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!
Elder Cloward
NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

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.
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.
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,
Elder Cloward