Monday, July 28, 2014

We had so much success!!!

Hola Familia!!

This week was incredible!!! We had so much success!!! We had 4 people in church, and for the first time ever, were able to teach more lessons with members helping us than just on our own.  We almost achieved every goal established by the zone! So yup, we feel pretty good this week :-)

We have not yet had a chance to meet M____'s husband. We've tried several times, but he keeps avoiding us. But igual, we have received permission from him to continue to teach his family :D Since then, we've had two super powerful lessons with their family (M____ y her kids); they've even been able to come to a baptism this last Saturday! They loved the hymns and the whole atmosphere of the baptism. It was really rewarding to see how happy they were. And best of all, all 3 of them came to church!!! :D And they were all so excited ...they've been waiting for this day for nearly 3 weeks. I'm certain that they loved it. We've already made plans with them for this coming Sunday, and tonight we've got a Family Night planned at a member's home. So things are looking really good for this family. They've scheduled a tentative baptismal date for the 23rd of August, but that might actually be moved up to the 16th depending on how they feel.  Please continue to pray for this family so that they can have the animo (editor: courage) to continue onward and reach their baptisms. 

P-days have gotten super fun these past few weeks as we now get to play frisbee, ping pong and vollyball that's pretty much all we do now on p-days! And it's so much fun since we haven't played sports in over a year!

But sad news ...we didn't receive our monthly money this week for some reason, so I think I'm going to starve this week. :p I only have 10 pesos to my name, which is only about 1 dollar. :p I really have no clue what I am going to do. 

Some of the greatest joy on this earth is being with your family and helping others come into the gospel.  And I have learned so much about both during my mission. There is no greater joy than living the gospel and the certainty of eternal famillies. I love seeing the happiness people recieve as they begin to take those early steps towards baptisms. Seeing them happy makes me happy. I hope it's not too trite, but I do love helping people.

I can never properly express to you how much I love my missoin. I love it thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssss much! Although on some days it's ridiculously cold, on others it's unbearably hot and sweaty, and you never get enough sleep ...I do love what I do.

Love you all so much! 

And hey, please ask the family write me!!!  I may not be able to reply, but I do love the letters :D

Elder Travis Clemons

Monday, July 21, 2014

...this Elder knows how to play ball :-)

Elder Thomas got transferred to Corrientes
Hola familia!!!

So Transfers were this week!!! Elder Thomas left to Corrientes, and I stayed here in Reconquista with a GREENY!!!

Elder Conway, is from American Fork, yes, he plays basketball :-)

I was super shocked when they said that I was going to train. I don't feel ready for it at all. But I do feel privileged, realize it's a significant responsibility, and am committed to do a good job and to learn and grow.

No, he's not Latino, but obviously that doesn't matter. His name is Elder Conway, and he's from American Fork! Wow, super close to us! He went to school at Pleasant Grove and played basketball. Too bad we can't really play sports on our missions :p 

Elder Conway is going to be a great missionary. As a greenie, he doesn't yet speak Spanish particularly fluently, but that doesn't stop him from throwing himself out there and contacting, teaching, praying, and doing everything the Lord asks of a missionary. He's got a powerful testimony.

I do realize I'm a bit unprepared to be a trainer.  But I trust in Presidente Franco's inspiration, and I know that sticking to the "12 Weeks" program and relying heavily on the Holy Ghost will start us out on the right path.

Wish us luck!

Here's an update on our golden family: M___ and her 2 kids. They really are my favorite family that I've had the privilege to teach on my mission. We've had many lessons and Family Home Evenings with them; and they just love the gospel. They always keep their commitments and recognize the blessings they are receiving.

But we do have a little kink -- M___'s husband (I've not met him yet) won't let them go to church just yet. :(  We'd made plans with the family to go to church together, but when we passed by Sunday morning to get them, they weren't there. We passed by again that night to see if they had returned, and the kids came out to talk with us.  They told us they know the church is true, that they've received personal answers to their prayers, and that they'd like to get baptized. We told them their father is an important part of their family, and the entire family should talk together about the good things they are learning from the missionaries, and explain to him that this really is something that they want.

My comp and I are going to fast this Tuesday for them. We'll also try to set up some times when the dad can participate in our conversations (of course, we've attempted this many times before). Once we get that opportunity, we're certain the Spirit will take over the lesson. So I'm asking everyone to keep this family in your prayers, and ask that the Holy Ghost be with us during our lessons, and that the father's heart be softened. 

I really love this family. We will do everything we can to help them. 

I know the church is true; I've never doubted it, and never will. I can't properly express to you how much I love my mission. But, well, I love it. I wouldn't give it up for the world. I love the work and the people. 

...and I love you all so much!

Elder Clemons!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A nice roof-top dinner while Argentina loses to Germany :(

Our first district activity in Argentina.  Ping-pong was fun; but let's just say I'm not so good ;-)
Hola Famillia!! 

I got to have my first activity in Argentina! The very first time that we were allowed to get together as a district to do something on p-day!! Woot! We played some ping pong! I was super bad, but it was fun!

Otherwise, this week was pretty hard since we kept having to go in because of the World Cup games. Our numbers suffered a lot as a result :(

But we did find 2 families which gives me a little bit of hope. :) Gabriela and her 2 kids, Allen and Gloria, and Mirian and her 2 kids, Leonardo and Mikaela. They are all interested and want to learn more. :) We haven't had a chance to meet their husbands (if they even are married one here gets married; they just live together); so that might be a problem.  Unsurprisingly, it's often the men that stop their families from progressing. But I have a lot of faith and hope in these people, so please pray for them that they can receive answers to their sincere prayers :)

But Mirian and her kids are progressing! They read everything as a family and are super pumped for the church. Mirian has even testified that she knows that they are receiving blessings by listening to us.  She's noticed more peace and happiness among her family. :) Sadly, they couldn't go to church yesterday, but we have meaningful plans for this next week. So please pray for them so that then can continue progressing, receive answers to their prayers, and eventually get baptized. :) 

And pray for us to find more people that will accept God's message.

Argentina has been crazy with the World Cup. Everyone and their dogs wear the Argentine soccer jerseys ...and yes, that's not just an expression ... their dogs really are dressed up in little Argentine jerseys. It's quite hilarious.

Missionaries have to be in their apartments any time Argentina plays. But believe me, we hear everything that happens. Every time a goal goes off, the city explodes ...literally. Cannons go off, fireworks launch, car horns toot and blow horns go wild. People run through the streets screaming.  Ha ha hah, it's seriously funny ...and makes studying hard. And then when the game ends with an Argentine win, then things really go loco. Everything I just described happens x 10 ...for like 2 hours. It's really quite crazy to me. But it's also quite fun to be in a country that loves soccer this much.

Sadly the States lost to Belgica, but that was probably for the best; I suspect it would've made the work super hard.  But we'll come back in 4 years! :D  As for now, I'm rooting for Argentina, my second home! We gotta win!
We were on top of our apartment for the Argentina v Holland game.  The city literally went crazy. Fireworks everywhere.  We couldn't hear a thing because everyone was screaming and yelling and cars were honking. So fun!

We had a super nice dinner on top of the roof. We had to stay in the whole day Sunday. So we made a super nice dinner. We made hamburgers by hand, with eggs, lettuce, tomato and all. We also made our french fries by hand. Topped off with some nice drinks was a really nice, relaxing day. 
And and Elder Thomas made us some super good flan!!! Flan is like the main dessert dish here in Argentina! It made for some really good comfort food after the big loss.

It was the best meal I've had here in Reconquista. We enjoyed the weather, watched the city, and played some board/card games. :)  A very fun night!
But it was a serious bummer when Argentine lost against Germany.  Here's a video from on top of our apartment after the World Cup finals. Super sad. I have never seen so much sadness in any city ever before. You could just see it in their posture the next morning. Everyone was dragging their feet, barely able to smile, walking real slow. And no one had their Argentina shirts on ...not even their dogs.  I couldn't find an Argentina flag anywhere. The Argentines took quite the hit yesterday ...and so did I. I wanted to win sooo bad! But oh well, next time. ;)
So we have been working with the menos activos in our area lately.  We're trying to reactive them by encouraging them to help us do the work. We recently had a family home evening where we made tacos, and they invited some of their friends! It was soooo good, and quite successful! ..and spicy!! (I actually burned myself!) Their friend was super interested, and we have a second cita already set up for this Wednesday with her!

Hey, so transfers are this week.  Elder Thomas is definitely gone this week; so I'm assuming I will finally get my long-awaited Latino companion!!! :D  Woot!!!

So that's about it.  Not much happened this week. But Just know that I am working hard and loving what I am doing! Love the work, and love the people! :D

Love Elder Clemons