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)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is a Clough? It's Welsh for "Like a BOSS!"

Actually; it's something about ten times less exciting. We were at the Palmer's the other day, and after we got done teaching brother Palmer about the priesthood, we got talking about their family history. After they told us where the name Palmer came from, I made the mistake of asking what a Clough was, because I was rather unsure. So she found out. First off, I'm happy to report that a Clough is a group of people that kicked biscuit in the battle of Hastings, so the Duke of someplace "gave them lands" for our "distinguished assistance" which I interpret to mean we fought like a boss.  However, I was rather bummed to find out that Clough is also a derivative of the welsh word "cluf" which means lame.   We're not welsh are we? (Actually the Cloughs came from England rather than Wales but the Montgomerys and the Griffiths were both from Wales.)

At any rate, this last week has been great. We had a number of crazy going on's. First off, the District Meeting of District Meetings was PERFECT. Elder Johnson's idea was rock solid and heavily inspired. Some of the Elders, rather shocked by what we'd done, said that the scriptures and potential we presented for them was actually something in their Patriarchal Blessing, or something they'd been struggling with. I know that I was blessed to be able to draw them all accurately and awesomely; because I'm not really that great at it. The Zone Leaders were even inspired by what we talked about. The basic idea we wanted to get across was "What's some miracles that missionaries of olden times have wrought? Like Aaron, Ammon, Alma, Nephi and Lehi? What about Dan Jones, who converted Thousands in Wales?" after we talked about that, and I'd brought up Dan Jones, I asked "Well, what's the difference between them and us?" And then Elder Johnson taught them, there isn't one. We are given the same commission to do the same work, by the same God. The miracles they wrought, from calling down fire, to raising the dead, to baptizing thousands, are possible unto us, if we have faith that it can happen. We all left feeling hyper pumped and ready to work.

So then we had a number of miracles ourselves. Holly and Carlos, two of the strongest members in the ward had a really tough trial Friday (I think). Their little baby girl has been very sick the past two months, and she'd been running a fever. Well, all of a sudden, she had a seizure, and then stopped breathing, so Holly screamed for Carlos and her father to give her a blessing, and then her mom started mouth to mouth. Fortunately, though she'd been "not breathing" for almost 15 minutes, she'd actually entered a "coma-state" so she's recovered and there's no lasting effects. Matter of fact, when we saw her yesterday, she was smiling and laughing up a storm (which is very unusual for her. I've usually seen her screaming or grumpy.  So it was actually a huge blessing, because as we sat in Church this Sunday, Sherry walked in OUT OF NOWHERE! I don't really know how to describe how much of a miracle this really was. We were both sitting in the pew praying very hard that it would go good. As it turned out, Holly got up and gave a very powerful testimony about the experience, and it hit us all, but ESPECIALLY Sherry very hard. So, hopefully she'll continue to progress, and come to Church.

The second miracle of miracles we saw this week is in regards to the Morrows family. They are a great family that four out of five of them joined the Church two years ago, and the parents got sealed just recently. Cami, however, has been an exceedingly tough cookie. She's about 20 years old, and while she comes to Church every week, she doesn't keep the commandments or do what she knows she should to progress. As a matter of fact, when we asked Sister Morrows and Sam (Cami's sister) how can we help Cami; they laughed in a kind of depressed way and said that every missionary that's come to Taft has asked them that, and they don't know, so good luck. Every time missionaries have tried to push her before, she just clams up and stops coming to Church and stuff. However, She and Josh have asked us to start working with Josh's mom, (who has her own list of problems) and we asked her to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon in order to prepare for the lesson. Guess what? Cami read. And it was the first time in the 3-4 years that she's met with the missionaries that she's even cracked the book open. Then, in the middle of a GREAT restoration lesson, Cami bore her testimony to Josh's mom about how much the gospel has blessed her family's lives since they've started, how much better it's gotten since her parents were sealed in the temple, and the peace and love she feels at Church. Everyone in the room was absolutely floored. She's never told anyone, even her parents about this. For the second time, yesterday, we were astounded.

So, we've got our transfer orders. Elder Johnson is going to Oxnard tomorrow, to be a Zone Leader with Elder Ipsin! This transfer has gone by way too fast! I can't hardly believe it's been six weeks again ALREADY. I'm going to remain here in good old Taft (thank goodness, I've got some unfinished business here) and Elder Buckmiller is going to be my new companion, though I'm not sure if he's going to be the District Leader or not (no-one knows who it is for some reason.) Everyone else in the District (Elder Foote and Mancuso and Elder Shurtz and Marquez) are staying. It'll be exciting to see where we go from here!

I love you guys; keep your heads up and your hearts strong!


Elder Matthew David Clough