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Monday, October 28, 2013

Ryan's 2nd week in the field

So this week honestly was a lot better than the last, im starting to feel at home more. today we got to go get our visas and all of my old ccm pals were there. (almost my whole district) the work is starting to pick up in my area and i still havent written you guys a letter but ill try! i might just try to photo copy my diary because i just write EVERYTHING in there, and that takes up most or all the time i have at night to write. so ya, weve got a baptism planned for the 9th of noviembre, and have like 5 other investigators that i think will progress. the people here are very catholic or very evangelical for the most part. and there mindset also for the most part is that ive found what i like and believe it, but ill listen to you for a little bit because we believe in the same god right? so the trick is getting them to let us into their house which is actually pretty tricky. once we are we can bring the spirit to their hearts. which is what really converts as you all know.  we are trying to reactivate a good number of members, and we are always working. im really thankful to have such a good trainer. i am going to find a cord to download my pics because thatll be much easier than mailing an SD card. for anyoner planning on serving a mission, the only way to be happy serving everyday, all day, you just need to buckle down and always focus on how to bless others and work hard. thats my new missionary 2 cents. im not sure if that is true for everyone or is helpful, but that is how it is for me. and always strive to become a consecrated missionary. a seventy gave a talk about that and its very helpful. my ccm teacher gave us all a copy. i will send a letter! eventually! theres so much i need to do. like cut down some bamboo with a machete for various uses. (thats actually totally normal here--i love it) hope all is going well. my emails are getting shorter and shorter i know. sorry about that. im losing my will to type. but ive already filled a journal. so thats good. and im going to take more pictures. its hard, but i can do it. i guess all that i have left to say is that everyone around us in the states has so much to be grateful for. there are no excuses. families back home dont go to church because they dont want to. some people here dont go to church because they are ashamed to tell anyone they cant afford to pay the equivalent of a dollar total to take a bus to and from church. so be grateful. they can go. but its easier for those state siders. and be happy. if the people here can be happy with only the necessities of life and a 12 hour a day 7 day a week job, so can you. and i know we have different problems in the states, but you understand the point. btw this is not targeted at anyone and i am happy and proud of everyone. share the gospel! everyone NEEDS it. even if they dont know it. 
love elder mcfadyen

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 1 in first area

I have very little time left to write so ill send you a letter with whatever i miss! im in an area called piedra parada in the mountains south of guatemala city. the weather is amazingly perfect! it dumps rain! its so cool. and cause its the mountains its not hot...normally...yet. my companion is great, elder montenegro. the work in our area is difficult because the elders before us didnt really do anything, and there arent many members. but its great! we climb lots of hills and there is forest everywhere. thick thick forest. there is also dog poop everywhere and dogs. most of them dont bug us, but im going to start carrying cookies or something to lure the annoying dogs away so we can get to peoples houses. weve only got one progressing investigator, but we`ve got high hopes. its so crazy how good satan is at distracting people and blinding people. because without blinders and lies, im certain everyone would see how amazing this gospel is and join and remain faithful. we are working hard, but we need to work harder, talk to more people, etc. theres a sad amount of regular drunkards who say funny things a lot and only want to talk to us when their really drunk. got to go! love you!

elder mcfadyen

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 5

Heya momma, thanks for the letters, i love to read them! theres is so much to write in so little time and i possibly wont be able to write again for two weeks because i leave the ccm next tuesday and then hit the ground running. i loe to share the cool little stuff and if i miss anything ill let you read my journal later. the other day at deportes elder van shaar was playing his flauta (flute) and i was reading jesus the christ and all of a sudden a hummingbird flies within like a foot of us, no joke and gets nectar from a flower right next to us (the flowers are always in bloom so far) and was there for like 15 seconds and it was green and yellow and absolutely one of the coolest things ever. i got to teach with elder van shaar as well and it was a nice change of pace because while i love my companion, and he is growing rapidly, elder van shaar is a little "older". i also feel that im growing rapidly here. its truly is miraculous to me how quickly the lord whips us into to shape if well submit our will to his. one week ago we went on a field trip to wal mart which was fun. nothing much to say about that. some of the new hispanos are going to my mission and they are funny guys so itll be fun. i found out there are about 210 missionaries in my mission too! crazy right!? we listened to an incredble devocional by elder holland who sculpted my study patterns better and thats been helping me. last week the temple was also amazing for me as it was today. i love it more and moer every time i go. there is no place like it and today was the last time ill go for probably 6 months which is a little sad. last wednesday was a sad day, i dont know why, but every thursday after a group leaves it is crumby. theyve got the third floor here pretty much done but we are still on the second floor til we leave. oh man its always funny here,. i was trying to figure out how to teach the law of chastity in my brain, and im teaching my teacher, and i couldnt think of anything to say so I said something awkward and I silenced the room fast. oh man its always funny here,. i loveit. lets talk about conference. wooooow! so good! ive never taken so many notes in my life. it was in english thankfully. pres monson himself said it was the most spiritual conference he could remember ive learned the basics i think of learning from speakers through their words and the inspiration of the spirit and it is awesome, and i just felt flooded with inspiration during confernce. it was so great. emily and sarah. do as elder ballard directs, and the Lord, and invite your friends to take the missionary lessons when the time is right. elder major saw his dad like 30 times because he sings in the motab choir. that was pretty cool. is there any way you could get my emails to ashley powers my friend? i dont think you know her.....oh another cool thing was that 2 weeks ago elder ochoa came and spoke to us here, and then we saw him speaking in general confernce and were feeling blessed because of that. we loved him when he came. he was really really awesome. before conference i got sick from the food  i think and threw up a couple times so i was quite tired and feeling crumby the next day but i really wanted to watch conference and i felt good enough, and great on sunday! that and when i had a cold the first three weeks is preparing me for when i get really sick. oh the coolest thing of the week was we were supposed to teach some inactive members at this little teaching house a 1 minute walk away, but no one showed up so we got to go street contacting and so elder searle and i went to the bus stop on the corner by the temple and just started talking to an old man waiting for his bus, and holy cow it was so awesome. we could understand him, and he understood us, and the spirit was strong, and his poor wife has alzheimers, and so we gave him a book of mormon which he wanted to pay us for, and he wanted to learn more so we got all o his contact info and the missionaries in his area if they are good missionaries will get his referral from the ccm and go teach him. i was so so happy, and  i love talking to the people, especially the guatemalans. they are so open and ready for the gospel. we havent taught a single person who wasnt thus far, and weve taught 3 legitimate nonmembers. cant wait to get out there! well hopefully i can email you in a week but i wouldnt count on it. one week more til this ccm experience ends. im going to miss a lot of people.  

love elder mcfadyen

Week 4

hello momma, i was pretty surprised to hear about jeff and at first i
was really sad but i know the time was right, and he has suffered
enough. so it is happy. this week has been a good one. it pretty much
rains every day, but one day it dumped, and it was incredible. and the
thunder was incredible. like from a movie. i loved it. .the spanish i
going very well, i can communicate most of what i want to say, and
last week i finally had the courage and faith to commit to speaking
only spanish (within reason), and once i made that commitment i felt a
lot of peace. because my fear was causing the spirit to withhold a
little bit from me. elder searle and i got to teach another nonmember
the other day and it went really well. this womans family is partial
member, and she said she would read the book of mormon. and we just
found her on the street waiting to got to the eye doctor. people here
are so willing to listen to the gospel. the time with my district is
still good although were starting to realize that hermanas arent all
that bad since if we had some we probably wouldnt be such guys all the
time. but its all good. and they get cranky sometimes anyway. at least
the ones in the other districts here do. we sang nearer my god to thee
(in espanol) the other night, and a teacher played the flute and was
really good, and it was the most beautiful thing ive heard. i wish you
guys could hear it. so good. another slight challenge im having is
music withdrawals. just naturally ill notice music is in my head from
home, and sometimes i have to be have a hymn vs song battle in my
brain. hymn wins, but it isnt easy. did i already tell you about how i
have no hair? you thought my hair was short when i left. no. they have
already cut it twice. on saturday we got to do service and pick up
trash all around the temple and ccm, and it was very fun. some guys
saw a small snake but i missed it. i did however see the ugliest
pigeon of all time. and to me that is quite notable given that ive
been to san fran and new york. its so cool here. we listened to a
devotional last night and it is incredible how strengthening it is to
hear to hear the prophets speak. everyone here is so excited for
conference and i hope you can help your beehives realize how awesome
it is. how is everything else at home? hows max, chance? they both
leaver really soon! how is ty?  im pretty excited 
to get out in the field. the second group i will have seen leaves
tomorrow and then were next! its crazy! 2 weeks here goes by so fast
its crazy. the really weird thing is in reality i feel like i could be
here for a pretty long time and be happy. not as happy as out in the
world. but still happy. im in for a real treat when i leave. and what
i mean by that is that so far i havent been pushed to the limit. ive
been strengthened and blessed incredibly by the lord but havent been
pushed to my knees in tears. and when that happens. ill come out a
strengthened person. i almost said man. but i dont like to think of
myself as a man. im young! im a kid! you should tell anyone you know
who wants to serve a mission to know the scriptures WELL before they
go and theyll be ahead of the game. the scriptures are so important. i
love you so much! youre number one! enjoy your life! its a beautiful
one!   --elder mcfadyen

Week 3

Hey momma, thanks for that wonderful quote, that is very good! Thats
so nuts everyone is leaving already! time flies! tell sam zapata
congrats im so excited for him! I feel like painting a little more
solid picture of guatemala bit by bit. i always forget details so ill
just add to them. around the ccm they have like 15 guards 24-7, and
men on trucks with anything even slightly valuable have a shotgun. its
very cool. and the cop trucks just pile cops into the bed with
automatic weapons, and mom i apologize for my honesty but i think its
cool for now. all the buses people ride in are packed most of the time
and look very old. we have a sweet view of the temple from my room,
and its beautiful at night because its often shrouded in fog except the
temple is totally visible. this morning in the temple a lot of
missionaries from ciudad este mision were there and we chatted for a
little bit, and they got me excited again to enter the field. we got a
new group of hispanos and nortes and at first they were all really
home sick and unfriendly but now all is good. things are still good
with the district we have the best district meetings ever. them always
have invited the spirit strongly lately as we discuss how to improve
etc. ps, mom if you send my time, truly send all ties. thanks! cause
the people here wear bright cool stuff. i did get your snail mail last
night mom but havent had time to read it yet. so it took about 2
weeks. not bad. but thanks so much for the letter! its a good feeling
to get a tangible letter. i saw an amazing bug the other day if anyone
wants to google it. it looked like a totally soft black wasp with
really tiny butterfly wings. it was amazing. god lives.  this sunday
my district sung a song accappella because elder major and others can
sing really well and it was fun. i feel bad for the hispanos because i
dont tink theyve ever heard what songs should sound like. either that
or they are all tone deaf. we sing for fun a lot. man the time is
flying. last saturday a bunch of children came and got a tour of the
ccm and i talked with them a little and it sure is humbling to speak
worse than a 3 year old. but the spanish really is coming pretty
easily. ive found that when im praying (always in spanish), the words
just come to me super easily. its fun. i know thats not coincidence.
then last friday i believe we were teaching a nonmember (we usually
teach a member, but we got lucky when a member brought a non member
friend), and anyway, it went very well and the spirit was strong, and
all of a sudden our teacher comes in the room and says you guys need
to RUN to your room and move it all to this room because theyre
demolishing yours. so we did, and i hope thats the only time i ever
run away from an investigator. we moved our stuff as they were
beginning demo, and then they said oh ya were demolishing the room you
just moved into also. so we moved again, and that was a fun adventure.
i really did enjoy it. it got my blood pumping a little. sometimes i
feel so tired that ive wondered how long it will take at this rate of
progressively getting more tired for me to die. but i havent yet. and
i still love it. and i still havent gained weight even though i eat so
much. ive lost 2 pounds. but the elders in the temple actually said if
were in the city we wont be hungry as much as we are in the ccm cause
there is good enough food to buy everywhere. to the young men i want
to say that satan is going to try so so so hard to deter you from
serving your mission because he knows that as soon as you become a
fulltime missionary your testimony is about to grow immensely. in my
short time here ive alreadfy had so many of my gospel questions
answered, and im so happy, and i love being a missionary. im beginning
to understand why being a good companion is the best way to prepare
for marriage because it truly isnt easy. but as they say, nothing in
the world worth learning or earning is easy. you will
never regret serving. and youll always regret not serving. love elder mcfadyen

Week 2

yes mom helllo! that would be awesome! if you are going to send a package all of my ties would be nice and maybe our new family picture. So i hope youre ready for another whirlwind email with absolutely no structure because we were supposed to write monday but the power wasnt workin, then on tuesday we were too busy, yesterday the power still wasnt working and so i have a lot to talk about. so first of all for my pals. shoe trees for shoes was a great idea. thanks cole. he is gone now too! is that weird? also for my pals, dont bring running shoes because youll destroy them like other people herer. the indoor soccer shoes i got are doing great and come in handy with basketball and soccer. also, bring a lot of flashcards because youll want to use them for memorizing scriptures, words etc. and bring small notebooks. things are going well here. i got this week finally because just about evryone in my room was sick, so ive been pretty tired plus this week was crazy but all is good. the power goes out every now and then so that is cool, and totally normal. we all grow closer to the spirit every day and more sensitive which is cool to see. ive learned not to stress about anything again just like i was back home. but i do feel more of a responsibility to work hard all day which i think will prove to be more difficult for me in the ccm than in the field because number one were sitting down in sleep prone positions (i havent fallen asleep in the day yet), and on tuesday those 3 districts that were left after everyone left went on a little field trip, and we got the chance to talk with people in a park in front of this beautiful cathedral, and i loved that and could do that all day. but its hard to get yourself to study all day. btw the ccm has about 150 missionaries in it not 55 like i thought so its quite busy. oh another cool thing about tuesday was we went to this giant 3-d map of guatemala made like 100 years ago, and it was so cool, and got us all so stoked to go to our areas. the ccm prez nicolaysen talked about the theory of why guatemala is supposed to be the BOM land, and i must say im now a believer in that theory. it doesnt matter but its just fun, interesting, and really cool. after that place we went to a market and i wanted to buy everything but i needed a backpack because i dont like my shoulder bag and they allow backpacks down here, and i needed shorts cause i only brought 3 pairs. so i found my backpack and native pant capri things and a handmade wooden flute that i couldnt pass up. i cant wait to send youi guys stuf. on the drive to those places we saw a serious contrast between the society here because the ccm is in the nicest part of the entire country, and then we saw insanely poor slums where the houses just seems to be numberless boxes (literally boxes, made from whatever they can find) stacked on top of each other on a hill. oh and also if anyone wants to send me something that they think id want to keep forever or read multiple times, please send a letter or dear elder message. honestly everything here is cool to me though. the bugs are different-we saw an awesome leaf bug on tuesday, the weather now is perfect, other than the hurricane that might hit guatemala. but moral is high, im happy, my companionship is great, the food is still killer and i worry that ill die when i leave here because i eat so much more than everyone else (seriously) and im just going to have to used to being hungrier than normal. i finally heard thunder accompany lightning the other day, which was cool. and the sky was clear, and then literally 2 minutes later it was covered in dark clouds, and the low clouds looked like they were going a hundred miles an hour and the clouds above were just swirling and then it started to heavily mist and then the clouds moved and it stopped. it was one of the coolest things ive ever seen. i love the central american people, i love missionaries, and my testimony here has grown so much in so little time which is awesome. im really really excited to leave the ccm because i feel a little trapped sometimes and like i said we are just sitting so much, but at the same time we have so many experiences here so often to strenghrten our testimonies. love your chapin, elder mcfadyen

Week 1

 Hey mom! first of all remember when I said to put a picture of the
virgin mary on packages? well dont. just write elder mcfadyen because
the people here trust and love mormones. ill probably email on mondays
and tuesdays here in the ccm, and for now im thinking ill just write
letters back to people who write me one. also im not going to use very
much correct punctuation because the keyboard is weird and i want to
fit in as much as i can. so lets startt with the plane ride over here.
i sat next to a really interesting guy on the way to los angeles so
that was fun takling to him. then when i arrived in los angeles i
immediately saw 3 elders waiting at the terminal for our flight to
guatemala  (i came out of the terminal immediately next to that one.
we all clicked right away and our district is awesome. we all get
along really well. so the flight down to guatemala city was like a 4
and a half hour flight and we probably got like 2-3 hours of sleep
then when we got to the ccm at like 7 we just had to get ready and the
day got going. it was literally the longest day of my life because
tuesday and wednesday felt like the same day. so get ready for that
guys. (cole chase). our teacher hermana alvorado is very cool and nice
and so is everyone in the ccm really. the latinos are very friendly
and patient with the norteamericanos terrible spanish. so anyway the
day ended after what felt like an eternity and then i sleep like a
baby. ive slept like a baby every night. overall im really loving it
here, the food is really really good every meal because our ccm is the
only one in the world with a professional chef. my companion is
awesome, he is always serving me and i get to help him because my
spanish is a lot better since i took 3 years in high school. that has
helped a lot. his name is elder searle from roy utah. my experience
especially helped since on the 3rd day we taught our first lesson to
our investigator in spanish. his name is jose and he works in the ccm
kitchen. he is awesome, and last night elder searle and i gave him a
baptismal date and he was excited about it and said he loved the idea,
felt really good about it, wouldd pray about it, and just wanted to
discuss the matter with his fiance and family who are important to
him. i know im not giving a lot of details i apologize, im trying to
fit in as much as possible. this is all scatter brained i apologize
for that too. before i forget, (this is for akaash) when we landed in
guatemala city i helped an old latino man get his luggage out of
overhead storage, and he said "you a strong man" in avery thick
hispanic accent. i later learned lots of people say that here. and
every time they do i think of you akaash. the whole experience here is
can be summed up in one word for me. intense. im tired a lot.
yesterday i was really really sleepy tired from when i woke up until i
went to bed. but im getting used to that and focusing and learning
instead of falling asleep which i havent during the day yet by the
way. but that has been really tough. its so amazing here overall. were
in the nicest part of the country and there is money here so i dont
really know what its going to be like when i leave. i mean we got
picked up from the airport with a large old stick shift school bus
(nine of us missionaries. were the smallest district here and were the
only district who doesnt have any sisters which is nice because i
think were all a lot closer because of that. girls are distracting.
but there probably is half elderes half hermanas in the ccm. its
rained all but a few days so far and the cool thing is when it rains
it pours. its so loud and awesome and there is a lot of lightning but
ive never heard thunder which is weird. also the weather overall right
now is pretty much perfect. its not very humid. it felt more humid in
california sometimes, its not too hot ever. its so nice. it is winter
right now down here so im not sure what the rest of the year will feel
like but i cant complain at all. oh the other thing that has been hard
for me is being inside almost the entire day sometimes. some days we
only go outside maybe for personal study. and i love the outside. so
thats hard. but the language is really fun to learn for me, and fun to
speak with the latinos. its really an easy language. trent. to you i
give mad props. i could not learn chinese and keep my sanity. but the
lord knows what we can do. oh by the way, max chase chance cole
brigham: bring all the ties you own (elder tomayo in my district
brought 90. genius.) every friday we have a tie swap and if you have
like 4-10 crumby ties you can score some amazing ties. michael if
youre still dating lauren i need to be honest. i traded all but one of
the ties that you gave me. in fact that was my plan from the
beginning. but i wish i had brough more ties. like my square ties and
what not because those ties fit in more here and i defintely wuold
have worn them. also bring hangers, a tie hanger as well. and ive been
told we hardly ever wear our rain boots so dont spend a lot of money.
you can but thats my opinion i guess. i had the privelege of being
called to serve more as my district leader on saturday so ive got a
little more responsibility. on sunday we had our district meeting and
the spirit was so strong. everyone in our district felt like we had
known each other before as soon as we saw each other, even though none
of us have. ill let you all think about how cool that is. for the most
part, i feel really big around the latinos which is a foreign feeling
to me. its nothing special its just new to me. my companion is very
humble, elder walton from wyoming is hilarious, elder merrill from
canada is a really good skier and he and i have a lot in common. elder
major from utah is very spiritual and sings a lot because his voice is
amazing. elder tomayo from houston area brought 90 ties. need  i say
more. elder van shaar from arizona knows everything therer is to know
about guatemala. elder tukuafu from arizona is the only one who has
gotten sick so far in our district, and hes just our friendly giant.
elder davidson from houston area has an rotc air force full ride
scholarship to byu. last night one of the latino elders who arrived
the time as us had to go home because of family reasons, and it was so
sad. it was the first time ive been sad here. we had a little goodbye
ceremony in his room and it was all in spanish but i could just feel
the love we all had for elder molina and i couldnt help but cry along
with others. the spirit is prevalent here. and even though we are
tired  so often and stressed and cant understand the language a lot
and are asked to prepare a talk in spanish for sunday and 2 lessons,
on top of teaching jose and trying to become knowledgable about the
scriptures, we are all so happy. i love this gospel and my testimony
has grown a ton here in a just a week. i have been praying for you all
at home and hope things are going well. I love you all! prepare to
serve Him with all your heart. and that way youll be able to help your
companion and those around you more. sorry for not replying to anyone
else. lots of love!
Btw there was an earthquake. Lauren reminded me.

Love, elder mcfadyen