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, June 9, 2014

Alicia's going to get baptized!!! ...eventually.

This week has been a bit of a roller-coaster: we've had a lot of ups and downs.  We've had SO MUCH to get done administration-wise, but we got through it and ended the week with an awesome exchange with Elder Lee and Elder Kleinman.  Elder Lee really loved coming back to this area to work with Elder James, and I had a great time working with Elder Kleinman in theirs.  Fortunately, Saturday was a super calm day in the mission, so even though I was attached to one of the Assistants in their area, we didn't have to worry about anything. 
The Mission Leader Council this week was amazing; I learned a ton of super useful things!  This Introduction lesson by President Castro was all about how the Roman Army protected themselves with armor and wise strategy, and how we can apply the same techniques to protect ourselves and fight spiritually.  It was interesting to note that the main vulnerable places on our body, our head, heart, groin and feet reflect our spiritual vulnerabilities, namely our thoughts, our desires, our virtue, and our direction.  He then pointed out how the different pieces of the Armor of God directly correlate to those vulnerabilities. 
Afterwards I had my new Temple Recommend interview.  It felt so good to have that up to date again!  During the interview, President Castro shared a lot of really precious things with me that I'm going to apply.  I'm so grateful for everything he's done for me!

Our week got surprisingly busy when we were asked to get the evaluation of our Zone turned in a week early (technically 2 weeks early!)  This was especially difficult because Elder James and I hadn't even met two of the missionaries!  We did our best with what we had, worked with the district leaders to see the strengths of the missionaries they serve, and even got to go to the other district's meeting and meet the new ones.  We got it done just in time, along with the report we give to the stake presidency at the start of each month.  But in spite of our lack of proselyting time, we taught more lessons this week than last!  It just goes to show that if we take care of our assignments, the Lord will help us accomplish our calling.
As far as our investigators go, Alicia is doing awesome-ish.  Saturday, while I was out of the area on exchange she passed her interview!  She's received a super strong witness of the truth of the things we teach and gained the peace to deal with some family strife she's been facing lately.  But, our District Leader who did the interview was doing it for the first time, and I'm not sure how, but he forgot to tell us until last night that she'd actually drank coffee sometime about a week ago, so she doesn't actually qualify to be baptized yet. :(  So we've got to call the entire branch and re-schedule for next week.  But I know she'll do great!
The five step plan is going well.  It's been interesting to see the different ways it's being received.  Some people have been really excited to try it out and are happy to tell us about their successes and efforts.  Others have grumbled a bit and tried to justify themselves by saying they basically already do all of it.  I thought it was interesting because I can guarantee that the families that are excited to try it out already do more of the work than the ones that have justified themselves.  Hopefully they try it and see it help them out though!
In other news, we've got a missionary that went home a while back for an injury who's coming back today!  Elder Mckay will be in our Zone with Elder Parrish!  I'm super excited and proud of him!
Thanks for all you do, and the support you give me!  I love you all!
Elder Matthew David Clough