Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Phone Call

This is Elder Clawson's mom Emily. It was so great to get to talk to him on Christmas Eve. We were especially happy that his Christmas package arrived just that morning. We got to watch him open it. It was wonderful to share that little bit if Christmas together.

Elder Clawson is doing so well. He just glowed with happiness and seemed in the best of health and spirits. He is working hard and staying warm and his testimony us stronger and stronger every day.

Merry Christmas!


Christmas and Vareniki!

12/26/2016

Merry Christmas! С Рождеством!
Hello everyone. as you might have known. Christmas was yesterday. Well at least for us Americns.
Well my first Christmas in field was great!. Chrstmas eve we had a Christmas Eve lunch thing with the Elders in our ward. it was great. Our wonderful Belarussian Elder made vareniki for us. And the Sister were so kind and made a cake that was super good!
But what was the best is that we got to call home! It was so good to talk with my family! We weren't able to do it on Christmas Day because it just wouldn't work out with our scheduale and the schedule of the other missionaries. But it was all good because my family couldn't do it on Christmas Day either. it was also great to see Elder Carr's family.
it was funny. On Christmas morning we wake up at 6:30 as usual and prayed. I finished my prayer and walked into our srudy room and Elder Carr had already opened up all of his packages and was wearing his beanie that he got. I thought it was pretty great. And what was even better was that Someone had eaten the Super Kontiks and drank the milk we left on the window sill by the radiator with our socks hanging up. And Someone had filled Elder Carr's stocking as well. 
Sacrament Meeting was awesomeand us Missionaries got to sing. Remember Katya who wanted to be baptized? and who we haven't been able to meet with since she called? that's right, she came to church wioth her husband Sasha!!! We got to talk a little bit and set up our next meeting! And Denis came too! 
last P-day we went to Maidan for a little bit and looked around and it was really cool. 
On Friday when we were doing studies, we looked out the window and saw all of the trees and how they were covered with ice. It was so cool!
Also this transfer is over and I have now been asinged to be District Leader in the now Pecherky District. Everyone is staying except Elder Tolmen who is leaving. 
All in all everything is going just wonderful. 
This is a wonderful time to remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, and all that he has done for us. He is the greatest of all gifts that anyone could have given us. I honestly wouldn't be here serving or living the way I am if I didn't have the promise of receiving forgiveness if I will repent. 
I love you all and appriciate your prayers and support. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson



The Arc angel Michael
A big Christmas Tree
Ice trees

The hat i made for Sister Tanner (She's crazy, she came here with no hat)






Week of Singing Missionaries

12/19/2016

Hello Everyone!
This week has been great (as always). 
Russian is still hard (as always).
And Elder Carr is great (most of the time).

On Saturday we had our Christmas Conmcert that us Pechersky Missionaries kind of got roped into. I'll be honest, my expectations weren't that high. I was expecting some thrown together church event thing that I would be embaresed to show my grandma. But to my suprize it was very, very well done. I wish evryone that I have ever known could have been there! I walked into the Borschegovsky Chaple and saw in awe all of the set up that was going on. Everything was very high quality. That backdrop, props, lighting, sound reenforcement, visual, stage and orchestra. It was really cool. In my opinion, those putting it on could have charged a good fifteen dollars for admission. There were a lot of people there as well. Both members and non-members. and even some high ranking official from the Kyiv Obolosk came and gave a few comments. The spirit was definitly felt by all. Even though it was all in Ukrainian and none of us understand. And if not especially when all of the kids got up to sing. 
It has seemed that this was the weekmof singing missionaries. For one we had that amazing Christmas Concert. But we also had a number of times where us Pachersky missionaries went out Caroling/Contacting/BookTableing. 
On Sunday we had church as usual and probobly not to the suprize of many of you. But this sunday we had the Primary Program. The Primary here isn't as big as say Salt Lake City, but they are still great. And that's right, you guessed it, we (Missionaries) sang with them. Just contiuing our streek this week. We sang "I hope theu call me on a mission" with the little Primary boys. I fuind a couple thins a little amusing about this. One that the missinaries were twice the hight, number, and volume of the little primary boys, and that in Utah they would probably have had the girls sing as well. One thing that Elder Carr told me was that "I wonder if they way we look at this (the primary program), is the same way Heavenly father see us in our normal sacrament meeting?" I thought that that was kind of funny. 
For the past few weeks we have been working with a Less-Active member. (He's probably reading this, so. Hi Denis!) he served a mission here in Ukraine and is an awesome guy! but for what ever reason he started becomeing less-active. The reasons don't really matter. what matters is that he is doing way more awesome than when I first met him. basically the only thing we have done is helped him started reading the Book of Mormon everyday. We have been promised that if we can get people to do that, that mosg everything will work its self out. And that is very true. He came to church, does home teching and has great insights into the Scriptures. Thisis truly a testimony that The Book of Mormom is the word of God and the statement in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon that says "' . . . the Book of Mormon [is] the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book."'
I want you to all know that I love you very much and that I love being here in Ukraine in the service of my God.

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson


Kyiv, Ukraine Temple.


Хор Кола (Stake Choir)

12/12/2016

Hello everyone!
This week was great as usual. Last week it snowd litterally every day but then this week iot all melted and rained a few days. But it looks like that is changing again. 
Russian is still pretty darn hard. But "line upon line. precept upon precept."
One Sunday we had two of our Investigators come to Church including Sacrament meeting. in our ward we have four sets of missionaries and I think that each companionship had at least two investigators at church. It was incredible. I've never seen so many investigators at church! And then we had Gospel Principles class and man was it full! There was almost no moreroom for any more chairs. The Sisters had a deaf investigator come to church and I got destracted at times watching Sister Natalya translating for her. It was particularly impressive when Brother Maxim in Gospel Principles had everyone intruduce themselves to watch Sister Natalya signing everyone's names. 
Unfortunatly Katya has been sick and is staying with her relitives in Chernigov. So we haven't been able to meet with her and discuss the important steps that she has decided and desired to take. But we hear that she is coming back soon.
This week we had an amazing Zone Conference with Elder Katcher. We compared the missionaries Corianton, Shiblon and Ammon to each other and to our selves. Shiblon was a great missionary but Ammon really understood what it meant to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. We talked a lot about how to change our mindset and break down the lmits we put on ourslves that prevent thw Lord from working in our lives. 
Tlast weekwe (the missionaries) kind of got roped into performing with the Stake on the 17th of Dec for a special Christmas concert. It's been fun have multiple hour long practices and have our kind choir director yell at us and tell us that we sing awefully. But all in all everything is great. I am excited for this concert that the Stake is putting on.
Since the weather is getting less and less forgiving here in Kyiv, we have stopped doing the Book table that we usually do durring the week. Instead we are planning to have a special ward activity where we will have ward member some and we will have a program center around the Savior and Chrsitmas and then afterwards decorate cookies and write nots and things like that. And then on later days we will have a small group of of people to go Christmas Charoling/tracting. I'm excited to see how this will turn out. 
Anyway. I Love you all and I appriciate your support in this glorious work.

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson


Родина Мать.

12/05/2016

Pictures from our trip to the WWII mesum / Rodina Mat.





What? Snow in Ukraine?

12/05/2016

So yeah. It's snowed pretty much every single day this week. But the good things is that at around the middle of the day, almost all of it melts of the side walks. But it has been sticking more and more so looks like winter is here. I guess this is a pretty normal for Eastern Europe. 
One Crazy aweosme thing that happened this week was we got a call fromn our Investigator in Marschun, Katya, called and said "listen I want to be baptized. And I want my huband to be baptized." Elder Carr and I were a little dumbfounded. She is great and it will be even beter to get here less-active huband coming back and baptize her. 
Yesterday was fast Sunday. I don't have any problems with Fast Sunday. In fact I enjoy it very much. I love the spiritual reguvination I receive. But this particular Sunday both Elder Carr and I were particularly hungry. when the glorious time came for us to eat in the evening, we realized that we didn't have as much food as we thought. So we made a half batch of German Pancakes and ate roman while we waited for it to bake. When we took them out, it was like one of the miracles in the movie 17 Miracles where they put the two stale bisckuts in the pot and cook them into a huge mound of bread. Our german Pancakes expanded into soemthing amazing. It was a Christmas Miracle!
The work is going forward and it can't be stopped!
I love serve a mission for My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am trying my hardest to develop attributes that will bring me closer to Jesus Christ.


Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Some photos

11/28/2016




The weird ones are of us at a restaurant called "The Burger" that Elder Carr wanted to show me. 
The other one is after we had our Thanksgiving/Christmas Zone conference at the ward building on the Temple site. 

November 28, 2016

This week has been fun. 
it is alot different here than in the other mission. But the work is all the same. one thing that I have really liked about here is that we do siomething that we call "The Book Table". This is where we go out and set up a little stand out side one of the Metro Stations and have one missionary stand at the table and the others go and pass out cards and say "Бесплатная Книга, вот там на столе!"  (Free book over there on the table). This has proven to be very effective. On condition we give people before we give them the Book of Mormon is that they give us their name and number so we can call and check on their reading. We have so many people with the Book of Mormon in Kyiv! it's wonderful. 
Several days ago we baught some honey from a babushka. Unfortunatly she lives pretty far away. However there is something really cool here in Ukraine called Нова Пошта (New mail (Ukrainian). It is like UPS for only Ukraine. So you can go to a nova pochta location and send something off and you can go pick it up at another one of their locatins. on Frieday we went to the location near our appartment to go pick up the honey we ordered. we walk in and stand in line for a little bit. while waiting we notice the adds on the TVs behind the counter for nova pochta. one add in particular was quite amusing. it was a split scream of the same man but depicting how his life would go with and without nova pochta. the man on the right withnova poshta would walk into an elivator with beautiful girls inside while the other walked into the elivator with a whole bunch of cats. it went on like this for a while. At the end both of them are sitting on the counch and the door bells rings. The man on the right whos life is going great answers the door to a nova pochta delivery man with a package. While the other opens the door to two Mormon Missionaries! as soon as we saw that we both just died from laughter. I don't think anyone in the store realized it though. They were definitly mormon Missionaries. Complete with short sleave white shirts, Black name tags, and goofy looking smiles. It was great. The honey is great too.
On Saturday we hopped on a Маршрутка (bus) and rode out to a little village called Маршун (Marshun). it took a good hour and a half to get out there, so we did our "Twelve Week" study on the Bus. The reason for us going out here was that we had an appointment with an investigator who moved out there from Kyiv. We got to meet with Katya that investigator and her less-active husband Sasha and their friend Oleg who was a former investigator. it went. pretty well in my mind. With my limited Russian I wasn't able to teach all that much like I was abkle to do in Massechusetts. But what happen shows that Companionship Study is very important. Elder Carr at points would use something that I had told him or brought up in Companionship Study in teaching. And from what I could tell, it seemed to be pretty effective. 
All in all this week was great. Lots of work going on and we are always so busy. 
The work of God will go forward!

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson/


Ukraine, Kyiv!

11/21/2016

Hello everyone!
So last last week on Friday I got a call in the evening from Presdient Blair that said I would be leaving on Monday for Ukraine. So I packed my bags like a good missionary and headed out with my two companions. The reason there was no email last week was because I didn't get a P-day. I was just on a plan all day. So I apologies. I flew from Manchester, New Hampshire to Detroit. Then To Amsterdam, Netherlands where we had a long layover. Then we met up with the other missionaries from the MTC and other State side missions and flew togther to Kyiv Ukraine. 
President and Sister packer are amazing. I am glad to serve here in Ukraine. We had a short training where we met our new trainers and got to know the mission a little better on Tuesday. And we found out that even all of us missionariews who were waiting for visas in the US were going to be starting training over. So instead of me being in traing for Twelve weeks, I get to be a trainee for Twenty one weeks! I'll just go with it. so I will be finished with training when I have been out serving for around Eight months. Crazy right! 
My new Trainer's name is Elder Carr. He's from Texas near Dallas. He's really cool and gets really excited when poeple call us back or when we getto teach. He's great.
We are one of four sets of missionaries serving in the Pechersky area. It's the dead center of Kyiv and we get all of the cool stuff. And we have all three Metro lines in our area as well as the crazy awesome WWII museum and the Radina Mat statue. 
So far the jet lag has been pretty darn mild compared to my last experinece living around this area in the world. 
Apparently it snowed a ton here in Kyiv on the dau we were all flying here to great us. it was a bit chilly when we got here. but luckely the things I had were just fine. My companion and I went and bought the rest of the winter gear I need and now I am all set. 

Everything is just wonderful. Especially because I get to devote everything I have to the great work of God!

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson


Knitters Everywhere

11/07/2016

Wow. These weekly emails are becoming more and more of a knitting blog or something.
But all good things. I have been making sure my powers are used for good instead of evil!
There is a homeless shelter near our apartment in Gloucester and I have been making some hats to give to some of them. We here that one of them is Russian! Elder Slaugh when he went out with Brother Wood say that he saw this mysterious Russian man.
Elder Redford and Elder Slaugh have taken up knitting. It's pretty crazy. The tables have turned. The two Elders who grew up on farms and are welders and loggers knitting at the kitchen table while I, the not so manly man, was eating meat.
This week we had some cool experiences. The sisters who were in our area before us still had a paper area book. Right now all paper records should have been destroyed a long time ago. So it has been quite the job trying to go through it and find people whose records are not in the digital area book. While going through it this week we found some names of people who weren't in the digital area book who lived in Wenham and Hamilton. Those areas when we first came in were completely empty of people to teach. One day we decided to make the trip over to Wenham and Hamilton to find these former investigators. That day we gave three blessings to non-members and pick up new investigators and gave a referral to the missionaries down in Connecticut. We got to meet some pretty cool people.
Ever since Elder Slaugh has been with us, we have been able to find and teach way more Spanish people than before. And a lot of them are pretty promising.
There are a few investigators we have that haven't been reading the Book of Mormon because that can't read the small text. We have been working to get large print copies of the Book of Mormon in Spanish and in English so they can read it. We are super excited for them to be able to read. 
 This area has really caught on fire ever since we moved down to Gloucester. The work is moving forward and nothing can stop it. 
A saying I heard a missionary say the other day. 
The Church is True. The Book is Blue. 
I love you all and am thankful for all of the prayers and support. 

Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson










The scarf is Elder Redford's project. The mittens are for my companions. (They wanted mittens that they could shoot with)

Sent from my iPad

Some photos

10/31/2016









Divide and Conquer!

10/31/2016

Trios and either be a huge blessing, or they can be horrible.
Luckily I a, in one of the ones that is a huge blessing.
It has been interesting have two companions and what that entails.
I believe that because of Elder Slaugh, a humongous door has been opened to us that otherwise wouldn't have been. Our teaching pool has grown a lot more and we are seeing so much more success.
This past week we have been able to have members come down and go out with us and that has been such a great blessing. Before, we could get even one. Although it isn't as much as we would like or what other can get, it is a huge step and we have seen huge success because of that.
One day when we were looking for the Russian guy who works at the gas station, we met another man working there named Mike. We didn't talk to him a whole lot, but we developed a good relationship. That night while looking for a potential, Elder Slaugh all of the sudden started walking up the stairs to the upper apartments. Not much success until the last door at the very top where Mike from the Gas station answered! He let us in and we taught him and set up a return appointment. He had lots of great questions like "wouldn't it make sense that the Indians (referring to the Native Americans) would have the gospel too and not just the people over in Jerusalem?". Later I got to go out with Brother Miller, the High Priest Group Leader, and went to the next appointment we had set up with Mike. We got in and started the lesson. He opened with prayer and we talked about the reading from the Book of Mormon we left him with. He had a lot of great insights. We started teaching him when a lady living in the same house came up to us and started yelling for us to get out and how we were evil and fake. She spent a lot of time arguing with Mike and we just tried to explain that we didn't want to be the cause of contention. It was cool to see how Mike was defending us and we got to see his desire to learn more. Unfortunately, we won't be able to teach him in his home anymore. We are going to have to find another way. We have some ideas.
On Saturday we went back to the gas station where Mike works and originally where we went to find someone who was supposedly Russian and working there. We walked in and the man there was named Vitally. I asked him if he spoke Russian in Russian, and he said yes in English.
He wasn't very interested to learn more about the gospel but liked talking with us. It was funny. I spoke to him in Russian and he almost exclusively spoke in English. A little bit of a role switch. In the beginning we saw that he had a little but of a hard time figuring out where I was from. After I explained that I was from Utah and he being surprised, expressed that I had a really good accent. And said that I must have been a student for s long time learning Russian. He agreed to let us come back on terms of him helping me to learn more Russian.
We hope that is will lead him wanting to learn.
He also said at one point that his mother is living here as well. So we know of at least three Russians here in Gloucester.
Yesterday we had another member come down for quite a while after church to work here with us. Brother Wood, our Assistant Ward Mission Leader,  was very kind in giving us so much of his time to us. While he and Elder Slaugh were off working, Elder Redford and I drove to a potential investigator family that we otherwise without the car wouldn't be able to get to. We found out that with only two day lest in the month, that we were doing pretty well on miles. Some decided that it would be okay to use it. We went and knocked in the potential family's door but they didn't answer. They had a Russian or Polish looking last name, so we were excited to see if anyone spoke Russian.
Right before we got back in e car to drive away, Elder Redford got a pretty strong prompting to walk over to the house across the street and knock on the door. We followed this prompting and went and did.
But unfortunately, no one was home. He said that he felt confused at this because he felt s strong prompting to do it. But right after we turned around, we saw a car pull into the driveway of the first house where we knocked. I immediately knew that that prompting was just meant to keep us from leaving long enough for them to get home. We walked up and talked with them. We gave the two kids the Beanie Babies that we carry around and helped them with their groceries. We now have a return appointment with This wonderful family comprised of a Dominican mom and grandma, two little kids, and a Ukrainian dad named Sergey! We haven't  met Sergey, but the mom is really exited for us to come and teach them. What a cool miracle!
And to add on top of that. After we switched and Elder Redford went with Brother Wood, we found another person from India who we have a return appointment with and a on fire investigator that Elder Redford and Brother Wood taught. Her name is Jeramy and is super great. They told me that she was so exited to hear everything ye were teaching and agreed with everything. She had great questions that only someone really elect would ask. And when they pulled out the Book of Mormon and explained what it was, she actually said "Give me that book!" and basically snatched it out of his hands. They also gave her and English copy as well as Spanish so when she reads it, she can get the most out of it. And she also whole heartedly agreed to be baptized if she found out that it was all true. We are so exited to see how the next meeting with her goes.
 And to add on top of everything, my two companions are interested enough that they have asked me to start teaching them how to knit.
. . . I think I'll stick to teaching restored truths. . .
But everything is great. We are seeing so much growth in our area and Ward. And my companions are getting better tension when they knit.
It is seriously amazing to be a missionary. Good times and bad. And right now is one of those good times.
I hope you all know how much I love is gospel and the opportunity I have to find and teach God's children the way back to Him. I am not just saying this because everything is going well. But in these times I am a lot more able to see God's hand in this work and in our lives.
Jesus is the Christ. He is the Only way. The Atonement never was or is "plan B". It is the only way and ha been from beginning.

Love you all.


Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson

Winter Stuff

10/24/2016

Fear not! My companion is Hot!

Sorry. It just had to rhyme.

So Elder Redford is great. I feel pretty guilty. But he gave me his coat. . . It's pretty nice too. Water proof. Has a liner. I really don't know what I should do. But I have been trying to work more on letting other serve me and not denying them that opportunity. So even though I feel super bad about it, I (kind of) accepted.
Today we went to Marshell's and I bought some other cold weather gear.
I got three pairs of thermal bottoms. Two pairs of nice Icebreaker Marino wool socks. A pretty nice jacket and a hat. From what I saw last on what you said I had in my account I should have had enough to pay for it with my personal card. But for what ever reason it wouldn't work and I had to use the church card. I spent almost $170 exactly. It was like $169. Could you check my scout and see what the balance is?
And if there isn't enough, could you bring it up to that amount? I don't want to use the mission card for person things. So I need to make sure that they can get that money back.
Anyway. I think I am pretty well off.
Love you so much. Sorry to hear about Abby.

Elder Clawson


P.s. Yes it is pronounced Glah-ster.


Wait . . . so now there's three of us?

10/24/2016

Hello hello!
So my first transfer in field has come to an end. . . But nothing has changed except that we got an addition to our companionship! Elder Slaugh from Vernal, Utah is now the third member of the Georgetown 3 area. Or am I the third member? . . I don't know. All I know is that I was guaranteed at least six weeks state side. But now that six weeks is up. I know that the other Elders in my district who had their calls changed that were serving in Spokane are now in Ukraine. So I have even less of a clue of when (or if) I am leaving for Ukraine.
So we are having some pretty interesting changes in our mission. The Methuen and Lawrence areas in our Zone (Exeter South) as of Nov. 6 will no longer be apart of the New Hampshire Manchester Mission. They will be under the Boston Mission. And those wards, the Lawrence and Methuen wards, will be taken from our stake (Exeter Stake) and combined with other wards from he Concord Stake to creat the new Shoreline Stake. So yeah. It's all fun.
Elder Redford with his limited Spanish has been able to contact quite a few people. He has gotten return appointments, shared videos, and past out copies of the Book of Mormon to many people. Usually this wouldn't be that impressive. But when you remember that he has been serving for twenty one months in English and has in the past six weeks been switched to Spanish and try to learn on his own, it's pretty cool.
Elder Slaugh is one transfer ahead of me. He was previously serving in the Lawrence Ward and was called as an Spanish speaking Missionary. So he has the MTC and two transfers of Spanish experience under his belt.
He is going to be a huge help to us in this area.
I finished the pink sweater for Eve, Lana's older sister, and she was super excited about it. And when we went over to give it to them, we got to meet Jenny's parents. That family is so primed to be taught the Restored Gospel. It is just do hard with absolutely no miles to use to go up to Ipswich and visit them more.
Elder Redford wanted me to make him a pair of mittens. So I did! And now Elder Slaugh wants a pair too. So I guess I will have to knit for him ;) Yesterday we were trying to contact a referral when Elder Slaugh expressed that he wanted to go see the ocean. So we walked over by the beach and stood on some rocks and took pictures (don't worry. We were well within missionary rules). It was nice. But the cool part was that walking back to the road we met a man named Dave. He was pretty nice to us and talked with us for a while. He didn't accept our invitation to learn, but it wasn't a failure.
I am saddened to report that Leviticus is probably dead.
A few weeks back when we came down and looked at the apartment, we were sitting in the car and I saw next the car walking down the street, was a seagull. He didn't once flap his wings or anything during the seeming long time we watched him. He just walked. And even when cars were about to hit him, he just walked. So I named him Leviticus. Don't ask we why, I don't knew why either. So whenever we see a seagull sitting on a chimney or a power line, we figure it's probably Leviticus the walking seagull who walked up to the chimney or power line. While come ping home from getting groceries today, we saw a dead seagull in the middle of the road. Elder Redford says that Leviticus is probably the only seagull that could die like that because he just walked out on the busy road and got hit. I however thing that he isn't dead but lives.

Anyway.
This week was a great week. Things have been picking up a lot more.
It's hard work, but it is worth it.

Love you all.

 Старейшина Класон / Elder Clawson





Joseph Smith Memorial

10/17/2016

Let me start off by apologizing.
. . . Probably one of the coolest things that I have been to. And I don't have s picture of it to show. . .
There were its of people who took pictures of it and we had some group pictures taken. But I was not able to get a you the yet. However. I will do my best to get them and send them.
So anyway. On Monday we drove up to Vermont to the JSM. On Tuesday we spent the day doing service there. We did things like scrape off the old paint and apply new paint from the cabins in Camp Joseph. Hang Christmas lights for this upcoming season. Cut pack the plants by the monument. It was all so much fun. Elder Redford is somewhat of a farmer. So when he got to drive around one of the gaters, he about died form joy. And on top of that, it was a standard transmission. I don't think that one person can handle that much happiness that he had.
We had a r rally cool fireside with us new missionaries and their trainers and The Mission Presidency.
Then we got to sleep over in the little tiny cabins in Camp Joseph. It was unheated and we were all told to bring extra blankets. I came prepared, but ended up being a little too hot during the night. I guess that's a good problem to have. We had breakfast at Camp Joseph and spend a good party of the day in trainings with President Blair and the Assistants.
It was all very good. I am glad that I was there. Not only to experience the JSM and fall in Vermont. But to be in those trainings.
Before we left on Monday to head up, we stopped by our Potential family in Ipswich and gave the infant her sweater. It was so great.
They were so happy to get that sweater and to see it on their daughter. The mom even almost started crying. We are so exited to get in more and teach them. Their family is just great.
After we got back on Wednesday, we spend a ton of time cleaning and packing. We moved down to Gloucester on Saturday while simultaneously being on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. It was a little bit of a crazy experience.
We are all moved in and settled. We really lucked out with this great apartment.
Sunday was Stake Conference here in the Exeter Stake. There were some pretty cools things that were talked about. Specifically about following the Spirit and about the Temple. We had President Blair and the President of the Boston Temple come and speak to uses well as others.
 In terms of proselyting. We haven't been able to teach or find much this week at all due to meetings and moving. But when we did teach and find. We had some pretty good success.
I am close to finishing the second sweater for the potential family.
It has taken a little bit of effort to get this one to where it is in such a short amount of time. I have no idea when I will be leaving.
But I can assume that I won't be staying here in Massachusetts for very much longer.
All in all everything is just great. I can't think of anything that I could complain about. I can only think about how amazing it is to serve.

Love you all.


Elder Clawson / Старейшина Класон.

Photos below were sent to me by Elder Redford's mom









Sweaters for Potentials

10/10/2016

So I found a yarn shop here in Ipswich called Loom n' Shuttle. But unfortunately they don't have anything there to do with weaving. But I was able to get some yarn, needles and a pattern. Today I finished the first one for the infant of the family that we want to teach. We got to meet the dad and help him paint his garage. They are all great and we are hoping that these sweaters will be the thing that will let us teach them. Elder Redford says that if they get baptized because of my knitting that he is going to have to talk to President Monson about this.
One day while Tracting, we knocked on a house where a middle aged lady answered and proclaimed "I know. I know. Jesus loves me". Them said she was eating dinner and had four really excited dogs. So it wasn't a good time. But she said that she would love to speak with us. We gave a short doorstep message about the plan of salvation. She said that her mom had died a year ago and her daughter two week s ago. She also said that she could see a light in our eyes and that she could see that we were sincere. And she also said that she wanted to bring one of her friends to sit in on one of our lessons. We are pretty excited for our return appointment.
After all of that, we were walking down the street and came upon a pole sticking out of the ground. We stopped and Elder Redford said "I can flagpole that." After a short pause I said "Do it." Then he did it! He's crazy.
In our apartment we have a small mismatched dumbbell set. Instead of using them for their intended purpose, we use them for home defense weapons if the need arises. We both took one of the bars and screw on some of the stoppers on the end. We call it the "Clabber". We each keep one on our night stands.
We had our apartment shown since we are moving soon. We cleaned it up more than it already was so I could be as show worthy as possible. And after they showed the apartment to the prospective tenant, we realized that we left our clabbers out. We think that they think we are even more of a peculiar people that originally assumed.
A funny story about last night at Bishop Adams' home. We were just about dish up for dinner (Every one needs Sister Adams' cooking. You haven't lived until you have eaten in their home), when their daughter offered for us to go first. But we declined and asked her to go first.
We simply said "Ladies first." After our special moment where we just exemplified gentlemanliness. She went in to start dishing up, and while exclaiming " Alright Elders, let me show you how it's done!", Bishop Adams totally cuts in front of her and starts going at it. We all thought it was pretty funny. Besides that. We had a very good spiritual discussion based on the word "Penitent".
Earlier in this past week we cleaned out a large portion of our apartment. We found a number of odd things. And one was a large black bag filled up with about a hundred beanie-babies. We had an idea to each carry one with us and give it to a kid as a way to gain the trust of people. We have already given away quite a few of them already. And we have had lots of great experiences with it. I just hope that we don't find someone who wants the hedgehog that I found. I'm not sure how willing I am to give that one up.
Fast Sunday was amazing. Some people might think that I am really weird of how much I love fasting. And they'd be right! It's one of the best ways to get super spiritually pumped up.
I am excited for New Missionary Training meeting tomorrow.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you all!


Elder Clawson / Старейшина Класон

Photos from Elder Redford

10/10/2016


Elder Clawson blocking the sweater he made for an investigator.


Apparently it is a favorite thing for Elder Redford to get photos "flagging" (how does he do that?) on different things.

Your Missionaries in Action

10/09/2016

More from Sister Adams

"Elder Clawson is making a sweater during his dinner hour and when they are driving to appointments to provide a sweater for an investigator...."





The Bishop's Wife is where it's at!

10/03/2016

Hello hello!
This week was just wonderful.
We found an apartment in Gloucester and we should be moving in shortly here. The Land lord was super nice to us. And she has so many places where we could serve in her little network. We might have to become elves for Christmas. . .
One evening earlier this week, the Bishop's wife took us our for dinner and had a little "coordination" meeting with her. We had some tasty sea food. And we even had Octopus! I personally thought it could have used some pepper. But if you know me, you wouldn't be surprised with that. One thing that she told us was that missionaries in our area have seemed to neglect going to Rowley and working there as well.
It seem stop be a trend here that when missionaries have miles on their cars, they go way out and try to work in the furthest areas. And when they don't have miles and have to walk, they stay within the town where they live. So there ends up being this I between area that gets missed. So we resolved and planned to go to Rowley the next day which could be considered as one of those "in-between-areas". The next day after finishing our ditsy street we planned to tract on, we felt impressed to go a little further. The first house we knocked on ended up being two now investigators for us. They let us in and gave us some cookies. Their names are Nick and Laura. He is Greek and she is as American as they come. They are both elderly and are busy. But they made time for us to talk and share a lesson.
A similar thing happened the next day when we were tracting in Ipswich. We finished a street and was leaving a grumpy ladies house when we saw a tattooed, bearded, smoking man go into his house. We felt both that we just wanted to find someone to talk to and that he should go to his house. His name is Jason and has a family. We talked with him for a while and gave a lesson. He is a Mason and is committed to his beliefs. We believe a lot of the same things, and I feel that we will have a great impact on him. More than we both realize.
Allan our other investigator accepted the invitation to be baptized and is now going above and beyond. He called us up one evening saying that he has found coats for us. And the family across the street from him whom we contacted and said that they weren't interested, Allan said that they want to have dinner with us. We were blown away and are super excited.
I'm surprised that I'm not dead yet. Every single home we go into they have either a dog or a cat. And Allan's dog, Gidget, is shedding so much that when she rubs up against my leg, she leaves my pant leg covered with hair. Surprisingly, I have only had minimal allergies to this. And even more. My companion is basically a science experiment.
He gets these massive migraines to the point were he looks like he is having a stroke. He has to carry around one his belt this humongous shots that he has to give himself if he gets an attack. He said that the doctor that gave the, to him said that "Now. These aren't your average shots. When these go in, they freaking hurt!" If you know my history with these types of things, you will know that this isn't the ideal situation for me. To have a companion with these types of things. Luckily, he hasn't had to use them yet. And let's that he doesn't have to use them. . . For my sake. . .
 Is week, we get to go to "New Missionary Training". And it will be held this time at the Joseph Smith Memorial in Vermont. I am super excited for this. And we will be staying over night there. The only down side is that we will be staying on unheated cabins. I guess we're camping! Thankfully my companion is very prepared and has enough to help me through this as well as himself.
One thing that I found out is that there are yarn shops here! We are going to go to one today and check it out! I am more than excited. And don't worry, it's all for missionary work. Don't think that I'm siting here messing around with fibers all day.
General Conference was the best! I don't think that I have ever taken so many notes in that space of time ever. My faith that our Bishop and Ward Leader are inspired by the fact that what they have been teaching and say thing that we need to do, directly correlates to what we heard the prophets say in Conference.
I am so excited for what this next week will hold. And hopefully we will have a baptismal date co ding up here!

I love you all!


Elder Clawson / Старейшина Класон.

Photos from Sister Adams

9/26/2016

Sister Adams is the bishops wife in the ward where Elder Clawson is serving. She takes great care of the missionaries! Here they are at a local seafood restaurant.

"We love your missionaries!  Bishop Adams was at a conference  for work so I drove to Gloucester and met your sons at a restaurant we love in Gloucester called Causeway!  They tried Calamari, shrimp, fried clams, fish and chips, and Fish  chowder!  They got their fill of seafood and took home the leftovers.  We appreciate your sacrifice in sharing your sons for this season on life.  Please pray for their success as they win the hearts of the New Englanders!  If you've ever watched "A Perfect Storm". It is filmed where your sons are serving!  Pray for them that they will find those seeking answers.  The biggest hurdle is when they ask investigators to church it becomes a 5 hour commitment.  1 hour to and from church and 3 hrs at church.  Tell me how many people you know would give up 1/2 of their day to go to church?  But they do, it's amazing!

Thank you for great missionaries!  They are strengthening our members and sharing the gospel.

With Gratitude,
Sister Adams"



Russians!

9/26/2016

Hello everyone!
So, New England is great.
It hasn't turned to fall yet. But judging by how It is getting colder and colder, I suspect that Autumn will be here shortly. I look forward to all of the beautiful colors that Fall will bring.
We get to drive cars in this mission and on occasion, bike. The three downsides to a car are: You have a limited amount of miles to use. You don't get to walk out side everywhere all of the time. And the little box that sends data to the church yells at you if you speed.
In reality these things aren't all that bad. I just feel obligated to tell you that I would rather be walking than lounging in a car.
In our District, we have four companion ships and four cars. And when we came in, they added the fourth car to acomidate us. And in each Zone are a set number of miles that they are given from the mission to distribute. And Elder Redford and I in particular have been in great need for more miles to use due to our areas of labor and the distances thereof and to church and other meetings. The Zone Leaders being the great Elders they are, gave up some of their miles to give to us. And even then, we have to walk most of the time everywhere. One day we realized that there is a train that goes by our apartment all of the time. So we did some searching and found the platform and the map and schedule. And with some earnest emails and phone calls, we got permission to ride it. This is only a recent development, so we haven.t had a chance to ride it yet.

One awesome thing that happened this week.
We were walking around in Ipswich (we were trying to save up miles).
And we found this elderly lady and started talking with her. After some confused looks on her part about my name tag and after our explanation that I speak Russian, she explained that right down the road there is a Russian Orthodox Church. So afterwards we went to check it out. Elder Redford was tacking a picture of the numbers and times posted on the now confirmed Russian Orthodox Church when on of the Priests came out and started talking to us. He asked us if we had ever been inside. We said no. And he then asked if we would like to go in. It was very beautiful and very well ornamented. We told us some stories of the saints depicted in some of the icons. After he finished giving his "shpil", I asked him if there was a Russian community around. Because I noticed that everything was in English and the priest didn't speak any Russian.  He said that there used to be, but most of them aren't around anymore. He said that the people that come to his services are almost all American. But he did say that there were Russians that came. So we know that there are Russians here. And it's my duty to find them. This is a great opportunity for this mission to have Russian speaking missionaries here. Now I don't want you to think that I am boasting of myself. I just by means of sings from heaven know that there is a greater purpose for me being here in New England than just waiting for a visa.
And to add on that, after church on Sunday. I met a sister who came up to me and started speaking in Russian. You don't even know how excited I was to finally talk in Russian with some one else than my self and the iPad. She is native to Bulgaria and due to communist oppression, was expected to learn Russian. She is great. And she wants to help me speak as much as I can while here.

We still haven't found an apartment in Gloucester yet. We are actively searching. This week we saved up enough miles to justify making a trip down to Gloucester. As soon as we hoped out of the car in the "Shaw's"
parking lot, Both my companion and I recall that we felt right and felt that this is were we were meant to be serving.
We were unable to teach anyone. But we did talk with people. And I am confident that as soon as we start working the majority of the time there, that many miracles will be seen.
On the way to Gloucester from Ipswich we pass by a lake. And on this lake there is a small platform in the middle of it with a single house on top of it. Both me and Elder Redford really really want to live in that house. The only problem is that missionaries are not aloud to be in boats. But I'm sure we can work something out.

The work is moving forward! All we can do is accelerate it.
I love you all.


Elder Clawson /Старейшина Класон (<- my Russian name sound s exactly like a form of the word they use for saying if some is cool. So my name could mean "Elder Sick!")



Mission Field!

9/19/2016

Hello! hello!
So everything is just wonderful!
On Monday we arrived here in the New Hampshire, Manchester Mission.
Our Mission President, President Blair, welcomed us with open arms. I am very thankful to be here in this area of the world, and with these amazing people right now.
Within an hour of arriving, we were put with another missionary and sent off to street contact in Downtown Manchester. We got to talk with some pretty "interesting" people. and we handed out four Books of Mormon. After we got to the Mission home we had taco salad prepared by Sister Blair. I am thankful for non-MTC food. Not that I have anything against it. But after nine weeks, you get a little tried of biscuits and gravy for breakfast every morning. 

 On Tuesday I met my trainer. His name is Elder Redford. He is twenty months out and two transfers away other than our own from going home. 
He is from Idaho and is crazy good at everything (except knitting. That's my thing). From what he has told me and what others have told me. The three things he is a absolute master of are: welding, Gymnastics and martial arts. 
And from what I have seen him do, I believe it. 
We get along just great. We have no problems what so ever. . . at least for now. . .

This mission covers all of New Hampshire. And all most all of Maine and Vermont. And a little bit of New York and Massachusetts. Elder Redford and I were sent to open a new area of the mission in Massachusetts. Right now we live in Ipswich, MA. But we are trying our hardest to move down to Gloucester, where President Blair really wants us. 
It is so beautiful here. we live almost right by the ocean right now and will be as soon as we move. It is so green and tress everywhere. And to think that we're in a drought. 

It has been a little bit strange and awesome being a Russian Speaking Missionary state side. In our mission, missionaries are called to either speak English, Spanish or French. Most of the time what happens is that we introduce our selves to someone and they look first at my companion's name tag and then look at mine. Their expression quickly changes as they try to decipher my Cyrillic name. It has also been a bit hard trying to keep my Russian only given an hour each day to study it and then not use it the rest of the day. 
In my interview with President Blair the first day (Night. I was one of the last interviewees and it was super late), he said that he previously talked with the Stake Presidents and found out that around the mission, there are little pockets of Russians. And he indicated that we (Ukrainian Visa Waiters) are to find them. 
So far I haven't found anyone one yet who speaks Russian or Ukrainian for that matter. But I sense that there is someone around here who only I with my language can communicate with. 

Here is a cool story. 
On the day that I met Elder Redford, he walked up to President Blair and asked him that since I had language study every day, if he wanted him to study a language as well. President Blair jokingly replied, "How's your Spanish?" Elder Redford said that he didn't know anything in Spanish. Then President Blair again jokingly said, "Do you want to learn?"
After some inquiring, we were told that the area in which we were assigned is almost exclusively English. 
However the first day we were in Gloucester, the first person we talked to was Hispanic and only spoke Spanish. 
So that evening, Elder Redford called President Blair and told him about our experience. After that I learned that President Blair changed my companion's call to Spanish. Now with four months left, Elder Redford is now a Spanish speaking missionary. 

The Creative finding method we are trying to implement this week is I will make Knitted hats, scarves or socks. And use that as a door opener. My companion will kind of be the "Salesman" in this effort and hopefully we will be able to help someone with this. 

Everything is going great. It hasn't been a great challenge adjusting. But I know that there is a lot more to come. And I am ready. This work is true, and I am the Lord's servant. 

Love you all.

Elder Clawson


I have arrived!

9/12/2016

Hey! (This is Elder Clawson)
So I arrived in Manchester safely.  My first half hour was spent street contacting.  I'm a little scarred of being in the field, but am ready and I trust in the Lord.  Anyway, everyone is awesome, and can't wait to serve.

Elder Clawson

(Mission Home)


105 Wind Song ave. Manchester, NH 03104 

New Plans

9/8/2016

Alright.
So we got our new flight plans today. For at least the next six weeks I will be serving in the New Hampshire, Manchester Mission. I leave Tuesday the 12th at around 7:00am. So I will be able to call and talk with you when I check in to the airport. I'm not quite sure when exactly I will be calling. I report to the MTC travel office at 3:20am. And I am pretty sure that my flight leaves at around 7:00am, but I can't remember right now. So potentially, I could be calling anywhere from around 5:00 to 6:00? When I find out more I'll do my best to let you know. 


Elder Clawson.

Almost Out!

9/08/2016

Hello.
So things have been going well. 
Last Friday, MTC President and Sister Burgess all of the sudden without warning walked into our class room and told us that they need to meet with us. The two departing districts in our Zone met with them and they told us that The Twelve Apostles have been praying and decided that due to political unrest and some other factors, they are reducing the compliment of missionaries going to Russia. Many of us including myself were reasigned to a deifferent Russian speaking mission. I will now be serving in the Ukraine, Kyiv/Kiev mission. 
There are three missions in Ukraine and each on has pretty close to a third of the country. The Kyiv mission is the center one and contains the capital of Kyiv. 
Since I had already received my Visa and Flight Plans for Vladivostok, I will almost 100% be going state side for around one transfer. I still haven't received my new flight plans, and am ignorant of where I will be serving for the next while. 
Don't worry. Everything is under control. I am not  worried at all. It's just another adventure that I am to embark on. 
So now the "New Russian Laws" that we have been so worried about don't apply to me anymore. So feel free to Call me an missionary or Elder and talk all you want about Gospel topics. 
Even though I am going to be Russian speaking in Ukraine (most of Ukraine is comprised of Russians and excluding some western areas, is basically Russia), I still have to know how to understand Ukrainian at least a little bit. So now I have most of my study materials in three languages. 
So in our District we have Ten Missionaries. A trio of Sisters. Sister Cook (Yekaterineberg), Sister Christansen (Seatle -Russian speaking), and Sister Tanner (Was going to Vladivostok, but now is going to Ukraine, Kyiv). Out of the Elders we have a trio and two "normal" companionships. Elder Griffiths (Yekaterineberg), Elder Felt (Was going to Yekaterineberg, but now is going to Dnyeper (Dnyepopetrovsk) ), Elder Peterson (same as Elder Felt), Elder Roylance (Was going to Novosibersk, but now is going to Ukraine Kyiv, Elder Neuffer and Clawson (Same as Sister Tanner), and Elder Lawrence who is still going to be serving in Vladivostok. 
It's crazy how we are already done teaching TRC (Teaching reasource Center) and our Investigators (Teachers). And we only have a short amount of time left here in the MTC. 
Today we went to our last Temple session here in the MTC. We got permission to go to the 7:00am session. And afterwards we ate breakfast together as a District in the Temple cafeteria. 

I am super excited to go out and serve. It doesn't matter where I go. It only matters that I am doing all I can to bring others unto Christ.

I love you all. 


Elder Clawson. 

So, yeah . . .

9/2/2016

So don't freak out.

So today right after dinner MTC president and Sister Burgess came and met with the two departing Districts in our Zone. 
So, many of us were reassigned to different Russian Speaking Missions including myself. I have been reassigned to the Ukraine, Kyiv mission Russian speaking. My departure date is still the same but we don't know (again) what our flight plans are. 
I know that this is a divinely guided decision and am only a little disappointed because I was focused on Vladivostok. Everything is fine and I am ready. I just hope that I can help the others not get to discouraged. 

Anyway. Love you all. 
. . .I might have to get some new mission shirts. . .


Elder Clawson

Flight Plans!

9/2/2016

So yeah.
We got our flight plans and name tags today. 
So since we got our flight plans, we get to email our families and tell them. 
So I am Travel Leader of my travel group. Our group is Comprised of three Elders and one Sister going to Vladivostok. 
We leave on Tuesday the 13th at 3:20pm. We are flying from SLC to LAX then to ICN (Seoul,Korea) then to VV (Vladivostok) at aproximatly 1:50pm on Sep 15.
I don't think that baggage will be a big problem, but I probably still have to send books home. 

Also I would like you to send me as many pictures of things that I have knitted over email please. 

Oh, and another thing. At the airport I can call and talk to you guys. I already have my calling card and am all set. 
Another thing. My Russian name is a little differant than what was on my previous Russian visa. So my name in Russian is slang for "cool". I am pretty proud of this.

Anyway. Can't wait to talk with you!


Elder Clawson

My Companion

Elder Roylance/Brother Jordan