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, November 26, 2013

This week has been pretty fantastic!

We had zone conferences which were amazing, and I just realized that since we e-mailed you guys on Thursday last week you already knew that.   But either way, they were still awesome!

What's gone down since then? hmm... We dropped by a woman named Maria out in Nipomo, and while we were there, we met Efrain (Ephraim), her brother.   It was a very different lesson, because Maria is almost completely blind, and Efrain just got out of a mental hospital, but Efrain invited us in on the spot and really seems to want to be better.   He talked a lot about how he has been looking for a way to overcome his vices.   Even though the room was almost completely dark, I really felt the spirit as we taught the restoration and testified of the healing powers of Christ.   Unfortunately they weren't there when we brought a ride for them to come to church, so we were SUPER close to having somebody at church this week, but we're not there yet.

I also went on Exchanges with Elder Kingrey this week. Aside from having a fascinating name, he's also a truly fascinating Elder.  He's from Alaska and Alabama (among others) and he loves anything that makes him different. It was neat to be on exchanges with him, though, because his one weakness is that he's got a heavy speech disorder.  It's really difficult for him to get words out.  But the cool thing is that he doesn't let it intimidate him, he is SUPER bold and willing to talk to anybody.  He even turns this weakness into a true strength by recognizing that people are hesitant to argue with or interrupt him!  He says the things and speaks up when the people normally wouldn't let him.   It was awesome to see!

Then, on P-day we finally got out to play sports with the rest of the district, and it was great fun, although I'm incredibly sore! It's amazing how sitting in a car for a year can DESTROY your ability to run and jump around. OUCH! My Ego took a major blow after that!

We're excited for week six, I can't believe it's aready here!!! We're putting the pedal to the medal this week, and we're intent on setting this area up well for next transfer. I REALLY hope I get another round with Elder Bautista; he's way too much fun to be around!

I love you all, and hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Keep up the good work and more than anything keep those smiles up!


Elder Matthew David Clough

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In other news; I survived my first attack from an Evangelical guy!

This last week and a half have been CRAZY. (Sorry we didn't get to e-mail on time; we had an exchange with the traveling trainers on that day, and then Zone Conference on Wednesday. But better late than never!)
This last week was interesting in the work. We haven't been able to get a hold of any of our investigators. We also went on a couple exchanges. I learned a lot on one where I went with an Elder named Elder Fridal. Unfortunately, the lessons I learned all came from me messing up all over the place. I'd ended on a really rough note, and I felt SUPER down. It was amazing to see how the Lord helped me through it though, I saw many small miracles attempting to lift my vision and help me keep going. The biggest one was the traveling training exchange; it came at a very difficult moment, and I felt really not up to it. We did it anyway though, and I learned so much. Elder Whited came with me out to Nipomo and he really helped me get the right perspective on things. We saw crazy miracles too. We knocked on one door and ran into a guy named Chris. He was super cool, about 19 years old, and the spirit was very strong as we got talking about his life, and as we talked and testified of various stuff, he kept saying "that's crazy! i was just thinking about that!!!" It reminded me of when King Lamoni was convinced Ammon could read his thoughts (People just don't work it that way anymore!) Finally, I asked him how religion has influenced him in his life and he just started crying!!! I was stunned; I've never seen anyone cry on the doorstep like that! I'm really excited to go back and see him next week!
Zone Conference was also incredibly powerful! I was amazed as I watched President Castro get up and start nailing every single one of the concerns of our district members, including my own! It really helped me renew my resolve and desire to work hard.
I'm sorry for using so much money off my card!!! I ran out of funds due to having to vacuum out the car a bunch and other random, weird expenses like that. X_X I should be good 'till the end of the month; and then we'll be getting our next payment. But I want you to know I'm super grateful for the sacrifices you make to support me.
Keep being awesome and doing your best for the Lord! Be strong with your faith and hang on to all we're asked to accomplish; life is the best!!!
(Also; Elder Bautista said to have Dad call his dad; Brother Bautista's from Tuxtla-Guiterrez, and he said Brother Bautista would love to talk to him about the mission in Mexico.
Love you all; keep being awesome!
Elder Matthew David Clough

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I've REALLY perfected that Jumbalaya dish: be excited for it!!!

Sorry we're late getting back to ya!  The Libraries were closed on Tuesday for the holiday so we weren't able to write.  We're getting it in now though!
Things have been pretty crazy this last week.  We had a couple of exchanges that blew my mind, and now we're working harder than ever!  For the first time in a long while, we've been meeting or exceeding the standard of excellence on declaring.  I went out to Nipomo with Elder Eggleston, which was awesome!  He was with me in Simi Valley, and it's been great having him in the district again.  He's grown BUNCHES; that Elder isn't scared of anything!!!  His strategy for dealing with people that are angry is to keep declaring restored truth to them until the Spirit calms them down. (SUPER good idea!!!) That exchange was one of my funnest days out here; we talked to almost literally everybody we saw to offer them the Gospel.  The only exception was when we were on a street with about 13 people walking on it; so we couldn't catch them all.  It was a real testament to me that if you work like mad, you'll be happy.  Elder Bautista was here with Elder Dollar who is also on his first transfer.They were a bit nervous, but they really rocked it;  and Elder Bautista is on fire now.  I'm afraid I'm the one holding him back from being truly effective!  We're stepping up our game this next coming week though, and we'll see miracles like crazy.  Elder Bautista has been really helping me loosen up and relax about myself and my progress, which is great.
We've not had any luck getting people to church so far, but we've got a man named Alonzo who REALLY wants to come.  He's an older Mexican guy, who lives in an old unfinished basement like I used to (I told him it reminded me of home!) ;)  He's way receptive, although teaching him will be rough, because he can't read.
As far as how we're doing; we're doing great out here!  Thanks for offering to help some missionaries out here, but everyone I know of is pretty well supported.  (Elder Kidd is the one you remember; and he's returned already.)  I actually am going to need another journal soon; the one I'm writing in only has enough to MAYBE finish off this year.  I can't believe I've almost finished it already!!  It's super weird. 
Tell Sara Judkins and her new husband congradulations for me!  That's super exciting for them!  I hope everything is going well at home and that Dad holds out against all this traveling!  I love you all, and I'll write you next Tuesday!  Love ya!
Elder Matthew David Clough

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Don't EVER get fleas in your car. it's a SUPER bad idea!

(we got rid of them though.)
This week has been a madhouse!!!  We've been incredibly busy; and we had far more success than last.  It's neat, because we could feel Heavenly Father opening up the area and leading us to where we should be.  We found several cool people, and hopefully we will have this unit going strong.  Our goal this transfer is that by the end we want to have four progressing investigators, who come to church, and three of which to have a baptismal date.  Lets see it happen!
We only have one investigator right now, and he's brand new.  His name is Salvador; we went over to check up on him last night and he welcomed us into his house.  We got to know him a little bit, and when we started teaching the restoration, I noticed that he'd opened the pamphlet to the page that shows Joseph Smith's first vision, and was staring at it as we talked, and when I asked him what caught his interest, he started telling us what little he knew about Joseph, and bore testimony to US that Joseph Smith was led by a higher power, and that he believed it all to be true!  WHOA!!!  It absolutely blew my mind!  He accepted a Book of Mormon very gratefully and promised to read it, and also accepted the invitation to be baptized, once he knows it to be true.  It was me and Elder Bautista's first REAL lesson here and it was incredible.  So hopefully Salvador acts on the witness he's apparently already received!
We've also gotten to know our bishopric a bit more, and they are super excited to form the Spanish branch; they've even made goals to learn Spanish so as to help us!  There's a few ward members who are Spanish speakers, and that's starting to be a huge help.  As a matter of fact, a miracle happened sunday when we took the O'Donnels over to Salvador's house for our appointment.  He wasn't there (which is why we dropped by monday)  so I asked them who we should go see and they said "Oh!  Let's go see the Hiriarte family!"  It turns out they lived just down the road from where we were at, and when we showed up, they were both home!  That's a big deal because the husband and wife BOTH own their own businesses and are SUPER busy (which is why they never get to church)  They were super awesome, and it was very convenient because the bishop had asked us to go visit them, and Hno. O'Donnel is their new home teacher! 
It sounds like Christmas is going to be exciting!  It's going to be a great opportunity to serve someone outside the family during the holiday.  The only suggestions I can think of is to be very real about everything;  the more sincere the focus on Christ, the stronger the Spirit will touch his heart.  As he asks questions; answer them.  Maybe you could read from the Book of Mormon AND Bible on Christmas Eve?  Keep things simple!  That's how we stay focused on the Celestial kingdom.  
Love you all, and be awesome!  I gotta roll, but keep on being bosses.
E. Matthew David Clough