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 2, 2014

Missionary Paradise: another name for Ventura.

This week was crazy, most of all because Samuel got baptized!!!  It was quite hectic trying to get it all to work out.  We learned the importance of double checking that the building is reserved for our use, because while we were filling the font, the whole English ward showed up for an 8 year old's baptism!  We wound up having to have all the members from our Spanish branch wait an hour for the
 other baptism to be finished and then start Samuel's.  He was super excited, and very happy to get the holy ghost yesterday.  He's such a good kid!  He's going to be a fantastic missionary some day.
In other news, Alicia is doing great as well, preparing for her own baptism which is scheduled for June 14.  We invited her to come and see a baptism for another woman in Ojai named Alicia which is going to happen on the 10th, and I happened to mention that it's because it's the Ojai Alicia's birthday and our Alicia said "Really?!  June 14 is MY birthday!!!"  I was floored: Elder Lee and I pulled that date out of thin air, we hadn't planned on it at all!  It was cool too, because it made her baptism feel much more of a soon reality than it was before. 
We've also started teaching the members to set up a five step "Family Mission Plan" based on principles from the working with members section of Preach My Gospel to help them know how to do the work.  Oftentimes we think "I want to share the gospel, but I don't know what to do, or I've already invited all my friends, or everyone I know are members!"  But this plan really helps out.  The steps are:
1: Pray for missionary experiences every day.  This is the most important step.  If you do this, you WILL have an opportunity to share the gospel.
2: Set a goal for hours of service the family will give each month.
3: Write down the names of family and friends you want to receive the gospel.  It doesn't matter if you've already tried, if you're scared, or if they know the church super well already.  The point is to have a list of people you want to get the gospel.
4: Commit to talk to everyone about the gospel.  Small comments and testimonies of the church go a LONG way: you don't have to teach everyone a lesson, that's OUR job.  You just need to be a witness.
5: Write down a plan of action for each person on your list.  Things like invite for FHE, to an activity, comment on things you've learned in the gospel lately are really non-threatening and provide people the chances they need.
So far the people we've shared it with are super excited to try it out.  We'll let you know if any miracles come from these efforts.  Another goal the Zone has been putting into practice has brought amazing miracles.  We've made a list of investigators that are progressing or have specific needs and then asked every missionary in the zone to pray for each one at least once a day.  So far, many of these specific needs have been answered! Samuel got baptized, Alicia has a desire to be baptized now, Alma got out of jail, Ricardo set a baptismal date, and Hope is letting the missionaries come back now.  It's incredible how over just one week so many people have received the very blessings we've been asking for.

I'm sorry to hear everyone's getting sick all the time still.  It's amazing how healthy I've been these two years: the Lord definitely helps me get the work done!  Keep being the most amazing family ever, and qualify for those blessings!  I know what we're doing is right. 


Elder Matthew David Clough