Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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

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