Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What a week...

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.

Elder Clifford

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Week Where I Became Legal

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

Mundial Part Two

Hey Everyone!! 

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!

Elder Clifford

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Week of Letters

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!
This week was great. I love the mission and everything about it. It’s a spectacular experience like nothing else. I'm so grateful for this opportunity. I love you all and I love this Gospel. It truly is life changing.
Elder Clifford at the end of his hike

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Another Exciting Week

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!! 

Elder Clifford