September 26, 2013

Hastening the Work

Mom and Dad,

What a week it has been! Tuesday we had a Mission Leadership Council meeting at 8am in Salt Lake City and we were there until around 3pm. It was a long day. I was just very glad that president did not make any comment to all the zone leaders about the accident. But, the word got around pretty quick and other missionaries would come up and ask me about it. It does not take long for any news to get out. :) Today I got the police accident report. I hated getting it as I was just fine not having to see it. I did get new tires for the car on Wed so that is an improvement---just need the body to get repaired. Just like dad and concrete---I think I hate dealing with these types of situations.

I love the fall weather and I have been wearing my sweater most days but I love it. So far no flooding at least in our area. The Elders in Mountain View area are having to deal with a lot of sand bagging and such as they got it the worst. On Saturday Elder Taka woke up rather cold--I guess it is from being from Tonga. :) We were trying to figure out how to turn on the heating for the night. We have these weird base board heating things and all it has is numbers and not an on or off. That whole ordeal led us to having to re-arrange the whole entire apartment. I did not complain as it was in need of change to be more functionable. It looks much better and we figured out how to turn the heating we have an issue of how to turn it off. We sure make a fool of ourselves. That was a good day despite the fact that every appointment fell through or they said they would be home but they were not.
Last night we found a new family to teach! A WHOLE FAMILY! It was a tender mercy! It just made my week and I sat in our living room after we were done planning and just smiled and enjoyed the moment. This week we are supposed to go to the Bountiful Temple with a member (if everything goes as planned). I really need to go to the temple and just feel at home for a little bit. All of us missionaries in Evanston have been stressed out lately and when the member offered to take all 6 of us, we were almost in tears. When you're in Wyoming you don't get to go on the normal temple trip to Salt Lake City. I have not been since June...yikes! I loved reading your letter about the temple and everything. It sure lifted me up.
Dad, I can't believe it either that I have been out for almost 18 months. In a few weeks all the sisters that I came out with are heading home! Weird. Elder Taka made the comment the other day. "Wow, you look more tired than the other missionaries I worked with." (He has only been out 6 months and so has the others he worked with). I laughed as I don't feel tired but I guess I have been out awhile. :) As for your questions: Let me know about how the members are in the Evanston area. The members are great. They just want to know the how of missionary work and gain a stronger desire that leads them to doWhat do the Bishops do to help with missionary work? The Bishops meet with us at least once a month if not more and they invite us to Ward Council. They also set the example on the How and the Do of missionary work thus motivating the members in the ward council who then motivate all the members in the ward. As a missionary we want every bishop to know that we truly want to help assist him in the work of salvation...not tell him how or do it all ourselves but shoulder to shoulder, arm and arm. When members see that the bishop trusts the missionaries, everyone else will also.  How do the members support the missionaries? They do more than they realize. They help by letting us help them (teach, do service, anything), giving us referrals, going on splits, teaching investigators, less actives and others in their home. They help us the most by being pro-active in doing things without being asked. When we cover more than one ward it is hard for us to keep up with everything and often things fall through. But, when we work with the members and they are willing to help, it helps us so much. It is a huge stress reliever.
We had an experience last night using the work of salvation website. We showed the clip “We are one” and they started talking about people they know but not sure what they can do. So we then showed them “I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go” music video and one of the daughters in 2nd grade said “I am going to make a card for my friend and invite them to the stake primary activity.” This is the excitement that we are seeing as we use this resource when visiting members. It takes less than 30 minutes to do this and we often walk out with a referral and the members know that we are there to help them and work shoulder to shoulder.
  How is it going with sisters in Wyoming? The sisters are doing amazing. In Wyoming there has been a rough bump of Elders and most members have lost trust to let them teach their dear friends. Luckily, Evanston has always had pretty good missionaries. But Rocks Springs was always known for the President sending the rough elders there as they are far, far from Salt Lake City. When the sisters went to Green River, within a week they had 4 people on date for baptism. The members know that they can trust the Sisters with their dear friends. It has been really cool to watch that part of the zone blossom. They are able to get into the single sisters homes and do more than what the elders can do. Plus, the young women have been more excited than ever. If we get up to 250 in our mission that will mean three sets of missionaries per stake! We are having to split and create new areas next month, again to accommodate the amount of missionaries coming in.

Everything is well here and I pray that I am able to take everything one day at a time. I just have to keep breathing and smiling. He LIVES!
From my heart to yours,
Elder David Cluff