Sunday, February 9

October 21, 2013

Hello everyone! 
So, this week has been very good! I have loved the work that I get to participate in, and as members of the church, you are now all invited to participate. This work is so important. We need to help all those around us see why this gospel is so important. Our eternal welfare literally depends on it. I am really beginning to feel and understand that this week. We have a work to do. Don't forget it and work hard to share the gospel with others. I love being a missionary! 
Anyways, this last week was good. Really quickly, people have wondered why I don't include names in my email. It is a personal choice based on some regulations given by the church. We have been asked not to send pictures of people over here anymore and as part of that I have decided not to include names. It is just to protect the security of people over here.
So, here is my letter to President B this week: "This last week was a harder week for Sister B and I, for me in particular. We came off a week of really low numbers and that was hard, but we set some goals to really change that, and we just got another week with really low numbers. It hurt a little. I had really thought that our hard work would pay off, but our numbers don't show it. We have other good things that have happened, and after a really great companionship inventory (a time once a week where we talk about that which we did and how we can improve, and how we can strengthen our companionship), Sister B helped me realize that there were a lot of good things that had happened and that there was nothing for me to worry about. The good things we had done just didn't lead to numbers right away, but that we had done work that will become numbers in the future. (it really helped and now we are doing a lot better. I was just in a slump and she really helped me get over it. It was very good and very helpful)
So, those things that we have been doing are first, working with A (our bible investigator). He really is progressing a lot from where he started. He may not be picking a date for baptism yet, but he is reading and we have had a lot of member present lessons with him. He really truly is trying to understand the Book of Mormon, and while as of yet, he sees no need to pray about it specifically (he also hasn't prayed for a testimony of the bible), he does pray before reading and asks for understanding to be given. We are working with him to see that you have to receive a spiritual confirmation about things, and that you can't just trust your mind. I hope he sees that soon. We have decided to just continue teaching and teach as much as we can. We are going to start on Gospel of Christ this week (we already have done baptism and faith a little bit) and really hit on Repentance. Thank you for the scriptures from the Bible about baptism. I think that we will definitely use them. 
So, also this week, M's (a member in the branch here) friend I., came to conference. M wasn't even there, but I. showed up for the Saturday morning session! She seemed to really like it and said that she felt good. I was really happy that Elder Uchtdorf's talk was in that session. He talks about this church and what it means to be a member of this church. At the end he pretty much invites those who are not members to join the church. I didn't get an opportunity to ask about her thoughts about that talk in particular, but I'm hoping this week that we will have an opportunity to talk to her about it. 
As far as the rest of the work in our area, we are really just working hard on getting a hold and meeting with all the active members in our area right now, as well as figure out what is going on with all of the less actives. We have quite a few Less actives or inactives in our area and we want to start forming a good relationship with the church and missionaries again with them. We are starting to keep better track of name days and birthdays of people in the branch and are working on being able to tell the members happy birthday or name day when they have one. We want them to see that we are not scary missionaries and that we are just here to help them. 
Well, I think that is all for this week. Thanks for all that you do for me. You are wonderful and I am so glad that I get to feel your love and support. I really appreciated the interview that I had with you, and Sister B and I talked about it afterwards and we decided that we need to live up to the reputation and missionaries you see in us. We left that District meeting and made some new goals to start and do better."
So, about that interview we had with President B. He took us in one at a time (don't worry all missionaries had an interview), and told us that we are the examples for companionships in this mission. It really surprised and touched us both. He said that we showed a unity that he hasn't ever seen before and that we are really working hard to apply all the princliples of missionary work. It really touched us both, but we left the meeting and turned to each other and said that we are going to live up to the missionaries he sees in us and really become them. He also told me that I am a missionarys' missionary. It was interesting to hear. He said that I exemplify everything that missionaries should be! I was so surprised! I couldn't believe, and I know it isn't completely true, but I am going to do my best to live up to it!
So, to end this, i hope you know that I know this church is true. We got to watch conference this week in Lativan. I really loved it. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from the prophet and apostles. I was really surprised by how much i actually understood even though I was listening in Latvian. I loved it though! I had several impressions. One, this conference really is for everyone, every language, every country, and EVERY person. It doesn't matter whether you are a member of this church or not, this conference is for you. Watch it and think about what you need to do. To those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, active or not active, you have been issued a direct invitation by Elder Ballard. He has asked all members of the church to find one person to share the gospel with before Christmas. Are you going to take up the invitation? I already had as a mission we picked a personal goal, mine is 3. Are you going to join and find 1 to share the gospel with? 
Love you all! 
Sister Cloward

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