Wednesday, August 6, 2014

E-mail: Aug. 6, 2014

"Do you want a Book of Mormon?
Come on let's go and pray,
We never see you anymore, 
Come out the door, 
We fear you've gone astray,
You used to be real active, 
And now you're not,
We wish you would tell us why,
Do you want a Book of Mormon?
Let's go read the Book of Mormon-
*Go away Elders*
Okay bye."

It definitely helped my first opinion of the MTC when an Elder from another district popped his head into our room and sang that to us our first night. ;)

Wow, this place is absolutely amazing. the Spirit here is unbelievable, everyone is super nice, our testimonies are growing, and we're learning tons about The Doctrine of Christ. It's also a boot camp. An amazing, fun, uplifting boot camp. It's basically like a crossover between EFY and Seminary on a very illegal amount of steroids for 8 hours a day. Thankfully though that's pretty much what I was expecting so it hasn't been too much of a shock, I mean at least I'm not learning a language. 

"Hey I'm Elder Cloward, where are you going on your mission?"

"I'm going to the Baltic North Mission speaking lkjnegvbyow, I've been here six weeks learning the language, what about you?"

"I'm going to the India Bangalore Mission speaking English, I'm here for 12 days."

"...I hate my life right now." 

Yes that was a real conversation I had.

My companion's name is Elder Pereira (per-air-uh) and I literally couldn't have asked for a better one. He's an Indian convert to the church of four years from California and he's about as spiritual, humble, and fun as they come. we get along great and we have a lot of fun teaching together. In fact all 8 guys in our district are just plain awesome. Every one of them has a great testimony, a great sense of humor, and they all work hard. I really lucked out with these guys, even when they use Elder Cloward as the punchline to a prank. We were sitting at dinner one day and one of the Elders popped up and said, "Hey Elders, did you know that if you mix ketchup and salt together it creates a chemical reaction and you can feel heat coming off of it?" So of course Elder Cloward holds his hand right over the cup of ketchup to feel and SPLAT.

I've showered three times since then and I'm pretty sure my hands still smell like condiments.

But as great as the Elders are they come nowhere near the profound awesomeness of the sisters. They're everywhere, beautiful, spiritual, amazing daughters of God who are all completely off limits unless you're talking to them about the Restoration or asking how to get to the mail room. They really are amazing though. We had two sisters in our zone and they left this morning, but not after presenting us with as many snacks and leftover treats as they could muster before saying goodbye. Our whole district is missing them pretty bad, but not just because they were fun and pretty, the spirit that they brought to all of our meetings was incredible. 

Oh yeah, "Spiritual", haha. So we all recognize that it's not appropriate to call the sisters beautiful or pretty or anything like that out loud because we're not supposed to be paying attention to that, and so it took me until about the third day to realize that when my companion was saying "wow those sure are some spiritual sisters" or "there's a sister shining with the spirit to your left", it meant something a little different. I also learned the hard way that when another Elder sees you deep in thought and asks you which scripture you're thinking about while there are sisters in the room "and they were exceedingly fair" is not an appropriate answer.

We have an amazing set of teachers who are helping us to live and breathe Preach My Gospel, my favorite of which is Brother Derenthal. He's an RM of about 3 years who looks just like Joseph Smith and has a sense of humor just as great as his teaching methods. We're learning so much about the Gospel and How to teach people, and let me tell you they don't waste any time. The first night we were here we met as a group to teach investigators and we've been teaching and doing tons of role playing since then. It's amazing how when you're doing your best to learn how to help change and convert people the Lord begins to change and convert you too. I've learned more about myself and about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ than I ever thought was possible in just a week. It's astounding to realize just how much we don't know about the Gospel, and yet the Lord still helps us and allows us to do this great work. The Church is true everyone.

Oh, and I have to include some of our favorite quotes from this week, just so you can get a better idea of what it's like here. ;)

"Stop being dumb, I know you feel the spirit!"

"If at first you don't succeed, then try it the right way."

"H-no! ...That means Heavens no."

"The title of this is not 'Joseph Smith and Friends.' "

When referring to investigators: "Ain't nobody a project."

"Sure you can stay home from church, I'm going to light the house on fire on my way out though."

Love you everyone, I'll see you in 2. :)


  1. Oh my goodness, what a delicious treat to read Elder Cloward's first email at the MTC. I loved it! Loved all the fun details and stories and his sense of humor all the way through. His enthusiasm is absolutely contageous. He's going to attract people on his mission with all that charm and passion about the gospel. Thanks for posting, Jen!

  2. My son just called to go the India Bengaluru mission and am enjoying this blog. Excellent sense of humor. My son enters the MTC on June 14, 2017. Thanks for creating this blog.