Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016 Letter...

Love you mom! Everything sounds really good. Good to hear about Skyler and Ash.. I'm pumped to be an uncle.. but I'll be honest, it's weird to think you are going to be a grandma.. you are way too young! How wild... that's awesome tho mommy, I love you lots. And good to hear about the job.. that sounds great. Keep up the hard work as always and you´ll continue seeing success.

Today I really don´t have a lot of time which stinks because we looked for an open internet for like 3 hours and couldn´t find one where there was room enough. Booo. But yeah, whatever.

This week the girl who I told you about two weeks ago or last week I can´t remember, will be getting baptized! I´m super excited! She has progressed a lot and the Lord has really blessed us with straight miracles. She was planning on traveling the 24th to go to college and stay there, but with the help of the Lord we were able to get here to stay until this 28th so she can be baptized and confirmed! She´s really excited and that´s what it's all about. I love seeing people become converted to Christ.

My comp is cool. I´m happy. My health is great. Next week I´ll be buying protein.. I'll only need like 113 dollars that's it. HEHE. I´ve been out of shaving soap for like 3 months now and it hurts using shaving cream, but it's okay, I'm almost home. This Wednesday me and my comp have to give a training to half of the mission and it's going to be fun. This week we had a meeting with my comp and I, Elder Alvarez from the area 70, the stake pres, and President Larson. Let me just tell you Elder Alvarez destroyed us with questions, but we held our own and we could answer them. I've learned so much from him. He is a great man and leader. He gave us a lot of great new ideas to help the zone and our own sector, that focuses more in giving service to others to arrive to their hearts.

This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately: I feel sometimes as members of the church we get on spiritual highs and we feel great at church and we learn a lot and we feel like we are on top of the world due to holy spirit that we are inviting into our lives, but then a few days pass and we get back to a, might I say normal, lower spiritual state; we digress and not progress. Why is that? And why is it so easy?

I had seen that a lot in my life before the mission, and still do see it in my mission, I believe that it´s a life long battle. So lately I´ve really began to analyze this concept and why it is that way. I´ve come to the conclusion that it has 100 percent to do with enduring to the end, being firm, steadfast and immovable; being forever constant in ALL we do (scripture study, personal dignity, family prayers, personal prayers, relationships with others, obedience, etc.) The Lord wants us to exercise faith, in order to become more constant and progress spiritually, but on the other hand the enemy wants us to be sloppy and not constant.. he knows he can't get us to completely stop choosing the right, so he gets us a little here... and a little there... and all of sudden we start going backwards. I believe that as we understand better the principles of constancy and firmness, we will then see a significant difference in our lives and more importantly, a difference as to what measure the spirit guides us and directs us daily.

I have been studying these topics while doing the Elder Bednar book of Mormon challenge.. and let me tell you.. I am learning A LOT. I invite you guys to have a family home evening about this topic, because its so important!

Love you guys, all is well in Zion!

Elder Cluff

February 16, 2016 Letter...

That is so fun that you guys went to the Provo Temple open house... Freal. What a blast. I want to go to that temple when I get home. I've seen fotos of the temple and wow... it is gorgeous! For real. absolutely beautiful! I love it. Glad the family could get together and have a little bit of fun:) That's good news! Tucanos... I miss that place. I hope you had a good bday tho. You were definitely on my mind! I'm super happy to hear that everything is going super good mom :)

This week has been solid. The Lord gave us so many blessings. I have been praying a lot lately for more success and that the people will be more receptive and that the appointments we have won't fall through. The Lord this week has answered me completely. We had some really cool appointments, but the most cool and most spiritual and most rewarding was the appointment that we had with Stefani. She is the 19 year old daughter of a recent convert that moved here about 2 months ago from Huancayo. She was born and raised catholic, and even though her mom was recently baptized she wanted to continue being so. We have been focusing with her recently in helping her understand the doctrine, but more than anything feeling and knowing for herself that the church is true. Today she told us she had read and prayed and had received an answer, and she is really excited to be baptized!!! We have seen such a big change in her since the first time we taught her, but it's amazing to see the difference that comes when someone acts for themselves to arrive at a conclusion regarding the truthfulness of the restored gospel. She has acted for herself and completed with the commitments we have given her, and for that reason she is progressing so wonderfully and has the desire for HERSELF (not for us) to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized in this church. She has gained her own testimony. What a blessing. We explained a little bit more about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and she understood it perfectly. This is just one more piece to my collection of testimonies that the Lord really does bring to pass his own work, and prepares people and blesses them as they act as their own agents. As Lehi said, there are two types of things in this world: Things that act, and things that are acted upon. For an investigator to become a convert, and not just a baptism, they need to act for themselves, and that’s how they obtain the spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the gospel which leads to true conversion to Jesus Christ and his gospel. Great stuff, really.

This week we had a wonderful and powerful lesson with our new investigator Rashel that we contacted in the street a few days back. We taught her again with the family Vicente (wow.. powerful family.. Utah material hahaha.. they are super solid... we also had a family home evening there last night in their house with Rashel... super awesome.. the cool thing was that we didn't plan the family home evening.. but rather they invited us to their family home evening in which they had already invited OUR investigator... that is the mission at work!!!! They are such an amazing family.. we just showed up and listened... really cool:) and the lesson was absolutely spiritual, understandable and direct. We talked to her about the fruits of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon being one of them. She comprehended the importance of everything, and accepted a date again to be baptized this 12 of March. What an elect young woman! Such a blessing from the Lord. We are finding so many wonderful prepared people. She also told us she will be coming to church on Sunday with the family Vicente.. that’s right baby.. working with the members in the richest part of the sector.. Santa Catalina. DOPEEE. That’s the way to do. This sector is super virgin and hasn’t been worked in years, so we are getting it worked now, contacting a lot of people there little by little, and teaching those people we meet in the houses of the strong members that are there. It’s working out great and we are seeing really real cool results.

Anyways.. The time goes by too fast when I write... but yeah that's this week in a nutshell. Good stuff and chill.
On Sunday night I ate a dinner that's called Aji de Gallina... and turns out, that for the first time in my mission the sister cooked it with peanuts (it's always with pecans). I had taken two bites when it hit me like a bus going 80 mph. As soon as I felt it, I had to go vomit and I felt my throat close up quick. I was talking with the voice of a grandpa hahahaha. I was trying to be a hero and I was like "I don't wanna go to the hospital.." but the Elders who we live with (Elder Pearce my MTC comp) was like yeah, we better go and I was like "crap this is bad we gotta go." So I had to epi-pen myself, which was awesome (it was a first) and then yeah.. we got to the hospital.. in taxi.. it was like 11 at night.. and they gave me an IV and everything got better. What a wild night. I'm blessed that I'm in the city and the hospital is close.. cuz if I was in Rimac, that would have been ugly. But everything is good.. I'm alright.. and now I'm going to be even more careful than before. GOOOO epi-pens!!!!!!

Don't freak out though, I'm 100 percent okay :)

Anyways love you mom I'll send pics :)


Elder Cluff

The 11 PM hospital trip ... hahahaha. When I got there I'm sure they were thinking...
this dude parties waaayyyy too hard, hahahaha. 

My new zone.. Limatambo... (some of the other sisters didn't appear in the pic) there is 24 in total.

Baptism of Bryan.. a sick investigator who was listening for 3 years and didn't want to get baptized.. but we got it done.

Baptism of Carmen, she was awesome!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 8, 2016 Letter...

I love you mommmm! I only have a like a half hour to write and I don't have the keyboard today because all day we have been busy doing stuff and oh my heavens what a tiring day. What I've realized is that Pday is the most tiring day of the week. Jaja. Today we went to the church as a zone and cooked this food called purpusa (I think) that a sister in our zone from Honduras wanted to do. So we helped her make them from scratch with corn flour for tortillas and home made refried beans and salsa and cheese and all that. They were legittttt. Then we got together and played capture the flag with water balloons... it was a good time. We had fun :) and GOOOO Broncos! And good for Zack getting glasses! He looks like a stud. Tell him I love him a lot and that he looks good in the glasses, no joke. We don't have a pensionista.. what we do have though is a sister from the ward who cooks every day in a marketplace.. and we go to her everyday to eat. Then there is another member who washes our clothes. So it's all good. Baby Jet is going to be awesome! I'm super excited freal. February is going to fly by and then it's going to be March.. I can't believe it. But it's cool.

This week we have been extrememeeeely busy. I literally have zero time to think or do something for myself, but it's okay because I love working and serving. We had a baptism this week! His name was Bryan! He is one of the smartest and funniest 14 year old kids I've ever met. He has been listening to the missionaries now for like 3 years, and finally he made the decision to be baptized. We worked with him super closely and intelligently and now he is a member of the church :) The cool thing is, is that the baptism we had this week was the first that was had in this sector in 7 months :) we are breaking the streak up not having success and it feels good to see the fruits of our labors. We are super blessed! I also had a baptism in Rimac a week ago for Carmen, the lady we met a while back who wanted to learn more about the church, and was baptized three weeks after. THE LORD BLESSES US WITH PREPARED PEOPLE IF WE DILIGENTLY SEARCH. In this zone and sector, I've realized that the way of working is a lot different. We worked in a supppperrr rich sector in the middle of the city and the people are a lot harder and worldlier. We are figuring it out though and seeing the way we can get to them. The Lord really is shedding blessings over us and he is blessing us for our work. We should have more baptisms this month. If you can please pray that Severo, Luis, and Estefanny can be baptized this month. They are all ready. Especially Estefanny and Severo. We just need to find Severo a house so he can live here, and Estefanny just needs to complete with her goal for this month. I really am so happy to be here on the mission. I love the missionaries in my zone also.. they are wonderful and I learn so much from them. I absolutely love training them and giving them advice, because in the end it helps me learn more about the gospel and what I need to do to become better as a missionary. I hope all is well at home, tell the family I really love them!

Love you,

Elder Cluff

 Carmen, our most solid convert of all time.

 Best taco makers in all of Peru!

Our last apartment in Rimac with our elder roomies.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 1, 2016 Letter...

Suppppp mommmmmyyy. Well, I don't have my keyboard today because this week I have had literally zeeeerrooo time to write which is a bummer, but hey it's all good. So yes, I am here in my new sector and zone, as a zone leader of one of the richest and nicest and thee biggest zone in the mission, the famous Limatambo. Larcomar, La Costa Verde, Barranco, San Isidro, all those super nice and touristy places are in my zone. The work here is a lot more tough, but it just takes a stronger mentality and a good attitude to be able to have success! That's the key :) As zone leaders we gotta keep the elders and sisters excited and get them to work for themselves. It's a blast. Also, we have little time to work in our own sector, because we spend most of the time traveling in the zone getting a lot of admistrative stuff done and going on interchanges. My comps name is Elder Paredes from Bolivia.. he is a blast. We laugh a lot and that's good. He finishes in 1 more transfer after this one so he'll be going home soon. This will be his last transfer here then I'll be getting a new comp. The ward is really nice. There are really, really good people here. I'm excited to begin to work with them. My sector has a part that's pretty normal and then a rich part. There hasn't been a baptism in my sector for about 6 months, but we will be changing that very soon.

Moving my weights was terrible though. Holy cow. I'm done. I hope that this is the last sector haha, cuz they are so difficult. We did the dumbest and riskiest thing to get them here. So after we had got together in the offices with all our stuff to come here to the sector, we called a taxi and loaded it up, but all my stuff filled the taxi.. and we were like, uhhh what do we do? So we hatched an idea, we're gonna call another taxi and have the guy with all of our stuff follow us. In the U.S. that's a dumb thing to do, but here it's SUICIDE. Absolutely stupid. You cannot trust anyone here. At all. But in reality there was no other choice. So we got in the other taxi and told the dude with all of our stuff to go in front of us, we followed him, and I was praying the whole way, and ya know what, we got to our house safe and sound without him robbing us :) weeehooo.

Our house is awesome. It's on the third floor and the walls are drywall, and not brick. WUT. It's nice. I'm super happy. It's the nicest apartment I've had yet on the mission! I'm loving it. (bu bu buu buu baaa). Love you guys though. That's about all that's happened this week :)

And yeah I need to send pics.. I had the thought that I didn't want to send pics until the end of the mission, haha. ... but we'll see. I'll send them next week :) the only bad things is that my USBs and memory cards are full of viruses.. so I gotta take those offfff.

Love y'all, God bless y'all.

Elder Cluff

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

27 de enero de 2016

Dear Cluff Family,

I am delighted to inform you that your son, Elder Cluff, has been assigned to serve as a Zone Leader in the Peru Lima Central Mission.  I am sure that you are pleased with the accomplishments and leadership ability that have made him worthy of this great responsibility.

Elder Cluff will lead a zone which will consist of at least two districts and many missionaries.  He will have the stewardship of administering to their spiritual as well as their temporal needs.  He will meet with the District Leaders to train, up lift, and edify them.  He will also be involved in the Mission Leadership Council, which meets every month at the mission office.   As he serves, he will gain valuable experiences which will assist him in the future both in his family and in leadership callings in the church.

Thank you for all you have done to make him the fine young man that he is and for your continuing support of his missionary service.

Warmest regards,

Stephen J. Larson
Misión Perú Lima Central