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Monday, October 13, 2014

Sept 1

I am very sad to hear about Bernie. She was a good friend.  I am so glad to be able to have the privilege of preaching this good news everyday. And I am so excited because I have recently learned how to do it drastically better. Elder Duncan ( the area President. Super stud) came and gave a special conference. It was amazing! Remember how I used to talk about how the mission was very disobedient and stuff. And then Elder Ochoa came and a miracle happened and the mission improved a ton. President Stay helped us grow a ton and it was fun. And now I get to be part of radical changes again. Elder Duncan came and meted unto us the portion of light that we were ready for. And it was more than last time. We are going to go from a good mission to a great one. I know it. And President Caffaro is such a powerful leader. I know it isn't a competition but it is obvious that the more responsibility a man has in Gods Church, the more spiritual he must be. Some men just speak with such power and authority. So that is whats new here. It is going to be fun. There are many changes to help the zone bring about.  The Lord is hastening His work. The members here are helping us a ton. They are soooo awesome. We had a baptism this last weekend with Claudia. It was a total miracle. Last Saturday she got in a fight with her husband who is a member and in her anger said she didn't want anything. Then she appeared in Church with her family. What? We needed to prepare her more for her baptismal date so we needed to find her like 4 times in the week to get her ready. Because she had been praying and praying about if she should be baptized the 31st. On Monday we didn't find her all day. On Tuesday either. On Wednesday when Elder Lopez and I were walking into our sector, we saw the car there and went to see whats up. without waiting much time after the prayer and without us saying anything she told us she had received her answer. She wanted to be baptized this weekend. The spirit was so peaceful. Om Sunday she had a spiritually edifying experience, and on Monday night had a spiritual family home evening with her extended family. She had "teach me to walk in the light" stuck in her head for 2 days. And she felt the confirmation of the Holy Ghost. She had experienced what the Lord does when we repent and come to Him humbly. It was amazing. She was very emotional and nervous because she is scared of water. But she did it like a champ. I wish I could be here for their sealing in a year. But alas. The Lord has blessed me enough just by letting me be here. Love you mom. A lot.
 Elder McFayden
  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Aug 25

Holy cow I can't believe how many people are getting married! It is wonderful! Care package...I dont really need anything. In all honesty. Im perfectly content. I just want to clean the bathroom in my house....but you can't help with that. I'm happy to hear how the work of salvation moves forward there. We have the leadership here to make a ward already as well. There are like 30 active men with the melquezidec priesthood. This week has been fun. Lots of good work. We have 3 people preparing for baptism right now and we are looking for more. Its a beatuful thing to be in a place where the members are solid and want to grow. I am 100% sure this branch will just keep growing. On Sunday we had a meeting with President Caffaro and a Stake counselor to discuss the mission work in the stake. There is much to improve. But we are getting there little by little. It was a little bit of a frustrating weekend finding out that people arent going to be baptized anymore and tons of recent converts arent coming to church. We have our work cut out for us. In the mission we must always woek to baptize. That is what we were called to do. But our mission pres has been feeling a lot since he got here that the Lord wont give us more baptisms if we cant keep those we baptize in the Church progressing. And once we can do that the baptisms will come. Ill tell you what I really love this work. It pushes you to the limits if we are doing it like we should, but then forges us and strengthens us. We get to recieve lots of inspiration as missionaries. And really we can for any one of our responsibilities but I dont it is quite the same as being a missionary. And with my copmanion we recieve inspiration for the zone. I love it! I love Proverbs 29:18. It is puro cierto. WIthout profecia. I dont know what it says in english, things just fall apart. Look at the government. It is a mess. In every part of the world. The priesthood is organized as Gods government. And where there are righteous men and women recieving inspiration for their respective responsibilities, things work. The only Living Church is a standing witness of that. And it is simply miraculous. I am learning about friends going to various parts of the world, and it is astounding to me how incredibly organized the Lords Church manages to be considering we are all imperfect mortals working in it. I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ. Not just because it bears HIs name, but because it also bears his authority. His authority that seeks no gain (1 Tim 3:3, 8). Thank you parents for being firm and steadfast while raising 7 crazy children. Your years of work have helped me immeasurably to come unto Christ. I love you family! (and friends too)
Elder McFire   

Aug 22

I loooooooved that video from Ash and Braden! I'm doing great. Truly. Its fun to get to know more of the missionaries.  I am finally unpacked and we have cleaned a ton and organized everything better. There is not much left to do and we will be able to function at full gear. We are able to proseyite a lot actually. We just need to be more efficient with our time. Because we travel a lot. I have been able to read a lot on buses. It isn't like Nueva Santa Rosa. We don't preach in the buses. The city is different. Soooo different. But my area is a little paradise. We do work a lot with the district leaders and focus a ton at night on the zone and there is no time for anything hardly in the night time. But I am learning to be more efficient. Crazy to think of Sarah as a sophomore. Emily a working woman! I have always known I would fail miserably in any position as a missionary. But I learned to trust that the Lord can do anything if we trust in Him. So I haven't been stressed at all, or worried. I worry about some companionships sometimes but the Lord has a great future planned in the Zone of Miracles. (Zona Milagro). Where i live is called Las Villas de Milagro. It is like a suburb of the city. Like a Loomis you could say. Small. Peaceful. The people are wonderful. Members are wonderful. I think it is the biggest branch in the world. 152 people in church last Sunday. The youth and the Primary ought to focus on inviting friends to church. Kids are sometimes more receptive. The missionaries knock doors there? They can prayerfully search guidance for some streets that should tract. I read that in a cool booklet I found in the secretaries house after finishing exchanges with the assistants. I loved divisions with one assistant Elder Lopez. He was my zone leader for a change when I was in Nueva Santa Rosa. And I was able to learn about how to make every interaction with others an uplifting experience for them because of the Spirit. It is very inspiring to hear him teach. He does so with power and authority. Truly. And yet he is very humble. I have much to learn still. My spanish will improve still. I will become a better leader. My mission pres is awesome. He wants every missinoary to be a leader. Leaders without titles. As members of the Lords Church, we all need to be leaders. Christ was the best leader the world has ever known. And we must strive to be like Him. Time is flying so fast! Its like Ill write you again in only 3 days! Love you mom! So much!
Elder Mc    

Monday, August 18, 2014

Aug. 11

Holy cow that was a ton of information. Life is so crazy sometimes. It's exciting. Next week I won't be writing until Friday. Right now I'm exhausted from playing soccer and just working really hard. So I am in the biggest branch in the world. We had 221 people in church Sunday. I have no idea why its still a branch. It's awesome!   The members are rockin and the branch president is all about progress. We had 2 baptisms this weekend. I will be baptizing more here definitely. The whole area just seems ideal for families. It's peaceful (mostly) haha. I'm serving as zone leader with my companion from Ecuador. Third in a row haha. He is great. Very calm. I have learned a lot already. It was really quite a crazy week. On Tuesday we got to the house and planned for an hour and a half and got to work. And in the night there is no time whatsoever. On Wednesday I went on exchanges to do 3 baptismal interviews. The next morning went straight to a meeting for district and zone leaders with the assistants. And from there had exchanges with our district leader so he could do our baptisimal  interviews. And I didn't know the area well enough to stay either time. And friday morning went straight to the MIssion council with President Caffaro. Left wednesday morning and got back friday afternoon. It was an adventure. I got to know basically the whole zone really fast form traveling or exchanges, so that was good. The work never stops. My comp is sick so we had to go in search of a cure Saturday and Sunday we had the baptism etc. So hopefully today before p day ends I will be able to unpack. I'm just saying everything how it is right now. I'm really tired. I am happy. Excited. I am going to be able to learn a ton. Serve a lot. On Friday president (still very new) made it very clear that things needs to improve. I am very excited for the future with him. We focused a ton on setting the culture of the mission focused on obedience. Starting with the leaders. He is a great leader and taught us about leadership. One thing that really worries him is the amount of people who get baptized who don't stay in the church. He gets stuff done. I'm really excited to be here. I love it. It is more in the city but traveling to the places inside the capital takes longer than it did to get to the capital from my other areas. Traffic...we are going to see miracles here. The people are wonderful. It's way way different than my last area. I love you all! Keep blessing others. 
Elder Mc 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July 28

Hello my family!  It certainly has been a wonderful week. I enjoyed it a lot. I got all the things you sent me! Thank you so much! I am so excited to have a harmonica again!  We had many problems in the district. One companionship was sick and not getting along well at all. One companionship struggling with their enthusiasm. There has been lots of opposition. Things have been hard in our area as well but we are very optimistic and loving the work. We are loving it despite the problems. It is like you once told me mom. That's how life is. In church Sunday the Elders Quorum Pres asked me in class, something along these lines...ok we all think the gringos don't have problems but Elder Mc tell us what kind of struggles you have. What kind of problems. I couldn't really give him an answer and I remembered something I have always known that I am incredibly blessed. I realized that here what has been the greatest affliction for me is the pain and problems of others. They sometimes really weigh me down. Especially in my area. There is just so much sin. So many people want to leave from it but not badly enough to overcome the enemy and accept the help Christ sends. I have compassion. Fulfillment of a certain special blessing I once received. We did have a great experience with one investigator this week however who is super solid. His name is Oswaldo. He listened to us and really wanted to know if what we  taught was true. He has been to just about every church you can think of and said he quickly learned the doctrine wasn't correct or complete. He was praying earnestly to know of the truth from God. He is very poor. Very very poor but intelligent. Those 2 things don't usually go so much hand in hand. So since he has been praying about these things he has gotten job offers for showing accountability and honesty. He will be able to support his son better. He is a widower. And he got another odd job as well. He told us straight up that if he hadn't gotten a response from God with that first job offer out of nowhere, he would have just hid from us forever. He is progressing. We have another investigator who is very Catholic. Like super active. And he also really wants to know this is all true. Anyone who really captures even a small concept of this Restored Gospel does because its perfect. It comes from God. So he was on his way to visit the church yesterday when someone from the Catholic church stopped him and gathered from the facts, where he was, what he had on etc, that he was headed to the "Mormon" church. He began to tell him how he would lose his position in the Catholic church and give him confusion. We are going to fast for him this coming month. He is seriously so confused he doesn't know what to do. It would change his life sooooo dramatically...the price of discipleship has always been high as the modern prophets teach. I am trying to come closer unto Christ. That is always the solution to any problem. Love Elder Mc
ps I love this volcano  

   

Aug 4

Hi mom, I'm doing great. I'm very happy, I'm loving the work. I have good goals and I'm excited to improve. I got Laurens wedding photo album and I love it!   She is so beautiful and so happy. I also got your package! Thank you so much!  The food is so delicious!  And Elder Coronado likes healthy stuff so he was happy too. This last week was a great one. It went by super fast because of things happening always. Last Monday we had district p day and it was super fun. We played volleyball and soccer with youth in the zone leaders branch, and just had a good time.   We had interviews with President Caffaro and his wife.  I love them!  They are super different from President and Sister Stay.  They are more loud .  A little less spiritual but I'm sure they will get there. They are from New York. He is a BYU football coach, and a Wall Street do it all man. He left recently from his position as a BYU athletic director. I'm going to be able to learn completely new things which I'm excited about.  He has a real sense of urgency. Like what are we waiting for lets go change the world! kind of attitude.  I like it. In the interviews.   He thanked Elder Bednar for his sacrifice and Elder Bednar said, "sacrifice?" looking around at evryoone there.  "I get to" he said. "I get to be here with you.  I get to dedicate temples and be a missionary my whole life. It is a privilege." We have the privilege to be missionaries.  He also mentioned (Elder Bednar) that we may sometimes think that we are hastening the Lords work. The Lord is hastening the Lords work. We have to try to keep up.  No one ever thought the Iron Curtain would come down. And now there are temples in Russia and Germany and Ukraine. The bamboo curtain will come down. And we need to be ready. Super interesting right?! I was hit the truth of what he said. Directly after that we began divisions with a companionship that was struggling a lot to get along. They had almost stopped working because of their differences. So we had a good division and they were able to relax and then the next day we did a little council between the 4 of us. We first had separate interviews, my comp with one elder and I with the other, and we talked about the good things about the companion and what they would like to improve. Without boring you about the details it was a little miracle. They began to work and are pressing forward again. You really had to see how they before and after that intervention. The  branch went to the temple, and we helped one of our converts do geneology so we went as well. It was an awesome day. We left at 5 am and got to the temple at about 7 am. Then we were in the temple basically from 8-2. I had never been in the temple so long helping. It was very special and I certainly gained more love for the House of the Lord.  On Friday, Saturday and Sunday we had less distractions and we worked well, helping people come to Christ. There is one family we are especially hopeful for. The mom is a member but when she moved here 30 years ago from a place called Xela, the Church wasn't here so she is inactive, and is now more or less Catholic. But she and her husband and 2 teenage daughters are intelligent, beautiful people who love the truth they have learned so far and really love the idea of an eternal family. What family doesn't? There is nothing better than the true Gospel of Christ. We have another investigator who drives about an hour to come to church every Sunday, with his pal who is a member who moved from another part of the country. They are awesome!  He will be baptized in August. He just needs to be taught. And we have other wonderful people we are working with but the most interesting thing is that both my companion and I will both be leaving for other areas...I was shocked last night when I was informed. But the Lord has plans for us and the others who are coming here  and I don't think it will be difficult for them to pick up where we left off. I think Sisters are going to come to the area. But at any rate, we are leaving. I love you lots! We will see where I write you from in a week. :) Always an adventure 
Love Elder Mc 

PS-If you want to fortify your testimony quickly and understand the basics of the Church. Read Our Search for Happiness from the missionoary library. Its wonderful. I think Emily and Sarah would also benefit.   

July 21

YaY!  This week was  a great one. Every week would seem very hard if we were not doing the Lords work. Of this I am certain. The district is great. That is a wonderful idea. I imagine you guys being the best missionary couple ever. One of the packages got to my Zone Leaders but I dont have it yet because we haven't seen each other. It was open when it got there. All that was in it was the photo album right...at least in this part of Guatemala where we are at we are in this period called the canicula. It hasn't rained much for 2 weeks and won't for another 2 weeks. I miss the rain. I love it. When it is raining I just wear my amazing rain boots from Walmart and carry my little umbrella and I stay dry but not too dry. It actually feels good to be a little wet. I am great. I  don't need anything. You let me go well prepared momma. I learned something extremely valuable last Tuesday on exchanges with Elder Ogden. I was feeling very overwhelmed with a lot of things last Monday and felt like I needed to work like a psycho Energizer bunny to do everything. I was very calm on the division because I get along super well with this Elder but I think he was inspired to talk about how Christ and his more experienced servants like the apostles are never running around like crazy going ok i need to do this and that and this!  No, they are always calm. Christ nevr rushed. He worked efficiently and did no more or less than he knew was needed. We found lots of wonderful mew investigators this week. I think in August we will have at least 4 baptisms. And the branch will grow. We have been working very hard and trying to do eveything under the direction of the Holy Ghost. It is a wonderful time to be here. I feel very very priveleged. I love you tons mom. Youre the inspiration! Thanks for teaching me to be positive!
Love Elder Mc

July 7

Dear Family, It certainly has been tough lately.  We cannot figure it out. We are working very hard and having less and less success in what we measure as missionaries. We have no progressing investigators. We are searching diligently for a family. The branch needs a good family. It could be that we will reactivate, or baptize, but we will see. Either way its going to happen. Maybe not when I'm here but it will happen.  In the meantime we will just keep working our hardest. I wake up and sleep very satisfied.  Not always as much as 'Id like to be. But what does bother me is the lack of success. And it is in our whole district. 3 of the 4 areas have no baptismal dates. And overall things are very difficult. Break. I read all of the emails I got this week which were very uplifting, and I feel many of you received little bits of inspiration to combine together to give us a better direction. The thing that is hard here is that we really are expected to baptize. It is one of the most direct commandments Jesus ever gave to His Apostles. I once again have soooo little time to write anything but know that I am having very good experiences. I had an incredibly spiritual week despite all the challenges and testimony has grown a lot. I love this Gospel so much! It is so dang cool. One thing I have time to share is something Elder Ogden from my district shared with me on divisions. His Stake Pres told it to him. God is like a man who owns land. We rent the land to grow crops. The potatoes that grow are the sins and errors we make grow. Christ is the buyer. He buys ALL of our "potatoes", and if we don't give them all to Him, we will be brought to justice by the law. What a cool analogy right? Love you so much, I want to write more. I really do. But I cant. Love Elder McFadyen    

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 14

I  am very grateful for the temple. Right now we are working to get our converts to the temple and other members that have not yet been. It is such an important place for every member of Christs church to be. One of my companions once told me that I never stopped. I realized that it was because of the example my dad has given me. He never stops. He is always doing something. Time is precious, and he values that. Last weekend like 9 days ago we were fasting and praying that we would find a family who is ready to receive the Gospel. We found them on Wednesday. That are the best family. So humble. So ready. Again God blessed us immensely. He always does. We are very excited for this family because the branch really needs it. It has been a challenge for this branch to progress. By the numbers it hasn't progressed in about 20 years. But now is the time. Little by little we can see the Lord working. We have found less actives to help as well. A member finally showed us where the ones who are close live. The majority live far away. But we have work to do. This week we felt very much aided by the Spirit. In everything we do it is so important that they He is with us. We talked with one woman who at first didn't want to know anything because she already had her church. But we felt to testify to her that there is no other place where she can learn about and become an eternal family. That caught her interest and we will be going to vist her family this week. Without the Spirit, we are like any other salesman on the street. And the fasting of our whole district has brought forth fruits. It is an exciting time to be here. We are happy and working hard. We are facing some very sad and difficult challenges concerning certain people. Sin truly is spiritual poison. I wish so badly I could just teach everyone even just the basics, and just with that they would be able to avoid so much heartache. And they would avoid causing so much damage. I love you so much I will make you proud this week. I am going to become more consegrated to the Lord. It is a personal commitment we have to make. Even though I have already covenanted to do it. Until I really grab hold of it and dedicate myself to it, it is only a convenant I am not living up to. Have a wonderful week. Have fun spreading the Gospel (the means of salvation)
Love Elder Mc 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23

 Mom I understand that this has been a crazy time. That's very interesting to me because I have been praying that gma would be able to recover quickly not knowing she needed it as much as she did. Cool experience. First of all happy late Fathers Day dad. Dang dad. Dooby dong dad you dog. In short., I love you tons. Truly. And for that I will tell you about here which I know you want. This week we had a training meeting with President Stay. He is an incredible man. Become Facebook friends with him or something. He is amazing. He should be home in about 3 weeks. Our new mission prez couldn't come tomorrow because of something he had to take care of so we get President Stay 3 more weeks:)  We have really come to love him tremendously. He has taught us sooooooooooooo much. I am eternally grateful to know him and Sister Stay. She is also incredible. They basically taught us about life before they went. I feel so blessed. I learned to be more loving this week with my comp. I have been able to focus more on strengthening myself and the companionship due to the fact that we aren't having much success finding people who are ready to receive the truth. I am learning to listen to the Spirit more and be more organized. I learned a tooooooooon this week. It was great. And the future is bright. I really want to see growth in the branch and lives changed. I think that is what's coming up in this next change that we are about to begin. At least for one person. I love you lots my momma!  I have to go already! The time goes too fast!    

June 16

Hello,  I imagine the summer of insanity (fun) has gone into full swing already. How is Bon Bon?  I have not been thinking of home in a longing way or anything but for some reason I have been comparing the opportunities. The children especially have it so different. Depending on which little village they live in, they may run around the dirt streets all day barefoot, or they may stay inside an all concrete ugly home all day. It is extremely different. Many people are taught the apostasy that this Earth is hell. Because I have seen that there can be heaven on Earth and I have read the scriptures I know that isn't true. But some people truly have hellish lives. Or at least lives filled with difficulties. I don't want this to depress anyone because they are blessed immensely spiritually with a love, trust and fear of God among other things. But it has made me count my blessings for the joyous life I have lived. The peaceful life. We had an excellent week. My companion and I are working very well together. It isn't all easy for me. I need to love him more.. But overall it is great. We are seeing the Lords hands in many ways and feel his guidance. I feel very blessed lately. The Lord has been trying to teach me a ton and I have the opportunity to learn a ton. I love being able to see my progression. It is one of many blessings i receive. I love you all. I love Guatemala and its people tremendously. Spread sunshine:)
Elder Mc       

June 9

Mom, you certainly speak words of wisdom.  I know what you say to be true mother. Us missionaries can be fantastic. We can speak to hundreds of people about the Gospel, but we are still missionaries. Who are the people going to listen most to? Their friends who they trust and see have lives full of good works. We have been having many difficulties with that. We will find many new investigators but so many of them will quickly fall to the way side without an extra support. Whether it be from lies from family and friends, or the lack of will power to overcome Satan and read and pray and go to church. While when they have someone to help them do these things. To overcome Satan--they are much more easily able to overcome their challenges and come to the truth. I am learning a lot about how to be a better missionary and disciple of Christ. Yesterday i was extremely overwhelmed. We have been working so hard and not seeing as much fruits as we were hoping for. We had one investigator in church. Prayer has power.  
Lots of love! 
Elder Mc

June 2

Family, This week was wonderful! It has begun to rain a lot. On Friday we were completely soaked as we normally don't need more than our rain coats, but this rain was hard and was long and we had people to teach so we just walked around completely soaked for several hours and left a big puddle in one family's home. It was fun. We saw lots of little miracles. We found LOTS of new people to teach. The trick is finding the elect of God. But it has been fun. We are improving in many ways. We are finding ways to interest more people in our message and many are accepting. Our next week is already completely planned which is nice. We teach a lot. But we need to work better with the members. We are also strenthening the branch as much as we can. We will have a movie night every 3 weeks for the next while showing first the restoration, then the testaments, the Bible videos, then whatever follows. It will be fun. It is fun. I am trying really hard to develop more charity as well. Frankly I'm not very good at it and I pray a lot, but I need to learn something more before I improve I think. My comp is great, I know we would not be having such great progress if he wasn't so great. He is very loving and always positive and smiling. I am so excited for the future! I hope I can be able to strengthen this area enough that it keeps growing. Sometimes I feel like Alma and want to just have an audience where I preach as with a trumpet and all those who want to know the truth can just flock. But that is not how the Lord wants it to be right now. I love you all so very much. It makes me very happy to hear about all the progressions of your lives, and I can't wait to hear about all your bright futures!
Elder Mc 

Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26

Mom, This week was wonderful. I have really been trying to improve a lot of things, and I noticed something intersting. I came to a point where I was more complacent in everything. I didn't really strive with all I had to improve, and I wasn't super happy. I was doing what I needed to and working hard but I felt I had lost my drive o improve always. It was a strange learning experience as I think I've mentioned. But this week as I've really strived to improve and I've seen more of my weaknesses and had the mindset of being consecrated to the Lord, I've been much happier, and I've been able to bring joy to others. Both in the Word of Life that we bring, and in my personality. We had an incredible zone conference with President Stay and the Assistants that boosted me up a ton. I was sick the whole time and it was from home in a place called Jutiapa, but the Spirit was keeping me atentive and I was able to be focused and be uplifted the whole time. Pres Stay only has a few weeks until he goes home. I am sad to see him leave because I have come to love he and Sister Stay a lot. But its the way it is. I have pretty much gotten over the gastritis I had the first week of the change. That made the work harder too, but now  I am much better. My comp and I get along very well. He is very easy to get along with. Its fun because he has a lot of faith so I think we will be able to do a lot of good here together. Our little branch is going to grow and flourish! I know it! I feel I am improving so that is fun. I have to go already but I love you lots. And lots. And I won''t be losing any pictures ever again haha. 
Elder Mc

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19

Dear Mom, how do you always manage to write some inspirational? Always. I have enjoyed reflecting on how much I have improved in my time here. And it is exciting to think of how much I still can. This week was a hard one. I will start with the bad news.  Tuesdauy morning we woke up at 4 40 to get to the capital by 8 30 for changes. In this whole process, between switching memory cards out of my camera to take pics for my comp (his camera broke), and traveling and being tired, I lost my memory card that has all the pictures I have taken since the beginning of my mission. Anyone who reads this will think I am dumb and I feel dumb too. And I learned about websites where I could have put my pics after losing it etc. Being completely honest when I really knew I had lost it I fell to the ground in sadness and prayed. Those pictures were very special to me and had a lot of love and fondness attached to them. My new comp was a hard adjustment, and now I'm District Leader, and lots of difficult things were happening with all of our investigators. It was a rough week. The memory thing really bugged me a lot for like 2 days and then a little for the next. But I learned a lot. Almost 100% of the people on Earth have problems much bigger than a lost memory card. So this made me put myself in all our investigators shoes more. I think I understand their pain more. But the difficult week is behind me and the future is bright. My comp is young. 4 and a half months out.  He is from Ecuador. He is ready to roll. Keep moving Forward.
Vincere vel mori! 
Love Elder Mc   

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 12

Mom that was an inspiring letter. I can hardly begin to describe how thankful I am for you and all you have sacrificed for me. And still sacrifice. Your example is truly one to follow. I know our principal example is the Savior. But I know he is happy to see those who become much like him become guiding lights as He is. We cannot have too many good examples. I love you so very much mother. Now I know you want to hear about whats going on here. And the answer is lots of miracles. Let me start with Reina. We first contacted her niece who is inactive and her family, and one day she just showed up. Turns out she was very depressed. Her husband left her with two teenagers and a baby almost about to enter the world. We really didn't feel we would be the best ones to help her for now, so we asked the help of the Relief Society and now she is practically a member already. She told us that ever since she knew us a random acquaintance began coming to her house everyday and helping her with the many chores there are to do. A helping angel. She will probably be baptized at the end of the month or in June. Then another woman Feliza just started seeing blessings after going to church. Her children who she is separated from had a miraculous change of heart and went from almost despising her to loving her. Saul contacted us one day at a recent converts house. Yes you read that right. He contacted us. He has a million legitimately serious problems in his lief but has found incredible relief in his soul through the teachings of Christ found in the Book of Mormon. Every time we are with him he expresses such gratitude for helping him found joy, and he is so happy. It is an incredible blessing to know him. Juan, the husband(not married yet) of the niece of Reina told us that he feels something very different when we come over and everything we teach seems to stir his soul. He cant attend church regularly because of studies, but i know the Lord can work more miracles so that he can enter the Kingdom of God. We were teaching a white guy with blue eyes like me, and he had left his former church. He loved everything we taught him, and he felt closer to the Lord. We inspired him to return to his old church. We couldn't bring him to the full truth at this time but we helped him at least find the Savior more in his life. Haha. Nora is the niece of Feliza and she also was left by her husband and is currently pregnant and has a 10 yr old daughter. She felt the Spirit working in her enough without being taught much that she one day asked us what she needed to do to get baptized. Brenda got baptized yesterday. She and her husband (they got married on Saturday) read all of 1 Nephi 3 and that turned their hearts from thinking oh ya marriage......to lets get married! I love you and I wan to keep the commandments. Britney (I changed her name) also got baptized yesterday. Her husband was murdered about a month ago. And  before she did she very bad things. She found incredible joy and hope in the Plan of Salvation and applied the Atonement in her life and made a radical change. It has been incredible to be here. My companion has been sick a lot so things were slow a lot but the Lord has been pouring out his blessings on those who have sought or needed Him. I will send pictures next week! I love you so much!
Elde Mc        

May 5

We are super blessed its true. I love all of our family. We are number 1. Speaking of blessings I will be Skyping this Sunday! Maybe a phone call. We will see. Church is at 1 now right? And we have church in the morning so we might have to wait til later. We will see. I'm not sure what the time difference is anymore because of daylight savings. It doesn't exist here. So we finish church at 11 here, and have baptisms after church at 11 30 to probably 12 30. And then maybe we could skype from 1 to 1 40. If that doesn't work we can do it later. I know dad will be busy too so whenever works. I will be able to check to what you reply on Sunday morning I think. Ya I really feel for those missionaries in the States. They are practically helpless without the members. And if the members don't help they have nothing. At least I think. And just be yourselves, but be bold. People notice that we mean business when we are bold and they realize this is serious life changing stuff. I personally believe the Lord is preparing people for us all to invite and help be baptized and endure to the end. For every single member there is someone waiting to be invited. They just don't know what they are waiting for. Here people just keep popping up. Its incredible. The Lord is preparing so many. Its a privilege to be part of. Right now things have been slow because my comp has lost a lot of desire to be obedient and work hard. But its very likely I will get a new in a week and we will see what happens...if my comp wants to work and love the people and be obedient I know we will have even more success here. I tell you there is no one like the Guatemalans. This Tue Wed and Thurs a bunch of gringo doctors came here to the Catholic church in my area to treat the people for free. 8 of the gringos in my zone translated for the canches. It was a cool experience but I remembered how different Americans are from Chapins (Guatemalans). I am excited for this Sunday we will have 2 baptims, a wedding Saturday for one woman to get baptized Sunday and then I will get to talk with you my mother! Its a wonderful life isn't it. This week we had 70 people in church! A record I think for this branch. When my comp got here 7 months ago it was 20. Nothing can stop the work! Its so much fun to be part of. And my comp has taught me a lot to make things more happy and lively. I never thought i would lose that but I kind of did. Its still hard for me. Because its the most important work on the planet. But there is a balance in all things. I am sorry to the many people I haven't been able to write things are crazy busy here and there is very little time to actually focus on writing people because of things the mission wants on Mondays etc. But I haven't forgotten you all! Love you all very much and I wish i could send you the love the Guatemalans have. They are incredible humans. I hope one day I merit the title of Guatemalteco. 
Elder Mc
ps- hopefuly next week i will have time to relate cool experiences.   

April 28

I have no time. We had 6 baptisms this week! Love it! Love you! 
Elder Mc

April 21

You guys have been all over the West lately! Crazy! Never change.  I 'm happy all has been great. Things here are also great. I feel that there are many things I need to improve as a person and a missionary but I have joy and hope that I can do it with our Savior. I've come to understand the Atonement a little better lately, and I'm learning how to love the people more and help them more from my companion. We are having success. The 4 baptisms didn't happen this weekend but we will have the 4 this weekend. And plus a family is getting baptized that has been waiting a long time to get baptized but couldn't because he was excommunicated (unjustly) and finally got permission to be baptized. And his wife has been waiting to be baptized with him. So there will be 6 baptisms this Saturday. I'ts going to be wonderful. And we are finding wonderful people. There are tons of people ready for the Gospel I think. I know there are people ready for the Gospel there too. Someone knows them. They just need to be invited to learn the truth. Something I have always just been sure of is that if we do our part the Lord works miracles. And I see that constantly. I know that to be the truth wherever we are in the world too. He is a God of miracles. I love you all and may the miracles manifest themselves through your good works. 
Love Elder Mc



April 14

I am so happy to hear about all the happiness and joy of everything. I would loooooooove to recieve 5 million pictures. But truly I am so happy for them. And for you that you can finally rest. And I have been so busy here its just been this weird thought in my head that she is sealed, but it hasn't slowed me down. This week was a week of miracles. We taught lots of people, talked tons of people and basically just worked real hard and people just kind of fell into our laps in a way. And the people my comp had been working with are progressing. We should have 7 more baptisms this month. 16 investigators came to church! And there were only 45 members in there in our lovely little branch. I've gotten much more comfortable here and I'm excited to be part of this work here. I feel the time has come for the Lord to push the work forward here. We can just feel it. Because this area has never been a gold mine until now basically. Because my companion and his last companion were here together 6 months patching up the mess the last missionaries left. And now the good works of 6 months and the spirit that brings has accumulated enough so that fruits are visible. Its a wonderful privilege to be here. I'm learning tons from my comp and from the scriptures and the words of modern prophets. Its incredible how gospel knowledge can change your perspective. About the pics. Yes, its really pretty here like my last area. I need to go already but i love you all so very much! Share the joy we have with those around you. They need it. In as literal a sense as possible. Even if they don't know it.  
Elder Mc



April 7

Dear Momma. How I love your weekly emails. It is one little boost I get each week. Just like reading the scriptures or offering a fervent prayer. I am in a new area called Nueva Santa Rosa. It is outside of the capital and super different from Piedra Parada. First of all it is a lot hotter and much more humid. But its not that bad. When I think i'ts hot here, I just think of Cole on the Carribean Coast and it doesn't seem so hot anymore. I am much closer to the coast but not quite there fortunately. We are in a valley with mountains surrounding us on all sides. Its very pretty. But unlike Piedra, flat for the most part. My comp is Elder Pizarro from Ecuador. He is super funny, and he has been here for 6 months already so he knows everything about our area, which is the biggest of the mission. There are about 50 towns in our area. You can go at least an hour in a bus in every direction but West and still be in the area. It will be interesting, and very different. It was extremely weird the first few days and I've been slowly adjusting. Our house is a bit of a mess...but seriously, I think i will be taking a while to get it in order. The house is on a dirt road and there are a million slits in doors and windows for dirt to get in the house so there is dust everywhere. I think I have the solution for that though. On Saturday after the afternoon session I baptized 2 boys who id never met. It was nice though. The branch here is small. There are about 20 active members who live in about 4 or 5 separate towns. And more than 200 inactives. We walk a looooooooot. I thought my last area was a lot to cover sometimes.....We have about 7 more baptismal dates right now. I didn't do anything to get them. But the people here overall are more receptive than in Piedra. There are also more crazy people. Sometimes they are hilarious because they are just so out there and they are in their own world so it doesn't matter. Sometimes it is frustrating because they don't understand anything. And sometimes it is just sad. But I'm very happy to be here. I know we will be able to really change this area and strengthen and grow the kingdom a lot. There were some absolutely awful missionaries here before my comp and his last comp got here. And it always takes a little time to get the Spirit working in the town again. That's what happened in Pierda too. But they were way worse here. But right now the mission overall has improved. We were baptizing like 80 a month when I got here. And last month we set the mission record with 139. And when our new mission president gets here in about 3 months I pray he will be able to help us get that number up to help more people come to the truth. We all think he will though because he is a big wig sports guy at BYU from Brooklyn. He seems like he knows how to make stuff happen. I love President Stay a lot though, and we will miss him. He has done a great job. When he first got here the mission was baptizing like 40 a month...The future is so bright! I'm super excited to get things rolling even more here. There is so much potential its crazy. In this area Ill be writing from an internet cafe and the keyboard stinks so its slow typing. I cant wait to hear about the wedding Love you all! Life is so good! Especially as a missionary. Nothings better. 
Love Elder Mc   

Mar 31

I did have a wonderful week. It was totally nuts but wonderful. We had the normal missionary load, plus a baptism to plan (our ward mission leader doesn't really know what he is doing. poor guy), and a large ward missionary activity. Nothing worked out as planned hardly. There was nobody to baptize Mario that we had planned on coming, and he had asked me to baptize him. It was a cool privilege. Sadly I have changes tomorrow. I don't know where I'll be but I'm really going to miss my area. The beauty, the weather, the members, investigators. Everything. but the Lord said its time. I nearly cried this morning goodbye to some people. I imagine I'll cry tonight. But I'll love the future as well. After the baptism we stayed up at the chapel for the activity we planned. Many things didn't work as planned. We had to improvise a lot. The bishop hadn't been helping us much and we think he was testing us in a wise way. when we were super stressed and lost and couldn't do anything more and he knew it, he jumped in and so did the young men's president and I ended up being able to testify in front of a lot of members and 25 ish investigators. It was a special experience. 5 people from our area came on the bus up to the chapel and 2 of them seem super positive. I know my comp Elder Jimenez will rock the area! I know the life back home is probably crazier than it is here. Conference is going to be soooooo sweeet! So excited! I have no idea where Ill be watching it from. It will be so weird to be in a different area. Our area is pretty crazy for investigators. He has a lot of power and apostasy here. So the people ALWAYS get opposition from him when they begin learning about the gospel. Mario who got baptized this weekend got in 3 car crashes in the last 2 weeks, work has been crazy hard and he is just amazing. Rosa who got baptized last week lost a close family member. Ana who will probably be baptized in 2 weeks has been being bombarded by any Evangelical or catholic who even slightly knows her to not listen to the Mormons! And the list goes on and on. got to go! Love you so much!




Mar 24

I love and appreciate your testimony so much mom. There are not many people in this world with as strong of a testimony as you. It strenghtens me and makes me so so grateful for your example. This week has been good. We had a baptism this weekend, and it was wonderful. and we have another super super stellar investigator who will get baptized this weekend. He is very intelligent and rich, and loves the Gospel so much after only knowing about it for 3 weeks. He just eats up all the pamphlets and manuals from church and the Book of Mormon. So all we do is answer his questions because he knows everything he needs to do from doing his homework. He is super fun to teach. And he is already being a missionary trying to help his family know the truth as well. Yesterday we had Sunday lunch with a gringo family who works in the embassy here but serves in our ward so we got to go to their super nice apartment with an insane view. It was needed I must say. This week was super stressful planning for th baptism and an activity we organized for this weekend after Marios baptism that is designed to show people a good time, food and The Testaments movie. And hopefully lots of references. And organizing things here is much harder than at home. Technology is not the same. And lots of people have phones but never answer or lots of other things. But its all good. We are working hard. Lots of our investigators are losing interest, but we will find those who are ready. We have 4 investigators who have wanted to get baptized for months but cant until they go to church and their family wont let them. And they go to a town with their family every weekend so they need to go there and get baptized there. They are 11, 13, 14 and 15, and we fasted with them that their families hearts would be softened. And last night they told us their family said they could go to church in 2 weeks! For conference! So cool. The principles of the Gospel are so powerful. I'm learning so much. I need to know the scriptures more for sure, and be more humble. The stress has made me a little more impatient this week. But Ill get better. Life is so good! both here and wherever we are in the world. It is just wonderful. 
Love you all. So proud of you all! You are the best family. My family
Elder mc  



Mar 17

Sounds like a tough thing gram. I'm sorry hear about the difficulty but I know God has a plan. Sure sounds insane at home right now. It feels crazy in the ward here as well, Satan is working really hard. He has had success with the members and that is affecting the whole area, so we are going to be trying to strengthen the members a lot more lately. There have also been wonderful successes and everything looks very positive. And I have a complete faith in that as we strive to help the members everything will improve. I'm very excited for this area and a little sad that Ill be leaving most likely in 2 weeks. The work this week was a trial. everything seemed to be falling. We are being rejected more than normal. I think it is partly because of the iniquities of some members, and the people hardening their hearts. Lots of things didn't work out. But we did our best and the Lord taught us we need to help the members more. I kind of feel like Paul going to call some people to repentance and strenghtening the understanding and determination of others. We have some very positive investigators right now. We should have Rosas baptism this Saturday because it didn't happen this weekend due to hecticness from her cousins death. And the next week Mario--future leader of the church and Ana should be ready for baptism. Mario loooooooves the Book of Mormon and just eats up everything we give him. He reads and understands and has so much faith. Its inspiring. He said he hasn't gotten a firm answer about the Book of Mormon yet, but he feels its because he hasn't sacrificed or fasted...he came up with that on his own! He is so cool! And despite his money he is very humble. He drives a BMW and everyone one else carries wood on their back with a strap on their forehead. he is the best! And Rosa is being very strong despite the death of basically her brother. Ana got an eyebrow piercing...don't know why but she is also very positive and hope to have her ready for the 29th. And we have lots of other positives now. I love my companion. He has taught me so much. I just keep learning. I hope I stay here another change. How is Trish? Mark? The Ladoges and the Gliddens and Madi and Marge? Does anyone know a story about one of our ancestors they can send me? Id love to be able to share it with people here. Also I was wondering how much it would cost for a harmonica to be sent? I gave mine to my trainer and I really have been missing harmonicizing. I bought a recorder for about $3 to fill the void but it isn't the same. I love you all so much! Ps I realize my emails are kind of lame but I keep a pretty decent journal so don't stress. If you want to know good details, you will get them.

Love Elder Mc  

Mar 10

That is all so fun! Our lives are amazing. It's very fun to hear about everyone. It's very true, I feel like I've been loaded with deep doctrine ever since I got Elder Jimenez. I never cared for it much, but its growing on me and helping me understand everything a little bit more how God knows everything to be. Missions are awesome. We are finding new people and our investigators are progressing. We have 7 people with baptismal dates right now, 6 came to church and everything looks very positive. The Lord is blessing the area a ton because of our efforts. Its wonderful to see. And we always improving. This week I learned a lot. It was sometimes a struggle getting members to teach with us but we did it, and now we need to teach more in their houses where the Spirit is stronger. Time is flying. We are trying to help people more with family history. its really hard here sometimes because of the lack of records and illiterate people. But its been fun and we have started trying that, and I'm excited to keep moving forward with that. On Friday we had a multi zone conference with Pres Stay. It was awesome! He was stressed because of some wild last minute changes because Elder Falabellas wife died and the Area Presidency changed up some things for us, but he asked us to pray for him, and soon the Spirit was really strong. We learned a ton. I have never been in a meeting with Mission South where the Spirit was like that. I could feel the improvement. The mission is improving a ton. Partly because the bad missionaries are mostly old and going home finally, and everyone else is improving overall. Including myself. I feel that I've become a much capable and better missionary in the short time i have been with elder Jimenez in this change. After conference our investigators were sick. We thought we would give maybe 2 blessings, and ended up giving 7. The whole family turned out to be sick, and their health improved greatly overnight. The next day we gave 2 more blessings and yesterday gave 4!  We don't seek opportunities to boast the priesthood or anything, but it is a wonderful chance to exercise that serving power of God. On Saturday we seemed to encounter all the most prideful people in our area, so that was kind of difficult. but despite that we have awesome investigators. I love them all so much! Saturday night I was dying to watch a movie my comp has called How Rare a Posession about the Book of Mormon. It was super awesome! I recommend it if you haven't seen it. I love you all! I love this work and being able to see miracles.
Love Elder Mc    

Mar 3

That is an incredible story mom! Miracles do happen! Its true! Its obvious Parker has a lot of faith. This week I've been seeing things I need to improve. My companion is a master of the Scriptures, and I realized that I need to be able to help others with them as well. So I have revised my study plan in the morning to amp up my learning. Yesterday we had stake conference and I saw the Smileys again! Elder Amado came. I loooooove the way he teaches. I learned a lot about prayer. He talked about some deep doctrine. I feel I've been surrounded by conversations with the long time members in our ward and my companion. And it has got me thinking about Alma 12:9 a lot lately. The mysteries of God...as far as the work is concerned, it is going great. It is quite difficult. We have left a lot of investigators. It is sad but it has to be done. My area honestly is just filled with apostasy and the influence of Satan. There are drunk men everywhere, lots of "evil traditions of their fathers", but we are doing our best, and I think in time this area will be extremely fruitful. But this work truly requires time. 2 years is too short. I love you lots! Lots and lots! Love Elder Mc

Ps-just so you don't worry, I'm super happy, my comp and I are great friends, and the Lord is blessing me tremendously be able to learn and grow. 
Pss-our mission overall is improving a lot. Its wonderful to see! Obedience has improved, and wickedness is being burnt away. As a result we are baptizing more and more. And we will keep bringing souls unto Christ! What a marvelous work. It just amazes me. 


Feb 24

WOOOOOOOH! Family! My new companion is the best ever! Elder Jimenez is from Costa Rica. He speaks perfect English so he can help me with my Spanish easier. He is very inteligent and hard working. He is fun. He has tons of faith. I've already learned so much from him. I think of him already as my second dad ( or second trainer). He just gets it. The Gospel. The work. We have already seen the Lord bless this area immensely because of our willingness to do His will. We found 5 new families this week. 15 new investigators. And some of our current investigators are progressing well towards baptism. We are on the same page with everything that matters. The members are already more supportive of us, and we received some awesome references this week. This Saturday there were 2 baptisms from the other elders in our ward, and then a small but fun ward activity afterward. We brought our investigators and the members brought even more, and just like that we have new investigators that have a friend in the church. It is so effective that way. The members have the potential to be the best missionaries in the world if they put a little effort in. And it shows. And then as missionaries we just help the investigator learn and grow. We know how to teach them according to their needs, and we have the Lords revelation. And then the members give them so much support. I'm extremely excited for this change. We have some solid goals, and I know the Lord will help us accomplish them. I will try to get my comp to get some pics of me but 'm not good at it so I apologize. I love it here so much. I count my 10 zillion blessings everyday and I am so thankful for the privilege to be able to bring the blessings I have to others. I have many things I need to improve. i HAVE been lazy with a lot of little goals that I have. And little things bring about great things. But I'm optimistic and know the Lord and my comp can help me. One thing the mission definately does is helps me see the importance of picking "her" right. I always knew it was important, but now I see the why more clearly. Mom and Dad, Ash and Dev and Laur and Mike are such good examples as well. Its been interesting how in such a short time i went from not really being able to give it my all, to now be thinking of all the things we can do. And I realize just how much there is to do. I haven't written in my journal in like a week, because we are so much busier now. At night we are filling out paperwork and planning and trying to make a quick dinner. And we don't come home in the daytime for more than 5 minutes. But its a good problem to have. And I'll figure something out. Love you all with all the love I can summon. Summoning love! Its been summoned.
Elder Mc












 

Feb 17



This week was the last for my  companion in the mission. And I have not been judging him or being impatient but he has definately been showing in our numbers. We taught like 4 lessons this week compared to normally well teach about 20. But I still love him and Ill miss him. I get my new comp tomorrow....nervous and excited. I'm staying in my area though which I'm happy about. I wrote you a letter with more details about everything, but last week on Monday we went exploring trying to find another cave. It was a very fun time. Beautiful. On Thursday we had a multi zone conference with President Stay and Elder Ochoa of the second quorum of the Seventy (Luke 10). It was amazing. Details in the letter. On Friday I had divisions with my zone leader Elder Serafin, and we had to go to the Sisters area and observe and help them because they asked the zone leaders to do that. It was kind of weird, but it was good. We contacted a family and walked with them to their house and taught them there. We didn't have much to do there and we did our best doing what we know how to do, and the Lord blessed the Sisters with a new family to help teach and baptize. One thing Elder Ochoa stressed to us is that as missionaries, everything we do is to baptize and retain. Everything. That shows how important baptism and activity in the church is. After that we taught a family in my area with the bishop. They are so solid. They are very in tune with the Spirit, and want to follow the Savior. We are planning on baptizing their daughter who has been to church twice now, on the 8th of march. She took notes in Gospel Principles, and loves it, and isn't a member, and no one else including myself took notes! It was amazing to see that from my perspective. i really believe if I get a companion who wants to work and be obedient (both of those things are necessary) we can bring more people to the Holy waters of baptism to join the kingdom of God. On Saturday I had divisions again, and we taught a man who we haven't been able to find very consistently. But we found him, and he has only read a chapter of the Book of Mormon and already believes its true. The people here are just so spiritual. Its amazing. he hasnt been able to go to church though. Hopefully he will be baptized in march. On Sunday we had divisions agin so my comp could say goodbye to people, and the poor new white kid I was with was sick. So we spent sunday afternoon in the house, but we were supposed to walk down to my area, and had no way to talk to anyone because the phones werent working yesterday, so 4 of us ended up sleeping ion their house last night. I slept on a box spring. Thats the thing you put under a mattress right? It was actually quite comfortable. Just cold without a blankeet. But it was a cool first experience. Love you so much! IM happy and well and enjoying my life as a missionary tremendously. 
Love your son pal bro etc. Elder Mc
ps-gram, your story about the lady who elder johnson taught is super cool. Its going in my journal

Feb 17