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!