Mailing Address

Elder Matthew David Clough
California Ventura Mission
3301 West Gonzales Road
Oxnard, California 93036

Phone: 1-805-485-1034 (only necessary for packages)

Monday, August 20, 2012

First email from the MTC August 20, 2012

Hola de la CCM!!!

CCM: That's what they call the MTC in Español although I still don´t know why they call it that.  It´s truly been awesome to be here.
I can hardly believe it´s been five days!  It feels like it´s been five weeks.  Our district is scheduled to leave October 15th, so by the time we leave, I think I´ll hardly remember life before the CCD. (I think he ment CCM)  The first day was madness.  We get hauled off, dragged through what seems like every building on campus, and stuck in a room with Brother Hop´oate, a huge Samoan who immediately starts talking to us in Spanish.  I was so grateful for High School spanish, although it certainly helped my speaking a lot less than my hearing.   By the end of the day, we get marched back to the main building where we cumulatively taught 3 ´´investigators.´´  A warning to those who are getting ready to go: DON´T FORGET RULE NUMBER 1!  Which is ´´Teach people, not lessons.´´  We got chastized heavily by one of them.  Oh well!  We´re here to be trained after all.
The rest of the days have been a bit of a blur.  We got an investigator: Amalio, on DAY 2!!!  Of course, he only speaks spanish. It´s simultiously hyper exciting and something of a nightmare.  Amalio is a Catholic who loves the Bible, but doesn´t agree with Catholic teachings, in particular, praying to saints and the hipocracy of many of his preachers.  In the first lesson, mi Compañero (my companion); Elder Jenkins, and I told him something like 7 times that God loves him, even though I´m pretty sure he said he believed it the first time we said it.  In the second lesson, we talked about prophets and that led into dangerous territory; the great Apostasy.  It kind of floored him when he came to the realization that the Pope is not the prophet.  I wanted to soften the blow a bit and tell him something like, ´´I´m sure he´s still a good person´´ but the spirit was very precise when it told us to tell him that he´s right, the Pope is not the prophet, and does not have the authority to direct the Church.  We ran out of time however.  Today, we´ll be talking about the restoration, and hopefully he´ll feel the truth in our words. 
Amalio´s lessons with the others in our district has been downright hilarious.  Elder Hilter tried to explain how the priesthood was taken from the Earth before it could be restored, and his visual demonstration with the Bible (He held up a bible and said ´´Sacerdocio.´´(Priesthood.) and then hid it under the desk and said ´´¿Donde esta el Sacerdocio?´´ (Where is the Priesthood?) led Amalio to exclaim ´´Magico!´´ (Magic!) And in order to demonstrate how priesthood authority was confirmed to Joseph Smith, he ´´gave´´ his companion the priesthood as Peter James and John!  I love the Elders in our district, Districto C.  They are powerful spirits, but they all have an amazing sense of humor as well.  It helps us survive the rigorous schedual.
Amalio also told us a Spanish joke.  What´s the difference between uno Pera (one pear) and Elder Ripley´s Novia(Girlfriend)?   Uno es una pera, Y Uno no espera!  Ask Dad to translate for you, it´s absolutely hilarious.  (David said the translation is "One is a pear, and one is not waiting.  I guess that is to suggest that the elder will be getting a "Dear John" letter eventually.)
The spirit here has been amazing, the work has been fun.  It´s hard to believe we´re going to be here for 10 weeks, but we´ll love every minute of it.  It´s frustrating, because when we´re praying and teaching, we know what we want to say, but we don´t know how in Spanish!
Well, I´ll be writing back next week.  I love you all
Hasta luego! (Until later!)
Elder Clough