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!
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.
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

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!


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!
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!
Elder Cloward