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, September 24, 2012

Third lap of the mile

That's what this week is. I just realized that we have three Sundays left here in the MTC. Que Loco! (It's crazy!) The district that left today is the last one that was here when we came: from now on, we're the Viejo's. (The old ones) The only ones in our zone that have been here longer than us are the two Hermanas(Sisters): Hermana Moeller and Hermana Spivey, and that's cause they had to stay an extra week for visitors center training. Which sounds absolutely mad, by the way. Hermana Spivey was telling us that visitor center missionaries cover all the same stuff we do, but they only have 5-10 minutes to do it. Good thing they're better at it than we are!

Some cool stuff happened this week: We attended the Brigham City temple dedication. It was really cool to sing The Spirit of God (Go Ensign Ward!) with all the missionaries. It was a beautiful temple, too. Elder Jenkins and I also did Sealings today, and that was quite incredible. I had a small insight into just how incredible it's going to be to get married for time and eternity someday. (In ten years or so) :) I'm not gonna lie, it was a bit rough to get the news on how some of my best friends are struggling. It helped me to see, in a small way, how my own family had to be feeling when I went through my own trouble last year. I'm absolutely, terribly sorry to have put you all through that. I know, however, that the Lord helped me back from myself, and that He will do the same for them. I don't know if any of them read this, but I want them to know that I know something similar to how they feel, and that the Lord knows EXACTLY how they feel. I know He will help each and every one of you. Don't make my mistake: Remember Who You Are!

Another thing we did lately was watch Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. That movie is incredible. Even if you're not LDS, I encourage you to watch this movie, and admire his sacrifice. I'm pretty sure I bawled for 25% of it, but that's all right. His life was definitely one of the most difficult, yet most powerful. During a meeting with the Branch President, we analyzed the reason we use his exact words when teaching about the first vision. He showed us how the words are very precisely chosen. He also helped us recognize common false doctrine concerning it. For example, Joseph didn't ask which church was true. He asked two questions: Which of all the Sects was right, and which he should join. It really helps show the honesty of his desire to know.

Sorry if I don't cover all the stuff y'all want to hear. I don't have a ton of time to write, and the weeks seem to blur together. That's why a lot of my e-mails are just a bunch of scrambled facts. I'm not really all that sure WHAT happened THIS week, I just know it was awesome. I'll try harder to answer more questions and tell more information as it goes on. In my defense, however, I have been keeping a daily journal, even if one or two entries are three sentences. :P

By the way, I saw Elder Jacob Cameron (Senor Taco!!!) and Elder Frank Owens. It's good to see people showing up and taking off. I'm really proud of their work.

I'll try to write letters more diligently. I'm not very good at it, but I can hardly expect letters if I don't write any. Can I get the address for the families we used to home teach? I feel bad about taking off without saying bye. Can I also get an address for Eric? His or his parents would do. I'd love to contact him and see how he's doing. Also; can I get the address for Zach and also Tyler? I've thought about them a lot, lately. One more: I want to write Petyr, but I don't have his address either. :P Sorry for the giant list! Also; if anyone could let me know how to contact Elder Snyder, Elder Seawell, Elder Guerra and Elder Martin, I'd greatly appreciate it. I've written the Girardin's once or twice, but I'd also like to contact a few of the old Ensign ward families (Snyders, Seawells, Dannemans, Meiers,etc) once or twice so if any of their addresses can be found, I'd be most grateful. Sorry again for the essay assignment! ^_^;

Also, I don't suppose you (Brittney) know what Stephen's been up to? Is he getting ready for a mission, or did I miss him?

One last thing: I'll be sending my camera card soon, e-mailing the pictures is just too much of a hastle. I'll include an explination, some of them are a bit... needing of one. :)

Take care, family and friends. I love you all, and hope you all are feeling joy!

Con amor,(With love)

Elder Clough

Monday, September 17, 2012

Buenos Tardes! (Good Afternoon!) 17 Sep 2012

That's not quite as cool as Bula Vinaka (Fijian from his cousin Paul's mission), but it's still fun!

This week was pretty crazy.  Our old district leader got released, and the new one is Elder Doermann.  He's an awesome missionary with a really pure spirited attitude.  Funnily enough, our old district leader; happy as he was to be released, is the new zone leader! Heh heh!  And now Elder Jenkins is the senior companion, so I'm free! (I guess Matthew had been the senior companion up to this point.  He neglected to inform us about that!)  I can relax and focus on teaching and stuff.

I always think about so much stuff to write about during the week, and then I get here and poof! I've only got thirty minutes to write and it's gone!  Maybe I should start writing them down somewhere.

We've got a ton of investigators now (for the MTC, that is.)  We've got Isabel, Marcos, Jorge, and one other that's actually one of the other missionaries in the district. (Don't know who he is yet.) 

At any rate, I'm going to try and send some pictures, but the computers around here are a little sketchy.  We'll see if it works.We didn't get any pictures so I guess it didn't work out.  Too bad :(

Con Amor! (With love!)
Elder Clough

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mi Familia! (My Family) 10 Sep 2012

It's been another crazy week at La CCM! (MTC) I'm not really sure what I've already talked about, the weeks just kind of blur together.  It's good though, I can't believe we've been here this long. 

We've been really busy here.  It's a good thing too, because it keeps us focused (sorta) :P  We still get a little off topic, but a good hymn gets us back on track soon enough.  We've listened to a lot of really good lessons this week that really helped us figure out who we are and what we do.  We watched a stellar talk by Jeffrey R. Holland that he gave in the CCM (MTC) a few years back, that was about obedience and a line I really liked: "Don't you waste a single chance to be apostolic."  It really got me thinking about how we're supposed to teach.  We're not here to say; "Hey, uh, you know, I've got a message that you might kinda maybe wanna hear."  We're supposed to represent the Lord, Jesus Christ.  We're supposed to teach with power and authority the most important message anyone we meet will ever hear.  It's kind of mind-blowing.  Granted, over the past few weeks, my mind's been blown so many times I'm surprised I have one left. 

It was really great to be able to go to the temple again today.  We feel the spirit almost all day long here in the CCM (MTC), but it's still not the same.  I had some really great impressions today, that should help me to be a better missionary.  We're really kinda impatient to get out of here, even though we love every minute of it.  I really just want to start teaching real people who have no clue who they are. 

Thanks for the letters and support.  It really keeps us rolling.  Sorry I don't hand-write back very often. I don't have a whole lot of time for that, and I'm not very keen on it anyway.  I sent a few over the past week though.

Nos Vemos! (See you later!)

Elder Matthew D Clough

Monday, September 3, 2012

Como le va? (How is it going?)

Sep 3, 2012 10:07 AM
Hola familia y amigos! (Hello family and friends!)
Holy Hannah bannana, I can't believe it's Septiembre (September)!  The days still fly by, and I'm having a hard time remembering everything that's been going on.  We've been working our tails off by studying like maniacs.  I was led to believe that at the MTC, more than six hours each day is spent studying the language.  Wrong!  We spend TOPS 3-4 hours.  Every other second of the day is geared in some way towards studying the doctrine or practicing teaching.  We had a bit of a hard time focusing the whole time this week, but we've still been doing awesome.  Hermano Hopoate is really proud of us. 
We have two "new" investigators: Isabel and Marcos.  We've only taught Marcos once, but it went really well.  We've taught Isabel twice, and the last time was a real doozey.  We wound up teaching next to nothing of what we planned to.  Instead, we talked about how it's hard for her to have trust and faith in God when He took her son from her.  Fortunately, the spirit was very strong with us that day, since we were able to console her about it, and help her understand that through the gospel of Christ, we can be together as families forever, and that wanting to have faith is the first step.  My companion, Elder Jenkins, is a real life-saver during those kinds of situations.  It seems like he can pull a scripture out of thin air in any given moment to share.
Teaching in Spanish is difficult, because you know what you want to say, but you don't know how!  It's getting a lot better though.  This fast Sunday, I bore my testimony completely in Spanish, and I THINK I got the grammer mostly right.  It was fascinating to me that I've learned enough already to be able to share what I want to in Spanish.
I've met my cousin, Elder Jacob Clough, about thrice now, but I haven't had my camera on me in order to take a picture. :/  We have great fun exchanging "Hello Elder Clough!"s.  I've also met Elder Egbert, Elder Hayward, and unexpectedly, Elder Preston Williams from Syracuse High.  He's the district leader of the Jovenes: The new district. 
I've been doing a lot more singing in the MTC than I have before.  Our district sings in the Choir at every practice we can, and we start every class time with a Spanish hymn.  For all the missionaries getting ready to go: Sing in the Choir.  It's one of the most amazing things we do here.  I love the way some of those are written.  Elder Ripley has also been setting up a boy-band style rendition of "Oh Holy Night" that the whole district sings in.  Me and Elder Summers sing low bass, and it's one of the coolest things I think I've ever done.  We've joked that in two years, we should come home and call our group "District C"  We've performed it for President Ricks; our branch president, and for our Maestra; Hermana Christiansen, who wants to record it.  I'll have it E-mailed back if we ever do that.
I've got another joke for you folks to try and figure out. 
Que hace una pes? (What does a fish do?)
Nada nada nada! (Nada can mean either nothing or he swims, so it is nothing, nothing, nothing or swims, swims, swims)
It's kinda weird, but it's hard to imagine life being anything except what I'm doing right now.  I'm so grateful to be out here, and I can't wait to be out in the field.  Yo se que el Evangelio de Jesuchristo es verdadero. (I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.)
Nos Vemos! (See you later)
Elder Clough
P.S. I'm having a hard time filling up the memory card to send home.  I want you all to see the pictures, esp. of Elder Jenkins and my district, but I'm working on it as fast as I can. Lo Siento! (Sorry)