Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Some Pics :)

The best taco place in all of PERU!

 My Taco :) Sooooo good!

 LPHS Elders!  With Elder Jake Irving, Elder Austin Richards, Elder Caden Cluff at transfers!

 The beach on Miraflores.

Riding bikes along the beach to the statue of Christ.

 The beach was so cool!

 The Christmas tree in Larcomar with some of the elders and my comp.

Statue of Christ on the beach in Miraflores, Peru.

January 5, 2014 Letter...

Hey Mama, 

NO, I loved the package for my birthday and every thing in it! You rock mom, I'm serious:) thank you! And yeah, President Borg is a stud.. seriously the most chill, loving mission president ever.. I don't want him to change this June.. but yeah, sadly he has to :(

And going to Disneyland without me I would kill you guys.. don't even think about it.. haha, wait for me..

OH YEAH, TELL CAM HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND THAT I LOVE HIM SO MUCH AND THAT I'M SUPER PROUD OF HIM AND THE PERSON HE'S BECOMING. I love Cam. I miss him a ton. He is the sweetest kid and I hope he is having a good birthday. And starting Jr. Jazz? Atta boy:) That's gonna be fun. And Brig, ahh. I love him. Let him know I love him. And that I think about him every day. Tell him to just keep pushing through, because it will all pay off. I hope he can love his new guitar.. that's awesome he got one. Tell him to push through with it, and to not give up. He'll be fine. I know he will. Make sure he makes good friends. That's gonna be key to getting him happy and motivated. And Zack.. he is a stud isn't he. I love him. He replaced me as the favorite child.. WHY MUST I CRY. How sad. No, but, seriously I love him. And that's so sick he got Zuriicks... stud.

Okay, I'll upload the pics soon.. the next time I do internet, because I forgot my camera this time. Yikes..

Okay this break was amazing.. Christmas was ssoooo fun, and then wow.. my birthday was one of the best birthdays I've ever had in my life. It happened to be P-day, but not just any P-day. It was a super special one. We started the day off with me and my comp giving a training to the zone about being missionaries of success.. it was awesome. After that, we left as a zone to the rich part of Lima -- Mira Flores, by the beach to the super sweet mall complex beachside called Larcomar... we went and played pool there for a few hours then went and ate at Chili's! So smooth. Then after that we left and went and watched Meet the Mormons as a mission! We got the whole mission in a church building and watched it. It was amazing. So spiritual. Such a great movie. I love this gospel and I love being a personal representative of Jesus Christ. But yeah after that we left, went to the store and bought snacks, and then went to the stake center as a zone and watched Penguins of Madagascar! Haha, it was too good. Probably a lot funnier here in the mission. Afterwards we went to the bishops house, ate with his family, then watched fireworks with him and his family at 12 midnight. They were sweet. The whole city of Lima does fireworks and it's way cool to see. This day will probably never happen again while I'm in the mission.. because it was pure "not" missionary work, but it was super fun. And it was all on my birthday.. so it just made it that much cooler.. How cool though, right? Then the day after was P-day again, so we just went and played sports all day with all the zone leaders in the mission and the AP's and Secrataries (me and my comp were the only ones there not ZL's or AP's, haha) and then went to Chili's again. Super awesome.

I'm seeing a lot of miracles here in the mission, too. For example, we have been working with this brother named Jose. We have been working super hard to reactivate him... and in the process of reactivating him, we were able to reactivate his son in the church. His son would only go to church every 1-2 months, and didn't care about anything with the church. He is an RM, too, so it was super sad. We didn't work with him because by the rules of the mission, he was counted as active member, so there wasn't much we could do -- only invite him to church and all that. So in the process of teaching his dad, he has had the desire to make a complete change in his life. He is going to church every week now -- all three hours, and now he wants to listen and participate when we teach his dad. His reactivation in the church may not have counted as "numbers" for us or the mission, but it counts for the Lord. That's what we're here to do. Help people make and keep covenants with the Lord. I've been so blessed to see the Lord's hand in this work.

I have so many more stories from this past week, but I'll save them for next week:) I love you guys:) The mission work is going great. Such a blessing. And hold your horses because I might have a change this Tuesday... we'll see what happens, though.. I'm excited to see. 

Elder Cluff

December 15, 2014 Letter...

Thanks for the packages Mom:) I'm sure they'll get here fine! I'm really excited. I love you guys. Keep the personal scripture study and family scripture study up.. it's gonna help you guys a lot. In every aspect of your lives!

Glad you guys got to get together with Skyler and Ash and all the family... I miss stuff like that, but yea whatevs:)

Anyways, this week we had a baptism! Our investigator was baptized this Saturday. We are still working with Gian and Adela for Adela's baptism, because there were complications with their marriage for the 13th, so we pushed it way back for the 10th of January so we can put everything in place to make it happen. We are super dissappointed we couldn't make everything work, but I guess the Lord has other plans, and we are definitely okay with that. We prayed and felt that we should push their marriage and baptismal date to January 10th, 3 days before transfers. We''ll make it happen. But yes, Saturday our investigator was baptized! She is awesome and has a strong testimony of the gospel. I got to perform the ordinance and it went super smooth:) baptismal service was super beautiful and it is the first of many. This sector (before us) only had 1 baptism in the past 2 years. So we are working hard to change this pattern. Me and my comp and doing all we can to help people make these covenants with God. I love this missionary work :) It is super hard and super stressful, but seeing the fruits of our labors, seeing people change and draw nearer to the Savior is better than anything in the entire world. This is why we keep pushing, why we keep working. The Lord has more people for us to teach, and it's our job to find them:)

I sent pictures, too! Enjoy! There's one of me with 2 of my LP friends!! :)

I love you guys and hope everything is going good!

Elder Cluff

Elder Pedrera, Celen and Elder Cluff
(Elder Cluff's hair is getting so blonde!)

Members and investigators from the ward and other pair of missionaries from the ward :)

December 8, 2014 Letter...

Hey Family!

That's sweet Zack got laid out hahaha... not kidding. It'll toughen him up... ah he is a freaking stud. Make sure to remind him to eat a lot of food to grow. I'm lifting again and I'm gonna buy protein soon... hehe. Yes. Good to hear you guys are doing family scripture and prayer. And yes challenge them to read their BOMs personally! Offer them an incentive! A knowledge of the Book of Mormon is so key for the mission, and the earlier the better:)

This week was good. We'll been working a lot this week getting all the things in place for the marriage of Gian y Adela. We are working really hard to make it happen so Adela can be baptized. There have been about 100 complications with their marriage and we are trying to work through them. We fasted for them this week that we can make their marriage and her baptism on the 13th. Pray for them that everything will work out. We have another baptism this week with an hermana named Celen. We have been teaching her for about 4 weeks, and she'll be baptized this Saturday. She is awesome. I can tell the Spirit has worked in her because I have seen her testimony develop. I love seeing this change happen. I love seeing people acquire testimonies of the restored gospel. Me and my comp focus most on developing the testimonies of the investigators. For this reason, we only use the Book of Mormon. If they don't gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, they'll never accept this gospel. We focus really hard on the conversion of people, so they can know for themselves. I have learned a lot and I'm still learning so much on how to help people develop this testimony. Anyways, I'm really excited:) We have two baptisms this Saturday, one reactivation, and one marriage:) We're gonna make it happen. I'll be sure to send pics too. Please pray that everything will work out. The mission is the greatest thing in the world. 

Today for P-day we went to one of the richest areas in Lima called Miraflores, where we rented bikes and rode them by the beach and up hills as big as Suncrest. It was too fun. This area Miraflores looks like California.. not kidding.. it's amazing. There were were a whole bunch of North American tourists everywhere.. and it was weird. Super fun P-day and I'm sun-burnt, but also look Peruvian so it's alright, haha. I'll be sure to send pics. We went with the whole zone.. and they are a blast. 

This week was slow.. because we have focused all our time and energy in making these baptisms happen. We know Celen is for sure, but if we can't get Gian and Adela married, we'll have to postpone it, which we don't want. Please pray everything will work out:)

I love you guys and I'm glad to hear everything is good at home:) 

Elder Cluff

P.S. tell the boys I love them and to send me letters next time! Tell Zack to email me personally.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

December 1, 2014 Letter...

Hi Family!

I love the family so much! Yeah, this week we didn't knock too many doors.. we were super busy with other appointments and stuff. And yeah! How was thanksgiving?! Glad to hear dad is still working Kula.. Security shifts too.. same ol' papa:)

Yeah, I'm gonna look at those pics! Sounds great Christmas and all. Thanksgiving here we had a multi-zone meeting and a training with the president and the assistants. It was really awesome. I got called on to speak and give my opinion (in front of 60-ish people) to talk about how we can find the people the Lord has prepared for us. I talked about how as missionaries we spend too much time worrying about finding these people, and don't give enough room for the Spirit. The way we find prepared people is through the spirit. Nothing more. If we can't feel the Spirit - if we can't feel the guidance, we aren't going to find anyone to teach. Yeah, we might find people to teach, but they won't be the people the Lord has prepared for us to teach in that moment. The constant companionship of the Spirit is the key to success. I have seen that here in the mission field, the smallest things drive the Spirit away, it is very sensitive. I have learned how important repentance is. People think as missionaries we have to Spirit always, but this is not true. We have to repent even more than other people. It may be more for little things, but through repentance we regain the companionship of the Spirit to help guide us to where we need to go (I shared something like this). Ahem...and all of this was in Spanish and yes, my Spanish is killing it.

Oh, Thanksgiving meal was five hot dogs, two bags of chips, an apple and water.. and more learning. It was good to spend it with President Borg and Hermana Borg though, because they are in the same position as I am, being away from home (Utah) on Thanksgiving in another country that doesn't celebrate it. I love them.. I'm going to be super sad when President Borg and his wife return to Sandy in June :( 

For a package, I have the info here: se llama Vanessa Cotreras y su numero telef├│nico es 801-548-0561, 1604 S. Prospect St. SLC, 6 dollars per lb. (I typed the first part in Spanish have fun lololol) Contact this lady and figure out wha's up and see if you can send packages with her. I think she works for the church.. but I'm not sure. I know she works though.

Yeah, I sent you another email about the money I need:) the things I want in a package is airheads extremes again, sour gummy candy, I WANT TO BUY PROTEIN FOR MY LIFTING TOO. I don't know, just put things in there that are heartfelt... :)

But yeah, not too much happened this week, we are working hard to complete with our baptisms we have for the 13th. We have two for that date that are going to happen. Sister Adela, and Sister Celen. With Celen, this week we prayed and prayed that she would come to church, because we couldn't go with her because she has school until the hour church starts. So we prayed and prayed, and with 10 minutes left in sacrament meeting, she walked in! She loved church too. She will be able to be baptized on the 13th, but we are still working really hard with her. Prayer is something very powerful, and when we pray with faith, the Lord is going to answer our prayers. With Adela, we are working hard to get her marriage papers done, there are a few complications, but the Lord will help us through them! Marriage on the 13th, then Adela's baptism the same day:) Big day no? Yeah goooood stuff. Oh and my bishop here is a stud.. I love his family.

Anyways, I love you all! Keep having a jolly prep time before Christmas!

Elder Cluff

P.S. Tranfers are tomorrow but I'm 99% sure I'm not going anywhere! I'll be here for a while:) Long live Rico Rimac!!!!

November 24, 2014 Letter...

Hahaha, oh man that was absolutely horrible with those leaves last time mom.. and you guys did 14 bags?!!! Holy cow, congratz... haha that's amazing. Skyler and Ash came, funnnn. They got to go to Circa Survive.. haha good for them that's smooth. I wouldn't mind a concert right now. Ya I'm on a mission though. Lolz. La Costa, wow now that sounds good. I can't wait to come home and talk to those workers at my favorite restaurant and blow them away in their native language... fácilito. Haha. Yeah, Hunger Games are cool movies, I've never read the books but I saw some of the movies.

About your job mom...what an awesome faith builder. Sometimes we have to take a leap of faith, but the savior is always going to catch us, and help us. When we have faith in him, listen to the whiperings and promtings of his spirit, we are always going to be okay. He is always going to lead us where we need to go when we walk with faith. I love you too mom and I knew the Lord would bless you... :)

Thanksgiving... haha what's Thanksgiving? Yeah, we have no plans. The mission doesn't do anything, but for Christmas, yeah we will have a lot of fun! And I think we get a Pday on the 31st.. which is a Pday on my Bday... COOL:) Have a good Thanksgiving though. This is my first away from home.. not cool but ya it's my life right now.

But yeah, this week was good. Okay the couple who I have been talking about Gian y Adela who have a little cute son named Franco, are so amazing. Me and my previous comp started working with them like my second day in the field, Gian being less active and his partner being an investigadora. When we first started working with them, it was difficult a little. They didn't want to change much, and didn't want to get married because they didn't think it was too important. Over the past 3 months of working with them, I have seen such a change in them. This gospel has made such a change in them; it's something very beautiful. The girl Adela, has progressed so far it's insane. She said she'll do anything she needs to do to be baptized, first marriage on the 13th. In this little family of 3, I have seen the foundation of the gospel set for the rest of their lives. I have seen how much closer as spouses it's brought them and that all the problems in their life have worked out as they've completed what we've taught. I just absolutely love seeing the change this gospel has in people, and that we are here to help familias be eternal. Nothing makes me happier than this. 

We are working hard, and committed another hermana to baptism last night named Ilda. Powerful lesson we had. She shared with us her love for us, and called us angels because we visit her parents (recent converts Ramon y Corpusa both 85 years old more or less who are purely amazing) several times a week.. Something I've learned is that people know us by our fruits. When we act in the way of Jesus Christ, people are going to see it, and be more deeply converted to what we teach, because we are showing His love. Loving the people is the key to converting them.

My companion is powerful and the connection we have when we teach really is awesome. My teachings are becoming more powerful, too, as I rely on the spirit more to guide me and help me to discern. 

December is going to be a busy month for us :)

Love you family, keep pushing forward.

Elder Cluff