1. It started Friday morning with District Meetings and running into President Eberhardt again as he came to watch one of our district meetings. After, it was weekly planing and trying to help the missionaries stay focused. Then at 4 we started filling the font for our 6pm baptism for the North Korean investigator. It was amazing--the spirit was so strong. He asked me to share his story while he was changing and everyone was so touched by this man's faith and hope. It ended with another great lesson. We invited the member to teach the plan of salvation to her non-member friend. It was amazing to see her testimony grow as she taught the plan of salvation. The spirit was very strong. We just added our testimonies and helped point things out. A perfect lesson! Elder Park and I went to bed with smiles on our faces...not knowing what would be in store for us the following day.
2. On Saturday we had a long to-do list to do to help with getting everything switched over to the East Mission. We had to pick up DVR's, Tiwi Card (driving cards) and also all gas cards. Our zone has the most cars (10 cars and only 1 walking area) Well, we got into the car and all the sudden the car just smelled bad. We made it to Sugar House area where we were going to meet up and start picking everything up. The car kept saying to get an oil change for about a week but the car coordinator kept saying to wait until he calls and tells me to change it. I would check the engine oil and make sure there is still some...there was. But this time I felt that there was something else wrong. At the same time I kept saying this is a brand new 2013 car with less than 6,000 miles on it, yet I am not a car guy. I called the car coordinator and his wife answered and I told her the situation. She then said, "Can you make it to the Big O tire shop? They will check it for us." We made it there. The guy said that it would be two hours before he could even touch the car. So, we called up some elders to pick us up. We kept going about our to-do list when a few hours later the car coordinator called and said that the transmission oil was gone and it caused some major damage to the car and is being taken to the dealer as it is still under warranty. They said they were surprised that we made it to the shop as it would not even make it to the dealer. They said that we won't have the car for the weekend and so we car hopped with the other Elders in the zone until our amazing Assistant to the President let me take their car while they would use the mission truck. The trick was trying to get the car to our area. They had me drive their car by myself, one AP drove the truck by himself and then the 2nd AP drove the car with the elder that I was on exchanges with at that time. It was weird but we got it all sorted out and made everything less stressful. We ended finding a new person to teach and is on date to be baptized. :) In only a few hours our lives changed very fast.
3. Sunday: Oh my goodness, what a day. We started having meetings at 9am and running from place to place until things started to calm down by 11am. I was finally able to catch my breath after trying to find last minute rides for investigators and get all 5 investigators to church and at the same time figure out what in the world I am going to say for my talk in the deaf ward. 12:15 came and the member that was going to go with me to do exchanges for the deaf ward while Elder Park confirmed the North Korean convert at 1pm. The deaf ward started at 1pm and we arrived around 12:45. Branden, the guy that came with me was awesome! He is leaving for his mission and helps us a ton over the past few months. Every time I am with him he learns some ASL. He is so awesome and we have become good friends. Anyway, we walked in and everything was quiet but hands were all over the place. I then whispered to Branden and said "What did I just get myself into??" I started to panic and getting really worried. After many experiences with the deaf world...I was not sure how this experience would be. I worried that I would not be accepted for who I am. But, Heavenly Father reminded me many times before getting up that everything will be okay. Halfway through the meeting, Kathryn, the little girl that I have been teaching in that ward came running into the chapel and sat right next to me and gave me a hug. Everyone just smiled. It was fascinating to watch how they do everything in ASL. They had a baby blessing and that was very interesting. My turn came and I went up. I introduced myself in ASL and said that I am really nervous about signing my whole talk and the interpreter came up and stood next to me, this really nice old lady said "I got you". I started talking a little about me and my mission. I then said something I was not really planning on talking about; "Teach the youth in the ward to cope with change." It will help them so much in the mission. I talked about how today they have so many resources to prepare to serve (Sunday school, priesthood and YM/YW and personal missionary moments.) I talked about the broadcast and then I shared my personal testimony and I felt the spirit testify to me that this is His work. The feeling of "Everything will be okay" kept coming back throughout the day. When I finished, some people would sign to me "I felt the spirit and thank you". I was grateful for the many lessons I learned during the time I was in the ward. Branden and I walked out and he said it was interesting to watch the deaf ward.
After, I went back to the Institute to meet back up with Elder Park and finish the rest of our meetings. We had a stake meeting at 4:30 and 5 minutes into it I got a text from an elder saying that they needed an emergency exchange. Once the meeting was over we got it sorted out and then at 8:30pm President Eberhardt called me to talk about the situation and had us all meet him at the mission office at 9pm. He wanted to talk to one of the Elders and the 3 of us just waited in the front office. 10:30pm came and he finally came out and said can you three be a trio for a little bit? We said sure, done it before. We finally got home around 11pm and then in bed by 11:45pm. I have learned just how fast everything can change. Since President Eberhardt has been in the mission I have met him 4 times! Needless to say it was a long night and we have a long day ahead of us today.
That is how my weekend turned out and today I am now in the Utah Salt Lake City East Mission! It is crazy that it is already July and on the 4th we have a big mission get together so we can all meet all the missionaries in the newest mission in Utah; we are the pioneers! Dad, the mission boundary is getting smaller. Pretty much anything east of 700 east out of the mission except for parts of state street and the north west side of the mission. Then it goes all the way down to 90th south covering Cottonwood Canyon and Park City. We will still cover a corner of Wyoming. We are only getting 6 new missionaries this transfer. So a smaller mission. The Map should be coming out on LDS.org anytime now.
Exciting times, lots of changes and things to learn. Tomorrow we have a mission leadership council meeting and I believe that is where we will be talking about the new mission stuff and possibly when we get the ipads and such.
I love this work!
I love you all so much and wish you the best. I am grateful for everything that I am learning!
From my heart to yours,
Elder David Cluff