Week 43-“I love this work and I’m so happy here.”

Hola!

This week was super cool. We got to go to Vallarta! It was super good. It was overcast and actually really nice. It was awesome to get to see Vallarta and I hope I get to serve there. The people are definitely more closed off towards the missionaries though… so we will see.

The zone conference itself was super amazing. I love zone conferences because it’s always so evident that they receive revelation. They always discuss exactly what all the missionaries need to hear. It’s super spiritual. It’s always fun and relaxed but really inspirational and spiritual. The Clayton’s are the best in the world and I love them.

My comp and I are really getting along great. We have 3 transfers together right now which is not super common, so we are enjoying it. He is arguably the funniest person I have ever met. But he is just so quiet and monotone that it makes everything he says 10 times funnier. He always is doing something that just makes me laugh. I love it so much.

Lets talk about Georgina for a sec. We passed by like 3 times this week and she gave us all her excuses again. It makes me sad. We went by one day and she had like 5 old ladies in there (obviously a catholic gathering) and a big ole picture of the virgin. That just really got me. We decided not to say anything and to go back later when the catholic insects weren’t there anymore. So we went back last night and I was like “Oh hermana what happened to that awesome and marvelous answer to your prayer that this church is for you?” and she just pointed at this virgin and was like”Look! there she is taking care of me.” So I grabbed a couple hand grenades out of my bag, tossed them in her concrete home and we bounced. It was awesome. We will see what happens with her on Tuesday when we go back.

The investigator progress is slow, but we are trying. Hopefully we can get some of these new ones that we have found to progress a little. I just really want to find one of those people that are just ready to hear the gospel. I love all of these people we are teaching but many of them aren’t ready to make and keep commitments. I hope and pray to find ready ones.

I love this work and I’m so happy here. Its amazing the things I’ve learned and been able to understand. I’m thankful for the mission and I know that its where I need to be right now. The rain season is starting so it’s super awesome cause it will cool down a little but then it gets super humid and hot when it starts evaporating. pero que me importa estoy en el servicio de dios.

Elder Cluff

Week 42-“I hope that we can all put our full trust in Jesus Christ no matter what the circumstance.”

 

Heyyyyyyyyy whats up fam? It’s been a good week. It started really good and ended a little disappointing but hey, that’s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

This week was super awesome because we were daily planning and we were kinda having a hard time with deciding where to go and all that, and all of the sudden Georgina just came to mind. Now, sit up straight and listen good, I have been here for about 5 months and I taught her one time like my first week here. Elder Koyle and I had passed by a few times our first transfer together to try and teach her but she always gave us some beyond poor excuse. So we just kinda decided we wouldn’t go to visit her anymore. Anyway she came to mind while planning so we decided to go. We knocked and she was like “oh my word come on in” I was like “Wow isn’t this a surprise! Whats going on?” Well we started talking a bit and Georgina is a talker, she´ll talk your ear right off if you’re not careful, and she was like “Oh my husband works in Idaho and his boss is an RM and he has been taking the missionary lessons and they went to General Conference in April.” I was like, “Wowwww this is incredible.”  But there is more. She continued saying, “I decided that maybe I would pray to see if your church is for me. As I prayed and then laid in bed after, I have never felt such a strong peace and joy as felt in that moment.” I was like, “Good glory this lady is sent from heaven.” We continued to talk a while and she was all excited to set a baptismal date and everything was just super awesome. I loved it. She said the words “I used to care what my family would think, but now nothing will stop me from going to church and being baptized.” Well the good old sabbath day rolls around and Georgina let something stop her from coming to church. Thanks for the hype Gina. It’s a little funny to step back and look at it that way. But really as a missionary, having those amazing experiences so often, and not seeing anything come from them is super frustrating. I know that Heavenly Father knows why these things happen, and His plan is bigger than ours, but it really is just a little discouraging seeing such an awesome miracle and then not seeing her at church. It really just grinds my gears.

However, we will not stop visiting Georgina and who knows why she wasn’t able to make it, but I know that she will progress, whether it be now, or in 30 years.

This week is going to be super fun. We get to go as a zone to Puerto Vallarta to have a combined zone conference. I’m super pumped. I have a best friend in my zone named Elder Clawson. We got here together and were in the same zone as we started the mission, so we are super close cause we talked each other through the hard times. I love this guy and I’m thankful to be with him again in the same zone. We are about to take Vallarta by the horns.

Happy Father’s day to all those dads out there. Just want to send a little shout out to my old man. Feliz dia papa ojala que lo pudiera distfrutar. Aun que ya es viejito todavia sigue el dopest baller que conozco. le amo valedor.

I hope that everyone has a super good week and that we can all put our full trust in Jesus Christ no matter what the circumstance. Study the scriptures and you will find answers to all your questions and worries.

I love you all.

Elder Cluff

Week 41-“Work yourself out of a job.”

Hola!

This week was good. We got some great stuff done in the branch and the members have responded great with tons of help. I’m thankful for the members who are so willing to help. It makes it a lot easier.

This week was the last week of the transfer. My comp and I are going to stay together! I’m super excited to have another transfer here and do the things I didn’t do last transfer. I felt so much peace and excitement to be a missionary last night and I’m excited to work even more this transfer. It’s a good opportunity that I’m going to try to take advantage of. So Santiago is becoming my home. By the end of this transfer I will have been here for 6 months and I never imagined that I would have been here that long. I know that there is more left for me to do.

President Clayton was writing me a letter with tips and advice to help me in this new calling as branch president. He ended with a quote that his mission president told him when he was called to be a branch president. “Work yourself out of a job.” I loved that quote and I think it’s something we can all use in all situations of life. Imma slap it up on my wall when I get home.

This Sunday was a good one and I’m glad its over to be honest haha. I had to organize the whole thing during the week and then two of my speakers finished with about 45 minutes left and I only had one speaker left. I started to think hmmm lets have this district counselor speak, then we will sing a fat intermediate hymn and then my last speaker will get the job done cause she’s just awesome. It turned out all great. We finished a little after the hour and it was great. I would say the whole thing was a success but it just so happened that our first speaker just yelled in the microphone for 4  minutes and forgot to end in the name of Jesus Christ. It was incredible.

We had very few lessons this week with so much stuff going on. It’s just barely hitting me that we really didn’t get to help our investigators this week so we will have to get all over that this week.

Well I’m doing great. I know that our Heavenly Father supports us in our trials. I know that his son Jesus Christ walks with us through the hardest of times and that he even carries us when we just cant do it by ourselves. I’m so thankful for how much I’m learning out here on my mission. I can see that it is shaping so much and I’m happy to have this experience. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!.

andale pues que les vaya bien.

Elder Cluff

Week 40-“As for right now I am the branch president in a very large branch and I’m not sure what in the heck I am doing”

Hola!!

This week was awesome. We got to have interviews with President Clayton and a training from Sister Clayton. I love those days. I love being trained cause they just receive straight revelation for all of us. We focused a ton on reading the scriptures. They told us that any thought impression or feeling we have while reading the scriptures is REVELATION. So that was a good reminder and they gave us the challenge to write all of those things that we feel or think right there in the scriptures wherever we are in the book. It’s been super awesome to see and realize that the more I write, the more I receive. Que loco.

We went to another area to help out a companionship with a baptism. That’s another interview I got to do, and I think it was one of the more special ones. I had little Carlos pray (9 years old) to start the interview. As he was praying it was just like your basic prayer but then all of the sudden he started talking to Heavenly Father. Unlike I have ever heard any kid pray. He was asking with all his heart to have help to be able to answer the interview questions so that he could be baptized. It was incredible and before I even could give the interview I knew he was ready. It was such a great experience. Learning to receive and recognize revelation has been something I have loved so much. I’m so thankful for this grand laboratory of a mission to learn all of these things and I know that they will shape my life forever.

We got home from helping with that baptism and went right to church. We got there, and I had already known that they were going to release our branch president but I didn’t know who they were going to call, and the district president, President Arias called me out into the hall. He said “Elder will you help us out and be the branch president?” Woah woah woah President, hold your Mexican horses. I don’t know if I can do that. He was like, “yeah President Clayton told me I could call you.” So there I was after the block, giving temple recommend interviews and counting fast offerings. President Clayton called me later that night and told me that president Arias did the whole thing wrong, but that I had his permission to be the branch president for a bit. So we will see how long it lasts, but as for right now I am the branch president in a very large branch and I’m not sure what in the heck I am doing. So that’s just a little taste of the mission for ya. Gotta stay on your toes at all times.

This is the last week of the transfer. I thought I was out of here but my new calling makes me think different. Goodness gracious I’ve been in this zone my entire mission and it’s actually very taxing. But I think all in all its the coolest zone in the mish. Its definitely the hottest though.

The nightmare of the Pday fast came true today. We couldn’t get our fast started on time so here we are right now, fasting away. I love it though, and I’m going to do it more often then I have been. I know that there is so much power in the fast and I never realized how often it talks about fasting in the Book of Mormon. It’s incredible. I love you all and I miss you all so much. I hope that you all realize the blessings you are getting everyday.

Elder Cluff

Week 39- “The blessings of missionary work are endless”

Hola!

It’s been a great week this week and I’m super thankful for it. ‘Ive learned a ton. The highlight of the week was definitely the exchanges with the assistants. I was with Elder Contreras for the Dominican Republic. He goes home in about a month and a half. He is one of my best friends. He is super humble and super funny. He is just super great to be around. He wants to live in the US and I’m super down to do whatever I can to help him because he has changed my life.

The assistants are just next level. Every time I’m with them I’m just like holy crap I am not that class of missionary and they make me wanna be better. I know they are called of God to be the assistants in our mission. During companionship study Elder Contreras knew exactly what to say and he hit every point of worry that I’ve been having. I was super thankful for that half hour to study I had with him.

I got to go to the very outskirts of the mission and give a baptismal interview this week as well. It ended up taking two days because they live so far out there. It was such a cool experience. They meet there in a tiny little house of prayer. The font was so tiny there was barely room for them in there. It was cool to get to go out there and help with the baptism. I love giving baptismal interviews. It’s a great opportunity to see how the gospel has changed the people. Even the little 9 year old I got to interview. I did feel weird asking him if he’s ever participated in an abortion tho. But we are in Mexico so I had to ask him.

A bunch of crap has been happening in the branch here so I’m pretty sure we will be getting a new branch president this weekend. It’s good but also sucks because I’m not sure anybody has the ability to do that besides the President right now. We will see what type of effect it has on the area.

There is a young woman here named Lupita. She always comes to church with her sister and her family that are super active. Shes not actually a member but she comes every single week. Well theYW president came up to us after church this week and said “I’ve been working with Lupita and shes ready to listen to you guys and get baptized.” All we need now is her moms permission. It might be a little difficult because shes a member of another church. But the young women’s president is super involved and helping us a lot so I’m thinking that it can happen. I’m praying for her and this is such an answer to prayers. I’m thankful for people to teach. The biggest blessing for missionaries honestly is just people to teach. Help the missionaries find people to teach. Help them have full schedules. Even if you don’t think that they will listen and get baptized, put your fear behind you and just help them get into contact with missionaries. I know it can be hard, but just do it. The blessings of missionary work are endless.

I’m liking Santiago even tho its really hot. We have two weeks left in the transfer and this week will have interviews with the President. I’m excited for that. The mission life is great. Thank you all for your support and love! Keep praying for me and my area!

Love Elder Cluff

Week 38-” I think that the time will keep going faster and faster so we all just need to enjoy it.”

Hola!

This week was an adventure. We had a pretty good week teaching repentance and stuff. Towards the end of the week my comp and I stopped in to the church to go on some weekly visits. We were there for like five minutes and he went into the bathroom and threw up. Well to keep it short, he didn’t stop for 3 hours. The poor kid was in the bathroom stall for 3 hours. He lost 100 percent of his strength and couldn’t even stand up. He managed to leave the stall for about 20 seconds to get a blessing. He made it back to the house in a taxi without throwing up again, but then in the house he started throwing up blood. So we made our way to the ER and stayed there till 1 in the morning. Well everything is great now and we should be able to work this week just like normal. Anyway…needless to say, I had my first Mexican emergency room experience.

In some of the down time I had in the house, I shredded the Book of Mormon. I love reading it quickly but attentively. I get so much out of it and I remember whats going on. It’s been a great experience studying it this month.

This week, we wanted to find more people, so we put a table up in the plaza and contacted the heck out of everyone. It was pretty awesome and we met some cool people and had a good time with the zone leaders. We found some more people to teach and hopefully we can help some of them progress a lil bit.

Its been a good week overall, I’ve learned a lot and it felt like a quick week. I also hit 9 months this week and that’s nuts to me. The time is going super quick. Its weird to think that its been a year since graduation and all that stuff, it literally feels like it was yesterday. I think that the time will keep going faster and faster so we all just need to enjoy it.

Les amo mis amigos. Grracias por sus oraciones y amor. Sé que nuestro padre celestial nos escucha y quiere que hablemos con el en todo momento. Sé que estamos en la iglesia verdadera. Puedo ver la felicidad que trae el evangelio, y la tristeza que hay sin Jesucristo. Se que i felicidad duradero en cristo, y que uno no la puede encontrar en ningún otro lado. Sé que dios nos ama a cada  uno de nosotros. Que estén bien. pórtense bien y si se portan mal, me invitan.

 

Elder Cluff

Week 35-“Obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon, read it, ponder it, live its principles, and you will find happiness now and forever”

Qué onda raza!!!

 

We had transfers this week. This Elder is staying here in good ole hot and musty Santiago Nayarit. Elder Koyle is stayin with me too so we are gonna cause a riot. He’s like the funniest nerdiest kid and every word that comes out of his mouth makes me laugh. I love it. We should have a good transfer and my hypothesis is that if we work hard then it will go fast.
This week we pretty good. Kinda weird because I don’t remember it very well!! We had exchanges with the zone leaders again.. that was good. Oh I got to do another baptismal interview and preside at a baptism so that was money.
This week as been super calientita. Super hot. I’ve been sweating like a slightly overweight elders quorum president helping the neighbors move in at mid day.
The sad news is the worst has yet to come. Oh well, mango season is right around summers corner and I am enthralled thinking about that. I’ve been eagerly picking them but they still just aren’t quite there.
This week our mission president extended us the invitation to read the Book of Mormon as a mission during the month of may. I’m super excited. He said that he invited us to do it as a result of our prophets address. I know that it’s revelation and each and every one of us should follow it. So read the Book of Mormon with me this month!! I promise that your life with be better. There will be more peace. The problems you face will seem small. The hand of the Lord will be visible. I know that the Book of Mormon protects us. As we read it we receive divine heavenly help that we need in each situation we face! I love the Book of Mormon
“Obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon, read it, ponder it, live its principles, and you will find happiness now and forever”

The ball is in your hands! If you want happiness you now know where to find it. I love you all and pray for you. I would love to hear from you all! 8 months in the mission and I feel like week old dust. Nobody remembers me!! Haha still love you tho.

 

Elder Cluff

Week 34-“I know without a doubt that the Savior lives. He passed beneath all things that he might save all things. I love him with all my heart.”

Hola!

This week was super awesome. It went super quick too. We had exchanges with the zone leaders in their area. In the night we played some mad pong and it was just a good night. I love the zone leaders.

On Wednesday, my comp and I felt like we should go home early to just hammer the area book, and really leave our mark on that sucker. As we got close, we sat down at a members house across the street from ours. Someone ran up to us in a fury of nervousness and said “there is someone in your house with a flashlight!!” well shiz!  I booked it to the house and was about to go in and then the wise member said “no don’t go in he could kill you” So I decided to listen and not go in. One of our friends, Roger, and I ran around back and saw someone standing on top off the house. Roger screamed at him, and I’ll spare you words he used, and said get down here. The kid screamed ” oh I’m not doing anything I just like to chill up here” alright dog, you’ve never chilled on top of my house before why are you doing it now?

We got him down and called the cops and it turns out he had my iPhone. So then we had to get all legally involved. I coulda put that guy behind bars for 2 years but president Clayton told me no. anyyyway this thief, Daniel, came up to us the next day and started to apologize. It was super dope because I didn’t feel even a tiny bit mad at him and I felt the love of Christ for him. I cut him off and began explaining repentance and how we can be forgiven. But I didn’t stop there. I straight invited this thief to be baptized on May 25. He said yes. I was super pumped and we’ve been having some lessons with him.

So that happened. Turned out to be a little bit of a blessing.

All that hubaloo made the week go pretty quick. We worked hard but also worked hard with the area book and with planning. So we weren’t able to visit as many people as we were hoping to see.

This week we should see some great success as we close out the transfer. I’m hoping to stay one more transfer to just get some of these great investigators that we have baptized.

More than anything this week I studied about Christ. I was overwhelmed several times with just a pure feeling of “this is the truth” I felt so peaceful as I studied about his resurrection and about his perfect life. I know without a doubt that the Savior lives. He passed beneath all things that he might save all things. I love him with all my heart. He is everything to me. I am thankful for the daily opportunity I have to repent, and strive the be better each moment. He loves us so much. I know that he does. May we strive to be more like him.

I love you all,

Elder Cluff

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