I am emailing from....Layton! Yep, I got transferred out. Not only that...I am whitewashing the area and I am serving as district leader. When I found out I was going to be District Leader and then transferred, I prayed to Heavenly Father and said, "You know just as much as me how change is often hard on me...please bless me with strength, peace and the faith to go through these changes."
He answered my prayer, every word from my heart!!! He really did! Some major miracles that happened to me personally: I never had a tear drop, never felt overwhelmed, never felt worried, felt at peace, happy and full of strength. I am so so so proud of myself and very grateful for the Lord's help. He is my light!
A little how the week went and transfers: Monday night I got the leadership call and I was in shock and speechless. Elder Baier can testify of that. Tuesday, I had this strong feeling that I was leaving. I started saying my goodbyes, not a tear dropped (which is what I really needed) and I put in my best effort on my last day. I gave it my all and I was at peace when the night came. I started packing up and at that moment I was really grateful for the past 6 months, the companions I had, seeing all of you and all the experiences I had. They indeed were preparing me for this new area. Wednesday morning came and I finished my last bit of packing...had to sit on my suitcase to zip it since one of my space savers had a tiny little hole. loaded it up in the car and the Jaggi's said that they wanted to feed me breakfast before I left. So I got a nice hot breakfast and said our goodbyes and drove off into what seemed unknown. I arrived and they were showing the film of our trek (like what I make for youth conferences) and I loved it. President Winn spoke and said that our mission is going to have a ton of changes! Basically what is going to happen is that they want the Stake Presidents and Bishops to act more like "Mission Presidents" and we as missionaries are going to work a ton more closely with the stake president and bishops. All that is in the process of changing right now. It is huge but we are so very excited about it. Plus, we now have 240 missionaries in the mission right now and we are getting more! Sister Winn then talked about how our appearance should be and that we should look our very, very best and not try to look like "we worked hard" type missionary. Then transfers came. All 240 missionaries gathered outside with excited faces, tears and joy. As we all embraced for the posters to go up, we looked for our names...we all knew this is what the Lord wanted to happen. I saw my name on the Layton Zone as one of the two district leaders and my companion is Elder Pew, from Austin Texas. He has been out 10 months, was also companions with Elder Robinson and was also trained in the same area I was trained. It was funny since we saw each other at the temple and he would ask me about people in the area and now here we are as companions. :) Also, Elder Steel looked great and is happy!
Arriving in Layton: Ok, well, I am definitely not in Salt Lake City any more. It is 45min away from the mission office and our area is 3x bigger than my last area---plus as a district leader I have to know half of Layton. I am just very grateful for my GPS and for a car. They have huge hills like our house (it is like that everywhere...not a very flat place.) We still live with members and it is a very nice apartment, much more space and we have our own kitchen. Love it!
My new address:
1942 Dan Dr.
Layton, UT 84040
So, the two stakes were actually praying for a whitewash and they got it. Let's just say that there were a lot of burned bridges and we are in the process of re-building them...a lot of them. We came in and there was nothing going on and there was not anything set up for us at all! Our first night we met with the Stake leaders and worked our way to all the ward leadership. You would not believe what tool has helped us with some of the people...my cochlear implants! One of the high council men said to me, "You are going to attract all the doctors in the area and a ton are less active or not a member." Yesterday, I had about 4 people come up and say, "You wear a cochlear implant?" And some said, "I need to introduce you to someone!" Since Elder Pew and I got into the area we got 17 referrals in three days! We are seeing so much work that needs to be done. We met a guy last night in a bishop's home and he accepted an invitation to be baptized on November 4th! His wife was soooo excited and the bishop's family too! It has been so amazing to see leaders excited and calling us everyday about something that they found. We are so very excited about this area...at first I missed my last area and knowing where and who everyone is. But, I am getting it all down and just love this place and it is right by the mountain. We cover the Kays Creek Stake and the Layton East Stake.
Life as a District Leader: How do I put this...it is a ton of work but it is great. Sunday night was the longest and I was sooo ready for bed. I have two companionships of sisters and one companionship of elders. There are only two districts in this zone and the other district leader is Elder Singleton who was my 1st zone leader and we were so excited to find that we are both working together with the zone leaders. our district meetings are now on Thursdays and I had to do the training for the first time last week. It was OK...felt like I jumped all over the place and was kind of freaking out and my battery died in the middle of it....oh well, I have 5 weeks to practice. :) I have a great district so I am happy with that. I am also more busy with meetings---in fact I'm going down to the mission office tomorrow morning at 7am. I also did my first baptismal interview last Friday! It was neat and I could not believe that I was doing it! It was for the sisters' investigator who is 13 years old.
I just want you to know that I am very grateful to be here on a mission...best choice ever! The Lord has blessed me in so many ways that I can't even count them!
I know that Christ Lives and Loves each one of us. I know that this is Christ's Church. I know that our example speaks louder than anything else! I know that I can gain my fondest dream through Him. I love each and every day...even if they seem rough or hard. He gives me strength to endure.
I love you all so very much and I am well and at peace.
From my heart to yours,
Elder David Cluff