Thursday, January 29, 2015

Things are Going Great


Sorry for no email last week. One hour is not enough and I get distracted way to easily....

Well, things here in Cipolletti are going great. I honestly love this ward. The members work hard to make things happen and it really makes our jobs easier. They are great. It’s hot. Summer down here is killer. It’s in the upper 90's all the time and it drains you fast, especially when you're walking around all day. 

So we should have a baptism this Saturday which is exciting! S. is the one getting baptized. She is the mother of the family I told you guys about a while back. We are hoping for a miracle though because she still has to stop smoking and it’s been really hard for her. But we are helping her as best we can and I am almost certain she will make it! The son, unfortunately, has stop listening, but I think he still has interest. He is just 15 years old and that’s a hard time in life to make such a big change, but we are hoping that seeing his mom get baptized and attending the baptism, he will feel the Spirit and want to listen again, the daughter is 11 years old. We asked her the other day if she wanted to get baptized too and said she wasn't sure. Again, I think that seeing the mom get baptized and having her get to know some of the primary kids her age will help. I've got lots of hope for them!

Little miracle of the week: We had about 10 minutes to kill before a lesson so we wandered around at 5pm in the heat. FYI, In Argentina, if it’s a hot day, a majority of the country is sleeping at 5pm. So it’s hard to knock doors at this time. But we did it anyway! We knocked a house, didn't say much more than "We would like to share a message about Jesus Christ." and she let us come in. Now let me put this is perspective. It is hard enough trying to find someone awake at that time of day in the summer, but even then, actually getting into a house on the first visit... Wow. It’s a very uncommon thing. We didn't have much time to chat with her but we shared a little bit of the Restoration and gave her the pamphlet and a Book of Mormon to read. She told us we could come back tomorrow so hopefully she will be there! I’ll keep ya posted...

Well, I can’t think of anything else that happened. Sorry. I’m so bad at this emailing thing. My apologies. Know that I’m having a good time and lots of things are going on! Know that your Savior loves you. I think that is what I've learned most these last few weeks. He truly has the power to heal: physically, spiritually, mentally, lo que sea (translation: whatever). He can do it all and He WANTS to do it all. He will do anything for us, but we have to be willing to accept the change. He needs us to turn over our desires and make our desires His desires and then, and only then, will we be able to see miracles and changes in our own lives. This gospels true. This Church is true. I've never been more sure. Logically speaking, it just all makes sense. Spiritually speaking, I've felt that is true. Don’t ever lose hope. Our dreams, our desires, our goals, our plans, may seem unreachable. What we want may seem impossible to achieve. But as we put our trust in God and let our desires go and put on His desires, we truly can have whatever we want. It may not be what we originally wanted, but it will be something even better that we didn't even realize we wanted. 

I love you all and I pray for you guys every day. I’m grateful for your support and for everything that you guys do to keep me going every day. I feel your love. Thanks.

Elder Clifford

Pictures from Dec-14 Interviews / Christmas Party

Cipolletti Zone Dec. 2014


Saturday, January 17, 2015


January 12, 2015

Sorry about not writing last week! I got distracted and ran out of time! 

We have some great investigators who are progressing really well! It is a family: a mom, her son and her daughter. They will be getting baptized in the next couple of weeks! They only have to attend church a couple times more and stop smoking! But they are really great. They love when we come over and have really made some big changes in their lives and have told us that they feel so much better and have seen so many changes in their own lives. It’s a really cool process to watch!

Transfers were today! My comp, Elder Ostler, just finished his mission so he went home. My new comp is Elder Ochoa from La Plata, Argentina. I don’t know him very well yet but he seems super great and I think it will be a fun transfer! He is also going home after this transfer so that is interesting. Here in the mission, when you comp finishes, that’s called killing him. So I will be killing two transfers in a row! That doesn’t happen very often, but let me tell ya, it makes it a little bit harder to focus!

The mission made some big changes this week! Well not just the mission, the entire area of South America South! We no longer have Key Indicators! For those of you who didn’t serve missions, we have to keep track of certain numbers (how many lessons we had with a member present, how many references we received and contacted, how many new investigators we have, etc.) But they just took all of those out. The only numbers we now have to report are the number of Baptisms and Confirmations and the total amount of people that there were in Sacrament meeting! This is a huge change! But I think it will help us to focus more on what our objective is - bringing people unto Christ through the waters of Baptism- instead of being worried about numbers. It is a great change!

An invitation! We as a mission got the challenge of reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover before the April General Conference and I invite you all to do the same!! Its only 6 pages a day in English (or 8 pages a day if you would like to read it in Spanish!). I testify that it is a true book and that reading it brings blessings of understanding; understanding what it is our Heavenly Father wants of us; understanding why we are here; understanding where we are going; Everything! It is a complete and perfect book and without it, we wouldn’t be able to do what we need to do to be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I love you all! Keep on doing wonderful things! Put your trust in God! He know perfectly what you need to do!

Elder Clifford

(these pictures are from Elder Clifford's last area)
November 2014  Roca Zone Conference

Friday, January 2, 2015

¡Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!

December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! This week was a weird one but it was great!

Christmas here is really different. They don’t decorate too much and instead of getting up early on the 25th, they stay up late the 24th and celebrate at midnight. Super weird but way fun! We had dinner with some members and with all the other missionaries in our ward (we are 4 sets - two elders and two sisters). It was delicious. We ate Asado which is basically just Argentine BBQ but like a TON of meat and salads of all types and stuffed chicken and YUM: I was so fun I thought I was going to die. But so worth it. We got permission to stay up until midnight and we got to watch/listen to all the fireworks. They do a LOT of fireworks. It’s fun. And I guess for Año Nuevo they do even more. I’m pumped.

We had some AMAZING ward activities this week too. You have to understand that here in Argentina, it takes a miracle for the ward leaders to work together to pull off a single activity and even more miracles to get people to the activity. It’s sad. But we had 2!! That’s right, count 'em, TWO! Amazing ward activities this week! One was a live nativity done by the primary! Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera to the activity so I don’t have pictures. But the YM built a manger scene outside and the kids were all dressed up and it was so cool!! I can’t even explain. Like it was a good activity for the States and the fact that it got done in Argentina was a miracle, en serio. Then, later in the week we had our Fin de Año Cena (End of Year Dinner). It was also really good. People were dancing and there was a fotobooth type thing. Really well done. I love this ward so much!

Funny Story of the week: Church. So the other Elders have an investigator and her brother always comes with her to church even though they aren’t teaching him. Why is this funny? Because this guy is ALWAYS higher than a kite. So this Sunday he came and he got into a fight with one of the members and stormed off basically. They were arguing about some silly thing. It may not seem funny but you’ve got to know this guy. It’s funny. He is the same one that a couple weeks ago, when we did an activity and had to draw our favorite gifts we have ever received, drew a bong, which for those of you who don’t know, is a thing used to smoke tobacco or marijuana. This guys a crazy haha. 

Spiritual Highs of the Week: 1) We had a really cool lesson with some of our investigators that are progressing a lot! The  kid that we are teaching who has like 15 years old really opened up and was really interested and had all sorts of questions. It was wonderful! They are progressing and meeting their goals and everything! Really excited! 2) We visited a less active family. They became less active when the husband/father passed away. One of them shared with us that she just doesn’t really have faith anymore and that it is just hard to participate because she feels like it’s just all in vain. It’s really sad but we had the opportunity to testify to her that God Exists and that he has a plan. She suffers from a sleeping problem and that has played a role in her lack of faith as well. We testified about Gods plan and as we build our trust in Him and follow what He wants instead of what we want, we can find more joy and peace in this life.

I testify to all of you as well that that is true. In this life, we make plans about what we want to accomplish and how we see things playing out, but almost always, our plan is not even close to what God has in store for us. As we humble ourselves and accept ourselves and the life that God wants for us, we can enjoy this life even more, knowing that it is His will. We may not understand why right now, but I promise you that down the road, years from now, and maybe not even in this life, we will be able to look back and say "Ok, know I understand and I couldn´t be more grateful that that is how it played out." Keep on moving forward. Trust in the Lord and his Atonement. I love you all and pray that you are well.

Elder Clifford