Monday, December 29, 2014


Sorry family, no time to write a long letter home today!!

This week was once again super crazy.

Plaza Activity
The actividad in the plaza was a huuuuuge success! We got tons of references, and we have already begun to teach some of them.

The zone party was super tight. The restaurant that we ate at was really nice. We ate outside where there was a pool (of course, we didn't swim. haha) and all-you-can eat asado (meat) buffet and other foods. Very delicious.  Good times.

Christmas was also nice.  We worked the day, then came in around 7 that night.  We invited 2 other Elders to spend the evening with us, and we played Risk and ate ice cream.

Gabriel's Baptism

The baptism of Gabriel was incredible! He is the second person I have taught that accepted a baptismal date on the first lesson and actually went through with it. An unbelievably faithful man.

Next week we have Vivianna and Antonio!!

I love the mission!

Elder Clemons

It rained so hard core that the city was literally flooded. Water poured into people´s houses and everything.

Heavy rains for 3 full days. Made the baptisms and Church super hard to attend. It was like we were in Venice (I've never been there). But I loved it, took off my socks and shoes, hiked up my pants, and trucked through it all. it was awesome!

Monday, December 22, 2014

500 people contacted!

Hola Familia!

Elder Idrogo finished his mission this week
So this week was super crazy and busy.

Plaza Event
So I am assuming that you want to know how the activity in the plaza went ...well it was great!! The funny this is, I forgot to take pictures!!  But we've only done it twice so far, and our 3rd time will be tonight, so I'll be sure to take pictures then!

What an absolutely funny guy!!
It was a huge success. I don't know exactly how many people came up to the stand or we contacted, but I'd say it was around 500 people.

We had 3 huge tables with red, white, and green table sheet things (I forgot how to say it in English -- editors note: tablecloths). We also had some Christmas trees, lights, and other decorations. We also had 4 giant photos/posters we had made for the event. We also had Christmas and Tabernacle Choir music blasting throughout the plaza. It was successful, and I have to admit, a good bit of fun.

The way we ran the event is 2 missionaries would stay near the tables, speakers, and stuff, while the rest of us would walk throughout the plaza and talk with people about our message and invite them to come and see the stand.  We would then lead them to the stand and let the other missionaries teach them and explain the posters to them. We would generally start with our first poster, "He is the Gift," then move on to discuss temple work with the photo of the temple in Buenos Aires, then to a discussion of our belief in Christ with the "Cristus" poster, and end near a huge wooden Book of Mormon next to a "Christ in the Americas" poster. I think all the missionaries felt it worked out pretty well :)

Zone Christmas Party
I've gotten pretty good at making omelettes!  Yum
Tomorrow is our Christmas activity as a zone. We're heading to BellaVista for the day and ending with a dinner buffet. It's going to be at a nice place, so we all have to wear our suits.  I'll be sure to take pictures of this as well. :) 

Elder Seamons
We have done a lot of divisions this week with Elder Morrin and Elder Seamons. If you remember Elder Morrin and I were in the same class at the MTC, and Elder Seamons is a new missionary of  about 4 months. Something is super sore on Elder Seamons' knee the point where he can't walk. And he can't leave the apartment because of doctor's orders. I'm really scared for him that he'll have to go home for it. :( But we have been doing splits with them to allow them to work in their area. One of us goes with Elder Morrin to work with their investigators, while the other stays in the apartment with Elder Seamons. Elder Seamons is super down because of it, so we have been trying to motivate him and help him look up. So I ask that you please pray for him.

Missionary Work in our Area
The Lord really has blessed us this week. I have never had such little time to work in my area before, with the activity in the plaza, planning for the Christmas activity, and working with the other missionaries. But this has also probably been the most successful week I have ever had. Everything just worked out for us. With the little time we had, everything good that possible could have happened, happened. Needless to say, it was a huge blessing of the Lord.

So about the work, Gabriel is progressing and will get baptized this Saturday!!! :D And the following week we have Viviana and Antonio!! We've been meeting with them every day to make sure that everything is fine, and they continue to progress in the Gospel. They all seem super prepared and are eager to join the Lord's kingdom.

So I am super excited to Skype you this week!!! But we'll only have 45 minutes ...the rule changed again because some missionaries had abused the privilege. :P But igual, I'm super excited to see you guys and talk with you. Make sure you have some legit questions for me so we can chat. I would love to see all of you, the dogs, and my room. And don't allow Brent to show off some food, because I miss good food so bad. 

Hahah, "Gangnam Style" is playing right now in the Cyber (place where we write). Oh the songs of the world. hahaha

I love you all sssuuuuperrrr much!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Goya is about to be bombarded with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

Hey Familia!!

Hey, I have got a bunch of little stories to tell you!

He is the Gift
First off, we are planning to do an activity in the Plaza here in Goya ...we finally got permission from the city government to set up a stand in the plaza to preach. Haha, we went like 4 times to talk to them, but they wouldn't attend us. But the 5th time, we went in normal clothes and they finally talked to us, haha. We showed the government people the video "He is the Gift", and talked about what we wanted to do. They gave us 3 days to do it: the 17th, 19th, and 22nd. So by the time you receive my next letter, we will have already done 2 of them. The mission gave us money to buy huuuge photos of "El es la Dádiva," "The Cristus," "The Buenos Aires Temple," and "Christ in the Americas." Gave us around 1000 pesos. Also the members are helping us. They're letting us borrow some Christmas trees, some decorations, and a tent. Also our Branch has 2 brothers that are DJ's.  They've got some huge speakers that they offered to set up in the plaza to blast some Christmas music. Haha, Goya is about to be bombarded with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! :)  So we will see how that turns out. :)

Zone Party
Our Zone is having a Christmas Party on the 23rd! We are going to travel to BellaVista for the day, play some games, enjoy a white elephant exchange, eat at a buffet!!!!!, and other fun things. I'm pretty excited about it! :)

We're having lots of success with our investigators.  So it's probably time I give you some updates on them.

We met a man last week named Gabriel. He has already gone to church 2 times. He told us he'd like to get baptized, so we've scheduled him for the 27th of this month, just after Christmas. He lives alone with his daughter. He is a really great man, and super faithful and determined. But he's also pretty sad about a break up he had with his girlfriend 5 months ago ...and understandably it affects him, but maybe a bit too much. We have been trying to help him find peace and motivation in the Lord's Gospel. Every time he has a "lapse" he reads the BoM, and he always feels better. He is super accepting of everything that we have taught him up to this point, he completes everything that we ask him to do, he loves being at church, and he is really excited for his baptism.

A woman named Viviana literally stopped us in the street last week and asked us when we are going to visit her. Naturally, we set up an appointment with her :-) for just a few days later, and it turns out she lives just around the corner from us!! She lives alone with her son Antonio. They are super open to the Restored Gospel, and willing to learn. Viviana has always believed in God and wants to get baptized. Antonio says he doesn't believe in God (I think he does), and like every young man loves those good old video games waaay too much. But he always stops to listen to us, haha so that's good. They've completed every commitment we made with them, they came to church the very first time we asked them, and are going to get baptized on the 3rd of January.

Mirta is incredible as always. The only problem keeping her from joining the church is the government. We're still trying to get official papers from them that says that she as been legally divorced. But they are RIDICULOUSLY slow, and said we have to wait until March. Really!?! All they have to do is pull a piece of paper out of a book. That's literally all they have to do ...walk into the back room, look up the year, and pull out the document. Phsss, super frustrating; but we will continue to work with them to see if they can't do it faster.

Goya Branch
This week was literally amazing in terms of missionary work for our little Goya Branch. Last Sunday was the highest Sacrament meeting attendance it's had for years, an amazing 139 people came to church! ...and we normally have only around 70 or so. This was so awesome that President Franco mentioned it in an email to the entire mission:
"Realmente hemos visto milagros en la misión por Él es la Dadiva, más notable ¡una asistencia de 139 en la rama Goya! Estos misioneros nos han dicho que han utilizado Él es la Dadiva como locos y han visto milagros. Sigan este ejemplo y todos veremos tales milagros!"

"we really have seen miracles in the mission from "He is the Gift." The most notable is the attendance of 139 in the Goya Branch! These missionaries have told us that they have been using "He is the gift" like crazy, and they have seen miracles. Let's follow this example, and we all will see miracles."

Obviously, the missionaries in Goya are quite happy; we've really been working hard trying to bring the message of the Restored Gospel to our brothers and sisters in Goya.

Well, that's about all I can think of at the moment. Please pray that our investigators continue to progress and get baptized and that the activity in the plaza goes well.

I wish you could come down here and see the beauty of the country and meet these wonderful people; I really love it down here.

And I love you all so much!

Elder Clemóns!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"He is the Gift"

Hey family!

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, it was a holiday ("Dia de la Virgin" or "The Virgin's day") so we switched p-day to today. I suppose if we celebrate Christ on the 25th of December, there's no reason we can't celebrate Mary on the 8th. Haha.

So this week was once again super busy for us (which is always a good thing). Last Tuesday, we had the consejo de lideres. We got up at 2am and returned at around 1am the next day. I was dead, literally dead. But it was still fun. In the bus back home they gave us dinner ...exactly like an in-flight dinner on a plane. They even had a movie playing from Spain, it was terrible, horrible acting. But hey, at least I've learned to understand what they say. 

The best part of the conference was when Presidente Franco gave me permission to take a quick trip to .....Fontana!!!! My first area!! He told me I could visit one family, so I chose to visit the Junco Family who I had opportunity to teach and baptize!!  I'd heard they're having some struggles right now, so I just wanted to tell 'em I love 'em. It was incredible ...I thought being at their baptisms was a joyful experience, but seeing them again after so much time, oh it was soooo incredible!! It was really nice to see them again; made me really happy. I got to spend around 1 hour with them, we chatted, and as we said our goodbye's I shared a spiritual thought with them. It was a great day for both them and me.

I suspect you guys have heard of the new church program called "He is the Gift".  Wow, love it! Love it, love it, love it. I wanna' know what it's like in the States. Unfortunately, here in Argentina, the only thing we have are little pass-along cards, and I carry a "He is the Gift" video on a USB stick. I think this program was divinely inspired.
Christmas is an awesome time of year! Right now, we're trying to get permission from the local government here to put up a stand and have an activity in the central plaza.  But the Goya officials don't want to help us.  We're being persistent though, and will meet with them again in a few days.  Haha.  We'll see...

We found a new investigator this week named Gabriel.  He has already come to church and currently has a baptismal date for the 27th of December.  We found him while sharing the message, "El es la Dádica."  He recently separated from his "wife", and as a result is grieving right now.  He did tell us he had several friends who had invited him to their churches, but he hadn't felt anything prick his heart, and to a large extent the churches just confused him. At one point, he decided to ask God to send someone to him to lead him to the truth. And then we clapped his house. :) 

Gabriel said he was convinced within just the first few moments, not that anyone had told him anything, but that God had told him in his heart and that God sent us to him. At church I made sure all the members greeted him to make him feel welcome. He commented to me afterward that now he was even more convinced. :)  Right now, I don't see any obstaculos that would prevent him from getting baptized, but I would still ask you guys to pray for him so that nothing serious comes up.
Also, I'd ask that you pray for Mirta so that her papers go through fast so that she can be married and baptized!

If you haven't seen the "He is the Gift" video, please look it up.  I think it's really powerful and really testifies about the true meaning of Christmas. I know that Christ came to earth as a baby, grew up and learned line-upon-line just like the rest of us, fulfilled his role as teacher and savior, and suffered for all of us on the cross and Calvary.  I cringe to know that the atonement was painful enough to make even a God tremble and cry, and to bleed from every pore, and to beg the Father to not have to do it. But because he loves us, He did do it.  And for that reason, we celebrate Christmas.
I know God and his Son Jesus Christ love us, and I'm humbled to know we are members of his true church. And this is our happy message ...that they love us. 

Love the mission!! :D
Love you. :)

Love Elder Clemóns

Monday, December 1, 2014

Joana gets baptised

Hello Familia!

So this week was Thanksgiving, eh?  Ha!  Didn't feel like it at all here; every day was exactly the same here in the mission. We did try to find a turkey once we learned it was Thanksgiving, but turns out they aren't in this part of the country.  So that idea got shot down.

But this week was super incredible anyway! Remember how I said that Joana was going to get baptized ...well she did this Saturday! 

Joana's baptism
Everything about the baptismal service was just perfect. We started only 1 hour late (which is pretty normal for around here).  And we got a chance to take some nice pictures. Joana had asked me to perform the ordinance.  We essential fought about it ...I wanted a member to do it, but she wouldn't accept that.  She even said she'd pulled my name out of a bag twice, and that it was God's will therefore that I do it.  So it was kinda' hard to argue that one. 

She was just beaming happy :-)
But I'm actually really glad I was able to do it.  I've been privileged to participate in the baptism of a good number of people so far on my mission, but the Spirit during this particular ordinance was so strong.  Being able to physically perform the ordinance for Joana was such a spiritual privilege. 

She loved it, and so did her mom.  Their overflowing joy affected everyone else.  This baptismal service was just so upbeat and joyful.  I really enjoyed it.  Afterwards, we some snacks and dessert, and man, the branch really responded this time.  We probably had about 40ish people in attendance.  ... and tons of food: 5 cakes, empanadas, and lots of soda!  I've never seen so much food in a baptismal service here!  It was great!  Everyone was chatting and laughing, and we got to visit with some new investigators that came to the baptism, so that was good!

Just Joana and her family
Our other investigators are Mirta (Joana's mom) and Telma (David's cousin and the niece of Walter Gomez, the ward mission leader).  Sadly, Telma didn't make it to church this week, so we have to push her date back to the 27th of this month.  While we'd made a very achievable plan for her, the other day when it rained so hard (see last week's letter), nobody came to church.  She even stayed Saturday night with the Gomez family so she could go to church with them in the morning.  But the people here are literally terrified of the heavy rain.  So Telma didn't come. :(  But then Mirta and Joana also sent us a message saying that they weren't coming either -- which freaked us out because Joana needed to be confirmed -- so we got a taxi and shot down there and picked them up. So luckily we got them to Church.

...and everybody else
It was pretty funny at church because there were only missionaries there, and we all were soaked.  Haha, it always brings a smile to my face to see my fellow missionaries drenched. So all in all it was a good Sunday, we got drenched, and Joana became a member of the church. 

Today for P-day we played risked with 4 other Elders. Good times :-)  The game lasted about 2 1/2 hours, and I ended up winning.  Sheer luck for sure.

Tomorrow we have to travel to Resistencia for a meeting with all the leaders again ...which means this Wednesday, we'll have another zone meeting. So we've got a lot of learning, planning, and no sleeping to do! :D

I love the mission. I hope you know that.  I love what I do, and I love helping people come unto Christ.  Especially durante this time of year, it's Christmas!!! And we celebrate Christmas because of the birth of our Savior.  I know He lives, and that He loves us, and that He has restored His church once again on the earth.

Um, I love my mission!!!

Elder Clemóns!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Oreo smoothies :D

This week was really crazy busy.

First off, we had transfers.  Nothing happened to Elder León and me, but every other companionship in our zone had changes.  So now I have a lot of new faces to get to know.  And I feel like our zone has tons of potential!

Enjoying some smoothies at our district meeting.
I still don't know why our apartment has a blender!
But our week was also super fun and successful.  Remember when I told you our apartment has a
brand new blender, well I decided to bring it to our last district meeting in Goya.  A bit of ice cream, some oreos, and some bananas, and we had super delicious smoothies. Everyone loved it and had a good time ...except Elder León 'cause he was in Bella Vista attending their district meeting.  Bummer.

Got a chance to see Elder Thomas at our last Zone Conf
We've also had some success with our investigatores Mirta y Joana. We've been teaching them for about 3 months now, and they've each gone to church 9 times which is really quite good.  But they also each have obstaculos of sorts that prevent them from getting baptized, at least for now.  Mirta and her almost husband have been chatting about getting married.  We had a chance to talk to him this week, and it looks like they've finally decided to do it!! :D   So we're helping them make plans and everything, but it's going to take some time wouldn't believe how hard it is to get married here in Argentina.

And Joana really wants to talk to her boyfriend about her getting baptized, but he lives in Corrientes, about 3 hours away.  She finally took some time this week to visit him and talk about things.  Haha.  It sounds funny that she wanted his opinion, but anyways she got it and will get baptized this Saturday!  So really the Lord blessed us quite a bit this week.

Yikes, we got locked out!!
Yesterday we had a massive, terrible storm. We finished a lesson, went outside and looked up to the sky, and saw five giant mean storm clouds directly in front of us. We booked it to the nearest member's house, but still got seriously soaked. It was fierce! We stayed and talked with the family for a while.  They made us some churros and torta frita ...yummy. But igual, the storm didn't let up and we still had to walk home; so we headed out in the storm, and walked through rivers up to our knees, but eventually made it.  Cold, wet, and dirty, but it was super fun.

Putting in a little bit of service, cutting branches and fixing a roof.

Tomorrow, I am taking a trip to Bella Vista to visit the other half of the zone up there, so I'm quite excited for that!

We had a really good P-day today.  All the missionaries went to the church to play ping pong. It was nice to have some form of sport here.  And we had a good time.

Love you all super much.

Elder Clemóns

Bautismo of Andres Micheli in Reconquista!
(I'm sad I wasn't there for his baptism, but I had lots of great opportunities to teach Andres while I was there.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lots of pictures, few words

Just hangin' in the Argentina, Resistencia mission :-)

I'm really sorry, but I've got like no time this week to write. So here are just some quick things.

I'm happy to report that we were fairly successful this week, both in our personal area and as a zone.

As a zone, we're doing really well. We continue to include members in lots of our lessons and visits with investigators which really goes a long way to helping investigators integrate into the local branch. And we're super pumped about that.

Multi-zone conference in Corrientes
My zone
On Thursday we had multi-zona meeting in Resistencia. We rented a bus for all the missionaries from our zone to go there together. I got to see all my friends: Elder Conway, Elder Thomas, Elder Sufia, Elder Toledo ...just todos!
Me, Elder Leon, and Pres & Sis Franco
Elder Thomas
Elder Conway

Afterward, I convinced President Franco to let us go to the only McDonald's in the misión -- in Corrientes, which is along the way to Goya. I was shocked he let us go, but it was super fun, and the zona loved me for hooking us up.

Sadly, I worked in my area only 2 days this week because I was always on exchanges with other elders in our zone. I worked with Elder Carrasco in his area of LaValle (un pueblito above Goya), and with Elder Parsons (my old zone leader and example) in my area. And I learned so much from both of them!

Regarding our area, we have a teenage girl, Telma, who's chosen to get baptized the 13th of Dec. She is 13 years old and is the cousin of David (who recently got baptised). She's already come to church and loved it.

Transfers are this week. But I'm pretty sure I stay.

Love you all!

Elder Clemons

Monday, November 10, 2014

Your friendly neighborhood Gringo! :D

Alligator skin from last week's "Snake House" visit
Hola familia!!

Well, in short, this week was super busy (we had a ton of meetings this week), and a little bit disappointing. 

To start, we had Consejo de Lideres on Tuesday, a giant meeting of all the leaders of the mission with the mission president.  We had to get up and leave by 3am to get up there by 10 I was pretty tired, but I did really enjoy it. Presidente Franco started out by talking about being a consecrated missionary and being obedient in every aspect. He taught for around 1 hr 30 min. It was really good. I took a ton of notes because as ZLs we'd have to share with the zone what he shared with us.

The hermanas made home made alfajors, super good!
Then after we had lunch.  And guess what, after nearly 1.5 years in the mission, they finally changed the menu!! Every single time I have had any form of meeting in Resistencia, we have always eaten pizza and empanadas.  But Pres Franco finally changed the menu, and we had these giant hot pocket things with bananas!  Woot!!  Soooo good!

After lunch the assistants talked about helping out the new missionaries -- we just got 57 new missionaries, one of which is in my zone -- and how to overcome doubts with investigators.  It was really quite good and gave us an excellent opportunity to freshen up our teaching skills.

The meeting ended around 4:00, and then we had to do "pedidos" (get supplies).  I wish we had a picture, but we ended up filling two suitcases full of BoMs, pamphlets, and all.  Can I just say, books are suuuuper heavy.  Then we had to lug all that back home. We left Resistencia around 6:00 and finally got back home around 10ish.

Then we started planning.  The next day was our Zone meeting.  It's our job to convey everything we've learned to the other missionaries in our zone we staying up fairly late making plans.

The following day, we got up in the morning, went to church, and immediately began to prep for the meeting. We set up chairs, tables, chalk boards, bought lunch, and lots of stuff like that.  Then missionaries started to arrive, and we had our meeting. All in all, I thought it went great. I think everyone paid attention and participated, and I actually knew what to say, so all went well.

Not much progress
The bad thing is that because of the conferences, we didn't work at all on Tuesday and Wednesday.  And then on Sunday my comp got sick we had 3 days where we didn't work ...and it was very obvious. :(

And then, it was a really hard decision, we dropped every investigator we had. So we are once again starting from ground zero. The combination of these things really hit us hard, and we were seriously down both Saturday and Sunday; it just felt awful!  It seems like nothing this week went well for us.

But we'd like to be great missionaries and learn from our mistakes.  So Elder León and I have decided to mix things up and change the way we do missionary work in our area.  A crazy man is one who does the same thing again and again, and expects things to change.  We've decided we are going to attend family nights with the members, work more with recent converts, and visit former investigators.  Please pray that we're inspired to find success in our area. 

Pics from last week's "snake house" visit
We had lots of fun!
In last week's letter, I mentioned that we had visited "snake house" on P-day where we got to look at and hold a bunch of reptiles such as snakes, tirachulas, frogs, and the scales of an alligator ..."yacaré" in Guanani, the Indian language here.

But for some good news, looks like our zone is doing pretty good.  Elder León and I have been focusing much of our efforts these past two weeks mainly on helping out the zone, and I think it worked, haha ...just our area has suffered.

We went on exchanges with the missionaries in Belgrano.  I worked with Elder Idrogo who's been in the mission a really long time, and you could tell.  I really enjoyed my time with him. We had tons of success, and I also learned a lot of things from him. The only advice I gave him was to stay motivated and obedient at all times -- and not just when your leaders are around ;-)  I really enjoyed my time with him.

This coming week, we have a multi-zone meeting in Resistencia on Thursday.  And all of (the providence of) Corrientes is going ...which means I will get to see my old companion Elder Conway again!  Woot!  I am so pumped for that!!

Oh, and hey, some more good news, Andres Micheli received the priesthood!!!  I love it!

Gotta go! Love you all!!!! 

Elder Clemóns

Your friendly neighborhood Gringo! :D

Monday, November 3, 2014

Today we went to a snake house

What's a soccer ball doing in a baptismal font?
Hey, so I can't really think of anything important that happened this week ...hmm.

Well today we went to a snake house ...I know, I know, you're wondering what a snake house is.  Well, it's basically a house full of snakes of all kinds.  And they have lots of tarantulas, turtles, and frogs; not sure if these were for food or not ;-)  It was pretty cool; they let us hold some of the snakes.  I did get pictures, but sorry I'll have to send them next week. We asked 'em if we could hold the tarantulas, but they said no, that we would have to come back tomorrow morning to hold them. But obviously we work, so we likely won't hold a tarantula any time soon.  Haha. 

So Elder León and I have a calling in the branch here.  It's not a formal set-apart type of calling, we just fill in for just about anything. There are basically no leaders here to fulfill the callings. While we do have a branch president and a ward mission leader, that's just about it.  So we teach the young men, young women, and priesthood classes.  Haha.  Obviously, in order to prepare, we are constantly studying for these classes, in addition to our Zone Leader responsibilities, and of course working in our own area.  So we are very busy missionaries. ;)

One of the things I love about being a zone leader is that I get to do exchanges with all the other missionaries in our area.  It gives me an opportunity to get to know a lot of different people, and hear a lot of different life stories.  This week I went on exchanges with Elder Vasco.  Although one of our missionaries, he is also the Branch Presidente in BellaVista.  He came down from BellaVista (about 2 hours away) to Goya to be with me.  He wanted to learn more about setting good commitments with investigators and how to contact better using the Book of Mormon. So we worked on these things a lot.
We also had a lot of time to just chat I asked him about his conversion story.  He got converted when he was 19, and it literally changed his life.  And now he is on his mission :D  Oh, it is stories like this that just make me so happy.  I love the life-changing effects the gospel has on people!

So this week we had 3 investigators come to church. Mirta and Joana came again (they've now come 6 times ...this is a lot!) But they're not really willing to get baptized because of their boyfriends. Ugh!  I feel bad about it, but we might have to drop them this week.  And Maxy didn't come ...'cause he accidental slept in.  But if everything goes well, he will be baptized on the 22nd of this month. :) So pray that he makes it.

We found a couple of new people that we think can progress: Claudia y Telma. I'll give you more info on them next week if they begin to come to church.

Tomorrow, we're going to Resistencia for a meeting of leaders, so I'm getting up at like 2am to get there on time :P  Woot.  I am kinda nervous about going to a leadership meeting, but oh well. We'll see what happens.

I may have said this a time or two before ...but I do love my mission.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I also know that what we are teaching is true, and that it is good news for the world. Our message is that Christ died and rose again for us, and that we can return again to God through His suffering.  ...And I know our Heavenly Father loves us. 

Love you all!!

Elder Clemons!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Travis's letter home got inte...

Sorry about yesterday ...the reason I am writting Monday and Tuesday is because the power went out yesterday while we were writing.  It happens about twice a day nearly, so we got permission from President to write again today.

This week was fairly successful for us as a companionship ...and for the zone!

First off, David got  baptized!!! Woot! He is the coolest 10 year old that you will ever meet. He is the nephew of the Ward Misión leader and the son of a less active family who is now becoming more active in the church once again. We had a lot of people come to be part of his baptism. And some of the other missionaries in our zone also had people ready for baptism this same day.  So we had a total of 5 souls enter the waters of baptism this week. Yup, it was a really good week.

And everything went really smooth too. Elder León and I cleaned the font ...well, kinda' (Elder León didn't want to get wet; kinda' hard to clean if you don't want to get wet).  The President of Rama (editor: Branch President) had all the food ready, and the baptisms even started on time, so it was a really good experience.

We also had several investigators in attendance there to support David.  Two members of the Ward missión leader’s family, Walter Gomez, and David’s dad. We picked them up baptism, and also invited them to church. Walter Gomez´s son Ezequil is super cool, all he has to do is get married and he’ll get baptized :D

We also had a remarkable 7 investigators come to church the next day! It was one of the highest assistance rates I have had in my misión (editor's note: when investigators come on their own, or with members help, or any number of "other" reasons). So we had 7 new investigators come to church ...and we didn't have to go out looking for nearly any of them, they all come by their own means and ways. It's a really strong indication that people are sincere when they show up on their own, so I'm really looking forward to teaching all these new people!

As a whole, our zone has also had its highest assistence rate in over 6 months; so we're super pleased with that. As far as I can tell, the missionaries in our zone are all working super hard and doing what they're supposed to.  As Zone Leaders, we really don't do anything to make that happen :-)

The Cathedral in the Goya Plaza

Oh ya, we also had interviews with Pres Franco this past week. And I think our ZL training went pretty good too.  When we were done, Pres Franco basically told us to keep doing what we are doing. Now if I could only figure out what that was :)  So, ya.

Today I am in Bella Vista.  It's about 2 hours away from Goya, and it is where the other half of the zone is at.  So I really don't know the missionaries over here, just by voice from the phone calls we make every now and again. We really just came to say hi and do some exchanges with the Elders up here.

OK, so that's it for today. I love my mission, and I am super excited to get to work here in Goya! I'm just feeling a good spirit about the place.

Love you all!! :D

Elder Clemóns

There are only 2 cars in the mission. President Franco just got this sweet new truck!!
I hate in-grown toenails :-(

Monday, October 20, 2014

Skyping home ...again :D

Skyping home
Hi family!

It feels just like yesterday that I talked to you guys.  Aw, good times :-)

Those pics of Cafe Rio were just so painful have no idea how much I love Cafe Rio. I want it so bad.

So good news, ANDRES MICHELI GOT BAPTIZED LAST SAT!!!!! GAHHH!!! I called the Zone Leaders over there to ask if all went well, and they said that he was the most spiritual, humble man they had ever interviewed!

Not nice, Brent!
Now there's a change!! At first, he wanted nothing to do with us the point that he prevented his family from going to church and even just from talking with us! But look how the Spirit of the Lord works on a man.  Combined with patience, faith, and a bit of fasting, it completely changed a man's heart. A man who's this willing to listen to and follow the enticings of the Lord is sure to be a strong leader given a bit of time.  Pray for him and the ward in Resitencia.

I called Elder Conway to tell him the good news, and oh boy, was he happy!!

Man the work is soooo rewarding! I love my mission! :D

Elder León seems to have stepped in "it" ...yuck!!
So it is a little different being a Zone Leader ...I have no real clue what I'm supposed to do ...I've never really had any leadership experience. So whenever the missionaries in our zone call with questions or "situations", I just kinda' give 'em my best opinion, and hope for the best.  Hahaha. Seems to be working out so far :)

And so far, the stats for our zone seem to be increasing, so I guess that's good. One thing that's kinda' interesting is my old Zone Leader, Elder Parsons, is now in my zone. And he was such a good leader and teacher ...I can't wait to do exchanges with him to learn more from him. But now he has to call me for permission to do things instead of me calling him ...hahaha.

Saying goodbye to friends in Reconquista :-(
So this week we have interviews with president Franco ...which means that all the missionaries from our zone are going to meet him in a sort of  zone conference.  And he asked Elder León and me to do a presentation, and train the other missionaries for like 1.5 hours!!! What!??! The whole zone is going to be there, including the APs and Presidente!! Bah!!! I'm freaking out.  But I have studied the material now like 42 times, so I can ramble on any part of it forever. And we haven't had any free time to practice yet -- we're hoping to get one trial run in before everyone else arrives -- so wish us luck!

Regarding investigators, you may recall from last week's letter that we have 3 progressing investigators: David, Mirta y Joanna. David is a 10 year old kid and is the nephew of the ward mission leader. He is super cool and fun. We've enjoyed teaching him the missionary discussions. He is going to be baptized this Saturday!

Mirta y Joana are a mother and daughter. Mirta's baptismal date is tentatively November 15th.  But she's been giving shelter to a homeless man, and now she is having a hard time kicking him out. So we are working on a solution that will work for both of them.

Joanna's baptism is currently scheduled for the 25th, but she's having a few doubts.  We don't know what they are yet, but we have an appointment with them tomorrow to help her resolve them.  Pray for the Holy Ghost to be present as we teach her.

Well, that's about all I got. Love you all so much!!

Elder Clemóns!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Transferred to Goya...

My new companion Elder León and me

Well it finally happened, I got transferred out of Reconquista to Goya, just across the river.

Leaving Reconquista
I was kinda bummed to leave Reconquista. I was there for 6 months, so obviously it became a second home to me. I really grew close to many of the members there, and especially to our recent converts.

We got the call last Tuesday around 7 that Elder Conway and I were both being transferred. What!??!  What essentially happened is that Pres Franco took out a set of missionaries in Recoquista, and made what were previously 3 areas into 2. So we were both shipped to other areas.

So we ran around saying goodbyes to all the people that we could reach. The saddest was saying goodbye to the Micheli Family. Leonardo, Micaela and the mom started crying. The dad held strong, but you could tell he was sad. But some good news is that Andres, the Dad, is getting baptized this coming Saturday! WOOT! I just wish I could be there to see it. I worked with that man for nearly 5 months. It's gonna' be a good day.

Arriving in Goya
The new apartment in Goya is super nice!! ...and we have a microwave!!!!  But we don't really use it much because they don't really have microwavable food here. Also, when we got here, we didn't have AC, so we called President Franco, and looks like we'll get some in the coming weeks. Looks like we're also getting a blender for some reason's that for spoiled; so I am going to make smoothies!!! Woot!!

My new area is incredible, love it. A lot easier than Reconquista. I'm not quite sure why, but from Wednesday night all the way up to Friday morning, every single person we contacted let us in.  Wow, every one! Dang that felt so good. We've already planned some baptisms for the 25th. I'll provide  more info later, but I ask that you pray for our investigators Mirta, Joanna, y David. Those are the 3 that are progressing the most.  Oh, and pray for Andres as well, so that his baptism goes well in Reconquista.

The area is really nice at one end, we have a beach and hotel, and the other is super poor. So it's quite the mix. I really like it though. I have a feeling we are going to have some real success here.  We live in the city center; so it is pretty nice. But we also cover the really poor area where people literally live in stick houses. That is where we normally work. Pretty sketchy at night though.

My new companion, Elder León, is super cool, really fun and patient. I'm excited to be his comp. And he's my first Latino!!! CAH!!! finally!! He is from Ecuador, which means English! Nada.  Not a single syllable.  I have spoken only Spanish for many days, and it is great!!!

So I have some pretty big news, I have been called as a zone leader here in Goya (our zone consists of 14 missionaries, 4 of which are sisters). I was really taken back when they extended the calling. I have no leadership experience here in the mission. So I have no clue what to do, but so far I seem to be keeping up.  Being a zone leader comes with a lot of responsibilities; you'd be amazed how much difficult stuff happens in the zone with the missionaries, and you've got to make a lot of decisions. I'm kinda' winging it, but so far it has been fine.

Elder León has a lot of leadership experience since he's been a district leader multiple times, and a ZL for one prior transfer. He's been really helpful.

We also have a really good zone. The numbers  are the highest they've been in several months, and this last week was the best week in a long time.

Goodness, I just love my mission. And that's not just something to say, I mean it in all sincerity.  I love what I'm do out here. I love speaking Spanish.  I love helping people come to Christ.  I'm just amazed at the sacrifices people make as they do so.  Just amazes me.


Elder Travis Clemons

P.S.  I am super pumped to be able to skype you guys for Argentina Mother's day. President Franco is extremely loving and kind to allow us to skype home a second time. We will also skype at Christmas, and then again on Mothers day in May. :D