Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 11, 2016 Letter...

That coming home song gets to me every single time, haha not kidding. I love it. I had a good week, to be honest. I was able to get some souvenirs, but not too many. But you guys will like what I got. I bought it all with the money I got from selling my weights, hehehehe :) so yeah.. I haven't touched that money you sent me but I'm gonna have to either today or tomorrow to be able to eat a bit. :) definitely tomorrow and Wednesday in the airport.

And mom, what you just said was golden advice. Thank you so much. I love you! It's going to be hard going home and all that, but I know that what needs to be done and what is required in order to obtain the constant companionship of the spirit of the Lord. It's going to be a brand new chapter in the life of Caden Cluff. :) Really though, I'm excited. I'm not sad to be honest. I've served a dang good mission; I've been obedient, I've worked hard, I have zero regrets.

Yesterday I got to go visit the majority of my converts, and the great majority are doing AWESOME. Very active and very excited. One of the brothers we baptized last may, Paul, is preparing himself to enter into the temple to receive his endowments this month or at the beginning of next, that has got to be some of the greatest news that I've ever heard! It's sad I won't be there for it, but wow, he is going through the temple! :)

Yes... lunch... can we make reservations at Tucanos...? and for dinner I want you to make steak fajitas... but a lotttttttttt of them. I feel like I'll be eating a good 10... with sour cream, and all that good stuff. :) that's what I want for dinner! Congo Bars and vanilla ice cream for dessert.. that sounds perfect. Sounds like it'll be a solid day getting home!

Love you mom :) I'll see you guys in two days! I leave tomorrow.. literally I'm sooooo excited. Tonight we have our last dinner with Pres and his wife, then tomorrow we go to the temple.. and then bye bye.

Elder Cluff (last time I'll be able to write that)

July 4, 2016 Letter...

It's true.. you only get sick going to Fredonia.. haha you gotta be more careful. I'm glad you getta see the family and all that. I hope they're doing well! And freal Kanab and Fredonia also hold a very special place in my heart.. I mean its the place of my could I not love it, ya know? But that's awesome you guys are having a good time. Take some pics and get them sent to me :) Yeah... $150 is definitely enough. I'll make do :) it's gonna be cool as beans! Dang I wish I was there in Fredonia to celebrate.. but soon enough I will be :)

Hey Cameron.. what's up, dude..... Keep riding motocross dude it is so fun. That's probably the best and funnest memories from my childhood. I'll get home and help you ride the 125 so you can be a big boy hahah :) You made $100? WUUT? freal? that sounds fun though man... get that 125 rockin and rollin! Keep riding and having fun.

Cam is a bro. He reminds me of me. Not kidding that's so true.

Tuesday was seriously one of the most marvelous days that I’ve had here on the mission. It was awesome, to be honest...such a great day. We had interviews and we had a great time there.. honestly. We just got to catch up with some elders while we were waiting to speak with President Larson. They have absolutely changed my life. Also I got to speak with President Larson and it was such an amazing experience. Every time I speak with him I can just feel his love and the spirit that emanates from him. In this interview I just had to review my temple recommend because it expires in July, but we were also able to talk about some other things. It was just a really special experience. I’m going to miss President and Sister Larson so much.. they are my heroes. The goal I have is to stay in touch with them until the day I die. I would love for you guys to meet them one day! Then anyways.. in the afternoon we were able to teach a few lessons to some really awesome people and at the very end of the night we had a really awesome experience, similar to that of the last week! It was like 8:45… and we had been at interviews all day.. and we were like.. dang.. we need more people.. what do we do? No one was letting us in and we were starting to fret. So then all of a sudden I remembered a reference that we had received a few days back. I told my comp, hey let's go, we gotta go meet this sister, so we went. We get there, and this lady with a huge bright smile on her face opens the door and starts telling us how she was waiting for us and she needed help to understand the Book of Mormon and her kid also wanted to know and this and that and this and that, and we were like okay lady slow down YOU ARE AWESOME but give us like 5 minutes so we can go get a brother to come with us so we can enter into your house and teach you. So we went and got someone to come with us and were able to enter in and teach her about the Book of Mormon. She told us that she had been waiting for the missionaries to arrive her whole life… she had learned about the church, had a copy of the Book of Mormon, but needed that additional orientation so that she could continue learning and progressing and become a member. We were just in awe listening to all of this. So we taught her a bit and now she is super excited to be baptized with her 11 year old son! She tells us every time that we go that she has just been waiting and waiting and waiting for missionaries to get to her house.. ha. Her son Valentino is like the smartest kid I’ve ever met and he already received a strong answer about the Book of Mormon. The second time we went over he was like.. Elders… I received my answer, I want to be baptized. The Lord is working soooo many miracles here in this sector.. it is amazing. I can’t believe what we are seeing here.. the only sad thing is that I’m not going to be here for a lot of the baptisms that are going to be had. But it’s okay. I’m just so happy for these people and to see my Father’s work go forward the way it is!

This last Friday was also a killer day. We were able to teach a ton of people and they were all insanely receptive and ready to be baptized. We are working with this guy right named Vladimir that we met like 3 weeks ago or so. When we first met him, he was like the most depressed and sad dude I had ever seen. We contacted him in the street and he accepted a visit. So we were able to go back and teach him. We found out that he has had a lot of troubles and trials and big problems in his life, which put him into a pretty severe state of depression. He ended up staying in his room for about 3 years because of it. We met him only two weeks after he had begun to leave his house again and integrate himself once more into society. We have felt the spirit so strongly as we have taught him. The first lesson we taught was of Jesus Christ and his Atonement. We shared Alma 7 with him and it was something really special, but you could tell that still he was pretty sad. So in the course of these 3 weeks we have been visiting him several times a week and he has been reading his Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church exactly as we have invited him to do, and wow, we have seen such a change in him. On Friday, we visited him and taught him the second half of the Plan of Salvation, and it was one of the strongest lessons I’ve ever sat in on. The spirit taught us that entire lesson. It was so great to be able to explain to Vladimir that he has a purpose. That he isn’t here to just suffer and then for it all to end and then he’ll be no more, no. But rather that he has a purpose here on this earth. That he is a child of God, who God loves and wants more than anything else to return again to his presence. As Vladimir began to understand that, and as he began to understand that to be able to meet that goal we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ and live His gospel for the rest of our lives, he just lit up like a Christmas tree! All smiles. The Plan of Salvation has been the big game changer in his progress. He is happy now. He smiles when we talk to him, he participates, he loves going to church, and he is ready and willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. He has come a long way, and he’s only going to continue getting better. His baptism is going to change his life and I’m so excited that I’m going to be here for it. Pray for him, pray that he can continue being happy through this gospel, and that he can meet his baptismal goal this 9th of July.

This week we had a baptism! A sister that we have been working with for about three weeks named Teresa :) She honestly is the greatest. She is a sister that has been through about every single church you can think of, constantly searching for the truth. When we found her, she was so willing to learn and know for herself that the message of the Restoration was true. She read, prayed, and went to church every single time we invited her to do so, and because of that, she progressed so beautifully. She was so excited to be baptized into the true church when she received her answer, and yesterday her excitement was at its peak when she entered into the waters of baptism. It was sooo awesome. I’m pumped too because it was my comp’s first baptism. He was really excited and it was just a great day. Teresa is doing really well and she’s now super excited, and to be honest, preoccupied with getting the temple ordinances done for her family that has passed away.

Oh, and Sunday what a complete day of miracles. We had 7 people go to church this Sunday and stay the three hours. All 7 of them have baptismal dates for the month of July! We are rocking and rollin. Really it is so amazing to see what the Lord in all his goodness is doing for us here. A family of 3 that we invited that told us over and over that they wouldn’t be able to show and stay and it was just like Lord, thank you. I’ve got a lot of gratitude in my heart for how this last week turned out. Great way to be finishing things here off in the mission.

Elder Cluff

 Reactivated a member after 2 years of inactivity (brother on left), and Teresa's baptism day :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 27, 2016 Letter...

Oh that's smooth... how does that buddy pass membership work? I can take a buddy every single time for free or how is it? That sounds awesome. And yeah AF rec is cool.. but you know me.. I'm definitely a Gold's guy.. and that's going to be a lot easier when I'm at BYU also.. so thank you for doing that:)

Good to hear Sky and Ash are doing well. I really look up to them. Not kidding. It's amazing to see how much Skyler has matured during these years... like he is a man and a dad now.. it's weird. but that's so sick. And get Cameron going on that 125! If he starts now he'll be rockin' it. And I'll help him with it when I get home.

And good to hear about the housing... honestly Bryce Curtis is just the man I wanted. Not kidding. So good work. Get that guy to sign stuff so it's official. And for Eric's position.. hmmm.. we gotta see. We'll keep looking and searching. It will be easier when I get home.

Anyways…this week has been super solid. Not too many crazy things have happened. I’m loving life because we are managing to get some of the best and hardest work done that I’ve done in all my mission. Really it’s amazing. It’s kind of sad though because we are finding so many people to teach, including three families of four, but when their baptisms roll around, I’m not going to be here. It’s aight though. I’m thankful to the Lord for the opportunity that he gave me to serve here in this sector. Honestly, it was a sector that hadn’t been taken care of at all; there just weren’t investigators to teach. There had been baptisms through a few references awhile back, but other than that we were working with nothing. I guess the missionaries before got intimated by the fact that it’s pure city and people with a lot of money and that it requires a different form of work. My comp and I have been able to get the wheel rolling and in these four weeks we’ve found and taught about 50 new investigators and this week and next week and then the rest of the weeks this month we’ll be having baptisms. It’s so amazing to see the Lord’s hand in this work. It’s not our work, it’s his. The more I remember that, the more trust I’m able to show, which in turn brings true results.

Last night we had a really cool experience. Yesterday after church, we didn’t have any appointments, so we had to go searching for people to teach. Usually on Sunday, people are at home, but yesterday definitely wasn’t that way. We had passed by people’s houses for literally 5 hours with absolutely zero success. We had contacted like 30 people in the street, trying to get an appointment to teach them, we had passed by almost all of our investigator’s houses to see if we could teach them, but nothing. Nobody was home though…. So at the end of the night… we were like.. fetch. Then all the sudden we were like… well let’s go pass by this last house… and then we’ll go home. So we went, and we found there a family of four people! We taught them, and come to find out, the wife has a whole bunch of family that are members and she had been receiving the missionaries from their house, but could never progress because she didn’t live there. So they are super excited to progress and it just goes to show, that when we are diligent in acting and working up until the very end, the Lord comes through and blesses us. Such a neat experience.

Elder Cluff

June 20, 2016 Letter...

Wow sounds like a super awesome week. Not kidding.. dad retiring, a sweet family reunion where the family got to bond and get together, and that's great dad and Serena got to spend some quality time together and won the Rook championship.. hahaha that's sweet. good work mom :) and hey how is Brooke doing? I'm glad she is doing well and got to say hi to the family! And Brigham and Cameron helped take the topper for the car off?! What? Like two years ago that would have been something imaginable.. I'm super excited to see them and how much they've grown. I'll continue praying for the family. I know all is going to go well and I'm excited for the new doors that are being opened.

So my companion Elder Llanos returned home to Trujillo this Thursday. There were a few unresolved things to take care of there. Even though he returned, I’m so proud of him. He came here to the mission ready to work, excited and all, and recognized how obedient we are in the mission and also recognized how important it is that he should emulate such obedience. We talked a lot and he finally worked up the courage to talk to President. I really admire him and I am proud of him for the steps he’s taking to become better. I’m going to miss the guy. I’ve felt pretty down about the whole thing, but President Larson, he is the man, reassured me and let me know that what happened was exactly what needed to happen and that’s why he had felt inspired to give me the special assignment to be with the Elder. I’m happy that my buddy is going to be able to get things all figured out now :)

Anyways… what else… this week we’ve been working our tushies off to find people and baptize them.

My new comp is great. He has honestly been a blast. Not kidding. He makes me laugh and wow he is working here like a BEAST. Elder Pender from Canada. Literally I don’t know how we’re doing it, but we are finding soooo many people to teach and having success through the roof!! Actually I do know how, it’s because the Lord is blessing us for our diligence and obedience. It’s amazing. This is some of the hardest work I’ve done in all my mission. It feels really good!

The rich sector is soooo fun. We have been teaching a lot of high class people lately and they are so awesome. It’s a blast working here in Lince and San Isidro. And I didn’t know this, but actually Peru’s first MTC is actually in my sector! The church still owns it, but now a member family that works for the church is living in it to take of it and all that. Sadly the church is looking to sell it. It’s a sweet piece of history though and yesterday we ate lunch with the family who’s living in it and got to go on a tour. It’s like a giant colonial house and you can tell that it was gorgeous place back in it’s time. I’ll send pictures.

Love you guys!

Elder Cluff

Elder Cluff and Elder Pender

The first MTC in Peru

Another shot of the first Peruvian MTC. :)  

June 13, 2016 Letter...

We had this guy tell us the other day, a Latino man, that he wants to help Donald Trump kick Latino’s butts out of the United States (he told us in English and didn’t use the word butt either)… I was like
"Wait, what you are Peruvian? What are you saying?!" He apparently works in the United States and is the only Peruvian man who actually supports Donald Trump.. it made me laugh.

We are teaching right now a family from Idaho.. that came here like 19 years ago.. but all the daughters were born there and came here when they were like 10.. so it’s funny. Rich sectors are fun.

I ask you guys to also pray for my companion Elder Llanos from Trujillo. He has a few difficulties and we´re not too sure about what´s going to happen. He is so excited and has such a great and loving heart that´s willing to serve the Lord.. I love the kid and care for him. I´ve felt such a strong spirit being here with him and being able to train him, it´s been such a blast and I pray that all will be well. Training a new missionary is such a unique experience. Sharing all I´ve learned with my new companion has been a really great experience. I have formed such a strong Christ-like love for my comp hoping and praying that he can be the best missionary during these two years. That´s my hope and prayer.

So we are teaching a ton load of people to be honest. In the past 10 days we have found about 15 new investigators, some of which are progressing beautifully. We are teaching two sisters that are doing awesome. The first is Teresa. She is an older woman who has a friend who is a member who introduced her to the church. So we´ve been teaching Teresa in the house of this certain member that talked to her about the church, and she is super excited to be baptized! She was preparing before to be a preacher in some church, but now she is super open and willing to be corrected for her false beliefs and really understand theses. Pray that she can continue overcoming the opposition that always exists and meet her goal to be baptized and confirmed! We are also teaching Irma, she is a 19 year old girl we met on Saturday and came to church all three hours yesterday and even decided to stay and plan activities with the YSA. Super awesome. When we taught Irma on Saturday she had told us that she didn’t believe in God and that religion for her was a joke. We taught her a very spiritual lesson that day and then on Sunday in sacrament meeting I had to give a talk so I testified of the divine role of Jesus Christ and the rest of the messages and classes were super powerful. Afterwards Irma was smiling and it was a great opportunity. Pray that she can really receive and answer from the Lord that these things are true.

So we met all the members in the ward this Sunday.. Wow. This is the strongest ward I have seen in my entire mission. Not kidding. The members are amazing and want to help us get work done. It is so awesome to see! The only bad thing is that I’m leaving in 4 weeks so I don't really get to take complete advantage. There are a lot of YSA that have been coming out to teach with us and it’s been a blast. This sector, which suffered in the past, is being turned around!

I really love President Larson. I’m really so grateful for having served under him. Really he is one of the greatest men I know. He really loves and cares for us and it’s something genuine, something really that makes the difference. It’s been awesome being here with them. He has helped me become the missionary that I am today.

So I can’t remember if I told you guys this was going to happened, but anyways this week Elder Rasband and his wife visited our mission! It was SO sweet. He gave such powerful and real testimony of the divinity of Christ and also of the truthfulness of this church. It was great. And we even got to go pass by and shake his hand! He reminded us, that a few days earlier he had shaken the hand of President Monson, so we were just one hand shake away from him :) But wow. Elder Rasband’s got a heart of gold. He is a very, very sweet and loving man. It was amazing to feel the true Christ like love that was transmitted from him to us. There was a very sweet spirit in that meeting and it’s something I’ll never forget. He spoke of a few things of which the spirit bore strong witness to me that I would like to share… One, that we ALWAYS need to pay attention to our first promptings. He taught us that those are the thoughts that come from the spirit. What comes after comes from us, or even from the enemy. He said if that first thought comes, and it makes you feel good, and it persuades you to do well, OBEY IT AND FOLLOW IT. It is one of the most important tasks we undertake here in this mortal like.. learning to listen and act on spiritual promptings. Two, he taught us that we end up being our most important converts when all is said and done. Looking back at the whole of my mission, I can honestly say these two years have helped me immensely in my personal process of conversion. I feel converted to the Lord now, something that I couldn’t say before the mission. Even though the mission isn’t about us, but rather the people, it’s still amazing what the mission does for one’s own conversion to the gospel. I love the gospel and I love the way I feel living it, procuring obedience with exactness.

And yeah, so I bought my suit.. Haha… it’s going to be a surprise.. you are going to love it because I promise you it’s not what you are expecting. :) I bet you can’t wait to see… let me just say SWAAGGER DAAGGER.

Elder Cluff

June 6, 2016 Letter...

As for Austin Richards.. no I didn't see him. It would've been awesome to be honest. But I didn't get to see him! I'll see him soon anyways :) yea and about the debit card, I'll let you know when I get it!

And Yeah... Eric is engaged. Awesome!!! What a stud. But at the same time, SUCK. We will need a new man. Maybe Haden. Idk. I hope someone cool though. We will think of a person. Until when do we have. If it all goes south I can just move in with my other buddies in that department with Grant that a thing?

And that's hilarious that Zack got into a fight hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. That's the highlight of my week. Did he win? hahahahah. Sweeet. Go family. Bring honor to our name!

Well, I got transferred this week! But I have haven’t gone too far from where I was. I’m actually still in the same zone Limatambo, but in the ward Lince. My new sector is one of the richer sectors in the zone, so that’s fun. I’m actually training a brand new missionary named Elder Llanos from Trujillo Peru. He is a solid dude. He is a little bit nervous, but we’re working through that. It’s honestly weird being in the same zone that I was a zone leader in for so long, but now as just a normal missionary haha. For example, one of the district leaders that I always used to have to call and get after for many things, is my district leader. It’s funny how it works, but I’m loving it.

We both got thrown into this sector where sisters were before. The sisters were good sisters, but left us with very little. So this week we just walked our butts off, going from person to person trying to find people to teach. We’ve been praying a lot that the Lord would bless us and guide us to the prepared people and I can say that he has answered our prayers and we’ve been able to find a lot of really good people to teach who are going to be able to be baptized. We are going to give it our all so we can see some miracles this month. The goal is to really change this sector from one of the worst to one of the best here in the zone. I want my comp and the Elder that replaces me when I leave to be able to have a lot to work with and a lot to do.

We live in the rich part of Lima, San Isidro, so that’s fun… what else… really nothing. :)

Love you guys and talk to you next week!

Elder Cluff

My new comp Elder Llanos

 We did some service and dug a hole.

Elder Cluff and Elder McPhie

Misión Perú Lima Central
Av. Juan de Aliaga 510
Magdalena del Mar Lima
Lima 17, Peru
Tel: 011-51-1 222-2173

01 de junio de 2016

Dear Family of Elder Cluff,

I am delighted to inform you that your son, Elder Caden Matthew Cluff, has been assigned to serve as a trainer in the Peru Lima Central Mission.  He will be the first companion of a new missionary in our mission.  We all feel there is no more important assignment a missionary receives in the mission field. It is the most respected assignment one can receive in our mission.  He will be responsible to teach his companion how to become the most successful missionary he can become.  This significant responsibility has come to your son because he has exemplified the qualities of outstanding missionary service.  Please know that this assignment comes to Elder Cluff by revelation and through pondering and prayer.

I am sure that you are pleased with the accomplishments and leadership ability that have made him worthy of this great responsibility.  We pray that you, with him, will “lift up your heart and rejoice,” (see D&C 31:3). Thank you for all you have done to make Elder Cluff the fine young man that he is and for your continuing support of his missionary endeavors.

Warmest regards,

Stephen J. Larson
Misión Perú Lima Central