We had a great Skype chat with Elder Clifford on Christmas morning.
Thursday, December 25, 2014
December 22, 2014
¡Feliz Navidad a todos! Estoy animado poder escribirles y compartir mi gozo de la navidad con ustedes. This week was pretty great. We have a lot of progress and had a lot of really cool activities!
First, let me tell you about S and E. S is the mother of E. We were teaching E for quite a while but then the other day, we met his mom and she is SUPER prepared. We taught them several times this week and both accepted baptismal dates for the 17 of January. They are capos and even came to church yesterday. They are both really determined to find the path that God wants for them and once they find it are really determined to stick to it. They are really great.
We also had Zone Christmas this week. It was really fun exchanging gifts with everyone and receiving some cool stuff. It was a white elephant. I almost got a pair of Sweet Michael Jackson pants that had a face of Michael Jackson sewn on but they got stolen from me. I ended up with a Crunch bar. Lame. But I found this sweet AS Seen on TV exercise band from like the 60s in a store. It was a great gift if I do say so myself.
I always end up running out of time. Unfortunately we have people waiting outside the church for us so I have to go early, but know that I love you all. I hope you can all really enjoy this Christmas Season and keep in mind the real reason that we celebrate: to remember our Saviors birth and the wonderful gift that God gave to us: sending His son to suffer and die for us so that we can return to live with Him. I’m so grateful to be His servant and preach His gospel to help bring salvation to the people of Argentina.
Keep up the good work!!
Monday, December 8, 2014
HEY ALL! How are things going in the homeland?
Well, I love Cipolletti. We are seeing great thing happening here and the ward is amazing. The ward has about 130+ members that are actively assisting every week. It’s great.
This week we had a lot of really cool new investigators this week: 1) C and L: They were just a contact that we made. They immediately let us in and we chatted for a good long time. They had a lot of cool questions and we talked about the Book of Mormon and José Smith. It was really cool. They seem really prepared. 2) L: He was a reference from some other Hermanas in Cipo. They gave him one of the He is the Gift cards and he was really interested in the idea of eternal life. We went immediately and he let us in. We chatted and he told us that he really wants to go to church. He should be coming next week. 3) E: She was a contact. She was just leaving for work but told us to come back the next day. We went and we chatted for a long time about God and prayer. I think she is going to progress really fast. We are going to visit her tomorrow. 4) E: He is a younger kid, but is really interested in religion and God. He had a small accident recently that opened up his eyes a little. Super cool kid.
We are seeing lots of miracles and our area is already progressing a lot. The majority of our work seems to be with less active members, which is just as cool. But everyone we are working with seems to be progressing really well. It’s great. I am loving Cipolletti.
Funny story of the week: We did exchanges with the zone leaders. I was with an elder that was actually my comp a couple transfers back. But we got on a bus to go to the church. It was his first day using the bus system. We got on the wrong bus. We ended up going about 45 minutes away from the church and then just staying on the bus while it made its rotation back. We proceeded to get off where we got on and then just walk. It was pretty great. Best part, the activity started late so we didn’t miss anything! Super funny.
Also, on a sadder note. So here in Argentina, people typically just pile up their garbage and burn it. That’s the usual. Well this week, we found a burnt dog on top of one of the piles. It was sad. We are almost positive that it was dead before the burning, but still. It was a bit cool/gross.
Well, I am out of time, folks. I love you all and I have never been more sure that this is the work of the Lord. It comes in His time and when we are prepared for it. Keep on doing good things, but more importantly, great things. A wise Young Men's adviser once taught me: "Good is the enemy to great." May we all strive to do great this week instead of just good. I love you all!
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Well, another transfer gone. Another companion to say goodbye to. Another ward to leave behind. But that's the life of a missionary.
As the title explains, I have been transferred to Cipoletti. Its a fairly large city just east of Neuquen. I am very excited. I have heard that things here are great. I am with Elder Ostler from Draper, Utah. This is his last transfer so it should be fun haha!
I was sad to leave Roca, especially some of the members. But that's how it goes. Roca was a wonderful experience and I am grateful for everything that I learned. We ended up having dinner with one of the families I'm going to miss the most. The daughter is actually one of our investigators and it was very sad to leave without seeing her get baptized but I think it will happen this coming transfer.
HAPPY DECEMBER! ¡FELIZ NAVIDAD! Its already time to celebrate Christmas and I can't believe it. The church, for those of you who don't know, has started a big Christmas push and I would like to invite you all to take part. The have published a video called He is the Gift, and it is wonderful!! Here is the link to watch it: http://www.mormon.org/christmas . But it really is a great video that expresses the real meaning of Christmas. I hope you all can share this video and more than anything, partake of the great joy that is the Christmas season, but not the presents and not even the family (although that is a great part!). I invite you to partake of the joys that come from accepting the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, into our lives. He truly is the reason for every single little piece of happiness in my life. It can all be traced back to Him. I'm incredibly grateful for Him and His sacrifice for me.
I love you all more than you can imagine and want to wish you the happiest Christmas that you have ever had! Keep up the good work!
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I am grateful for my Savior and His sacrifice for me. I'm grateful for my family and the love and support they give me. I'm grateful for the gospel and to be able to bring the blessings it provides me to the people of Argentina. I'm grateful for my health and the ability to function everyday. I'm grateful for scripture: both ancient and living through modern day prophets. I'm grateful for modern technology and to be able to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving all the way from Argentina!
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Well this week was a week of ups and downs. But it was great!
This week we had many miracles. We did divisions with our Zone Leaders and we saw a lot of miracles. The biggest happened on Monday. The other ward just had a baptism and the guy asked us if we could give a blessing to his nephew who lives in our area before he had surgery on Thursday (everything went well). So we went and the kid was there with his grandparents. They are very prepared. We had lessons with them a couple times this week and they have baptismal dates for the end of December. It’s great. They are really prepared.
With the Zone leaders we also found lots of really great people but haven’t been able to find them again. That is problem number one with the work here in Argentina. Well, I don’t know how it is elsewhere but it’s hard to find people at home here. Very busy people.
Well, I don’t have much time and I can’t think of other things that happened. But we are seeing miracles! This truly is the work of the Lord. He is preparing his people always. I invite each of you who are members to be more open with those around you. Your influence can be great and the Lord trusts in you to be able to help. For those of you who are not members, I invite you to investigate. Invite the missionaries to teach you. Its 15 minutes and if you don’t like what they say, tell them to leave, but I promise you it is 15 minutes that will change your life and bring you closer to Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I love you all and thank you so much for your support. Keep up the good work!
(Email from 11/17/14)
Sorry for not writing last week! I got a bit distracted!
These last two weeks have been more of the normal! We are working hard and meeting a lot of people. We are in a state of trying to find people and have met many good potentials.
One of our investigators, A, is progressing very well! She is the daughter of a member and has been meeting with the missionaries for nearly a year now, but we have seen major changes in her! When I first got to Roca she didn’t really want to talk with us at all. But now, she is participating in lessons and yesterday, she came to church! It was such a miracle because she basically told us the night before that she wouldn’t be there, which meant that she couldn’t get baptized the 29th. But she was there! And told us that she enjoyed it! We are very excited.
We also have another investigator that is progressing well. She already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and is taking nearly everything we say and straight truth and is praying and everything. We only have to help her get to church and get permission from her parents to be baptized and she will do it! The last time we talked about baptism, she told us we should do it tomorrow! It’s pretty good.
The weather here is blistering hot. I am dying. Ok so it’s not blistering. 80-90s but for those of you who know me, that enough for me to die. But I am surviving and drinking lots of water.
Know that I love you all and I appreciate your support and love! Keep on doing great things!
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Welcome to another wonderful entry in the life of Elder Clifford. I hope you leave satisfied!
This week was another pretty normal week. The weather finally died down a little bit so we have clouds and cold and rain which, having grown up in the Seattle area, I was greatly pleased to see. It was great improvement from the scorching sun and burn skin that I was faced with two weeks ago!
Our area is still....well its just there. Haha But we are getting to know lots of great people that seem interested but we can never seem to find them in their house again. Sometimes its frustrating but we just remember that its the work of the Lord and it comes in His time. I have truly gained a testimony of that in the mission. We can and will always have the blessing of the Lord, but certainly NOT in our time. In His. But its better that way. Prayers for The Universitario Ward!
Well, this wee we had a very solemn experience that helped me remember truly how blessed I am. We were knocking doors while discussing our area and we came across JCA. He was working a bit on his house and stopped to talk with us a little. He ended up telling us that he was very religious and as a child wanted to be a missionary, but all of that changed about 9 years ago. His family left for a vacation but he stayed behind to watch the house. During the trip, there was an accident and his entire family passed away. He expressed to us that he feels so alone in his life and has turned to alcohol and drugs to ease the pain. He told us that he has tried to kill himself several times but every time a friend showed up to stop him. We expressed that we want to help him and have been passing by everyday.
I am so grateful for the blessings I have in my life; to have my family; to have the gospel in my life and to have the hope and knowledge that whatever happens, there is a life after this and I don't have to worry. I am grateful to be a missionary. I gained a testimony that although we may not feel guided, we are. Heavenly Father puts us on certain paths so that we can be of use to someone else. I am so grateful for that. I am grateful to be able to have met JCA and be able to help him through this difficult time. Please pray for him.
I love you all and I hope you know it. Thank you for all that you do for me.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
And, behold, it came to pass that another week had passed in the mission of Elder Clifford....
Well this week was just as exciting as every other week has been in Roca. A whole lot of contacting and looking for people to teach. With my new companion Elder Stoker from American Fork, Utah, we are working super hard. We are talking with every person we see and have seen a little improvement. I think we should have a lot of success going into these next couple weeks.
So this week was also REALLY hot. I'm dying. It was in like the 30's all week. And the sun, I don't know why, but its much stronger here. I am struggling with the heat but I'm surviving. Ive been told it should get better this week. Lets hope, eh?
Funny Story of the Week: We went to meet the Zone Leaders at the chapel to let them borrow our phone charger. We unlock the chapel doors and a super loud alarm starts going off. The Zone leaders start punching in whatever numbers they can think of to shut it off while they are yelling at us to call the District leader for the code. It was so funny. But you would think the zone Leaders would know the code. But no.
Anyway, Things here are truckin' along. Keep the prayers for The Universitario Ward coming. We need it. Pray for less heat. Please and Thank you. I love you all and couldn't be more grateful for your support. Until Next week,
P.S. Sis Burnham, I got your package and card. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts! Those rings will go to good use!
Monday, October 20, 2014
I want to wish a special Happy Argentine Mother’s Day to my wonderful mother whom I love dearly!! Happy Mother’s Day mom!! Get used to me wishing you Happy Mother’s Day in October because your son is Argentine now so you're gonna have to adjust. Mother’s day here in Argentina is in October instead of May. Don’t ask me why. It’s just Argentina. They’re a little odd here, but I love it.
Nothing mind blowing to report this week other than it was transfers today. My comp was transferred. I’m sad to see him go but excited for the future. My new comp is Elder Stoker. I think that’s how it’s spelled. Still haven’t met him yet. But I’ve heard good things and I am excited to get a fresh start on this area. I think we will have a bit more success this transfer.
I want to thank you for all of your prayers in my direction and would ask that you keep praying specifically for Elder Clifford and Elder Stoker and the Universitario Ward. It’s really does help. I want to confirm that this truly is the work of the Lord. And it truly comes in His time, not ours. I’m learning this very quick right now. I can’t tell you how much I want to be teaching people and seeing great successes, but I know that the time isn’t now. But it'll come.
The Mission is a crazy thing but I love every second of it. I am having the time of my life. It’s an experience indescribable. It’s stinkin' hard sometimes but that just makes it that much greater. I love you all so much and know that you are in my prayers. Thanks for everything!
P.S. Stefani Lakic I got your postcard! Thanks for writing but you didn’t put a return address so I can’t write you back... You should send another but with a return address, eh? :)
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Welcome to another exciting blog post all the way from Roca, Argentina! This week we had both a thunderstorm and a tsunami here is Roca.
So our area is still trucking right along to the middle of nowhere haha But I'm loving it. We have lots of good potential but we go to visit people and they don't answer the door. That is our problem. Also, for those that don't know, there is this thing called the Siesta here. Basically, from about 12 noon to 5pm or later, the world shuts down. Everyone goes home to sleep and no one answers. Its really just wonderful... if you're Argentine. If you're a little American missionary trying to help people, its pretty much death. But I love Argentina and all its kwirks.
So we did really have a tsunami. A Tsunami in missionary terms is when all the missionaries from the are spend a couple hours in your area contacting, trying to give the area a boost. Unfortunately, that boost has not helped us. The whole no one answers their door is a problem. That really seems to be the root problem of our lack of success here. But we may have another tsunami this week so stay on your toes people! Also prayers for Universitario and elder Clifford and Elder Muñoz! Please and Thank you!
We also had a HUGE thunderstorm this week. It was pretty much the highlight of the week, not gonna lie. I took a video, but it may or may not get uploaded because it will probably take like an hour to upload. Later down the line Ill get it to you guys. Its got come nice commentary to it. Its a worthwhile film.
Well that pretty much sums it up. Today I was ready from conference talks from May and found something I really liked. Its from a talk entitled Spiritual Whirlwinds by Elder Niel A Andersen. There was a quote that applies to everyone, members and non members, that I want to share with you all.
"In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around a young sapling, forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure to return.4
You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life. The whirlwinds in your youth, like the wind against a young tree, can increase your spiritual strength, preparing you for the years ahead."
I love that advice by Elder Andersen. We ALL truly are sons and daughters of a loving and kind Heavenly Father. He wants us to succeed, always. He has provided us the ways to hold strong when the whirlwinds of life blow stranger than we think we can handle. Stay strong. You can do it all through the power and Grace of Christ and our Heavenly Father.
¡Sepan que te amo muchísimo! Oro cada noche por ustedes y estoy tan agradecido por su amor y apoyo. Gracias por todo. Sigan adelante.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
¡BUEN DIA! Well this week was General Conference and I can honestly say I have never enjoyed Conference so much!! En serio!
Conference down here is SO much different. First, only the people that live close to the Stake Center go to every session, which broke my heart that not everyone could listen to every single word the Prophets and Apostles had to say. But that’s how it is down here.
Also, we had a less active at the Saturday Sessions so I listened in Spanish for those. Let me tell you, it is a miracle to be able to hear the Prophet and Apostles in their own voices. Having it being translated into Spanish was not even close. The whole time I was just thinking "This is NOT the same. This is NOT the same!!" Truly a miracle and blessing to hear their voices. Not take that for granted! Sunday I listened in English the whole time and I understood much better and it was so much more powerful and Spiritual.
Also, How cool that some of them got to speak in their native languages?? For real, it was super cool. The members here really enjoyed it. I’m glad for modern day revelation that makes things like that happen. Super cool.
Now, a note to all of you. As I listen to Conference, I was able to really reflect on the blessing that this Gospel is in my life. To those of you that are members of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, please so forsake the incredible blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in your life. Its truly is incredible.
For those of you who aren’t members of this church, know that I love you. And because I love you, I invite you to learn more about this Church. I promise you that it is worth your time. I invite you to investigate and put this church and its teachings to the test. I know it is true. I know that it can and will bless your lives. We as members believe in finding and seeking after everything good. I know that this Gospel is good. I invite you to go to Mormon.org and chat with some of the missionaries there and ask them questions. When you see missionaries in the street, Chat with them. Ask for a Book of Mormon and give it a read. It is real. The blessings from this gospel are real. I have seen them. I invite you to do these things because I love you and I want these blessings for you as well. Give it a try.
Know that I love you all. I am so grateful for modern day revelations and the chance to listen to the Prophets and Apostles. Reflect on their words. Study them with all your might. They know so much better than we do. Take your doubts and questions to the Lord. He Knows. I love you.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
¡Buen Día! Sorry I forgot to write last week! I got busy!
Well, the life in Roca is rough. Not going to lie. Our area is still a bit dry and we don't have much going on. As far as investigators, we have one and we are probably going to drop him this week because he doesn't come to church. So that will bring us from having at least one person to work with to an official zero. Prayers for Universitario D Please! Thanks!
This week was a little exciting because we went 4 days without power! So Tuesday morning the power went out and we couldn't figure out why. We figured it would come back so we didn't worry. Later we checked the cramped mailbox for our apartment complex and turns out we have a light bill. So the next day we went and paid that. Then we thought for sure we were in the clear. So we wait and still no light. We call the company and they tell us we have to wait 24 hours for it to be restored. More waiting and then nothing. So we finally on Friday go to the company and tell them whats going on and what do they tell us "Our records show you have light." Oh that's great but we don't so please fix it! So we talk to like 5 different people and finally they send guys out to go reconnect everything. We get a call a couple hours later from our neighbor who is a member and he tells us they couldn't do it for fault of payment. So we go back AGAIN and tell them that and show them that we paid and then the fix it. Needless to say at this point, all our food in the fridge had gone bad. The life of a missionary.....
Also last week was my birthday and I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes! I Love you and and thanks for making my first birthday in the mission a good one! My district made me a cake and we celebrated a little bit so that was fun!
For our free day last week we went to a big River that is close to town. It was really nice. We played fútbol and enjoyed some relaxing time. It was nice. I forgot my camera so no pictures, again. Sorry! Next week!
Thanks for all your support and love! I appreciate every one of you! Keep on doing what the Lord has planned for you. He knows so much better than we do. I´'ve been trying really hard lately to change my will to be the Lords will. I invite you all to do the same. Although that will be a little hard as you are not a missionary, but I encourage you to try anyway. The Lord truly knows best and as we submit completely to His will, we make miracles through the guidance of the Spirit which can teach us all things. Keep up the good work. ¡Hasta ver!.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Salutations! ¡Espero que todo esté bien en sus vidas!
Well, this week has been rough and felt so long! My new companion, Elder Muñoz and I are getting a long great. Although there is a bit of a language barrier, we are doing fine. Everything is great.
Ok well not everything a great. Our area is pretty dead. O sea, we don't have a lot of investigators right now. I guess a couple of weeks ago, they went through all their investigators and had to drop a lot of them because they weren't progressing. So where does that leave us? Bored. That's where that leaves us. But we are still working as hard as we possibly can to get this place us a going again.
We pretty much have just one investigator. He and his son are investigating right now and are pretty capo. They both seem to really like everything that we have taught and we have pretty much taught everything. The only problem is that he has yet to come to church. That means that we cant get him baptised because they have to go at least 3 times before baptism. But we have hope for him and he wants to be baptized so we will see what this next week brings.
The ward here is pretty great. We have a bishop so that's a huge step up from Centenario! But its a fairly big ward of about 80 active members. We get lunches with the members every day which is great too! They are all very nice and have been really welcoming. I miss Centenario bunches but I know my time is Roca is going to be just as great.
Advice for the week: Keep on pushing through. This life is too short to spend time unhappy or unsatisfied. When things are bad, do something positive. When you don't want to do something, go in head first and give it 200%. That's the only way to get through the tough situations. We all have tough situations and they are what make the good ones even better. Keep going. Confide in the Lord. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what He's doing. I love you all. Until next time!
P.S. Thanks for the letter Sis. Burnham!
Monday, September 8, 2014
Well, the time has come to say goodbye to my dear Centenario. Today, I head to Roca which is about an hour east of Neuquén. My new companion is Elder Muñoz. Yup, a Latin. That means goodbye English. This next few weeks are going to be a ride on the struggle bus, BIG TIME. But I'm going to learn so much and I'm excited for a change. Ive heard only wonderful things about Roca. I guess right now its pretty much the promised land for baptisms so that good. But, a la vez, it is the hottest place in the mission. That's just perfect. I'm literally going to die of a heat stroke. That's not a joke people. I'm also going to bathe in sunscreen (which is really expensive here on top of anything) so that I don't get skin cancer. But really, don't be too surprised if some of my future emails involve heat stroke and skin cancer. Its a possibility people.
But I am super excited to get to know more people and a new area. I know that my time here in Centenario had been hard but I've loved every minute of it and it has been a big learning experience, but Ive got way more learning to come.
I am super sad to leave my dear Centenario though. Ive really grown to love the people here. The ward is amazing and the work here, although extremely slow, has been fun. I'm so grateful for the time Ive had here.
This week was pretty dead. I'm officially calling our area here in Centenario dead, meaning that we really have nothing going. All the investigators we have aren't able to meet with us and we are having a really hard time find people. This week we tried focussing on finding Menos Activos but we had no luck with that either haha. Its been a struggle this last week but I love this area dearly and I am sad to leave it.
Once again, thank you so much for all your support and love. I feel your prayers and support. I love you all. This is hard experience. Its a struggle everyday, but I wouldn't change any of it. Its amazing and I love it. Keep on doing great things. This is the Lords work and it all comes in his time. "Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast" by Jeffery R Holland. Go read it. Go prepare yourselves. You can do anything with the faith in Christ.
Monday, September 1, 2014
It has been a whirlwind of a week, I must say, but I am loving every minute of it. The mission is hard stuff man, but oh so rewarding.
So this week I had my first baptism. The baptism we had on saturday was great. Three people got baptised. Ours is the older woman. She is the sister in law of a member. Like I said last week, she has some mental dissabilities, but was very happy being baptised. It was great. In the other picture with the woman, the man and the kid, the little boy also got baptised. The man is the one who baptised them both. The boy is the grandson of the same member. Needless to say it was a big day for her! But that baptis was wonderful! Everything went more or less smoothly. I got to help baptise someone which was fun! I dont have a picture of him, but he has a problem with with his head and so Elder Shearer baptised him but I was also in the font and helped him go under and made sure he didnt hit anything because it literally could kill him. It was crazy but it all went well in the end.
We also had a super cool lesson this week. So here in Argentina, we make appointments with people but 90% of the time, they arent at there house and it just gets us no where. So early this week we did exchanges for a day and the other elders setup a cita with a menos activa and her sister. What I didnt realize was that we were going to have the cita in the chapel because they said the house was not a good place to talk. So in all honesty I had 0 faith that they would show up. Its hard enough getting citas in houses let along in the capilla. But the time came and it was a miracle. They showed up! The menos activa is super nice and wants to return but just is a little scared to. They both have sons about the same age and want their sons to be raised in the Gospel. They are super great and that and the baptism was really a highlight of the week. It was great.
Also, I forgot to mention last week, and dont freak out because Im fine, but I got assaulted for the first time! Its basically like my initiation into the mission! These guys came our from a walkway and grapped us. They were digging through our pockets and looking for a phone but our phones are so hideous here that they didnt take it. They just got angry that we didnt have anything good. Then a car drove up and they ran off. Nothing happened. They didnt take anything. It was funny more than anything haha.
But other than that, this week was pretty slow. Not much is happening in our area right now, but thats how it goes. Our investigators keep dissappearing for days on end and we just cant get a hold of anyone. But thats just how it goes. The mission is hard stuff but we battle through and live to see another day and that is a blessing in itself. This week I have been thinking alot about putting complete trust in the Lord. He can see the complete path. A lot of times we want to see the fruits of our labors, but most of the time, that is not His will. We just have to realize that the fruits DO come, but just not when we want them too. Everything comes in His time, and as we stay obedient to his commandments, it all comes in time whether we get to witness it or not. Keep that in mind. I love you all and am forever grateful for your support.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Ok this week was pretty great. This here in the area of Centenario C are progressing, A FULL!
So, fun fact, we may have a baptism this Saturday. One of the members here was talking to us and wanted us to teach her sister-in-law. So we went and she has some learning disabilities and possible schizophrenia. Igual, we are teaching here. She comes to church almost every week and we put a date for the 27 of Sept, but as we were talking this week with the member, she said if we wanted to, we could baptize her this Saturday. Yup. This Saturday and we met her this week. It’s crazy. We are going to visit her every day this week in order to do it but it's going to happen. We just have to teach her really simply and she can learn it. We are super excited.
We also have a baptism planned for the following Saturday too with the brother of the same member. (Just so you know, the Hermanas here are also baptizing her grandson this week so her family is going STRONG right now haha) But he is progressing really well. He is feeling the Spirit every time we teach him. He still isn’t sure if this is the right path for him, but he is going to get baptized. We are almost positive. This week we had several cool lessons with him and he is progressing which is great.
We also had the Capilla Abierta this week! It was really cool. So they setup many different rooms. The chapel was setup with a big cutout of The Christus and they played a little thing in there. Then people would transfer to the gym where they would explain quickly almost all of our beliefs. Then they would come to the baptismal font. That’s where I was. We were dressed in all white and explain the purpose of baptism. Then they would go to all sorts of other rooms that explained things like primary, relief society, Priesthood, young men’s, young women’s, family history, etc. It was so cool! In all honesty we didn’t get a whole lot of non-member traffic, but it was really cool to see all the members come together and have a good time sharing the gospel. It was a really cool experience and I hope this program makes it to the States. It’s really is so cool!!
Other fun things:
1) Elder Marx bought a cactus. Its name is Regina.
2) We did lots of Exchanges (We switch companions for a day) this week. We always see so many miracles with exchanges. It’s great. Plus we get to know everyone better. It was fun!
I think that is about it. I’m sure we did so many more things, but they all disappear when you actually sit down and try to write them. I love you all and I am so grateful for your constant support and prayers. It really does mean the world to me. I am grateful to have all of you in my life and am grateful for the help you gave me to get me where I am, in Argentina serving the Lord. This truly is His work and the fact the He entrusts me to do it is an incredible blessing. I am learning so much and having the time of my life.
So as the title states, we had a super cool fireside this week in our ward. As missionaries we helped plan it but it was about the missionary work here since we have a big activity coming up this Saturday. We watched parts of La Luz de La Verdad (sorry I don't know what its called in English) But it is a super great training thing. I suggest watching it. But we watched parts of that and people bore their testimonies about the importance of missionary work and it was super cool. The best part was the practices. So we asked the members to go into the Cultural Hall and practice inviting their friends to the activity. I didn't think it would go very well and I didn't think the members would want to participate, but it was amazing!! They all did the practice and were really getting into it! It was so cool to see everyone so excited for this activity. I am excited to see the miracles that come from this amazing activity on Saturday. Its going to be great!!
This week we also had Zone Conference in Neuquen. We got up early and headed into town. It was really cool though. I always like hearing the things President Lovell has to say. He is a very knowledgable man. One of the things I really enjoyed that he said is that sometimes, feeling tranquil and calm isn't always the spirit. It was an interesting thought. Something to think about: how we can make sure to always have the Spirit.
Wow and hour is just not enough. Sorry again for the short email. I love you all and am grateful for your continual support.
Lots of Love,
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Ok this week felt like a deep breath. Elder Marx is learning really fast about the area and so that is helping to take a lot of the stress off of me. Thanks for all of your prayers in my behalf. I really do feel your love every day. Thanks!
High of this week: We had an investigator to church! WOOH! It was super great. We went and picked him up because he is 80 years old. His sister is a member and she has been helping us with him. He is super great and has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Its great. We have high hopes for him and we are thinking he will be getting baptized late this month or early next. We are very excited.
This week we also had Zone Capacitation. It was really good. We talked a lot about how doing really simple things brings out great things is our areas. It was really great. I really enjoy when I get to hear other missionaries speak because they always have so much good stuff to say. I love hearing the wise words of the missionaries that have more time than me. Its always nice.
Our area is getting better. We are finding people and working with people and everything is progressing really well. Thanks for your prayers and your support. It really means a lot. I love you all! Keep doing amazing things!!
Monday, August 4, 2014
Welcome one and all to another riveting adventure that will stir both your Spirit and your mind! ...Ok I cant promise that. Sorry.
This week was interesting to say the least. My new companion and I are getting along really well. He is from Oregon and we have a lot of the same interests so it makes for a good time.
This week was a bit unsuccessful as far as actually teaching people. So the thing is we have people to teach but their schedules are just so incredibly busy that we cant see them very often, which means they aren't progressing and so nothing really happens. Its been a bit rough but we are doing what we can. The Lord will provide. Our Heavenly Father wants His children to understand this gospel and be happy so when they are ready, He will touch their hearts and put us where we need to be. Here's hoping!
So we had our training for the Capilla Abierta (Open Church) this week. So we have a day where all the members are at the Church and there are all sorts of presentations to explain what we do in our church. Everyone is really excited and I'm excited to see what comes of it. For more information see the Mission Blog. But it should be amazing. We are hoping to see a lot of miracles. We are also gonna set up a stand at a local Flea Market to draw up attention and excitement. We are excited. I'm really looking forward to it. Its gonna be amazing!
Keep up the good work everyone! Fight the good fight! Remember who you are and what you stand for! You can do it!
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Hello! My name is Elder Clifford and I'm a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Do you have a few moments to chat?
Doesn't my door approach just rock?
This week was insane. We did intercambios this week so I was with one of the zone leaders for a day. It helps to evaluate how we are doing and helps get new eyes on the area. But it was a struggle. The elder I was with doesn't speak any English and so with my broken Spanish it was very hard to communicate. Also he has a strange accent and so that didn't help haha! For everything he said, I had to ask "What?" probably at least 3 times. But hey, I got through it. But it was good! We got a lot of contacting done! We didn't end up having any lessons because they all fell through, but hey, you cant win 'em all right? But it was a good day.
We ended up finding this very nice lady. She is an evangelist but has very strong faith. We were able to make a second appointment with her and it went very well! When we met her the first time, she seemed really uninterested, but she actually remembered our appointment (miracle, no one we make cita's with remembers.). She was very nice and listened to everything we had to say. We talked about the Book of Mormon and she agreed to pray about it. The coolest part was as I was saying the closing prayer, she was doing the whole evangelical thing where she would say AMEN after I said something she agreed with. And after I asked that she could receive her answer to know if it was true she gave a big AMEN! It was cool. We have another cita tonight with her so hopefully it goes well.
Now to the big news of the week. My companion, Elder Hanzon, got transferred. We are both pretty devastated. He only has 1 transfer left before he goes home so we thought he would stay and technically we are still in training so its odd that he's leaving. But the hardest part is that now, I'm in charge of the area because I'm getting a companion that knows nothing about this area. I'm freaking out. This next week or two are going to be rough adjusting to new everything almost. Wish me luck. I'm not looking forward to it, but I know this is the Lords will, and if he feels comfortable leaving this piece of His vineyard in my hands, then I can do it. A lot of this week is gonna be spent on my knees pleading for help. I can just feel it now. But It'll be good for me. Its all for my profit and experience.
I love you all and am so grateful for your support. I think I tell you that every week, but I really can't say it enough. Its because of each and everyone of you that I am here. Thanks for being the village that raised me.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Why Hello My Loyal Readers! Thanks for your support!
So this week, as the title says, I became a legal person in Argentina! Wooh! I spent an entire day in Neuquen running back and forth from different government buildings and waiting in lines for hours so I could sign a couple of papers. It was horrible, but I am now a legal missionary in Argentina for the next year! Then I have to do it all over again! YA!
This week for PDay we went to a nearby lake! It was super cool! We had to take this really sketchy bus to get there. It was super funny! And since it is the middle of winter, the place looked like an abandoned town. But it was really pretty and we had a lot of fun!
So yesterday here in Argentina was Dia de Amistad, or Friendship Day. We watched a really cool video with a family. Please follow the link below and watch. It's magnificent. I was reminded that no matter what, Jesus Christ is our best friend. Only he knows exactly what we are suffering through because he went through it too. Only he can provide the real comfort that we need to get through whatever is happening to us. John 15; 13 says "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Only the Savior Jesus Christ can understand. I was reminded of that this week and Ive been trying to really turn to Him and my Heavenly Father for everything, because only They can truly console us. I am so grateful for my heavenly older brother and the support and love he provides for me.
Sorry for the short email! One hour really is not enough! I love you all and am grateful for your prayers and support!! It means so much!!
Saturday, July 19, 2014
This week was really busy. First, Mundial ended in a sad way this week. Argentina lost in Final game yesterday, 0-1 to Germany. It was sad. But both Wednesday for the Semifinal and yesterday for the Final, all the missionaries had to be in their pensions during and after the game to keep us safe. Wednesday we did get to go out a little after, but not far. I have videos of the chaos but this computer isn’t connecting with my camera, so not pictures this week. Next week I will send the videos though. Sorry!
But this week we also have Interviews with President Lovell. We headed to the other side of our zone, Cinco Salto, to have classes and interviews. It was really great though! The Assistants talked about a lot of good things and helped us focus on the little things in order to make a bigger picture happen. It was really good. My interview with President was really cool. He is great and gave me a lot of advice on how to do things here. It was great.
We also had a really cool lesson where my bad Spanish actually paid off. We had a contact that said we could come back. So we went back to visit him. I didn’t really understand what he was saying at the door but I continued to ask him if we could come in for 5-10 minutes to talk. He said yes and let us in. Turns out he was saying that he had guests over, which was a lie. Funny how my bad Spanish worked out for the better. The Lord blesses in weird ways sometimes. But we taught him and his little daughter about the restoration and he has a baptismal date for the end of August. He also told us he would come to church on Sunday. Unfortunately, we tried to visit him on Saturday but they saw us and didn’t answer. We aren’t sure what happened. Also they didn’t come to church. It’s a bit back to step one now, but at least we know that he has felt the Spirit. That’s the first step.
I also did exchanges this week. So that is when we switch companions for a day to see how other areas are and how other people work. It was nice to do that! I got a lot of practice in and it was nice to not have to worry about what these people think because I won’t see them again. Haha! But it was nice. No fear. It boosted my confidence a lot.
Bishop. Don’t get too excited. Still no Bishop, unfortunately. But the Stake President came to our ward yesterday to give us an explanation about what is going on. SO! They sent the recommendation form through Correo Argentina, which is the main mail system. But it turns out that it never made it to Utah. So no one knew that we didn’t have a Bishop until recently when they called to figure out what was taking so long. So they emailed one to make sure it got there for sure! That means, we should get a Bishop within the month!! Well we hope! (Side note - Correo Argentina is what I sent all my letters through, so if you wrote me and don’t get a response, it’s because they lost it. I promise I responded.)
We also rolled out a Ward Mission Plan this week! We hope that will help to animate the members about the work and get more action happening. We are also going to have a Capilla Abierta (Open Church) in August. I don’t exactly know what that entails, but I will let you know because it’s supposed to be AMAZING! Super excited. I will let you all know what that really means when I know more! But be excited!
Well that was pretty much this week!! This work is AMAZING! This ward is AMAZING! Everything is AMAZING! You all are AMAZING! I love you all and am so incredibly grateful for all of your support over the years and currently!
Love you all!! ¡Chau!
Friday, July 11, 2014
Thank you to everyone who wrote me this week!! I received 4 letters!! Those are like gold out here. (Side note - the letter I received were sent in like early June. I replied to all of them but just sent them off today, so don’t think I forgot about you!!) But thanks! It makes the week so much better!! For P-Day this week we did a little hike. It was super fun and you could see so much. I included pictures.
We had Zone Capacitcion this week. It’s basically just a training meeting for 3 hours but it was really great. We talked a lot about the importance of small and simple things. It was really great. The small and simple things are really what makes the difference in not only our investigators lives but in ours as well. I love trainings here. They're the best. (I just found the apostrophe button. ''' - Now I can be more grammatically correct. I know it's what you all wanted.)
Also we had a bit of a miracle yesterday. Ok well Sacrament Meeting was just great. It was fast and testimony meeting. It was incredible to hear the testimonies of the ward members. But before, every Sunday morning we go to one of our area called Costa De Reyes. It's about 15 by bus and so there are a lot of inactive members because it's a bit of a hassle to get up and get there. But one of the inavtives, T, we finally got him to come to church!! So he is an elderly man and had been inactive for a while. We visit him all the time because he is the only Endowed member there. But we finally got him there!! It was great!!
There is also a member that we take out with us a lot. The same one that we helped with family history a few weeks back. But she goes out with us a lot. She bore specific testimony about how much love she feels when she goes out with us and that we invite her to go out with us. It was great to see that already I can see the impact that the missionary work has on the members just as much on the converts. I love it. That family is one of my favorites. They are all converts and are just so great!
We also found a few new people this week!! The first one was E. He is a neighbor of one of the members. She had been talking to E a lot about the church and things and told us to visit him so we did. We found out that his wife died a few years back and his son recently passed away too. It’s really sad. But he has so much faith and so we are helping him work through this hard time in his life by explaining the knowledge that we have of the afterlife and the peace we can receive in this life from the Lord. We also contacted an antiguo, C. He is a teacher here and has met with the missionaries before. He told us he reads the Book of Mormon occasionally when he has time, but has never done anything because he has never received the answer that he is looking for. I’m sure he has but doesn’t recognize it. We're going to help him realize. But they're both great!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Howdy Folks! This week was pretty great! Mundial is keeping everything exciting and will continue to keep everything exciting! For those that aren't following, Both Argentina and the US play this week and if they both win, they will play each other. That could be problematic for our safety, but we hope not!
We had some really good experiences this week!!! The first was with an investigator we have, N. He works with the police and is super great. He is super interested in the church and what we have to say and how we are doing. He is super nice. We visited him this week and were going to teach him, but we forgot to bring a Book of Mormon. Ok the truth is that we are out of Books of Mormon right now, but that’s a different problem. Anyway, we apologized and said we would get one to him next time. But he told us that it was fine because he had been reading online about the Church! He had been reading like what the Book of Mormon was about, and Joseph Smith and all of it! And he told us "Ya, it all makes sense. Like it makes sense that a tribe from the Israelites came to America because there were people here when Columbus arrived. And it pretty much all makes sense!" We were floored!! What a miracle. We have very high hopes for him and how he will progress, but you never know with people down here. But it should keep going well! The only problem is he smokes and his family doesn’t seem very receptive, but we can fix those.
We also had some really cool experiences with the G family. This family is a mother, her 2 daughters and their excommunicated father. They are all converts too which makes all of this cooler! So Hna G wanted us to help her with her Family History work. So we went and refreshed ourselves on how to do it all and had some other Hnas in our zone help us. Then we headed over. So she really didnt have much information. All she has was whatever he elderly mom had told her, which were basically just names. We knew we were going to have a hard time. But we kept trying and finding people with the names and dates we had. As she was on the phone with her mom again, Elder Hanzon and I found one of the ancestors we were looking for! It was so great to actually find the person and be able to add it to her family tree. The Spirit was so strong and Hna G was tearing up because of how happy she was. It was truly incredible. I am so convinced now of the importance of Family History work. It’s Incredible. D and C 18; 15-16 talks about how great our joy will be when we bring souls unto the Father. I can truly testify that that doesn’t just mean living souls. Doing Family History work is just as important as the work I am doing here. It’s the way we can be the missionaries for our ancestors. Amazing that we have that ability.
We also had another cool experience with this family. They are just SO great!! While we were helping the Hna with her Family History, one of her daughters was helping their cousin with English; we told them we were here to help if they needed anything. They asked if we could come over and help them study sometime. Of course we said yes! What fun! So we went over a couple days later to help them. It was so much fun helping someone learn English. It was nice knowing the language that was being used for once! But after, the conversation lead into the church and the Book of Mormon. So we gave her one and then Hna G was like "Well explain it!" and so we explained what it is and that it testifies of Jesus Christ and we explain the importance of baptism and we have her con fecha for the middle of August! We are super excited. We are going to keep helping them with English. It’s a great setup because we just go over to teach English and then just talk about the Church. It’s great!!}
Everything is great here! I’m loving every moment! I love and miss you all!! Keep doing great things! Keep up the good work! Remember that with Heavenly Father and the Savior in our lives, we can accomplish anything! Remember that this week. Go forward with faith knowing that everything that needs to happen will happen if you try. I love you all!!