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 14, 2014

President Castro's pretty much the best fellowshipper in the world.

This week was amazing!  It was just as hectic and busy as I'd expect week one to be, but we got to teach a lot of great people and we saw some awesome miracles.  Working out the Zone Goals was different this time, it seemed a lot harder but then all of a sudden they clicked into place and they're perfect for our needs.  My favorite is that we're going to work on having a more positive, responsible attitude.  Basically, whenever a negative statement is made, like "This area is really hard." or "We can't teach anyone because they won't let us."  one of the missionaries will say a positive response to take responsibility, like "It does seem difficult right now, but if we work hard we'll see blessings."  One of the number one lessons I've learned in my mission is attitude really is everything!
Anyway, this week has been awesome.  Last P-day we hiked up a CRAZY trail, which was basically a game path straight up a mountainside, to the giant wooden San Buenaventura Cross.  We even had to use a rope to go straight up one super sandy spot.  Coming down was the hardest part, but we survived with no injuries.  Blessings!
It was weird not being at transfers meeting for the first time in what seems like forever, but I'm glad we could stay: we've had so many miracles this week!  We didn't get a chance to teach Samuel yet but he did come to church.  He's such an awesome, chill kid.  It was cool, because even though he's only ten, he was really excited to come to church, and got his uncle to take him even though the rest of his family stayed home.  It's amazing to see how humble he is.
We also taught several lessons on keeping the Sabbath day holy to families that can't come to church because of work.  We used the example of Nefi getting the Brass plates and really threw down on how important it is to sacrifice and do the Lord's will.  Felipe, one of our most solid investigators, REALLY loved it, and said: "You know what? This is really hard for me.  Work is what I AM, I work 3 jobs, 30 hours a week EACH.  Nobody works like I do.  But I know I've got to do this.  I know that God loves sacrifice."  It was incredibly humbling to be the ones asking him to step down from his pride a bit.  But they came!  We attended the 9 o' clock English ward with them, and it was perfect.  It was fast and testimony meeting, and all the testimonies were super focused and specific to their needs.  All of the ward, including President Castro, welcomed them with open arms and President Castro even gave his testimony specifically in Spanish, just for them!  Felipe even took a whole page of notes from the testimonies (I've never seen ANYONE do that!) and one of them (I had to peek)  was "We need to be Eternal Family"  Afterwards, they left super happy, and said they could FEEL the difference the moment they crossed the doorway of the church back into the world.  I can only describe it all with one word: Awesome.
I'm very excited for what the future holds: we're going to work hard and see great blessings.  Elder Lee has really gotten into the mode as a Zone Leader, and we'll work super hard to build everyone up. 
In the last letter you wrote me you mentioned you're signing me up at Weber for the same stuff I had; and that's perfect.  Even though I've grown so much as a person, a lot of my life-plans are the same, so I'll start there.  Due to that and comments made by other loving (but ignorantly cruel!) missionaries, I've really felt the time crunch this week:  So much to do, so few weeks!  I know we're doing what God wants us to do, and I'm excited to do that in some way for every stage of my life.
Keep up the good work, love everyone, and love yourselves too!  Keep looking for people to encourage and bless, and let Brother Lowder know I'm mindful of them if you get the chance.
Elder Matthew David Clough