CRAZY transfer doctrines are in as usual! I'm sad but excited to say that I'll be leaving Santa Maria and Elder Archibald for Ventura itself! I'll be serving in the San BuenaVentura ward, and the craziest part of it all is that we'll be starting up a brand new Zone! They've divided Zones 4 and 5 (Ventura and Camarillo) to form Zones 4s and 5s, Ventura Spanish and Camarillo Spanish. I'll be serving with Elder Lee, a new zone leader, and I'm excited because he follow up trained Elder Law!!! Elder Law is going to serve in Simi Valley with Elder Nalder, also as a zone leader. I can't believe it! He's only in his fifth transfer! He'll do super well though.
This last week was interesting. We didn't get very far with our investigators, sadly enough, but we did hunt down a lot of key less active members! It turns out that there's a whole circle of 4-5 friends who joined the church together last year, and most are less active now. But one of them, Ian, we were super close to finding. We'd chased clues on his location ALL OVER Santa Maria, but since he was homeless at the time we had little luck. We did our best though, and finally found out where he worked through several miracles. But just before we went to stake out his job, he called up Jakob on his own and showed up at Family Home Evening!! It was true evidence that while the Lord expects us to work super hard and do our part, the work or 'Increase' really is from God. We gave Ian a journal that had been left for him by Elder Buckmiller, and he was super grateful for it! He's been writing in it a lot. He and several other less actives came to church this last week, and Ian even got up and bore his testimony. He's coming back strong.
I've grown a lot this week in my willingness to be bold. Several times this week I found myself in situations where I had to just tell people how things really are without sugarcoating it. It felt so good to feel the Spirit that much stronger, because the plainer we teach the plainer the Spirit can come through. One of the biggest moments was when we were in a meeting with a group of missionaries, and one of them who's notorious for being a little bit of a rebel (he's not that bad, it's just a reputation) started talking about how missionaries are prone to ignore instruction that comes from a "Leader." I told everyone rather bluntly that it's my intent to stamp out all such "politics" in missionary work. Quite honestly, there's not much that gets me worked up like aspiring missionaries, unrighteous dominion, mocking or scoffing at leaders, and distrust in the mission, because none of that has a place here. Of all places such things should not be found in Christ's representatives.
I got the new glasses this week too, and they've been driving me a bit crazy. It's not that the prescription is wrong; honestly I see so much better than I could before: I can see so clear it makes me feel almost nauseous! :P I'm not sure why it's bugging me but I think it's because my prescription has been changed for so long that my eyes got lazy. They've actually improved: Instead of being -1.75 in both eyes, my right is -1.00 and my left is -.75. I also have an Astigmatism now though, but I have no clue what that means. :/ I think I got it all done for a decent deal though: they're pretty good glasses and including the exam the price was just under $200. Some of the frames in that store cost that much!
Definitely wish Grandma Griffith a happy birthday for me! I hope she has a safe and enjoyable trip. I'll write a quick note to Brittney too. Love everyone; keep up the good works! Work most on our hearts and keep loving everyone!
Elder Matthew David Clough