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, March 3, 2014

In the footsteps of the amazing Elder Vaca Guzman...

Ventura is AWESOME!!!  It definitely deserves to carry the name of our mission!  This past week has been one of the busiest of my mission.  And yeah, it turns out that Elder Vaca Guzman served here a long time ago; but EVERYONE remembers him!  He actually came by to visit a couple months ago, but I still haven't been able to actually hear back from him yet.  I'm hoping I can get his address from one of the members here.
This week has been so incredibly busy because of two great reasons.  First off we had to get the Zone Goals rolling and all the other things necessary to get off to a good start here. But the good news is that this area is absolutely BUSTLING with work to do.  We have 20 or so investigators, and six of them are progressing!  I haven't been in an area like that since Taft!  So, all in all, it's going to be a SUPER busy transfer!
As far as individuals go, I haven't even met all our investigators, and I don't have time to tell you about all of them, but I'll catch some of the highlights.  We taught a young new mother named Mariella this week.  She investigated the church a little while back, but wasn't really ready to let go of the world yet.  But now that she and her husband Bryan (who is a member) have a little one, she's feeling a lot of drive to set a strong example and raise her child in the Gospel.  She accepted a baptismal date for March 29, and she came to church, where they blessed her son and named him Issac.  Hooray!!!
We also taught an intense lesson to a man named Hermano Torres.  He's also in a member family though he hasn't done much to accept the gospel himself.  He's come a long way though!  He used to be Anti, but after being around the church for so long, he is now thinking that the church is true, but he thinks that all of them are.  We talked about how we have to follow truth until we get to the straight and NARROW path, and then when we testified about the Book of Mormon, he brought up what seemed like a totally off topic concern. He talked about how he struggles to forgive someone he sees often, and though this person truly changed, and he has prayed and prayed for the ability to let it go, he just can't and is filled with anger when he sees her.  We read Nephi's psalm in 2 Nephi chapter 4, and it was PERFECT for his situation.  He really connected with it and the spirit was very strong.  We invited him to read the Book of Mormon whenever he feels this anger and promised him it would go away if he did, and that it'd serve for a witness to him that this church is the Lord's church.  So far he hasn't done that, but we're keeping up hope for him!
We've seen many miracles here and we're expecting to see many more.  I love working in Ventura; it's kinda crazy to go to the Ventura Chapel every time.  Elder Lee is awesome; a lot of his companions have been my old companions.  He was trained by Elder Nalder, and follow up trained Elder Law!  He's a quiet but strong character.  He doesn't say much, but he'll be the first to walk up to someone and talk to them about the gospel.  It's neat to see how he's overcome his shyness to do that.  He's been pretty antsy to work too; he's not used to taking a lot of time to do administrative work, but that's a super cool strength!  To me it shows that he has a great love for the Lord and a desire to serve His children. 
I'll be praying for you all and doing my best out here.  I love you all to pieces, and wish you the best of luck with everything.  Good luck with the housing stuff and all the other trials.  I'll be praying for Mom and Brittney especially, too.  Be Awesome, and have a great week!
Elder Matthew David Clough