Week 33 -“Heavenly Father definitely reminded me this week that He’s in charge and He has helped me learn Spanish.”

Hola como estan mis chavos. Les extraño mucho y espero que esten al cien. I’m straight preaching the gospel out here so you already know I’m doing fantastic. How could Ii even complain. My biggest problems in the world right now have to do with whether or not people want to listen to me. Obviously being a set-apart missionary makes those problems seem absolutely monstrous, but when I really think about it. I dont have too many worries.

This week was good with the San Blas elders. We found 10 new investigators and set a few baptismal dates. The hard part is getting them to attend church, but we did get one of them to come and this guy is crazy smart.  Sometimes I’m a little nervous because some of the questions he asks are nuts. Like dude, just read the Book of Mormon, focus on your feelings, and shut off. You dont  need to know how spirit prison was formed man. Haha but he has a sweet spirit and a desire to learn so I think he will do great and I’m excited to teach him.

This week I really saw the gift of tongues. It’s weird because I can speak Spanish just fine and I don’t have too many problems. Until I forget to ask Heavenly Father for the gift of tongues  and then I feel like I’m still in my first week of the mission. Heavenly Father definitely reminded me this week that He’s in charge and He has helped me learn Spanish. I forgot to pray for help in that specific category one day this week. I wouldn’t say I was a mess but I would say I struggled. So I repented and asked for the Divine help.

Me and Elder Chamberlain, who has 3 months in the mission, were talking in the church bathroom and he just started laughing so hard. I was like…. what the??…. and then he just spit out “I only have 3 months in the mission!!!!”  I started busting up laughing so hard and then it hit me and I said “I’m not even half way.” we had a good laugh and talked about how weird the time is, and how he will enjoy it more when he has a companion that gets out of bed. I love him and we have plans to go to school together after.

Elder Koyle is dope. We are getting along and the weeks are moving quicker. So that’s cool. I would definitely say the hard part about the mish so far for me is that I’ve only been transferred once and I only got transferred like 25 minutes down the road so I feel like I’ve been in the same place for a fat minute. But now that we have some progressing investigators I dont even think about it too much.

It’s been a good week and I have seen the hand of the Lord. I know that He is guiding this work. I know that we are His children and He loves each one of us. He wants to help us. We aren’t alone even if we feel like we are. It’s never too late. He wants us to change and he’s waiting for it. Don’t let your past, or even your present, determine your future.

I love you all. have a great week.

Elder Cluff

Week 32-“I strive to make the piece of tile I kneel on sacred. I strive to beg and plead with my Heavenly Father. I strive to thank him and praise each blessing he gives me. Our prayers need to mean everything.

Hola!
It’s been a great week. I’ve learned a lot and felt a lot of growth. That’s how I like it. It was a quick week too. This week we had interviews with President Clayton. Love interviews. It’s the best to talk to President one on one and just get some real specific advice.
We also had a little training with Hermana Clayton and it was just spot on. Exactly what I think a lot of missionaries needed to hear. It was all about prayer. She said a phrase several times that I loved. “we need to pray at every intersection” and then we went into further detail about what are those intersections. Really at any moment when we don’t know what to do or our plans fall through, we need to pray. It’s praying at these intersections that is going to bring us success. We need that morning prayer that covers us like an umbrella during the day, but it’s not enough. We need to pray and speak with Heavenly Father at every intersection. We also need to make sure our prayers are sincere and heart felt. Many times we sit down to bless the food or begin a meeting with a very recited prayer. We have all heard it a million times. Like come on!  That prayer didn’t even make it past the ceiling. We need to pray with fervor thinking about each word, using the Holy Ghost, so that our prayers bust through the ceiling and make it to our Heavenly Father. We need to think and pray like we are talking to our God.
I often feel discouraged because I really have this desire to talk to Heavenly Father and I want to do it in a better way. I sometimes struggle to really keep myself focused on each word. I even fall asleep sometimes. I’m gonna go ahead and toss the blame on the fact that I’m a missionary and I’m tired. haha  But really I feel sometimes as if I can’t get better. But when I really think about it and really focus, I CAN do it. I strive to make the piece of tile I kneel on sacred. I strive to beg and plead with my Heavenly Father. I strive to thank him and praise each blessing he gives me. Our prayers need to mean everything.

I’m lovin the mish though. This week the Elders from San Blas are here with us because its a little nuts in their area during Semana Santa. So they are gonna work with us and I’m working with Elder Chamberlain who is also being trained right now (by my last comp Elder Hernandez) so if you’ve followed my letters at all you might know exactly how the training of Elder Chamberlain is going. So I’m really excited to help him and learn from him.

I had a super spiritual experience with him yesterday. We were teaching lesson one to a family that we’ve started teaching. I just stared at each one of them in their eyes for 45 minutes straight. Bearing testimony of each point in the Restoration. I knew in my heart and soul that each word I was saying was being conveyed to them by the Spirit. I knew for myself as well, that what I was saying was true. I had a smile on my face the whole lesson because the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. We have it. We are part of it. How miraculous is that? I’m so thankful for this Gospel. I just love it.

I’d just like to bear my testimony of a few simple truths I know. I know that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for us so that we can live. I know that through him we can be cleansed from sin. I know that he appeared to Joseph Smith and restored the Gospel through him. I know that the priesthood of God has also been restored. I know that. I really know it. I know that our families through that power can be eternal. I know God loves us and knows us, and wants us to be happy. I love that I can share that with others. I’m on that grind and I’m doing  my best. I love you!!

Elder Cluff

Week 31-“As good as the spirit can make you feel, you can feel much worse when you don’t listen.”

Hola!

I cant even tell you how excited I was all week for Conference. I was talking to one of my mission buds last week, serving in Hermosillo, and he wrote me saying he felt like the biggest nerd because it felt like Christmas. Haha I feel like a very big nerd with freckles and glasses because I was also that excited. Unfortunately I was just as sad when it ended. Anyway, I took a little bit of advice from a loving mission president who asked us all to write down our questions and worries and he promised that we would find the answers…. Like always the promise was fulfilled.

I cant even explain the clarity of my answers. I honestly feel like the apostles read my questions and then wrote their talks. The answers were incredibly clear to very specific questions. Even down to “how should I study the Bible” I invite anyone who has questions and worries that they don’t have answers to, to write them down and go ahead and give conference another listen. Because they are there.

This week went kinda quick. Not super quick. But normal. Heavenly father has been blessing us as usual. We had some super spiritual lessons. That’s how you want it. Felt some super awesome spiritual promptings. I also didn’t act on a spiritual prompting to contact someone. I haven’t been able to forget their face. As good as the spirit can make you feel, you can feel much worse when you don’t listen.  I hope I can find the family again, because well, I’m gonna contact them this time.

The power of the Holy Ghost is so real. Its an amazing gift that we should strive to always have, we will fall short sometimes, but through Jesus Christ we can receive forgiveness and feel the Spirit again. I know that this his the Lord’s work. He is moving it. I know that as we all try a little harder to be a little better we will see the hand of the Lord. I know that he will walk with you and sometimes for you, so that you can reach your goal. I know that this is true. the longer I am here the more it clicks. It makes sense. it’s so perfect. I love it. and it’s becoming everything to me. I love you all. Have a good week!

 

Elder Cluff

 

Week 30- “Prophets of God still live.”

Hola!
This could have been the worst week of my mission. But it wasn’t. I started my first week of training a little down. I was feeling a ton of pressure to teach my companion how to be a missionary. It’s been a little hard here in this area because we really don’t have very many investigators at all, so I was stressed about that too. I started thinking about how I didn’t want to be training. I was having a really stressful anxious couple of days. Squirming and shrinking under the pressure of everything, so I decided to pray. (I had already prayed but I decided to really pray) And I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel an answer and I didn’t feel help. I wanted to cry in all honesty. But little by little I felt little bursts of happiness and brightness. But in my mind I still hadn’t received my answer. I don’t know exactly what I wanted. But I really started thinking about how selfish I was being. How I wasn’t thinking about anyone else but me. I feel bad that I ever felt that way. And I realized I had been receiving help and answers from Heavenly Father all along. I started thinking about how a lot of the time, we want something specific from our Heavenly Father. We want to see something or feel something or be taken out of whatever situation we are in. Heavenly Father has his plan for us. Sometimes we need to step back and look at the situation, and ask ourselves, “have I already received my answer?” Maybe we haven’t felt anything significant or seen anything amazing, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t received our answer
The week turned into one of the better weeks of my mission. It’s cool being a trainer because you almost do everything yourself. Heavenly Father Blessed us to be able to find 10 new investigators. I felt really blessed. The week turned into an amazing week and I’m very happy and very blessed.
This week I gave my first baptismal interview. It was dope. We had a million problems getting the baptism ready as usual. But it happened and it was a great afternoon.
I’ve been blessed with the gift of tongues this transfer and I’m learning Spanish real quick. I love this language. I love the people here too.
The big changes we had this transfer have been hard, but I’m loving the new zone and district. It’s been fun to meet new people.
I’m super pumped to listen to the apostles and prophet this week. President Clayton gave us a promise that we will receive the answers to our questions and worries. We have to write them down and listen with the spirit, and we will receive what we are looking for. I’m gonna do it. I’m excited to listen to the prophet. It’s the exact same thing as if we were listening to Moses, or Nephi. Prophets of God still live. They are inspired in the same way as the prophets of old were. What a blessing it is to have such a close communication with them.
I’m loving the mission. I’m growing and shaping into the person that Heavenly Father wants me to be. I can see how the mission will help me forever. I know that I am where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing. I love you all.
Elder Cluff

Week 29-“They have to come from their little village and it’s a sacrifice but they do it anyway “

Hola!
This week was dope. The last week of the transfer and the baptism of Javier. It was super awesome. I was able to baptize him and I felt the sweetest feeling. He was so happy and couldn’t stop smiling. He is a really expressive person and was really just super excited. It was a great day.

We had transfers yesterday. My comp is leaving to train and open an area and I’m staying to train and be the new District Leader. We had a ton of changes in the zone. I’m really bummed to be honest I loved my district and my zone and my comp. We are gonna  work hard tho and I’m going to grow to love this newness. My comp is from Salem Utah. His name is Elder Koyle. We are pretty different but we are gonna get some work in. I think that it will be a good transfer. The heat for real is gonna start in a month and I’m not excited.
Anyway we had a couple of investigators that want to get baptized come to church this week. We just need them to keep coming so we can baptize them! It’s really awesome because they have to come from their little village and it’s a sacrifice but they do it anyway and I love it.
Well I’m missing march madness. I really thought my team would have a little extra help from the Lord since I’m here grindin in His work, but nadaaaa. 2nd round and Duke loses. What’s happening? It’s like they dont even want to win The Lord was ready and willing to help them and they didn’t even try. I’m extremely disappointed in them. They even have a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on their team and they didn’t even use it to their advantage. Anyway… we came to the earth to be tested. And here I am, being tested.
On a more spiritual note, I talked in church this week and it was great. I used a talk from Robert D Hales from April 2005.  It was great. There were a lot of people there. All of the missionaries did a great job.
Well I’m ready to start another transfer. One day at a time, one step at a time. I’ll need a lot of prayers, so pray for me. I always feel the help from home! Thank you for all of the help and support that you all give.  The work is moving and I’m happy to be a part of the greatest work on the face of the earth. Like I always say, it’s hard. But I’m learning more than I ever thought I was going to and I can already see how these two years are going to influence my life forever.
Love you all have a great week
Elder Cluff

Week 28-” I know that if we don’t read the Book of Mormon we won’t grow in this Gospel.”

Hola!

Well this week was super awesome. So I finally met the mother of Napoleon Dynamite. It finally happened. I’ve been waiting several years and bang 6 months into my mission it happened. No, just kidding, but really how weird is that. We had a zone conference with the doctor over the area of Mexico. They came to teach us and it turns out they brought Napoleon Dynamite into this world. I’m sure you can imagine how the conference went.

Aside from all that riot, this week was actually super awesome. Are golden investigator is as golden as ever and we are going to baptize him on Wednesday. I’m pretty pumped.
My comp and I had a great time this week. We went to a little village named Ojos de Agua. You’d think the people there have never seen a white person before haha goodness gracious. Anyway, we found a lady that doesn’t like the idea of baptisms for the dead too much so we will make our way back to Ojos de Agua shortly to clear things up.
We also threw a birthday party for Hermana Perez. She’s super dope so that was a fun day. She’s from my generation, so we are good friends.
I really just enjoyed the mish this week. There is a ton of work to do and we need to find more people to teach, but it was a great week.

I destroyed 1st Nephi this week. I really learned a lot about obedience, faith, and love for the Lord. I really love the example of Nephi. I was really able to apply a lot of it to missionary work.  I love the Book of Mormon. I know that it changes lives. I know that if we don’t read it we won’t grow in this gospel. I see it everyday. You can’t afford to not read the Book of Mormon. It has changed me and is shaping me. If you don’t feel like reading it, forget about your dang feelings and sit down at your kitchen table and give it a good read. You won’t regret it. I know that it’s true and we have it to help us through these latter days. I’m so grateful for it. I know that this Church is true. I know that Thomas S Monson guides it today. Follow the Prophet, he knows the way.

Adiosssssssssssssss bye bye

Elder Cluff

Week 28-1week 28-2

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Santiago District
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Huge spider, but he says he has seen bigger
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Cora de Nayarit (old Indian natives)
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A weird pueblito Jackson didn’t like very much
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Angelitos baptism
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Un cerdito

week 28-9week 28-10

Week 27-“I really like thinking about the fact that our church was restored by means of a prayer.”

This week has been great. My comp and I love to walk to the little Villages a little bit outside of Santiago. They are about 5 – 7 miles outside. We always walk and have the best time talking and making funny videos. He’s taught me a ton. I’m thankful that he’s my companion.

In one of the pueblitos, we found two new investigators and set baptismal dates with them. They didn’t come to church on Sunday, but we are gonna roast them this week and hopefully they’ll come next week.
Its gettin’ real warm. Just super hot. I’m not sure if I’ll make it out alive to be honest. Guess we will just have to teach more so we can stay out of the heat.
This week I’ve been really thankful. I think we have the best investigator on the face of the planet. Javier comes to EVERYTHING. This guy cleaned the dang church this week. Solo investigadores de oro nada mas. I love him. He will be baptized next week. It will be awesome to see. He is the best. Him and his wife live alone and they do family night and everything. Straight to the celestial kingdom.
I studied a lot this week about Joseph Smith and we taught the restoration quite a few times. I’ve been overwhelmed this week with gratitude for him. He suffered so much. He gave his whole self for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He never shrank. He always gave it his all. I’m so thankful for him. For his courage to ask God what he should do. For his faith to keep going everyday.
I really like thinking about the fact that our church was restored by means of a prayer. The power of prayer is so real. I really love the fact that we can pray anytime anywhere, and I encourage everybody to do so!! Prayer is for everyone. You don’t have to have a testimony, you don’t have to be worthy, you just have to have the real intention. Heavenly Father loves us and is ready to bless us. We just have to ask.
I love you all!
Elder Cluff

 

Week 26-“I’m really ready to live for my mission. and I’d invite you to really live for this gospel everyday.”

Well folks I turned 19 this week and hit 6 months in the mission. What a week. Lots of people made it a good couple of days. One of my zone leaders told me happy birthday about every 5 minutes the whole entire day. Haha I love him. We got some good basketball in this week, my comp insists that I teach him to dribble between his legs. So we are working on that everyday at 6am.

This week we had District Conference and interviews with President Clayton. I learned a ton and the talk from the Mission Presidency and the District.  They felt like talks from apostles. I really felt the spirit strong and was able to note a lot of things that I want to work on.

We were told to bring one specific question to our interview with president. I was talking to him and we had a great interview. Then I asked him my question “President, I’m really trying hard out here and I’m obeying the rules and I feel the spirit with me, but I dont feel like I’m really impacting the lives of the people here. What should I do?” He started to talk to me about how God really knows each one of us perfectly and how we need to be patient and realize that everything is in His time. The council that he really gave me was “You need to LIVE for the mission. I know your being obedient and trying your best. But you have to wake up with your mission in your mind and have the mentality to talk to everyone and share this gospel.” I really love the phrase “live for it” I’m out here straight grinding teaching repentance and baptizing converts, but there is MORE. I need to change how I’m thinking sometimes. I need to really have the mentality to talk to every person here. Sometimes we get in a hurry walking from appointment to appointment and we forget there are people waiting for us. I’m really ready to live for my mission. and I’d invite you to really live for this gospel everyday. What are your goals? What are the goals you have for your kids and loved ones? What are you actually doing to help these goals be reached?

I know that God loves us. I know that we are His children and I know that he will help us to follow him. I know that only through His Son we can return to live with Him. I’m thankful to be here serving my Savior.

Adios, Bye Bye

Elder Cluff

Week 25-“It was like they were waiting for us.”

Hola!

This week has been real good. We had the opportunity to work in Guadalajara this week and it was awesome and I really fell in love with some of the families that we got to work with and I hope I’ll get to see them again during my mission again. It’s the weirdest feeling as a missionary because you literally fall in love with all the people and it’s nuts. I never felt this love for people before the mish. (besides my fam of course).

It’s really starting to get hot here. But it’s really sad because the really hot season starts in like 2 months. So I’m gonna melt, but imma do it with a Book of Mormon in la mano so everything is alright.

We had a really good time working in the city and we saw a little bit of success. I got to talk in church of course since we were visiting. It was good and I really felt the gift of tongues and really actually enjoyed it.
One thing I really felt though this week as I was in a different area was that I really am called to serve in my area. I was able to teach with the spirit but not able to receive revelation for the people there. I really felt a desire to be in Santiago.
Well we got back and started working and immediately set a baptismal date, and gave two blessings. It was super awesome to get back and do that so quick after arriving. It was like they were waiting for us. 
This week we will have interviews with President and I’m really excited to talk to him and Sister Clayton. They are the best and I love to meet with them. They are really called of God to lead this mission and they do it with their whole soul and I can visibly see the sacrifice that they so willingly give everyday.
This week will be full of good, hard work and hopefully we can find some new investigators. Pray for us to find the people that are ready to listen.

I really know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and wants us to talk to him. I know that he answers prayers and l’m so thankful for that. I know that we have a Savior who died for us and loves us more than we can imagine. I know that as we put them first we will see miracles and blessings in our lives.

Love you all,

Elder Cluff

Week 24-“I have built a great testimony of prayer.”

Hola!

This week has been great. I still dont feel like I really know whats happening in my area but hopefully I can start to get it down. I’ve met a few families and they are really nice. Our branch president is a good president, but man he is super strict and hard on everyone. It kinda sucks cause the sarcastic comments are always in my mind and I have to fight to keep them in. But really I know that he is called of God to lead this branch so I’m going to support him and do what he asks.

My comp, Elder Pacheco, is like the coolest person I’ve ever met. He is super funny and has like the same type of humor as I do so we get along super well and I’m enjoying it. He also works super hard and is obedient so it’s gonna be a super awesome transfer. It kinda sucks cause hes been in Santiago for like 5 months already so it’s almost certain we won’t have more than one transfer together. So I’m really going to enjoy it.

I am super grateful for all of the prayers that you guys say for me. I really feel them and I’m not lying. Thank you a ton, they really help. I have built a great testimony of prayer. I know that the Lord listens to us and blesses us.

My comp has a video downloaded of how to turn fat ties into skinny ties so we’ve been doing that every night before bed. It’s super awesome. Our first one was super super ugly but we are getting better and we are gonna hook up some of the missionaries in our zone real nice.

Hahaha a quick funny story. Our zone leaders want us to have like a zone shirt with a logo from each district in our zone on the shirt. My comp is the district leader so they asked us to draw up a logo and send it to them to put on the shirt. Well our district is only my comp and I and a bunch of sister missionaries. When me and my comp were talking about what we could do for a logo he looked at me and said “just print off the relief society logo and give it to the zone leaders.” hahah I thought it was super funny and I laughed pretty hard. Hes always saying “I’m not a district leader I’m a Relief Society president.”

That’s my week for yall. If you need a skinny tie or anything aqui estamos.

I freakin love Spanish by the way and I’m quickly become the king of slang (only with missionaries of course) haha. But honestly slang is helping me better understand how to really speak Spanish.

Love you all a lot. Thanks for all you do for me.

Elder Cluff