This past week has been a super good one! We were able to get out and work a ton, and we saw a TON of miracles! We also went down to Oxnard for the Mission Leader Council meeting, and it was awesome. Unlike last month, this one was super short and simple, because we're going to go down for another one next week! It's crazy...
The message President Castro brought up to us was very interesting. He told us some very weird news: The mission is having a problem due to the influx of new missionaries. During the last transfer meeting, the enthusiasm of the missionaries is apparently a bit lower, and the missionaries are disconnected from the culture of the Great California Ventura Mission! The reason for it is rather simple: it seems like all the older solid missionaries have all gone home without me noticing it! President told us that between now and July, only five missionaries will be ending their missions. You can count on two hands the missionaries that are older than a year and a half!!! Meanwhile, we have around 250-300 missionaries here, and in the coming transfer we'll be getting huge numbers of missionaries again! It's definitely weird, but it makes sense; for me the culture and enthusiasm was something that took time to build up in me, it didn't just show up at once. But now, who leads them into it all? So we were able to have some fantastic discussions with the districts about how to maintain/gain enthusiasm. Most of it just comes down to doing the basics and being obedient. It was super good!
We also had a lot of opportunities to go out and work this week which was exceedingly nice! We finally hunted down a man named Jaime, whom we've been looking for since I got here, had a nice little doorstep lesson, and invited him to church. But the best part is, HE ACTUALLY CAME!!! That makes 5 out of however many hundreds of people I've invited to come. We also got a referral for a solid family; the father's name is Daniel, the son is Alex, and I haven't met the mother yet. The son's already got a confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true, and the mom has been reading. Daniel is super cool; the whole time we were teaching him the Restoration, he kept saying "Asi-mero! " and "Orale!" which is basically "Yeah!" and "Speak it!" He really connected with the concept of Priesthood authority, and the best part was that he actually understood the need for Eternal Sealing.
So things are going awesome out here. The work is good, my friends are all doing great, and I'll be doing my best. I really know more than ever that this church is true. I know this gospel blesses people and their families, and that it makes me happier than anything. I love you all, and tell Michael well done for me! I also met a man who served in Kenya with Jackson Tuckett. Keep up the good works!
E. Matthew D. Clough