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, October 29, 2013

Welcome to the Five Cities!

That's our new area!  Five whole massive cities all stuck together; Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, Oceano, Halcyon and Grover Beach.  There's literally no gap between, they just all mesh together.  Our area itself is huge too!  We cover all three wards that meet here, and our eastern boundary actually touches my old area; Taft!!!  WOW!  It's crazy being so close but... not...  How I miss that place!

My new companion is Elder Juan Bautista.  That's right; I'm with John the Baptist!  It's crazy!  He's about that awesome too.  He's from Salt Lake City Utah, but he was born in Tapachula, Chiapas!  He's got perfect Spanish AND English, and he's ridiculously good at missionary work.  He just walked up and handled business with the very first person we saw outside our apartment! Another cool fact about him is that his older sister AND younger brother are all serving missions right now.  It's gonna be a sweet transfer.

Our assignment here is a bit crazy; I noticed you asked if we were still spanish speaking, and the answer is yes.  We are on a secret mission to start a Spanish Unit!!!  (It's not actually secret)  Although, when President Castro pulled me aside to "debrief" me at transfers on what we're actually doing here, it felt like it!  There's a lot of balancing to do between the three wards and the stake, so it's kinda like walking on eggshells.  At this stage, we have only one native spanish speaker in the ward (who speaks perfect English and is married to a guy who doesn't speak spanish at all)  and NO TRANSLATION EQUIPMENT!  So that's our first objective: 1: find equipment, 2: find members, and above all, find investigators!  We had two but one's out of town for the next 3 weeks, and the other dropped us on the door.  So we'll be doing a LOT of tracting. It's also been tough because I had to wait 'till this morning for my wallet to catch up to me. XP  oops!  So we've been on foot for a while, but we should get rolling just nice now!

Transfer meeting was the most amazing meeting ever.  Elder Buckmiller finished his mission and returned in honor!!!  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!  I love that Elder so much; he's a HUGE part of the change I've made this past year.  It was a very emotional parting; but I can't wait to see him later (And married too; she waited!!!)  Elder Mortimer and Elder Lewis are training!  Elder Jenkins is my Zone Leader!!!!! WOOHOO!  And one of the best parts was that the morrow family from Taft came to see Elder Buckmiller off, so I got to see Samantha, who's heading off to BYU Idaho in a bit, Travis, who's turned in his papers and is expecting a mission call, Cami who's looking just great with JACKSON!!!  SHE HAD HER BABY AND HE'S SOO DARN CUTE!!!!! I was so happy to see them all, it was a huge moral boost! Taft's also got SIX MISSIONARIES in it!  I was like; NANI!!?!?!!?!!? (Ask Brittney if you don't know what I just said) (Danielle says this means "What?" in Japanese.)

We've got ten missionaries here in the five cities; and they're all awesome.  Sorry I didn't e-mail yesterday, We couldn't work it out.  I love you all, and hope everything is going awesome.  keep up the good work; pray and seek missionary oportunities!  I'm seeing the importance of that now!!!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, October 21, 2013

Transfers are in and...!

I'm leaving again!  I'm taking off for Arroyo Grande!  I can't believe I'm leaving Oxnard already.  It's been a total blast out here with this ward and Elder Law!  He's going to be staying here (Although he's opening a new area) and being follow up trained by Elder Fairbourne!  (Elder Jenkins trained him!)  Also, Elder Jenkins is going to be my Zone Leader out there!  WAHAHA!!!  This is gonna be too much fun!  I'm also going to be white-wash training district leader again!  Hooray for stress!


Actually, I'm hyper excited for this.  I'm going to be taking over the area that Elder Buckmiller just opened; so it's gonna be great.  Also; Elder Buckmiller has finished his mission!  I get to see him go home tomorrow! WHOO!!!  It's been incredible to see his growth and the power he radiates now!  Elder Johnson will also be starting his last transfer, and after that, I'm gonna be the oldest out of all the companions I've had!  That's super wierd to think about; I'm still not quite used to the idea; even though in my past four transfers I've been the oldest in my district.  Also; Elder Lewis is training already; and he'll be staying here in Oxnard!  One of the sisters in our district has been waiting on a Visa to go to Argentina, and she just got it; she leaves wednesday.  All in all, CRAZY exciting stuff is going down as usual! 


This area has been incredibly fun to work in.  I have complete confidence that Elder Law will take care of everyone here; including getting Saul, Coralia, Gloria, and Raquel ready to accept the covenant of baptism.  I'll be waiting for the pictures!


We also had stake conference; and it was intense!  The whole adult session was about hastening the work, and of course President and Sister Castro came and owned it.  It really put a huge drive on the members to work with us and help the massive amounts of missionaries we're receiving get stuff done.  The adult session had super bad audio; they wound up having to cut it off and use a cell phone feed instead.  Without the picture, and with the weird recording, it felt like we were watching conference in the 20's!  It was super good though, and had a lot of stuff I really needed to hear.


We also were able to go to the Temple in L.A. this week; and it was AMAZING.  The journey was great; we saw miles of beach and cool places like Malibu and Sher's house and the location where Iron Man stopped for strawberries in Iron Man 2.  It was a great drive!  We got to go with Alex Martinez and Anna Reyes; two of the most BOSS recent converts ever; and the temple proper was incredible.  The spirit was insanely strong and the session is rediculously amazing!  Obviously I can't say much, but if you haven't been to the temple in a while, GO!!!  Also; while I was there, we got in a session with four of my friends from Bakersfield!  Elder Flores, Elder Parra, Elder Fernandez, and Elder Scott were ALL THERE!  They're finishing up, and it was so great to go through there with them.  I love the mission!


I gotta run, but ya'll know I love you and pray all the time for you.  Keep that apostasy at bay, and be awesome!  Weird thing is; it's not actually that hard!



Elder Matthew David Clough

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oct 14, 2013

Wow!  This week has BLASTED past!  I'm still not sure where all the time we supposedly have goes, but it gets there fast.  We worked really hard this last week, and while we weren't able to meet with a lot of our progressing investigators, we did get a lot done. 
The best part about this week was president's interviews.  This is only the third one I've had, but they all seem to be powerful enough to help me know how to get through the next couple months.  My interview with President Castro was incredibly helpful.  I have no idea how he crams so much inspired comments into about 7-10 minutes.  I was kinda thrown off though, because most of the discussion was centered on what I should do with my life.  When I answered that I hadn't yet gotten to college, he said, "Don't settle! You have the potential to have an influence much farther than your circle of friends!  Whatever it is you do, it needs to be somewhere you can do that, like, using your art, or teaching or something."  I thought it was hilarious because the two options I feel most strongly for are the two examples he gave! (Funny how it answered and didn't answer anything at the same time!) 
The work has been interesting again; the car definitely makes certain things easier and others not.  The bike is harder to get places, but the car restricts your ability to talk to people on the streets.  So hopefully we can continue to find ways to use it wisely. 
We were able to attend the baptism of Juana, and Elder Lewis Baptized her!  It was a very spiritual meeting, and she is being way solid and strong.  Unfortunately we weren't able to go to the temple, but we're planning on Thursday of this week.  Fingers crossed!  Also, Saul, Rosa and Anthony's baptisms will all have to be postponed because of Stake Conference.  Saul is doing awesome; him and Claudia have been talking to the Bishop a lot about eternal marriage, and he showed up at church in brand new shiny clothes and shoes!  He's lightened up so much since we started teaching him!
I love you all, keep up being awesome and helping people out!  Share the gospel; Utah's not totally converted yet!  Love ya!
Elder Matthew David Clough 

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference like a BOSS!!!

So this conference was ridiculously awesome.  Just saying!  Elder Law and I could barely write fast enough to keep up with all the revelation that was pouring through the window!  It was hilarious too because, as usual, our Zone Leaders made a point to remind us to not sit with other missionaries.  Well, we were packed into a tiny room and the population was about 98% missionary!  Everyone was passing out snacks and comments, and I handed out several sticks of fruit leather.  We had the best time, and I'm pretty sure if the Prophet who has BEEN IN the last 50 years worth of conferences says he's writing in his journal about how this was the most inspiring conference ever, he's right.  It was absolutely awesome!  

The best miracle ever this week happened when we tried to get Saul to come to Priesthood session.  We tried calling him and everything, but he didn't answer.  So, we dejectedly went into the English session.  As we sat there, I forgot worrying about it, because it was amazing!  The Church leaders aren't being vague or soft anymore; they mean business!  Afterwards, Elder Lewis comes running up to us and says; I saw Saul!  He came!  So we went running to where they showed the spanish, and there he was, grinning like a champ, talking with all these different ward members and being awesome!  He absolutely loved it!  He'd tried calling us during the conference, but our phone was off.  So, he wondered what to do, and finally went in by himself and found the spanish bunch!  So then we sat down and taught a ridiculously good Chastity lesson to him with the Bishop (Best Idea ever!)  They got along great, and Saul is committed to live it.  He's doing great on the word of Wisdom, and all is ready for the 19th-ish of October!  We're super excited!

This week has been MAD!!!  We weren't able to get out and work a lot for a ton of reasons, and when we would finally have time to get out, our bikes BOTH got massive flats.  My tire keeps getting flats for no reason; there's no holes at all! (Weird) and Elder Law's tire died Friday; it looked like he'd run over a porcupine!  Then, Sunday Elder Law's legs started hurting like crazy, so we had to come in and ice them.  We were not looking very good, until this morning.

We Got a CAR!!! We're back on wheels!  So that'll be interesting.  We're gonna go crazy on this area the next two weeks.

I barely noticed my birthday, although it's weird being 22!  (I'm not sure I'm happy about it!)  I was so busy with conference I almost missed it.  I loved the package though!  That Eclipse CD is the best Spiritual Pick-me-up ever!  I hope ya'll have a way to listen to those songs too, they're powerful.  Also, Mom, can you take out 2 dollars tithing for the 20 Gma Fuller sent me?  Thanks a ton!

I love you all, and I'm very grateful for all you do!  I know the things that were said yesterday are true, and they are real!  The prophecy that we will not always escape the persecutions our ancestors faced is frightening, but the promise that if we are solid in Christ we cannot fall is stronger.  Be strong!  Keep studying lots and being Bosses!  Love Ya!


E. Matthew David Clough

Beware... los ninos de la tierra!!!

This week has been a madhouse as usual!!!  It's been rediculous.  We had exchanges twice this week and when that happens, miracles come pouring through the windows!  It's been awesome!


So the first exchange was with the zone leaders, and I got to go with Elder Nalder!!!  It was AWESOME!!!  We had so much fun re-living those Simi Valley days, and he has grown a rediculous amount.  He was laughing and teaching and declaring and pretty much just loving the work to pieces.  It was a huge blessing to be able to serve with him. 


Then, I went to Elder Lewis' new area with him! So both exchanges were with previous companions.  It was too much fun!  They've been having a tough time in their area; people aren't incredibly friendly there, but he observed that as we went out and were just super friendly towards them, they opened up a ton towards us.  We dropped by a less active, whose been quite rebelious and even told them "I don't want to change"  and avoids gospel topics like mad.  As soon as I met him though, we connected super well; and after I talked with him about how he got involved in the church and what he wants in life, he finally started saying "I really need to change, I really want to!"  It was absolutely amazing!  It was a huge testament to me that expectations drive experiances; if we go in looking for a particular result, that's what we'll get.


Our own area back here has been doing marvelously well.  Coralia got into a huge discussion with a minister from another religion, and when he started ranting about how the Book of Mormon is made up and this and that, she defended it like a boss, and wound up leaving him stumped with "Well, if you say that the Bible is final; where in the Bible does it tell you to name your church '_______'?"  He had no answer!  We had an awesome lesson with her, and she's recognizing that the only real piece she's missing in her conversion process is a testimony of the Book of Mormon.


Saul came to church Sunday and LOVED it!!!!!  It was amazing!  We were super scared when he didn't show up at first, and when he walked in, he was all smiles!  The testimonies were really good, which is super important when you have an investigator there, and so were the class and priesthood meeting.  The ward instantly fellowshipped him on a boss level; even telling him stuff like "When you're baptized 'this and this and this.'" and "make sure you keep coming back!"  At first he was kinda shy and surprised, but towards the end he was smiling like crazy with his eyes all lit up and talking and laughing with everybody.  He loved the pictures we had up, especially the Brother of Jared.  We also had a awesome lesson with him on the Word of Wisdom.  He instantly agreed and gave examples back to us of why even coffee is bad, and is super committed to live it.  He's the best!!!


A cool miracle happened Saturday; I got a punctured tire around 2:00 in the afternoon, and we had a BUNCHES of appointments, so we resolved to just ride till it went flat.  I wound up forgetting about it, until we got done with our lesson with Saul at 7:00 and it had suddenly deflated!  But ALL DAY LONG it had stayed 100%!  When I went to fix it that night, I had about 4 big holes in the tire. 


I love you all, and yes; I'll be going to the temple on the 12th. Hooray!!  Make sure ya'll go often as well!  I have no Idea whether

Elder Law has any relations to ex-Elder Law, but we thought that was pretty cool!  Sorry I used the subway card so much; we'd run into some dire straights but we're good now! 

(By the way, ninos de la Tierra are VERY weird looking bugs.  VERY weird, and the mexicans say they bite and they'll kill you and they cry like babys.  VERY VERY weird.)

Keep being awesome, I love everybody!



Elder Matthew David Clough