Week 16-“Sometimes I forget that I’m a missionary until I find myself standing on a chair tying a mini Nerf basketball hoop to the wall.”

Buenas Tardes

   This morning i woke up at about 4:30 laughing so hard. HAHA i had the funniest dream but i cant remember it. I found myself laughing at the fact that this happened all day. But I laughed and that’s the best news.
   Man this week was kind of uneventful. It felt like we did a whole bunch of work and didn’t have any success. But then Sunday rolled around and we had 20 less actives in Sacrament meeting. So that was an answer to prayers and super awesome to see.
   This is the last week of the transfer and Christmas. There are a few Christmas decorations and stuff but for the most part it doesn’t feel a ton like Christmas. I’m on the beach and its hot so I guess that’s expected.
   Ha I’m fairly adjusted to being a missionary and it doesn’t feel like a new thing anymore. In fact sometimes I forget that I’m a missionary until I find myself standing on a chair tying a mini Nerf basketball hoop to the wall. You already know I straight ball every night. One of my mission besties that went home left it for me as my inheritance. So dope. Also just so all of you know, there is a mission veil. It exists. For example. JamestheMormon has a cover of Angels We Have Heard on High and it is so dope. Before the mission that phrase never would have left my mouth. But its dope.
   I’m liking Mexico. Its pretty cool. Coconut water straight from the coco is a major game changer. Heard its good for you too. Who knows.
   I’m learning Spanish tho. Its so fun. I’m looking forward to learning more everyday.
   Well its about Christmas so feliz navidad a todo. I hope everyone enjoys it. Read the New Testamant about all that Jesus did and his sacrifice for us. Take a second to think about why we really have Christmas and try to think of how you can try a little harder to be a little more like Jesus. You’ll find more happiness if you do I promise. I love you all. Hope all is well and everyone has a safe week.
Feliz Navidad!
Elder Cluff
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Week 15-“To whom shall we go”

Week 14-“Everything worked out perfectly for Yoselin to enter the waters of baptism and make covenants with our Heavenly Father”

Hola!
Its been a good week fam. A few days full of canceled appointments and un buen de camino but all is well in San Blas.

On Saturday we had a baptism. We got to the church like an hour early to make sure everything we alright and the font was full and stuff. Well it just so happens that everything wasn’t alright. The font had like an inch of water. So clearly we filled the font with buckets for the full hour before the baptism. BUT of course everything worked out perfectly for Yoselin to enter the waters of baptism and make covenants with our Heavenly Father. It was amazing to see and it was such a special feeling to have my first baptism. I wont forget it.

Man but on Friday we walked all the day long and all of our appointments fell through. We  were on splits with the zone leaders and i was with an elder that likes basketball as much as I do so we had a good time. They days feel like weeks when we don’t have appointments.
Its been raining like crazy here the last 3 days. Its nice cause it’s really cool right now and a lot of the people say it will stay pretty nice until like March. Some of them even say they wear a sweater at night but I really doubt it.
I’ve been jump roping like mad every morning. When I get back I’m going to dunk on all of you. That’s the goal. Heavenly Father is going to help me.
Man I’m learning a ton from the New Testament. I love studying it. Hermana Clayton told me that if I study it hard and write down my feelings about Jesus Christ after. That I will never be the same. That I will tell my friends and family that “I studied the New Testament during the month of Diciembre on my mission and I will never be the same” I think that’s quite the promise. I’m going to finish in December. I’m already learning a ton about my Savior.
Man I’m loving the mission. It’s a blast. It’s hard work but it’s fun. I hope everyone is having a great December! Focus on the Savior and why we really have Christmas. Man I miss home a little during Christmas, especially during the devo last night. It was great wasn’t it?
Pray and Fast for Duke Basketball.
Love you guys
Elder Cluff
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Week 13-“I have graven thee on the palms of My hands” If he did that for me I can walk the streets of San Blas with a with a smile on my face.

Hola que tal!

     This week was a good one. I cant decide if time is flying or hardly moving. Time is so weird sometimes.
     Overall this week was great. The hardest thing about the mission so far is when I talk to someone and I bear my testimony in what I feel is great Spanish and I ask them a question and they just stare at me for like 10 seconds and then this phrase comes “casi no entendi” man I hate that and I feel like a loser every time. Haha! it really just sucks.
     One thing I’ve been focusing on a lot this week is taking it one step at a time. It’s hard sometimes because it’s really easy to think about when I get home and what I’m gonna do and stuff but that’s just torturing. Everyone that has ever told me that the mission is hard, told me the truth. I’m learning to take it one step at a time, one day at a time, and one week at a time. Because in all honesty sometimes it just sucks. It’s not fun to walk these streets here, it’s not easy to hear people tell you they dont understand your Spanish, it’s not fun to have nobody to talk to all day. But I absolutely love being a missionary. I absolutely love planning a baptism. I absolutely love seeing our investigators come to church. Gaining 7 new investigators in one day makes it worth it. Having 3 baptisms planned for December makes it worth it. There is so much more good than bad here. I have nothing to complain about. I read a scripture the other day that said something along the lines of “I have graven thee on the palms of My hands” I love that scripture. If he did that for me I can walk the streets of San Blas with a with a smile on my face. I love being a missionary.

     I need to hear some jokes or something though because I haven’t really laughed in about 8 weeks.

     I think my favorite thing about San Blas so far is the members. They are so willing to help us and feed us. It’s awesome. They always hook us up.
     We have a baptism this Saturday and it’s been so cool to see the whole process for the first time. Joselyn is going to be baptized by her husband who we have helped reactivate this last month. They are so strong and it’s cool to see because they are only 22 years old. They have travel about 30 minutes to church every week and they are always there 30 minutes early. It’s awesome.

     I just feel the answers to prayers this week, and I feel very blessed. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be here. My mission president challenged us to read the New Testament throughout December and focus on the life of Jesus. He said that sometimes in our lives when we aren’t feeling the happiness that we want it is because we aren’t studying like we should. I think that’s true and I think that we can all study a little bit harder. I love the idea to read about Jesus this month and I encourage you all to do it too!!

     I know it’s a little bit more serious of an email this week, but that’s alright There are several more weeks for that. Well that’s about it. I hope you all had a good thanksgiving and are in the Christmas spirit. I miss that! Celebrate extra hard for me!

Week 12-” I’m so happy here, happier than I’ve ever been.”

Hola!

I’m just out here in Mexico straight grinding. The first few weeks in my mission contacting was my least favorite thing. But as I have set goals for myself I have grown to love trying to achieve them. I’m doing so much better at contacting. I even got to play basketball for a little the other day by contacting. It was so good.

     The work here is moving and we are doing better every day. There are tons of little things that make it harder and just suck, but when we get through those things, and have a little bit of success I just love it. I’m so happy here, happier than I’ve ever been. To anyone that doesn’t know if they want to serve or should serve, I promise this joy is what you want. It’s what you want. Its hard, but it’s what you want.
      Well it’s Thanksgiving this week, I hope you all enjoy it, I’ll probably be teaching the restoration somewhere, and there is nothing wrong with that. Thanksgiving isn’t really a big deal here. Watch all the football games for me and eat mad pumpkin pie. I’ve got Kinder Eggs here so I’m good.

     I’m learning Spanish everyday and it’s fun, I’m enjoying it but I just want to know it all already!! But it’s fun to feel the gift of tongues everyday. I think I’ve given 6 or 7 blessings in Spanish since I’ve been here and those are the hardest but the most spiritual. I love it!

     I only have 5 more weeks of training and then I’ll be a veteran. I can’t wait to see what the next weeks bring. I always love splits and stuff cause it’s just a little different from normal days and I get to be with Mexican Elders which I love.

     Tonight we are going to have a couple family home evenings. It should be good I love teaching the families here.

     I’m having a hard time focusing this week because the kid sitting next to me is a FIFA wizard. I’ve never seen anyone this good. Every five seconds I hear GOAALLLL. It’s nuts. Anyway back to the things pertaining to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The spirit is so strong, and I love having it all the time. I love to read the Book of Mormon here cause I’m absolutely hooked. I learn so much. I want to invite anyone who has a husband or wife that reads this to make sure you read the scriptures together. I obviously don’t have a wife, but I know if you do that your relationship will strengthen.

     I know this church is true and I’m thankful for these 2 years I get to share it. I hope all of you are receiving the blessings you need. I love you!! and pray for you, please pray for me!

Elder Cluff

Week 11-” I’m glad to hear that Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America and not Crooked Hillary.”


 Bueno!

This week  has been so good. It has been an answer to prayers and a testimony builder. Last Monday I fasted that we would find an investigator to teach and baptize this transfer. I just wanted a little taste of the glory, ya know, to see what it tastes like. Literally the next day we met Yoselin. We were teaching her and we were getting towards the end of the lesson and we asked her that if she prayed and knew our message was true, if she would be baptized. she said yes!  So I asked her how much time she thinks she would need and she said “hmm about a week” and I was like woah wow! Haha.  But we have a rule that the investigators need to attend church 5 times. So we set a date for the 3rd of December. What a miracle. My testimony of the fast is so much stronger than before.                                        I will be staying here in San Blas to finish my training. We will see what happens after that. I’m excited about it though I like it here a lot.

    I had divisions with the Zone Leaders this week. I was with Elder Ruiz. yesss. I love being with the Mexicans. they love to learn English and it helps me with Spanish. My favorite Elder finished his mission today. Elder Flores. He gave me a lot of good advice, and I learned a lot from him.

     I’m glad to hear that Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America and not Crooked Hillary. Either way I’m glad I’m in Mexico for 2 years. I might get to help build the wall for service or something. We’ll see.

    Everything is super good here in San Blas. I had a freaking good Piña Colada the other day. Imma need some more of that before I go.
     Keep Praying for me, thanks for all the prayers so far. I love Mondays and I’m pretty bummed it’s already over.

     Yo se que Jesucristo vive y nos ama. Yo se que la oracion es muy poderoso. Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera y hay mucho gozo cuando seguimos los mandamientos. Yo se que Jose Smith fue una profeta de dios. Yo he orado y he recibido una respuesta. Les amo, tengan una buena semana!

Elder Cluff

Week-10″ I know that through faith we can do anything.”

Hola!
 
This week flew by and it was a good one. I got to go to Guadalajara which was so nice. The weather was a treat.
Well is our country in shambles or what? Who’s the new president?
I’m extremely happy to hear the Cubs are the champs. Totally enthralled about that. Its a mission blessing for sure.
Hmm we are seeing blessings here, and hopefully we can capitalize on some of them and have some baptisms. I think we can. I’ve really strengthened my testimony about fasting already and I know it works and helps. Like anything else, it has to do with faith. I know that through faith we can do anything. 
Everyday I can understand more and more Spanish. Its so fun to learn and I’m loving it. I can pretty much say whatever I want or find away around it. I really want to have great grammar so my biggest challenge is that. My companion has awful grammar so I try not to copy him which is also a challenge.
Mexicans are awesome. Not gonna lie I wasn’t a huge fan before the mish. But man I love them they are the best. So humble and kind and patient with a gringo like myself. They love to hear about all of you guys and I love to tell them.
I can feel the spirit so much and that’s my favorite part of the mission so far. Its up to us how much we want to feel the spirit. It is our actions and our thoughts that decide if we can have the spirit or not. I know its much harder in a world where it’s not the center of what you do all day but I challenge all of you to try everyday to focus on feeling the spirit a little bit more, and I promise you you will be blessed.
Sorry it’s a little short this week, but I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that’s as much as you guys need.
I love you all!
Elder Cluff
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Week 9-” I’m really enjoying my mission and the growth that’s happening”

Hola!

Well another week down in San Blas. Que padre. I really like it here. Its freakin hot but I can manage. I’m straight learning Spanish. I’m getting better. I can understand just about everything through context and I’m getting better at understanding all the words. Its a blessing from Dios.

Hmm this week was a quick one. We had divisions with the Elders from Villa Hildalgo. I was with Elder Angulo, who doesn’t spick a lick of English. It was a blast. Hes from Ecuador so it was like listening to a song every time he spoke. I love him, I want to be his comp some day.

We found a kid named Alexander a couple days ago. He’s about the same height as me and same build and he loves basketball and fútbol. He isn’t an investigator yet, but I have hope. We are gonna hoop together sometime. Pray for him to want to hear from us and to have the desire to take out his awful lip ring.
San Blas hasn’t had very much success in the last few years. We are working hard and seeing some miracles. Our branch has 550 members, but only about 50 attend each week. This is our biggest challenge. The members will accompany us to lessons and share testimony but they don’t want to do anything for themselves. That’s the hardest part.

If you want to have a life changing experience. Look up how to make the different Mexican waters(Fruit, jamaica, horchata, barley, avena) they are so good. I love them.

I’m really enjoying my mission and the growth that’s happening. Its fun to set personal goals every morning and try to accomplish them. It’s seriously fun and I think you guys should do it. I want to apply it after the mish and such.

I feel all the prayers, and I need them so keep it up. Pray for me because tomorrow and Tuesday are Day of the Dead so I might get killed. But its okay I’m serving the Lord. Also there’s a fat strike going on right now because the workers aren’t getting paid. Imagine like 500 people sitting in the middle of the town in like Beaver, that’s what its like.

I saw 5 iguanas this week. Ellos son bien padre. I love you all have a good week!

Andele.

Elder Cluff
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Drinking water out of a coconut

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Week 8-“I don’t want any of you to worry about me, because I heard the Whip and Nae Nae this week so…… God is good.”

Hello Everyone!

     This week has been great. I’m really starting to feel like a missionary, and even a successful one sometimes.

I feel a lot more situated and I dont miss a lot of the things I was struggling with at the beginning. I don’t want any of you to worry about me, because I heard the Whip and Nae Nae this week so…… God is good. What a blessing.

We have a couple progressing investigators, and they were at church this week so that was good, I feel great when I see the people we work with come to church. The hardest thing is that everyone commits to do anything we ask but then they don”t. 🙂

I’ve been tired this week. But so has my companion. Haha we were doing comp study the other morning and it was his turn to read and it was quiet for like 5 seconds so I looked up and he was passsseeeddd out. I didn’t wake him up and I put my head on my desk and took a little nap. I know it was the wrong choice, but I was tired.

The food here is sooo good and they feed us all the time. The other day I was at a members house and the food looked really plain so I put 4 spoonfuls of salsa on one little taco and ate it. My mouth went numb and was on fire for like 30 minutes. I then noticed that even the Mexicans only put a tiny little dab on theirs. It was so hot.

I learn something new everyday, and I strengthen relationships everyday as well. I’m really starting to enjoy it here and I’m thankful for this opportunity. I love the Book of Mormon and I know its true. We have been focusing on it a lot the last couple weeks and I just know that it’s the truth. I’m so thankful for the words it has for me everyday. I know it can bless all lives and through the study of it daily we can be protected from the craziness in the world.

I love hearing from everyone so keep it coming! I hope everyone is doing alright. Jesus Christ went through whatever you are right now so you should be fine. Lean on him and it will work out.

Be safe and have a good week!!

God bless America land that I love!

Elder Cluff

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Week 6-“Overall its not about what I see or what the circumstances, these people need the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so do we.”

Hola!
On Monday I left the CCM for Guadalajara at 2:30am. It was an adventure and a little sad to say goodbye to my friends, especially two of them who weren’t going to be going to the mission, and returning home. It was a little hard on our district.

I arrived in Guadalajara around 8 or 9 and then the first thing they had us do was go work a normal day with a companionship. I got to work with Elder Viviana from Hurricane Utah and Elder Florres from somewhere in Mexico. I absolutely loved it. It was so fun but so much walking. My favorite part was reading the Book of Mormon with a member named Roberto. He was 15 and I loved him lots. It was kind of sad that whole day because I met a lot of people I knew I probably wouldn’t be serving any time soon. When we got back to the apartment I went to take a shower. Lol there wasn’t a shower head and there was a soda bottle with holes poked in the bottom taped to the pipe. So that was my first shower experience here.

Tuesday was just a fat training all day long and we got to spend a lot of time with Presidente Clayton and Hermana Clayton. I love them both so much and I’m so thankful for them. They were so welcoming right from the start. Towards the end of the day we received our trainers. Mine is Elder Taylor from California, right by Roseville! He seems pretty cool. He is obedient, and I’ve already learned from him. We were assigned to the San Blas area right outside Puerto Vallarta. Its about 6 hours from the mission offices, so we drove about half way that night and stayed with some elders. It was so fun it was straight Latinos. They called me gringo all night, but they were cool. The shower experience improved here, but this time Ihad to flush the toilet by pulling the plug in the back of the toilet to flush.

We woke up this morning and took a bus the rest of the way to San Blas. It’s so freaking hot here. Like humid as can be. I haven’t been dry in hours. It’s awesome. We had lunch with a member couple today. They were so nice and the food was dankkkkk (super good). We read the Book of Mormon with them and the husband started sobbing because he feels bad about his past. We read from D&C 58 with them and he seemed comforted but I’m not sure cause I dont know Spanish.I dont know what language they were teaching us in the CCM but it wasn’t Spanish. God speed Elder Cluff!  We have an appointment with some less actives a little later so we will see how that goes.

The homes I’ve had the opportunity to sit in have been very humble. Usually a couch and some windows with no glass and one light bulb in the middle of the room. I’ve already been humbled and I know that will continue to happen everyday. Especially since I only speak broken Spanish and can barely understand what they are saying. I absolutely love it. It’s going to be hard, and take some serious adjusting but I can feel a deep love for this work already. It’s seriously crazy to see some of this stuff. I saw four people on a Moped yesterday, and last night I saw a fairly limp body in the basket of a bike. There are  dogs everywhere, and I’ve already taken like 30 taxis. Never have I done that before but esta bien.  I love him and his Gospel and I know its true! Pictures next week!!!

PS pray for me to have the gift of tongues
Elder Cluff
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Elder Cluffs first look at Mexico