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, September 23, 2013

So aparently, everyone in oxnard wants to be baptized!

This week has been MAAAD!  We've still been getting outpourings of miracles like crazy, and all around things are just going swell.  We've been inviting somebody to be baptized almost every day, and almost all of them have said that as soon as they know it's true, they would!  Unfortunately, we had to re-divide our area for the third time now, because the sisters had a super sketchy part of Oxnard, so we handed almost all of them over to them.  But hey, just so long as they get baptized, I'll be happy! 


The crazy part is that most of those invitations happened while we were tracting!  We knocked a door this week looking for a guy named David, but his cousin "Martin" answered.  He was super awkward while we were standing there, but when I asked if he'd ever talked to missionaries before, he said "No." and I said, "well, do you WANT to talk to missionaries?"  and after a brief hessitation, he said, "Yeah, I'll give anything a try! Come in!" And we proceeded to have one of the most boss restoration lessons ever!  He's super excited to read the Book of Mormon, and really liked what we taught.  The Zone Leaders will be teaching him, because he's YSA age, but I'll let you know if anything awesome comes of it.


We also taught the coolest plan of salvation lesson ever to Saul, and as usual, Saul ate it up!  We made a bunch of really neat visuals so that he'd understand it better, and at the end, he flat out testified to US that everything we taught was true.  The spirit poked me in the back, so I then showed him (by taking away things like the kingdoms of glory and the premortal life) how other religions see the plan, and he was amazed, and because of that he knows Joseph was a prophet!  Elder Law proceeded to set him with a baptism date of October 19, so hopefully that'll go through!  He STILL didn't make it to church this week, we've been trying very hard to figure out that problem, but he's committed to do this and has immense desire.  Hopefully he acts!


Our other investigators are either doing okay or running into walls.  We got the Zarcos family back from the sisters due to the area change, and I'm super happy about that!  They're doing great as usual.


Elder Lewis is tearing it up in the new area he's in.  They have seven people with a baptismal date!  I'm super happy that he and Elder Hernandez are seeing such blessings there!  it's super good to see!.


Another great thing this week is that I finally found all the addresses to the Recent Converts in Taft!!! I've been lamenting the fact that I never wrote them down anywhere since I left, and I JUST REALIZED I'd wrote them somewhere in my planners so I could find their house!!!  (Elder Buckmiller was right, AGAIN!)  good thing I didn't toss those!  I'm glad too, because it's getting close to Rosario, Guillermo, and Ernestina's year mark, and they need to get sealed!


All in all, everything's going well as usual.  We're seeing crazy miracles every day, and Elder Law is continuing to be a total boss, so life is good!  I love you all, and hope everything goes according to plan this week! 



Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, September 16, 2013

Just another week in Taft! I mean, Oxnard!

This week has been CRAZY!!! I can't even begin to tell you how weird it's been. I don't think the work I've done in my mission has ever been this efficient. By that I mean we spent a lot of time doing organizational, preparation stuff, and we had very little time to work. Regardless of that, we have been seeing miracle after miracle, and it seems like every person we talk to wants to be baptized. We have so many golden people coming out of the woodwork; I almost feel like I'm back in Taft again!

My companion is Elder Law; and he's basically Superman. He looks like him, talks like him, wears sweet "Clark Kent" style glasses, and has missionary super powers. He's from Washington, but he didn't go to Utah to the MTC, he went to Benito-Juarez Mexico! He has got a SUPER good level of Spanish; and he's hyper willing to just jump in and work. I don't feel like I'm with a new missionary, his attitude, abilities, and understanding is more like a six month out missionary! It's fantastic and we're being super blessed for it.

Cool things happened at transfers; Elder Buckmiller is training in his last transfer!!!! I'm so happy for him, but I can't believe he's got one more! Elder Nalder is one of our Zone Leaders here; he's such a boss! And Elder Jenkins is a Zone Leader now!!! It shocks me sometimes how much he's grown. I'm so proud of him!

We had some adventures trying to aquire a bike for him, as well as the necessary equipment like bike-locks and such. It took us till Thursday to really be able to work, because we spent most of Wednesday with the other missionaries in the ward, re-dividing the areas. I'm still the district leader, so I got to fascilitate, and it was really cool. I really enjoy doing that, it's a super spiritual experiance. (By the way, the Missiona Council is Zone Leaders and up; not us.)

After that got taken care of, we got busy! We've finally confirmed that Salt Lake is looking for Rogelia's records, so we SHOULD finally have an answer soon. We also taught Saul again, and he's even cooler than before! Elder Law asked him if he liked what he's been learning, and he said he LOVES it! He talked about how it relaxes him from all the stress that's going on, how when he starts getting upset he just reads the Book of Mormon and it calms him down, and even when he was at work, he remembers the scenes he saw from "Finding Faith in Christ" and it helped him with his temper. We taught him the story of the brother of Jared and he was getting way into it! He didn't make it to church; he was kept late at work, but he really wants to come. We've also started teaching Gloria, a former who called us back! (That NEVER happens!) After we talked for a while, we invited her to be baptized and her reaction I found to be very profound: she instantly said, "Yes." and then, "Does that mean I have to change, like, give up coffee and stuff?" I loved how she committed first, THEN asked what the price would be! So, between all these people; it depends on their choices and Heavenly Father's will, but we could easily see 3-4 baptisms this next transfer. Crazy! We also have 2 other people that we still haven't seen who've already said they want to be baptized.

At any rate, this is one huge epistle, but a lot has gone down. I love you all, and I'm super proud of everyone.

(As a side note; I've picked up a CD player out here; it turns out mp3's are against THIS missions policy, so I haven't used mine. So, a cd would be best! If it can't be found, that's perfectly fine, buy something cool for Danielle!)


Elder Matthew David Clough

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Transfers are CRAZY AGAIN!!! Elder Lewis and I are going...

To stay!!!  Kinda...  It's pretty complicated.


Elder Lewis is actually going to serve in the Oxnard 6th ward area 3, and I'll be staying here in area 2!  He'll be getting Elder Hernandez, whom Elder Nalder follow up trained!  And guess what; I'm training AGAIN!!!  I can't believe I'm getting another new missionary!  What's cool is that we'll be in the same ward, so we'll see each other all the time.  And, we've still got the sisters in our ward, so we're going to have six missionaries here.  I don't know how the ward will deal with us all, but I guess it'll work out.


Speaking of Elder Nalder; he's actually coming here to be our Zone Leader!  I can't believe it, but I'm super excited for him.  It's going to be awesome to have him as the leader over here.  He'll be with Elder Bernards again.


This week was absolutely awesome.  The work is going great as usual, all the investigators are doing pretty well.  The highlight of the week was a lesson we had with Saul. (As usual!)  We came by and watched Finding Faith in Christ; and the spirit was really strong. It's a lot better in Spanish than in English in the first place.  Then, at the end of the movie, everyone was silent, until Saul said, "These are things I'd never before seen or heard."  He was literally awestruck by the movie!  He mentioned that he'd seen pictures of Christ on the Cross, but had never really understood what had happened to Him, and he was floored by how during His life Christ never judged or fought back, but just healed, taught and blessed.


Then, at church we didn't have anyone come, unfortunately, but the sister missionaries had 12 investigators there!!!  It was insane!  I can't believe so many people showed up!  They also had the baptism for Hector Macias and his confirmation, and it was one of the most spiritual baptisms I'd ever seen.  He'd been trying forever to get permission from his father, and he bore a solid, powerful and emotional testimony.  It was a great end to a great transfer. 


Thanks so much for everything you all do to support me; thanks for getting me Tom's address; I love that man!  I bet he's tearing it up out there in Indiana!  I'll be sure to write him soon.  I love you all, and I'll let you know all about what's going on with my new companion soon!



Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, September 2, 2013

Watch out for them Muslim Oranges!!!

This week's been a busy one. We had a lot of training and meetings and stuff to get done, so in some ways our work suffered. But at least we got more than the Zone Leaders did when they first showed up here. They spent something like 2 weeks trying to organize the zone. Transfers have been crazy for the past little while; I'm beginning to wonder if it's ever going to calm down. We'll find out next week; it's finally week six and I can't believe it. Six weeks aren't supposed to disappear this fast!

Last P-Day we got to do something cool; we went out to the Port Hueneme Pier! It's awesome because the pier itself doesn't touch the sand, so we are cleared to go out on it. It was super windy and it felt really good to relax and look out at the ocean. It was a really un-populated but beautiful beach. (reference for future vacation plans) It really helped to un-wind.

This last week we had a Spanish Language Training Meeting, which was VERY needed! It was conducted like a District Meeting with various people giving talks, presentations, and practices. All in all, it helped us all a lot to understand the gift of tongues better. Our Zone Leaders had come up with the idea, and President Castro liked it a lot, so I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a more frequent training.

We had Rogelia come to church yesterday, but we couldn't get a hold of Jose all week and Raquel has started working sundays. (Nooooo!) So, we're still working on it. We still have no news on whether Rogelia is a member or not, so I don't think she'll be baptized this transfer. But oh well! We tried our best. We've given some thought to how we can overcome the problem of not finding anyone, and hopefully we'll have better success next week.

One cool thing that happened this week was that Elder Lewis carried on his first solo street contact! I was on the phone with the Zone Leaders about something, when a man walked up to him and started talking to him! He did a super job, and the man left with a restoration pamphlet and our number. Way to go Elder Lewis!

The "muslim oranges" joke comes from a few days ago; I was explaining to Elder Lewis that the spanish word "Ojala" has muslim ORIGINS; meaning "Alah willing." Instead, of Origins though, I reffered to the fruit; so I told a bunch of missionaries that "Ojala" has muslim Oranges! We thought it was hilarious.

I love you all, keep up the good work and keep being busy. Let me know when Dad gets his birthday present.


Elder Matthew David Clough