July 31, 2017

A Mighty Change of Heart

So yesterday I decided that I wanted to study a mighty change of heart because I have felt in the last couple weeks that the missionaries in this area (myself included) may not have their hearts in quite the right place right now and with transfers coming up next week I wanted to find a way to make a difference here with these missionaries before they leave. but then I realized that I don’t even really know what the word "heart" means or refers to in the scriptures, and I can’t give a training on something that I don’t know like the back of my hand. So i decided to go to the index and ask the Book of Mormon what the word means. Once i started to see different prophets using the word in different contexts I began to see a little bit of what my heart truly is and what I need to go through to change it. In the very first scripture that the index ties to the word heart, which is 1 nephi 17:44 it tells us (in my own words) that what’s in our hearts matters a whole lot more than our mindset or our actions, so we have got to keep our hearts clean. We have got to make sure that those deep desires and appetites within us are clean and pure. And then in the next chapter, chapter 18 verses 19 and 20 we can learn that only God can soften or change our hearts. Not even Nephi's wife with all her tears and anguish and her kids with all their tears and begging could soften or change the hearts of Laman and Lemuel, but the power of God could, and it was the only thing that could! God is so loving and kind that if we will even turn to Him just a little then He will help us to have a mighty change of heart. 2 Nephi 4:16 tells us that we should be pondering in our hearts the words of scriptures and modern-day prophets so that we can grow closer to Christ. And in 1 Nephi 22:26 we learn that if we can become righteous enough then satan won’t have any power over our hearts! He can’t touch us and persuade us to do evil!! I think that’s one of the coolest promises. If we will do all we can to further our spirituality and grow in our faith then satan can’t touch us. What more motivation do we need to "do good continually"? but if we do need more motivation then God’s got us covered because in Mosiah 2 verse 41 we learn that if we keep God’s commandments then we will be blessed in ALL things, not just with a better knowledge of the scriptures or a better job, but in ALL things. God is the God of everything so if we want to be blessed with anything (or everything) then we ought to turn to Him a little more and obey His wise counsel found in the words of His prophets. 
    I love this gospel and I love the things we can find in the scriptures. I stink at remembering where i find things and what’s taking place in that time but i never fail to remember the lessons i have learned and the joy that fills my soul in such a way that i cannot deny the divinity of Christ’s Church and Christ’s Gospel. There are many missionaries who are able to read the Book of Mormon, The Bible, and The Living Christ multiple times on their mission which does increase their knowledge immensely. But I am definitely not one of those missionaries. I can’t sit down and read for more than 5 minutes without being lost and not remembering what i just read and so I have found myself on many occasions studying one or two verses for 30 or 40 minutes and it completely satisfies my want/need for more spiritual knowledge. The reason I wanted to share this with you was because too many people get caught up in how much others are studying the scriptures when all we really need to worry about is coming away from those studies with the feeling that we have accomplished what we sat down to do which should always be to grow in our own spirituality, to feel of God’s love for us, and to become aware of something we can do better. Repentance is the biggest message that we carry with us as Christ’s disciples and so we must always remain strong in our own repentance and in changing our own lives to become more aligned with Christ’s life. 

I love you all!

Love, Elder Cluff

July 21, 2017

Hey There!

Well, this last week has been a great time for learning and growth. Now don't start thinking i'm going through a hard time just because i said growth, its actually been a super fun week. We have been having a little bit of a hard time finding more people to teach and at first i was kind of complaining to myself, but then i started to think about all those in the book of mormon who were unable to find willing souls to teach for many years. Then i decided that it's not up to me when i come across those whom the Lord has prepared, but it is up to me to prepare myself so that the Lord can then use me when the time does arise. And this is also what a lot of our zone conference was about this last week. Sister Savage gave a very bold teaching on how our mission's barrier is not found in how hard we work and needing to work harder, but that our barrier is found rather in how hard we are trying to have the spirit with us at all times to truly lead and guide us in our every step and thought throughout the day. Times have changed and these are the last days where we have to try harder than ever in order to help people see the light simply because satan is trying as hard as he can to blind them. This means that I can't just increase my ability to teach lessons in a way that will catch peoples attention. I have to have the spirit there to tell me what to say, not only in the important parts of the lesson, but throughout the whole lesson. I need the spirit to tell me what these people need in their lives. I need the spirit to tell me what blessings Heavenly Father will bestow upon them if they keep our commitments. "You cannot do the Lord's work in the Devil's way."  If we are trying to do what the Lord would have us do then we must do it his way. We can't try to find an easier route. We can't refuse to go to church but then attend the temple on a regular basis because all of our friends are going. In D&C 4 verse 2 it tells us that if we are going to follow and serve God then we need to do it with all that we have. We must show God and ourselves that we are willing to do what is necessary to find ourselves side by side with our brother Jesus Christ one day. 
    Sometimes we would like to think that God is a God of proportions-- meaning that if a trial comes our way then he will have to send the same amount of joy our way because that's just how it works. But i can testify that this is now how it works.... God is a God of love and compassion and mercy, and He will always bless us with much more joy and happiness than trials and afflictions. We just have to be willing to "wait upon the Lord" and bare our "afflictions with patience and long suffering" until the day comes when God sees fit to bless us. I love in 1 Nephi 17 how Nephi and his whole family are going through so many trials and afflictions that they can't even write about it yet they still rejoice in what the Lord has done for them (verse 6), but even after all these hardships and heartaches the Lord doesn't just let them rest and be happy like they've passed some test. The Lord then calls Nephi to go to the top of a mountain where He will be asked by the Lord to build a huge ship that he has no idea how to build. And then after they build a ship they head off to the promised land, but instead of just having a nice easy sail across the ocean Nephi"s brothers decide to tie him to a pole (just like any good brother would do right?) and then when they finally get to the promised land they just start fighting each other with real swords instead of just sticks. Like what the heck Laman and Lemuel? why you gotta be such haters? Anyways, my point by sharing this is that Nephi had to find Joy even during hard times and he had to rejoice in what the Lord had provided because it seems that he wasn't really going to get much rest until he was in heaven. This life is a test where we get to prove ourselves worthy to God and also to ourselves to enter into the kingdom of God. 

Well, that's all i got for ya!! 

Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff

My Testimony

So I figured its been a while since I have really born much of a testimony on here and so I wanted to take a few minutes to do so. I would like to start with a scripture, Matthew 6:24 "no man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other ; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. ye cannot serve God and mammon.". I have been trying to distinguish in my own life when i am serving God and when i am serving mammon so that i can then cut out the times when i am serving mammon, but that is no easy task. I often ask myself "how am I to know which is which?" but God is merciful and He never leaves me hanging. The scripture that always comes to my mind is St John 14:26 which tells us that the Holy Ghost can teach us all things. Now if the Holy Ghost can teach us all things then why doesn't He? Well, its because we need to be worthy, a member of the Godhead can't speak to us when we aren't even trying to get close enough to hear! I know that God wants us to grow and to learn through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, but we must put in our 110% and then God will put in his 110% to help us. Christ tells us in D&C 59:11 that "thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times." This is no standstill, complacent gospel. This is a Gospel that is meant to help us grow and become better through whatever means God would have us use. i love my Heavenly Father because He lets me grow by letting me choose whether or not to follow Him, and I do want to follow Him. The suffering that Jesus Christ went through for us and the love He has for us allows us to become more than we could ever deserve in our own eyes.  D&C 3:10 "But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandments which i gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work." When we sin it doesn't mean that we have lost our status in Gods eyes. It simply means we need to quickly repent and return to the commandments which God has given us. I know that the scriptures can teach us more then we can ever take in and that one of the things they can teach us is how to discern between God and mammon. we just have to be willing to search the scriptures and find those simple truths that we need in our lives. 
         We Got to meet President and Sister Savage this week and they seem like they will be an amazing mission President and Wife for these next 3 years. they are great teachers, they are straight forward and they reach out with love to guide and direct us as missionaries. I love seeing the difference between the Mission Presidents and Wives yet they still act through guidance and inspiration from the Holy Ghost. it just goes to show that we are meant to be ourselves with our individual personalities and life experiences. God didn't make us different just to have us be the exact same as someone else. He wants us to be ourselves and to love ourselves.... as long as we are serving Him and loving Him through it all. 
        We also got to go to our 4th of July picnic on Tuesday and its was tons of fun! we played frisbee, basketball, played catch with a football, tossed around a rugby ball.... and had to wear church clothes the whole time! it was great!! No it really was a ton of fun, the only part that wasn't so much fun was we broke a sweat just getting up to go get a piece of pie!
Well that's all folks! see ya next time!

Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff

Work is FUNdamental

This week has been a great one for getting out and doing the work, and i have come to find that if you choose to let yourself have fun then everything seems to become much more enjoyable and your mood is always one of joy and gratefulness. I think the biggest thing i learned this week to help me become happier as we are out all day everyday trying to share the gospel with everyone is to take everyday to God and tell him that i will do my best, and then i find that i am much more willing to be happy throughout the day because i know that God has now entrusted me with certain things throughout the day because He knows i have committed myself to Him. I hope that this has made sense so far because I'm not to good with my words and how i explain things. 
    Something that i learned from the scriptures this week was pretty cool and i thought i would share it with you. So I was reading in 1st Nephi 17 and i realized that whenever Laman and Lemuel were murmuring physically they couldn't feel the spirit and the insight from God that comes with the spirit even if they were wanting to have things confirmed by God, but whenever they were willing to go along with the physical demands of their journey without murmuring then they were able to feel the spirit and gain greater light and knowledge according to their faith. I think the relation between our physical bodies and our spirits is one that has to be wholesome and refined in order to receive revelation from God. I feel that whenever i see that i am murmuring and i stop immediately then that is the point where my life starts turning, that is the point where God is up there saying "he finally understands, now i can proclaim him worthy to receive my heavenly blessings." In light of this realization I am now going to strive even harder to take the advice of Nephi and keep the commandments of the Lord without any murmurings. 
   This week has also been a lot of fun just because Elder MacPherson and I have been enjoying ourselves all throughout the day by making the hardest moments into a time to laugh and tell ourselves it doesn't matter. I love the fact that we are able to lay aside any of those hard moments because the Savior has already dealt with them.  The Savior wants to help us, we just have to let Him.
       Well, once again that's about all i got for this week. Hope y'all can go out and have some good spiritual experiences this week and have fun doing it! "Make it personal, because it is." President Mendenhall.... RIP

Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff

July 6, 2017

Change is Good!

I love having things change because it keeps me from getting into these ruts with companions and/or areas. And this last week has given me many chances to make changes and try better. I got a new companion and we moved houses and then we are moving houses again this wednesday because everybody has family coming in and we have to jump around to whoever doesn't have family at the moment... so that's fun! But Elder MacPherson and I have been going nonstop since he got here and we also get along super well. We found a lot of people this week who were willing to hear a few words about Christ and the peace He can bring. 
   One of my favorite things from this week though was something i found in studies yesterday morning in 1 Nephi 16:23 because Nephi says earlier on that his bow broke and his brothers bows lost their spring but that would mean that their arrows are still perfectly fine, so why did Nephi make another arrow? Well this isn't doctrine by any means but I would like to share the thought that I had when I asked myself this question. My first thought was simply that the Lord asks us not just to replace parts of our lives that are broken but to continually upgrade our lives through repentance and continually striving to follow our Savior and his actions. My second thought, which confirmed the first, came when i read verses 30-31. Nephi says that He went to the top of the mountain to find food for his family and I find it to be no coincidence that the top of the mountains are God's temples because in order to enter Gods temples we must be clean and worthy both on the inside and the outside. We cannot just change our appearance (our bows) but keep our habits the same as before (our arrows). It is my hope that I can continue to break my old bows and replace my old arrows so that i may become the person that God would have me be. But it is often easy to want to replace our bows because we want food; the hard part comes when we have to willingly throw away our old arrows and put in the work to make new ones. 
       Man, one of my favorite things these days is when i'm able to find a cool scripture in my studies and then use it somehow throughout the day. I love how much insight is within the scriptures and how applicable every little verse is to our day. All we have to do is be willing to search the scriptures and really think about what they are saying. 
      I apologize for how short my emails always are. i just write whatever i feel i need to express and then i don't worry about writing anymore cause it'll just leave me with more stories to tell when i get home!

Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff  

Wow, That View is Worth 10 Regular Views!

So! good news!!! I'm staying in boulder this transfer! And i've got one of my favorite Elders coming to be my companion! Elder MacPherson!! I'm pretty pumped for this transfer. it'll be fun but there will also be tons of growth and teaching. this area has grown a ton lately when it comes to people to teach and so it's really made this transfer a great one! 
      We found this guy Gary the other day and He is just a super cool guy! We just ran into him on our way to someone else but he was super welcoming and actually invited us into his house for a few minutes. So then we went back a few days later and we taught him the first lesson after he told us about nutrition (which is how we got the return appointment) and how we can help our bodies to clear our minds so that the spirit can talk to us better. It was actually really cool, and then when we talked about the first vision, i told him what Joseph Smith said, and his mouth just dropped wide open. he was so amazed at the story and so we invited him to church and he went to church and now we are meeting with him tomorrow again! So that's just one miraculous thing that happened this week.
    We have also had the opportunity to help out at a local food bank and its always so cool to me to see the other volunteers there who sacrifice portions of their lives to help others, and they aren't on missions so they actually have to take time out of their busy days to go volunteer and they do it for like 4 hours twice a week! It just really opens my eyes to all the good people out there and it has made me want to get to know people better, not just teach them but really get to know them and understand why they do what they do and what brings them comfort in this day and age. Another experience that brought that thought to the forefront of my brain was this guy Jonathan who we ran into a couple weeks ago and he said we were welcome to stop buy and talk anytime if his car was there. so we stopped by on saturday and ended up just talking to him like we were old friends for like 40 minutes. But the really cool part was that as we tried to just befriend this guy the Lord really did intervene and give us the perfect set-ups to talk about the principles of the gospel and i think that this is something that i underestimate a lot because i definitely don't just befriend people that often without the thought in the back of my mind of how i'm going to get this person to investigate the church and go through the steps to be baptized; but when we genuinely care about someone and we just want to help out and be their friend then God sets up the gospel conversations, not us. 

Well Elder Siler and I have a bunch of packing to do and cleaning to do because he has to pack for transfers and we are also moving into a different ward members home on wednesday... so i might have to cut this short, but know that the Lord is on your side! "...when they are spit upon, and made a hiss and a byword, they are standing shoulder to shoulder with the best life this world has ever known." 
"fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever."
     It is my testimony that our Father in Heaven who loves us NEVER abandons us, even when we abandon Him, His arm of mercy is still outstretched ready to receive us once again. Never let yourself think that He is not there because times are hard or because you can't feel his immediate presence. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so if he didn't abandon our dear prophet Joseph Smith when he was in the lowliest of places (D&C 121-123) then why on earth would our God be abandoning us just because we don't feel his embrace quite as strongly as we did yesterday? God Loves us!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you all
Love Elder Cluff

June 16, 2017

More Effort=More Blessings

This week I have seen the hand of the Lord so abundantly as I have tried harder to grow my knowledge and use more of my knowledge when talking to others. The biggest thing I was working on was getting more scriptures in my head that I can pull out in lessons so that people are learning from the scriptures, which we know to be the word of God, and not from little old me who may have a tendency to add many unneeded details. As I did this I found so many inspiring verses that I had never really seen before and began to memorize them just well enough to remember the reference and the story line. I began to realize very quickly that the Lord would then bring these scriptures to my remembrance so often throughout the day when it was needed to comfort someone or to take the attention off of my words and show them words of the prophets of old. 
     Our mission put on this mission-wide convert fireside friday night where all 140 missionaries from our mission went, as well as all the recent converts we could round up. This was one of the coolest experiences I've had out here in relation to meetings or events. There were several recent converts that spoke and one of them showed up in jeans and a T-shirt thinking she was going to be standing by a big bonfire talking to a little group of individuals.... so if you ever invite someone to a fireside who hasn't been before make sure you tell them it's not a real fireside!  Another recent convert that spoke talked about how he wasn't really thinking that he wanted to join the church but he didn't want to go against Christ if it really is His Gospel so he prayed and told God that he needed a big answer, something to tell him this is the right path. Well a couple weeks passed and no answer came so he thought it meant that the church wasn't true. He was about to call it quits with the missionaries but on his way home from work he needed to stop by a bank so he found the closest one on his phone and clicked "GO". The only problem was that when his phone said he had arrived he found himself sitting in the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints building. This was a pretty funny story and he ended up taking that as part of his answer and kept meeting with the missionaries and then got baptized.
    One of the coolest things for me at this fireside though was hearing/seeing these individuals who have only come to know these truths less than a year ago stand up and testify that this is Christ's Church here on the earth, this is his gospel, the book of mormon is true and it contains the word of God, Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, and all these other things that one may testify of. But the Testimonies of those who have come to know these truths a little further into their lives than us who were born into it I believe are even more powerful because they could not have gained that testimony any way other than through direct inspiration from the Holy Ghost. I feel some aspects of my testimony come from the teachings of my parents or the conviction of my youth leaders, but this cannot be the case for those who have never heard the pleasing word of the Lord found within the Book of Mormon until now. It is my hope and prayer that we will all search for that confirmation from the spirit that the things we have been taught and are being taught are true. "No one can know of spiritual truths without prayer." -Preach My Gospel pg. 39
      One last thing that I learned while at the fireside. As one of the speakers said, "I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," I truly felt that the things he had said were something that Christ would have said. I then had to ask myself the question, "when I close something that i say with Christ's name, am i truly saying something that He would say if he were here?" I think this is a question we can all often ask ourselves, and if the answer is no, then simply study the things that Christ has said to us and pattern your words and conversations after His. We should all strive to become as Nephi and Lehi (the ones in helaman) who were given those names to invite them to pattern their lives after their forbears as it says in verses 6 and 7 of helaman 5. For we have truly taken upon us the name of Christ through baptism and now we are continually invited to pattern our lives after His. 

Well that's about all I've got time for, but have a good week everybody!!! "I would desire that ye should consider upon the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God"

Love you all!
  Love, Elder Cluff!

By Small and Simple Means

What a great week it has been in boulder! The first of this week was a ton of fun. We got to talk to tons of people and help lots of people. But it didn't seem to bring much fruits. We were talking to everyone, we were teaching them restored truths, but they just weren't ready to receive yet. Well i learned very early on that this is not unusual and so we kept working harder and harder knowing that there was something that we could improve upon. We found near the end of the week that we had too much unneeded talk when we were teaching and testifying and we weren't extending enough commitments which allow people to choose whether they want this in their life right off the bat. So Friday comes along and we were ready to put all this to use.... but then we had to stay inside and plan for next week for 2 hours which we didn't really want to do at the moment because we were just barely figuring out what we needed to work on and we wanted to work on it! So we did our planning and then we headed out to talk to people, testify, and invite at every opportunity, and that's what we did. But guess what happened.... nothin. That's okay though because just like i talked about last week maybe this was just us getting close to the top of the mountain, and so we got home that night and talked again about what we could do better, but we pretty much kept the same goal for the next day. So we went out again on saturday and we ended up finding 4 new people to teach, and only one of them came from tracting, but all of them came as we were ready to get out and do whatever the Lord would have us do. I think the Lord truly saw our efforts and He placed people who were prepared in our path as He saw our willingness. One of these encounters was very miraculous and happened at just the right time. It was 8 at night and we didn't have enough time or miles to go make any visits so we decided that we were going to need to go knock doors. So we went to a nearby apartment complex and we prayed that our efforts would be consecrated and that we would be able to find someone who needed us. We got out of the car, talked to some lady walking her dog, and then we started walking towards the first building where there was a man outside smoking and talking on the phone. Well its rude to talk to people while they are on the phone so we weren't going to talk to him unless he got off before we got to him, and right before we got to him he saw us and said to whoever he was on the phone with "alright i gotta go, bye." He then turns to us and asks how our missions are going. He's not a member but he's pretty familiar with a lot of religions. He then asked  (after a short conversation about our mission) what we want to do after our missions. Elder Siler said he wants to be a physical therapist and i said i wanted to get into woodworking. He then asked if we had a few minutes, took us inside and showed us some things he made from wood. But we didn't talk about that for more than a few seconds before he asked, "So what do you guys have for me? what can you offer me? I just feel lost and i want my family to feel like a family and i want to have a church where i can talk to other people about what's going on in my life and know that i can trust them." We continued to talk to him for another 20 minutes about the restoration and the organization of the church and how families are so central to God's plan and that we have great people in our congregation who would love to meet him. And then we promised him, we said. "Justin, we can promise you in the name of Jesus Christ that you can find true happiness and Joy as you learn about this gospel." He started to cry and he said we could come back on tuesday and he would make us dinner. We told him we would be there and we would bring another member with us as well. Before we left he shook our hands and then he hugged us and said, "I can feel how much you two and God love me just from you talking to me." Needless to say this was a rare yet very spiritual and miraculous experience. We walked away from that apartment with a new view of our heavenly father's love for his children.... ALL his children. 

This week I started trying to memorize more scriptures and one of them i decided to memorize sunday morning was Mosiah 4:12 which says "and behold, i say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of Him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true."  And then during church while i was listening to the testimonies being born i realized just how appropriate that verse was for a sunday. I was like King Benjamin's people and those at the pulpit were teaching me and testifying to me of things that i could do to obtain the things spoken of in that verse. I thought that it was just so neat to see how the verse i picked that morning turned out to be more than just a random highlighted verse in my scriptures to help me work on my memorizing skills. It turned out to be something i could learn from as i repeated it in my head all throughout the day. Anything that is good comes from the Lord. Sometimes we can see that very directly happening in our lives, or sometimes it is something that we will never realize came from the Lord, but as we look for those ways that things come from the Lord we will notice them and we are then given the choice to follow their pattern and become better. 

One more thing before i end this. I just gotta say, we are living with the coolest old man ever right now. It's Brother Anderson. He's 86, his wife died 8 years ago, and he has the best memory of his whole life so he is always telling us stories from his life and sharing words of wisdom with us. I feel like he's just another grandpa and whenever we get home at night i go into the living room where he's sitting on a recliner and i sit down on the couch and talk to him about his life for like 20-40 minutes and we just talk like were old friends... but he's the only old one. And he also cooks us breakfast on mondays! 

Well, that's all i got!

Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff

"I Like That Boulder, That Is A Nice Boulder"

Hey Everybody!!!
So on tuesday of last week i got a call from my mission president and he asked if i would go to boulder (louisville ward)  the next day because neither one of the elders up there have driving privileges and they needed someone there who could drive so i packed up and moved up to boulder 24 hours later. Now before i jump into what else has happened with this transfer let me share a different part of me week.
   So yesterday for p-day we went and hiked the green mountain trail and we drove up pretty far so that we only had to hike about a mile and a half to the top and climb 1,600 feet during the hike. it was a fairly steep hike most of the way with lots of natural steps and log steps, but once we got to the last quarter mile it got really steep and there were lots of big rocks to go over/around and so needless to say this was the hardest part of the hike and you couldn't see where the end was until you were practically there-- but once you got there the view was AMAZING. You could look one way and see over all of the denver metro area and then you could look the other way out over the rocky mountains and I soon realized after reaching the top and feeling such peace and joy that our lives often follow the same pattern. They are hard most of the time, and then whenever we are getting close to something great it becomes even harder, and even easier to have the thought of turning back and descending down the mountain to the comfort of flat ground. But these times are when we have to continue to push harder then ever because once we reach the top there is something so glorious and beautiful waiting for us along with peace and rest in God's hands. 
      Now the reason i wanted to share this experience and insight is because after seeing this correlation i then saw the correlation between that mountain and my life this last week. While i was in Arvada it was hard but i felt that it was consistent and i had figured out my pace. I also felt that miracles and blessing were soon to come. My mistake in this thought was that i had imagined those miracles and blessings being in arvada during the next 4 weeks, but then on tuesday last week i hit that last quarter mile where it began to become very difficult. I loved being with Elder Fonger and we quickly became great companions as well as friends and i was not too thrilled to leave that companionship, as well as that area to come to Boulder. Once i got to Boulder i realized that the small miracles and blessings which i felt would soon be seen were to be received here in this area of the Lord's vineyard. On Saturday I had the opportunity to go back to Arvada for Corina's baptism. It was an amazing experience and I loved being able to see some of the people i had come to know while i was there, but it was also during that baptism where i realized that i was no longer needed in Arvada. I am now needed in Boulder and so that is where i will place my heart and my might now. I want to be one that the Lord can trust with random inconvenient tasks. I don't want to be one that can only serve the Lord where i am comfortable or where i am well known. I have been called of God to serve. The where does not matter to me as long as i am fulfilling that grand call with which i have been entrusted.
Well, this week has also been a great week for teaching. We haven't had very many appointments set up but we did have many open their doors to us and let us teach and serve them and their families. 
   I don't really know what else to say about this week because not much else was on my mind all week but i hope to have more to share next week in relation to this area and the teaching opportunities which we are having.
Love you all!!
  Love, Elder Cluff

May 25, 2017

Stake Conference Weekend

So we had a ton of great stuff happen this week but the biggest thing i wanted to talk about is the stake conference we just had. There was so much insight and inspiration given. 
First for the Adult session on saturday night, I can't remember her name but the first speaker  said something that i thought was very insightful. I can't remember the exact way that she put it but she said something about how the Savior doesn't only know us perfectly but he knows those whom we are trying to love, teach, befriend, tolerate, or whatever it may be. And if the Savior knows them perfectly as well then we should always turn to Him for guidance on how to better love others. 
    Another speaker, Sister Carlston, talked about youth a lot, but then she talked about missionary work and how we have to befriend people before we can truly share much of the gospel with them and once we have befriended someone we no longer need to tell them to go to church on sunday but we should invite them to join us in our church worship. the scriptures teach us that love will overcome or conquer fear, so if that is true then once we can come to love those around us then the fear of invitation can quickly become absent and we will be able to bring others closer to their Savior Jesus Christ! "Live your life so that those who don't know Him will want to know Him because they know you." 
      Sister Mendenhall's talk was centered around a story when she was younger when she and her cousin woke up too early easter morning and found that the easter bunny had not come yet. They ran to their parents room and told them about the devastating news. Her mom quickly woke up, threw off the covers and said "quick, go back to bed, He will come!" She then based her talk off of those three profound words, He will come. How often do we get depressed or confused in life and forget to remind ourselves that Christ will come? We are not alone, we are preparing the way for the Son of God to return to this earth and the adversary is working just as hard to ruin the work that we are so anxiously engaged in. This is not an easy task, how could it be? We must remind ourselves often that He will come! And we must become ready now to greet Him when He does come because no man or angel knows when that time will be. 
      Elder Rawson also came to stake conference and he gave a wonderful talk and gave us a very introspective question to ask ourselves often. It was, "Can i be trusted with revelation?" He talked about how we often try to figure out how to receive more revelation in our lives and how to find the answers we are searching for through revelation, but how often do we think about the position we are putting God in when we ask and seek for revelation in our lives? Can He trust us with the sacred knowledge we are asking for? 
      Okay i don't have too much more time but let me just put a couple quotes in here from the session on sunday.
   "Nothing would be worth destroying the protection and Joy that comes from regular temple attendance." 
    "Whatever we have to do to become/stay worthy to attend the temple and serve a mission is worth it."
   "He won't take away the burden or make it lighter, but He will strengthen us."
    "We have no idea, we don't even grasp the blessings and power and strength that is available when we attend the Temple on a frequent and consistent basis."
    "Just as we cannot catch up on meals after not eating for 6 days, we cannot wait till sunday to feed our spirits."
Well, that's about all i got folks! Thanks for reading! Bye!
Love you all!!!
Love,Elder Cluff

Happiness and Hard Work

Hey Everybody!!! 

This week i have truly seen the correlation between happiness and hard work. It's hard to work very hard if you aren't happy, but it's also hard to be truly happy if you aren't really doing anything. Elder Fonger and I have done tons of service and we have talked to so many people and we have been happy and enjoying ourselves through it all. I have found that when i am only focused on how i can get these people to take a Book of Mormon and let us come back then i'm not very happy while i'm doing it, but when i talk to these people like they're my best friend right when i open my mouth and i just talk to them about how much i love Jesus, then it almost always leads to good feelings in the conversation and good feelings towards the church. It also leads to me wanting to talk to more and more people. I'm not sure if that came out at all like i wanted it to but one point i wanted to get across with this is that the Lord blesses us with Joy when we choose to be happy, I can't even begin to tell you how blessed i feel as i choose to be happy and as i choose to not let things get to me. I hope that you can all feel the blessings from heaven falling upon you as you choose to become the person you want to be.... 

Okay, now for something a little less confusing. I wanted to talk a little bit about the peace of God. Jesus taught us in john 14:27 that His peace is greater than the peace that anything on earth can give when He said "peace i leave with you, my peace i give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give i unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.". Isn't that something we would all love? to not let our hearts be troubled or afraid? This is something that is possible through searching out Christ and coming closer to Him. The peace of God is something that all of us can have if we would just choose to ask for it and then do all we can to obtain it. I have learned a lot lately about our choices and how much they affect our lives and especially our happiness (as stated before). We cannot just pray and ask God to make us happier or give us peace if we are choosing to be angry and uptight about all that comes our way; but if we can strive every day to choose to be peaceful and to choose to search out peaceful things then God can and will consecrate our efforts and He will bless us with way more peace than we could ever obtain on  our own. it is my hope and my prayer that we may all turn to our savior Jesus Christ and give all our worries and fears to him so that in return He may grant us our hopes and dreams! 

I know my email was short this week but i just didn't feel that much else needed to be said. I hope you all have a wonderful week and i will try to write a less confusing and jumbled email next week.. 

Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff 

A Week to Remember

What a week!! 
So first off, i am not getting transferred but Elder Olsen is. I will be getting Elder Fonger as my new companion! I don't really know who that is but i'm excited to find out! 
        But as for the rest of this week, it was filled with tons of great things both spiritual and less spiritual... We had some amazing lessons in the YSA. We had an investigator show up drunk to FHE last monday; we had a guy slam his door so hard that his tin roof shook, as well as the rest of his house i think haha; and we had some miracles happen in the lives of our investigators this week!
     lets start with the miracles. forgive me if i repeat anything because i have no idea what i have said in the past... But a couple weeks ago Corina (a YSA investigator) told us that she wasn't sure about baptism yet and she wanted to hold off on setting a day. We met with her several times since and she has been progressing a ton this last week. But the miracle came when we met with her on saturday. We were just talking about how her Book of Mormon reading was going and she said it was going good, but then she all of the sudden got really excited and said "guys something crazy happened this week." So we asked what it was and she went on to tell us that after our last visit with her she decided to take everything to God and so she did and she told Him that she knows this gospel is true but she was gonna need Him to help her disconnect from flatirons (a big church out here), especially her women's group. And less than 24 hours after her prayer she said she got an email from the leader of the women's group that said she couldn't do it anymore because she wanted to spend more time with her kids and so the women's group just ended right there. God is so willing to help us in any way He can if we have a true desire to follow Him! He may not have needed to completely take away that women's group to help Corina make the decision to be baptized, but sometimes God gives us a little jump-start on our path. We just have to make sure that we never miss those jump-starts by saying that it was done by man and not by God. Heavenly Father is at the head of anything and everything that is good which means we can rest assured that if something is pushing us towards becoming something or someone better then it is surely from God!! Don't waste time doubting what you have already learned to be true, or searching for happiness you have already found. 
      I think one of the things i love most about serving a mission is that you get to see very early on in life how the gospel and the scriptures can be our source of guidance through anything. just from studying the scriptures and growing closer to my savior i am able to help and guide those who don't even know who God is to have an unshakable faith in him, or share a scripture with the mother who doesn't know what to do with her wayward daughter, or testify to the homeless of God's plan for all of us, or uncover feelings of love in a contentious home. These things come from Christ and from the spirit. Though i may be the vessel in which a message is carried, i am far from being the one from whom it comes. I love being able to see this gospel change lives for the better. I found a cool quote tucked away somewhere in my scriptures today and there was a particular part that stuck out to me. It said "the purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change." Some of us are farther along this path than others but the important thing to measure and question ourselves on often is, "how am i changing?" and there's many ways to apply this question. Am i changing for good or for bad? Am i changing a lot or a little? Or am i changing at all? All of these things are questions we should continuously ask our selves so that we can make sure we are still on the path to becoming a celestial citizen. 

Well that's all i got this week, i can't write too much cause i need something to talk about on Mothers day with the Fam. No, i actually just forgot to write stuff down that i wanted to talk about and now i'm just drawing blanks...

Love you all
Love, Elder Cluff

May 6, 2017

A Long Week With A Great Reward

The weeks where P-day isn't till Wednesday always seem super long, but its always more than worth it when we get to go to the temple Wednesday morning. we had to wake up at 5:30 this morning to get to the temple by 7 and i feel like that's the most awake I've felt on my mission right after i wake up because i was just so excited to go to the temple! I love doing the Lords work and then being able to go to the Lords house on occasion to feel even more in depth the Love that He has for all His children. 
       I can't believe this transfer will be over in a week. I have learned so much and have grown so much in the last 6 weeks which has made it go by even faster. One of the things that i have learned this transfer and more specifically in the last week is that there really is no such thing as one right way to do missionary work. Of course we are to follow the counsel and guidance given to us by God's servants whom He has told to direct us but beyond that there are our personalities and our quirks that make us more useful in the Lords hands with certain individuals, and even more important than those things is our individual testimonies. I have truly seen the Lords hand pushing me in certain directions this week because He knew that I was the only one at that moment who could touch certain peoples lives... I'm not sure if that made sense so let me share an example. We were teaching a YSA investigator last week and she was talking about how all the small changes that come from changing religions is what's going to be the hardest for her. When she told us that, i knew that i had a testimony/experience that she needed to hear. I told her about how when i came out on my mission i had been preparing for it my whole life and so the huge decision of coming on a mission for two years wasn't the hard part for me. The thing i found to be one of the hardest transitions was leaving my mom who knows the scriptures and the doctrines they contain like the back of her hand and could always tell me where to study or what to say in a talk or what advice to give others who are struggling. All i do out here is talk to people about God and Jesus Christ and how they can grow their faith. I would love to be able to just call my mom or go back home at night and ask her how i can help them, but i can't, and so I'm left lost unless i turn to the Savior. Now this wasn't a huge miraculous experience but i believe it was something that Corina needed to hear that day. We just taught her again yesterday and she told us that she does in fact believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and that she has felt many times in the last week that God has been telling her she's ready for the next step which is baptism. There were many many things that prepared her to receive that answer and my small experience and testimony definitely wasn't a make it or break it kind of moment but i do believe that the small things we have to share are what makes the Gospel and its teachings more personal to those around us. I am so very grateful for the little things in my life that have impacted me which i am able to share with others so that they can know that i don't just talk about this Gospel but i live this Gospel. We can't just talk about the Savior, we have to follow Him!! 
       Its interesting the way we feel when we obey the promptings of the spirit vs when we do not obey the promptings of the spirit. i think these feelings alone may be the extent of the consequences we receive at times. Once we have felt the joy and the peace that comes from obedience to the Holy Ghost, then the pain that comes from disobedience is more than enough to redirect our course back to obedience, but the slippery slope within this thought comes when we become careless with those feelings of regret and unease that come after disobedience. If we reason within ourselves and let our natural man tell us that those feelings weren't from the spirit, or that they weren't strong enough to mean that we messed up that bad, then we will continue to do this until we no longer remember what it felt like to be obedient which will result in finding ourselves at the bottom of that slippery slope not knowing how to return to the top where obedience, love, and peace lie waiting for us. But when we feel those pains of disobedience and we immediately redirect our course, then we will find ourselves farther and farther from that slippery slope until it is no longer in our sight. 

Well, that's all i really got this week. 

Love you all! 
Love, Elder Cluff

May 5, 2017

Tender Mercies of Obedience

So the last couple weeks Elder Olsen and I have been trying to look for any lack of obedience in our missionary work and we could definitely see the Lords hand outstretched to us this week giving us success. The biggest blessing that happened this week is that we were able to find a family to teach. As wonderful as it is bringing souls unto Christ one by one, it just feels good when you are able to teach a family how this gospel can bless and strengthen them as they learn together. We had talked to the Mother of this family once before but she told us to come back another time, so we went back a few days later and she told us they were really busy with house cleaning and so we told her we could help clean-- we could vacuum, we could sweep, we can move stuff, we can wipe stuff down, whatever she needs, and after like 5 minutes of hesitation because she was embarrassed of her dirty house she finally let us in and told us we could vacuum the upstairs. We vacuumed and then asked if we could sit down with the family and share a message and she said we could so we sat down with her, her two boys, and the grandma and taught them about the restoration of the gospel and they seemed like they were actually semi interested in what we had to say haha. we told them that we can come back this week and help them some more with the house and she said she feels bad having us clean but she needs the help so she accepted and said we could teach some more after we clean... Hopefully they open up to us again! 
       Another wonderful experience from this week was when we were reading the book of mormon with a less active family and at the end their 9 year old son said the prayer and in his prayer he said "thank you for blessing the family." I'm sure this was just a misuse of words as he was referring to his own family but it stood out to me as something more meaningful than that. As he said "the family" instead of "my family" i thought about how God has blessed THE family, not just the families within the gospel or the families that are living righteously but anyone that is part of a family (which is everyone in one way or another) can know that they are part of something beautiful that God has set up for us. 
       We had some wonderful talks in our YSA sacrament meeting yesterday, but one of them started their talk with a beautiful statement that i think applies to much of life. She said "i hope you can still feel the spirit of my words even if the delivery is shaky." I thought this was very neat because often times i think we feel as if we aren't quite good enough to do what the Lord would have us do. We think that we aren't too good with words, we can't phrase things the way they are in our heads, or we aren't smart enough, but none of these things matter if we can truly understand how the Lord works through us to make his plans work. We need to know that if the Lord has called us to do something then He will make a way. (1 NE 3:7) Most of the time that path that he makes for us is rocky, its not easy... its shaky. But we must remain faithful that the Lord knows what's happening and he won't give us more then we can handle (1 COR 10:13). If we will try our best then the Lord will work through us and whatever it is that He is trying to accomplish will surely happen. 

Alrighty, now for some of the funny things that happened this week. We went to this apartment complex early last week to try and find some YSA investigators because our zone leaders said it was a YSA goldmine, so we went there when we had a few minutes in-between appointments. We ran into these two cousins who let us in and we ended up talking to them for about 30 minutes and found out that one of them actually took some missionary lessons a while back and asked us if we still have game night on mondays because he wants to come to those, but the other one, Jeff, didn't really know anything about us and was just talking to us a lot about faith and how its helped him through a lot of hard times lately. Then he was telling us about how his aunt was mad at him and they haven't been getting along lately and then he said "and my dead cat is still in the freezer" which didn't go with what he was talking about at all! Apparently he didn't have enough money to cremate his cat so he had to put it in the freezer till saturday when he would get paid. so we set up a return appointment for saturday and then he called about an hour before our appointment on saturday and told us he might not be home because... "i gotta buy some groceries, cremate the cat, and just a bunch of stuff like that today." Oh my goodness, once we got off the phone we just started dying because nobody puts groceries and cremating their cat in the same sentence! 
    Well, that was kinda what my week looked like! Lots of weird people this week, but just as many wonderful people looking for the right path which is found within the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Hope this email had something in it that the spirit can touch your heart and mind through. 

Love, Elder Cluff

April 19, 2017

I Want To Be Obedient

This week was a wonderful week and a great growing experience. we had a zone conference on thursday and President Mendenhall gave a teaching at the end about obedience and the difference in just being obedient vs. being obedient and wanting to be. i felt that there were a few things that i have been obedient to just because I'm supposed to--not because i want to and so i made a resolution to find those things and do whatever it will take to grow my faith in that area enough to want to be obedient. So once the conference was over I went up to President and told him I want to be obedient. he told me i have recognized the key to success and then he told me "it'll be hard, you'll be tempted a lot, let me know how it goes." and i wasn't quite sure what he was talking about because I didn't see why i would be tempted more than i am now if i am just changing my mindset, but president's words were fulfilled and as i try to change and want to be obedient the adversary truly sees my actions and he uses many different road blocks and speed bumps to place in my path. It has been such a cool experience the last couple days though as i feel those temptations or self doubt, i am then able to turn to the Savior and ask him to take these things away from me so that i can accomplish His work and go find those who need me without delay and i have truly felt the power of the atonement in my life allowing me to forget about anything satan is throwing at me and throw myself into the work that i am out here to do. its not often a big relief in one moment or a lightning bolt striking away my fears or temptations but rather it is most often a subtle realization that what i was feeling hours earlier or days earlier is no longer there. The Lord makes us clean most often through cleansing with a spray bottle and a cloth, not a firehose. We have to truly want to be obedient to the Lord or else the immense blessings and miracles will not often follow. this is the Lord's plan so we must go about fulfilling it his way. 
          We had many wonderful talks and musical numbers yesterday in church regarding this easter season but one in particular stood out to me. it was a talk about the resurrection and one of the questions posed to all of us was "how can we prepare for our own resurrection?" that question really touched me and made me think a little bit more about this life and what i will do while I'm here to prepare for my own resurrection. what will i do to make my resurrection a glorious time when i will get to stand beside my brother Jesus Christ? How can i prepare my mind, body, and spirit so that i can take as much with me after this life? I don't really have much insight on that question because I'm still pondering it a lot in my own head but now you can ponder it too. 
           Another point during this week that stood out to me was when someone was explaining to us how there is always good and bad going on in our lives but we just have to choose which one to look at. It really is our choice whether to see all the bad in our lives or whether to look at all the good because we can't really do both at the same time. If we are so focused on the bad in our lives then we will hardly ever see the good and we will fall into all sorts of depressing moods, but if we choose to look the other direction and see all the good that's happening, all the tender mercies, all the miracles and all the love in our lives then the bad quickly departs and doesn't come back unless we invite it to. I love the hope and the peace that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings into our lives. it says in the prince of peace video "He offers peace to all who follow him" and i love the use of the word follow when we talk about the Savior because following is an action. it is something we continually do and the act of following is what brings the blessings. we don't just come unto Christ and then stop. we come unto Christ and then we follow him, we plant our feet in the same places he does and we look forward to the place he is leading us to which is Eternal life with our Father in heaven.  

Well, that's all folks!  have a great week and remember that we celebrate the Savior and His resurrection year round. it has Eternal value so why would we only value it in our own lives once a year? never stop believing, never stop pushing and wanting to be obedient. 

Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff

A Fun And Busy Week

This week has been full of fun moments and tons of testifying, I believe that is just part of the reason it is so important to continually grow our testimonies because that is so much of what missionary work is. it is being able to truthfully testify to others that you have felt something in your life and that you KNOW that it can be felt in their life as well and that it can change their life because it has changed yours. This is not an easy task though. in order to testify to others you have to first find people to testify to, and then you have to be willing to put yourself in a position where you are going to feel uncomfortable and talk to these random strangers wherever they may be found. A great example of this from this past week was when we felt that nothing was getting done inbetween the hours of like 11 and 3 and we weren't sure what to do because no one was home and we didn't want to just go out and tract for 4 hours so we decided to take the bus around to the places we want to go because then as we are traveling we are also able to talk to others on the bus. I was all for this because no one likes tracting, but then once we got on the bus i felt so uncomfortable trying to talk to the person sitting next to me. nobody gets on the bus to meet other people unless they are weirdos like us missionaries and so i decided that i needed to come up with a reasonable question that i could ask on the bus before i jump into teaching, so i saw this teenage boy sitting a couple seats behind me and i got up, walked back to the row beside him, and asked him if he knew where a good place to eat was around here. He said no just as any teenager probably would and then i told him about the easter video and i just had friendly conversation with him about spiritual things just like i would with a friend. It was so cool to see that once we are willing and we come up with a plan, then often times, even if its not a very good plan, then Heavenly Father uses us and our small plan to bring about His mighty work and His marvelous plan. All we have to do is try our best and Heavenly Father sees that and he helps us.
         We met with Anthony twice this week and we felt impressed to stop teaching him things that will help him resolve his concerns but to instead give him commitments that will help him exercise his faith, take a jump, and find out for himself without us saying the same thing the last 20 missionaries have. so while we were brainstorming how to do this and what commitments to leave we decided that ever since he started being taught by the missionaries we have been beating around the bush with his concerns and not actually asking him to use repentance for what its intended and change his life, his point of view, and his heart. His biggest concern right now still lies within the Godhead Vs. the trinity and so we asked him to truly take moroni's challenge and ask God The Eternal Father, having faith in Christ his son, believing that he will get his answer from the Holy Ghost, because how can we expect to get the promised answer if we aren't even following the first steps?  He said this would be a hard commitment but he has been doing it for almost a week now and he is slowly progressing towards being able to truly pray that way in sincerity and not just because its a challenge. the second time we met with him he told us he still just has a hard time reading the Book of Mormon without his mind jumping to scriptures in the bible that he believes contradict the things we believe and the things the book of mormon teaches, and in companionship study the day before we had actually talked about that very issue he has and so we decided through prayer and study that we needed to change his course of action when he comes across these things. we told him that when he comes across things that don't make sense he needs to first get down on his knees and ask God to help him understand and teach him and then instead of looking for things in the bible to go against what we teach, go to scriptures that will uplift and clear his understanding of the doctrines we have taught. the inspiration behind this came from the several talks in conference that talked about how you have to first start walking down the path and then you will receive the confirmation that its the right one, and how is God going to be able to confirm to us that things are true if we are looking to disprove it? whereas if we are willing to take some steps to help us understand what we are being taught then God will be able to tell us we are on the right path and these teachings are right. God can't help us if we don't help ourselves! we all need to take the steps necessary to help God confirm to us the truth of the gospel in whatever area we are struggling. there is so much bad and evil in the world, if you look for things to go against the gospel you are going to find more than enough to make you question yourself, but you will never feel the Spirit of the Lord in those times. Now if we search for truth and light then the Spirit of the Lord will dwell upon us in such abundance that we will never deny the truthfulness of the things we have found and felt. 
That's about all i have time for today but i hope that as you read the things i write that the Spirit may touch your life the way it has touched mine through these experiences. i pray for you and your well being. 

Love, Elder Cluff

Arvada.... Plus the whole stake... plus Golden

We've been having a great time here so far! there's not a lot of work right now so we have been trying to meet with people who might know other people that we can teach. I cant remember if i already told you guys this or not but Elder Tonga was actually here with Elder Olsen before me so that was a pretty cool transition. I'm able to tell people here that i came out with Elder Tonga and that we had a blast in the MTC together and apparently he's told some of the people out here about me too so hopefully its all good things!
   So since we cover the YSA we have a HUGE area. Our YSA actually draws from 3 stakes-- Arvada, Westminster, And Golden. Golden actually isn't even in our mission (its in the south mission)  but we got permission to go there from our stake president and our mission president and none of the YSA missionaries have ever been there before so we get to be the first to go in there and gather together the flocks of YSA, plus Golden is where school of mines is at so there's a ton of college students that are way too smart.. 
      I have found it to be superrrrr helpful to be with an ex-AP tho because there's a lot of things floating around in the mission that the missionaries say is okay or approved but they really aren't. For example every missionary i have talked to up until this point has said that we are allowed to listen to disney music in this mission and when i got here i asked Elder Olsen if we could and he said that disney music has actually never been approved but missionaries just decide to make their own rules to abide by and then it spreads from there... so my ignorant disobedience has now been put to an end and i have already felt more confidence in our companionship and in my spirit as i have been strictly obeying these small seemingly insignificant rules or commandments. 
      We have one investigator, Anthony, who is actually taking things very seriously. He's only 24,  he's the coolest guy ever, he's been dating a super strong member for like 7 years, he comes to church every sunday, and he's read the book of mormon multiple times so he's doing everything right but he's been investigating for like 20 months and he just can't get past a few questions about things like the godhead not being the trinity, having a living prophet today, and there's a couple other things but its so cool to see the Lords hand working constantly in our lives and his to help him progress towards answering his questions. Elder Casta's talk in the sunday afternoon session of conference was so perfect for him because it practically paralleled his life and encouraged him to take the next step. 
     The Lord's love for us was shown immensely during this conference and there were so many talks that at least touched on the fact that we have to be all in. The time is now to straighten out our lives and give our EVERYTHING to the Lord. We have to constantly nourish our testimonies and we have to constantly listen to the spirit in order to have an unwavering faith in the Savior in these last days which are so dark and  brutal to those of us who are trying to stand firm in the faith and live worthy of God's blessings. 

    -The Cluff Tradition Continues-
So the other day we got a call from our Choir director Sister Heebs and she asked us to come to Choir practice yesterday because they are lacking when it comes to male voices; so we agreed, and Elder Olsen is like BYU vocal point material so we... He could definitely help out. So we showed up and we got about half way through practice and there was one part that she kept asking us to try again because it didn't sound right. "Not everyone was hitting the same note", so after 2 or three tries i leaned over and told Elder Olsen "its probably me, watch" and i didn't sing at all the next time we tried and then Sister Heeb said "thats perfect!!" and i just started kinda laughing in the back..But to make it even better we went to the Heebs house for dinner afterwards and she asked me how i liked choir and so i told her i loved it.... but i have absolutely no singing abilities and she told me that's not true. so we told her what happened in the middle of choir and why the note finally sounded right and then once she heard that she told me in a very sweet way "well maybe you can just move your mouth and Elder Olsen can make up for you" and i just started laughing once again and told her about how that's been a tradition in our family to be asked not to sing in choirs.

Well... that's it for today.. thanks for all the support and prayers! 

Love, Elder Cliff (everyone gets it wrong)

March 26, 2017

My Testimony of The Book of Mormon

This gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, is not just simply an addition to our lives; but rather it is the way we live our lives. I know this to be true because anytime I find something new within this gospel I also find that it is beckoning me to act and to change for the better. But how do we come to find these truths within the gospel? Well it is my testimony that The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have read it. I have prayed about it, and I know it does!
Now if I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a lifestyle and I know that The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of that gospel, then do I not know that the Book of Mormon contains the answers to any and all of life's questions? I am here to tell you that I do know that The Book of Mormon has any and all the answers we will ever need throughout this life. It's no myth. It's no fairy tale. It is real. It has changed my life, I know it has.
"The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion." (Preach My Gospel) As I have been about the work of my Father in Heaven, I have seen the Book of Mormon change the lives of many investigators. But as I have witnessed this change in their lives, there has been a ringing truth within me, that I know to be the voice of the Holy Spirit, testifying to me that this book is not only meant to change the lives of those who read it for the fist time, but it is surely, and maybe even more importantly, supposed to change my life and the lives of all members as well--no matter how many times they have read it and felt a change before.

A Fun-filled Week

This email will mostly be short stories today because i have a lot from this week... 

I like to call this story, "And the real mont bello comes out." So we were just finishing up our lunch one day at our apartment and i was sitting with my back to the window that looks out towards the parking lot when i heard this random groan come from outside, so I turned around and looked out the window and i saw a man laying halfway on the sidewalk and halfway on the pavement. So i told Elder Murdock and then we ran out to help him and he was just barely trying to get up when we got to him so we offered some assistance and grabbed his arms to help him up. We then started to smell the drunken breath and aroma coming from this man so we offered to help him walk back to his apartment. He said that would be great and so we helped him walk back and i have never met or seen a more drunk man in my entire life. He couldnt even keep his legs under him while we were supporting his weight. We had to take his key out of his hand, unlock his door, and then take him in and plop him down on his couch. We were laughing about that for the rest of the day, it was great! And he also agreed to meet with us again but he probably has no idea that he did that. 

Alrighty, Next! We heard a knock on our door the other morning during studies, so we thought maybe it was the other missionaries that live in our complex, so we opened the door and it was actually missionaries for the church of God (a non denominational church) and they wanted to teach us about the last prophecy in the bible. So we let them, and they talked about some neat things ive never seen in the bible, but then after they had taken about 10 minutes of our time i started talking about the book of mormon and they would not have anything of it. They just kept saying that if its not the bible then the church of God doesnt believe it. They made up some excuses as to why they needed to get going and so we let them go, but the whole time i just wanted to stop and say "thank you so much for fulfilling a prophecy given by prophets in the book of mormon. You just helped strengthen my testimony in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ." And then read them 2 Nephi 29:3,6. I cant remember which general authority it was, but one of them said something about how no one can ever kick the Gospel down the stairs. They always kick it up the stairs because they are fulfilling prophecy given by prophets of old as well as modern day prophets when they ridicule us and try to tear down our beliefs.

Another really cool experience from this week was when we got done with the lesson that we had with Maria (I'm sure I'll talk about her more in the future, she's been so prepared). We had just had this very spiritual lesson on the plan of salvation and she had been told for the first time in her life that we dont just live and die but that there's more to be done after this life, and so as we were walking out the door she said "thank you for coming, and thank you so much for the good news!" That really touched my heart because i realized how good our news really is, and how beautiful our story, the gospel and its restoration really is! We have knowledge of things that people have never dreamed about and if we are willing to share it then it becomes this wonderful news to those around us. We bring people eternal joy just by sharing our story as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Well, i gotta go drop my companion off at the church so that he can go to Argentina but hopefully I'll be coming back right after that to email some more.. but who knows. 

i love you all,
Love, Elder Cluff

The Love of God is Real

This week was lots of fun because we taught lots of people and had a lot of stuff going on throughout the week. I'll try to include all the things that i think are important..

First off, Boon and Joni got baptized and confirmed this weekend! they have been so prepared by the spirit, even tho they may not have understood much of what we said in lessons since they arent too good with english. they still learned everything that they needed to through the spirit and his teachings. They have become a such a light of truth even compared to just several weeks ago when i first met them! They loved the feeling of cleanliness they felt both after the baptism and after their confirmation. I was super nervous to do the confirmation on sunday for Joni and so all last week i was praying to have the spirit with me more abundantly all the time so that when the time came to give that sacred blessing then it could truly be the spirit talking through me. I felt this tender mercy as i spoke through the authority of the priesthood that i hold and i found myself not thinking of what to say but rather praying in my heart that i can say what needs to be said and then hearing words come out of my mouth that were not previously determined. God answers our prayers, i know he does. Our Heavenly father is merciful and kind and he has told us in 3 Nephi 22:10 that his kindness will not depart from us.

We had our stake conference on the first sunday of this month and so yesterday was fast sunday, but something different happened during fast and testimony meeting this sunday. We had a non member walk in right before church started because he had been to one of our services before when he was in utah and liked it a lot. He was a very religious man and about half way through the meeting he got up to bare his testimony and it was one of the coolest things ive ever seen in a testimony meeting because he was not of our faith but he bore his testimony of the same truths that we believe in. He talked about how Jesus Christ gave up his heavenly riches to become poor and help others. He then said "we need to always remember the treasure that is within these earthly vessels." I thought that was so cool that he said that because its so true. No matter what type of vessel we have, its still the same treasure within. We are all children of God and that means so much more then we ever give it credit for. 

I believe one of the best questions to ask ourselves on a daily basis is "does the love of God dwell in my heart" because in 4 Nephi 1:15 it tells us that there wont be any contention if we can have that love of God in our hearts, and these days contention is growing worse and worse within the hearts of people because they think at first that it will fix the situation and then it turns into a war--whether that war is between me, myself and i or whether its between two countries it is still coming from the same place and it is not of God. I hope we can all strive just a little bit more to have the love of God in our hearts so that at least within our families, wards, sunday school classes, or just our bedrooms we can have a peaceful place of no contention. 

We also got to go help with some english classes on saturday at one of our church buildings which was super cool to see. There's so many people out there who want to learn and grow in knowledge so badly so that they can progress in this life. Since i saw that, i now want to have that great of a desire to learn and grow in the gospel so that i progress in my eternal life! 

One funny moment from this week. We were in mont bello walking down the street and this kid (probably like 16 years old) walks by us going the opposite direction and then he turned around and said, "hey, where you guys headed?" We told him what we are out here doing and then he said "so you do that around here?" And we told him that we spend everyday around this area trying to talk to people. He then said "oh okay, i was just wondering cause i just dont see too many suited brothers around here." And then before we could reply he turned around and started walking again. After we started walking again Elder Murdock said "hey now when we run into him again we dont have to teach that we are all brothers and sisters"... It doesnt seem very funny now that i wrote it all out but hey i thought it was funny... 

Well thats all i got.. See ya next time!

Love you all, Love Elder Cluff