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, April 28, 2014

Fulfilling prophecy; here in the Great California Ventura Mission!

This week has been ridiculous.  I've never worked so hard or effectively in my whole mission.  The Zone really took the correction from Elder Bowen well, and it's evidenced by the fact that the numbers this week almost doubled from the last.  In just our own area, we had 35 lessons!  That may not be a lot in some missions, but in ours that's unheard-of!  One companionship in our zone actually achieved the challenge he gave us already!  They taught over 40!  They're a huge inspiration to us, and our goal as a zone this next week is to accomplish it as well.  The way we've been doing it is so exciting to do: we're staying out of our cars (the "curse of the mission") as much as possible, and try to turn literally every person we see into a new investigator.  It's made for some interesting experiences, and some miracles as well!  Only time will tell what true blessings come from these efforts, and who is brought to the gospel by them.
We also went to the temple this week, and that was an adventure in it's own right!  We went with two recent converts from the ward, and they had no idea how to get there.  It turned out all right, and just as we arrived, we met a group of missionaries on their way home from Australia.  They were really friendly, but the cool part came when they found out that we're from the California Ventura Mission: it turns out that the Sister missionary there has a sister serving in our mission!  She was super excited to be able to write her a brief note and send it along with some lesson helps she'd used in her mission.  Fortunately, her sister is even serving in Ventura, so we'll be getting that to her today.  The temple was beautiful, of course, and I learned so much in the session!  I'm resolved to attend at least monthly.  On the way back from the Temple, we got lost while our ride was looking for somewhere to eat.  We wound up accidentally traveling through Bel-air, Hollywood, and even Beverly Hills!  It was exciting but we were happy when we were back on our way to the mission.
We also had two amazing exchanges this week: one was a tri-pan exchange, meaning we just got an extra missionary for the day.  It was a unique experience to be teaching in a tri-pan, and all the better because our extra was Elder Jenkins!  He's grown even more since last we served together: he's a true servant of the Lord!  His faith and dedication went a long way towards helping us reach out to everyone and reach our goal.  One special experience that day, happened when we ran into one of our friends; Basilio, on our way to visit Ruben.  It was good to see him, but we thought we didn't have any time so we were just going to set up an appointment and run.  Elder Jenkins tapped me on the shoulder however, and said "Maybe we're not that busy..." So we repented and taught him a short lesson on the Book of Mormon.  At the end, we invited him to pray, and since he didn't know how to read and was a bit nervous, he really resisted.  Elder Jenkins said a short demonstration prayer, and then I walked him through saying his own, the way you would help a small child, and although he only prayed for one thing, his son (who's struggling and in jail)  he was super touched by the spirit and was weeping at the end.  Then he said "I feel better!  so much better!"  It was a humbling reminder that in all this busyness and places to go, we need to worry more about the ONE and not the massive amounts of numbers.
The other exchange was a fantastic one, and I got to go with Elder Bautista!!! It was such a powerful experience and an answer to prayers!  Elder Bautista had learned so much from the mission conference, and is really seeking to apply it.  He's learned so much and is well on his way to reaching the next level of his awesome potential.  They're re-awakening a struggling ward, and are really starting to gain the Bishop's trust and admiration through their reliability and hard work.
Samuel is also doing awesome as usual.  We've taught him a lot recently, and he's getting there step by step.  I love teaching him because he's super sharp and yet super humble and loving at the same time.  We'll have to push his baptism date back a bit, because we're waiting for his sister to come up from Mexico, but he'll be ready very soon!
I'm super proud of everyone and all the stuff that's going on!  Keep having those scripture studies and family home evenings, it's the little things that make all the rest fall into place!  Tell Danielle that swimming is super fun but RUNNING will always be king!  I love you all and pray for you every night.
Elder Matthew David Clough