Elder Clifford is serving a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to Mexico Guadalajara East from August of 2014 to July of 2016.

E a two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to Mexico Guadalajara East from August of 2014 to July of 2016.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week Twelve

(Elder Clifford last week at 5 week training meeting. 
Thank goodness his good Mission President and his sweet wife post pictures,
because Elder Clifford NEVER SENDS ANY!!!)
So Spanish is starting to kickoff for me. I’m not really good yet, but I understand almost everything in the right conditions. l am starting to think random words in Spanish haha. Like instead of with I’ll use con in my mind and all of the little words are going straight Spanish now.  I’m becoming Mexican!!!
I was pranked last night for cambios (transfers). The zone leaders called at 9 o’clock, the time when they call if you have a transfer. And everyone has been telling me this week that they just know that I am going to transfer out of the 12 week training early because they think I am ready. Anyways they called me and said some random zone and companion and I was just like what the heck. I didn’t say anything because I was so shocked that I would actually be changed in the middle of my training haha. Anyways he was like Elder Clifford wake up your dreaming haha and then we laughed and hung up the phone. It was pretty dang funny.
So here in Mexico, the big celebrations are happening on the night of Halloween, and then on Sunday is Dia del  Muertos. Not sure that we will actually be celebrating that haha, but I proselyte Sundays so I will see a great deal of crazy stuff.  I don’t know if I’ll have to come in early on Friday night but I might. They’ll let us know.
All of the members are asking me to take over for the English class in the ward but we don’t have time haha. So I just tell them that I will trade a food appointment for a mini English lesson.
I’m fine in all aspects of food. They have so much random food here that I dont need to cook, but if I want to cook there are options.
I have two new investigators with baptismal dates!! It’s so awesome!! Not sure if they will actually make it but with God all things are possible.
We had a run in with a la cran this week. It’s like a baby scorpion. Anyways, we were sitting in front of our investigators house and it ran down Elder Sanchez’ shoulder from off the wall. I seriously thought that it was going to sting him!! But it didn’t and everything was okay and we killed it like 10 times.
I love you guys. Hope your week is good. Mine was. And this week will be too. I love Mexico and the people are awesome and I’m learning so much.
I love you guys so much.
Elder Clifford
(I googled a la cran and this picture came up.  Yikes!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bonus Letter

Elder Clifford and his little brother Carter a few days before he reported to the MTC
Bonus letter between Elder Clifford and his little brothers Carter and Cameron
hi, I have no soccer stories this week but, have you ate any dog yet? Have you seen any gigantic spiders yet? I hope that your having fun.

From carter
I've seen a lot of black widows. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I ate dog. It kinda sucked but I ate it.
Elder Brother
 How are you doing? I hope you are having a good time. Do you like the food? There has been nothing happening here, except that caleb gave me a really bad burn on my arm. There has really been nothing to do. Well, I can't think of anything else that has happening, so goodbye. Be safe!

Yeah I like the food. Sometimes it's good, sometimes its not good at all. haha. Bye.
Elder Clifford

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week Eleven

This is Elder Clifford and Elder Sanchez' apartment, before they got their beds.
So yeah, things are starting to get pretty nice for me here. I’ve literally got nothing to complain about anymore. Probably not for the rest of my life either.
Anyways, I’ll start off with our investigator. He’s coming to church every week and is always telling me “confience Elder Clifford confience”. He only knows a little bit of English but he’s always asking me to say stuff. I don’t talk that much all the time so he’ll look at me and go “confience Elder Clifford” haha. He wants the best for me I guess but it’s hard not to laugh when he says the word wrong with a Spanish accent.  

Anyways, our other investigators are doing great. We have around 12 or 13. One might have dropped out but I don’t think that he was ever very serious to be honest. This week was pretty good all in all.

 But yeah not much is going on here. Good weather, pretty hot but good.

 I wish I was fluent already but I guess that’s not possible so I just ignore it. El español es mas mejor, pero yo neccesito un buen de tiempo a aprender y pracitar mas.

(Mom here: I looked this up and directly translated it means “Spanish is much better, but I need a long time to learn and practice more .)

Today I went to Guadalajara to the office to sign my visa. Mine was the fastest ever. It only took a week to process or something. Dang.

I’ll give a short run down of my day here since my Mom has asked me every day for the last 4 weeks or so. I wake up at 6:25 so that I actually get up at 6:30. Turn the boiler on wait for like 20 minutes and jump in the shower. Get ready for the day. Then at 8 we have personal study. 9 we have companion study and at  11 we have idioma study.(translated: language)  Then we leave to work for the day at around 12. Sometimes we have a ton of appointments, sometimes we don’t have any appointments actually set up, it’s kinda crazy actually. We eat our lunch/dinner meal with a ward member thing around 2 or 3 every day. Then we work until around 9 and we prep for the next day for a half hour. Then we have an hour to make a dinner kinda thing or study personally and we go to bed at 1030. It’s pretty awesome I guess. Every day just flies honestly. I have to say that without the awesome members in our área I probably would not be half as happy as I am. We have this go to family that loves us and we love them too that the dad just converted 3 months ago and they always feed us, it’s so awesome. The dad is always coming with us to help teach and they always give us agua de melón. Its wáter with cantaloupe in it. Literally, we’ve ate at their house over 20 times and we’ve had cantaloupe wáter every time. I’m addicted. It’s easy to make. It’s cheap. Its everything a missionary ever wanted haha. It’s called agua de melón. And if you try to make it, try it without sugar first so you can see how it tastes like 80 percent of the time for me. Then try it with sugar so that you can see how amazing it is with sugar.

I really miss American food ......... I could go for a bacon cheeseburger right about now. I still haven’t seen peanut butter either. They weren’t lying when they said it was a struggle to find it.

But anyways yeah I had a good week. Love you all. Hope you’re all doing well.

Elder Clifford

This is the second of two pictures he sent this week.  I have no idea where this is, or what it is, he did not say!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Bonus Letter

Bonus Letter between Elder Clifford and his 15 year old brother Caleb.
(because it made me laugh)

Dear Colby,

           These few weeks have been pretty hectic. I started my drivers ED class so I have to start waking up at 5:30 in the morning. I have soccer after school(which btw my team has only lost one game) our record is 7-1-0. The game we lost was the same day of the temple dedication so we only had 10 guys at the game and one of those guys was hurt. Besides that make sure to tell me what happens in dia de duertos. I don't care what you have to do. I know its against the rules but you have to get outside and party. Besides that nothing much has been going on. I hope you have a good time out their with your Ecuadorian(tell him I say hi) be safe and if a guy calls you a gringo call him a juan Pablo or a jose ole and then see the look on their face.  I also inserted a picture of a baby camel in here just to make sure you see one.


I'm allowed to party on Dia del Muertos and yeah get used to waking up early if you plan on a mission. I woke up at 430 today.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Definition of guerito

Guerito:  Güerito and güerita are the diminutive form of "güero" and "güera," which refer to light skinned, usually blonde people (but not always blonde). In many cases they also have blue, green, etc. colored eyes. By using "ito" the user shows some type of affection.  Also is used to describe a "hot" or "cute" white boy.  Not derogatory.

Elder Clifford thought he was being insulted every time he heard people saying guerito to him!!!

Definitely Elder Guerito!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week Ten

Let’s see, this week was pretty good, or at least things have been getting way better. We don’t really have any real investigators, just people who make appointments and then ditch out on them, but that’s pretty much normal in Mexico. I have a bed and I have food.

I would guess that the reason that I’ve had it so hard is because I kind of asked for it. I remember right in the middle of the worst part of last week I prayed and told God that He could make my life hell as long as all of my friends and family could have it good. I asked for Him to give me all of their struggles and to let me take the burdens off their shoulders. I hate seeing people sad and I can’t stand for other people to have problems so I just kind of went for it.
I hope everyone’s doing good, didn’t really hear from very many people this week.
But yeah we have cooking stuff and all of that. I need some recipes or ideas of what to buy and make because I’m getting sick of ramen and eggs haha.
I went into Guadalajara today. I think that’s it’s like the New York City of Mexico. Its freaking crazy but it’s also way awesome looking and there is way more people. I had to go sign for my visa one more time. I have to go one more time to get my green card as well.
Language is doing better but not by much. I can see the growth over time and now I just need patience.
Funny thing, we were kind of gifted an investigator. He is in our area and he has 3 times gone to church. Only 2 more!
We’ve done lots of traveling today and after this I go to comprar food and wash clothes. We’re gonna go past time today for pday because we had to wake up at 4:30 and chill in Guad for my passports today.
I do not trust the hot dogs or the beef they sell but so far I haven’t gotten sick so I think that I’ll be good. I have a crazy strong stomach. I straight up ate a dried pepper the other day and I didn’t even flinch. I’m super tan too. We were all comparing our tans, the white boys at least, first time I’ve seen them in 6 weeks, they really are my bros, but yeah I used to be the whitest but now I’m second tannest only to Elder Hansen. I’m seriously a little bit brown because I’m in the sun all day.
I’m thinking about making salsa this week. I’ll probably buy a huge thing of coke and a thing of orange juice too. They spoil us so much. It’s awesome. I feel like I’m rich and I only have the American equivalent of 60 bucks every 2 weeks. It’s seriously a lot down here. Everything here is so cheap. I’m starting to feel like an even cheaper version of myself because if anything is over 10 pesos I kind of cringe haha. I’m like dang that’s for the rich people but I can totally afford it too. When I return to the States and see milk for like $4.00 I’m gonna have a heart attack.
Got our gas set up yesterday - hot water is awesome! I will never take it for granted again in my whole life. I’ve actually changed like that in a lot of ways.
Elder Sanchez and I get a long great. We understand each other so it works. Funny thing is that he gets sick more often than I do because they don’t eat chiles in Ecuador that often. He has a harder time with the food than I do and he’s Latin lol. I love him though because he’s like a perfect trainer. I am his second son here, third overall. He had to serve in Ecuador for 6 months due to visa problems. He’s way awesome and he pushes me to work hard but also doesn’t push too much.
I’m doing a lot better. Not really more fun, but not sleeping on the ground really does a lot to help a person get more sleep.
Hmm, funny story. Well, here in Mexico all of the people like to try and speak English to me, although today in Guadalajara a lot of people were asking if I was from Russia or something like that, and they are pretty funny. Every day I’ll hear, Hello my friend, how are doing? Or I hear American swear words that are pronounced wrong, that’s probably the funnier ones. Finally figured out why no one calls me gringo today. I was talking with my  MTC bros and they all said they were called gringo the whole time and then Elder Hostetter said his companion said that it was because of blond hair. They just call all the people with blond hair gueros. Look it up though, I’d like to know what it really means. I get called guerito a lot as well.
I don’t really have funny stories for this week. Although I thought I clogged the toilet at a member’s house one time and then I looked up and saw that they didn’t even have a knob to flush the toilet with. I panicked and didn’t know what to do. Then I opened the door to ask Elder Sanchez for help and saw a bucket of water and then I knew what to do. So yeah, you just pour the bucket of water into the toilet and it does the job. Still getting used to not putting toilet paper in the toilet. That is just gross beyond belief to be honest.  I’m a pretty calm person, but I don’t want to be known for the rest of time and all eternity as that one American missionary who took a dump in their toilet and didn’t flush it or just left it there or whatever.
Bye.  I love you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week Nine

Elder Clifford's Zone

Elder Clifford wasn't able to send a letter or pictures this week.  The computer was too slow for pictures and he was so busy replying to emails and emailing back and forth with his father and I it took the whole hour.  Per his request, I pieced together some of the emails that went back and forth and put together the following 'letter'.  As you can see, he is pretty down.  Please pray for our sweet Elder. 

Spanish for me this week was pretty bad. I’m trying to learn but people will not go easy on me. We still don’t have beds but I’m pretty sure that we are going to get them today. I’m healthy, and the food isn’t bad.

I did a lot of thinking this week and it was a really hard week.  It’s hard trying to teach people who laugh at you because you can’t speak their language as perfectly as they can. I wish I could have gotten something out of General Conference this week, I truly do, but I couldn’t understand any of it, because the stake wouldn’t put any subtitles up in English or anything, they just had these Spanish voice overs playing the whole time so I literally didn’t understand one talk in general conference. Those days were the worst this week, and I had been looking forward to the help I knew that I would get from the speakers for the whole week. I really hope you guys can help me out here, because I want to be as great a missionary as I can be but I’m having a pretty hard time. I know God won’t have me experience more than I can bear, although it feels really hard.  I’ll be fine I guess. It’s just hard on me because I can’t help but think that this is supposed to be one of the nicer parts of the misión and it’s really kind of poopy here. I know that I am blessed, and I know that missions aren’t supposed to be easy, but my life seriously sucks right now. I’ll keep trying and I’ve been trying my hardest every day. I go to bed, and I pray for like 30 or 40 minutes just hoping for an answer to my prayers and I have faith that I will see it, but I’ve looked all day every day for help and it doesn’t come. I’ll keep trying, praying and waiting but right now nothing is going positive for me. I wish it were easy but nothing worthwhile in life was ever easy. Hopefully things improve by next week.

I don’t know what city I’m in. I work in a huge área. My companion doesn’t understand English but its okay.
<This is mom.  Elder Clifford felt bad because there would be no letter, so he said to just put something together from the emailing back and forth, and then to add this 'funny story' from this week.>
This week on the way back from conference a member driving us home was crazy and tried to beat a train going like 90 mph. We barely made it across without getting hit.

 <At which point I replied - Whaaaa?  That scares me!!! He replied:>

It’s fine because I’m alive.