Week 37-“We need to show our God that we are ready to accept his will and act on promptings.”

Hola!

This week finished so great, talking to my mother. Shes just such a great mom and I’m glad I was able to talk with her. Until Christmas fam.

This week was actually a long one because my comp and I were both sick and we couldn’t leave the house for two of the days. We couldn’t leave the house because well, in simple terms, my companion couldn’t even leave the bathroom. Ate some bad shrimp or somethin. Not sure about it cause I ate a half pound of those delectable sea creatures and not a thing happened to me.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how I can find more people to teach, how we can find people that are ready to listen to us, and how we can help people progress. I’ve been pondering that because we really are struggling in all three of those categories. ‘Ive come to a conclusion and it sounds so normal but really it’s just that I need to rely more on the Lord. How I’m going to do it, not sure. But it will require a lot of prayer. Sometimes as a missionary, (maybe as normal church members too) we trick ourselves into thinking we are relying on our Heavenly Father, when really we aren’t doing that at all. Sure we pray and read the scriptures, but are we really putting everything into His hands and doing what He asks? Its almost overwhelming to think about trying to develop that type of relationship. We’ve all tried so many times haven’t we? We have all found ourselves begging on our knees for Heavenly help, but why is it that maybe we don’t feel like our relationship with Heavenly Father is progressing or like we aren’t receiving that help? Well probably because we don’t find ourselves begging every single night. We probably don’t find ourselves preparing for the prayer, and meditating it after. We forget to listen and find the answers. So how is it that we CAN do those things? I think its different for everyone. We need to show our God that we are ready to accept his will and act on promptings. We need to prepare ourselves to go before our Maker with an empty mind and a ready heart. We need to listen, after we pray, for the answers we are looking for. I think if we really focus and just get that feeling that He is there listening to us, then we are on the right track.

So that’s my plan this week, is to really focus on that. I really want to focus on not falling into that routine prayer cycle. I want to get something out of each prayer. It’s a lot easier said than done, but I’m gonna go for it.

I love being a missionary. I love being here in Mexico. Even though right now I’m having a hard time finding people that will listen to us, I know that I’m still having an impact in some way. I know that Heavenly Father is pleased with me, but I know I can do more.

The Book of Mormon is changing me as I dive into each story, and as I strive to understand whats going on. I’ve read the Book of Mormon many times before always just taking out the doctrine and the teaching. But this time I’m really focusing on who? why? and where? and I’m really getting a lot more out of those same doctrines.

My comp and I are making a timeline of the Book of Mormon and it’s super cool. I love reading the Book of Mormon with another person and seeing their insights. That’s why it’ll be super dope to be married in like 7 years.

I know that this church is true, and that it’s been restored by Joseph Smith. I know that it all leans of the Book of Mormon and the testimony that we have of it. I know that it’s true and that is contains the fullness of the Gospel. I know that the Prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson is the prophet called for this time. I know that he speaks face to face with Jesus Christ and that if he challenged us to read the Book of Mormon, we NEED to do it. So don’t put it off, and do it. I love you all and I know many blessings await us, even more than all the blessings that we are ALREADY receiving.

 

Until next week,

Elder Cluff

Week 36-“Lets make like Coriantumr and get the Shiz out”

Hola!

This week has been a lengthy one. But a good one. The weeks are feeling a little long right now because the investigators aren’t progressing. The other hard thing is that most of them can only meet or only want to meet one time a week, when normally we like to visit every other day. So often times we find ourselves with out very many set plans. But that’s not gonna stop anything. We are gonna keep going till we have our agenda full.

My comp and I are getting along great. Hes got this wicked impression of “Rex Kwon Do” from Napolean Dynamite. I was walking around the house a couple nights ago and he was just like “look at what I’m wearing…how’d you like a roundhouse kick to the face while I’m wearing these bad boys?… Forget about it” I died laughing. I literally passed away. Then later he was like ” do you think anybody thinks I’m a failure cause I go home to Starla at night” and I just couldn’t get a hold of myself. Haha then later in the week we were leaving church and he was just like “lets make like Coriantumr and get the Shiz out” I also died after that one. He couldn’t believe that I’m from Utah and I’ve never heard that. Let’s just say it made the journal.

We had zone conference this week! I love zone conference and I love President and Sister Clayton. It was such a good conference. This time it was like a pep talk. Like… you guys are doing alright but you can be way better. I always leave those conferences ready to baptize my whole area.

So normally to end the conference Sister Clayton talks with the Sisters and President talks to us. Something weird that happened was that Sister Clayton came in and started talking to us the Elders. She talked to us about how Satan is attacking us, and about how many Elders have problems on the mission with morality. (thoughts and actions) but what she told us was to trust in President Clayton and repent. I don’t know why she felt like she needed to tell the Elders that, but she did. And she did it straight forward. Its was awesome. I don’t have those problems, but obviously she knows that some Elders do and she gave some great counsel. I loved something that she did to end the little chat. She made us all hold our hands up and look at them and to promise that we would never touch or do anything we shouldn’t with them. She said it like ” I’m pleading with you as your mission mom to not let Satan win” she said with tears in her eyes ” I have never worried one time about what President Clayton is doing” and I felt the Spirit so strong. It gave me this renewed desire to be a strong righteous priesthood holder. I want my wife to be able to say the same thing. and I’m going to make sure she can.

The invitation Sister Clayton gave us about the Book of Mormon reading that we are doing right now is that we should dive in to every chapter. She said “help Nephi build the boat, pray side by side with Enos, cut a few arms off with Ammon, stand in king Lamonis court etc” and I thought it was a little funny but it made me excited to read like that. So I have and its so awesome. There is so much power in reading the Book of Mormon quickly. You are able to remember the stories, and better come to know the Book of Mormon. There is so much power in this challenge that President has given us.

On Saturday night, we passed by the houses of several investigators to invite them to church one more time. They all said oh yeah of course…. not one of them came. It’s so frustrating. But we will keep teaching, and we are going to focus the teaching on the Sabbath Day, hopefully that will help.

I know that this work is the best work. I know that I am where I’m supposed to be. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. and that all of the teachings are true. It teaches us to be baptized or else we cannot be saved in the kingdom of god. Even though baptism is one of many steps, it is important, and I know that without a baptism we cannot enter Gods kingdom. How great is it that we have the restored priesthood authority to perform those ordinances? Heavenly Father loves us so much that he has given us the opportunity to follow his son Jesus Christ and be baptized. I know many people that read these letters are strong members of the church, but I invite those of you who are not members of the church to be baptized, and experience the joy of  starting again, and feel a new commitment to follow Jesus Christ.

I love you all and hope that this week is sublime.

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 22-“Most of you probably don’t have 20 of anything.”

Hola!

This week has been great. We were out of our area for a couple of days because we had exchanges with the Zone Leaders and the District Leader too. Both days were good but super long full of walking. It seems like all of the investigators gather together and decide to cancel all the appointments when we have exchanges. We almost always walk all day during exchanges. It’s the worst. But it’s fun to hang with other elders every once in a while.

So this week in our area we didn’t have a lot of lessons, but on Saturday and Sunday we straight worked. We had 12 lessons in 2 days all with a member. It was super good and a great feeling to work that hard.
This new mission schedule is super awesome and I love it. It feels like we have more time and I can focus better, and get more full studies. I really know that this new schedule comes from the Lord. It’s not easier, it’s just different and it’s better.
This week kind of sucked with investigators. We lost one that we really thought we were going to baptize. She was listening and we were having fun and we were friends and one day she just said she didn’t want to listen anymore. I was really sad, but I was reminded by the spirit that it’s not her time, and that I dont need to be worried. I’m a little sad still, but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for her.
We had another great week in sacrament meeting. 20 less actives!! 20!!! Most of you probably don’t have 20 of anything. ahaha. Heavenly Father is blessing us with success in that area of the work.
So there is a legendary elder from our mission named Elder Botch. He went home about a year ago. But he is legendary because he spoke really good Spanish and he also because he was super funny and spoke in almost all slang haha. All of the missionaries here really loved him and talk about him a lot. Today we were eating lunch with some other missionaries and one of them told me that I was going to be the next Elder Botch. It was a super good compliment haha. I’ve learned so much funny slang (non of it is bad) and it makes learning Spanish more fun.

I’m loving the work more and more everyday. It’s hard and a lot of work but it’s just so good and there is so much happiness. I feel the spirit so strong so often and I really love it. I really love Jesus Christ and what he did for each one of us. I love our Father in Heaven. He knows each one of us and desires happiness for us. We find that happiness as we obey him and do the things we have been taught through his mouthpiece here on earth, prophets. I hope we can all try a little harder to be a little better this week.

I love you all!

Elder Cluff

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Week 21-“When I am exactly obedient I don’t need to worry about anything because whatever the Lord calls me to do I will be ready.”

This week has been super good and I have learned a ton. We had Zone Conference this week and of course I learned so much from President and his wife. They are the best teachers in this world. The second they start talking I want to change and be better. It’s super awesome and I love learning from them. Something that really hit me is that we need to know our message. Like yeah I know our message and I can teach, but I started thinking and it hit me that I can really learn so much more and I need to learn and study so much more. So I have really focused my study this week on the Doctrine of Christ and I have felt a difference in my week and studies.

Right after zone conference we had exchanges with the assistants and that was so dope. I learned so so much. I love our assistants, they are both so awesome and we had a great day and a fun night too. Something I learned from both of them and something I’m working on is how we should pray and talk with Heavenly Ffather. Elder Uribe from Cancún and I were contacting and he contacted a family and this family was really struggling. They don’t have a house right now and they seemed pretty worried. Elder Uribe bowed his head to leave them with a prayer and even the way he said “dear Heavenly Father” hit me so hard. I felt the spirit super strong. I could really tell that he knew that he was talking to Heavenly Father and it was something important to him. Later that night before bed, Elder Contreras offered the prayer before bed and the same thing happend. I was like, “wow are my prayers even half of how they should be?” I’ve really focused on my prayers this week and I can feel a difference in them. I’m glad that we have the assistants that we do, and I truly know they are called of God.
What I’ve really been thinking about and feeling this week is the importance of these two years in my life. I’ve been thinking that I really want to do my part and I know that the Lord is and will continue to do his. When I am exactly obedient I don’t need to worry about anything because whatever the Lord calls me to do I will be ready. I love missionary work and this is really becoming my mission. I hit 5 months today and I’m a little bummed cause I feel bad its taken me 5 months to learn some of these things, but I’m excited I still have a year and a half to apply them. I love being a missionary and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. My faith is growing and I am changing as I more fully live this gospel. I’m thankful for the blessings and trials I have had everyday, which are shaping and molding me into the person and missionary the Lord wants. I pray for you all and I’m thankful for your support. Have a great week.

Que Dios les bendiga.

Elder Cluff

Week 20-“When we really focus and thank Him and focus our prayers on others and the will of god, then we see miracles and our faith grows.”

It has been a great week here in San Blas. It’s super nice out today and I couldn’t be more excited about that. I’ve been sipping horchata all morning and I’m just content. God is speeding the right. Sunday was good and we had quite a few less actives in church. 14 this week, so that was a success. I’ve realized this week that right now as we are having a little bit of trouble with investigators, that we can really focus on helping some less actives. We have seen some good success as we really focus on one aspect of the work here.

This week we focused a lot on mini goals. When we do that we have some fun and find progress. It also helps time fly. This week went super fast and this whole mission is flying. It’s super weird.
I’m turning in to a Mexican!  haha. There are like 4 members and my comp that are always teaching me Mexican words. Don’t worry they are good words. But they laugh so hard when I use them. Haha! I feel like I’m starting to understand better how Spanish works. There is a big difference between knowing all the words and grammar and actually knowing how to speak it and use it all. But it’s really cool and I’m loving it.
This week someone tried to rob us here in San Blas. Quiet tranquilo San Blas. He was drunk and he was asking for our money. We told him no and he tried to hit me but he missed haha. Then he said a bad word about my mom and left. 😦  poor guy haha que dios le bendiga or something bc he is strugglin rn.
This week we also found a decently golden investigator. More of a bronze or platinum. He is 12 and a relative of one of my favorite families here. His name is Yahir and he wants to be baptized and says he knows the church is true. His mom is super catholic but we asked him to pray and ask God to soften his moms heart and let him listen to us. The next day he called us and said “My mom said yes!! I can listen to you guys” super awesome and a testimony builder of faith and prayer. I love prayers and I’ve been studying it this week. Sometimes its really hard to focus and really grasp that you’re talking with Heavenly Father. But when we do and we really focus and thank Him and focus our prayers on others and the will of God, then we see miracles and our faith grows. What’s better than an increase of faith? What will help us more than that? Faith is our rock and when we have faith our desires align with the desires of the Lord, we become more obedient, we receive blessings, and we are happy. Focus on the Lord when you pray to him. I try to imagine him sitting on my bed right by me listening. It’s super hard and I fall asleep sometimes on my knees. But I’m trying. And that counts too.
Man I’m loving the mish and I’m thankful for this opportunity. I’m growing and changing but there is still so much more I want to change. Everyday is a learning opportunity and we can choose what we want to get out of our day.
Well that’s my weekly rant. Pray for the crazy people here that want my money and pray for me too haha. I love you all and I’m thankful for the love I feel from home.
Que esten bien y que dios les bendiga.
Hasta próximo
Elder Guapo

Week 19-“When we follow the spirit, we see miracles.”

This was a good long week. Full of some good, some bad, and a couple really long days. I can say that this week I had one of the toughest days of the mission, but also I had one of the best weeks full of some of the best memories. I’m going to paint a picture for you guys… Just imagine walking down a street in Mexico, it’s dusk, the sun is setting into the ocean and there is just a fantastic mariachi band doing their thing on the side of the road.(of course 14 people on a moped are included in this image. 48 dogs as well. you can throw some chickens in there if its something that you would like to do.) That’s exactly one of the things I experienced this week. I forgot I was in Mexico for a little bit but I was reminded quickly. I love it here believe it or not.

The coolest thing that happened this week was probably seeing 18 less actives in sacrament meeting. That just warmed my little missionary heart. I also taught a class this week in the Spanish language about the work we do in temples. Imagine teaching that to about 30 people that haven’t been to the temple. It was awesome though and I was guided by the spirit. When we follow the spirit, we see miracles. Every single day that I’m here is a miracle. I was thinking about that today. I’m 18 and I couldn’t speak a lick of Spanish 4 months ago but somehow I’m here right now and the people are understanding me and I’m helping people come unto Chirst. Yeah it’s a miracle. It’s sweet too.
The week was slow in reference to the investigators. We just had a baptism but we don’t have much planned for the next few weeks with them. We are focusing on finding new people to teach. One of the things we have been doing is focusing on handing out Books of Mormon. We were walking one day, and it was a slow day and we didn’t have any appointments. So I just decided, hey lets set a little goal to hand out 2 books in a half hour. We did it. Exactly at 4:30 we handed out the second. Little goals help the days go by faster. We handed out 8 books in 3 hours doing the same thing.
I had a little bit of a hard week and was really stressed because my comp hasn’t been helping me with any paper work and he loves to sleep in. I’ve been using the time I have while he is sleeping in or going to the bathroom for literally 45 minutes to study a little bit. I’ve been learning a lot and feel like I’m growing in my knowledge of the Gospel. I really have a ton I still need to learn, but one step at a time right? I really am going to focus on how to become a better teacher this week. If you have any suggestions hmu. I would love that.
My comp is awesome tho. We can’t go 5 minutes without laughing super hard about something. He thinks it’s so funny when I speak Mexican (like slang Spanish ha) he laughs so hard.
We are going to work harder this week. And every week to come. There is always something we can improve. When we focus on improving something everyday, our will aligns with Gods and we will feel a real love for our Heavenly Father. I have a lot I want to improve but I’m getting to the point where I feel legit sorrow and disappointment when I mess up or don’t do my best. I’m thankful for the opportunity I have to be here serving. I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life in Mexico serving the Lord. haha!
Que esten bien y que dios les bendiga
Elder Cloof
PS dont pet the dogs
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Week 18-“Elder Hernandez and Elder Cluff straight ballin in San Blas.”

Hey everyone I hope everyone had a good week and a fantastic New Years. I can’t believe it’s 2017 that’s nuts. I had a good week here in San Blas. I got my new companion on Tuesday and we worked together all week. We should have some success this transfer. Elder Hernandez and Elder Cluff straight ballin in San Blas. He is teaching me to speak Mexican so that’s always hilarious. We have had some good laughs together so I’m looking forward to this transfer.

I had my second baptism as a missionary this week. Pedro Pablo Mariscal Villegas. Hes been an investigator for 4 years. Its an awesome miracle that he was baptized. I can see the Lords hand in the work everyday.  Pedro isn’t a small guy so it was really hard to find clothes. That was also a miracle. But it was a great service. He asked me if I would confirm him on Sunday so I did!! It was crazy. Such a spiritual experience.
I’m going to send a lot of pictures next week. But man what a great week and way to end the year. I also finished the New Testament. I feel so close to my Savior and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to serve him. There is so much more I want to say but we had a wild day and not a ton of time to write. Next week will be better. I know this church is true. “When we chose to follow Christ, we chose to change.” I love that quote. I can feel it’s truth in my life. What an amazing experience I am having. I love you all and I pray for you. I hope you have a fantastic week.
Elder Cluff

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”