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, November 5, 2012

Hola otra vez! 05 November 2012

So we're already halfway through the transfer. <:[ I'm gonna be freaking out three weeks from now; Elder Vaca Guzman will be taking off for who-knows-where, and I'm gonna get my follow-up trainer. What am I gonna do about the Spanish work? There's a high chance that I won't get a Spanish trainer, and most of the non-native speakers don't speak it very well. We have to translate for sacrament, teach in Mizteco, etc etc. It's gonna be exciting!

We actually haven't gotten started on learning Mizteco yet. :/ We've been so busy with all this other stuff going on we've hardly had time to talk to Hermana Garcia. We'll get it done though. We had a crazy week, we taught a lot of people and saw a number of small miracles. We went to visit a very recent convert, but she was busy so we talked a while with her husband, who's been a long-time member. Turns out that he has been going through some really tough times, and just broke down in front of us, and it was all we could do to help him feel better. He seems to be doing quite better though.

Today is gonna be hectic; we've got a half P-day because we're going to L.A. to go to the temple Wednesday! ^ - ^ The rule out here is that you get to go on your birthday month, but Elder V didn't get the opportunity to go last month (Whoo Octubre!) so the President gave us the go-ahead to go now. As a result, we only have until three instead of six to get all our chores done. O-o So, tell Bishop Roselund that I'm exceedingly sorrowful for lack of time to write him, but I will do so soon! It's not that I haven't wanted to write him, it's just incredible how packed our days are.

One thing I think I've learned a lot about since getting here is how to pace yourself. President Castro likened the mission to a marathon the first day we were here, and I've seen a lot of that out here. Elder V is a great example for this. There's a lot of "hot" and "cold" missionaries, out here, and it's a constant battle for President to get them to level out. The cold ones are hyper-disobedient; and don't care a bit about the work. The hot ones are so absorbed in "following the rules" that they miss one of the first ones: Missionaries should strive to understand the spirit of the law. Like the pharasies of Christ's day, they take the rules and build fences around them to the point that they forget the purpose of the rules. The most important rule is to love the people; and I've already seen a lot of missionaries who don't realize that.  It's possible to be exactly obedient, and be relaxed at the same time. After all, in a marathon, if you run the first mile at your PR, you're not going to make it. X _ x

Thanks a heap for the letters! I love hearing from all of you; and I'm sorry that I probably won't have a chance to respond this week. But I love you, all of you. I know the gospel is true. I've seen some pretty awesome stuff out here, and I'm only three weeks out! I never imagined I'd be able to teach like I have been, and I know that it's by the Savior's power that it's possible. Stay strong, do what you have to do, and don't worry about the rest. I know that His plan for us is greater than anything we'd ever be able to work out for ourselves, so look for it: ask Him what he wants you to do, and be excited about it, because it's going to be great.


Elder Matthew Clough