Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Foot

I'm sorry i haven't written for awhile, if you have not heard, i broke my foot 6 days ago. two days before Christmas. It happened as i was walking and stepped onto some un-level ground, i twisted my ankle and it made my foot go onto its side and all my weight was to much for the bone. 
so, i have been hearing from doctors that i need surgery. the plan was for me to go home to Oregon, get the surgery then come back to Brazil after 2 to 3 weeks. but when i got to Salvador to go home, i heard that if i ended up going home, i would have a very small chance of returning to Brazil. so i told my mission pres. that i wasn't going to leave if i couldn't come back. 
so we have been working with another option of getting the surgery here in Brazil. we have gone to 3 different doctors who all said i needed surgery, but today i just got back from a specialist who suggested not getting surgery. we have another consultation tomorrow and we are talking with other specialist to make sure i get the best help there is, to get back to work as soon as possible. 
so as of right now, we are working hard at keeping my in Brazil, and it looks possible for sure. i will keep everyone posted so you know whats going on.
i attached a couple picture so you can see what it looks like. not to bad. just a small bone.

i have had a few super special experiences with this foot problem so far. first, 2 days after i broke my foot, i felt no pain anymore. I'm not taking my medicine and the pain never came. to me it is a huge blessing, you can see from the X-Ray that the bone is broken all the way across. yet, i can put pressure on it or pinch it without almost any pain. i feel like this is a huge blessing on the part of all those who have been praying for me and i am SO very grateful for it (as the doctors here gave me medicine less powerful than Tylenol)
the second miracle i have see from this is that i was initially supposed to go home. if you need surgery as a missionary, you almost always go home. my mission president told me i would be back in 2 to 3 weeks, but latter we found out (the night before i was supposed to go home) that if i went home, the chances would almost be 0 of me returning to Brazil. but i needed surgery.. i made it clear to my president that i didn't want to go home if i wasn't going to come back. i told him that i will use my pocket knife and we will have my foot fixed real fast. he doesn't want me to leave either, so he has been calling lots of people and finally, and miraculously, got permission for me to have the surgery here. i felt that was a huge answer to my, and mine family and friend's prayers. 
so right now its not for sure 100%, but it looks as though i will be staying here and getting the treatment i need in Brazil. :) and ill be recovered soon. 
so thank you to all that have been praying and fasting and all for me. it has helped so much and i am so grateful.  i am doing good, my foot is not hurting and I'm keeping busy doing what i can do for the mission. 
i love you all and hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! 
Elder Cluff

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Note from Elder Cluff's Mother

Elder Dallas's Mother here,

Just got a call from Dallas's Mission and talked to Dallas.  He stepped off a curb and broke his foot.  The doctor said it is the worse kind of break for a foot, and he has put a cast on it but it may need surgery.  If it does, Dallas has to come home.  He doesn't want to come home, he said for sure.  I am asking Dallas with this email to please consider getting a blessing for your foot, if you haven't already.  I am asking all of you to please consider a fast and for sure pray for Dallas's foot, that it will heal without surgery, and he won't have to leave his mission.

 It is so nice to have people to call upon when help is needed.  Also pray for Weston, as when ever Dallas gets hurts, or breaks a bone, Weston has the same accident a few months later , even the same arm, finger when they had their fingers cut off by doors etc.  It has happened all their lives over and over, so hopefully with prayer, this time Weston can be spared and Dallas will heal without surgery.  Dallas is buying crutches right now, so he is working on the problem, sounding cheerful, posituve and telling me not to worry.  Dallas wares size 15 shoes and Weston 14.  Be thankful for smaller feet, they might not be in the way, so much.  Ha Ha!

Thanks again for all your prayers,  Dallas gets to Skype home Sunday, Christmas, at 12pm at Danes home after church if anyone wants to talk to him.  He will be on for two hours.  Weston is still in the MTC in Brazil so he can't call, Skype, etc.  200 missionaries can't all call.  The Brazil MTC is the biggest in the world.

Diana Cluff

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas"

Christmas is just a couple days away and it shows here in Brazil! Christmas lights are all over stores and trees and shops are full of Christmas time sales!  my companion and i are looking forward to this Thursday when we will go to Salvador for a part mission Christmas conference. it will be super fun! my last companion Elder Luna left a Santa hat at the apartment but it was super dirty! so after some scrubbing i got it white again and ill wear it to Salvador. I'll try to get some pictures there also.  this last week we went to Salvador also, but it was raining real hard so i couldn't get any good pictures.  i couldn't believe the rain is Salvador! it was SO heavy and it wouldn't slow down! you could see sheets of rain blowing in the wind. after only a few seconds the streets had 2 inches of water on each side moving quickly down the hills. it was really cool to see, but i got soaked!  this week we found a few new people to start teaching and working with. we had a few appointments fall through until Wednesday, but we are working hard and watching as the Lord sends us more and more help to push forward this work that brings such happiness. it has been crazy hearing Weston go into the MTC in São Paulo. he had a good first week. he said that the people that work at the MTC knew who he was when he walked into the doors. i guess everyone remembered me and thinks he looks just like me.. weird haha that would be odd to have an Elder there for 2 months, than a few months latter another Elder comes in that looks exactly the same and has the same name... its wild that right now weston and i and going by the exact same name! if we were in the MTC together is would be insane..  I'm sorry this weeks e mail is super short, i don't have much time this week but i promise to give a report on Christmas next week. i really hope everyone has a wonder Christmas and i hope you keep the Savior in mind as you celebrate with your families. remember to give thanks for the things you have and the things you receive. "let gratitude be the hallmark of this Christmas season" com amo Elder Cluff

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Fun on the Mission

this week was just as much fun as it was work! i belive that, in missionary work, u can work hard and have fun at the same time.
so the pictuers this week are more focused on the fun i had (while working hard) haha
first is a sweet pictuture of me spinning steel wool. you tie a piece of steel wool to the end of a rope, touch it with a lighter and spin it real fast, it throws sparks everywhere!! brings back memories of running around in the metal fabracation shop growing up. it looks extra cool because i lowered the shutter speed on my camera so it look a picture for almost a full second instead of super fast. :)

in Brazil they have a food called, Coxinha. ponounced (coe-sheen-ya) its looks like a tear drop and it is deep-fat-fried and has shredded chicken in the middle. soooo good. i really wanted to learn to make them and one of the members found out. it turned out she really wanted to learn to make pizza to sell at the bakery at her house. so we did a trade :) she helped me make Coxinhas and i helped her make pizza!! thats the next two pictures. she feeds us all the time! so nice.

the last picture is a litlle strange... yes, thats make-up. haha
my companion and i went to visit Pâmela and Rebeca on monday night, and as we were on our way we decided it would be a good idea to teach them about home night! so first we shred a message about being thankful to our Father for all that we receive. we used the story in the Bible about the 10 who were healed by the Lord and only one thanked him. in Luke.
after the lesson we decided to play games. so we played a game i learned at the Shumways, everyone sits in a circle, one person gets a cap full of water and thinks of a fruit, then everyone else thinks of a fruit as well. then the person in the middle with the water goes around and each person says a fruit, they go around until someone says the fruit that the person in the middle is thinking of. then the unlucky person gets a face full of water haha i think the girls cheated a little because i got really wet.. haha but it was ok because its so hot your dry in 3 minutes.
then the next game was the same concept, but it was a memory game, your in a circle, one person says a word, the next says the last persons word and a new one. it continues until someone cant remember a word, then he gets a mark with make-up. well, my Portuguese isnt super great so it was really hard to remember the words! so i got a few dots. then the girls just got carried away. haha she even put a mole on my left cheek!!! it was so not fair.
:-)  haha
it was a good week. also the mission president came to the Zone and did interviews and a conference. he is amazing! i learned a lot and felt renewed in my missionary work. he is really a good president.
i had some weird health things this week, my eye lids have been itch and a little swollen, nothing to bad, you can see in the make-up picture, when i look up it looks a lot worse than it is. you cant really tell unless you look close but my companion has been laughing at me haha its almost gone now though, nothing bad.
last night one of the members of my district made root beer with some root beer extract he got in a package. that soda doesnt exist here. it was soooooo good :) he also got peanut butter. that doent exists here either. and oh my goodness, he opened the bottle and it was the best smell i have ever smelt in my life. 4 months without peanut butter is a long long 4 months. haha he got 4 bottles, so we have a good stash ;)
i have been meeting new people in Brazil every day. tons of people! and this week we met the first atheist i have met in the 4 months i have been here. it seems like every single person believes in God here. its amazing! he was 14 and had a bad experience in his life that made him not believe God was there. yet, he was still very receptive to us and we are teaching him.

my companion and i agree that Pâmela has been the most spiritually ready investigator of our missions. she is amazing! she has been a meber for almost a month and she has a Goal to go on a mission, to go to the temple this December and when she is old enough to be married and sealed in the temple. she has already braught 2 of her friends to our lessons to be taught and is helping them. i really feel like if i went home now, she would've made my mission worth serving. i feel like i have helped someone that will now help many others. she is incredible. i will never forget Pâmela or Rebeca.

remember the 19 year old that my companion and i were trying to get to come to church and go on a mission? he reports in November to the MTC. he got his mission call two weeks ago to western Brazil. the Amazon. he is way exited. :)

well, thats about all this week. its getting colder in the US and hotter here, this week was crazy hot! but i like it. not to bad. it was a good week and my Portuguese is coming along really fast.
i hope everyone is doing good!!
com amo
Elder Cluff

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Down in Petrolina Brazil!!

this week went by so incredibly fast!
some things i did this week,
my companion and i had another baptism this Sunday in-between sessions of conference! Rebeca is 11 years old, she is the sister of Pâmela, our last baptism. this family has turned out to be the thing i have loved most about my mission so far. we have been teaching them for a month and now Pâmela and Rebeca feel like little sisters to me. they have both received strong testimony's of the church and Book of Mormon and they love church! they already have strong friends in the church and they are bringing more!
the first picture is of these two sisters, Pâmela is the tall one and Rebeca is the one in white our "amiginha" which means "little friend" (girl) :) their amazing.
the next is my comp and i with Rebeca, he got to do the baptism, as i baptised Pâmela.
the next, lots of pizzas hu? 5 Elders and I got together to have "P-night" Monday night, because Tuesday is P-day. our day off. so we got together and got 6 pizzas!! so good. but its not like American pizza.  im the second from the right.
the last picture is mostly for my Bro. Dane, i saw a picture of him "Planking" and so i thought i would join the game ;) the door im on is really annoying, it always gets stuck, so i got on top to see if i could figure out what was wrong. while i was up there i got the idea to do this. aslo, it literally felt like i was in a sauna up there. its soooo hot here! i was sweating so bad. and i was is shorts and a T-shirt!

i was looking forward to General Conference all week!! we got to watch it in English. it was amazing! i learned so much!
besides that and the baptism nothing super special happened this week, except, we finally went to the store and got new frying pans, the one we had before was so warped it was like a pot haha and super scratched. so we got some new ones and i have been making Omelets!!! sooo good. thats like my favorite thing to make. my comp freaked out when i flipped without the spatula, just by tossing it up. haha oh! speaking of cooking, we made a cake for the baptism! from a mix.. but everyone loved it!!! they all said when they used mixes it didnt taste good but ours did. it really did taste super good. our pan was way to big to it turned out super thin, so i cut it in half and had a 2 layer cake! with frosting in the middle too ;) we were pretty surprised at how good it was, i think we will start making it on "P-nights" :)
well thats all this week and all the time i have today. i hope everyone is doing good and write me any time and ill get back to you Tuesdays!! :)
com amo
Élder Cluff

Friday, September 16, 2011

Como vai?

it was a super good week in Brazil!! this week i survied my 1st transfer and my first 100 days in the mission. dang its going by fast. in the pictures:
first is a picture of a coconut farm here in my area. beautiful right? right next to it was a nursury (for plants) they had all the furit trees there really samll and forsale. and the average fruit tree was less than $2!! crazy hu? i wanted to get on sooo bad! but we dont have any dirt at our house. no yard at all. almost no houses have a yard here becasue its just sand or dry dirt. no grass.
the next picture is ofme at a phone booth. they dont all look like that, but they all have the same general shape as this one.. whithout the ears haha and they are normally blueish. they have the normal blue ones that the people call "big ear" and they also have a few of these cool ones. haha so i wanted to get a picture of it
you can see in the next picture that this "big ear" attacted me and i just barrley escaped! luckily my companion had his camera ;)
the next 2 pictures look weird too. we have two toilets in our appartment, they both have problems. one of them is always running, so it uses tons of our water that we have very little of. the other does not flush because a part was broken inside. so i have to say thanks to my dad, he taught me how toilets work and how to fix them. so when i got to the area i went to the hardwear store and got the parts i needed and was able to fix both toilets this week. the cool thing is now we have not run out of water since the toilet was fixed, and before we would run out almost every day. woot woot!

so this sunday we took one of our invertigators to church with us. her name is Pamela, she is 15. we found her by tracking. apparently her mom was baptised like 16 years ago and only went to church for a year. so we started teaching Pamela and after two weeks we got her to go to church with us. one sad thing is that she is missing her left arm, just below the elbow :( whats even more sad is that my companion and i never noticed that untill 2 weeks after we had been teaching her.. it was a pretty big shock. i guess i need to be more observant.
this tuesday was transfer day, my companion and i are staying in Petrolina West but the other two elders in our appartment got transferred. which was a good thing. haha so we got two new elders who seem pretty cool. an american and a brazilain who is brand new in the mission. they seem pretty cool :)
this week besides fixing the toilets, my comp and i cleaned and scrubed the floors of the appartment. it is so much better having a clean house!
oh, so that family we are teaching, they wanted us to make dinner for them (we have only known them for a week, they're amazing) so we dicided to make french toast. becasuse its somthing then have never had, and its in our budget haha my companion braught a bottle of Mapeline from home, so i was able to make maple suyrup too! it was soooo good! but im not sure they liked it all that much. its so different from what they have here. they eat the same things every day. rice, beans and some spegetti. and some kind of meat. (almost always chiken) they think its so weird when we tell them we eat different things everyday in the US. they dont understand. they cant imagine their luch or dinner without rice and beans.. haha
my feet are getting more acustumed to walking all day and im not getting anymore blisters, but im still waiting for the skin to grow back. i have lots of holes in my very white feet haha.
now that it is getting colder where you all are, its getting hotter here. these last few months we have been having about the same weather (your summer, my winter) but now you will have cold and i will have... death. haha i cant imagine it getting hotter, but bring it on! haha we will see how white i can make my body look compared to my arms and face haha
by the way, thank you to Cheyenne who has been keeping a blog for me with all my past "mass emails" so they are there if you want to see them.
i hope everyone is well, im doing amazing and loving every second! im honestly loving it, i'm always happy and trying to do my best.
one more thing, the mission president of my mission who left right before i got here said something that i like a lot.
"what happens when you get to heaven and God says to you, 'the Mormon church is not true' what do you do?" then he said "Elders, its simpel. You bare your testimony!"
its so ture, even if that did happen, i would get to heaven and say, i did my best, i tried my hardest to do what was right and what you wanted, and when i asked you if this was the right church, if Joseph Smith really was a prophet, you testified to me that it is true.
thats all for this week, keep me updated on whats new!
Com Amo
Elder Cluff

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This Week!

i can't believe how fast the days are going! time is seriously flying!
the pictures: the first is of me in a Catholic church! a huge church! it was really cool. its in down town Petronia. i hear that the ones in Salvador are really really old and famous. that will be cool. something that i thought was funny, while i was in the church walking around, there was a man kneeling in front of the big statue of Jesus praying, but while he was kneeling there, he pulls out his cell phone and answers a phone call. so he puts the Lord on hold and for 10 minutes he talks on the phone, on the alter.. interesting.
the second picture is one of my favorites! its in the area that my comp and i work. in Brazil there is tons of cars with huge speakers on them that drive around advertising. also motorcycles. their really annoying, because their sooo loud and interrupt our lessons all the time. but this bike is my favorite! a bicycle with huge speakers on the front and back! blasting an advertisement for some church. i thinl its amazing. i may have to do it to my bike when i get home. haha
the next picture is me eating Acarajé. its a Brazilian food that is famous in Salvador. they say the further you get from Salvador the worse it is, but this one was really good! i like it a lot! im not sure how to describe it. it was my first time having it, and its pretty famous in brazil, so i thought it was picture worthy.
the last is a picture of the two districts in Petrolina west. their all pretty cool. 5 Americans and 3 Brazilians. one of the Americans looks really Brazilian. he is from Alaska. the second from the right.
so this week was pretty cool. my camp and i found an amazing family!! a man and women and 3 kids. the oldest child is 9, then 6, then the youngest is 3. the family is really interested and we took they to church last sunday and they loved it!! so the only thing holding them back from becoming members is that the couple is not married. but this week we will find out why they are not and we will encourage them to get married. they are a perfect family and all supper happy! the ward loved them! so that helped a lot. we think they're not married because they dont want to pay for it. if that's the case we will help them out. so we will try to get the married in the next 2 weeks, even if we have to do the planning and decorating haha the family is awesome!!
the weather is getting hotter, one night i worked out and then took a cold shower and when i got out and dryed off, i was all sweaty again!! its crazy! i cant stay dry for 2 minutes! its so hot. but i like it. im glad im not somewhere cold.
this week is ward conference and my comp and i are working hard at getting investigators to go and less actives. its a lot of work but always rewarding.
this week we were visiting a family in the ward and i was watching their little 3 year old daughter play at the park and the mother is pregnant and will have her baby soon, while im still here. and the father of the family was talking to us and giving us advice and telling us he wants to go with us to help teach the family we found. and i was thinking of how blessed i am to be here right now. if not for this mission i would never get to know any of these people here in my ward and my area. the people of Brazil are so amazing and i have such an amazing opportunity to be here and get to know them and help them. its amazing. a mission is hard, very hard. but i cant call it work. i love being here! i love getting to know new people everyday that i immediately care about and want to help in any way i can. this has been the best opportunity of my life.
i really hope everyone is doing well, im doing good and loving every moment. keep in touch
com amo
Elder Cluff