Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sister Missionaries on Bikes

This week was really good.  I think the most exciting part was that I got to ride a bike, and I will keep getting to ride a bike.  Right now we are sharing a car with the other two sisters serving in the MB Ward, so we switch off with the car every other day.  It was an adventure at first riding a bike in a skirt, but it is not as bad as I thought it would be.  (Don't worry, Mom, we have bike lights and helmets!)  My companion is a bike expert.  She did a couple of triathlons and she will be a biking missionary when she goes to Denmark.  This will give her good practice and it will be an adventure.  Now I can say I have ridden a bike as a sister missionary, in a skirt.

I want to tell you about a couple of miracles we saw this week.  One of them was that we arrived at our dinner appointment early and decided to go tracting in the area.  We were able to knock on the door of a Hispanic lady with four little kids.  She accepted a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and we are planning on stopping by soon to give her a Book of Mormon in Spanish.  Sister L and I are both very grateful that we were able to meet her.

Another miracle was that we had a lesson with Bev.  She has had questions about prophets and how you know if they are truly prophets of God.  We were able to watch a movie called On the Lord's Errand, which is a biography about Thomas S. Monson.  It really spoke to Bev's needs and concerns because it helped her to see what kind of a person President Monson is.  There is a good spirit felt in that video.

I love you, family and friends. Thank you for all of the good you do in the world. Thank you for being the answers to prayers.
Love you!  Love, Sister Cluff

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Busy Week

It has been great being back in one of my former mission locations.  I really missed it. I am enjoying the sun, that's for sure. Okay, so I decided that I needed to do a day by day of last week:

Monday:  I got to write emails, and then I went to another area several hours away.  While there, I was a companion with a sister who serves in a YSA [Young Single Adult] Ward.  It was pretty fun.  We got to pick up and drop off a lot of other sister missionaries who were being transferred.  I got to go to the YSA talent show that night.  Another temporary companion and I got to say the opening and closing prayers for the talent show.  There are some very talented people in the world.

Tuesday:  I got to go to 2 lessons with a couple of other sister missionaries.  They were both waiting for the new group of sister missionaries to arrive as well.  It was fun to see the work going on in a different area and get to work with two amazing sisters that I haven't worked with before.  It was wonderful that we were able to teach together so well.  We also got to go to Trainer's training session that started at 2:30pm.  It was great to see all of the trainers.  I was surprised at how many I knew.  It was fun to see everyone and hear their testimonies of this great work.

Wednesday:  All of the sister missionaries got to sleep over at President and Sister Y's house.  We got to go on a run/walk with President Y on a beautiful little pathway.  We then got ready for the day and had more training until the new missionaries came in.  They came in at around 2pm.  President Y spent the next few hours interviewing all 35 new missionaries (11 were sisters).  My new companion is Sister L.  She is waiting for her visa for Denmark.  She is from New Hampshire and she is amazing!  Sister L and I slept over at President and Sister Y's house again because there wasn't enough time to make it to our area that night.

Thursday:  We drove for several hours to get to home.  Yay, we are finally here!  We got to teach two lessons that day to investigators who I had taught before.  It was great.   We are in the process of trying to figure out how to work most effectively with two sets of missionaries in the same ward.

Friday:  A major highlight of Friday was that we were able to see 2 of my recent converts and have a lesson with them.  They didn't know I was coming back to this area.  It was really good to see them.

Saturday:  We moved to a slightly bigger apartment so we could have separate study areas.  We are now in a 2 bedroom apartment.  It is nice to be settled.  We got to go to the adult session of stake conference.  It was really fun to introduce my companion to everyone.

Sunday:  We had stake conference. [A Stake is a group of approximately 8-10 wards/congregations.  Stake conference is held twice a year.]  It was really good.  Some things that they emphasized were missionary work, and temple and family history work.  The work of the Lord is going forth and we all get to help in that.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is good and true.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's church restored back to the earth.  I know it is true because I have prayed and felt that confirming witness.  I love you, family.  Thank you for your support and your love. Keep up the great work!  Love, Sister Cluff

Transfer Calls!

So, are you ready for the big news?  I am getting transferred back to my former location!  I will be going back to the same ward (MB Ward) I was working in before this last transfer.  I am super excited.  It was funny because I was looking at my postcards last week that I had bought, and I figured I couldn't use some of them because they didn't apply anymore. Well, now I can use them again.

The sad part is that I am not going to be companions with Sister T anymore.  She was definitely one of my favorite companions.  She is going to a little town and serving with a Sister who is just as new as she is (both are only 5 weeks out).  This will be super exciting.  She and her companion are going to see a lot of miracles.  I am going to be training another brand-new sister.  And, another exciting bit of news is that there are going to be two sets of sisters serving in the MB Ward!  Having two sets of missionaries in one ward is a first for a family ward in our mission.  I am not sure yet who the other two sisters are going to be, but I am excited to find out.  I am sad to be leaving my last area though.  I got attached to all of the ward members there, that's for sure.  And, I am going to miss the rain.

Well, the work is carrying on in the area I am just leaving.  The two Elders that are coming into the ward are going to be awesome.  We have been really working with the ward to help them in their missionary work.  I never realized how big of a role the members play in missionary work.  Missionaries are really just there to teach and be consultants for the members.  I think I served here to learn that lesson. This is a very missionary minded ward and I have loved it.  I am excited to see what happens down the road for this ward as they move forward.

Well, family and friends, I love you a lot. Thank you for all you do!  Love, Sister Cluff

A Special Valentine

Here's a fun little surprise that arrived in our inbox on Valentine's Day....
"Sending you a Valentine of Sister Cluff.  We are excited to have Sister Cluff serving in our BR Branch.  My husband and I just met her today.  She is a lovely lady!"
 ---Love, Sister E & Brother E

Sister Cluff feels loved.

- Sister T and Sister Cluff -
A kind family remembered the missionaries
serving in their area on Valentine's Day.

Seeing these photos made us smile.  We apprieciate the kindness shown to our missionary.  It also makes us want to be a little kinder to the missionaries we meet.  Thanks Brother & Sister E!!


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nourished by the Word of God

This week's best adventure was that we got to go out to the BR Branch [a Branch is a smaller congregation than a Ward].  We are covering both a ward and a branch, but we cover the branch only one day a week. Wednesday is our "BR Branch Day."  While we were there, we were able to teach a few less active members.  There was one lady who hasn't been to church in 30 years and I think she is ready for a change.  We went into the lesson planning on talking about Enos and prayer, but that didn't feel right.  We were able to read a Book of Mormon scripture with her in Moroni 6:4-6:

"And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith. And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus."

We were able to testify about the importance of church and we were able to teach by the Spirit according to her needs.  I am so grateful that the Holy Ghost can give us guidance in what we need to say, that he will bring scriptures to our remembrance.  I am also grateful that He told my companion that prayer wasn't the right thing to talk about so when I started reading a completely different scripture she didn't panic.  She was able to take it in stride and testify about church and its importance as well.

I love this church and I love sharing my testimony of it with other people. Keep up the great work, family. I love you all so much!  Love, Sister Cluff


P.S.  Transfers are coming up again.  Next Monday is transfer day and I will know for sure on Saturday what is going to happen.

Sunny Oregon

This week has been nice and sunny for Oregon, it hardly rained at all!  It was kind of weird, and makes me excited for the springtime.  I keep saying, "What?! I thought this was Oregon" to Sis. T.

We had a wonderful lesson this week with a lady named Angela.  She has several friends in the ward and was actually a referral.  She is from Germany and it is interesting to learn more about her. This week we shared information about the Restoration with her.  We taught her about how God has a pattern and reveals His truth to the prophets, not just once but over and over again, and how he did the same when Jesus Christ was on the earth.  She really wanted to learn more.  She said, "What happened next?"  She is loving and developing a greater relationship with her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  It is wonderful to see that growth.  She has learned so much in the short time we have met with her.  The Spirit is really strong when she prayed at the end of the lesson.  She prayed in German and it helped me remember that God hears and answers each of our prayers, even when they are in a foreign language.

I love you all so much! Thank you for all the good things you do in your lives and thank you for all of the support I have received while I have been on my mission.  I love you!  Love, Sister Cluff

Answers from the Spirit

One of the highlights of this past week was that we got to have President Y and Sister Y at our district meeting and training session.   We had just started the hour of training with our zone leaders and other trainers/trainees in zone when they came.  President Y and Sister Y found out for themselves just what a great teacher Sister T is.  I keep warning her that she is going to be training in 3 weeks.  She doesn't like to hear that.  She says she wants to stick it out with me for the next couple of months, and I would be happy with that as well.  As a newbie (new missionary), I didn't like it either when my companion told me that I would be a trainer soon.  Sister T may not be training, but that is not because she is not ready to.  She is a wonderful missionary.

Sister T and I have been looking for miracles lately and the other day we had a pretty wonderful miracle.  We were looking in our area book and calling everyone to see if they are ready to learn more.  We called a girl named Brittney.  We were able to meet with her and share the message of the Restoration of the Gospel.  We also shared our own personal testimonies of how we came to know the Church and the Book of Mormon are true.  It was a pretty different lesson than most in the sense that this was driven by her questions.  It was amazing to be able to share information about the Restoration and be able to answer all of her intense and varied questions with the help of the Spirit.  We asked her how she knew the Bible was true and related that to how we knew the Book of Mormon and Bible are true.  I think she is definitely curious about learning more. There is for sure no way that we could have answered those questions without the Spirit.

I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is the son of God.  I know that He lives.  He suffered for my trials and mistakes as has yours.  The Book of Mormon is true and I bear solemn witness of that.  This church is the Church of Jesus Christ once again established on this earth today.

Thank you for all the good you do. Thank you for your sacrifice and service. I love you all.  Love, Sister Cluff