July 13, 2012

"Sacrificing Something Ordinary for Something Extraordinary"

Mom and Dad!
  What a joy it was to get your package on Saturday. It came at the moment I needed it most. You really know what I need...everything in there was perfect and came as answers to many prayers. :) This past week has been a testimony of how much the Lord watches over me. On Saturday I saw that I did not have a $5 bill, I only had a $20, and I did not know how I would break it to pay fast offerings. The thought came to mind, "Take no thought for what ye shall eat, drink or say;" and within the next hour a guy came up to Elder Robinson and I and gave each of us a $5 bill. I was shocked and knew it was an answer to my prayer. In the mission we are told to accept money from people so we always accept. That was a little miracle as well as many other little things.

  Sarah's baptism went great! (I attached a photo) and at the end she said "I don't know what I am so happy about, but I am so happy!" At the end of the baptism one of our investigators, Daniel, came up to me and said,"I felt this strange feeling as Sarah went under water and I don't know what it is..." I talked to him and told him it was the Holy Ghost and asked him, "Do you want to follow Sarah's example of following the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?" He said, "Yeah, I do." We had a lesson with him the next day and he is now on date for the 14th! So excited for him! It all started with a member running into him on the bus and they started talking about the church and he said he wanted to learn more. He is in his 30's and had a pretty crazy life.

  Yesterday, I got to bare my testimony and included the hymn, "I stand all amazed". I talked about---Yes, we are faced with many fires and much destruction all around us...but does it not cause you to stand all amazed at what God can do? We, as members of the Church, have to be extraordinary missionaries and share what we know. The world, your friends and family desperately need to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can't calm the fires and such on our own...we need to unite in faith and prayer to our loving Heavenly Father. The world needs to remember the basics of how to live in humility and rely of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is full of all the events that we are facing today...we need to learn from them and pray for strength and faith to endure. How can we become that extraordinary missionary? We need to live what we believe and also test the principle of sacrifice. My definition of sacrifice is, "Sacrificing something ordinary for something extraordinary." We live in a world where it is ordinary to be immodest, rude and selfish...but it is extraordinary to be modest, kind and selfless to all those around us. We also need to speak up and share what we know to be true. One simple way is to create a profile and share your testimony and pray for those opportunities to share what you believe. As a missionary I see a desperate need for true believers...not 85% believer but 100%. That is what my goal is: to make sure that I am that 100% and give it my all.
I am able to apply what I have learned about takes thinking outside of the box and trying new things to do something extraordinary. It is the same with missionary work---we can't tract in Utah since it does nothing, so we have to work through members to find those that are ready to hear the gospel.

I am so grateful for the gospel and the blessings that I see everyday.
I love you all so very much and can't believe that it is already July!! Crazy!
Tell everyone hello for me.

All my love,
Elder David Cluff

July 12, 2012

Time Flies

 Sounds like youth conference was fun! I totally can picture everything that you guys did--after all I was behind the camera for 3 years. :) I LOVE how you guys rented a 15 passenger van. When I read that I thought "Yep, that's my parents" and it made me laugh out loud. Have you guys gotten any rain yet? We got some the day after the 4th. We also had a lot of our fireworks shows  called off as some areas like Park City were seeing ashes from all the fires. On Tuesday I saw smoke coming from behind one of the mountains--which was from the Alpine fire. It has been a very interesting summer here.
Ok, I went to walmart and can't believe that they are already doing the Back to School shopping and sales!! Crazy...feels like I just got here. I totally agree with you about time and how fast it is going. Some nights I lay down and think to it really July and my 3rd transfers in two weeks! It blows my mind...even more so when I can now tell people I have been out 3 months, not 3 days.
The 4th of July was great and always ends up with water fights...yes, Sister Winn got President Winn soaked and then the grandkids got Sister Winn back. I got to help take some photos with Sister Winn's camera. :) My district is so awesome and they always guarded me when someone was coming close with a water gun as everyone is still learning that I can't get my head wet. :)

This Wednesday our district is singing at zone conference. We are singing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and I am going to sign it. I kept praying about how I am going to portray this song in sign language. I was looking in my dictionaries and everything but nothing felt right. Then last night I got to catch a peak of a fireside presented by the Merrill Osmond family. Their son, Justin, was speaking and I could tell that he was deaf but was not sure. Then he said, "I served an ASL mission and I would like to sign the first vision to you." My heart started to pump and he had his brother play the organ and had some other background music and he signed it. It was the most amazing thing I ever saw and I wanted sooo badly to stay for the rest but we had an appointment. It just made my night and was an answer to my prayer on how I wanted to do it. Then today, we were at the Tie Guy and he asked if I went to the fireside and I said I only saw him sign the first vision. He said "oh, man I wanted to introduce you to him as he also has implants." He said that his wife is working with him this Thursday and they are going to bring my name up. SOOO COOL! That just made my day.

Then on Tuesday I got to go on a private tour of the Conference Center! OH MY GOODNESS that place is huge and I stood where everyone speaks in conference and looked up and around at all those chairs and I felt peace and comfortable. We got to see pretty much everything...even where all the translators are. It was so neat and we got to take all the tunnels that go under the streets and connect all the buildings. Then we took one of our investigators to Temple Square on Saturday and that was neat.

We have a baptism tonight for Fiona, an 11 year old girl. We are very excited for her and her family. They have been really excited as her mother got re-activated!

The other day a guy came up to me and said "is that a cochlear implant?" and I said yes. He asked, "Can I take a picture of you with it on?" and I said sure. He was so excited to show his wife. He is in his 40's and his son just got baptized. I also met someone, a recent convert, who also has equilibrium loss--like me. His was not as severe as mine but it just happened to him a few years ago and he has a hard time keeping balance for too long. It showed me how blessed I am! When he found out I had the same loss, he felt hope and knew that it would take time and patience.

My studying has been interesting--when I read the part about Nephi and his brothers sneaking into Jerusalem, it made me think of Colton, Sam and me sneaking to do a Secret Leprechaun or some game. It just made me laugh as I never really thought of it like that.
Also, I finished The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister yesterday and I have to say that it is the most amazing book I have ever read about the far. :) I would encourage Colton to read it before his mission. It was a great thing for me to read and helped me a ton.

I love the work so much and the Lord works in so many ways in each one of our lives. HE LIVES and guides this church.
I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth; and I get to stand as a special witness of Jesus Christ and testify that He does Live and loves each and every one of us.

I love you all so very much!

All my love,
Elder David Cluff