Monday, May 23, 2016

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

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