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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