January 24, 2013

If I Could Sing....

If I could sing...I would. These past few days have been such good days! I am holding onto every moment. I am pretty much recovered--just a runny nose every now and then. I am still District Leader and I have  the most amazing district. They are also smaller which makes things easier for me. :) The Layton Zone now has three districts and one district has only 4 elders. All this is in preparation for the new missionaries. So exciting!

We got about 23 inches of snow (in two days) so everything got crazy. On Thursday it was literally a blizzard and we could not even get our car to our apartment. Then on Friday we had to park the car as everyone in the Davis County area could not drive the mission cars and schools actually got called off. It was a crazy day. We spent a lot of time shoveling snow...LOTS OF SNOW!! :) I had to drive in the snow...thanks for trying to teach me over the years. :)

Your letter helped me a ton and I have been able to share bits and pieces in my lessons. On Saturday and Sunday night we were teaching two of our investigators. I was quiet as Elder Pew was teaching. During that time I was pondering on what was being said and what our investigator was going through. I then had an impression to "share it". At first I was like "Really, I don't know if I am ready to let that out." But another thought came....."It's time". I opened my mouth and I testified that no matter how hard or crazy life is...He will be there. I talked about the challenges I faced over the weeks. I talked about how I went into a classroom after feeling like giving up and I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked Him for help and that I am putting everything into His hands. I continued to testify of God's love and how we have a loving Heavenly Father whose arms are always open. Tears fell, tender feelings were shared and the spirit taught each one of us. The members that were with us then began to share Peter's experience of walking onto water and how he never fell as long
as he kept his eyes on the Savior. It is a story of faith and the redeeming power of His mighty hand. We can all experience that in our lives...we just have to let Him in.

Like everyone, we all experience pain, trials, challenges and joy. I am learning over and over that the outcome of such events are as bright as our faith. The people I am working with are yearning for the feeling of belonging, hope, and a sense of peace. As a missionary and as an individual I am striving to see everyone like the song says: "What Heaven Sees in You."

I love you all so very much and am so grateful for all you do!

From my heart to yours,
Elder David B. Cluff

January 2, 2013

The Lord's Many Tender Mercies

Mom and Dad,
I have felt your prayers and fasting, added peace and strength. My interview with President Winn went pretty well. I told him about my problems with my hearing and balance and about how hard it is for me to exercise. He basically said, "Just keep trying your best" and talked about how in Ether he said how he was weak in writing and yet we all think it is powerful when we read it. He then said, "You may see things as weakness within you but others may see them as strengths." He then asked, "Do you think you can handle another transfer with Elder Pew?" I thought about it for a minute and said, "Whatever the Lord wants." It has not been easy but I can and will do all things through Christ. As I left the interview I felt, "No one fully understands me, not even President Winn." No words could describe what I was feeling. When I felt like I was about to drop...I felt someone walking beside me who said, "I do, trust me." It was the same feeling that I felt when I was riding that little bus for an hour to school each day. Each day was a long journey but as I prayed I never felt alone. I have often thought throughout this week, "What is it that I need to learn from all this?"
Nevertheless, I began to see the Lord's hand in my life. On Wednesday I had to do exchanges with some of the Elders in my district. We were out making visits and it was getting to the time where we needed to meet back up. Elder Pew was not responding to the phone and I had no idea where he was. I said a silent prayer asking, "Help me find them."  We started driving and I had the thought, "Go to the Stowell's home"--it was a gentle, soft thought. At first I thought, "No way, he won't be there at this time." But I decided to go ahead. Just as I pulled up Elder Pew and the other Elder walked out of the house. They looked at us and said, "How did you know we were here??" Shocked, I said, "The spirit led me". Never before in my life have I experienced the Spirit in such a powerful, soft and gentle way and applied so directly. That was a miracle and it happened again on Friday. This time, I forgot to give Elder Pew and the other elder the cell phone. We had no way to get in contact with them. That morning I was praying that as I was on exchanges I would be able to help lift the faith of this elder. I said to the elder, "Elder, we have a problem. We both have the phones but Elder Pew and your companion don't have a phone. What are we going to do?" He said, "Go search for them or just wait for them to call us?" I said, "We are going to find them". We said a prayer and said, "Ok, they should be at this appointment." We started driving there and then I had this thought, "No, try President Crane's neighborhood." Again, I thought, no he would not be there. Nevertheless, I followed. We pulled in and there they were shoveling one of the neighbor's driveways. This Elder looked at me and said, "No way!" and Elder Pew dropped his shovel and said, "Again??" Their faith was strengthened, as well as mine.
Then last night I got a voice mail from one of the members and he said, "I really want to talk to you about my non-member friend. Give me a call or stop by when you can." I was on splits and felt that we should go to his home even though it was 8:20pm. I get there and he was so excited and started talking for only two minutes about this friend. He then paused and said, "The real reason why I wanted to talk to you is because I want to hear your story. Is that alright?" I said, "Sure and may I ask why?" He goes on to say how that morning he and his wife went to go see their son who suffered from a major accident and brain/head injury. The Stake presidency went down to Provo with them to give a blessing. After the blessing, President Gilleland, the Stake President, said "Have you met Elder Cluff?" The member said, "I have seen him once but don't know him." President Gilleland then says, "He is a medical miracle. You need to talk to him and ask about his story." I was shocked and said, "Yeah, I can share with you my story." I shared my story and how through faith all things are possible. They asked questions and I felt the spirit whisper, "You are needed in this mission." It was an amazing experience and showed me how many people are really watching. Talking with those parents and sharing a message of hope and faith made my pain and stress melt away.

As I struggle to break out of this cocoon, I am being developed so I can fly. Without the adversity, I would never have the strength to achieve my destiny. I would never develop the strength to become something extraordinary.

I love you all so very much!!

Elder David B. Cluff