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, July 29, 2013

Transfers again!!! BIG CHANGES!!!

So this next transfer is going to be interesting.  I'm going to be sent to Oxnard 6th ward, and the exciting part is I'm gonna be training!!! YEAH!!!  It's gonna be exciting to train again; I had a blast with Elder Mortimer!  The crazy part is I'm still gonna be the district leader and since I'm training, we'll be whitewashing AND we're gonna be on bikes, so quite logically I'm going to explode.  Another cool fact; Elder Carter served in the area I'm heading to.  He's super excited for me.  He says the ward is super awesome; It's gonna be interesting to be in an actual Spanish ward now!

As far as Simi Valley goes; Elder Carter will be staying here.  And guess what!?  He's training too!!  I knew he was a boss.  He's still going crazy about it; he's super worried.  They're also going to split the spanish branch with the new Zone Leaders, and they're gonna be on bikes too!  That's gonna be nuts; I'm not sure how they're going to cover half of Simi Valley on a bike.  The new Zone leaders coming into Simi Valley are Elder Whited (Who served here before) and Elder Johnson, my follow up trainer!  YEAH ELDER JOHNSON!  I miss that guy!

So yeah, crazy things are going down.  I'm gonna have to buy a bike, so I guess that's another heads up on the card.  

I'm excited for the changes, but I'm super sad to be going right now!!!  I'll be sad to miss Leticia's baptism, but she'll do great.  Leticia's doing awesome, though she's got "la Gripa" (a cold) right now so she couldn't come to church or Troy's baptism.  Troy's baptism was awesome though; he had like a million people there.  We had to wait in the foyer.  We got to go since I did the Interview for him; he's a really rock solid kid.  It was great to go and celebrate the end of the transfer with a baptism.

I love you all, but we've got a bunch to do, so I'll get back to ya next week!  I hope everything's going good, and hopefully everyone's all right after the dog attacks.  I'm glad to hear the family were all protected, and hope our friends all heal up well. Scary stuff!!!

oh yeah, as a side note; someone tell Paul I ran into an Elder Hall who knows him from clearfield high school.  Let him know he's out here in the mission being a BOSS!!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, July 22, 2013

New dress code; Iron-Man Robot suits are now standard issue!

Just kidding; I wish!
This week has been a crazy one. There's been a bunch of ups and a few downs as usual, but all around the work is still rolling right along! 

We had Zone Conference this week.  It was super good as usual, but it was a bit intense.  We've got a lot of improving to do! While we were there, the assistants went over the new dress and grooming policies, part of which change is that backpacks are no longer allowed.  The standard is now businessy-shoulder bags.  Unfortunately the awesome Guatemalan shoulder bag Carlos gave me is no longer appropriate.  (which is a pity on both counts; Elder Carter FINALLY got a peruvian one from Ivar, one of the ward missionaries!) But oh well!  It'll make a sweet Laptop bag in college!  At either rate, I'm letting you know about it so that it's no surprise when money disappears out of the bank account; I'm gonna buy one today.  Technically we have till 2014 to make the transitions, but I figure if I don't start now I'll either forget, or SEEDS OF REBELLION may spring up.  It's best if I just take care of it now.  The other changes were hardly changes.  Insofar as I'm aware, all the rest of the standards for us are pretty much the same.  

As far as the work goes, we've got bad/good news this week.  TGIF won't give Francisco a day off until the 12th of August (WICKED wicked company!  At least this one is.)  So Leticia has to wait until the 17th to be baptized.   So, it looks like we'll be having her baptism NEXT transfer, beings as this is week six.  I hope we can both stay!  The good news though, is that she's being a boss as usual.  When the stake put on a big Pioneer day festival, Leticia volunteered with the Relief Society, cutting watermelon for an hour and a half!  Her willingness to work hard is a real testament to her conversion.  Her kids are also doing awesome.  Samantha actually liked church this week for the first time!  We also had a short lesson with them yesterday, and both Samantha and Caesar are set to be baptized on the 17th with their mother!  I guess that's why it had to be shifted.  It was funny when we asked Caesar be baptized; He's only 9 but seems like he's 20!  He said, "I can't be baptized yet; I need to learn more, I'm just starting in the church!"  We had a good laugh about that.  I've heard this argument before, but never from someone with so few pounds!  Either way, they're both very excited to learn.

In other news, at the pioneer day festival I ran into a member from out of state whose husband works at Disney!  His first project there was the fur on the Lemurs in Dinosaur.  We talked about that a bit, and they told me "Yeah, if that's what you want to do, go to BYU!"  So it sounds like that'll be the plan someday.  They also gave me some contact information, so that'll be nice someday!

It's crazy that we're in the last week of the transfer AGAIN!!!  I'm not really sure how time does this, but it's just moving!  I'm so excited to hear about Joe and Darcy's baby; they'll be awesome parents!  I also got a letter this week from the Morrow family; Cami's gonna have her baby in 7 weeks!  Also, Travis is actually sending off his mission papers soon!  OH YEAH!!!  I miss them and Taft a lot, but that's how it goes!

I hope everything is going well and that everyone is working hard and happy.  Tell Joe and Darcy congratulations for me, as well to Jordan and Sara!  ( I have no idea who he is, but I'm happy for them anyway!)  Keep being bosses everybody! Life is good!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, July 15, 2013

An Awesome Week!

Finding has been the CRAZIEST thing this week; we keep running into the most boss-like golden people I've ever seen on my mission.  Then, we've also been getting into more Bible-bashes than I ever have before.  (For clarification purposes; they're bashing, we've just been asking questions that show how their doctrines don't make any sense.)  For the first time ever, I had someone actually try to explain Trinity-doctrine to me, and it made absolutely no sense whatsoever!  I think deep down even he was realizing that it's ridiculous at best.  If the work keeps going this way here, I'm gonna be simultaneously frustrated out of my mind, and ecstatic for the overflow of miracles.  Shall I share some specific incidents?  Here we go!

So on Monday or so; we dropped by a potential investigator on Leticia's street, but before we could knock, someone comes out, walks up to us and says "Hey, do you got a Bible!?"  We connected to him pretty much instantaneously and he wanted us back.  His name's Javier from Guatemala; and he said, "yeah, come back, I've got a bunch of questions!!!"  So we did.  We brought him a Bible, and a Book of Mormon for good measure.  When we taught the Restoration, he was totally absorbed, and I'm pretty sure that when Elder Carter recounted to him the First Vision, he believed it 100% from the get-go, until I said, "Yeah, it's a hard story to believe, so that's why we have the Book of Mormon"  He's AWESOME!!!

Then, just yesterday, as we were walking on the same street, another guy comes out of a door and asks us for a Doctrine and Covenants!!!  Everybody on that street keeps asking us for books of scripture!  This guy was a little odd though.  He'd obviously had a rough life, and he had some of the WEIRDEST religious beliefs I'd ever heard, but it was a blast listening to him explain it all.  As he talked though, it amazed me how much deep Doctrine he truly understood.  He almost explained our true eternal purpose and potential EXACTLY as we believe it.  It was odd, but I think I heard more truth out of him than out of most mainstream Christians I've listened to.

Leticia came to church with her kids as usual; and everything is rolling right along.  This last week she had a friend ask her about "who told Joseph Smith to write the Book of Mormon?"  And she said basically, "God did!  Kind of, What happened is that first, God and Jesus appeared to him, and then later an Angel told him where to find it; It had been already written, he just translated it by the power of God!"  It was a perfect answer!  It's awesome too, because she said, "Before I used to talk to people about my beliefs sometimes, but I wasn't really very sure. Now it's weird, because I don't know very much, but I KNOW it, and when I talk about it to them, I'm VERY sure."  She's a total BOSS!!

As far as missionary dress code; we haven't heard anything about that, but we're having Zone conference this Wednesday, so we'll see.  Based on how this mission operates, I doubt it'll change here.  My clothes have all held up perfectly; I'll easily complete my mission in these.  (I've even only used one pair of shoes from day 1!  I'm switching off on the 15th of next month.)  The only thing I can think of in terms of "birthday" business  is a CD I've heard around; I think it's by Eclipse?  It's got a lot of awesome songs on it; one of which I think is called is "Go with me."  If that's not enough information to find it, that's cool.  I really don't need anything; life is good!  I can't believe Tom and Thomas are leaving the MTC already!  I was there for like FOREVER!!!

I love you all; I hope everything is doing good on the home-front.  Thanks for being awesome and super supportive; this would be super hard if you were all telling me I was wasting my time, doing the work of the devil, and need to come home.  I know an Elder who gets that every week.  Yikes!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lost an arm at the 4th of July business...

Just kidding!  As usual we had to be in on the holiday at 8 instead of 9.  We're glad to hear no-one died though.  We know a number of people that were there, but no-one that got hurt really.  Thank heavens!  Funny how the only person I know who got owned by a firework this weekend wasn't even at the incident; it was Brittney back home!

This week has been pretty good again; we have seen a lot of awesome things.  But the biggest chunk of news happened yesterday. Earlier this week we'd had dinner with Leticia, and for the dinner lesson we discussed the Law of Chastity.  It turns out that she does live with her boyfriend, Francisco, and she's been praying and wondering what she should do about it.  After a really intense and spiritual lesson, we essentially proposed for him,  and she said yes!!!!!  The problem is that July is a really busy month for their family; they've got a bunches of birthdays and other crazy nonsense going on, so she told us she'd be planning on getting married in August, and she'll have to wait to be baptized then.  I felt disappointed about that because we want to see her baptized, but we realized it's just better that she's accepting the Gospel well.  So, after I said something like "Yeah, it'd be tough if you had the anniversary at the same time as Gaspar's birthday and all."  We wound up leaving.  But yesterday we came back, and Leticia was super excited to talk to us.  First off; she told us Francisco's super happy and thankful to us; apparently he's been trying to marry her from day 1!  He loves the church too, from what Leticia told him, and he also wants to learn and be baptized in the near future.  Then, Leticia told us, "You gave me an idea!  We're gonna get married on the 22 of July, which is Gaspar's birthday!  For a Honeymoon we can take the kids out to a nice restaurant or something; it'd be perfect!!!"  We were both like .  LETICIA'S GETTING MARRIED!!!! and then BAPTIZED!!! YEE-HAW!  We're super excited; and so is the branch.  I've never initiated a wedding before as a missionary; so this'll be a fun new experiance.  

I've gotta go again; but I love you all, and I appreciate your support of the Elders out there.  Crazy that they're already doing the Facebook thing!  I wonder when that'll get out here... It's almost too weird to think about...


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, July 1, 2013

Oh Bakersfield, oh Bakersfield, we bid thee farewell; We're going to the coast of Ventura to dwell!

Well, Simi Valley has been absolutely fantastic this past week.  It's gonna be hard to remember all the neat things that have happened to tell you all.  This week has been the busiest I've been in since I left Taft.  It's been CRAZY!  

First things first; The mission met the goal of 50 baptisms in the month of June DEAD on, on the 30th.  We'd all been working hard and praying to find the people ready.  It was a great way to see the Lord granting according to worthy desires.  It was also a great kick off for the California Bakersfield mission; they're officially starting up this week.  

Next up; Leticia has been BOSS-like as usual.  We dropped by on Friday and she was doing great. As we got talking to her, she mentioned that she'd almost decided to stop coming to church!  She said that last Sunday she felt kinda uncomfortable because everyone was in nice clothes, and her kids were in jeans and T-shirts because they didn't have any Sunday-clothes.  She went down to the store to see the prices and they were WAY too high, so for a minute she sat in the car and felt awful, feeling like she needed to stop going.  But then she thought, "You know what? God will understand.  He knows I don't have anything and that I just want to learn, and he's happy that I'm trying."  It was AWESOME!!!  We don't even have to do anything; she's going to get herself to baptism!  She resolves her OWN doubts!  Actually, in our last lesson she even said "I don't have any doubts anymore; just questions."  She's prayed about the 27th and feels right about it.  Her kids are really starting to get into it and love it, and during the combined priesthood/Relief Society, she signed up on our dinner calender!  

We didn't get a chance to teach the Sanchez Family; but we started teaching the Figeroa Family last Monday.  They are super cool.  Their son has been meeting with the Missionaries for a little bit, but the parents don't speak any English, so the English Elders sent us their way to explain the permission form.  Of course, that's a perfect in for us!  So we sat down and started explaining what their son's been learning and they were super attentive.  Hermano Figeroa has been studying all kinds of religions, trying to find more knowledge and truth, and he seems willing to study this out.  The wife was largely quiet but really has a good feeling about her, in terms of how well she's accepting the message.  We'll see tonight how that goes!

Another super cool experience from the week; we dropped by Coronel; the man who asked us why his daughter changed to be Mormon.  As soon as we sat down, he started seriously bashing us, claiming Joseph Smith was a false prophet and telling us we didn't believe in miracles.  As we affirmed that we did, to each type of miracle he brought up, and re-explained Joseph's role, he eventually got quieter and quieter, until he had to change the subject.  He then started using scriptures to tell us we should be getting payed, and as we used the same scriptures to show that we shouldn't he got quiet again.  It was the strongest example of "Not being confounded before men" I've seen yet.  Finally, he told us, "Maybe the reason I don't believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet is because I don't actually know anything about it."  We had nothing to disagree with there!

At any rate I've gotta run again! I always seem to have less time than I need!  I'm excited for Tom's mission; both of them! They're gonna be Bosses out there.  And Tell Ron McIntyre that I'm super proud of him for finishing strong.  He'll do great in life.  Also, I'm super happy to hear from Paul.  I talk about him all the time to people; he made the BIGGEST difference in my life, and I'm eternally grateful.  The song "A letter home" on the Work cd?  Totally what he did for me there.  I love you all!  Keep up the good work!


Elder Matthew David Clough