December 17, 2014

Better Than a Hallelujah By David Cluff

  This video is dedicated to my cousin, Tyler,  who fell off a 150 foot cliff in November 2014. The fall left almost every bone broken. He is still alive and has a long recovery a head of him. Over the last few weeks I have learned God is real, answers prayers and often in a way we did not expect them to be. This is my favorite song and I am not perfect in my ASL but it is from the heart.

Merry Christmas!
-David

December 7, 2014

Christmas Once Again

  This Christmas season is going to be a little crazy for me as I will be traveling and getting married to someone very special to me. Before everything gets busy I just want to share my feelings on Christmas.

   Over the last two Christmas seasons I have been able to spend them with many different people in Salt Lake City, Utah where I served a two-year church mission. My first Christmas was special to me as on Christmas Eve all 180 missionaries, ages 18-25, got together for a dinner. It started to snow and pretty soon there was a good amount of snow. All the men grabbed a snow shovel and started shoveling the sidewalks in the surrounding areas. The sidewalks then led us wanting to do driveways to the homes around us. Some sang carols as we shoveled. Half way through the night the sister missionaries came walking in the snow with a plate of christmas treats to deliver to the homes in the areas. That night we gave the gift of service as our Savior Jesus Christ gave us the ultimate service. He is the Gift. The video at the end describes perfectly how He is the Gift.

   The last few Sundays our little kids ages 3-11 in Sunday School have been practicing a song titled, "Can I Hold The Baby" and I just want to share the words of the song as it touches my heart.


Can I Hold the Baby
   "It’s Christmas Eve, I’m tucked in bed,
I’m snug and warm, my prayers are said.
I start to think about the first Christmas Night.
The manger warm, the baby fair,
the star that led the shepherds there,
and what I’d say to Mary as she smiled at the little Christ child.
  Could I hold the baby? Will he smile at me?
Does He know why He is born and what his life will be?
Could I hold the baby and tell him of my love?
How glad I am that Jesus Christ was sent from heaven above.
  Now ev’ry day the whole year through
I’ll think of all that I can do
To be like Him and live as He showed me how.
And I’ll remember that Christmas toys
are not as dear as girls and boys,
that Jesus loves each one of us endlessly.
He loves you and me."


If I had the chance to be at the birth of the Savior and if I could have held him would He have smile at me? It is my prayer that we will continue to be the best that we can so we can say, "He smiled at me."

Merry Christmas!
-David B. Cluff




CanIHoldTheBabyHeistheGift

November 15, 2014

Prayers for Tyler

  Shortly after I published my entry, "Grateful" I found out that my cousin was in the hospital due to a big fall from a cliff. He has broken almost every bone in his body and to this day has had 20 surgeries. Tyler and I are the same age and have been best friends since the day we were born. It breaks my heart to see him go through so much pain as he seeks recovery. Family members have come together to put a blog together to tell the miracles and tender mercies as faces this journey to recovery. I have become even more grateful for prayer as I have seen so many come together in prayer for my cousin.

Check out the faith promoting blog at: www.tylerstendermercies.blogspot.com

November 12, 2014

Grateful

   
  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. 







September 26, 2014

Broken No More


  It is hard being labeled or viewed as something “broken”, or even worse, feeling like you are broken. When I lost my hearing I felt like I was broken and as if a piece of me was missing. I was only six years old when my journey began.
   My name is David Cluff and I would like to share with you how my life changed through this experience. In March of 1993 I was born with a virus called Cytomegalovirus, which is known as CMV. This virus has many side effects and doctors thought I might not survive. I was born pre-mature, but despite all the odds a miracle was born.  I was welcomed by loving parents and would eventually be the oldest of four children in the coming years. My childhood was not like most kids growing up. At age three I was diagnosed with hearing loss and fitted with my first set of hearing aids. At age six I woke up one morning and any hearing I had the night before was completely gone. Just like that, something that I cherished so much was gone. My world had changed in a matter of moments and I felt broken, unsure, and I missed the way things used to be.
    Shortly after losing all my hearing I was given the option to receive a Cochlear Implant. After lots of prayers and help from family, friends and people I hardly knew, I got my first Cochlear Implant in October of 1999. Shortly after recovery I got the Cochlear Implant turned on and my ability to hear my parents, my own footsteps and the water running was restored. Did that magically make everything perfect again? Nope. Rather it was the beginning of a journey of faith as I re-learned to hear the world around me. It was like a matching game of what sound goes with what. As the years went by and after a major move to the great city of St. Louis, Missouri, I was given another opportunity to receive a second Cochlear Implant for my left ear. It was my dream to hear with two ears again. I was once again faced with the challenge of re-learning to hear. Hearing with two ears is not the same as hearing with one.
   I am still broken but over the years I learned that “Broken No More” does not mean that everything is going to be perfect or seamless. Rather, it is like a puzzle. When you get a puzzle in a box or bag you now have the choice to either put the puzzle together or let it sit on the shelf. My challenges came like a bag of puzzle pieces. So many pieces that it often felt like it would take years to put each one together to match the master photo. Yet, I had a choice. Am I going to let it sit on the shelf and let my challenges hold me back or am I going to do my best to put the puzzle together? Once completed you see the whole picture; but notice how there are lines going all over the place from each puzzle piece. It is not seamless at all but it is “broken no more.” That is like life. We are given pieces of a puzzle and with time we come to see the masterpiece.
   My master puzzle is still in the works but I am seeing parts of it coming together and that is when I know that everything is alright and that I am Broken No More.



July 30, 2014

David & Heather are engaged!!!!

This is not so much  a "Silent Moments" entry but it is a big step in David's life.  Next month David will be back into routine. 

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}




July 6, 2014

Good Moments

  Over the 4th of July weekend my brother, sister and I took this photo and it shows just how we are. It reminds me just how lucky I am to have such an awesome family to help me through the Silent Moments of my life.


June 18, 2014

You Know

     Being deaf and wearing Cochlear Implants is not a walk in the park or an easy life. It takes work and dedication to reach for the dreams and goals I have set in my life. I learned many lessons over the past few months that have taught me many things.  Through these experiences I am brought back to a thought I often wondered as a young boy and even today: “If I could see what angels see…” We all have experiences where a really good day comes and you feel someone has helped lift you up or when you have a really rough day you feel someone wipe away those tears. That’s when you know angels are all around you, which brings calm assurance letting you know that everything will be okay.   

   Upon my return home from serving my mission in Salt Lake City I bought my first car. With that came a new sense of responsibility and a welcome to “adulthood”.  I was excited about this new stage of my life. A few weeks after getting my car I went to go get an oil change. The following experience has taught me many things and I hope each of you will be able to take something away from this.

    One day after work I made plans to get my car an oil change. I checked into the prices and felt confident about everything. I pulled up to the shop and told them what I wanted. My car was taken in and I walked into the noisy waiting room where there was only one other person in the waiting room. The loudness came from the TV and radio. About half way through they come up to me and asked if I would like the filters replaced and some other stuff that needed to be done. I asked how much it would all cost. The guy said, “Oh, $50 something.” I then said, “So, you mean like $50 something dollars…?” He responded with,  “Yes”. I did need the other stuff done so I had them go ahead with the work. I thought I was getting a pretty good deal. They finished my car and then they came out with the bill. I looked at the total amount and to my surprise it was not “$50 something” but rather $250.00 something. My jaw about dropped to the floor. The guy directed me to the cashier and said, “Have a nice day.” At that moment I felt like I was taken advantage of because of the fact that I am deaf. It was another one of those “Drive Through” moments. I ended up spending more money than I had planned on but I took away a valuable lesson. I was pretty hard on myself about the whole ordeal. I was mad that I did not hear clearly, and my confidence in this whole “adulthood” stage had dropped. I got home and vented to my parents about how it went. As I talked with them I learned that this would not be the last time this would happen. The question then came, “How am I going to handle it the next time this happens?” I realized that I needed to make a plan. Not everyone is perfect at Customer Service but I can practice being the best customer I can be. It may take a little more work but at least I know what I am doing. Here are some things I learned:

Situation: You walk into a loud waiting room and you struggle to hear clearly what the cashier or customer service representative is saying. What do you do?

Do’s: If you can’t hear the person very well and they are talking about money or something—ask them to write it down, even if it is a rough estimate of how much something is going to cost. This does two things: 1. Helps you better know where your money is going, what you’re getting into, and helps you plan. 2. Helps those serving you become the best customer service representative.  

Don’ts: Don’t ever assume you know. Assuming you heard something right always leaves an open door to surprises. Too often I fall into this pattern where I assume I heard someone right but then I realize that I was off. Later in life I look back and laugh at those moments but it would be nice to not have that many moments to laugh at.

You know how you hear. You know what you want. No one else knows that so you have to be willing to speak up and let people know. When people first meet me they automatically assume that I can hear everything. But…that’s wrong. I actually don’t hear everything. In some settings I hear everything. For example: When I am having one on one conversations with low background noise, I hear just about everything and follow with the conversation. On the other hand when I get into large groups and lots of background noise, I get maybe half of what is going on. That confuses people. Cochlear Implants are amazing but it is not perfect in every situation. I have learned to recognize a situation and know that sometimes I will have to work harder to know what is going, while other situations can feel like a breeze. Rather than beating myself up each time I run into a hard situation I look around to see what angels see in this situation. Last week I was in a busy airport and it was really loud. I could not hear the speakers very well so I started talking to the guy next to me and explained my situation. This guy was as nice as can be. He helped me understand what was being said on the speakers and once I got on my flight I never saw him again. He was like my own angel watching over me. When we communicate our concerns, that is when we can find solutions. If I decided not to tell anyone that I was having a hard time hearing I may have missed my flight and had a horrible travel experience.


 It often takes doing something hard to become something extraordinary.

May 9, 2014

Silent Dinner


If you remember my “Drive Through” entry a few years ago then you are going to love this entry.

This past week I went out to dinner with a friend and we learned a lot on how people react to situations. That night she and I decided to have a Silent Dinner. She and I both know ASL (American Sign Language) and once we walked into the restaurant we turned our voices off and signed full-time. We did not want to make it too difficult for the waitress so we decided that whoever used their voice first would have to voice the other person for the night.


(Keep in mind one thing: I am the deaf one and my friend is hearing.)

The waitress came up and asked how we are doing. Just out of habit I opened my mouth and said “We are doing great, thank you.” My friend smiled really big and I realized that I am going to have to be the one to voice her. We started looking at the menu and my friend signed to me what she wanted and got ready for when the waitress came back. The waitress came back but did not remember that, my friend was “not able to hear”. The waitress looks down at her pad avoiding eye contact and asks “What can I get you?” a few awkward moments passed, as no response. She looks up to see my friend signing to me what she wanted. I looked up and said, “Oh, she would like…” The waitress squared her shoulder and started actually making eye contact and took our order. Everyone else in the restaurant now knows about the “two people OVER there."

Our food came out and as we ate we could feel the eyes of others watch our every move. They all didn't know that my friend can actually hear perfectly. She would often sign to me saying, “Did you hear what they said?” The waitress comes back to check on us and ask if we needed anything. She completely ignores my friend and I said, “Yeah, we need more napkins.” She left and we waited. She came back and said “Sorry, it took me so long I was at the register.” The funny part was when she was trying to sign “Register”. She puts her fingers out like she is typing on a keyboard and with a louder tone and opens her mouth really big says, “Register”. She left and I almost died laughing, as I have never seen anything like that.

The night continued on and we held all of our conversations in ASL. It was awesome! We wish we could have filmed our experience. Through the night I noticed & re-learned a few things that I felt to share.

One: Don’t be afraid to make eye contact. The waitress kept looking down at her pad not being fully aware of her surroundings. How often do we look down and not take the time to look up and see our surroundings?

Two: If you do run into people who are deaf or hard of hearing. There is no need to all the sudden to raise your voice, unless the person asks you to do so. When I take my Cochlear Implants off it is funny when my brothers tell people that I can’t hear. So the person starts talking really loud. My brothers then have to clarify “No, he can’t hear you AT ALL!” The person then goes “Oh” followed with awkward pause. So, be sure to ask if they would like you to speak up. It is not so much the loudness but the pace of the way you speak. But don’t be like “HOOOWWW ARRREEE YOOOUUU DOOIINNNGGG?” That makes it sound like your talking to a child. So find your middle ground. If you are deaf or struggle with your hearing here is my advice for you: Let people know if you need them to speak louder or repeat things. Don’t worry about what people say or think. In this day and age we are becoming too impatient with one another. We like things fast and easy. Communication, good communication, takes time and effort. When I see someone look really annoyed by me asking them to repeat something I tend to just simply act like I understand but in reality I did not. Body Language is powerful and we often don’t see what we do each day.

Three: Don’t open your mouth so big when you speak---the air is not that big to grasp. When people do that I find it harder to read their lips. But, don’t mumble your words or you will get a confused look on my face. In today’s world we are becoming too lazy in the way we speak. Remember, good communication takes time and effort.


I hope you learned something today and please like my new facebook page today for more updates! 





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!


April 20, 2014

Happy Easter - Because of Him

Because of Him I find strength to cope with the challenges I face each day. He is the one that helps me hear, walk and share my life story with all those I meet. Happy Easter!





David is now back from him church mission! Stay tuned for more about his journey. 

March 31, 2014

The View is Great!

David will be returning home from his mission tomorrow, April 1st!! He has been serving a mission for his church for two years. At the start he thought it would be impossible for him to do this mission because of the challenges he faces with his hearing. David has learned that something that seemed impossible to him became a reality through our Savior Jesus Christ. To read more about his journey and his mission please visit: www.elderdavidcluff.blogspot.com

 April 11, 2012 
(Letter written the day he arrived at the Missionary Training Center, or MTC)
"I made it! I really did! I got dropped off and was not sure what in the world I was doing. I was met by a host missionary and the next thing I know I have a new name tag on my suit--Elder Cluff. Feeling strange and looking around, trying to take it all in, I then found myself in a classroom introducing myself and laughing with the other missionaries." -Elder David Cluff 








It is David's prayer that this blog can be a place of inspiration and hope. 

March 10, 2014

Take Every Challenge With A Smile

My mission has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. One thing I was always reminded of by my parents and family members is when you are about to face a hard challenge or tackle someone---don't forget to smile. Here is the photo that always reminded me of that. It is not always easy to do but I find that to help me when I do remember to smile.


February 24, 2014

Silent Miracles, His Story

"Elder Cluff is known as a blogger for “Silent Moments, My Story” which tells his journey through the silent moments of his life. Today he tells about the Silent Miracles that he and his companion, Elder Valdez, have seen. Miracles are ways our Heavenly Father tells His Story."


Click the link to read:
http://elderdavidcluff.blogspot.com/2014/02/silent-miracles-his-story.html?m=1

February 10, 2014

Always Near

  Ever have those times where things get hard and you are not sure how you are going to make it through? I sure do. When I feel like I am about to break. I pray. With the faith and belief that I have in God I know He hears my every prayer and He hears yours. His answers often come gently and at times when we least expect it. When his answers come...I always know He is Always Near.
  This past week I had issues with my Cochlear Implant and the stress of everything was not helping it at all. One morning I could not handle it anymore. I got on my knees and began to pray my heart out. I wanted to hear "normal" and have my Cochlear Implant function right again. I was sitting at my desk reading the scriptures. Distracted by everything going on I just looked out my window and looked at the trees and the sky. I then had this feeling that everything will be okay and that He is always near.
  Although I still face some challenges with my Cochlear Implant at the moment...I know I will be okay because He hears every word and is right beside me.

David, on his Mission in Salt Lake City, working
with other missionaries. 

January 13, 2014

Brave Enough

  
There are moments in life where we find ourselves asking the question “Am I brave enough? Brave enough to stand, brave enough to speak or brave enough to take the next step?”


  I know I have asked those questions within myself, many times. I seem to have many of those moments, more often, as I start stepping into a new chapter in my life. When I started this blog I kpet telling myself that I am not brave enough to do something new. With the help & faith of my family, friends and Heavenly help I was reminded that I can be brave enough. Here I am 6 years later, living the dream. It has been a journey to being brave enough to share my Silent Moments. Over the years I have become brave enough to speak in front of large groups, walk on my own and brave enough to leave what I knew behind for two years to serve a mission for my church. All these things, at some point in my life, used to scare me and sound terrifying.

  Being brave does not come overnight or in a blink of an eye. At least it is not like that for me. Rather, it was a process, a journey and day by day I would get more brave to keep trying. Pretty soon the brave comes through and you're climbing a mountain you have never climbed before. There were many times I did not want to wear my Cochlear Implant because I simply felt different and was worried what others might think. At a young age I was taught that I needed to be brave despite what others say or think. I run into many youth who come home from school or a party and take their hearing aids or cochlear implants off and say “I am never wearing them again!”. In these cases they often get unkind words or simply looks because they look “different”. Therefore they lose confidence in who they are and think they are not brave enough to keep trying. This has happened in my life and I still have those feelings even at my age.  I then remind myself that I am brave enough to keep living my dream despite what the world tells me.

 As I have spent countless nights thinking about this I came across a song titled “Brave” by Hilary Weeks. I felt to share the words of the song with you today as it share what’s in my heart.


Brave by Hilary Weeks


"There are moments you feel it and you know
Something amazing is happening within your soul
And nothing can hold back what’s inside you


Let it move you, let it lead your heart
Don’t be afraid to let yourself believe in who you are
‘Cause today you’re gonna be


Brave
You are brave
Let your brave come through
Let it define you
You are meant to be brave


Get your shoes, grab your courage, open the door
Your’re about to see a you you’ve never seen before
And Heaven will be there beside you
In the moments when the wall seems way too high
Trust your instincts, breath, then start to climb
Cause you have always been


Brave
You are brave
Let your brave come through
Let it define you
You are meant to be brave


Brave when you think you can’t
Strong when you have fallen
Brave, brave
Bold enough to stand and be


Brave
You are brave
Let your brave come through
Let it define you
You are meant to be brave


There are moments when you feel it and you know
Something amazing is happening within your soul
And nothing can hold back what’s inside you"


I pray that we will all be brave enough to reach our dreams. Whatever it may be...you are brave enough!