Monday, September 3, 2012

August 27, 2012 and September 3, 2012

                                                                                          August 27, 2012
So it was a good week. I so want to send photos and stuff like that but for some reason, the computers don’t like me… then I thought, “Huh guess I can wait two weeks… WHAT!” My companion keeps telling people that I’m going home soon and so then they ask me when I’m headed. I don’t know how to tell them anymore. It’s crazy,
So to do a little bit of story sharing, after I wrote on Monday an Elder accidentally put his finger in an overhead fan (in Mexico, they are metal and a little bit more wicked looking). Anyway so after I got to go to the hospital, and spend the night with him (the responsibility side of being a zone leader fun fun). The bed was ok, except for the fact that it wasn’t sized for me; my feet were hanging off the end. Fun night and morning.
So any who… this week was good we had a baptism on Wednesday. It was a nephew of the bishop so it was good. We didn’t have to worry about the program at all, just the baptismal font. Everything went good. Eduardo, (the kid who got baptized) was super excited. Everything worked out well.
As far as investigators go we got a few that are cool. We have one that was going to get baptized last week, but didn’t show up until yesterday (Luis). He brought his girlfriend from Puebla and it was interesting. We were talking with her and she said that the first thing that she wanted to do was start a family. Luis looked at me with a look like “I told you so.” We were really worried if he was going to be coming back. So that’s the news for this week.
Apart from that, we have a kid that is super cool (Geovani). He’s going to get baptized a week after I leave (what I’m leaving? When?). He has some super awesome questions. He is super excited about starting life over. Alexis has set a really good example of how to change things around. He went to church and the activities by himself this week!
Another one that we found that is pretty interesting. I think I talked about her a while ago. Her name is Goreti. She went to church one time out of the middle of nowhere, then the next day we taught her then she vanished to Cancun. Then we got a reference to go to an address. When I got there I said, “Hey I remember this place!” She has changed a few more things and is super excited for baptism (she was waiting to go to church half an hour before it started).
Well that’s about it. There’s not much more to talk about. I’m just trying to suck all the juice I can out of the mission. This has been the greatest experience of my life. I understand now how to live. I can’t imagine what life would be like without the mission. I can’t remember what life was like before the mission. But I am excited to access the rest of my future.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay
September 3, 2012
Its over!!!! I can’t believe it. For the past 15 years or so, my dream has always been to come down the stairs of the airport as an honorable returned missionary and I am on the way home!
There’s really not much to talk about. I’ll talk when I get home; the biggest thing is I want to bear my testimony that this work is real! I can’t count how many times I have sat down in a lesson and testified of so many things. I know and relied so much on one day in specific. I kneeled down and I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. I remember the feeling and the exact spot of everything. I was beside my bed in the new house four years ago. I knew that it was true. Later, because of this I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. Because of this, I know that what he taught was true. Therefore, because the church was restored, the church had previously been lost. Continuing, because the church was lost, this is the only true Church. A reformation of what was left behind would not have been enough. There was no authority left. Therefore, because I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, I know that his successors are prophets as well. This fact shows that this church receives revelation today. Because God will not do anything in the world unless it be through his prophets. With prophets comes the authority of the priesthood, or in other words, the authority to act in God’s name to perform ordinances; such as baptism.
I testify that Jesus is the Christ, and that he has made an infinite atonement. I know that he has paid the price so that all mankind may dwell in the presence of God. I know that a person has to believe that and act in accordance with that belief. The act that is so key in it is to repent, for no man may enter into the kingdom of God in his fallen state. And the first thing anyone who has really repented after realizing how many errors they have done is the desire to clean up everything that they have done before. This is done through the gate of baptism, by water and by spirit. The second part is indispensable because if there was no way of purifying us after making this covenant, there would be no purpose in making it.  And in order for these things to be of any worth after death, a man must keep in this path his whole life. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I testify of it and I have been testifying of it for the past two years, and I will testify of it for the rest of my life here on earth.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Well it’s been a good week but a little bit difficult, but we keep going on. I have some super good pictures that I wanted to send, but this computer doesn’t want to let me... frustrating.
Any way the biggest thing that happened this week was Johanna got baptized! It was so good. There were so many people there, both members and non members. The Young Women sung a special number for her and everything. She picked me to baptize her, so that was cool, (side note I also found out and wanted to send pictures about her albino hedgehog! I had never seen a hedgehog before let alone an albino one.
Another crazy thing this week was working with Luiz. We have been trying with him for a long time and we were making progress. He doesn’t smoke any more as far as we know. We say that because on Thursday he found out that he was going to be heading for Puebla (another city in Mexico) to go pick up his girlfriend and bring her here. That put us in a little bit of shock. We explained everything again about the word of wisdom and said that he needed to get married. He said, that it sounded like a good idea. It’s going to be a crazy week, but things are looking good for him. Also up for the white clothes line is a kid named Eduardo. He is 9 and his mom is a member but his dad isn’t. We are teaching him and he’s already gone to church a ton, but he never got baptized. His mom had pregnancy complications for the last six months so that screwed things up a little bit. Anyhow things are going good with him.
A new face on the block is a kid named Geovani. He is pretty cool he is the nephew of Alexis (one of the guys that got baptized about two weeks ago). Geovani sent Alexis a message how he wanted to change his life and a bunch of things like that. Alexis invited him to listen to us and bam, new guy in the investigator pool. We are excited for him.
In other things, we are headed to go bowling. They just barely opened it up in a mall here this week. Last week using a bit of my birthday money I bought some nice cleats. Original price $100, Elder Mackay price less than $30 J the Barbra Mackay Bargain shopping award! Any how it’s going good here. Got a lot of people asking when I go home. I remember before when I use to be able to say six months, but they always are super surprised when I say two weeks left. It’s crazy
Well I got to go. I got to  have a doctrine talk at lunch yesterday. It was super cool. We talked about the temple, and the fall and all kinds of topics. We were thinking: “Is it any wonder that there is a Creator? How can we believe that all this just happened out of no where? That everything by luck and chance just happened to be the way things are? Everything that is here shows that there is a Divine Being steering this ship. A lot of the nights here are clear, and its fun to look up at the stars and wonder...
Con amor,
Elder Mackay

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14, 2012

Well it’s been a good fast week! I can’t believe how fast things are going. I don’t have a lot of time to write so I’ll give the highlights of the highlights.
Biggest thing this week was Wendy’s baptism! Super, sweet baptism. We were figuring things out and she wanted me to baptize her. We convinced her to let her “friend” (meaning almost her boyfriend but not yet) to let him baptize her. He was baptized about a month and a half ago and he is on fire. He hasn’t missed  week in church, he has the Aaronic priesthood going for the Melquesadek pretty soon, and has the goal of going on a mission pretty soon. The Primary sang a song for her (I’m trying to be like Jesus). It all went well.
Next highlight was we saw the movie of the restoration with a few referrals. It was super sweet! It was about an hour long. Before we got started one of them asked, “How does a person know if they are ready to be baptized?”! I was super excited and it was such a cool lesson. After the movie we testified and everything was so natural, everything just came out how it should. In the end we invited her to be baptized and she accepted crying… it was so strong. They also came to church this week.
Then the last highlight is Johanna who is going to get baptized this week. She is fourteen but has had some super hard core problems. First her brother died when she was little. A bullet that was fired in the air went wild and it hit him in the head and killed him. Later her parents got separated. Later on in life her Uncle who was her father figure died. Her real father would come to
Merida on vacations but he wouldn’t stop by or say hi. Her grandpa is moving away back to Italy. Her little brother has a few sicknesses that limit him from having a normal life. He can’t play sports or anything. We talked about trials and things like that. To finish it off we talked about Christ’s invitation to come unto him all those who were burdened down, and singing “all is well”.
Elder Mackay

                                                                Wendy's baptism

Notice the note to the left - chicken itza! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30, 2012

Well another week down. Not many more times I get to say that. Any way, it was an ok week. Nothing too exciting like last week, but it was ok.
This week we keep going with Wendy (after I met her I haven’t had a hard time forgetting her name thanks to a dear aunt of mineJ). We had a few cool lessons with her this week. We taught the word of wisdom and there aren’t any problems there. We did some other small stuff but the big finale was that we went to the temple with her mom and younger brother and sister. She liked it a lot. She’s programmed for not this Saturday but next one. Her mom is going to start reading the Book of Mormon too. Things looking good for her.
The next cool person we are teaching is a 15 year old girl named Joanna. I think I have talked about them before, any way she is pretty cool we had a lesson with about six other young women her age about the restoration. Two of them were converts too so that was nice.
A long time ago we found a guy named Luis. He was pretty cool and a miracle reference. We went out there and he was interested but never went to church. Now since we haven’t seen him as much he has gone to church twice and read a little bit in the book of Mormon.
Then also there was a lady who the other missionaries were teaching that is in our ward now. It feels a bit like pirating, but its all for the same team. She’s for a couple weeks more though. They are the only ones that are really worth mentioning.
Really there wasn’t much this week. I got the money for the souvenirs, I’m already planning on things to get but is there anything that anyone wants in specific? I’ll think about it some more but any who that’s about it for the week.

This week I learned something new. In a “letter from Raymond C. Shear” I remember how he talked about learning to turn obstacles to opportunities. I was thinking a lot about that this week along with a few talks. First is that we are placed in trials to come out of them better. We would never reach our maximum potential if we never had trials. Second, we are given trials to better our faith and love of the Savior. And lastly, I understood why they are opportunities. In these trials, we often ask that we be taken out of the situation. This I learned is a little backwards. We are in that situation for a reason. What we should ask is that we be strengthened to be able to overcome their trial. This way, we are made better, we learn and grow and we are prepared for what comes next in life. So, for “those missionaries that are in the end of their mission” and just hanging on till the end, but not really working aren’t using that trial as an opportunity, but as an obstacle; something that impedes them to get what they want, instead of wanting what the Lord wants. It made me understand how to finish these last few weeks. 
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012

          Hey it’s my birthday! I got a double dose of feeling old today. First, I am 21 now and second, this is my last change so that means that I am “older” than almost everyone else in the mission. Any way it’s been a way, way, way, way good week! So I don’t know how to write all this week. I think someone heard me about not having anything to write in my weekly letters so it’s cool.
First to start out today were changes! And I am staying, but Elder Traconis isn’t. He went to Campeche. It was interesting to see him go, something that neither one of us really expected. We both thought he was going to stay here and he was going to send me home but oh well. I’ll still see him in zone leader meetings. Anyway my new companion is named Elder Gutierrez, from Mexico City Mexico. He’s a cool kid, I had already known him before. He’s got 17 months in the mission so he’s still got a bit left to go. I feel like I know what I’m doing now more or less. I know the area better now and I can get us around. We got some sweet people to teach…
Last week I talked about a girl that we talked to on Sunday that accepted baptism super fast. Same story, she is reading a bunch out of the book of Mormon (chapter 10 last I heard). We have explained a lot and she understood it well. Saturday we had a super long talk about the Plan of Salvation (funny comment I just started writing Spanglish right there). It was a lot more indepth than normal. We explained about vicarious work, the fall of Adam, judgment and a bunch of other stuff and she said that it just made her happy knowing it all. She was super interested in temples so that’s pretty sweet. She went and talked to her boss about getting out of work on Sunday (after praying). Her boss said that he had already made plans for this week but after this week she could have all the Sundays she wanted. She is headed to baptism!
                Another lady that we found that was super cool is named Ligia. First thing that I think about her is that she is going to open up a pizza Restaurant. That’d be a nice place to do some taste testing as a service project. She’s going to be open before the end of August so that’s cool. We talked about the Book of Mormon and she is reading it. We talked a few times during the week and on Friday we went with her to take a tour of the church. It was super powerful. You could totally feel it there. The only thing that didn’t work out with her was that she couldn’t go to church this week because her son got sick and there wasn’t anyone there to take care of him (he’s three).  So we got to get her running.
Another one that was cool was a reference. Her name is Rosy. She is super cool too. We had a first lesson super strong with her. It was about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how to be clean again. She just took it all in. After she said the closing prayer and she said that she felt something warm come over her. It was just a super strong, super direct and strait lesson that was taught to a totally acceptant recipient. She also brought her five year old son to church. We still got a ways to go with her husband so we got things going, but it’s a good start.
Then to finish up we had a good lesson with a lady we have been trying and trying to get a hold of for a long time. She was a reference that we checked out. She is a member but her daughter isn’t. We went over there and she had been inactive for a long, long time, and has had some rough bumps in her life. We finally got a hold of her on Friday and invited her to go to the walk through with Ligia. She showed up on time and everything. It was such a good experience for her too. On Sunday she brought her daughter and son to church and they loved it. Her daughter got some really good fellowshipping from the young women. They knew exactly what to do, who knows how. Anyway it was great. Another great start
So yeah, that’s the week in a nutshell. As far as a spiritual thought, we had a sweet talk this week about coming back. We talked about making mistakes and stuff like that. We came to the conclusion about a few things. There are three types of errors. There are transgressions, there are sins and there are covenant breaking sins. Transgressions are when we don’t know what’s wrong and what’s right and we are mistaken. Sin is when we know what is wrong and what is right and we choose wrong. Covenant breaking is when we have promised that we know and we promise to choose the right and we choose wrong. However, to all of these, it doesn’t matter how big of a problem it is, one can figure things out with the Lord.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 16, 2012

So it was another good week. I don’t know what to write about anymore, it all just seems normal to me now. My companion and I were talking about this and in the beginning of the mission I was supper excited to write on pdays because there were so many new things to write about. Now I feel like there aren’t so many things new.
This week we had a cool experience with a family. I think I talked about them last week that the mom is super sick (her name is Rosa). She has kidney failure and has to be hooked up to a home set up of dialysis every night. We went there and she has a lot of kids so we were trying to work there. She invited us to food this week. We ate moley. I don’t know if you know what that is, but it was interesting. They try to take care of us. We took them through a baptism and they were interested. As a closing hymn we sang families can be together forever. It was funny because there’s a little granddaughter that started swaying to the music.
This week we also found a new investigator on Sunday. She is Alexis’s girlfriend (Alexis is the guy that got baptized a few weeks ago). She came to the church for a tour on Thursday. Then on Sunday she went to church and stayed for the three hours. Afterwards we went to teach her and after explaining baptism for five minutes she accepted a date. She has seen so many changes in Alexis that she wants them too. It’s cool to be there again.
We got another referral this week about a member’s boyfriend. We talked a lot about repentance and it was so hard core that he sat up and went out side for a little bit because he was feeling so bad. We just couldn’t find him afterwards.
Right now I’m in a little pueblo called Tixcokob. The big trade here is hammocks. A really nice, nice, nice one would probably be about a hundred dollars US but you could probably find one for about forty and be fine. They can do them custom made and things like that so it’s pretty sweet. We also found  senote. A senote is just a cave that is connected to an underground river. And we are just kicking it with the elders here. One of them goes home in a week so he’s a future look of me... that’s crazy.
 It’s rained some more. I am really just lost on what to write about I’m just rambling on.
This week I saw a conference by President Eyering. It was pretty cool. It talked about two principles that I can really remember. The first one is that while we are going through trials and while we are working and getting things done, all this is capacitating and training us for future things. That is so when we get into another trial we are grateful for passing other ones because we have learned from past experiences. So basically it isn’t just to learn about something and that’s nice to know. It’s so that we learn something because we will need it in the future. Then later I remember him talking about how we should develop the habit of going further than what we have before, and going further than what we know to be possible. I thought a lot about goal setting and how much more productive things would be if I had this mode. I got a little bit of time to achieve it.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay

Here are a few pictures that President Salinas posted on Facebook.
                          Glenn is in the back row, 8th from the left. June 9 2012 Zone Leaders Conference
 Glenn is in the back row, on the right side of the middle.  You can see only the top of his head!  July 2012 Area Leaders Conference.

Glenn is second from the left on the back row.  July 14, 2012 Missionary activity with the Stake Aaronic Priesthood in the Brisas area.

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012

Well it’s been a crazy long week and every day has had something not go to plan.
On Tuesday we had consejo. (zone council) It was cool, and a bit different. It might be apostasy but when president a red tie, that means he’s angry and when it’s a green tie, that means he’s ok. He wore a green tie, but that’s probably because there were a lot of new zone leaders. About 30% of the zone leaders were new so I think he gave us a break. Then we had to get boxes and stuff back home. A bit of work after that. On Wednesday we had to give the info that we received in consejo to the district leaders. It was cool. Its fun doing that. After lunch we had a normal working day. On Thursday, we had a meeting with President Salinas and the Stake president. We had to prepare some numbers so it was a little nerve racking when he went strait for the file that we did. It was cool though. Five hours of that day were spent on that project. On Friday we had interviews! I didn’t have anything big though, just renewed my temple recommend. We were super behind though afterwards. So our schedule was super screwed up. On Saturday, we had to do a baptismal interview and get things all written out for that. But at the same time we have found a few cool people.
We were looking for members and we saw a lady sweeping her porch, we went over to ask (the people that we were looking for should have lived right in front of her so we figured that she should know). We got talking to her and we found out that she is a member (inactive for about 10 years). We kept going and we found out her husband isn’t a member so we started talking with him and he has some super good questions. He had a lot of questions about the plan of salvation and it all went together perfectly.
Another cool situation was about the same thing when we were looking for some other members. The address ended up being wrong, but we found a family that has been prepared by a lot of trials. And they use to listen to members and went to church a few times. They could be a sweet family.
We are working on a big missionary project for the stake focused in on the youth. We are going to be capacitating and we are going to take them with us. Its going to be fun (that’ll be on Saturday). While I was studying for them I read over the story of Alma and his brethren. I understood one of the reasons why they were so good. They were so good because Christ had every right to abandon them in darkness because of their actions. Yet Christ was merciful and called them back. They loved Christ for that. They were willing to do whatever he wanted them to do, even if it was going with blood thirsty, robbing, murdering, people who killed for sport. They knew that they were in debt and they were willing to do whatever. Don’t we all have a little bit of debt? Don’t we all have at least one or two reasons to do things the Lords way?
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay