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!
Elder Cloward

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