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, March 25, 2013

Transfer verdict is...

I'M GONNA BE TRAINING!!! WHOOO!   It's really kinda crazy, and I'm more than a bit nervous, but I'm hyper-excited at the same time!  Yesterday was insane, as we were waiting for the president/assistants to call about whether we'd be in a leadership assignment or not.  We wound up missing the President, but the Assistants called a little bit later about me training.  Then, the President called us, and asked Elder Buckmiller to be a Zone Leader!  I knew it!  He's going to Santa Maria, to be companions with Elder Hawes; one of the best Zone Leaders in the mission.  He's a bit nervous, but he'll do an awesome job.  Meanwhile, I get to take my "son" back to good old Taft, to keep the work rolling out here. I can't wait to find out who this Elder is!  There's a bunch of work waiting for us out here, so he's going to have an awesome first transfer.

This week was really good.  I can't think of a ton of really cool stuff that happened, but we worked really hard.  We went into this week, deciding to have the mind-set that it wasn't actually the week before transfers.  That way, we were able to focus better on our job instead of worrying about whether we'd wind up staying or not.  A lot of good came from that, and while we didn't have the chance to see any baptisms this transfer, the next one is set up really well.  People are still looking for this!

I LOVED the cake that you guys made for Brittney.  It's SO telling about our family.   Leave it up to us to have Lego's, LoTR, and "cartoon violence" on a birthday cake for a 18 year old young woman.  It was fantastic!  I also loved the pictures of Danielle playing basketball.  She's a boss!  I do need another album though... the other two are full up and I've got some leftovers.

At any rate, I love you all, and I'm really excited to work out here this next transfer.  I'm gonna learn a TON more than the poor Elder that gets stuck out here with me; but I'll do my best.  It's gonna be a bit strange; because I've only ever done Taft missionary work (which I've heard is different from elsewhere in the mission,) I'll be the senior companion for the first time AND I'll be training to boot!  I'm afraid the poor new Elder won't have a very experienced "father" but I guess it'll all work out.

Here goes round 5!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, March 18, 2013


This week's been pretty mad.

First off, we started the week by visiting the Palmer's and watching "the Testaments." Brother Palmer's been doing great in his calling and all, and the spirit was really strong during the movie. It really struck me how similar my life's been to Jacob's, and watching his relation with his dad made me feel a bit guilty. Sorry!

In other notes, Dad's lesson to me on how to change brakes on a car "kinda" came in handy, although I didn't remember much. We spent a morning helping Brother Morrow do that. I "Kinda" remembered how to do some of it.

The Harris Family has been doing great, although they haven't come to church still. Anna and Anna the younger definitely have the answer that it is true, and Nathan, Thomas and Noelia are coming along. We gave a blessing to Thomas that his back would heal up though, and we'll see what happens on that. It could be really cool to see how the blessing strengthens their testimony.

Sister Savea called us over to ask our help too; she'd been sick and her husband was out in Utah. So we also gave her a blessing, and then she told us that they're planning on moving to Salt Lake City. It's gonna be super sad to see them go; but they'll have to drop by and visit with you all! You'll love them all.

The biggest thing that happened was definitely Zone Conference. It was really, really good. The theme was "Stewardship" and what that entails, and it really helped me realize I need to step it up and do a better job with the things I'm entrusted with. The mission President taught us something that had already played a large role in my motivation as a missionary. The Lord has given us stewardship over things like our apartment, our car and phone, and the area book. If we do a good job with these smaller responsibilities, then he will entrust us with larger ones, such as investigators who are looking for the truth, and eventually, an eternal companion, and children. This pattern continues, and formulates the basic "why" of responsibility. I hope I can do a good job!

At any rate, I hope everything goes better for you all. Keep safe as you travel, and do what you must to fulfill your responsibilities. Blessings are on their way!


Elder Matthew David Clough
Oh, yes, I forgot to mention about Transfers...
They're next week! AAAAHHH!!!

I'm hoping for a third out here in Taft with Elder Buckmiller. If we can stay one more round, it'll be perfect...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring forward! we get an extra hour of sleep! WHOOO!!!


Although that actually happened this week; for some reason as we got ready for bed Saturday, my math deficiency went into high gear and we were all hyped up thinking that going forward would give us time. So Sunday was a bit of a "buhhhh" kind of morning. However, this week has been intense regardless.

We did a bunch of exchanges this week; first on Thursday with Elder Flores, and then on Saturday with the Zone leaders. It was cool to work here with Elder Flores; he's Elder Buckmiller's previous companion, and he's a BOSS at tracting. It seems like everywhere he's gone in his mission, tracting is his calling, though he doesn't like it much. (I don't know why people don't like Tracting, I LOVE it! That's when most of the miracles I've seen have happened.) We had a good time at any rate.

We were finally able to get ahold of Mike again, though when Elder Gates and I started talking to him, the adversary threw a fit. We hardly got past the pre-existence when his step-father came out for a smoke and started raving about who-knows-what, and then his girlfriend came out begging his help because poor baby Lily had pooped all up her back. Gah! But oh well. He's still excited to talk to us, because as he apologized and left, he told us, "Next time for sure; this is my favorite topic!" So that's exciting. He's going to love the Plan of Salvation. He didn't make it to church, due to family being over. Next week!

With CJ, she's been in such bad shape, between her leg, her hearing, and her age in general, that Elder Buckmiller and I decided to fast and then give her a blessing of health to help her out. Of course, this also wound up happening while Elder Gates was here with me, so I had the opportunity to give the blessing. It was really great to be able to do that. As I was giving the blessing, I felt to tell her that she'd be able to hear sufficiently well in order to learn and grow as she attends church. I was very suprised and hesitated a second on that, because she's so close to being deaf that we teach her with a notepad. (or Ipad if a member brings one) So hopefully our faith, her faith (which is INTENSE), and God's will combine to bring this about. Unfortunately, she STILL didn't make it to church due to her sister falling ill. Next week!

The Harris family is doing pretty well; some of them have been reading, and they've been praying. The biggest problem with them is that they don't remember our appointments, so we only ever find them by dropping by. We did set them to think about planning on being baptized on April 16th though! They also didn't come to church yesterday, because it rained on (Friday?) so they had to make up work on Sunday, and though we prayed for rain on sunday (Sneaky, right?) it didn't seem to be in the plan. Next week!

At any rate, as you can see from the above, we've had great stuff going on, though Sunday morning was a bit rough. We struggled for most of the day to have energy, let alone do any work. We pushed through the haze though, and one of the coolest experience of my mission so far happened. We went to Taft Heights. And we knocked "The Richies" These houses are MASSIVE. Several of them have tennis courts and pools and stuff, and two of them have Tiled drives. It's ludicrous. The first (and biggest) house we knocked was probably the biggest house I've ever been to in my life. However, none of these people answered the door. We'd knocked something like seven or eight of them, but right before we went back, I looked at and felt really drawn to one of the two with a REALLY LONG tiled drive. As we went we just felt good, and when I knocked, instead of feeling nervous I felt excited. Then, we wound up talking to Carol and Dale. They welcomed us into the house, and we talked a lot about who they were and stuff. They are SUPER nice, and really friendly to talk to. In their house (which was scary big and nice) Dale has a bunch of stuffed (more like totally reconstructed) animals from all over the world, including his favorite room, which is dedicated to his Africa trips. Some of those animals were crazy huge! But the cool thing, was that in spite of their obvious wealth and luxury, they were really wonderful,humble people. We taught them the restoration, and though they had some very good questions and some doubts, Carol accepted a Book of Mormon (Wanted to pay us for it! NO! ) and promised to read it and pray, and we'll be going back next Sunday. WHOOO!!! It was really cool to see someone like them start to accept the message.

In other news, Jose's been an absolute BOSS missionary, his way of answering her questions is so good it's textbook. He says he "thinks about it, prays a bit, and then tells her the first thing that pops into his mind, whether he understands it or not." I wish I was as cool as this guy!  At any rate, I must end mine epistle. We've been having a total blast out here, and I've learned a lot of things that have really boosted my spirits and made me a heap better.

Love you all! Be safe, be good!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, March 4, 2013

Did you know that John the revelator likes Dominoes pizza?

Sooooooo, this weeks been pretty good!

We've had kind of a weird week. Our numbers were REALLY bad this week, but we tried, and the Lord has really blessed us for that. There were just a lot of days when next to no-one was home. However, we saw some really cool stuff go down, and in the next few months, Taft could easily receive many new members.

First off, we haven't been able to meet with Mike again, things have been crazy with the new baby. But, he still wants to learn and progress so that's all as well. Then, we're also still working with CJ, who's been doing really well. She's recovering from being sick last time, so hopefully she can hang on to her health for the next while and really progress in the gospel. But the coolest news of the week came from a shocking source.

A referral! We actually got a referral! So we were sitting in Dominoes last P-day, waiting for our Pizza, when the door flies open and this really sketchy looking guy with shades, a baseball cap and stuff sticks his head in the door and says "Hey Elders! 212 Taylor street! Go there." and takes off again, leaving us sitting there with our mouths open. It was SO cool! We were ridiculously pumped about this, thinking stuff like "Hey, if this leads to a golden family, that was totally John!!!" So we go. We arrive at 212 Taylor street... which was an empty lot. So, just in case, we went out and stood in the middle of it, waiting for someone to pop out of the gravel and beg to be baptized. Nada. So, we book it on down to 212 Tyler street, and there faced the most rude rejection of my mission. (Which isn't saying much, people are just insanely nice in Taft.) Everything we tried led to naught there, so we eventually left, figuring that at the very least, we demonstrated to Heavenly Father that we were willing to follow such a miracle. Which I think worked because then... We got ANOTHER referral!

Wednesday, Elder Belchior (Mi Abuelita en la mision) and Elder Bertrand (Mi Tio) gave us a referral they received from someone in Provo Utah. So, we go on down to their house, and run into Anna and Family. A BIG family! There's Anna the mom, Thomas her husband, and Nathan (19) Anna (13) Noelia (11) and Gabriella (5), and they are AWESOME! Apparently, Anna's daughter in law (Who lives with her other son) is a member, and when they all lived in Provo, she kept sending the missionaries their way. Eventually, they began meeting with them, but after only a couple visits they wound up moving on down here to Taft. So, we got the notice, and taught them the restoration. They REALLY loved it. Nathan is totally on the ball with the whole "So then, now WE'VE got to ask Heavenly Father just like Joseph Smith did" and even asked us what the correct way to pray is. We also taught them the Restoration and it went really well. So, they're definitely going to be baptized by the end of this month / beginning of the next. I hope I can stay in Taft again to see it through!!!

Another great highlight of the week is our workings with Jose. He's been struggling with the idea of going on a mission, so we sat down and talked about a lot of things. I related my story again, and also talked about Paul's decision to go on a mission. As the meeting drew to an end, the spirit was very strong, and he came to a point of indecision. One half of him really wanted to go, and the other didn't. So, later on in the week, as we texted him to set up another meeting, I felt to ask him to read Doctrine and Covenants section 31. Not ten minutes later, he texted us back saying, "You guys are really something else; that was EXACTLY what I needed to read just now." (I highly recommend you guys to go read it too; it's great!) So, the last I heard from him was last Sunday. There in church, he tells us "so, I woke up this morning feeling like I didn't want to not go on a mission!" He's also been working with and teaching the lessons to a friend of his, who asked him what has changed about him. He's such a BOSS!!!

So all in all, things have been marvelous here in Taft, as usual. It's been a week of many, powerful miracles, and we're planning on keeping and increasing the trend. It's so great to be out here. In the meantime, thanks so much for supporting me in this. Remember, the best way you can support us missionaries, is by living the gospel too! Every day you wake up, think "It's go time!" and do your best! I love you all, stay healthy, and most of all, stay happy!


Elder Matthew David Clough