CALLED TO SERVE - PERU LIMA CENTRAL MISSION - JULY 2014 ~ JULY 2016

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 childhood..how 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 Lyman...is 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
LA IGLESIA DE
JESUCRISTO
DE LOS SANTOS
DE LOS ÚLTIMOS DÍAS

Misión Perú Lima Central
Av. Juan de Aliaga 510
Magdalena del Mar Lima
Lima 17, Peru
Tel: 011-51-1 222-2173
2010429@ldschurch.org

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
Presidente
Misión Perú Lima Central

May 30, 2016 Letter...

So yeah. This week has been fairly solid.. not many new things have happened. Hermana Maria is still doing extremely well, she is learning so much. Every time we go over to visit her she teaches us. She leaves us dumbfounded every single time due to the amount of spiritual knowledge and light she is able to obtain. She is going to be a great leader in the church. Also our other recent convert, Daniel is doing amazing. He had his interview with the bishop the other day and he’s going to receive the priesthood also serve in his new assignment which is greeting all the members in the doors as they enter into the church on Sunday. He is so exciting. Just a cute little old man willing and ready to serve the Lord.

Anyways you mentioned that maybe I could get a new suit why I was here.. that would be cool. I think I’m going to do it. The thing is that it’s 200 soles which translates to about 60 dollars. But the suits are SO DANG WAAAATT so pretty. I already have like 20 dollars in my account. So if you could throw on 45 more dollars, that would be awesome. Honestly I think that’s the last thing I’m going to buy here. I want to get you guys some SMALL fun souvenirs and all that, but I don’t expect to spend more than 100 dollars before I get home.

So this week as a zone we finished really, really well off. To be honest, this zone for over three years hasn’t accomplished more than 13 baptisms; which honestly isn’t a lot. This zone has it’s difficulties that always seems to complicate things a little bit. But this week, with all of the hard work and diligence of the Elders and Sisters and all the help of the Lord, we were able to break the record in the zone and get 14 baptisms! It was an amazing month. On top of that, this transfer cycle, we have officially won THE ZONE OF EXCELLENCE!!! I don’t really know if this zone has ever won that award. We are sooooo stoked though! Oh my heavens. I love this zone and these elders and sisters. They are the greatest and it has been the biggest pleasure working along side them to get to this point. Calling them last night and telling them that after all our hard work we had won the Zone of Excellence was also just a neat experience. They were so happy and excited and it was just a perfect way to end my time here as a Zone Leader in Limatambo. We saw soooooo many miracles this month and I have no idea how we even got half of them, but we did and I thank the Lord for it. To celebrate we had the opportunity to go to the mission home as a zone this morning and eat a 5 star breakfast that Sister Larson prepared for us! It was thee greatest. There was like French toast, pancakes, and all that good stuff. We played board games and just hung out. President and Sister Larson thanked us and congratulated us… it was special. We did it.

Also remember the investigators who I’ve been telling you about? Cristian and Jennyfer? Well… this week both of them were baptized and confirmed! It was an awesome experience. Honestly it was so great to see them enter into the waters of baptism after having worked with them for these past four weeks. The Lord really guided us to them and made it possible that they could get to this point. So officially all three investigators that we literally found and taught for the first time on April 29th (Daniel, Cristian, and Jennyfer) have all been baptized and confirmed. The Lord is great.

So President pulled me aside the other day and thanked me for the work that we’ve been able to get done here in the zone and told me that for my last transfer cycle I’ll be without an assignment and will be going to help either a sector or a missionary that needs help. It really makes me feel good knowing that President and his wife have confidence in me and I hope we can keep that confidence and relationship even after the mission.

I’m excited and ready to give this last transfer all I got. It’s going to fly by, but I’m ready and excited!

I'll let you know where I go next week!

Elder Cluff

 The ZONE of EXCELLENCE!!!

The baptism of Jennyfer and Christian.. the white Colombian man.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Return Travel Information !!!

Nope... We aren't excited at all for Elder Cluff's return!!! :) 


May 23, 2016 Letter...

Yes, I got the epi pens... Thank YOU! I have them on me as we are speaking.

And good for dad and grandpa.. honestly that sounds awesome! Good for them. Plastic injection.. what does that really entail though? What does the machine do haha? And yes that is awesome that dad is finally getting to his retirement! June 15th.. that is insane! Good for him. What a stud. I hope he has fun and stays safe these last few weeks that he is there!

And good for them! Good to hear that the Osmonds are doing well and are finally moving to the holy land in Alpine. That's awesome!

But yeah, this summer we've got to make the best of it and have as much fun together as possible. It's going to be a blast and I'm super excited.

This week has been pretty good on us. This week we did a really good follow up with Christian and Jenifer and it looks like at the end of this month they will be getting baptized. I’ll be sure to update you on what happens. To be honest, not much happened this week. We’ve just been working our keesters off in our sector and going to Barranco to work in the sector over there, which is now basically ours.

You asked me last week how the sick elder and his comp are doing and they are doing really well. The elder that had tuberculosis is almost back to normal! So that’s exciting. This Wednesday I went to the temple with the sick elder’s companion, since he didn’t get to go last week. The temple, as always, was so good. I love the house of the Lord.

Today, I’m actually going to the offices so that I can begin to do a little bit of research for my classes that I’m going to be taking this next year and also get them arranged. Sister Larson told me to come and she said she’d help and also other elders that have gone to BYU said that they’d give me a hand. So that’s going to be awesome. Also, they said something about a BYU sports pass.. something about it being like 100 dollars, but it apparently gets you into all of the games. So that is going to be a must have!

Yesterday at church we were just sitting there and out of nowhere I saw one of my heroes from the mission Elder Jeffery Patterson there with his mom and dad. I was like what?! It was awesome. We got to talk and he says that he has come back to visit and is doing really well. I can tell he’s continued progressing since he’s gotten home which is awesome. He is such a happy dude! He gave me a few pointers and tips for finishing up my mission, which are going to help a lot. That kid is a king for giving heartfelt advice. A year ago here in the mission, he gave some of the greatest councils and advice I have ever received from another missionary. I love that guy. The cool thing is that I’ll be seeing him at BYU, so that’s going to be siiiiccckkk. Anyways, it was cool seeing his parents and also they gave us American candy which pumped me right up: A 100 Grand, a Kit Kat, and Swedish Fish; not having tasted two of the three in over two years. God bless them.

This is also just such a great time to be in the mission. I can honestly say that lately I have been feeling the spirit so strongly with such a great gratitude for the work I’ve been able to do here in this work. I really have loved my time here and we are working and praying so that this week we finish with a few more baptisms, and that the zone will be able to accomplish its goal, which it hasn’t been able to do in years. We are very excited. We can really see that the work is progressing so much here in Lima and the Lord is shedding so many of his blessings over us and all of his missionaries.

The converts I’ve had here in this ward are also just doing amazing. They are all active and progressing beautifully. One in particular though is progressing unlike any I’ve ever seen before. Her name is Maria. I sent a picture of her baptism like 3 weeks back. She is actually one of our converts from Barranco, and we went to visit her yesterday and WOW. We were like.. well sister, how is your reading of the scriptures going.. And BOOM she explained to us literally the most beautiful and understood thing I’ve ever heard a recent convert of such little time explain. She talked about her reading in the Book of Mormon, explained to us the Restoration better than most missionaries do, told us about her sincere desire to just go and share the gospel with all of her family, which she is doing through her weekly family home evenings (she tells us that she shares the Restoration whenever she gets the chance and she is trying to teach her big family that they need to be baptized in the correct way because in reality it’s something highly symbolic and significant, etc.). She also talked about the new classes on self-reliance she’s going to in the Stake Center every Sunday with her sister (member, who lives with her and who’s helping her progress). We just listened and we were like.. wait… you got baptized like three weeks ago.. WHAT IS GOING ON? What have you been reading?!?! She told us that she has just had the greatest desire to learn more because it makes her feel good.

We came to the conclusion that when someone really is desirous to know the mysteries of God and learn and understand His gospel, then that’s when the spirit can unfold many great and marvelous things unto them. Saying that just made a scripture come to mind, 1 Nephi 10:17. Aweeeesome stuff there. What happens here is that Lehi had just been carried away in a vision in which he had seen the tree of life. He partook of the fruit of it, and said it was “desirable among all other fruits”. We know that the fruit represented the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ, and was desirous that his family could also partake of it. Many other things happened in this dream, as we know, and then it concluded. Lehi then went to his sons and explained to them what he had seen. We know that Laman and Lemuel after having heard about what Lehi had seen, didn’t understand the meaning of it all and became a little confused. Really the spirit wasn’t there to teach them, because they didn’t ACT in order to be taught. They never bothered to “inquire of the Lord”or “keep his commandments”. (see 1 Nephi 15:7-11). Nephi on the other hand, teaches us a very important lesson. I’m sure after hearing about what his father had seen in the dream, he was also little bit confused, and didn’t understand everything, but for that reason he was “desirous also that he might see, and hear, and know these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost… which is a gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him… for he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them.” (1 Nephi 10: 17, 19) Nephi didn’t just passively wait for the knowledge to magically come unto him, but rather he became and agent that acted so that the Holy Ghost could teach him. He did so and was able to see and learn what his father had seen, heard, and felt in the dream. The Holy Ghost unfolded literally every mystery unto Nephi, from the beginning to the end. It is cool to see this story come to life with Hermana Maria. She will continue progressing and I pray that all of my other converts can have that same great desire to learn and know more.

Love you guys!

Elder Cluff

May 16, 2016 Letter...

Okay sounds good! Thanks mom. Everyone seems to be doing really well and that's great. Good to hear all that :)

So these week has been pretty hectic, but we have been able to get a lot done in our sector and we are superrrrr excited! We finally got to see a lot of fruits of our labors. I’m going to try to remember all that happened this week.

So Monday we worked as if it were a normal day because on Wednesday we had the opportunity to go to the Temple. The temple was awesome, by the way. This was my second to last time being there and the spirit was felt so strongly. I was able to get get the five family names done. I was also able to receive a lot of answers to a lot of questions which has made me super happy. The biggest one being what I need to study when I get home. I meditated a lot on what dad had told me and recommended me to do while we Skyped, and I feel that it is right. I feel really good about it. So that’s how I will proceed. I need to get my classes at BYU figured out so I can start that going in that direction. Anyways, I really love the temple and I’m excited to go there with you all when I get home.

This week we worked so hard with our 3 investigators that have baptismal goals for this month, Daniel, Christian and Jenifer.

Jenifer is doing well and she is excited to be baptized, the only thing is that we weren’t able to meet with her much this week. Keep her in your prayers.

Christian is a stud. This week we had a few visits with him and they all went great. Christian has been giving it his all, reading and praying about the Book of Mormon and if he should be baptized or not, and going to church every Sunday for the three hours. When a person does this and completes with his commitments like he is, it’s REALLY hard that they don’t obtain a strong testimony of the gospel. I’ve seen that it’s usually the case that when a person acts for themselves, instead of us treating them like objects by acting upon them, they progress and that’s when the spirit is able to testify and teach. That’s exactly what’s happened in the case of Christian. For a while, each time we’d go and invite him to be baptized, he’d be like.. yeah we’ll see… I feel good… but we gotta see… and we were like.. dude… But then we put our trust in the Lord and as always, he has does his work. Christian told us the other day as we verified that he wants to be baptized… that he has felt that the Lord has answered his prayers! We were so pumped. He is excited and we are going to help him get ready for this week! He is really progressing. Yesterday he even brought one of his friends to stake conference! And at the conference they talked a lot about serving missions… and Christian is like 23 or 24 so it’s a definite possibility that he one day leaves and serves.

Daniel is killing it. This man is my hero. He is one of the biggest miracles that the Lord has given us while I have been on my mission. I’m not kidding. I told you guys last week that he showed up the church all alone that first time we met him, and from there we followed him home and took out an appointment and began to teach him. And now, after three weeks of visiting and all of the help from the spirit, he is BAPTIZED! This week was his baptism and it was such a special experience. He is 78 years old and he doesn’t walk well at all because his knees are super weak. So to baptize him, we had a member do it, we had to put a chair in the water, sit him down, and baptize him like that so it wasn’t hard on his knees. It worked great and he was so happy.

It warms my heart every time I hear this sweet old man speak in his soft simple voice and bear his testimony that for the longest time he was a lost sheep, going to and from whatever church, until he found the true church of Jesus Christ. Now he has purpose and real joy in life. I love him. It’s funny because the first time we explained to him that he needed to be baptized as the savior was in water by someone holding priesthood authority, he made the firm decision then and there to do so. I remember him asking us.. "well, how can I be baptized then?" We were so stinkin surprised and didn’t really even know if he understood what we had taught him or if we had misunderstood the question, but it was certain. The spirit had testified to him since and long before the first visit. The Lord constantly reminded us that He was in control and that this man was learning by the spirit. It was so evident as we saw how much this man remembered even in spite of his old age and the fact that he told us that he was an extremely forgetful person. He could remember every important principle we taught him, or at least where to find it in his pamphlet hahaha. And yeah, every time we go to his house, we just find him there reading his Book of Mormon and it makes us happy. One time we went to his house, looked through his window, and there he was sleeping with his Book of Mormon on his chest.. awesome. :)

His health is pretty delicate and we don’t know for how much longer he’ll be here with us, but I know that when we are on the other side, he will be one of the people who I will see and it will be a happy reunion.

Anyways, apart from that, the week was pretty smooth. We did a lot of visits, taught a lot of people, and it was a blast. We are killing it out here and it’s good because we are on our final stretch. In two weeks I’m pretty sure I’m going to have my last transfer and from there it’s going to go by extremely fast which is a super weird feeling. Also, I got rid of my 500 pounds of weights the other day and my bench and every thing else. It was fun. Now, I don’t have to worry about it.

Elder Cluff

May 9, 2016 Letter...

So yesterday was awesome.

You and dad look great and healthy that makes me extremely happy. Mom, you look younger and so happy.. so sorry that I scared you with the soy. Sister Larson will be emailing you tomorrow you know about the epi pen! Dad looks really great and happy. I’m so glad that you guys were able to pray and fast about your future and what you’re supposed to do. I felt really good when you told me what your future plans were. It’s not going to be easy, but that’s okay because this journey of mortality was never meant to be so. You guys have taught me that since I was a kid. The only things that’s going to be weird is that you could be moving to St. George.. wow. That’s crazy and a little bit weird, but if what’s the Lord wants, then let’s do it. But I’ll probably be engaged or married by that time anyways, so I’m okay with that. Hahaha.

And yes the brothers look great. They look really big. Skyler and Ashley also look awesome. My nephew Jet is a boss. I’m pumped! And holy cow… Skyler has gotten giant. And Zack also looks bigger. He says that he weighs 160.. that’s dope. But ya'll gotta remember when I was a junior in high school I was shorter than him and weighed 165 soooo yeah :) I was good. I don’t like seeing all of my results go away, but in two months I’ll be able to work out again. My stomach is doing a lot better and I’ll be able to eat more, and much more healthily now.

Like I said yesterday, this week we have the same 3 investigators that are progressing towards their baptism for this month. I would love it if you could pray for Daniel, that he will continue feeling the spirit in order to be baptized. Also for Christian, that he will realize through the commitments of reading and praying that being baptized is what the Lord wants for him. And lastly for Jenifer, that she will keep complete with her commitments. We need these for this month so that we can meet our goal as a zone! It’s going to be great.

So yesterday was terrible at first, but I’m just so grateful for President and Sister Larson and the love that they have for us. Those are two people I really do love and admire. They have taught me so much I wouldn’t trade them out for anything. Anyways, yesterday my comp was going to Skype at 3, but I was in the hospital, so the secretaries came to stay with me and take Elder McPhie to the office so that he could Skype. Turns out the the office internet was jacked up, so President was just like yea, come on over to the misión home, so they went. I got better after the medicine and sleeping in the hospital for a bit and then we also went over to the mission house, which by the way is so cozy and reminds me of home. President and Sister Larson were so loving as they always are and let us talk with our families there in President Larson´s office. Then sister Larson asked us if we were hungry and we told her yes, so she made us German pancakes with whipped cream and cinnamon syrup and raspberries... WOW..... just like you used to make and they were AMAZING. Yesterday turned out great after all.

I love you guys a lot,

Elder Cluff..

May 2, 2016 Letter...

Yes, the temple is the best. I cannot wait to go with you and dad and maybe Skyler and Ashley when I get home. It'll be a blast :) And yesss Skype... can we do it at 5:00 PM Peruvian time? I think that would be better! If you guys could maybe make the sacrifice! And yes mom I get to register here in the mission, but what I'm asking you for is A LIST OF CLASSES, REQUIREMENTS AND IDEAS so that when the time comes here, I will be able to put all of my classes in. You know what I mean? :) I know that I need English, also like American Heritage (I want to know if there is a way out of that one) also, I'm going to take the most advanced Spanish so I can test out and get the credits, and a few others I'll need. I'll be calling you I believe from a members house!

Good to hear also that school is almost out and everyone is doing well. :)

It’s good to talk to ya'll once again. This week has been a great week though, things are definitely improving here in our sector. We didn’t have as much time as we would have liked, but we did have more time to work and teach the gospel than past weeks, so that was really nice. We also had to continue going this week to Barranco to continue teaching the investigators there that can’t be taught by the sick Elders. Anyways, our labors in doing that have paid off and we had a baptism this week for a sister named Maria. She is really great. We met her about three weeks ago and when we met her, she had desires to follow the Savior and do His will. She just had a lot of fears and doubts because her husband was traditionally catholic, like every single person here, and she wanted to be baptized together with him. Although that would have been ideal, we couldn’t let her wait. So we began teaching and sharing many testimonies and with the help of the members who did a great job, she was able to listen to the influence of the holy spirit and gain a very strong and unshakable testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I can really say that her conversion was due to her own actions and diligence, reading, praying, and going to church, which brought the spirit to testify to her and confirm to her the truth. Her baptism was also a great experience and she is now super happy and shared with us a powerful testimony. We passed by her house yesterday and taught her about temples and family history and she is very excited to get in on that!

On Friday this week we also had one of the most special and miraculous days of our lives. We had taken appointments out for the whole day, because this day was one of the few we would have to work here. I’m going to tell you about three miracles we had this week (they all basically happened on Friday)…

First miracle: The first appointment we had on Friday was with a brother named Daniel. He is a 78 year old man who has prostate cancer and severe osteoporosis, which inhibits his ability to walk well. He is from the mountains of Peru (not from Lima… which means he’s humble and receptive hehe) and has come here to Lima to get medical attention. Anyways, last week at church we were just sitting in the chapel waiting for the service to start, when all the sudden this little old man walks in limping. We didn’t think much of it because we thought he was from the sector of the other Elders. They then came over and told us that he was from our sector and that he just showed up at church because a random member in the street had invited him. We were like yeah… okay. So after church we took him home and we then took out an appointment with him. We had taught him for the first time on Wednesday and we felt something very special about him, the only bad thing was that we couldn’t talk much due to the little time we had. So on Friday in the appointment we found out that he was born and raised catholic and that’s all he has ever known, so we decided to talk about the baptism of Jesus Christ and the example he gave us and also receiving the gift of the holy ghost. We had to teach this lesson in one of the simplest ways, due to his age, like we were speaking to a child, but the spirit was SO STRONG and he understood every single thing we explained him. At the end of the lesson he was asking us to baptize him because he wanted to follow the example of the Savior in the correct way. He was like.. I didn’t know.. my parents just baptized me when I was little… Then in the final prayer… it made me choke up so much.. he was asking to Lord and thanking him in tears for showing him the correct path. I really do love this man. I love the Lord. I was able to realize from this experience once again.. (as missionaries we tend to forget) that the LORD directs and performs his work.. not us.. when we think it’s us.. we lose. We have been struggling in our sector for the past month or two due to the little amount of time that we’ve had, but this man was literally sent to us from the hand of the Lord. One member felt impressed to invite him randomly to church and now he is going to be baptized next week.

Second miracle: On Friday, right after Daniel, we went to this guy named Christian’s house that we had met in the street a few months back. I had met him with my last companion and we had talked and everything, but he didn’t know the direction to his house nor did he have a cellphone so we lost contact with him. Then with Elder McPhie the other day we were walking by and this dude caught my eye, and I was like hey I know him, so we talked and we made a firm appointment and we went. Christian 24 years old and is from Colombia. He came here alone to Lima to work and study. So yeah in the appointment we explained to him all of the Restauration, and he loved it. He was super excited and accepted the invitation to be baptized this month. This was such a cool experience because I had completely forgotten about this guy, but the Lord had put him right in our path so that we could teach him and bring him the gospel!

Third Miracle: Right after that appointment with Christian we went to the Lares family’s house, a strong family of converts of 4 years that has one missionary out and serving, and another missionary that leaves this month. They are awesome. They called us early on in the week and told us there was this family friend, a girl named Jenifer that needed a lot of help and that they wanted us to teach her. Apparently, she has suffered her whole life with self esteem issues and anorexia. So we got to the Lares family’s house this day and waited for her on Friday. We honestly didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but we were hopeful that it would turn out well. She arrived and we began to teach her. We taught her about the importance of obeying the commandments of God in order to receive his divine help. We also touched on the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to overcome difficulties and hard moments and to be clean to enter into the presence of God. We tied it all off with baptism and explained to her that she can really start everything all over again through baptism. She explained to us her sincere desire to change and the fact that she wanted to do better, that she wanted to be happy, and she understands that kind of happiness can only come from God. So we began to testify more of the baptism and at the end she asked us if she could be baptized… We told her YES. I could see a lot of pain in her eyes honestly from a lifetime of heartache, but as we taught her, that pain slowly dissipated and she began to smile from ear to ear. The spirit was super strong during the lesson and it really did testify of the eternal truth that we were teaching. We are so thankful to this family Lares for wanting to share the gospel and recognizing that the gospel is the solution to our day to day problems. What a great experience.

So yeah, all those experiences happened in one day. We went from having about zero people for this month of May.. to three… in a matter of a few hours, thanks to the Lord. I am ever grateful to him for helping us out when we most need it. Those three people I talked about also came with us to church and stayed the three hours. They are progressing right now towards their baptism!

Love you guys and I'll see you on Sunday!

Elder Cluff

Maria's Baptism

Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016 Letter...

Good for Jake.. really I love him so much. I'm so happy and proud of him. It stinks that I won't be able to see him for four years, but it's better that he's there in the mission. It's going to change his life. What a complete stud. All my friends have sent me pictures of the farewell and apparently everyone got to see each other.. that's amazing! I'm excited to see all of them.

Anyways... I watched that video from Madeline.. that brought back SO MANY memories... wow. That's so awesome for her though! She rocks. Her voice sounds like a big girl voice hahaha.

And thanks for giving the missionaries a ride... God bless you guys.. here that doesn't happen. They charge you... haha. Thanks for that though, really. And PS, I didn't know there were missionaries there haha.

Skyler did the right thing... good for him! I want my iPhone when I get home. Hey something important, don't buy me a phone when I get home! I want to use my old one or one of your old ones until the new 7 comes out.. and THEN you can get me a phone :) would that be okay?

This week has been pretty normal. Monday we decided to play Phase 10 all day and eat pizza, it was a good time. Then Monday night the assistants called us with the transfers.... and I'M STAYING. I honestly thought I'd be going but that's okay. I love my zone and this month we have worked so hard as a zone that it would have been a shame if I would've had to leave before seeing all of our fruits and how the month would end. So yes, I'm happy I'm still here. I can't believe either that I'm in my last 11 weeks.. the time is going by way too fast.

This week, like the past few, has been spent running countless errands from one end of the zone to the other, watching after sick missionaries, talking to landlords so missionaries don't get kicked out of their houses, moving missionary's things after the transfers, etc. It has been never ending lately and I do not know why. The only days we got to actually work in our sector last week was Thursday, Saturday and a little on Sunday. Nevertheless we are seeing a bunch of small miracles and we have a lot of faith and hope, not only for the zone for the month of May, but also for our sector.

On Friday we had a meeting with half of the mission in which President and Sister Larson talked to us about emergency procedures and reminded us of a few forgotten rules. At the end we got to talk to Sister Larson a bit (which is always a great time) and she was like "hey I heard you're ex-girlfriend is getting married" and I laughed and then was like yes.. And I've never been happier.. and she congratulated me and gave me some really heartfelt advice about who to look for when I get home and how to make the right choice. President and Sister Larson are champions and I love them.

Also, we met for the first time this week the new senior missionary couple... guess who they are? I don't know if you'd know them, but I'd assume that at least Zack and Brigham do... they are the Hill family... AKA Principal Hill and his wife from Timberline! How fun. They are GREAT. They are going to specialize in family history and wow they bring such a great and healthy spirit to the mission! What a blessing. We are so excited. Even though we will have very little time with them, we are going to try to take advantage. They are actually living in our zone.. so our missionaries will be able to go out and work with them! I don't know if you knew, but President and Sister Larson also live in our zone.. it's a good time.

This week has honestly flown by.. honestly there isn't enough time in the daytime. I've learned that being here. I'll tell you a fun story. They always say some stories are better to tell after the mission, but I think this one is fine to tell now. This week we went by one of our investigator's house at like 8:30 at night, it's in a pretty rich neighborhood called Santa Catalina where only tranquil people live, and we started knocking on his door waiting for him to opening it. We've heard stories that every once in a while bad people go to his particular neighborhood to rob and assault people and all that fun stuff because it's one of the richest parts of the district that's called La Victoria. Anyways, we are sitting there knocking the door and as we are there, this nicely dressed man starts walking our way. We didn't think much of it and we carried on with our business. Out of  nowhere we see this car drive over and park all fast and stuff and this large man gets out of the car, runs over to the nicely dressed man who was walking our way, puts a gun to his chest and asks him for all his belongings (sadly a veerrrryyyy common occurrence here in Lima.. not my first rodeo). Anyways we were like.. well, that's unfortunate... And then the guy who was getting robbed starting yelling and screaming ASSAULT ASSAULT.. and I was like yikes dude quit yelling you are going to get yourself in more trouble... and then as he was trying to run away, the guy with the gun didn't go as far as to shoot him, but rather started pistol whipping him as hard as he could in the head and were like yep let's go.. so we started walking quickly away (no one even saw us) and then the bad guy got in his car and drove away and the other dude just started limping away to his house.

I tell you this story, not to scare you, but rather to let you know that the choice is yours at chuck-a-rama. Anyways, things are always interesting. 

On Sunday, this random 80 year old guy named Daniel showed up to church and stayed for the entire 3 hours (a miracle) and was like yeah... come teach me. I really believe it was the answer to many of the prayers me and my companion have offered up. It's been extremely difficult to work here due to the small amount of time we have every day, but the Lord continues blessing us and we are very grateful. We are currently focusing in on a lot of part member families that are in our ward and it seems to be going well. We are working with our ward mission leaders parents, the second counselors' dad, and one of our convert's mom, all of whom are not members.. yet.

Love y'allll

Elder Cluff







Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 18, 2016 Letter...

Cooooolll beans mom sounds like everything is COOL:) haha good to hear that! I'll be skyping you guys for my last time on May 8th.. I prefer to do it at night when we'll be able to talk more comfortably. And I'm so pumped for Zack. I cannot believe that that was his first. That's okay though, at least got it out of the way and he's happy. He's a stud. Everyone is starting to get home.. that's crazy. It's going to be a blast... I'm excited for a summer in Alpine. Summer here is horrendous with the amount of humidity that there is, but we manage so it's okay.

I'm going to be honest, this week has been a real butt kicker. We have worked out booties off getting all the work we've had to get done done. The truth is the first half of the week we didn't have any time to be in our sector and that made it hard. We had to go to Barranco several times to go buy the quarantined Elders food and looks for a new house for them and teach their investigators and all that. The worst part is that our sector is on one side of the zone and their's is on the exact opposite; it's like the extreme end of our mission. But nevertheless it's been good fun. I've been really bumbed out with this sector to be honest. Here we have so many investigators who have gotten to the point of baptism, but just days or weeks before have flaked out. I've never had a sector with such opposition before. To add to the hardness of it, the ward here just doesn't want to help out. In the wards where I have baptized, they have always worked and helped a great amount, but here it's a two man show. We're looking at ways that we can change that to increase productivity and help the ward really advance instead of move backwards.

This week we have had to continue going to Barranco to teach some other people that the Elders there had met before they got sick. They are all doing well and we should have a baptism there this next week! Aweesome. The Barranco ward is a great missionary work ward, who really helps all the members get involved and they see baptisms quite often for that. That makes me happy :)

We have transfers tomorrow and I still don't know if I'll be staying or if I'll go. After the transfer cycle that starts tomorrow, I'll only have one more left. I'll let you all know what my destiny is!

Elder Cluff

April 11, 2016 Letter...

Teej is home..?! How good for him! What a boss. And that sucks about the rooming situation... they're all gonna live like kings.. but hey that's cool. I'll prolly be hanging out there a lot anyways soo I ain't worried. No worrrriess. I went to the office today cuz we had to do a million things for our Pday instead of things we wanted (that's okay) and it wasn't there yet.. So idk when it'll be there. And cool.. I like ties always :) I always need more. I also hope Diego is doing alright. He is a good kid. I hope he keeps figuring it all out! Threeee months. That's true. It's going to be crazy. Everything good though.. we are working hard.. I'm very aware of my departure date and all is well, but I feel like the time is starting to finish.. and that's okay.

This week has been absolutely hectic. We literally had about zero time to proselyte because there were so many other administrative things we had to go do. It has been a rather pain in the rear but that’s okay. We’re in the work of the Lord! Anyways I’ll run ya’ll through the week. On Monday after writing we went and ate at KFC and it was delicious. I miss American food. Plates of pure rice and a little piece of chicken with the side of boiled potatoes are starting to take their toll. Anyways later that night we had an appointment with one of our investigators who is progressing really nice. His name is Jose Luis. He is a single guy who lives separated from his ex girlfriend and kid (thank goodness it’s not together). He’s about 50 years old and had listened to missionaries about 8 years ago before his mom, who lived with him, had passed away. He took that event to be one of the hardest things for him to deal with and still thinks about it often. His dad, who is a member and lives by Cuzco, came to visit and went to our ward for about 2 months, and while there he passed us the referral. So we went and visited and we have been working with him ever since. He is progressing a lot and the good thing is that he understands everything we explain him. The only thing that he’s missing is the spiritual witness that it’s all true. He’s a had a lot of questions that we’ve had to answer, but the answer we give him from the scriptures always seems to leave him satisfied. His biggest iceberg right now is the fact that he was born and raised catholic by his mother, and even though he KNOWS it’s not true, it pains him to change because that is one of the only things still keeping him and his dead mom connected, he doesn’t want to betray her. (Even though the funny thing is that his dad who is a member already did his mom’s temple work and she is now a member. LOL.) To him we explained recently the Plan of Salvation…… finish what happened.

On Tuesday we had an absolutely hectic day. As Zone Leaders we have the opportunity every month to get together with the AP’s and President and Sister Larson and have a council, talking about problems and challenges in our zones and things we have done good and things we can do better. It’s always a great opportunity. I absolutely love working close to President and Sister Larson. I love them so much and I’m so grateful that they are hear in this time to help this work move forward. I’ve formed such a great relationship with the two of them and it’s something I’m always going to honor and cherish. Anyways, something we talked about in this council was that there is an Elder very sick in my zone with active tuberculosis (our zone has a had a load of random problems this week) and that every Elder that has had contact with him would also need to be tested. GREAT. So, afterwards, because I had lived with this Elder when he first got here to the zone (his comp still hadn’t come yet so he was with us for 2 weeks) I had to go get my chest X-Rayed. It was fun. It was about 12 hours of doing non-stop stuff. We got home from all those shenanigans at like 8:00 PM and we worked until the end of the night. But yeah, turns out I don’t have TB, but to be safe we had the whole mission do the TB phlegm tests on Friday. Oh was that fun… hahaha. Like no one had phlegm, so we had 24 missionaries just coughing as hard as they could to muster up phlegm to fill a small fluid collector up. It was hilarious.

If you think that Tuesday was hectic, Wednesday and Thursday were possibly worse. On Wednesday we had to round two of our districts up, with the medical secretaries orders, and travel after the district meetings to a clinic in San Isidro. It’s a clinic inside of our zone, but with traffic and all that it takes a good while to get there. So we all got there at like 3:00 PM only for them to tell us that no, they couldn’t do the phlegm TB tests because it was closed. Okay.. sweet. We had very little time to work that night because we ended up getting home later than we thought. We did have a great appointment though that night with our investigator Carmen. After like two weeks, we were finally able to teach her! She is doing good and knows that our message is true, it’s just that she has a little trouble accepting one of the commandments. She isn’t currently breaking it, but due to the fact that the situation she is in could lead her to break it, she has the fear and doesn’t want to commit to anything she won’t be able to complete. We spoke with boldness to her and we were very direct. We told her straight up the consequences of sin and also what happens when we don’t keep the commandments. The spirit testified of our words and she accepted the invite to pray and ask God if she really need to keep this commandment.

Something that I’ve realized towards the end of my mission, is that I’ve become very direct with people. Elder McPhie and I are very direct with the people we teach and sometimes they take it to be hard, but it’s the truth and the guilty sometimes take the truth to be hard, but also they realize the importance of what we teach, that it’s not some pretty message we’re sharing, but rather something their eternal happiness depends on. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but more time in the mission has given me a lot less patience with evil and lies and people who don’t want to progress.

This week ended very normally. We were able to finish strong. Sadly we didn’t get to work on Sunday because finally the whole country voted on who will be their new president (thank goodness, now the annoying campaigns can end haha). We weren’t allowed to leave the house unless we had fixed appointments, due to the high rate of public disturbance, and all ours fell through and no one would answer their phone so we had to stay in. We ended up playing Phase 10.. great game. If I remember correctly we used to play it as a family in the camp trailer.

Today has also been a bit hectic, we had to get the zone gathered again to do a second phlegm spit test.. then we had to run all the samples outside of the mission, then we had a meeting with President and Sister Larson and the secretaries to come to an agreement on what we’re going to do with the Elder that’s sick. WEEHOO.

Good week tho... love y'all...

Elder Cluff

April 4, 2016 Letter...

I thought of Stacie when Elder Holland was talking also. She came clearly to my thoughts. That´s pretty awesome how the spirit works in us. I have a lot of hope for her and I think about her often. I plan to work with Aunt Stacie also when I get home. I do love her and want her to be so happy. People really do change. Sometimes it takes big events to stir us up to remembrance, but the Lord will always provide the way to make it back to him. He just wants us to be obedient and wants us to have light in our lives! President Uchtdorf spoke of that Sunday morning. He said "It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls," while talking about the parable of the lost sheep. The goal for her is the temple.. that's where she needs to be. We need to do all we can to help her receive her endowments. That's the goal.

Zack got a 26.. that's what I got.. good for him! Now he just needs to write killer essays to get into BYU and then he's good. I'm so happy you are a grandma! You guys rock.

This week has been a little bit better than last week! On Monday we got to clean the house and rest up a little bit. Cleaning is always just a blast. Then on Tuesday we had interviews and my heavens it was the longest day of my life. My comp and I had to go to the offices at like 8:30 in the morning and then all the zone arrived. We were waiting for like 30 minutes then we're like.. where is President and Sister Larson.. so we called them and come to find out they had gone to our stake center in Limatambo when the assistants had told us go to the stake center of Magdalena where the offices are. Bigggg confusion. So President and his wife had to turn around and drive through a whole bunch of traffic to get to the office where we were. They finally got there and we got the interviews started. My comp and I had interviews first, we talked about the zone and it's progress and it was great. Then we had our personal interviews and mine was awesome. I love President Larson, he is one of the straightest, most obedient men I know. After our interview we had to go tell the rest of the zone to come up one by one... and then my comp and I had to go with this chauffeur and drive from literally one point in the mission to the other doing room inspections of all the missionaries in our zone. It took like 5 hours and in the Peruvian heat, in Peruvian traffic, and it was miserable. We got through it though and made it back to the offices. We thought that everyone would be done now because usually the interviews don't take too long, but we got there and there were missionaries that still hadn't been interviewed, so we had to wait and stay there to help out. We talked to Sister Larson most of the time. She is great. The only thing that stinks is that the mission is apparently going to start cracking down on weights and protein powder. WHAT. Apparently people have too many weights and they are losing their focus (don't look at me). There are also missionaries who are buying protein with mission money and ruining it for everyone. Hahahaha. I just think it's so funny how the culture of the mission is. Like how it's actually gotten to the point where they have to ban weights and protein powder, like 6 months ago it wasn't like that. Everyone is starting to get ripped so they had to put an end to it. I'm fine with it though, I accept Sister Larson's decisions. I'll be home in like 3 months. I'm mean I guess I'll be skinny when I get home which stinks, but I'll be able to throw it back on within a month at my house at GOLDS. Yeah!

On Wednesday we literally walked all day and got let into no where. Suck. But we did have one good thing! We had the feeling to start walking towards the house where our investigator who was going to get baptized then disappeared (her name is Carmen) works in, so we followed the prompting, not knowing why or not really even thinking of Carmen we started going, as we got there, we saw a car driving away and someone closing a gate! It was Carmen!!! We were like.. noooo way. After two weeks we have found her. She told us that she had just been busy lately with work taking care of an old lady, but that she was good and happy. We took out an appointment for Friday and invited her to the ward mission night that was on Thursday. She was super excited and it looked as if nothing had happened. The Lord really answered our prayers and even though that Wednesday had just sucked, we did find one diamond in the rough! It was a miracle! On Thursday we had a ward mission night.. it was like.. more or less. We passed out like a thousand flyers and like 20 people went. It was a great turn out... ha. A cool sister did come though and we got her info and she was way excited and we are going to visit her. So if she gets baptized.. then it will all be good :) Carmen is currently doing well. We are going to have a solid appointment with her today to get her baptized this 16th!

I'm pumped for this month. We have worked really hard with the zone to get them focused and get them going and we are finally going to see the fruits of our labors this month. We have a lot of people ready to make covenants with the Lord and we are going to be setting records this month. Nothing can stop this work from going forward! I read a talk this week on the Book of Moses and how it came to pass, it's a super interesting story of how we have our actual Book of Moses. What else happened...

I absolutely loved this weekend, watching general conference. In the Saturday morning session I was completely struck by the spirit during President Eyring's talk and the testimony he bore at the end. I have never seen so much conviction and power in a testimony. Just listening to the prophets of God speak is evidence enough that the are called of God and that the everlasting gospel has been restored. I love those men with all of my heart. I sustain them and support them.

I'll run you guys through some of my favorite talks.. Saturday morning I really enjoyed Elder Renlund's talk and when he talked about the more distanced we become from God, the more entitled we feel to his blessings and divine help. SO TRUE. I've seen that come to pass in my mission about every single day with about every single person. I also love how he said murmuring is the scripture equivalent of childish whining. He said something along the lines of "Christ is much more happy with a repentant sinner that a self-righteous judger who looks for faults in everyone else somewhat like a Pharisee." I've also seen that come to pass many times on my mission with many members of the church. What a great talk. On Saturday afternoon I loved M. Russel Ballard's talk on having Family Councils!! What a great idea. Apart from having family home evening, we need have family councils! He made me laugh. In the priesthood session, every single talk was just a home run. I LOVED Russel M. Nelson's talk on priesthood power and how we can increase it. Just a great talk. I learned the priesthood power isn't a free gift, but rather a price every priesthood holder has to pay in order to use such power to perform miracles for the ones he loves. Also he talked a lot about the way we treat our wives; to love and cherish her. I think I might have even liked this talk more though, President Uchdorf's talk. He gave some amazing and inspired tips and councils to be able to keep a marriage alive and afloat. He also gave a council to us (in a few months) returned missionaries, that we shouldn't waste our time trying to look for the perfect wife, because in the first place, if she existed, why would she be interested in us? HAHA. Great point. I realized that the key to any marriage is charity. I guess it's the key to any real relationship we have on this earth. He spoke of the great enemy of charity, which is pride, which accelerates its own strength and ignores that of others. He was pretty clear that pride is one of the most dangerous sins. Then President Erying spoke again, and this time he counciled us to make sure that everything we do and that every choice we make leads us to celestial marriage. He also said that when we get home, we shouldn't waste time, that marriage is the single most important thing we can do. COOL.

The second day of conference was just great. And hey! There is going to be another temple here in Lima! I have no idea where, but I would really love to see it after it's finished. I loved the Prophet's short but sweet message. He is the best. Also I loved Bonnie L. Oscarson's talk on how clear our belief is that this is the only true church that counts with priesthood authority of God. The point is getting the gospel message from our mind, to our hearts. I could go on and on about the talks, but I better stop. I loved Jerry R. Holland's, too. What a boss.

Love you guys!
 

Elder Cluff

Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016 Letter...

I don't need anything in the package.. or wait maybe I do... hmm... no I don´t think so. There is just some stuff I want. Pilot G2 pens would be nice.... also... umm... what else. I think that´s gotta be it. Guess what... I honestly didn´t even know it was Easter until last night.. I´m honestly terribly confused right now -- why is Easter in March this year?! What the heck. We are an eternal family :) that makes me really happy. But yeah, college is going to be fun and great.. we´re excited! And hey, Haylee Evans is really going to Peru?! That´s great! I´m going to give her some tips.. if I tell her everything though she isn´t going to want to go anymore hahaha. Oh beloved Peru... and the letter last week.. I totally got distracted reading talks.. forgive me mother :) I´ll make up for it right now!

Mason Wells.. I know him actually pretty well. That´s crazy. I´m glad to hear he is doing better though! The Lord really is watching out for him. He really needs to become like a navy seal and get back at those terrorists. Thanks mom for letting me know though!

Well, this week has been a longgggg week. I wanna fill ya'll in on last week.. everything was good. My comp and I gave a sweet training to the zone on miracles and how we can receive them in this great work. We shared the classic story of David and Goliath and related it to missionary work. David was a very small blonde and beautiful kid (like us, lol) that didn't have much experience, but he had to take on a big powerful enemy. If he would have fought Goliath with his own strength, he probably would have been completely destroyed. But David understood that; he understood that he couldn't do it alone. His eyes were set on the Lord and his power to save and free, not his own skills and talents. He told Goliath that it wasn't his battle, but rather the Lord's and because of that, the Lord would free him. David trusted and ran towards Goliath with all his might. Goliath did the same; he ran towards David, full speed, full power, ready to kill him, but David, with the strength of the Lord was able to kill him and defeat an enemy that was supposedly undefeatable. We related this story to us. We are in the richest zone in the mission, and supposedly the hardest zone to baptize in the mission, but that is the limit that we as missionaries have put on ourselves; it's a false belief. We taught that our zone may be different from the rest, but because of that we need work in different ways to see different results. We can take this giant on walking, and we can't do it by ourselves, but rather, this is the Lord's battle, not ours, and we need to do it at a full run, giving everything we have. Doing so, trusting in the Lord and recognizing that he directs the work, will make the complete difference so we can see fruits of our labors and baptize the elect that the Lord has prepared for us. Great stuff.

So also last week we had a super poopy experience, we have two investigators, a mother and a daughter named Carmen and Camila. I've told you guys about Carmen, she is a wonderful woman who has progressed beautifully over these past weeks. Her daughter Camila has about 21 years and she is also progressing very quickly. We have been teaching them very frequently and both of them have accepted the invitation to be baptized, because they have been able to feel that it is true. On Sunday night last week, we went to their house to be able to prepare them for their baptisms and teach them the commandments. We walked in their house with our ward mission leader, sat down, and began conversing before we taught. Before we said the prayer, through the door in walks Camila's friend. We greeted her and she sat down and began also talking with her. She was like a 22 year old spoiled party brat and come to find our she was an inactive member of the church. She then went on to tell us, in front of Carmen and Camila, that she got baptized when she supposedly knew it wasn't true and that the church is false and that God's actually not a person, just a magic unknowable spirit essence that fills immensity. WRONG. We told her God is a perfect and exalted PERSON that has a tangible body of flesh and bones. Then she continued with her schpeel of apostasy and began talking about how the "church" makes dumb rules like not drinking or having sex before you're married (listen brat, it's not the church, it's God). She didn't give us much room to talk and correct the here-says she had taught and we also couldn't teach Camila and Carmen the truth, because she stayed there in the room, doing another thing, but listening still. Awkward. Carmen and Camila were super suprised at the stupid things that girl said and it made them start thinking and second guessing. So yeah, we took other appointments out all this week we've gone by, but we haven't been able to find them all week... We actually found Camila on Saturday, but she was super discouraged due to the opposition in her life; her ex partner, her father, her friends, everyone is telling her NO, the Mormons are BAD. I invite them to read Mormon 9:3-5. boooo. Carmen's baptism was supposed to be this week too, but her boss decided to take her on vacation with him and his wife. Dang it. And now she can't be baptized until the 16th of April due to the general conference next week and national elections that take place on Sunday (there won't be church in all of Peru) in two weeks. But I guess it might be better though, because now Camila and Carmen, when we are actually able to teach them and get everything settled, they can be baptized on the same day. That was pretty much my week in a bag. We worked our keesters off this week. We also found a lot of new families to teach and many of them are progressing. Our ward mission leader named Jimmy Chuan has helped a lot this week, that's been nice. We got a new pencionista and she now delivers the food to our door every day, so the other Elders come over, Elder Pearce and Elder Cancino, and we eat with them. It's nice. Elder Pearce was my comp in the MTC, and he is a super solid dude! We usually end up talking about guns and things we're going to do when we get home.

This week while reading Preach My Gospel I was reminded of the very point of missionary work. Declaring the fact of the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority of the holy priesthood that has been restored to the earth. That if we live in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ, we will be presented before the Lord in the last day and we will receive mercy from the Savior, and will enter into the presence of the Father to dwell with him in his eternal mansion.

The gospel is great. I love it. I pray for the apostates who have left and hope they come back.

Elder Cluff

Elder McPhie and Elder Cluff emailing on P-day