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August 24, 2012

The Refiners Fire

Mom and Dad,

 What a crazy week! We have been having a hard time finding investigators and most of our investigators have been sick, busy, or on their last minute trip to Lake Powell before school starts. So that has been really tough but all is good! We have two baptisms this Saturday and really hoping these two boys follow through and don't give up. They have been taught by over 5 sets of missionaries. They are 13 and 8 years old and the mom has been less active.

  Some highlights of the week:
1) Got our first Anti-LDS call from a part-member family. The father was sooo mad at us for stopping by (we had no clue that he was anti) and so he called us that night and asked for President Winn's number. We were like "sure, go right ahead!" We called President Winn right away and warned him. He laughed and said "It happens all the time, don't worry." He later called and said "Yeah, I would stay away from that family." :)
2) Yep, Satan is really trying to pull me down. The spacers have been helping but I still experience some pain and headaches (only around my magnet site) which comes at random times and I either take something and it helps or it does not. I just have to keep moving forward.
As for my balance, OH BOY, it has been a crazy ride for me. When it starts to get dark it gets really bad (Remember Scout Camp, Dad?). But last night I was almost going to fall (as we were walking back to our car) so Elder Baier put his hand on my shoulder and I immediately was able to stand still in the dark. I have not met with Dr. Shelton and I really don't want to make a big deal about it and I know everything will be fine. During our dinner last night I had this overwhelming feeling that Heavenly Father is preparing me for something greater.  It gave me some sense that everything will be alright. I have to really walk by faith right now.
3) I set up a time to call President Winn to talk to him about everything and just to talk things out. He was so helpful and said right now you get a car and if things get harder we will make some arrangements. I also told him about my worry about my implants as a distraction. He just laughed and said, "Well, they are noticeable!" :) He said, "Don't worry about it!" Just as simple as that! I also said, "When I left I thought I would be able to leave behind the constant telling of my story and be a normal missionary." He laughed again and said. "You are not a normal missionary and you are an inspiration to so many. Do you know how many phone calls I have gotten from your two stakes about you? They are all so amazed with you and are touched by your story! You are doing great...don't let that stop you." That helped me a ton. So, I just have to focus on sharing the gospel...even if it means through my implants. :) It has just been a beautiful heartbreak all along the way. He LIVES---oh sweet the joy!

I am learning so much and had to give a talk yesterday. I did it the post-it note style that you always did, mom, in seminary. It actually really helped me! I talked about remembering your purpose from the premortal life and the choice that each of us made and how we need to remind those that are dear to us to remember what they chose in that realm. It was amazing how Elder Baier's and my talk fit perfectly...just like general conference. :)

I love you all so very much!

I hope you have a great week and please pray for our zone this week as we strive to raise the vision of the mission up even higher.

LOVE YOU!!!!!

Elder David Cluff

August 9, 2012

Flipped Right Side Up :)

Wow, what a crazy week! My world was flipped right side up! Going from greenie to Senior Companion is a bit crazy. My companion is Elder Baier and he is amazing! He has only been out two months! Sister Winn, President Winn, Brother & Sister Jaggi (the member we live with) all said they were so excited about our companionship. Our first day we found out that Elder Baier's sister married into the Hemming family and met Sister Christensen's dad and step mom. He was also born in Ballwin, MO and moved to North Carolina when he was 4.
We get along so well and we are training each other each day. We also work harder than ever! We spent 3 hours on Friday and Saturday looking through the area book and trying to find former investigators. We have no one on date and it is driving us crazy. Sunday was very interesting as Elder Baier previously only had one branch (a language program for the valley), and when we went to 5 wards and two correlation meetings he was burned out by dinner. It reminded me of my first Sunday. We also were running to speak to two ward classes in the same hour...one at 11 and the other at 11:30 at different buildings. We were church'n from 8:45am-4pm! We are also eating with Clark Hinckley this coming Monday! Crazy!!
Ok, so one thing that we started doing is when we are contacting referrals we say a lot of prayers and then double the faith knocking. (meaning we both knock at the same time.) It has been so much fun for us and we talk and have fun while we are walking--which has helped me so much and I don't get discouraged as much. :) :) YAY!
I can't tell you how happy I am!

That is too bad my car is dying. :( I miss my long drives to work in that car. At least my prayer was answered for it to last me until my mission. :)

Mom, I will be including parts of my "The Healer's Hand" entry this week. I just emailed Elder Baier's parents to let them know that he is really amazing and a great strength to me.
My new district leader is also an amazing source of strength to me. I really can't tell you how happy I am! It is amazing to be a missionary and to see the Lord's hand in all things.
I love you all so very much and I have gained a stronger testimony of prayer. One experience: We kept knocking on this house day after day trying to get in contact with them. On Friday, Elder Baier and I decided to stand at the door and pray that we will get in contact with this person. We prayed and then knocked. Nothing...but then we heard someone walking with a hose on the side of the house and it was the person that we have been trying to contact! We had one of those "best two years (movie)" moments as we looked at each other. :)

I am forever grateful for you and all the prayers I have felt. I love you and admire you for stretching your faith and trying new things. You are amazing examples to me. :)
Thank you and have a great week in Nauvoo.

Love you!!!!!!
Elder Cluff