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

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ya tengo 6 meses aqui!!

So this week was awesome. Very good, y only a little bit bad.

Let's talk about the bad first ...I got suuuuper sick. Suuuper sick. Worst I have been in many years. But luckily, it is essentially gone now. It really hit me Wed to Sat. It was probably just a bad flu; but it attacked with a massive migraine left hook. Horrible it was (as Yoda would say). But I only allowed myself to stay in one day because I didn't want to lose too much work time, especially with preparing our invesitgatores for Conference.

For the good news, Conference was incredible!!! We had 3 investigators come: Andres Mitchelli, Agostina (a recent find), and Brunco (also new). They loved it, and how can you not! It is conference! 

Each time it comes around, I just get so excited!! I loved conference this year. I have many favorites, and I can't wait to study them all when the Liahona comes out down here. :D I also loved that they allowed some of the speakers to speak in their native language! Holla out to Spanish; we got two Spanish speakers!! Whenever they spoke we switched to the Spanish feed because the talks are always more "real" when you hear the person saying it himself, rather than having it translated with a voice-over. 

I really loved Lynn G Robbins, Elder Holland, and Uchdorf during priesthood, Eyring during priesthood and Sunday morning, and Carlos a Godoy.  All of them!

So because of time, I can't really write all my thoughts in this email, but what really caught my attention was what Carlos a Godoy said about his Patriarchal Blessing, and if his present living was conducive to receiving the blessings prescribed in it. His experience inspired me to do the same. So this morning I took a sheet a paper and wrote 4 categories on it: Blessings, Warnings, Advice/direction, and Future, and I carefully read through my blessing and filled out these categories. What I learned is that God gives many, many blessings to his children with the expectation to use those gifts to live a good life, to help others, and to further his work.
Now that I better understand the blessings he has given me, and what he expects from me, and what my life could look like, I know now how to more properly conduct myself and make the right choices to live the life God wants for me. It was a rewarding experience ...and I'm sure there will yet be many more hours of study and prayer. 

Transfers are coming up this week; so I expect most likely I am gone. Ya tengo 6 meses aqui!! 

As I may have said a time or two in the past, I love my mission, and my family, and all the leaders who have helped me become who I am.

Elder Clemons
The big rivalry game between BOCA and RIVER.
I made tacos today