Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 2012 Letters

August 27th, 2012

       Well, this should be the last letter that I write to all of the family. This next week I will just be there to check if I have messages from the mission and that's about it. It's amazing how fast the time has flown.... This next week I should have my last baptism. Other than that I should have a week full of trying to find new people and trying to help the investigators with their doubts and fears.... But tomorrow I have a conference, and then on Friday Elder D. Todd Cristofferson is coming to speak to the missionaries. On Thursday I have my last interview, and then on Sunday and Monday I have free time to say goodbye to the people I know. I should have about 20 hours of work this week, but we will "git-r-done" the best that we can.

       Well, other than that, I am well off and happy... trying to work hard.

       Well, untill next week...

                                                                                                          Elder Clouse

August 20th, 2012
       Hello family and friends. I must admit at this point I would rather wait to talk to you all than write you. I guess it's just me being lazy but with 2 weeks left..... it all works. This week was really good. Yesterday we had a meeting with our ward to talk about the missionary goals that we have in the ward; about 3 people was a good turn out. This ward really loves to do missionary work and wants to help out. It's just a shame that I have to go now.

       Well this weekend I have a baptism; it will be my last baptism of my mission. We are just trying to work hard to find more people for my companion and my companion's new companion. It's going to be a long two weeks because we have had to ditch a lot of our old investigators. They aren't progressing, but that's life.

       Other than that, I am trying to work hard and finish strong in the mission. It's sad that it's almost over, but it will be great to see you all again. Well, I think that's about it.
                                                                                      Love you all very much,
                                                                                      Elder Clouse

August 13th, 2012
Well family and friends,

       This week I have learned a lot about working with the members. We now have some people with baptismal dates and it looks like I will baptize at least one more time during my mission. It's very exciting for me and for the members too. In Jardines, all of the members are so excited to be missionaries and to share the gospel with their neighbors. It's something that I have never before experienced on my mission. I really would have wished to have a ward like this before the last six weeks of my mission, but I have been able to learn a lot from the experiences that I have had on my mission. Regardless, it's very exciting to hear all of the different ward members tell me about their experiences.

       Well, we are still trying to work with the branch, but there are many different challenges there. Everyone is talking as if they are going to release the branch president, but we don't know if that will happen or not. At least it won't happen while I am here. We have many families that we are teaching but I don't know if we will have very much support to help them attend church and eventually get baptized. But we will keep trying.

       Well, with 21 days to go, I feel a little lazy in my writing... I have learned to be very honest.... ha ha!! It will be so much cooler to just hear the questions and answer them right away, although my English needs a little working on...... but it will be great!!! Well, that's about it for now... until next week...
                                                                                                  Love you all,
                                                                                                  Elder Clouse
P.S. Fotos para la familia = Pictures for the Family

Con Amorcito........ With Lovecito
Elder Clousito y Elder Oceguerita
August 6th, 2012
       Hello everyone! Here I am, working in 2 wards now, trying to figure out how to work in both wards. In Jardines, every single member works really hard at missionarry work. Everyone has someone for us to teach. If I wanted to, I could just stay there and visit the members and have many people to teach. On the other hand, in the branch, I go visit the members and they have nothing. It's hard for me becuase I feel this urge to help the branch out, but my companion and I are basically the only ones that are working, with nobody else available to even go out and work. It's hard, but I feel a deep love for the branch and I want it to grow, but the branch doesn't want to grow. But we are doing the best we can...enduring to the end in 29 days...
       Well, last night I had a great experience with another sister crisis. The sisters called me last night complaining that they didnt have any money to do the activity today. Today we are going bowling. It's going to be great I think, but the Sisters don't have money. I asked why and what did they say??? And I quote: "I had to buy this cute skirt......." OH my Gosh!!!! I died laughing and now they are mad at me.... It's funny.....Just now i just asked them if they had their cute skirt and they kind of gave me a dirty look....
       Well, this next week we hope to have a baptism. There are a few young women that are attending that aren't baptized and the bishop asked us to talk with them about it. So we will see. Well I have to go now...
       Can you all please pray for my branch and for the people I have to baptize? I want to baptize before I leave for home. Thanks!
                                                                                             With much love,
                                                                                              Elder Clouse

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 2012 Letters

July 30, 2012
       Hello family and friends. This week I had a very big shock: I was placed into another ward to work. It's called Los Jardines. It's actually a ward! So now I have a ward and a branch to work in. In my branch, things are still stagnant. It's helping me to realize that if the members don't help at all, nothing really happens with missionary work. It kind of makes me feel bad because I never helped the missionaries that much before I left, but I guess it all comes back to you. But we are woking really hard.
       We went to my new ward yesterday and there were about 180 people attending the ward. Everyone that we talked to yesterday told us how much they love the Elders and missionary work and that they are willing to help us out on anything that we need them to. It's the very first ward that I have ever seen on my mission that has told me they are willing to work with us. In all of the other wards I had to go and visit the members to get them fired up. So I guess it's a nice little blessing for my last 5 weeks in the mission field.
       It's crazy to believe that I have 5 weeks left. It's flying by! I remember arriving in Lima so long ago and feeling like it would never end or that I was never going home. But now it's about to hit me in my face. But we are still working hard to help everyone.
       This last week I had a work visit with my new zone leader Elder Emett. I have known him since the first time I was in Lima. We had a good time together on "gringo" night. It was awesome! It's funny how fast the time flies and how hard you work with a fellow gringo. All in all, it was a great booster for me.
       Well, everything is going well and we are just hanging on trying to help the branch and the new ward to grow. I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week!
                                                                                           Love you dearly,
                                                                                           Elder Clouse
July 16, 2012
       Hello family and friends! Well, here in Peru everything is going good. We are just trying to work hard. This last week we tried to have a branch activity, but it didn't work as much as I would have liked. Only 5 people showed up. The members here aren't really "fired up" to do missionary work. It's sad, but I think if we keep trying then eventually they will start to help. I always have thought that it's just like the huge stone spoken of in Daniel chapter 2. We just have to push it down the hill and it will start rolling all by itself. So, we are going to keep trying.
       Well, we have many people now that can progress. We are working with 3 families that are going to get married for sure. I am hoping to see a few of the baptisms before I leave, but we will see how it goes. If not, at least my companion will start off his mission well with 3 families baptized. That makes me happy for him. I wish I would have had that to keep me focused for all of my mission. I kind of had to figure it out on my own, trying to work hard in Iquitos. It's truly a blessing to work with families. It's a very special feeling when a whole entire family gets baptized.

       Well, the diet continues and the work continues. We are doing well here. Trying to endure to the end with a lot of hard work. This Thursday I will go to the temple here in Lima; the first time in a year and 6 months. So I am very excited for that! I love you all and hope things goes well for you all.
                                                                                                        Elder Clouse
July 9, 2012
Familia y Amigos,

       Well, things are going well here in Peru. My area is still giving me difficulties but we are making progress with a few families. We now have four families that have attended church. We have recieved a few good referrals from our wards and we are really making progress with them. It's the first time that four different families have attended church. So, we are very happy with what we have done. But we want to get them wet, especially before I go home. We will see what we can do this week.

       This last week I was invited to go the zone leaders council. It was weird but President wanted all of the district leaders there too. It was great to eat pizza and Sister Blunck's sandwiches, but I really have missed attending those meetings as a zone leader. They are really spiritual and provide a lot of the strength needed to continue on and to be better. They are now talking about giving every companionship cell phones, but that would mean a lot more robberies and other junk. So I am happy I will be gone before that comes into play.

       My companion is doing well. He is becoming a very good teacher of the gospel. He teaches very clearly and directly; I am training him to be a prophet, and he should get to be one right after I leave....ha ha.....But we are still having a lot of fun and trying always to be better.

My diet has officially started, but it's not working because if I refuse something to eat, the sisters get offended. I guess I will just have to be fat until I can do a real diet when I get home. But eveyone loved me when I was fat so I guess everything will still be ok.

Well, I hope everything goes well in this next week. I will talk to you then!

                                                                                          With much love,
                                                                                           Elder Clouse
July 2, 2012
       Hello family and friends. Well, I am still climbing every mountain here in Peru. This week we had 5 investigators in the church building. It was a very good goal that we finally reached! We still have a few problems in the ward council, and with trying to work with the members, but for the most part we are progressing pretty well. We are looking to have at least 3 baptisms this month. We are hoping that we can reach that goal, but we will see.

       My companion's new thing is to take pictures of me while I am sleeping. Ha ha! You'll understand if you look at the pictures that I will be sending.

       This week we had a little experience. I was in the shower bathing myself when, out of nowhere, my electric water heater started to burn up and smoke. It caught on fire. It scared me so bad that I ran out the door wearing nothing. As the cold air hit me, I remembered my towel...right after my companion saw way too much of me, if you know what I mean............ Ha ha... It was really funny and scary at the same time.

       Well enough of that. The families that we are teaching are really cool. We have three now that are working to be married. Again, I am hoping to have the first familiy baptized in the branch in over 4 years... So we will see if I can do it before I go home.

       Well everything is going well here. We are working and progressing.
                                                                                                      Love you all, 
                                                                                                      Elder Clouse

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 2012 Letters

June 18, 2012
      Hello family and friends. Well, everything is going well for me this week. It's been kind of a downer for me. We were planning a big activity this week and we went to every house personallly  handing out invitations. Then, when the activity came, nobody showed up. It was a bummer, but that doesn't mean that we should give up. We are planning another activity in 3 weeks and we will try it again. We are hoping to receive more help from the branch presidency. We are trying and trying, and will keep trying until I leave. The invesigators that we have are progressing slowly. We can never find them on the weekends, so they say they forget about going to church. But we will see how it goes this next week.

       Yesterday I had an opportunity to talk to the stake president. He is 29 years old and really a very very good man. We talked about the branch and how the stake could help them more. So at least we have help from the stake president. We will see what they will do to help us.

       This last week we had a lot of other activities that caused us to lose time with our investigators. We had a night with the stake visiting the less actives and then another activity with the ward on Friday. Then, on Fathers Day....everybody is drunk or almost drunk. We just visted the people that we could, and tried our best to contact the people that weren't drunk. So that was our week...

       Everything is going well and we are still trying to do the best that we can. 
                                                                                                       Love you all,
                                                                                                       Elder Clouse
June 11, 2012
       Well hellllllooooooo!
       Well, tomorrow are transfers and I am staying with my companion. The sisters are getting transferred and I am receiving 2 new sisters. I already know them so they are not very new. But new to the area. This will be very interesting. One of the sisters I was with in Moyobamba forever and a day plus one. As I said...this will be interesting... My other companion, Elder Castillo, is coming to be another district leader. It’s cool to see him here. We will see each other until we die in the mission. That will be cool!
       In our area, we have been having some difficulties with finding people on Friday and Saturday so that we can invite them to go to church. We have people that have promised to come to church but
usually they forget before Sunday comes. After church we go visit them and they say directly, "Well, I forgot about going to church." It’s a little frustrating so we will see what we can do. We are continuing to find people to teach which is good. But the progress part is suffering a little bit.
       Elder Oceguera is doing well. This week we had a work visit: my friend Elder Reeb came with me and he went with the other zone leader. He had a good time and had an opportunity to show his progress. He will be a zone leader by the time I leave. Well, everything is going well and we are working hard. Please pray this week that my investigators can go to church this week. It would help out to have baptisms.
                                                                                                     With much love,
                                                                                                     Elder Clouse

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 2012 Letters

May 28, 2012
       Hello family and friends! Everything is going very well here in my new area. We have come across a few problems that don't really help us very much. The new people that we have found are almost never home or can't meet us at a new time. So we can't commit them to do anything. It's a little hard, but we know that we can find them again with the Lord's help and with a lot of faith. We will continue on and pray harder so that we can find the people that are prepared by the Lord.

       This last week we went and played soccer with another zone and we got killed. It wasn't very fun. My zone doesn't play very well. Especially because half of us are gringos and the other team only had 1 gringo. So the odds were a little off. Well, I broke a chair this week. I hit the ground pretty hard and my companion came in and laughed and took a picture. It was pretty funny but now my chair isn't very comfortable...ha ha!

       Well we have a few families that can progress. But as usual we need to get them married and/or divorced, and solve all of the other problems that there are here in Peru. I hope the Lord helps us so that we can get them all married and baptized before I have to go. But we will see. The work continues to grow and we are gaining the confidence of the members. In 2 weeks we will have an activity as a branch. It will be the first activity in over 6 months and so we hope that the members
will be excited to help us out. And that they will bring some new people to teach. Let's see what happens...

       Well my companion continues to grow and to be able to explain things better and better. It's a help and I am very glad that he is progressing and will be a great missionary. Things continue on and we are trying to turn things around in my area. Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! Say hi to Hunter Shaun.
                                                                                           With much love,
                                                                                           Elder Clouse
May 21, 2012
        Hey family and friends. Well this last week we had a very good week. We were working hard to find new people to teach. The people here in Lima are a little bit harder to get to or to teach but we were able to find some very good people to teach. We just hope that they can progress this next week and be there when we go back. My companion, Elder Oceguera is doing really well. He is learning very rapidly and we are working hard together.

       This last week we went to the center of Lima. It's a very old city where the Spaniards conquered Peru in the 1500s. It looks a lot like what you would see in Spain. There we can buy a bunch of gifts and go on a bunch of tours of how everything was done in the early days of Peru. We spent about 3 hours there. And at the end, where did we go….. McDonalds. It was the first time at McD's in over a year and a half. And as you can see in the picture, we had a fun time playing. It was awesome!

       Well a few baptisms that we had this week fell through. One of the girls thinks that the church has too many rules. Or basically she would rather be in and of the world. It's sad but we are going to continue on so that we can help them see the reason why we believe in having a higher standard of conduct. But we will be there to help her out. Well everything is going well and we are going to continue to work hard.

                                                                                             With much love,
                                                                                             Elder Clouse
May 14, 2012
       Hello! Well, as most of you know I had 2 baptisms on Saturday. They were Kevin Junior Quispe Vila and Ronaldo Martin Llatas Guetierez. Both of them are really cool, and they were really happy to get baptized. On Saturday, Martin had to get married, then have his interview and get baptized all in one day. It was very .... well, frustrating. But we got it all done. My companion baptized them and then I was able to confirm them both on Sunday. It was only the 2nd and 3rd time that I had comfirmed somebody. So it was a cool experience to do it again.

       Well, we are working really hard to try to find more people to teach in the area. The members just want to be our friends and not work. But with faith we can get new people to teach and baptize. But we will see.

       My companion is doing well. He is working hard to learn how to teach. But we will see how things go here in the next few weeks and how far he can progress.


       Everything is going well here and we are working hard. I love you all and will fill you all in this next week.
                                     Elder Clouse
May 7, 2012
       Well, I can say "hello" to Lima. It's crazy to think that I am in my last area. The time has flown by really fast. I am in an area that is called Quiñonez, Caraballyo, in the Caraballyo zone. It's literally on the backside of the offices of the mission. In Independencia In Lima. I am a District Leader. My district consists of me and my companion and 2 sister missioneries. Ha hahahahaha. What a district......hey.... I am training a new missionary. His name is is Elder Oceguera. He is from Mexicali, Mexico. You know as you go to California and you go through the border control and that little road that goes to Mexico about 15 minutes away. He is from threre. You can spit and hit the United States. He speaks very good English and is very excited to work. I have not laughed so much in all of my mission. He calls me "white boy." Ha ha. I am working in a branch: the Quiñonez branch. It is from the Caraballyo stake. We are only lacking 2 adult men that pay their tithing and then we can become a ward. So I know what I need to do in my last few months. So we are working really hard. Also this week I had another Elder with us. The Elder was supposed to go to Mexico this last week but it was held up for another week. So  he showed us the area and and the members and we got right to work. This week we should have 2 baptisms and we have 2 more in another week or two. But after that we have nobody, so we have to start to find new people to teach. We  hope to find a lot of new people this week with the help of the members.

       Well, I must say I love training so far. It's amazing to see a new missionary bear his testimony. Nervous and not knowing really what to say, just bearing a pure tesimony. It's been a great lesson of how much a testimony works on the people. I talked for 20 minutes on the lesson material, but my companion bears his tesitmony and it hits the hearts of the people. It's cool.

       My area isn't very big. I can walk from one side to the other in 5 minutes. In Moyobamba I would need to take a taxi and drive for 10 minutes going 80 kilometers per hour. It's amzing the difference.

       When I was in Iquitos I met a lady whose sister was my next door neighbor. She is a member of the church and very active. I came here and I found her house and began to talk to her. About 10 minutes after I talked to her I realized who she was. It is so cool to be in her branch now. She is an amzing person. Her name is Elena. It just shows you how small a world this is.

       This whole week the other Elder that was here has told us all of the bad things about this branch and how you can't find anybody to teach. It started to make my new companion feel a little bit down and not wanting to contact people. Of course that made me a little mad, but in a loving way. I said a quiet prayer to our Heavenly Father that we could find a new family to teach. I talked to my companions and said, "Let's be positive and find a family." The other Elder said, "Suerte," or "Good luck." The first 6 doors we knocked there wasn't anybody. Then I said, "Let's knock this door." It was dark and didn't have a single light on in the house. My companion said that nobody was home. I told him, "Nope, we are going to knock." We knocked and a little girl came out. Then her dad came to the door. I made my companion talk. He presented us and then the man said, "Come in." It was a famliy of 6 people that listened to us. My new companion that I am training said, "So that's missionary work?" I just said, "Yup." It was cool to show them that if we have faith and do what we need to do, we can find people and families to teach.

       Well life is good. I love the work and we are giving it our all. Talk to you next week.

                                                                                 Love  you all,
                                                                                 Elder Clouse

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 2012 Letters

April 30, 2012
       Hello family and friends. Well, I am getting transferred. I will be going to Lima. I am pretty sad about it because I feel like my work here in Moyobamba isn't finished. It feels like I just got here. I am pretty bummed out but I will be able to receive new responsibilities: I will be having a child…..In this mission we say "a child" when we will be training a new Elder. So we will see what's up. I have no idea who he is or where he is from. But it's going to be a Latino, so we will see...

       This week was a wonderful week in our area. My old area??? We now have 9 baptismal dates for May. With 2 families and 4 adult men. It was an absolutely wonderful week. The Lord has really blessed us in our efforts. I will be waiting patiently to receive all of the pictures from my companion. So we'll see how things go.

       Well, today I don't have much time. I have to go and get ready to go to Lima. Everything is going to go good! I hope it will be interesting to see where I go. I will fill you all in next week.

                                                                                                Love you all,
                                                                                                Elder Clouse
April 23, 2012
       Well another week has flown by and everything is going very well. This week in the mission field, we have found some really good people to teach. We have had 5 people accept a baptismal date for May. They all act like they are really excited so we are pretty happy. The only problem is that in order to count as real baptismal dates, they have to attend church. But when I woke up on Sunday morning, to my astonishment, it was raining. When it rains here in the jungle, nobody ever leaves their house. This is including the members. We showed up to sacrament meeting 5 minutes before it started and there were only 5 people in the room. It was pretty sad. But the rain stopped at 9:20 and everyone showed up at 9:40. The good thing in all of this is that one family brought another new
family to church. So now we have another family to teach that is very excited to learn about the gospel. So we are excited for this next week.

       This week we also had to speak at the Young Adults fireside. The district presidency asked us if we could share a few experiences that we have had in our missions. It was about missionary work because the district has a goal to send out 15 new missionaries in the next 6 months. So they are pushing really hard the principle and blessings of serving a mission. I think the blessings of serving a mission are endless, but it's hard to explain that to a bunch of young men and women. It's something that you have to experience for yourself. But I think I did a good job. At least I got soda and a piece of cake at the end of it, so I guess it was worth it...ha ha ha.

       Our zone keeps getting better. For 4 months in a row we are going to have more baptisms than we had the previous month. So we are really excited and have high hopes for May. We have some really good people to teach and we are really pushing the missionaries hard on inviting the people to be baptized and helping them keep their commitments. We hope, through our hard work and diligence, that we can once again do better in May than we did in the month of April. But we
will see.

       Well things continue to go well. This next week I will know if I will get transferred or not. We will see and will be hoping for the best. But who knows? I hope things go well and I will talk to you all next week.
                                                                           Love you all,
                                                                           Elder Clouse
April 16, 2012
       Hello family and friends! Well this last week has been really good. I will start out with the baptism that we had on Saturday. Juan Willy Cardenas Rodriguez was baptized by his uncle. He is a person that has taught me a lot about repentance and how it blesses the lives of God’s children. He really had a lot of problems and he was able to overcome those problems and get baptized. It really has brought me a new understanding: baptism is for repentance and will help all mankind if they will accept it and work towards it. Well the best part is when the new converts give their testimony. He really has a strong testimony and is
a very good kid.

       Well, this week I had another work visit with an elder. Elder Blanco is from Monterey, Mexico and is a very hard working missionary. He was joking around with me the whole time and we really made progress here in his area. We had 2 people accept to be baptized for May. So we are really happy about that. The best part is that this Mexican speaks English. Ha ha...he was singing country songs also. But the wierd stuff
like the old country songs from the 90s. Ha was hilarious hearing a Mexican singing country. Ha ha... But it was a good experience. I learned a whole lot from him.

       Well, yesterday we received 2 huge blessings. Well 2 people showed up to church and said that they wanted to get baptized. I always love it when that happens. It lets me know that the Lord is willing to give
us good people to teach especially after working so hard. But I hope that through my efforts the Lord can bless the people that I have found with my companion.

       Well, things are going well here. I am happy and working hard. I love you all and hope the best for this next week.
                                                                                         Elder Clouse
April 9, 2012
       Hello family and friends...once again from the mountains of Moyobamba, me dirigo a ustedes. Well everything is going pretty well here in Moyobamba. The zone is getting better, and with the baptismal dates that we have now we are once again going to have more baptisms than we had last month. We are really excited for this. We are all working hard and praying hard so that the Lord can bless us. This weekend we have the baptism of Juan and we have another young man that we are hoping can get baptized at the end of this month. Well, we have other families that we are teaching but the progress of  the families are always slower than the people who are single. However, we have a few families that can progress and be baptized.

       Well this week I had my usual trip to Lima. It was still the best thing in all the world. I have gotten to the point where the traveling wears me down and it takes a few more days to get over the exhaustion, but it was still cool. We are seeing that the mission overall is getting a lot better. We have improved all of our numbers in all of the different categories, including the number of baptisms...So we are pretty happy for that. But President Blunck is a mission president that always pressures us never to settle for anything. We need to be consistent in our lessons, number of new investigators, and in our baptisms. It's so true. I think everyone in this world needs to work on always working harder and not having one week of just blauuuwww. I have realized after a week of not working hard it takes about 2 weeks to get into the groove again. And as a missionary, we can't afford that.

       Well this week after the little "vacation" (so we can say), it's always hard to reach our weekly goals. For example, we have a goal to make 100 contacts during the week. Without 2 days to work, it's pretty hard to make that goal. But my companion and I said, "We need to make that goal this week." And we did it, and now we can see that we have found 4 new families to teach, two of them being married already. It's a blessing. I can see now that as we make our goals and try to do the best we can, the Lord blesses us. So it's another testimony to me how hard work and being constant helps us as missionaries and in our daily lives.

        Well things are going good. I have had another wonderful week and hope that this next week is the same. I love you all and will talk to you next week.

                                                                                      Elder Clouse

April 2, 2012
       Hello family and friends. Well this week was another wonderful week. Conference is always special to me. It's so cool to be able to watch the people that I testify about as prophets, seers, and revelators. They are really very special people. It's amazing to hear them speak and we know just by hearing them that they are call by God to lead and guide us. Every talk had something special in it for everyone. It's wierd to think that the next conference I will be home to hear it. Time is flying by, as yesterday I celebrated my 19 months in the mission. It's crazy, but cool.

       Well this week we worked really hard so that we could still have a good work week even without 2 days of work. We did pretty well and we did a good job of finding new people to teach. This week I did a work visit with an elder from Texas, Elder Baker. We ended up spending 2 days and nights together as there was no point of coming back on Friday if they had to come to us on Saturday. So lets just say we spoke a lot of English and sung a lot of country songs. Josh Turner, George Strait, and many other songs. It was a great vacation from Spanish and the latin culture.

       Well we have a few people that are getting ready to be baptized. We have a young man who is preparing for baptism: Juan Cardales is 15 years old. He is from a small village about 3 hours from Moyobamba. I was teaching him the Word of Wisdom when he spilled the beans about a few addictions. From family problems he picked up smoking and drinking at the age of 12. He has been addicted to both for 3 years now. Well during the lesson he started to cry, which was showing his sincerity in the repentance process. He told me that he never felt the atonement of Jesus Christ in his life. Well it got to the point where he was just balling his eyes out. I stood up walked over to him and gave him a hug. In that moment we both felt a connection with the heavens and felt the love and forgiveness that the atonement gives us. It was a very special moment. After the hug, which felt like it lasted for an hour, Juan said, "I can feel my Savior's love." It was a very special moment.

       Well everything is going well. I am here just working hard like normal. I love you all and will write next week.

                                                                                      Elder Clouse

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Letters

March 26, 2012
       Hello family and friends. Well, this week we have had a lot of good times. First off, we had a baptism this weekend: Julio Cesar Hernandez Castañeda. He is 18 years old. He is really cool and
progressed really fast in the gospel. He accepted baptism and worked really hard for it and was really ready to do it. We are now working with his family and other people that he knows and wants to be in the Church. We think that we are going to be able to baptize a few of his famliy members. But we will see. It's amazing because this is the first baptism that the branch has had this year. So the whole branch was happy and there to support him. We are happy for what happened this weekend.

       This last week was transfers in the mission. We received 3 new elders this week. Elder Rosi from Argentina, Elder Aguirre from Nicaragua, and Elder Rivera from Ecuador. So now in the zone we have
Elders and Sisters from 9 different countries. It's cool because we have the opportunity to get to know different countries with their different cultures, and to hear their different accents in Spanish. It's wierd
because they use words here in Peru that mean really bad things in other countries. And there are bad words here in Peru that mean normal things in their own countries. It's pretty funny to get to know
those things.

       Well we also have had some really funny stories. On the baptism day there was a huge rainstorm. There was a lot of thunder and lightning. It got to the point where they cut the electricity. The bad thing was that they cut the lights right as we were starting the baptismal service. So we ran outside to buy some candles (Come heck or high water we were going to throw this kid into the water!). By the time we got back, the lights came back on. We were a little bit mad. We did the service and then the lights went out again. I am almost certain that the Lord had something to do with that. Afterward we found out that we were the only block in all of Moyobamba that had electricity. So that was pretty cool.

Well things are going really well here in the jungle. I will let you all know what's up next weeek.

                                                                                      Love you all,
                                                                                      Elder Clouse
March 19, 2012
       Hello family and friends. Well things are going really well for me here in Moyobamba. This week we have been working really hard. This Saturday we have a baptism for Julio. He is 18 years old and was a referral from some girls in my branch. He has progressed really fast and already has a strong testimony of the Gospel. He says that he wants to serve a mission. We are very excited. Also we have 4 other adult men and a single mom with 2 children who want to be baptized. This last transfer has been very succesful. It has shown me how patience, diligence, and a lot of prayer can work miracles. We are very happy and blessed to have such great people that we are teaching.

       The other elders and sisters are really working hard too. The zone has the most baptismal dates in over 3 years. We are very proud of what the elders and sisters are doing. Especially overcoming all of the problems that our area has.

       Well, yesterday we only had church attendance at 67 people. That's over 40 people less than last week. It worried us a little bit, so we went to visit the people who didn't come. I was so surprised with how many people that were sick. I have never given so many blessings in all of my life. But that's why we'
re here as missionaries: to bless the people in need.

       Well, yesterday I had a baptismal interview. I interviewed a lady who has not been able to walk in over 3 years. She has some disease that has made her legs weak. After the interview she was talking about how much faith she has. Then one of the elders said, "If you have enough faith, you can walk right now." She said that she did have faith. She stood up and took the first 4 steps in over 3 years. If we all had a little bit more faith, what could we do? It was a miracle.

       Well, transfers are here again. I will see if I have a change or not. I will let you know if I do. I love you all and hope you are doing very well.

                                                                                       Love you all,
                                                                                       Elder Clouse

March 12, 2012
       Hello family and friends. How are things going? Well, this week we had a huge week with a lot of stuff. So I will tell you a little bit about each day.

       Monday I slept.

       Tuesday I went to Lima. And yes...I went to Chili's. I got to Lima and went directly to Chili's. It was the best thing in the world. I really needed that. This time in Lima I slept in the apartment of the offices. It's always cool to be there and to talk with all of the people in the office. We get to know the mission a little bit better, so it's cool.

       Wednesday was the zone leader's council. It lasted longer this time. We heard a whole lot of different talks and trainings from President and Sister Blunck. Also, we ate pizza. It was heaven. We also had to talk about what we need to work on in the mission. But we are doing well. That night we flew back to Tarapoto.

       Thursday I stayed in Tarapoto waiting for my zone to get there. We did divisions with the zone learders there and what we saw there was very cool. They have many families that are progressing and I saw a
great change in the way to teach the gospel. Then when my zone got there we went to dinner, and then we went and slept.

       Friday was the zone conference for the 3 zones: Moyobamba, Tarapoto, and Yurimagwas. I had to do a practice with President in front of everyone with my companion. It was hard but was a really good learning experience. Then we went home. Saturday and Sunday were normal work days.

       Today (Monday) we went to see caves that they have here in Moyobamba. We hired a tour guide and he helped us through. It was cool.

       Well I have run out of time today. Everything is going well and the work is moving on.
                                                                                                        I love you all,
                                                                                                        Elder Clouse
March 5, 2012
       Hello everybody. How are things going after a long weekend? Things are going well here in Moyobamba. The work here is coming along. We are progressing with a few people here as we continue to rise in church attendance and investigators in the church. Yesterday we had
115 church attendance, which is the highest that the branch has had in a very long time. So far, since I have been here the attendance has risen by 35 people. So we can see the fruits of our labors. We just now need to help a few people get dunked in the water. But it will come. I have faith. We are really working hard with the members and we are seeing some great results. SO we are happy.

       Well many people are probably asking how in the world I am dealing with everything. Well, don't worry...I have experienced the atonement of Jesus Christ working with me. It has been working with me for about 10 months now. I don't have any worries or doubts or fears. With the gospel there isn't any need for that. We know what's going on when we experience a death. So we just need to be happy and continue on with our lives. Mom loves us dearly and that is what she would want us to do. I haven't felt any fear or doubt in doing missionary work. I have been working just as hard as ever. I am doing great.

       Well this week is vacation week. Tomorrow I will be going to Lima to the Zone Leaders Conference. I always love traveling. But this week my vacations are a little longer. The entire zone is going to Tarapoto for a zone conference. So when I fly back to Tarapoto from Lima, I wil be staying in Tarapoto until Friday. It should be really cool. On Thursday I will just stay in Tarapoto waiting for my zone to get there. So I don't know if I will work or what's up. We will see.

       Well, other than that I am doing really well. Well, it's time for a funny story. On Thursday I tried to call the assistants because we couldn't get a hold of President Blunck. Well from there I called what I thought to be the phone number for the assistants. But when someone answered the phone I didn't recognize the voice. It sounded like Elder Mar, the assistant, because this man had a deep voice. But this man talked very seriously. I started talking normal telling him what was wrong, but this man sounded confused. Then I asked, "I am talking with Elder Mar, right?????" Then the man replied, "No, you are talking to President Cabrera from the mission Peru Cusco." I made one mistake on the number and I called a different mission president. I quickly asked for forgiveness and told him, "Goodnight." My companion started busting out laughing. I have never been so embarassed in all of my life. I am sure he called President Blunck and I am going to get an earful of laughter and correction. But we will see.

       Well things are going good for me here. I love you all and will talk to my family tonight.

                                                                                                     Love you all,
                                                                                                     Elder Clouse

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hello family and friends. this week has been good. just the normal
things. This week president Blunck came to Moyobamba and we had the
zone conference. It was great. We learned a whole lot and did a whole
lot of practices. It was long but really good for all of us in in the
zone. One thing that I really liked is something that said one of the
12 apostles. He said we must earn the references from the members. not
ask. It made us all reflect of how we are working in the mission to
really see if we are working hard enough. That way we need to set
goals and be better. after the conference I had the opportunity to
work with president Blunck. I was really shocked of how all of the
people accepted him really easily. Everyone that we talked to said that
we could come by to teach them. For the contacts it was all good.
After we did all that I felt OK after the work we did. the lesson that
we taught wasn't very good. Who knows may be he will put me as junior
comp to the sisters? ha ha but we will see.

Well I have received a few letters asking about a clip that was shown
in the 100th anniversary of seminary. In there it showed a few young
men and women from Iquitos Peru. The answer is yes I do know them. The
area that they were in was the area of my district leader. I had many
opportunities to work in that area and I knew Erickson and Wendy. Its
fun because they say that he needs to use a canoe to get to seminary.
That's not exactly true?????? Only for about 2 weeks when the river
rises. In Iquitos usually they do seminary in the houses like you saw
at the end. and the to elders that you saw are my good Friends. Well
Elder xicara and Elder Early. Elder Early is now in his house but iIwill definitely get the autograph from elder xicara. ha ha. But the
young men and women there are awesome and they really are strong.

Well other than that things are going good. There really isn't much to
say this week. Love you all and hope things are going good. love you
all. Elder Clouse

Hello family and friends. Well things here in Moyobamba are going
good. Once again we had a good church attendance from the
investigators. We are looking at having a few baptisms this month.
We have really been working hard with the members trying to get
references and to have a lot of people who have met our investigators
can be their friends. So far it has worked very well. The members here
are very good. I just think the big problem that has been here are
the same missionaries. They haven't really done anything to gain the
confidence of the members. But we are now changing that and we are
looking at some very good results.

Well there is a little girl who is 5 years old that is in love with my
companion. Last night i had to call her dad to ask him a question, and
she answered. We were fighting over the phone because i kept on
saying give the phone to your dad, but she said no give the phone to
your companion first and then i will give it to my dad. She kept on
saying for that for 5 minutes until finally her dad came in and
answered the phone. I told my companion, may be we should call
president to tell him that you have your girlfriend here in moyobamba.
It was hilarious.

Well i also had my interview with President Blunck. He didn't even
talked to me how my area is or anything like that. He just went
straight into the problems that we have here in the zone. He
overwhelmed me a little bit because some of the elders confessed that
there are obedience problems and other things that nowI have to watch
over and help the missionaries overcome. There not anything big but
just waking up late and watching t v and stuff. (and they wonder why
we don't have success) But we will face it and overcome everything.
Other than that the zone looks like we are becoming better. This month
we will hit the highest number of baptisms in over 10 months. So
things are getting better.

Well tomorrow are the transfers and I will be very busy today getting
everything ready for me to go to Lima and for the elders and the
sisters that will be coming into our zone. we will see. Other than that
we are working hard and trying to better ourselves in everything we
do. I love you all and hope everything Goes well. With much love Elder