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, June 24, 2013

By the way, the Broadcast was BOMB!!!

Hello all!  It's been a pretty good week all in all; we've had a bunch of awesome going on's and really cool things go down.  The work is absolutely exploding out here in Simi Valley, the entire zone has something in the order of 15-17 people set up to be baptized in the next two months!  And what's cool about that is that we're part of that!

Leticia is doing fantastic!  We dropped by on Friday to see how it's all going, but we didn't have enough time to teach a very big lesson.  Instead, we discussed how she'd liked the relief society activity (she LOVED it) and then set her with a date for the 27th of July!  WHOOO!!!  She readily accepted it, which was quite unusual and very encouraging, and she is super excited to move forward and keep progressing.  She also came to church this past Sunday, and she brought her three children; Samantha(15), Cesar(9), and Gaspar(4) AND she brought her Landlord, who is a member out in Camarillo.  The children absorbed super quickly into the youth programs set up, and Leticia looked just as happy as can be, and really connected with the message about the Sabbath day.  We're so excited for her!!!

We also taught the Sanchez family this past Friday, and they really loved the message again.  This time, we just taught the parents, and at the end of the lesson, they ALSO accepted Baptism Dates for August 17th!  This is super exciting, because they're super eager to learn and progress.  They still haven't been able to come to church, but they're planning on it soon.

Another fun event; last night at dinner, we ate with the Garcia's, and it was all pretty normal until Daisy's friend Gabe showed up.  I guess he just showed up because he felt like it, and as we got talking (even though he was a tiny bit awkward) I found out he was an Eagle scout. (Connection!)  So we had a good talk about that and he mentioned something about Jamboree, and my ears pricked up bigtime.  It turns out that he went to NBJ at the SAME TIME as we did!  We talked a bunch about the experience and he remembered the Alaskan group that lost some members.  He opened up BIGTIME after that, so much that we could teach and testify of the peace and truth of the Gospel, and he told us, "yeah, I live out in ______; and you've got a HUGE church out there.  I'm gonna stop by next week and talk to the missionaries there, this is cool to talk about."

It was an awesome week all around; Too much stuff has been going on for me to talk about it all.  Elder Carter is cool; he was in Elder Mortimer's district and they were best buds!  He's a really strong missionary with an intense desire to help others.  It's gonna be super fun working with him. (By the way, yeah, I'm still the District Leader.)  I love you all, and I hope all is well.  I'll try not to get myself killed by electricity, fire, etc, but I can't say anything about fatigue!  Love you!!!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, June 17, 2013

20 charbroiled hamburgers and some crispy Elders on the side...

Transfers are up again!!!  Things are getting crazy out here, especially since this transfer determines for SURE which mission we'll wind up in.  And it turns out that I'm...

Staying in Simi Valley!!!  Whoo!  I'm happy to be in the California Ventura Mission!  I am quite sad that I won't be hearing much about Taft anymore though... Also, Elder Nalder is going out to Lom Polk to follow-up train Elder Fernandez!  He's super weirded out, leaving his first area and training and stuff, but I know he'll be a boss!  I'm super excited for the experiances he's gonna have!

I'll be picking up Elder Carter; whom I know little to nothing about at this stage, but there's nothing new about that!   I'm excited and I'm sure we'll do great!  I'm also excited to go down to Transfer's meeting, and see where everyone wound up and how they're doing.  I'm also expecially excited to see mi Abuelita Negra; Elder Belchoir finish his mission.  He's the Man!!!  We do have a lot to do today, seeing as Elder Nalder's out of here, and that the Zone Leaders are going to be moving into our apartment with us.  Crazy business!!!

In other news, this week has been totally awesome.  So much has gone down I don't know what to talk about... But I'll list some stuff.  We taught one of the most powerful restoration lessons to the Sanchez family Friday.  It was incredibly awesome!  They absolutely loved the message.  Isabelle, who was helping us out, was teaching perfectly, and the spirit was so strong that Hermana Sanchez was getting emotional on us!  So that's five of them that are super ready and excited to move forward in the gospel.  They couldn't come to church yesterday, but they're planning on being there next week.  Sweet!  Also, Laticia came to church, and she even gave a ride to Ysabelle!  Ysabelle helped her feel super at home, and guided her around to see the primary and then to Relief Society class.  She loved Primary so much that she started filling out the papers for her kids' info right then and there!  She's super excited to bring her kids, and we're so happy she actually came and loved it!  It was awesome!  On Saturday, we had a nice Father's day BBQ in the park with the branch, although Hermana Cabral and we tried to burn the park down with the grill.  The flames were like ten feet high!  Not to mention we'd made the mistake of putting it under a tree.  It was an adventure.  

All in all, it's been a super awesome, exciting week!  The work is really starting to roll forward, and even though this Transfer has been tough, I still feel like it's flown by.  That's kinda how I gauge if I'm working hard enough.  It's not quite fair, but if we work hard, the Lord makes the time pass faster even if we don't see anyone, but if we don't it takes FOREVER.  I'm sorry to see Elder Nalder go already, he's a true friend, but I'm sure things will move right along.  I hope everything at home is good; I'm so excited for Tom and Thomas!  I know they'll both be fantastic missionaries.  Be sure to print off their e-mails home for me!  I'll write when I can.  I hope Dad had a great father's day!  I'm sorry I couldn't get a card off, but I love you, and think of you and your own mission every day of mine.  I really do reflect a lot on the stories you told me and they influence how I do this a lot.  It's a cool thing to put on a name tag that looks the same as the one you wore.

Hope all is well, 
Love you all!
Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sometimes you realize just how dumb you really are...

The biggest lesson I learned this week; DON'T PLAY WITH ELECTRIC FLY SWATTERS!!!  OUCH!!!  We'd found it in our apartment, and thought it was pretty cool until I zapped myself good with it.  (I thought there's no way it's powerful enough to hurt me if Elder Nalder presses the button and I complete the circuit) It's a good thing they're pretty weak, or else we might have been in a bit of trouble.    As it is, my arms and chest hurt for a day and a half.

But on a more gospel oriented note; we did some pretty good work this past week.  We taught Fausto again; he's been doing fantastic!  He's read up to page 4 of the Book of Mormon, and seems to like it pretty well.  But the really exciting news is about Laticia!  We dropped by on Friday and taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  At first we were a little bummed because she hasn't read any by herself or with her children, but she then told us that she'd watched the Joseph Smith movie.  It turns out she'd gone and looked up our websites, and decided to watch the movie.  She loved it!  She talked all about how incredible it was when he saw the First Vision, how much she connected to his family, how she couldn't believe how much he suffered.  It was super cool!  She's still nervous about coming to church, but we committed her to come this next week; she's going to leave her kids  home and come and see it for herself first.  We're super excited; the ward will welcome her perfectly.  Also, she invited us and Ysabelle (the most recent convert we've been working a lot with) to come to her daughter's 8th grade graduation celebration/dinner tomorrow!  It's awesome to see how much she trusts us already.

This week has been pretty weird for declaring to people though.  We walked a ton, but it seemed like every time we did the pedestrians all vanished!  We'd literally walk for miles without seeing a soul.  During one of those walks though, we walked past a bike path by a creek, and both Elder Nalder and I got the impression to take that trail on the way back.  We could see at a bend in the river, somebody sitting next to the creek with a bike.  When we came back, he was still there!  So, we introduced ourselves, and asked if he minded if we sat a while next to him.  His name was Carlos, and he was a very interesting Mexican.  He told us that he'd been sitting there enjoying the creek and the ducks, thinking about life and God and stuff.  We thought that was great! So, we taught him the Joseph Smith story.  As soon as we did, he brought all his doubts to the table. "I don't think God listens to a lot of prayers anymore." "How do we know where we come from, is the Bibles even true or what?"  We wound up testifying and leaving him with a Book of Mormon.  We also left him our number, since we couldn't get his address.  It was a super neat experience!  One of the things I've realized this week is how much I LOVE peace.  It felt so good to sit down with him and listen to the water and watch the ducks.  It makes me wonder why people run so badly from our message, when that's all we try to offer?  I guess I do kinda understand though, beings as I've been there myself.

At any rate, gotta run, I love you all, tell Tom congratulations for me!!!  I'm sorry I'm gonna miss his farewell, but I'll catch his homecoming for sure!

Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, June 3, 2013

This is what the Lion (elder Nalder) and the Plate (Yo) have been up to lately...

That's an inside joke from the last Noche de Hogar that the ward did.  Spanish people play REALLY weird games...

But this week has been super good!  We were actually able to sit down and teach a few lessons, and things were just overall cool!  

We started off the week with a really good exchange.  I stayed in our area with Elder Eggleston, which was interesting because he doesn't know a word of Spanish.  He was a super good sport about it though; he thought it was hilarious to watch me and them going at it.  We ran into some neat English people in his own area though, so hopefully things turn out well with that.  

While we were walking around, we ran into a lady who was just leaving her house.  She was super friendly and offered to walk down the road with us.  As we got talking, we came to find out her daughter has been baptized somewhat recently, and is going to be married in the temple soon!  She talked about how she'd listened to the missionaries for quite some time, but she couldn't handle two "problems," one being man's divine nature.  We explained a little bit to clear up some confusion she had on the subject, and testified, which she appreciated.  The cool part though, was that for some reason I brought up the "why I came on a mission" story and told it super fast; and she thanked me for answering her second doubt!  She was worried that since her daughter was now going to be following a prophet, that she wouldn't rely on personal revelation anymore.  One down, one to go!  

Other than that, the week has been relatively normal.  We did have one more cool story; Elder Nalder and I dropped by a potential investigator's house, but it turns out she wasn't there.  Instead, we got talking to her husband, Fausto, who invited us to go sit around a table in his yard and teach him!  It was such a huge relief to finally have something like that happen again!  It happened all the time in Taft!  So, we taught him about the restoration, and while he payed attention, for most of the lesson he was cracking small, non-sensical jokes.  But when we taught the Joseph Smith story, he was super attentive and quiet.  When we taught the Book of Mormon, and invited him to read for himself, he said he would certainly do so!  When we asked him when we could come back, he said, Monday!  So we'll be dropping by again tonight.  I hope he's read and began progressing!

I'm super proud of Tom and Brittney!  Way to go peoples!  It's crazy to think you're all graduating, but I guess that's the idea with time; it goes!  I'm sad to hear about Jasper; he was a super good cat.  I'm sorry to hear Danielle had a hard time with it; but it'll turn out ok.  I love you all, and hope you have a better week this time!  

Elder Matthew David Clough