Tuesday, January 21, 2014

4 Baptisms!! :D


Hermano Veron, Me, Sergio, ?, Caren, Rosa, ?, Julie, Elder Pickle
 
Rosa, Caren, and Julie
It was just incredible to see the joy on their faces as they came up out of the water. Sergio was finally at peace.  Rosa was super happy; her face was just shining. Caren is really quiet and rarely smiles, but when she came up out of the water, she did ...just for a moment :) and that just warmed my heart. :)  Julie is just this bubbly little girl; and she was so excited after she was baptized. :)
 
This was the happiest day I have had on my mission so far. Bringing people to greater truth and light, and seeing the happiness it brings them, is truly an indescribable experience. And obviously, their joy and happiness also rubs off on me. It is a sublime feeling I just can't fully express. It's just something you feel from them right after their baptism. In a way, their conversion strengthens mine.

Sergio
While I was born into the church, and have had the rare and special opportunity of being around this greater truth all my life, these new converts made the decision to change their whole lives and join the Church. I am daily amazed at the faith of these good brothers and sisters. Their faith far exceeds mine. It is truly something heavenly to be a part of someone's conversion, to see the light grow and emanate from their being. :) It is truly incredible. :)
 
I know this is the Lord's true Church. I know it, I live it. I am happy and honored to be a missionary right now. It is a privilege to serve the Lord throughout all of our daily struggles. I am a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
...and to bring just a few souls unto Him is priceless happiness.
 
 
Love you all! :D
 
Elder Clemons
 
 
Sergio was baptized by Hermano Veron
I baptized Rosa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Caren smiled just before this was taken :D
Julie's a cutie!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Me and my best new little friend Julie :)
 
 

Monday, January 13, 2014

SO THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!!!

Hola!

SO THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!!!

First off, we had 6 investigators at church yesterday!! 6!!! That is the standard of excellence, and it's super rare to hit it! It was incredible! Sergio came by himself, Rosa and her 2 daughters came (Karin que tiene 13 años y Julie con 8), Veilma (a new investigator) and Rosa brought along her sister!!! They all loved it!

On the other hand, I personally thought the church service itself was kinda' horrible. No one could sing, it was very unorganized, I had to give an impromptu talk on faith that I wasn´t told about, and the clases weren´t that grand.  And yet ALL the investigators felt the spirit strongly. It's nice to know the Lord will testify about the truthfullness of His church regardless of how the members participate ;-) The investigatores were in the true church of Christ, and therefore felt His spirit, and it was pretty cool to hear them talk about their experience after Church. :) So looks like this week we will baptize Sergio, Rosa y sus Hijas!! 4!!!! :D

So I finally broke the "be in on time rule." Sergio doesn´t have a working phone right now, so we have to set up citas and just hope he'll come. Well one day last week he didn´t. So we went to his house to find him, but instead found a drunk friend of his and were forced to stay and chat :p. Sergio eventually showed up!! :D But then he started making a pizza!!! -- and we only had 10 minutes to get home! But we couldn't easily leave, so we waited it out and got back 30 minutes late. :p  But the pizza was good. ;)

So I have been out a little over 6 months, and Elder Pickle's been out for a year now ...so we decided to celebrate!!!  He bought 1 kilo of ice cream, and I bought a 1/2 kilo. It was so yummy. :)

We've also found a super nice new apartment; it's a 6-room house! Soooo nice!!! :D But it won´t be ready until about a month from now :p  So we will just wait it out. :p  And I'll probably miss out on it altogether :-(

Sweet wrist-watch tan!!
OK, so, it is really super hot down here. I hate huminity. I refuse to live in a place that has huminity. It just makes everything so much worse. But I'm lov'n the rain! I LOVE IT! I love being soaked, because then the heat is bearable. And it is quite fun traversing through rivers and such. I feel like a boss.

Well, my time is up. I love it here, and I am super pumped about the baptisms. The work in our area is finally picking up. I´m happy. And that is all that matters. :)

I know the Church is true. :)

Love Elder Clemons

Monday, January 6, 2014

23 Days Without Water !!!!!!!!!!

My rain getup :-)

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Hello Family!

So a ton of stuff has happened this week ...like a ton.

First off, we had 5 people in church this week!!! :D and all came on their own!!! Sergio, Rosa and sus hijas, and Silvia's cousin Alle. They all only came for the first hour, which was sacrament meeting. But it was still incredible. I have never felt a more spiritual fast and testimony meeting before. It was edifying. The spirit was strong during that meeting and the members' testimonies were heart-felt and comforting. I also bore my testimony and read my favorite scripture (Helaman 5:8-9):

 And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a atreasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that bprecious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers.
 O remember, remember, my sons, the awords which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the batoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to credeem the dworld.

I told them that the things I treasured most in life were my family and the church. I then testified that Christ, who suffered and trembled for us because He loves us, is the only way we can achieve our eternal treasures. It was a short testimony, but powerful. And I'm glad I was able to participate. 
So most likely we will be having 5 baptisms this 18th. :D  Pray for all of them! :D 

A lot has happened in Fontana lately.
First off, our water came back on! POR FIN!! 23 days without water! It seems like our landlord is ignoring us, so we're going to her house in the next few days to ....errr... have a nice conversation about how we can't have this problem again. So my actual number of legitimate showers has now gone up:  since I've been in Argentina, I've had 7 real showers. ;)

Second, it seems like we might have had some disobediant missionaries, as we just had an emergency transfer which affected the other Fontana Elders. Elder Guajardo (one of the other Fontana Elders who I am good friends with) got a new companion that was disobediant and wanted to go home. So long story short, both Elder Guajardo and this other Elder were taken out of Fontana and their area was shut down. So our area just got HUGE!! Guajardo is now in Formosa, and this other Elder is staying in the mission office until he decides what he wants to do (as of now he wants to stay). I hope he does, and I wouldn't mind being his companion, we got a long great for the short time we knew each other.

I had a interview with President this week. That was cool. He asked me to bear my testimony about the BoM. My mind went to a quote from Elder Holland which essentially says "that in our own individual ways, God takes us to the grove or the mountain or the temple and there shows us the wonder of what His plan is for us." I testified that although I hadn't physically been in the Garden, and haven't seen God, that He's brought me mentally to my own "sacred garden" and there revealed Himself to me and showed me His love. I don't have to see God to believe in Him. I feel Him through the scriptures and through prayer and through the good works of others. While I haven't had an angel manifest to me that the Church is true, I know it already because I've had my own experiences in my personal "garden."

Joseph Smith was correct when he said that "the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I know this statement is true for it has happened to me.

I know God loves us. I know Christ suffered for us. I know that through Holy Scriptures as the Bible and Book of Mormon we can be guided to our individual gardens and have the truths of eternity manifested to us. We simply have to seek for Him.

I know the Church is true. And that is my testimony.

I Love you all!

Elder Clemons


My version of cookie dough ice cream. It is frozen yogurt with a ton of dulce de leche and crushed up cookies. Yum!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas

This post includes several small letters we've received from Travis over the last 10 days.  It's mostly pictures ...enjoy :-)

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12/23/13 - Day before Christmas Eve

We haven't had water in our apartment now for 7 days, so that's been fun. Not!

The riots have essentially stopped now, but we still have to come home early each night.

Yet again, no investigators in church. :(

And I am still in Fontana with Elder Pickle.






Today we had a mission-wide party; all the missionaries came! It was so fun! I got to see all my friends and take pictures with them -- which I'll send whenever I find a nice computer to send pictures.

One of my Hijos - I had him for a couple days
So we've had a couple of "day" companions.  New missionaries are arriving daily now, and since we live so close to the mission home, we are always paired with them. I have had so much fun with them. I have learned so much from them, and I'm pumped to use these new skills in my teaching.

So falto tiempo, pero yo quiro dejarles con mi pensamientos de el nacimiento de Jesucristo (editor: "not much time left, so I'll leave you with my thoughts about the birth of Christ"). What a wonderful time it is right now. Although it's blistering hot and humid, you can still feel the Christmas spirit :)  People have little trees everyone and lights decorating their homes. It just brings a smile to my face. But let's not forget the reason why we celebrate Christmas. It is not about presents, snow, trees, or even missionary work. It is only about Christ. His birth, His sacrifice, and His love for us. His is a work of love. I am not the messenger of a modern-day prophet, or of Joseph Smith, or indeed of any man. I an authorized servant of Jesus Christ Himself. I have been called by Him to preach His love. Christmas is about Christ. Let us all remember that Great Sacrifice He endured for us. He loves us; I love Him, and I love this work.

Love Elder Clemons

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12/25/2013 - Christmas

Travis called on Christmas day at 3:00 Utah time.  We had a very difficult time maintaining a Skype connection.  Travis addressed the problem by simply saying "Well, this is Argentina" ;)

We were able to call phone to phone, but even that wasn't great -- connection I mean --  talking to Travis was great :)




The family around the computer. It was nice to see Travis for a few seconds !!!

Travis blushed when we told him he was gaining weight












==================================
12/30/2013

Hello family.

Ok, so it is hot here; I sweat constantly. During studies, showering, even sleeping! I wake up to see my body's sweat imprint in my bed. It's ridiculous how hot it is. I've never experienced so much heat and humidity!!!!!!

Oh, also, we've now gone 14 days without water in our bathroom, and the last 3 days without water for anything. So unfortunately, we've had to go back to using, um, plastic bags :(  Right now, we're living on the emergency reserves of water president asked us to set up about 3 weeks ago prior to the riots. :p It seems to be a city wide problem, but nonetheless, we are moving. We can't live in these conditions any longer.

So we had 4 investigators in church Sunday!! :D  Sergio, and Rosa with her daughters. Sergio is about 60, and actually lived in the states for 10 years, so he speaks English. He is incredibly prepared to hear the Gospel and loves us.  Rosa is a single mom with 3 daughters that really wants to feel peace and create unity in her family. She knows these qualities are found within the church. :) They both loved it! :) I was tan feliz!

Christmas was nice ...and VERY hot. We worked all day except for the time where I got to call home. :)

Oh, and thanks for the Christmas package! I loved everything in it, and especially the peanut butter! Also really love the stickers!  And as always, Kimi's gift was thoughtful......

So if there is any way that I can get some beef jerky that would be incredible.  I might even be able to get a baptism out of it ;)  Also, I guess I have used my BoM too much because the leather binding has now fallen off. If you could, please send some REALLY powerful glue. :) Thanks.

I love you all.  The present I have for you is that I'll work really hard to bring souls to Christ! :)


Love you!

Elder Clemons 


Some more pics:
I finally bought a machete.  I'm so cool!

My District Leader just went home :(

Everyone has their Dish!