November 24, 2014

London Streets | Balloons

An excerpt from my brother's letter this morning.

"I am having a lot of fun with Elder Bradshaw. Sometimes we wonder if we are having too much fun. The other day we went out to a really posh (very nice) town where we usually don't have any luck getting people to listen to us. We went there as it was getting dark and went to the high street. Those two things usually equal in people not wantin to listen to us at all. But instead of just going out with the usual, "Hi we are missionaries..." "Leave me alone!" , we did this. We blew up a bunch of balloons and put different questions in them. We took these out on the high street with a thumb tack and asked people to pop our balloons. They would pop them and then read the question that was inside. It was so much fun! People who would have never stopped for us ended up becoming good friends by the time we were done talking with them and in the missionary language we got a lot of potential investigators." -Elder Colton Cluff  

November 12, 2014


  As November rolls around we all begin to think about what we are grateful for. Over the last few weeks I have been thinking about everything I am grateful for. I came across this photo that got me thinking about how grateful I am for prayer. 

   This photo was taken around my six-month mark on my two-year mission in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are very few that really know the meaning behind this photo as it was taken after a hard mountain that I had to climb. It was not an easy time. The day after Mother’s Day of 2012 I was all the sudden experiencing pain around my Cochlear Implant site on my head. I did what I knew best, which was to trouble shoot my equipment first and make sure my external equipment was in good shape. Everything looked fine but the pain kept coming and then sounds started sounding really strange to me. At that moment my worst nightmare was becoming a reality. I called my mission president and tried to explain just what was going on. He was by my side within the hour and advised, “You can call home for help.” I dialed my mother’s number with tears coming down my face. Her familiar voice came on and I explained everything once again. Within three hours the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Team and the University of Utah Hospital Team were communicating back and forth about my problem and I was then set up to see a specialist the following morning. That night my mission president’s wife showed up with cookies, milk and a book that would soon become my best friend.

   The first appointment turned into a long six-month process. They could not figure out the problem. After six months of working with doctors there and talking to my doctors in St. Louis, the hospital got a specialist from California involved. My parents were able to come to the appointment as they were vacationing with family in Utah. I was hooked up to the computer as they ran scans to find out what was going on. At this point I began to think about all the “what if’s.” They were able to make some changes and hoped that it took care of the issues. A few days after all these events I sat in the hall of a church building just feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to go about this as some of the issues were still coming and going. I began to pray and just asked for help, and then gave it all to Him. I knew I could not control everything in my life but I knew that God could. Once I handed it to Him and trusted in His plan, I began to find more peace despite the challenges I faced.

David with Sister Winn, the mission president's wife. 
The book that I was given that first night with the cookies and milk was titled, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” I had many of those days but I learned to not let them pull me down but to laugh, count your blessings and move on. We are all going to experience one of those days at some point in our lives. Prayer is a huge part of my life and I am grateful for this time of year to be reminded of what really matters.

During my mission I would add my own little
 moments to the book for me to
look back and laugh.