November 24, 2014

London Streets | Balloons

An excerpt from my brother's letter this morning.

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

November 12, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

July 30, 2014

David and Heather are engaged!!

" never know what will happen after you get home from your mission. Looks like I found my next companion." -David Cluff

For those of you that are interested in following David's life. David is getting married! Stay tuned! 

He asked...She said YES!!! 

{SAVE THE DATE 12-30-14}

June 16, 2014

A Good Day To Smile!

   Today's letter from my brother, Elder Colton Cluff,  just made me smile and reminds me that even when things get hard we can still smile! Enjoy! -David

   It is sure great to hear your stories! It has been a pretty funny week over here. On Monday when we were at Seven Sisters we got a call letting us know that there was a flood in the flat above us so there may be water damage in our flat and the electricity had been shut off. We went on with our day and got back at 9:00 that night to a dark, wet flat. We got ready in the dark, planned in the dark, and then went to bed in a very moist atmosphere. I woke up at about 1:00 to a very loud dripping noise but I was too tired to be bothered. I woke up a bit later to a sound and Elder Reed was out of bed and said, "Man, there is like a two inch puddle all over the floor." There was a little April shower coming through our ceiling. There was also a terrible wet carpet stench so we grabbed our mattresses and went into the living room to sleep for the night. It was about 2:00 at the time and we just laughed and laughed about it all. "Oh how great it is being a missionary", we would say. It took about two days for the stink to go away and we will need to have the ceiling replaced soon. It was a lot of fun! This was definitely a week with a lot of those "missionary stories". 

On Saturday we were making dinner and we wanted something more than just pasta and sauce out of a jar. We opened up the pantry and looked at what else we could put in. We through in some sausage and minced then we though it would be a good idea to put an egg in it. After that we seasoned it a little with salt and pepper, of course, and then chili powder, garlic granules, mixed herbs, and a couple other things that have fled my memory. We finished it off with some lemon juice and cinnamon and called it a job well done. It tasted pretty fantastic! I love being a missionary! 

   David will be getting baptized this Saturday! He is so great. A guy was teaching priesthood yesterday said something that wasn't quite right and so David raised his hand and corrected what he was saying about the oath and covenant of the priesthood and callings. This guy knows his stuff! The Sisters asked if they could use him to help teach their investigators. They have been taking him and they said that he is a fantastic missionary! It is so cool!

  James has gone missing again. It is such a pain not being able to get a hold of him. He keeps saying he is real exited for baptism but then he doesn't show up for crucial things. Hopefully we will find him soon. Last night it was 8:30 when we finished accounting and we wanted to drop a note off to James. It was going to be real tight to get there and then back home on time but we felt it was important. We got on a bus and the bus was going to make a two minute loop near where James live and then head back to our flat. We had to catch that bus if we wanted to get home on time. Just before the bus turned to make the loop we jumped off and booked it for James' flat. We slipped the note through the post box and booked it back to the bus stop. We barley got there before the bus was going to pull away. It was awesome! I love being a servant of Christ, literally running around assisting Him in this great work. I love being a missionary!

   It is so great serving with Elder Reed! We both have great desires to be powerful servants of Christ. We almost constantly are having profound gospel discussions. We are striving to serve diligently in the ordination wherewith we have been ordained at this time and we are also doing all we can to, through this service, prepare to be great servants and instruments in the Lords Kingdom here on earth in these last days! The missionaries in the district call us Elder Holland and Elder Bednar. We are striving to be missionaries like Ammon, Alma, and others. It is a blast!

    Today should be pretty good. We are spending the afternoon with our ward mission leader and the Sisters. Our ward mission leader is like in his 50's but he is a very funny guy so it should be fun hanging out with him and strengthening our relationship with him.

I hope and pray that all is going well back there. This is the work of the Lord and it so great! I hope you have a fantastic week!

-Elder Colton Cluff   

May 26, 2014

"I am not ashamed"

  I love Mondays as I get to read emails from my brother who is serving a mission in London, England! He is serving in a very interesting part of England. The Lord is teaching him many lessons that will last him a lifetime. Today’s email held a story that shows his testimony and his firm stand as a witness of our Savior Jesus Christ. Here is an except from his email:

"I can always find a bull, even in England"
“I don't have much time but I will share a funny story with ya. I wrote this in a letter that I will try to send this week so sorry that you will have to hear it twice. This will be a shortened version though. Yesterday evening we were out talking to people on the streets. We were talking to this guy and something was a bit off about him so when the conversation was passed to me I just asked the guy if we could leave him with a card because we needed to go. He said, "No, I want to hear the message from you". I said, "Our message is that Jesus Christ is our Savior, now we need to go, have a nice day". Right then he grabbed me around the back of the neck and pulled me close to his face. I thought he was gonna kiss me! I pushed against his chest to keep him at a distance. He said something like, "Now you listen to me!" Then some words that I shouldn't repeat and I don't even remember all that he said. He started yelling to everyone to see what he had got a hold of. I just let him pull me around thinking to myself, "What the heck is going on". As a missionary so many weird things happen that it can be hard to tell when we should be worried and the flight or fight system is slow to kick on. I struggled just a little bit to try to get him to let go of me. He finally let go, pushed me away, and kicked me. It was so awesome! We just walked away around a corner and I started laughing real hard. I am so proud to bear the name of Jesus Christ! Let men revile and spit on me, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!” -Elder Colton Cluff

My brother was able to walk away from this experience knowing who he is and not be ashamed to stand for truth. My favorite part was he walked away with a smile. He did not let that experience bring him down or feel to hide. This brings me to ask, “Are we willing to not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ?” If you’re preparing to serve a mission I would ask you to read or watch the talk by Elder Jeffery R. Holland titled “The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship” which fits perfectly to what my brother experienced.  If you returned home from a mission—the cost and blessings of discipleship does not end when you step onto the plane ride home. You have to keep pressing forward and do hard things. 

May 13, 2014

Your best---it's all He asks

Just because my Full-Time mission is over does not mean I can’t continue to write on this blog.  I would like to continue to write and share advice, lessons I learned being a “Returned Missionary”.

I returned from my mission in Salt Lake City 43 days ago and life has been a whirlwind. I have learned many lessons and today I would like to share with you one of them.

Comparing. Comparing against another is one of the worst things any human can possibly do. I see too much of that. Not only in the world but even on missions. On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I decided to go to my family’s ward and then leave after sacrament meeting and go to my own ward. I sat there listening to the talks. The couple that spoke touched my heart. They were talking about not comparing against another. Too many mothers compare against the “other mothers” around them and think they are not the best. I sat there and something hit me. I realized that the past few weeks I have been comparing myself against “the others”. I would have thoughts…you are not good enough or you are not like “them”. I would beat myself up about it but I did not know how much it was affecting me until today when my Heavenly Father reminded me. As I drove for 15 minutes to my church building, I had a tender moment on the road with my Heavenly Father. I was reminded of an experience I had early in my mission.

It was my first month or so in the mission---one of those rough days and weeks where I wondered, “Am I going to make it through?” One night I was in the bathroom washing my face and feeling like I could never measure up and kept saying, “I am not me”. I remember looking in the mirror as I dried my face and I took a look at myself and I heard the words, “You are still, David. You will be okay.” I learned that Heavenly Father still knew me and that I was still me and that I would be okay. I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, I can do this. I don’t need to know everything right now and I’ve got to do MY version of best.” The wife that spoke talked about this concept of, “Do YOUR best, not someone else’s best.” All of you that are preparing to serve a mission, or are a newly returned missionary, or simply chasing your dream… don’t compare.

  This brings to my next point: “It’s okay to be different.” When you get home from a mission everyone asks you the same questions over and over…so buckle up and enjoy the ride. They are just simply excited for you and your life but sometimes your plans may be different than the typical BYU boy or girl dream. When people ask me what I am doing for school I say, “I am going to start in the fall doing the BYU-Idaho Pathway program here in St. Louis.” The responses I get are almost identical to the responses I get when people ask me, “Where did you serve your mission?” When I say, “Salt Lake City, Utah.” I get this surprised look and then an, “Oh…cool.” I learned to laugh silently at people’s reaction. It is quite something to watch. 

One of my dreams and hopes is to be a motivational speaker and writer. I have been reading articles and watching and learning from other motivational speakers the past few days. Something this one person said really hit me: “Don’t try to be better than everyone else but be different.”  What makes you, you?

To summarize, don’t compare yourself and don’t compare others. Even those that seem to “have it all” still compare themselves to their version of “the others” so just avoid comparing. If you feel like you are being compared, don’t let those thoughts dwell in your head. You have better things to think about. Be happy and be you!

April 28, 2014

David's Mission, A Journey of Faith

This is a video that tells about my mission. It is a journey of faith! I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father who helped me every step of the way. The making of this video was amazing--full of tender mercies.I am grateful for my mission and the lessons I learned--even when gas spilled on me. Enjoy!