong impression that we were there for a reason. So we decided to knock a couple doors in the area and see what would happen. We knocked the first door and didn`t get in. Then we walked to the next door, and there was a Señora who had just walked into her front gate. She turned around and said , "Hola elderes" then she told us that she was a member, but inactive. She had been in Bollenar for about 2 months but didn`t know where the chapel was. So Elder Teran gave her the Chapel address and directions. Then we asked her if we could come in and offer a blessing in her home. She agreed!!! It turns out that she and her husband are sealed in the temple. Her husband has served as branch president and she has been relief society president. Now in Bollenar that is a big deal! More active members that can have callings and serve in the church is exactly what that branch (and all of melipilla) need! We are convinced that the Lord sent us to that house.
She also gave us two references for Silva Chavez, another sector in our zone. One was her sister, who she called on the phone while we were there and asked her if she wanted the elders to come visit her, and she said yes! The other referal was her dad, who was at her house while we were visiting. That was awesome.
Here`s our investigator update:1. Antonio: doing awesome, has his date for June 5th (but he still thinks it`s the 29th of May, we`re gonna tell him that tomorrow). He`s excited for his baptism, and also excited to receive the priesthood and bless his family. He´ll be a great member of the church.
2. Manuel: He`s 20, the older brother of Trinidad, a recent convert. He is also progressing well, we taught him the word of wisdom and the law of chastity on Saturday with hermano Pizarro, one of the counselors in the branch presidency. Manuel says he`s still thinking about his decision to be baptized, he doesn`t want to rush. He said he would tell us his answer on May 22nd.
3. Andres: He`s 12, the younger brother of Francisca, the son of Viviana, two other recent converts. He`s a video game addict and hasn`t come to church yet, but yesterday we taught him the plan of salvation with his whole family there to help teach. He understood it very well since he told us that to get to the celestial kindgom he has to "come to church on Sunday instead of staying home to play video games" (his exact words). He understands it well, but he`s still deciding if he wants to get baptized and keep the commandments. I think it would be a good idea!!
4. Daniela and Melina: They commited to come to church yesterday but then didn`t. They went to the campo to visit Melina`s mom for Mother`s day, which is understandable. They want to get baptized but need to show a little more commitnment.
5. Benjamin and Manuel: two of Elder Butterfield's old investigators. Manuel thinks that the Book of Mormon is satanic and refuses to read it. But then we taught him using scriptures from the Bible and the Book of Mormon that it is necessary to have two witnesses that Jesus is the Christ. So he is considering the idea of reading it.
Other than that we are looking for investigators and remembering that you are praying for us to
find people and following the promptings of the Spirit. We have faith that the Lord will bless us. This is His work and His church.
I love you all!! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder Cloward






Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Renewed Sense of Urgency

Dear Family,
That is Elder Jergin`s and my theme for the next four weeks. Because at the end of this change he goes home. (I don`t remember if I`m going home soon or not ;-)Too much work left for me here to be thinking of that and we want to do as much as we can before he finishes his mission. Some elders get trunky because they think that they`ll be home soon so there`s no need to work hard. but I see it exactly the other way around. I`m not trying to say I`m perfect, cuz that`s far from true, but I just think we should finish the things we start and finish them 100%.
The sector is doing pretty well, the only problem at this moment is that all of the investigators that attended church haven`t accepted a baptismal date yet, and all of the investigators that have accepted the baptismal date didn`t come to church, and therefore their baptismal date will have to be postponed. So our focus for this week will to get the investigators that are attending church (Antonio and Manuel) to accept a baptismal date and to get the investators who have already accepted a baptismal date (Daniela and Melina) to attend church next week. But I have faith that everything will come together and work out the way Heavenly Father has planned. This is the Lord`s work. He`ll do His part if i do mine.
I have written a note for Jonah's baptism.
I hope that Jonah will feel the spirit on the day of his baptism. I remember when I was baptized by dad in the font in the Whittier stake center. I felt to so clean and pure after. It was a very special day. This will be the beginning of many more special and important dates in Jonah's life. Well I`ve g2g now and meet with our investigators. I hope ya`ll have a great week! I love you all and I know the church is TRUE!!! I am so thankful that the Lord has given me this oppurtunity to serve the people of Chile. They are near and dear to my heart. Love you!
Talk to you soon for mothers day!
Love,
Elder Cloward
P.S. Sorry there are no pictures again this week. This interenet cafe is not compatable with my camera. We will try another one next week. Janessa hope your having a great time! Cara have fun on your buisness trip! Love you both.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

From Campo to Campo-ier

Dear Family,
I´m not sure if that subject line makes any sense at all. What I´m trying to say is that I went from a campo zone (Talagante) to an even more campo-like zone, named Melipilla. It´s northeast of Talagante. It´s a pretty cool place. It is so beautiful in the country.
I really like it a lot. Also, interesting fact-Talagante means "town of witches" in Mapuche, Melipilla means "4 diablos". Isn´t that interesting? So just when I thought I could stop worrying about witches, now I've got devils on my tail!!! Oh well, what can ya do.
I was goning to try to send you some fotos today, but this bootleg computer isn´t compatible with my camera. That´s a sad story.
Well, my new compi is Elder Jergins from Saint George UT. He was a district leader in La Islita, one of the sectors in Talgante. so we´ve worked together before and gone on divisions and had meetings together. He finishes his mission this change (in 5 weeks) so he will be the second companion that I´ll kill. And when he dies I`m assuming I´ll stay here for my 4 weeks until mom and dad get here. So that means that this is most likely going to be my last sector. So I want to work harder than ever and make it my best sector. When Elder Jergins left Talagante two changes ago he got here, and Elder Krainik was his companion. They passed two changes together, then I got here and took Elder Krainik´s place. This is the first time I´ve been in one of his sectors, so that´s cool.
Melipilla, like Talagante, is a district. but, unlike Talagante, it only has 4 branches (Talagante has 6). The 4 branches are: Melipilla, Silva Chavez, Merced, and Bollenar. Melipilla and Silva Chavez are both divided into two sectors each. Our sector is Melipilla 2. We live with Elder Bybee from Utah and Elder Prado from Ecuador. There is a big field of grass and trees that you can see from our backyard. There are lots of cows there, too. The 2ndd set of missionaries are in Melipilla 1. So there are a total of 6 companionships in the zone, and there are no Sister Missionaries. Elder Butterfield was in this sector when he died. so that´s also cool. Hermano. Cabello, the guy that makes the leather scripture cases, is in our branch. He used to be the branch president but he was recently released. Now our branch president is Presidente Toro. he`s a really great leader (he`s already served as a Stake President). It will be good working with him, and we should learn a lot.
In other news, there was a baptism in our sector on Saturday. Her name is Leticia, she`s about 58-ish years old. Elder Jergins and Elder Krainik were teaching her and her husband Antonio for a couple months and she was finally able to be baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday. We`re working with Antonio now. He`s pretty much ready to get baptized too. He`s waiting on a couple of things concerning forgiving others and letting go of some hard feelings that he has towards his daughter`s ex who left her and her son.
Other people we are teaching are:Daniela and Melina: Melina is Daniela`s mom, Daniela is a 19 year college student. They both came to church yesterday for the first time and they seem to be pretty interested. Actually that`s about it for now... we need to work on building up a better base of investigators. The other investigators that we`re teaching are all relatives of recent converts I´ll give you more info about them once we know more.
Here`s a cool story form the concilio meeting we had on Friday. Elder Hrabar and Elder Anfuso (the Elder that took my place in Talagante) were taking their turn to give their report of the work in the Talagante Zone this past change. President commented that the Talgante district has a higher attendence in church than most of the stakes in the mission. Somebody asked when Talgante is going to be a stake. President Jones told us a few cool things about that. He said that there hasn`t been a new stake in all Chile in 8 or 9 years. As far as I know, Talagante is actually already meeting the requirements to become a stake, but the First Presidency wants to wait a little while and make sure that it is truly ready to be a stake. President Jones said that over the past 6-7 months Talagante has really grown and there has been many that have been reactivated and serve who have recently been baptized. Then President Jones told us that Elder Amado (the Chile area president) was giving a report to Elder Scott (from the quorum of the 12) about the progress that Talagante has been having over the past few months, and when Elder Scott heard he jumped out of his chair and threw his arms up in the air because he was so excited. So that was cool to know, that one of the Lord`s Apostles is that concerned about that district and its progress. President Jones said that Talagante is progressing thanks to the faith of all of the missionaries in the mission and our prayers, as well as the prayers of our families. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers on my behalf as well as the saints of Talagante. My companions and I felt the Lord's strength many times as we taught in Talagante.
Well that`s about all I have for this week.
Take care and I´ll talk to you soon!
Love,
Elder Cloward
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Leaving Talagante April 12, 2010

Well family,
The time has come. The assistents (yes, my 2 excompañeros) called last night around midnight and told me that I will be going to another sector. I´m kinda sad but I´m just really used to it by now. I´m going to miss a lot of people but the most important thing is not their relationship with me, it´s their relationship with the Savior and Heavenly Father that matters. I don´t EVER want anyone to go inactive becuase they liked me and I left the sector and they didn´t have a strong testimony. That´s would be very sad . I just want them all to endure to the end then we can all hang out in the Celestial kingdom. Every new member (baptism) that we have had in this sector are very strong and they have deep testimonies and love for our Savior. They have waited a long time to be baptized and I know that they will continue to grow.
The assistents also told me that they are taking the sister missionaries out of the branch, so their sector has now become our sector (well I should say Elder Hrabar´s sector) so he has to go learn their sector and our sector. But he already is pretty familiarzed with our half of Talagante. It´ll be a lot of ground for one companionship of elders to cover, especially without bikes. But I know they can do it. I´m sure President Jones has a genius plan so it´ll all work out. He always does.
Here´s some investigator updates:
1. Fernando: the carabinero, he´s doing really well. we went to teach him with Hno Torres, one of the members of the ward who we thought would be a good fellowship-er for him. Fernando and his wife Margarita (member of the church) came to the chapel yesterday and Fernando still has his baptismal date for May 8th. I am really excited for that family they have a lot of potential.
2. Nephi, Veronica, Ignacia, Raul, and Susana: they are all neighbors that live together and we have been teaching them for a few weeks. They didn´t come to church this week, but Nephi and his mom Veronica want to be baptized.
3. Miriam and Benjamin: we had an FHE with them at Bernardita´s house. We did this cool objest lesson using plastic dixie cups to teach the restoration. 12 cups that represent the Apostles form the base, with a picture of the Savior that goes on top (we haven´t found a good way to put the prophet on their yet) and then you build a big tower of plastic cups, and each cup represents a doctrine of the church. Then in the apostasy, after they kill the Savior and the apostles, the whole tower falls over, and you form a bunch of "tiny churches" that all contain a part of the truth, but none of them has a prophet or apostles or the fulness of the gospel. Then you tell the story of the first vision and rebuild the original tower. Benjamin loved it and he told us that he wants to get baptized. We have another lesosn with them to night I´m excited for it.
4.Máximo: well, he´s not an investigator, but this guy´s having a really hard time. He hasn´t come to church for 3 weeks and wants to move out of his house and live with his friends. He also told us straight out that he won´t continue coming to church for the rest of his life because enduring to the end is just too hard for him. He´s been hanging out with his "best friend" Christian for the last month or so and he´s a really bad influence on him. We are really worried about him, but we´re teaching him the best we can, then all we can do is let him make his own decisios. It´s sad, but that´s just how the plan goes.
5. Andrew: we met this jamaican guy named Andrew knocking doors on Thursday. He´s so cool and speaks English but with a REALLY strong Bob Marley accent. I´m not sure how much he´ll progress but it´s just a pretty cool story.
Well I want to share with you that I know the church is true and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that we are happier when we live the gospel, and I know that our Heavenly Father will fulfill all of his promises to us. He´s done it many times in my life up to this point, and we really have no reason to doubt. I really like this scripture in D&C 58:31
that says, "Who am I, sayeth the Lord, to promise and not fulfil?" It´s really straightforward. If we can just keep enduring to the end we will be blessed in ALL things, both temporally and spiritually, and in the end we will be received in the Celestial Kingdom in a never ending state of happiness (see Mosiah 2:41).
That sounds pretty good to me and I think it´s something worth fighting for, and it is a great comfort to know that I am not in this fight alone. I have a loving Heavenly Father and Elder Brother Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost to guide me, and I have 2 earthly parents and 2 great sisters that are great examples to me. If there is only one constant in our life it should be our testimony of Jesus Christ and His church.
Well I love you all very much and hope that the Lord coninues to bless you.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Apacienta mis ovejas

Part of our zone wearing Indiana Jones hats in Pomaire.
It's a small tourist site. Where they sell Chilean items.

Daniela's family

Elder Cloward, Daniela, Rafael (Her brother), & Elder Hrabar


Dear Family,
Apacienta mis ovejas-that´s feed my sheep in Spanish. The language that the Lord helped me to learn here on my mission.
These past few weeks our focus in the zone (one of the focuses) has been to motivate local leaders to do their callings. That´s not really part of missionary work if you think about it, but we´re here to help, and a ward that fulfills its callings will also have the Spirit to help them in missionary work. Elder Hrabar and I go to the chapel every Thursday at 8 p.m. to go on divisions with the Elders Quorum and help in home teaching. But there hadn´t been any elders showing up for 3 weeks to do visits. we were kind of frustrated. So we asked for time to speak in the Elder´s Quorum last Sunday and we gave a class. I read "if ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15) and then we asked the brethren: what are some of the commandments of God? They all said: don´t kill, don´t rob, obeying the word of wisdom, law of chastity, Sabbath day, tithing etc. and then we said: good answers; now lets read in John 21:15-17 where Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him 3 times and repeats to him three times the commandment: FEED MY SHEEP. We then lovingly explained to the brethren that if we love the Savior we will feed His sheep. Because if nobody feeds the sheep, the sheep will die. aka there will be no active members left in the Quorum.
So this last Thursday, 4 out of the 20 members of the EQ came to do visits. Hey, it´s a start.
We just have to be more patient with them and teach them with love. We need to show them WHY they should do the things they need to do, not just tell them they need to do it.
1. I think I'm good on all my supplies for the next few months.
2. Yes, there are fleas in the apartment, but they don´t biteme. They only bite Elder Urbina. But then when Elder Hrabar came to our apartment they started to bite him too. I guess I´m just not delicious to the fleas so that´s good.
3. I think I´ll really enjoy Brother Marsh´s New Testament class. He was my Book of Mormon teacher before my mission and his class was great!
Happy Birthday Grandma! I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for all the letters, and cards and packages.
I am so thankful for this opportunity that I have to serve my Heavenly Father and my Savior and the wonderful people of Chile. Serving a mission has been the greatest experience of my life. Thank you for all your support, encouragement but most of all your love.
Love you all and have a great week.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dear Family,

This last week was a little crazy. Elder Hrabar and I had to do a class in the zone conference on Thursday. The conference was in Melipilla (a zone that is to the northeast of Talagante which is even more campo-ish than Talagante). We had to give a class about the importance about asking questions when we teach. We did an example based on an analogy between opening peoples hearts, an opening up a door. So we had 3 keys that each had a question on them like "What is the purpose of life?" and other questions. Then the missionaries had to ask my companion and I those questions (like in a street contact) to see which one was the right question for us that would call our interest and make us want to listen to the missionaries. The conference was really good. I learned two important things that I had kind of already learned before but had kind of forgotten.1. If we are not happy it is because we are thinking about ourselves, aka we are being selfish. The secret to being happy is actually really simple: we just have to do something to serve others. I tried putting that in practice after the conference, and it worked! 2. Our greatest motivation to do missionary work (or any work at all) should be love. Love towards Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and towards the people we are serving. Elder Hrabar and I have been a little frustrated lately trying to motivate the members in the Talagante Branch to do the work that they need to do, and we think that if we can motivate them to have the pure love of Christ they will start to fulfil their callings like they should. We´ll see what happens with that. In other news,Saturday Daniela was baptized!! The baptism wasn´t very well organized (the only local leader there was President Arancibia, the branch president) but it was very spiritual. Rafael baptized Daniela and they both looked so happy! It was so great to see him baptizing his little sister. Their whole family came to the baptism, too! Daniela and Rafael have 3 other siblings: the oldest is Margarita (a member of the Esmeralda branch), then comes Ariela (she´s not a member and lives in Santiago north mission) then Francisco (he´s not a member either he lives in the Esmeralda branch but we have taught him a few times in Rafa´s house) then comes Rafael and then Daniela. Ariela came with her husband, Raul, and their daughter, Vivian. They said they loved the baptism and they came to church yesterday for the confirmation too. We went to Rafa´s house to teach them the first lesson after church and they seem really interested. They gave us their adress in Santiago and want the missionaries to come teach them there! The Lord is working miracles in that family.here´s some investigator updates:1. Veronica y Nefi (that´s Nephi in spanish): yes, we are teaching a 9 year old boy named Nefi. His dad is a less active member (also named Nefi). Nefi the younger and his mom Veronica and his little sister Brenda (5 years old) came to church yesterday! They have a baptismal date for May 1st so we will keep working with them and preparing them for baptism. 2. Miriam y Benjamin: Miriam was a reference from the Esmeralda Branch, she went to church their with her aunt who´s a member. She is a 20something year old physics teacher and is a single mom. Benjamin, her son, is 9 years old and he is awesome. He knows all the right answers when we teach him. After the first lesson with him, he took out a little notepad and wrote down "me sentí bien cuando estuvieron los carabineros" that is, "I feel good when the cops were at my house" and his mom´s like "no son, they aren´t cops, they´re missionaries" then Elder Hrabar said "That´s okay, we´re kinda like cops. We´re like God´s cops" It was pretty funny.Don´t worry about the package. It doesn´t matter when I get it we´ll still do the egg fights and have great fun with that. I can buy lemons here they are way cheap. Well I love you all very much and hope you enjoy general conference this weekend,
Love,
Elder Cloward

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mini CCM and Franco's Baptism

Elder Cloward, Franco and Elder Hrabar.
Franco does martial arts and he is a body builder-
thus the fighting pose.
Franco's baptism

Photo of all of the youth and missionaries at the end of the mini ccm


Dear Family,
This week was pretty crazy but it went really well. During the week we talked to Rafael and he told us that he wanted to wait another week to baptize Daniela because he didn´t feel ready yet. He was ordained an Eder a week before Maximo, so we figured that he was worthy to baptize. But he told us that he wanted to talk to President Arancibia (the branch president) before doing the baptism. Elder Hrabar and I were both very impressed by his understanding of the Priesthood and the importance of using it worthily. Rafael talked to President yesterday and he said that everything´s cool now and the baptism will be this Saturday, the 27th of March.
On Saturday there was a mini MTC (CCM in Spanish) for the whole Talagante District. All of the young men, young women, and young single adults received a call letter (similar to the mission call letter that all full time missionaries receive) explaining that they would serve for a period of 12 hours and they had to report to the mini MTC (which was just the chapel in Talagante) at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. There were over 50 youth that came (that´s a really good attendance). They all had assigned companions and had to stay with them all day. In the morning they studied preach my gospel and practiced teaching Lesson 1 (the message of the restoration). At 1 o´clock the full time missionaries (there are 16 in the zone) came to the chapel. We ate lunch with the youth that were there, then we practiced teaching with them. At 3:00 the missionaries from the MTC in Santiago got to the chapel. Then from 3:00 to 6:00 we all went out proselyting here in Talagante.
The assistants (aka my old companions, Elder Butron and Elder Marin) also came to the activity. I went with Elder Butron and Elder Hrabar went with Elder Marin, and each companionship of missionaries went with a companionship of young men. It was way cool and a lot of the youth are excited to go on missions. I was really impressed by their testimonies and how valient they were sharing the gospel.
Then, at 6:00 we came back to the chapel and there was a devotional/testimony meeting and some of the youth shared the experiences they had while proselyting. Then, at 8:00 was Franco´s baptism. It was really special and very spiritual. He and his mom shared their testimonies after Franco was baptized. He said that he was never a very religious person, but then he felt the Spirit the first time he prayed and knew the church was true and that he had to be baptized. Then he said "if any of you here are investigators, and you´ve felt the Spirit, you all need to get baptized, like I did" it was awesome.
Here´s some other investigator updates:
1. Fernando- We saw him for the first time 2 weeks ago yesterday. We went with Fernando to an FHE with the young single adults yesterday. He felt really uncomfortable and left right after the closing prayer without saying bye to anyone. He´s going through a hard time right now, we are praying for him a lot so that he will feel the Spirit again like he did at the beginning.
2. Fernando the carabinero ( carabinero= a police officer here in Chile)- this guy is way cool. his wife, Margarita, is a less active member (but she came to church yesterday!) The family was a reference that Margarita´s mom (an active member) gave us 2 months ago when we ate lunch at her house, and now we are teaching them. Fernando and Margarita have three kids: Cristina, 6, Emilia, 2, and Benjamin, 6 months. It is really fun watching the kids run around and seeing the little girls take turns holding their little brother. It reminded me of growing up with 2 older sisters. I told them that my family was the same way! They are very receptive and have felt the Spirit a lot recently. The only complication is Fernando´s work schedule, since he´s a police officer. But we´ll worry about that later.
3. Francisca- she is twelve years old. Her mom, Isabel, is a less active member (but both of them came to church yesterday and last week!) and they live almost right in front of the church. The only problem is that Isabel´s husband, Francisco, won´t let his daughter be baptized until she is 18 so that she can "choose for herself" We´ll keep teaching her and pray that the Lord can soften the Dad´s heart.
4. Familia Rios- This family is awesome. We found them when Eder Marin and I were together about 4 weeks ago. They have come to church once, but they feel a lot of pressure to be baptized and are reacting badly to that. The mom still hasn´t prayed to know if the church is true, but she knows she has to. We think she´s a little scared to get a testimony, because once she does she knows she needs to be baptized. Elder Hrabar and Elder Marin visited them on Saturday.
That´s all for now, hope you all have a great week!
Love,
Elder Cloward
P.S. We haven´t felt any aftershocks this week. I think everythings going back to normal!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Note to La Mirada Ward

Dear La Mirada Ward Family,
Well, I want all of you to know that we are doing fine here in the Chile Santiago West Mission. I want to thank all of you for your cards and letters, and most of all for your prayers on our behalf. I was happy to hear that both of the Elder Mayberry´s are okay too. The earthquake on February 27th shook us up a little bit, but we´re all fine now and everything is mostly back to normal. There have been some pretty strong aftershocks, but most of us are just ignoring them now and continue life as usual teaching the Gospel. A lot of people are now convinced that God exists and respect the power that He has over all of His creations. It is sad how tragedies like this are necessary for people to Remember Heavenly Father and what He and His Son have done for us. The Lord is blessing Chile abundantly and there are many people that are being converted and coming to the waters of Baptism. The number doesn´t matter, because the worth of Every Soul is great to the sight of God. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to share the gospel with the people of Chile and also for the love and support that I have always received from the Saints of the La Mirada Ward. I know that the Church is true and that the Lord will bless us and protect us as we keep His commandmants and strive to do His will.
Con cariño,
Elder Cloward

Barbara's Baptism

Part of our zone after a service project in El Monte. this hermano´s house was made of adobe, and it was not safe to live their anymore. We took it apart and threw all the adobe bricks outside.

This is a "Chile helps Chile" poster that I´m saving. Apparently this guy wasn´t in his house in Concepcion when the earthquake hit. The next day he went to see how his house was and found it... on the ground. He was looking through his stuff and found his Chilean flag and was shaking it off, and a photographer that was close by told him to hold the flag out and took this picture. This picture is all over Chile.
Barbara's Baptism


So here I go again-I'm late posting Elder Cloward's email from March 15, 2010. Hopefully I will be able to keep up for the next 3 weeks.
Dear family,
This week was crazy busy but it was also way cool at the same time. So Elder Marín left last Monday around 6:00 p.m., and they didn´t give me a replacement companion. I just walked around in a trio with the other elders in the zone for the day. We visited with all of our investigators. Tuesday we went to changes and I met my new companion, Elder Hrabar. He has about a year and a half in the mission and he´s a great Elder. He´s from South Dakota, and he loves ska music just like me.
We had our concilio meeting with the zone leaders and the assistants (aka my two former companions, Elder Marin and Elder Butron) in the mission home. It was a really inspiring meeting. Elder Marin and Elder Butron are gonna be great together, this is the first time in my mission when we have two latin assistants. The only problem is that Elder Butron just got his drivers license like 3 weeks ago, and Elder Marin doesn´t have his license. So they are having a good time with that.
Barbara´s baptism on Friday!!!! She was a little nervous when we got there, but the baptism turned out really well, and she was so happy after! President Arancibia (the branch president) did the baptism. It was great and the spirit was so strong and it was wonderful to see her enter the waters of baptism. Her whole family came (including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) and they enjoyed seeing Barbara get baptized. They really felt the Spirit and are asking a lot of questions.
She was confirmed yesterday in Sacrament meeting and now we are going to start teaching her aunt, uncle, and cousins that live on the same property as Barbara´s family. (Here in Chile it´s common for one lot of land to have two or three houses on it).
So an Elder who finished his mission here 6 months ago came back to Chile with his parents and they visited Talagante yesterday. It was really cool because Elder Reese had started teaching Barbara 10 months ago and he saw her get confirmed yesterday!
On Saturday we had the zone meeting and talked to the missionaries in Talagante about what we learned in concilio on Wednesday.
Franco had his interview on Saturday, and Daniela had hers on Sunday, and they both passed and are preparing for their baptisms this Saturday. The missionaries in the MTC in Santiago are coming here on Saturday to work in Talagante. We have to prepare for that and pair them with our exsisting companionships!
Also, yesterday Máximo was ordained an Elder! He has come so far and is doing great in the Gospel. His testimony is so strong. We haven´t seen Fernando this week, but I have faith that we will talk to him soon. He will have to have a different date for his baptism.
Cris is doing well, I talked to him on the phone Saturday night, but he didn´t come to church yesterday and we don´t know why. I´m sure everything´s fine though.
Well, fam I gotta go do some missionary work! I know the church is true and I am so thankful that I have this opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father, Savior and the people of Chile. I am so thankful for everyone of you and all you have done for me!!!
Have a great week!!
Love,
Elder Cloward






Thursday, March 18, 2010

8.8 Terremoto

I want to apologize for not posting Elder Cloward's email sooner. Life has been a bit crazy. This is his email from March 8, 2010 and it was very brief because he had to get back to the pension to meet with the assistants.
Dear Familia,
That´s how you say earthquake in Spanish. Anyway, everything´s fine here in the zone. All of the missionaries and pensions are okay. When we felt the earthquake we decided it would be better to get out of the building. We thought that staying in the door frame wouldn't help us too much if 5 stories of apartment building came crashing down on us. So Elder Marin and I woke up the other Elders, and then we ran outside. The earth shook for over one and a half minutes and then it ended. Elder Marin and I went to the sister missionaries apartments to make sure they were okay and they were just a bit scared. Then we went to visit Maritza and her family and they were fine. Our branch president was next and his family was also fine. We went with him to check on members near our apartment. Then we went back to our apartment and tried to sleep a little. But we are all okay.
But here´s some news from the week:
1. President Jones called Elder Marín today at 12:30 to be the assistent with Elder Butron, and in 30 minutes we have to be in the pension waiting for Elder Butrón to come and pick him up. Therefore I have very very little time to write a nice long email like I would like to. Sorry but I´ll write as much as I can in the time we have.
2. Barbara had her interview yesterday and passed!!! She is getting baptized this Friday (the original date was on Saturday but her Dad works that day and he wants to be their obviously so now it´s on Friday)
3. Daniela has her baptismal date for March 20th
4. Franco also has a baptismal date for March 20th
5. Fernando has a baptismal date for April 3rd.
All of the investigators are doing really well. I´m anxious to know who my new companion will be. there are 5 weeks left in this change.
I´ll send some fotos but I´ve gotto go the assistants are coming for my companion!!!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hello Family

Dear Mother, Father, and Sisters,
Well I am happy to be able to tell you that I am ok! The earthquake woke us up at 3:34 in the morning on Saturday, but we were all able to get out of the building safely. All of the missionaries in the mission are fine, and all of the members too, as far as I know. I´m mostly worried about Elder Mayberry (Ryan) down there in Concepcion, which was the epicenter of the earthquake. Aaron´s here in Santiago with me and I´m assuming he´s fine. Please let me know how both of them are doing. We will try writing more tomorrow if the Internet is still up. Thank you for all of your prayers on behalf of the Chilean people,
Love,
Elder Cloward

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

Thank you to our family and friends for your continued love, support and prayers. We have received word that the missionaries in the Santiago West mission are safe and accounted for. Salt Lake City has confirmed that all missionaries in Chile are safe. Thank you to everyone for your prayers today and your continued support.
About 7 pm we got this email from a sister in Elder Cloward's ward in Talagante. I am grateful for modern technology and for this loving sister for letting me know about Elder Cloward. Here is what she said-(thanks Luis for translating)
Hello,
I hope you are all doing well. Well, your son, Elder Cloward is Super Good. We are members of the Church and the ward where he is serving. He has been with us most of the day today and he is super good.
Take Care,
Maritiza
Please continue to keep the people of Chile in your prayers. I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over our son. I have a scripture that has given me comfort throughout Michael's service and it has helped me today. It is Doctrine and Covenants 109:22-23. I look forward to receiving Elder Cloward's email on Monday. I'm sure he will be able to let us know about the happenings in Chile. I have no doubt that the missionaries will be helping and serving where needed.
Love
Rebecca

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hello Everyone

Conferencia with Elder Amado
Zone BBQ

Cristofer's baptism


Dear Family
So President Jones has asked us to read parts of Preach My Gospel with members when we visit them for lunch or in other opportunities. But carrying around a big PMG is a bit of a struggle, as Cara would say. So Elder Marín and I thought of asking you for the mini PMG that you told me about (obviously we need it in spanish, Predicad mi Evangelio). I wanted to ask if you could send us 2 copies, 1 for me and 1 for him so that he can have one, since we have changes next week and we most likely won´t stay together. The other 2 elders we live with also asked for one, and said they´d pay me for it. So please let me know what we can do with that. I´m not asking for another package, all we need is the mini predicad mi evangelio.
This week was cool. Today we played soccer for two hours, and then we played volleyball for an hour in the chapel. It was so much fun. A lot of people just don´t know how to play volleyball and are really impressed when they see me play. It has been fun teaching my zone and helping with the Chile team in the wards and stakes I have been in.
Yesterday Cristofer was ordained a Priest. He´s just super excited about everything, which is great. Barbara and Daniela both have baptismal dates for March 13th!! Daniela´s brother, Rafael will baptize her and we think that Maximo will baptize Barbara.
There´s a couple new investigators that I want you to know about.
1. Franco. He is Bernardita´s son (Tity´s brother) and when I got to the sector 4 months ago he was like "hard core rebel I listen to heave metal music and I don´t believe in God..." And out of nowhere he had this miraculous change of heart. He came to Cris´s baptism last Saturday and he came to church Sunday the 14 and yesterday. He wants to get baptized but he doesn´t have a specific date yet. Elder Marin and I are praying to know what day his baptism should be, and he will pray to confirm it.
2. Fernando: Tuesday I was doing divisions with Elder Cummings (of the 16 elders and sister missionaries in the zone, we are the only 2 male gringos, and Elder Cummings has 4 weeks in the mission). As we were walking to the Chapel for a meeting, some guy on a bike (Fernando) called us over to talk to him. I thought he just wanted to make fun of us (people do that a lot, shouting stuff in poorly spoken English) but such was not the case; he told us "hey, I have your Bible, the one that Moroni wrote! I want you guys to teach me about your church!" So we got his address, and on Thursday we went to his house and taught him about our Church and shared our testimonies with him. The spirit was so strong. He has a baptismal date for March 20th, providing he meets the attendance to church requirement. We have a cita with him today at 8.
Other than that everything is cool here in Talagante. We`re all having a good time, just sad for changes next week. I`ll be sure to let you know who has changes in the next email. But until then have a great week everyone and keep doing the best you can at all you do!
Cloward Power! Haha I remember when Dave Williamson used to say that to me!! Good times.
Thank you for your prayers, love and support. The church is true and I love serving my Heavenly Father and Savior.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cristopher's Baptism

Dear Family,
So Cris got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. He is so excited to be baptized and after the baptism he gave his testimony in front of about 30 people that attended the service.
On Thursday we had our first zone conference of 2010. Elder Amado (the President of the Chile Area) came to speak to the missionaries. He basically told us that we are doing good as a mission but we need to do a LOT better. So that will be fun. We´re doing the best we can and things are improving a lot.
Today we had our zone activity. we went to Bernardita´s country house. We brought a volleyball net and tied it to a tree and a pole and played. We had an awesome BBQ. I´ll send pics of that and the baptism next week.
Happy Birthday Janessa!! Love you -Have a wonderful day.
Hope everyone is well!
Love you all
Elder Cloward.
P.S. I need President Marco´s phone numbers: home phone and cell phone. Please send them as soon as possible.
Thank You!

Monday, February 8, 2010

una angelita

Dear Family,
Yes our visa only lasts for one year so I had to get it renewed last week because without it I can´t leave Chile.
The weather has gotten a little cooler over the past few weeks and I am not too happy about it. We´re supposed to be in the middle of summer right now. Elder Marín and I both love the heat. He is from Cali, Columbia, and I´m from Cali too! Isn´t that cool??? But we are both used to hot weather and even though the sun beats down on us we just love it. But it is still hot during the day right now and in the morning and and night it´s a little windy and it's a little cooler. Winter doesn´t start until May. So we´ll just see what happens with that.
Investigator update!!!!!
Cristofer: He had his baptismal interview this past Saturday and we are preparing the baptismal service for next Saturday, February 13th at 7:00 p.m. He´s a pretty funny kid. He got excited when we told him that a couple of weeks after being baptized that he can receive the authority to baptize too (he just turned 17). We are going to try teaching his younger brother Matias, but he is way flaite (ghetto/gangsta)
Daniela: Came back from Santiago. President Jones said that if she comes to church 3 more times she can be baptized and she came to church yesterday. If she doesn´t go back to Santiago she could be baptized Saturay the 27 and confirmed the 28. But she might have to go back to Santiago. The only thing that matters is that she is ready and she wants to make her first covenent with Heavenly Father - so she is going to be baptized.
Barbara: came to church yesterday with the family for the 4th strait week. She´s not going to girls camp though because she went to the beach on a family vacation. So we´ll see how she´s doing when she gets home.
Tity: Bernardita´s daughter. She has a fecha bautismal for March 7. She needs to come to church though!
Carla: girlfriend of an inactive member, Freddy. They have a little boy named Renato, who has some problems. He is two years old and just learned how to walk. He always seems so happy everytime we see him. But it has been hard for Carla and Freddy. We will keep teaching her though. Freddy´s parents and sisters are active (his sister Maritza is leaving on the mission to Argentina in April) and they have supported him during all this time.
We had a really cool experience on Tuesday the 26th of January that I forgot to tell you about. After we got back from Concilio, Elder Marín and I were on our way to an appointment with a family. They live at the end of a dirt rode that leads to a rodeo stadium where they work. As we started walking on the dirt rode, there was a little girl there (she looked about 3 years old but she was really 5, we later learned). We were a little late for the appointment, since we had just gotten back from Santiago. The little girls asked us as we walked by, " are you going to visit Mrs. Rosa? She lives in that light blue house over there." We were in fact not going to visit the Señora Rosa, since we didn´t know who she was, but we felt very impressed to go to the house that the little girl had pointed to, even though we were already 10 minutes late for our appointment. We called at the door (HALO!) and asked to speak with Señora Rosa. We gave her a picture of the Savior and told her that someone had sent us to meet her. She asked us who and we said we would tell her, but first we wanted to offer a prayer in the house with the family. She accepted, and we met the whole family. We did the blessing for their home, then told them that a little girl had sent us to the house. They all knew who she was. They had been wanting to find a church and they were very happy we came. We visited them a couple of times last week, and yesterday, 3 of the kids in the family came to church! Marjory, Juan, and Janira. It was really inspiring to see how a little 5 year old girl lead us to that family. I know without a doubt that the Lord's hand was there as well.
I got the package on Wednesday. Thank you so much!!! I just want to make sure you only sent one tie, right? I love the tie it is pretty cool!
I found the memory card inside of the bottlecap box. Very clever Mom
Yes I have two Santiago West DVDs, one from 2008 and one from 2009. I didn´t want to send them home for fear of losing them, but we will watch them together soon!
I got an email today telling me to change my email address. I´ll let you know if I have to change it, and what the new adress will be.
I got the pic of the little cousins from Dad. They are all so big!
Sad news, I got my go home papers this week (popularly known as trunky papers). I had no idea they would come this soon. My official release date is June 29, one week early (it was supposed to be July 6). It´s one week early because President Jones goes home on July 6. I´m assuming that he´ll be so busy get the new President settled in during his last week that he won´t be able to spend any time with us (the go-homers, as they call us) So he will spend time with us in our last week then have one more week to do what he needs to do before heading back north. I need some info though to be able to send to the office. I need the Bishop´s name, adress and possibly telephone number.
If there is anything else I need I´ll let you know next week.
Happy Birthday Cara!! I hope you have a great day! I love you and thanks for being a great sister!
Well that is all for this week. Hope you all are well. Thanks for your love and support. You are in my prayers always.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Very busy week-but a very good week!!!


Dear Family-
I'm glad you had a busy week Mom. Same thing happened here!!!
Let me give you a quick lo-down of what´s happened since last Monday morning when I last emailed you.
Lunes-Monday night after p-day Elder Marín and I traveled to Maipú. We spent the night in the assistant´s pension with 2 other missionaries.
Martes-Tuesday morning we went in the assistant´s car to the mission home to have the Concilio meeting with all of the zone leader's and President Jones so that he can explain to us his vision for the new change. We then traveled back to Talagante, getting back around 6 p.m. Then left to go work in the sector.
Miercoles-Wednesday morning we had cleaning inspections in the pension, then we had to go do the leadership meeting (a meeting we do every two weeks, which is only with the zone leaders and district leaders in our zone, where we explain to the district leaders the things we learned in Concilio), then, Wednesday night, I went with Elder Burgos ( a Peruvian Elder in our zone) to Maipú, where we spent the night in the assisstant´s pension again (this time with 10 elders in one pension, we slept very little) to go get our visas in Santiago the next day.
Jueves-Elder Burgos and I went to Santiago to get the visa and waited in lines FOREVER but hey it was cool we contacted a Venezualan lady. They have really strong accents, just like the Colombians. We then got back to our sector at 5 pm, bought a completo for lunch, then left to work in the sector.
Viernes-met back up with Elder Marin and Elder Burgos went back to his sector.
Sabado-Zone meeting in the morning.
Domingo-divisions with Pato and Fabian, two of the future missionaries in the branch. It has been a busy week, but awesome. I am so excited for this change. It might be my last one here in Talagante. Who knows. But time is running out very fast and we have to get back to the pension at 3 to eat lunch. It´s a long story and I have no time to tell it...sorry! I will try to fill you in next week if I can.
Have a great week. Thank you for support and love. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father and Saviors love. I love you all.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Elder Cloward and Elder Marin shearing Dolly. They are helping Barbara one of their investigators out.




Merry Christmas Elder Cloward-Love Your Family and Friends




Chile Santiago West Mission Christmas Party




Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sheep Shearing!

Dear Family,
Thanks for all the emails and the motivation. This week has been kind of stressful, but not in a bad way. It can just be a little overwhelming sometimes all the things that we have to do. But I am just trying to do the best I can and I know that the Lord will help me to do His work. That's just part of the life of a missionary. If we don't have challenges in life we wouldn't progress and grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Savior.
So this week was good. On Tuesday there were changes, but Elder Marín and I didn´t have changes so we stayed here.
We had the opportunity to shear sheep this past week! That was definitely a first. Her name is Dolly and she lives at Barbara's house. I will send pictures!
On Friday we had a karaoke activity. Barbara came with the whole family, but none of the young women from our branch were there. It turned out well though. We visited barbara with Magdalena, the young women´s president, a recently returned missionary. If Barbara can go to girls camp (next week) it will help her a lot to form friendships with the girls and be baptized later on. But Barbara told Magdalena that she doesn`t want to go. She´s just a difficult little girl. But she did come to church yesterday. So that´s good.
The person that´s not being difficult is Cristofer. He went to the young men´s camp last week! There were only four boys from our branch that went, and Cris was one of them and he´s not a member! But he´s very excited and should be baptized in 2 weeks. He couldn´t come to church yesterday because he had to go visit his Mom in Santiago.
On Saturday we had an activity with the Elders Quorum. We weren´t planning on going, since they were going to play soccer and have a barbecue and there´s no point in us being there. But one of the investigators called us at 7:30 (the activity was supposed to start at 6:00) and said that he had been waiting and hour and a half and nobody was there to play, and he was going to leave. So Elder Marin and I ran to the Chapel and organized a soccer match. We played for about 15 minutes (in white shirt and tie) until the rest of the quorum members got there, then we left and continued working. good times. Yesterday we went to visit Familia Meneses. They are all members and the Dad was the Branch Mission leader when I got to Talagante. The only problem is that they live in a vineyard as grounds keepers and haven´t been able to come to church for 2 months because the owners of the vineyard don´t let them leave. So we went to their vineyard. The Hermana has a huge garden in front of the house and gave us bags of tomatoes, chili peppers, bell peppers, peaches, and corn. So that will be nice to have in the house. Tell Cara I said hi too and way to go on not using the company´s money. That´s a good idea and they´ll see that you are an honest employee.
Let me know if I forgot something in the email.
Well I hope you all have a great week.
I love you all very much and you are in my prayers always.
I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father, my Savior and the people of Chile. The church is true!
Love,
Elder Cloward

The New Chilean President Is....

Dear Family,
So the name of the new Chilean President is ... President Sebastian Pinera. He was elected yesterday. Good for him. He will be in office for the next six years.
We went and visited Margarita and Daniela Saturday and one of the sisters, Miriam, came to accompany us. We read the family the proclomation to the world. It was good because Margarita was able to open up a bit more and the two talked a lot. Margarita and Daniela came to church yesterday. Daniela is supposed to leave to Santiago next Saturday. We`re pretty sure that she won`t turn Jehovah`s Witness in a month. We`ll see. Barbara came to church yesterday with her whole family! That was good. What wasn`t good was when she asked to talk to us and told us that she doesn`t want to get baptized because she feels more comfortable in the Catholic church than in the Mormon church. But that`s actually only because the young women here have practically ignored her. So we will have to talk to the young women and tell them that if they are members of the Church of Jesus Christ then they should start acting like Jesus Christ did. And we will have to talk to Barbara and explain to her that just because a group of teenage girls didn`t accept her doesn`t mean that she shouldn`t be baptized.
So that`s what`s gonna happen this week. Teenage drama. I thought I was done with that. Then there`s Chris (16 years old). He`s come to church four times. He has a baptismal date for January 30th and we`re pretty sure that he`ll get there. He`s a funny little guy. We just have to teach him a few more things so he can be ready for a baptismal interview this Saturday or Sunday.
Are there really 88 stakes in Southern California? That`s a lot. There`s like 7 in our mission, and two districts. we`re still working on that. But hey congrats to dad!
I`m not gonna lie, I totally forgot to take a picture with the tree this week. But we`re gonna take it down this week for sure and I told the elders we can`t take it down without taking a picture. So that`s gonna happen. Also, family, there is no need to worry about where we are in life and what not or whatever we might be waiting to happen and hasn`t happened yet. If we are keeping the commandments, then we`re good. We can trust 100% in the Lord because we are doing our part. Also, reading the Book of Mormon and Preach my Gospel is good. I'm glad President Marco has given the Stake that challenge. It is always good to read the Book of Mormon over and over. We learn something new each time we read it, because each time we are in a different point in our lives and our lives are touched in a new way by the teachings in the Book of Mormon.
Well, hope you all have a great week.
Let me know if I am missing anything important.
Love,
Elder Cloward

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Address!

Dear family & friends,

Elder Cloward has a new address:

Elder Michael Bradley Cloward
Misión Chile Santiago Oeste
Correos, Casilla 149
Chacabuco 166
Maipú
Chile

You can send letters, packages, cards, postcards, etc., to this address. You can continue to send letters to pouch as well.

He would love to hear from you so please write to him if you can!

Thanks!

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's 2010!!!

Dear family,
Yesterday we had three investigators come to church!!
1. Daniela, Rafael`s little sister. She has come to church 5 times now, but she has to come 7 more times before she can be baptized. She is really excited for her baptism. Rafael is progressing a lot too. He had a mullet (those are very popular here I don`t know why) but he got his hair cut last Wednesday.
2. Titi (pronounced tee-tee) Bernardita`s daughter. she`s taken the discussions a few times already. She will probably get baptized later on.
3. Josè Tomàs is Ana`s boyfriend`s little brother. He`s in the Chilean army national guard. He`s only going to be here until January 13 then he has to go back to the army, but he finishes his military service in April and then he will bet baptized.
4. Pablo, Rafael`s nephew. Notice that he is number 4 out of 3. He doesn`t count as an investigator attending the chapel because he technically lives in the Esmeralda branch. We will have to work with the missionaries from Esmeralda so that he can start attending there. I`ll get a pic of the christmas tree before I take it down.
Yesterday morning before church we went to Barbara`s house so they could go to church with us. They were all asleep when we got there. We`ll see what happens with that. They have to make a little more of an effort. But all is well.
Yesterday Maximos blessed the sacrament, and shared his testimony in the young single adults sunday school class. That guy is tearin it up.
Have a great week y'all and a happy new year!
Love,
Elder Cloward

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hermana's and Elders Cloward and Marin decorating
for ward Christmas activity
President Jones crowd surfing once again at the
Chile Santiago West Mission Christmas party
(see Elder Cloward right by President Jones' head).

Ana Karina's baptism


Happy New Year!!!

Dear Family,
It was so great to talk to all of you on mom`s birthday! I hope you had a wonderful birthday Mom-thanks for everything and I love you!! Sorry I didn`t call on Christmas but it was just really complicated for us. But next year I can call you on Christmas if you want! We`ll give it a try. I loved the ties and my comp loved his too! Grandma and Grandpa thanks for all the gifts. Elder Marìn was also very happy to receive our matching ties. We wore them to the branch Christmas activity on Saturday. Thank you so much for all of the gifts! We forgot to give the pencils and CTR rings to the primary but we will do it next Sunday.
Christmas dinner was nice and delicious. One of the sister (Hermana Perez, also colombian) made colombian food so Elder Marìn was very happy and it was very good. On Christmas day we went back to the same members house and ate again because there was a lot of food leftover.
I decided today that I`m thinner but not because of a lack of food (we`ve been eating a lot lately). I`m pretty sure it`s because we play soccer for 2 hours every Monday. That along with all the walking is keeping me in pretty good shape. We walk a lot; all the time.
About the memory card: I was talking to Hermana Maples and she said that her family sent her a 4 GB memory card, but she can`t send or print fotos because the memory card is too big. Can you please send me 2 - 2GB memory cards instead? Thanks!
I would really like gingersnap cookies and bottlecaps and any of your homemade candies and my companion was asking for a white hat that says "California" on it. Just if you see one.
We took a Christmas pic of the whole mission, but they haven`t sent it to us yet.
The familia Gaete came to the Christmas activity, but not to church, so Barbara lost her baptismal date. We have to explain her that if she wants to be baptized she`ll have to make more of an effort.
That`s good that Mitch still wants to room with me. I would prefer Liberty Square. We`ll have to see what he thinks. I was talking to my homeboy Elder Finter (from Mesa, he knows the Giles and Gulbrandson families) and we want to room together too. How many people can live in the Liberty apartments? I`d like to live with Kevin and Nick too but I don`t know if we`ll be able to. Plus it`s likely that Mitch has found someone in his mission that he wants to room with too. We`ll just see what happens. Well hope you all had a Merry Christmas and enjoy new years eve!
Happy New Year and love you all,
Elder Cloward


Thank you to my family, friends and ward family who sent me ornaments, cards and letters. It is wonderful to have family and friends who love and support me as I serve our Heavenly Father and His children here in Chile. I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a very Happy New Year. May the Lord continue to bless each of you!
Love,
Elder Cloward