Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28, 2015 Letter...

Concerning the suit, I already have one :) It´s dopppeeee. (I´m saving it for when I get home tho) And it was less than that, too. It´s brand spanking new and my comp gave it to me. I got it fitted to me and everything. superrrrr sick:) I want to get one more though! I love suits.

Love you though mom :) my health is feeling a bit better. My only worry right now is that I have dropped down a lot of pounds and I gotta get that back up. I´m going to buy some maltodextrin here but it costs 30 bucks, don´t worry about it right now just try to get me that WHEN YOU CAN.

It was so good to see you guys on Christmas. The fam damily is doing GREATTTTT. Everyone looks really good. Mom you look younger than ever. Dad also is looking like Cool STUFF. The brothers are getting huge. Brigham sounds like a man and Cameron is still the cutest little boy. Zack is tall as john. Bear needs to lose weight, he is a fatty. Kula´s training is paying off. That was fun to see. I´m glad everyone had a really good Christmas and just know that for the next one, we´ll be together! Wooohoo.

Not much has happened this week. Like I told you guys, I had been sick for 3 days, in bed wanting to die, but I´m feeling a bit better now. We had a lot of activities this week going out and contacting people, which is always a good time. We also had our mission activity this week. It was a good time cuz we got to get together with everyone and have some activities and watch some videos and then eat burritos, which I love. BTW I miss Mexican food more than anything. There is Mexican food here, but few and far between (I don't know if I said that phrase right LOLZ) We are a Mexican food family and I´ll cherish that forever. Two things I want when I get home, Pat´s BBQ and solid Mexican food. Anyways the mission activity was FUNNN even though I was sick. (the burrito helped) And allllll this candy is great :) I love the package mom! And also the songs you sent me! I´m living the rich kid life! Gooooo Knights! Alpine kids!

Nothing much is happening right now, we are just working and killing it and we should have a baptism this WEEK. Keep Ingrid in your prayers, that this week she can be baptized! Okay? It´s going to be GOOOODDD.

Funny story this week, so as usual, at about 8:45 I was buying my nightly slab of chicken with rice and potato (that´s all we eat here) and as I get to the small chicken grill stand, I see these 4 women sat down also buying chicken. Out of no where they started hitting on us, and I was like "What, stop.. don´t do that, I´m a missionary. Women terrify me." And then I realized that every one of these women were actually dudes! WORST! From there I felt even weirder. I offically got hit on by transformers and I will never be the same. We left from there and then I ate my chicken in the house and it tasted funny. Peru never stops suprising me.

Anyways,, keep it real,

Elder Cluff

December 21, 2015 Letter...

Good to hear everyone is well!

This week has been a little bit here and there, but the good thing; we have seen a lot of miracles! We have a large amount of investigators that are finally progressing towards baptism! My comp and I have increased our faith, and the Lord has blessed us for doing so. What I have come to understand in my mission is that increased faith comes as a by-product of a righteous and worthy life. In the mission, we are expected to live the commandments, but in addition, we have many other rules we need obey. As I have lived the rules of the mission and worked with diligence, I have been blessed with increased faith, and as a result of increased faith I have seen that, as the Prophet Joseph taught, faith isn´t only a principle of action, but also power. That very power works miracles; it helps me to complete with my purpose as a missionary by reminding me to put my trust in the Lord and not in the arm of flesh, and it gives me the spiritual confirmation that the Lord will complete with every promise he has made me, if I continue exercising faith with an eye single to His glory.

The bad thing; I am sick as a dog. I ate something on Saturday that literally gave me the black plague. I was slowly dying yesterday with huge chest pains, diarrhea, vomiting, fever of 102, and body pains like I have never felt before. I´m recovering right now and feel a bit better, but still got that classic shotgun diarrhea going.

On Tuesday, I could have sworn I was going to have a transfer, given that I have been here for almost 5 months and that I was basically already here in this same spot for 6 months before, but on Monday when they called us they called us to tell us the transfers.. I didn´t have one. Crap. That would mean, half of my mission here in Rimac in basically the same spot,and  my only two Christmases in the mission, here in Rimac, and 3 transfers with the same comp. I´ll be honest, at first I was pretty ticked, but later I recieved a confimation that this is the Lord´s will. It´s hard sometimes to be humble and say that he is right and that he knows what´s best, but truth be told, He DOES know what´s best, and it´s not just sometimes, but it´s ALWAYS. I know I was kept here for one more transfer with a wise purpose that only He knows. There is work to be done here, and there are people to help. I feel like I have to be the one to carry that work out. I´m pumped and I accept the Lord´s challenge and this transfer I will continue giving it my all.

I only have a half hour today to write because we´ll be talking on the 25th! Christmas!! It does not feel like Christmas here, super weird. But hey, remember Bishop Garcia? From Leoncio Prado? My first ward? Anyways, I´m going to be spending Christmas with him and his family AGAIN. Hahaha. I might as well consider them my new family :) So yeah the call on Christmas.. how about we do it at 2:00, I don´t know if we are on the same time or how many hours we are apart, but let´s say at 2:00 PM Peru time.

Love you guys, see you soon!

Elder Cluff

P.S. I´m gonna use Skype, so please try and coordinate with Sky and Ash so they can be in on it, too! Also any young hot single adult lady is welcome to the Skype sesh. LOL. I´m still hilarious.

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015 Letter...

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!! <3 

Elder Pedrera was an answer to many of my prayers. I love that Elder so much. I credit him as the person who taught me the majority of what I know. What a boss. Super, super good guy. I´m glad you have been able to talk to him :)

And it sounds like everyone is having fun and everyone is doinggggg well! Good to hear that. I love you guys a lot :) also pumped for the packages... sorry I suck and don't send anything home.. I literally have 0 time...

Okay, we have to plan at what time we are going to Skype on Christmas day.. what time you guys thinking ... like 8? or like 10? or something like that. Just let me know so I can get it arranged here.

The work of salvation this week took a leap! We are seeing MIRACLESSSSS!!! We made the goal to increase our faith this week... and we did it... and now we are seeing many blessings because of it. Something that has really helped me this week has been changing my attitude from doubting and thinking... "well.. that's gonna be hard to do... I don't know how we´re gonna to meet that goal...the Lord´s not going to do that for us" to a positive attitude based on a firm foundation of faith and trusting more in the Lord´s merits than in my own. I have seen the most success in my mission when I have most trusted in the Lord and left the work in His hands. On the contrary, I´ve had the hardest times when I have thought that my ways are better and doubted in the Lord and the miracles that He can perform.

I don't know why we tend to forget about the witnesses and confirmations or the blessings we have received for having put into action a gospel principle. I guess it's all part of what King Benjamin talked about... "putting off the natural man and become a saint through the Atonement." The natural man wanders and wearies, and tends to forget, but an essential part of this life is remembering what the Lord has done for us, and continuing to apply that every day and having the new-found knowledge that the Lord has given us. We tend to forget sometimes, but we need always remember. 

Anyways, we have solid investigators that are finally progressing towards baptism. I'm so grateful. We taught a lot of solid lessons this week and the spirit has been strong. I'm learning patience and humility. That's something I have always lacked. But I feel like I'm getting better everyday.

The sacrament yesterday was also a wonderful experience. I'm so grateful for the emblems of the sacrament, in which we have the amazing opportunity to remember the Savior and his everlasting sacrifice. There is not a better moment to feel the spirit and communicate with the Lord than in that moment. The sacrament is essential and it's become something sacred for me here on the mission.

We are also teaching a man with generalized cancer (terminal) named Julio. It hurts seeing him on the verge of death, but it gives me great peace to be able to enter his home, and teach him about the gospel and the plan of salvation. What brings me peace is that, thanks to Christ, death no longer has victory. He loosened the bands of death and he did it because he loves us and wants us to go back to him. I know that Hermano Julio might not have much longer, but I hope and pray that before he goes he can make the decision to accept the gospel in it's fullness.

Anyways, love you guys so much.

Elder Cluff

p.s. funny story...

The other day we had a lesson and we brought this member with us because we needed a dude or we couldn't enter into the house alone... and we get there and sit down ready to teach a lesson about obedience to the commandments, the sabbath day in especial.. and out of nowhere, the member we brought starts talking about how he drinks his own pee every day to stay healthy and tells that to our investigator and I was like, DUDE WUT.... STOP. And then yeah, I wanted to punch something, but turns out our investigator happened to drink her own pee, also, so it ended up not being that bad....... weirdest day of my life. Hahahahaha. Goooo Peru.

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015 Letter...

Love you mom! It's good to hear from you guys. I hope everyone at home is doing well. This week has been a real butt kicker, to say the least. I don´t know what it is with Rimac, I don´t know what it has against me, but it is kicking my bootie. We are fighting and fighting and fighting to help the people receive and accept the only true and enduring help for their problems, but in spite of all the people that we are finding, which are a lot, they aren´t wanting to progress nor change their way of life.

We have people who are progressing and who are going to be baptized, like Ingrid for example. She is a solid girl we met a while back who was receiving visits from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Currently we are helping her now gain her testimony by personal revelation, and she is coming along beautifully. Another one is Tito, this boss who wants to be baptized after so many years of hearing about the church, but never taking the firm decision.

Even though we have these people, sometimes I feel like it´s not enough. I feel like the work here in this ward, Rimac 2, should be advancing a lot more quickly that it is in reality. It seems sometimes as if everyone is content with living in their sins. It´s something I don't understand. To be honest, it´s heartbreaking. The truth is that people aren´t understanding the doctrine. Even though the doctrine is presented in its most basic form, by the holy ghost, if the person doesn´t want the holy ghost to enter in, then it won't. It´s like what Nefi said.... ¨When a man speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost, it carrieth it unto the heart of the children of men.¨ Although that is true, it doesn't mean the holy ghost necessarily carries the message INTO the person´s heart. For that to happen; for the message that carries the holy ghost to enter INTO the heart of the person, the person receiving the message needs to permit it. He needs to act as an agent. We are really searching and praying to the Lord right now in the midst of the difficulties that we are having, that the people can act as agents, and allow the holy ghost to penetrate their hearts, so they can feel it and know. That´s the only way I have seen that my converts and the people I teach can understand the doctrine, if it's not like that, it goes right over their heads.

But that is the mission in a nutshell, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that the Lord has given me to serve and preach His holy gospel. I can say I have never worked so hard for something in my life, and I can also say I have never felt better doing anything else in my life. It feels good to serve the Lord. Even though sometimes when we don´t see the things go the way we want them to, and every once in a while the Lord has a different plan for us than we had originally thought, it´s all part of his great plan, to shape us and mold us and help us reach our divine potential as his true disciples that bear his holy name. I can honestly say that every day I am becoming more like him, and in the trials that he gives me, I am able to learn and prepare myself for what comes next.

The Christmas devotional last night was the greatest thing of my entire life. I am not kidding. I loved it. Every talk given, had something super special for me that the holy ghost was able to teach me. Amazing. I don't have a favorite because I loved them all. Okay, maybe Elder Bednar´s was my favorite. As you know I have a sacred crush on that man. (wuttt) And motab last night was on point.. even better, I listened in English and yeah, good stuff.

Keep it real peeps,

Elder Cluff