Friday, December 24, 2010

December 20, 2010
So before I forget, I got your dear elder that you sent. I got it last Monday after I wrote. We get letters and packages every week in district meeting. It’s kind of sad but it could be worse. I wish I could know more about how it works. I’ll do some research in my “spare time”.
Man another week. This one has been real tough because we don’t have a guide anymore. When we came here, Elder Parra had already been here for a few changes so he knew where we were going. We had changes this week so he’s not here anymore. He got moved to an area and is stake president with only four months in the mission. Also he is senior companion. Hopefully he hasn’t cracked under the pressure, or inflated his head. I wonder if he thought he knew everything from here and thought that the mission wasn’t so hard. While we were in the bus station, I got to see elder Calvert (my companion in the MTC and Elder Fuller who was in my district. It’s nice to know that I’m not super behind schedule and that other elders are in the same situation as me.
But anyway, we’ve been really lost this week. It’s been tough trying to do a lot. We went to our little pueblo and tracked about a sixth of the pueblo in like four hours. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We got a couple of investigators there, but every day we go there, we take about three hours out of our schedule and thirty pesos each. It’ll be interesting.
Also a lesson I’ve learned, when tracking, it usually doesn’t work in the mornings. There are a couple of (here they call them colonies) that don’t usually have anyone home in the mornings. Luckily we’ve been blessed with a way to use our time successfully in the mornings. We got a reference from a couple other elders and have been teaching a super sweet family. The mom is inactive but has probably one of the best reasons I have ever heard. She got so tired of going to church and seeing so many good things, but never doing them throughout the week. One of the worst at this was her own mom. It was super sad to hear that her mom and her really butted heads and basically made her move out. She said she felt more comfortable with her mother in law than with her own mom (which is really saying something because everything that they don’t like here in Mexico they generally call it “mother in-law”. So like for example if you were going to use a knife that you didn’t really like, but knew that you needed to find it you would ask, “where’s the mother in law” and your companion would know what your talking about) anyways… oh yeah, the husband isn’t a member, but the have three kids. One is already baptized (12) one is 9 and we are teaching him and the youngest is seven. We usually have a standing appointment for eleven in the morning unless we know before hand.
We had a Christmas activity on Friday as a zone. We had the youth of the stake in a choir and while they were singing to a crowd we contacted the people around. We had a table of pamphlets and some hot chocolate (which tasted kind of weird) and Santa for the little kids. We went around inviting people to come and listen. We did it in what would be the equivalent of a mall in America. Except here they call it a plaza.
The biggest difference in this week was that I’ve been kind of sick. Monday morning Montezuma was trying to get at me. Wednesday night I got a sore throat. Friday I threw up while on the bus. And I still have a sore throat. Yes mom, I’m drinking tons of water. It’s actually kind of funny. That water that you and dad use to drink with lemons and ginger and all that stuff? Well the purified water has about the same affect with me as that water did with dad. I usually drink two liters in the morning that is mixed with a packet of tang (which come in some pretty crazy varieties)
With the Christmas call, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ll do my best to try to call when we can, but I don’t know when. I’m super excited to find out what’s been going on there.
I attached a few photos.
First is us playing around on a moto taxi of a member. They are really popular her. It’s kind of surprising because you wouldn’t think that they would be in America but here it’s pretty normal
Second we went to a member’s house for lunch one day and the member is pretty well off. My companion (elder Parra) is holding thirty thousand pesos which is a little less that three thousand dollars. This is what the brother made this week and it was a slow week!
Next is a picture of us after a pday of exercise. The humidity makes you sweat a lot its crazy but it was a lot of fun. I felt like a little kid when we were playing soccer.
The next is what a normal moto taxi looks like. Looks like fun no?
The next are a couple street shots of Mexico. They have real cars here, but most often you see Volkswagen bugs. It’s pretty funny when they got blue headlights and the bass vibrating the whole thing. That’s the “gangster” version. In reality though most are kind of older cars. I have seen a nice mustang here though. Who would have thunk?
Well I got to write some more stuff, hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas. Close your eyes and I’ll be there”.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010
What a crazy week!
So this week was different. An elder in another zone had problems with his kidney so since I was only about a half hour away, and in a trio, I went to work with his other companion. The sick companion is Elder Parra. The elder that I get to work with is Elder Paz. The funny thing about these guys is that one, one of my other companions was Elder Parra. The other is that ``paz´´ in Spanish means peace. But they are really great guys. They are zone leaders too. With Elder Paz, it’s a little bit different tracting. We try to feel more by the spirit what doors we need to knock on or who we need to contact. It’s a lot harder, especially for a newbie but its possible. It’s good that I have two years to do it.
Where I am now is called Canek. It’s in the middle of Merida, so lots of people. I felt a little out of place when I was going to my ‘new place” because there were so many people sometimes! I miss my small towns. The best lesson we had this week was with a less active sister. She didn’t understand why she had to go to church so many times and things like that. I shared 1 Ne 3.7. Then later I told her why I do things that I don’t want to. Then I turned to D&C 45.5 and explained how I want to hear this at the last day. My companion did most of the teaching but those were my tidbits. Also my first night in this area, me and Elder Paz went to a recent convert’s house. This guy is probably sixties or so. It’s been a month or so since his baptism and this past Sunday (5th) he blessed the sacrament water. The thing that we helped him this week is reading the sacrament prayers. He practiced from Moroni 4 and 5. It’s crazy how easy the Spanish comes when the spirit is there and you’re teaching.
Haven’t had any real crazy food since last week. I did have a drink that was weird. It was made with grass, water, and pineapple. It looked nasty but it didn’t taste that bad. This area is a lot better off than Kanasin. That’s where I was before. The cool lesson we had there is with Staycy, her friend Grisela, and the husband of Staycy (can’t remember his name). We taught as a trio the first lesson and it all went smooth. I recited the first Vision in Spanish to a real investigator without messing up anywhere. That’s one of the things that I kind of don’t like is that not a whole lot of people like to start with the first lesson. For me it’s called the first lesson for a reason. I do know though, that when the Spirit says that we need to teach something different, we teach something different. But we need to have a game plan first no? Any ideas? No answer is a bad answer.
What else…
So remember that I haven’t seen too many crazy bugs here? Well I did some service for a lady (cutting grass and weeds with a machete) and I saw a spider a little bit bigger than a silver dollar that was yellow and black. Then later I found a Praying Mantis on my arm! Also this week I’ve seen a couple iguana type things that are about two feet long (this was in Kansin).
The weather here is kind of interesting. In Canek, it’s a little bit colder, but in the day its not to hot but some nights it’s kind of cold; especially in a hammock with no bedding and air circulating all around you. The other night it was like 12 Cº which is like between fifty or sixty I think, plus the humidity changes how it feels (which by the way I don’t hardly even notice any more. My companion Elder Paz was freezing! It was funny but not so funny when he told me to wait until May when it’s roasting hot. =(
As far as the package goes I’m super excited to see what it is! With the egg timer, I’d still like to have it because there isn’t really any type of a timer here. If I want to set aside a set time, I need to know when it’s done. I can do it with my watch but it would be a lot easier with an egg timer. Another crazy random thing that would be nice is cloths pins. We have a line in our apartment but we’re poking whatever through the threads in the rope. What else… Ramen noodles? Oh yeah you asked about the food here. The schedule is kind of different. We have breakfast first thing in the morning. I usually just have yogurt or cereal (which are super cheap here). Also we’re supposed to have two bananas every day with breakfast so we don’t get cramps. Every day for lunch it’s at two and we eat with one of the members. My companion Elder Brixey said that if the ward doesn’t do it, you just eat gas station type stuff and get refunded later. Then for dinner… well… we don’t really have dinner. We have a little snack like soup or something in the evening but not like a formal meal. It’s not that bad. One thing that Mexico has that is really cool is like ten different types of tang. I’m ex cited to try cantaloupe flavor! Also there is a pop that tastes like bananas, or even apple (carbonated too!). Also sometimes it’s like Mexican Kool-Aid, it comes in a bag pre- made but it’s basically juice. It’s different but still tastes good.
I don’t know what to say. I want to hear from all of you! Yes that means you! Hope you all have a great week. Mexico is good and so am I.
Elder Mackay

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Elder Mackay at the MTC

A photo glimpse of Glenn while at the MTC.

Glenn pointing to his mission in Merida, Mexico.

November 19,2010

November 19, 2010
So this week has been just a roller coaster! Monday was kind of a rough day. My roommates that I’ve had for nine weeks left that morning. They are headed to Paraguay. Then a new district came in and I had to say goodbye to one of my teachers. The next day I had to say goodbye to my other teacher. They have to go in order of when we were supposed to leave so our teachers were up next. We moved just next door, but it was still hard. Then Tuesday was devotional. It was good, but kind of presented in a funny way. He was super intense about not trying to do, but just do. For some of the new district, that was hard for them to hear. They didn't realize that they are doing all they can.
So then the really crazy stuff happens. We went to a temple session on Wednesday morning. When we came out some of us went to go pick up our backpacks from the residence and some already had their stuff in the class room. While we were in the residence, the elders that just went to class had said that our district had been called to the travel office. As soon as we could, we booked it to the travel office to see what the news was. When we got there, only the elders in our district that were going to Tuxtla Gutierrez were going to the consulate. It was depressing. Then about two hours later, the other half of us got called up! We were going to be leaving for the consulate at about one fifteen. We went there and did papers and everything. Another surprise is that we got roommates when we were told that we weren't going to. They are good kids and all, but it just made me miss my old ones all the more. So yesterday my companion is on a table outside, enjoying a little bit of warmer weather while we are doing companion study when he taps on my shoulder and runs inside. I was reading my Spanish ‘Preach my Gospel’ so it was super hard to focus on anything else. I jumped up and followed him. Over the loud speaker in the room they said, "Is this Elder Calvert? Can we get you to come down the travel office and also bring with you Elder Fuller, Mackay,... our whole district! This time we didn't even wait for everyone we just told them what was going on as we ran past them. We went there and got TRAVEL PLANS! I’m leaving on Tuesday. so I don't know if I’ll get the package that you talked about and I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to get the camera. I talked to one of the guys in my district and whenever I would use my camera to take a picture with someone, he'll lend me his, and email them to me later. It’s going to be crazy! Three days ago I had no idea what was going on and I'm leaving in four! Another cool thing is that I got a phone pass for five minutes to use at the MTC. I want to call to Montana on Sunday at 9:00 pm if that’s alright with everyone. Also a little tidbit of news I'm going to be in the airport for a while and I get to call to who ever and where ever I want! I don't know a whole lot of phone numbers, but we'll see what we can do. I'm going to be in the airport from about ten to twelve, then in the Houston airport from four to seven.
The day is finally here! I'm going to go to Mexico and see real people and be totally confused because I can't understand them, but it’s going to be great! I'm going to see ginormous bugs! I'm going to get fried! I'm going to eat some really hot Mexican food! I'm going to get a different companion (not that I'm having any problems with the one I have now)! I'M GOING TO MEXICO! Just in case you didn't catch that. Hopefully all is well back home. I'm just a little bit crazed. Everyone who reads this, if you send a dear elder right away I’ll get it on Monday before I leave. Hope to hear from you all.
Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos
Elder Mackay

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 12, 2010

So still no visas or any news about them. It gets kind of discouraging, especially when our roommates are leaving on Monday and we got here before they did. One experience might explain why I was here for a little bit extra. We're still not entirely sure what happened but I’ll try to explain as best as I can. Me and my companion had just taught another lesson to a teacher who just barely got home from his mission. It was a way good lesson and we did well at teaching with the spirit. Our teacher was being taught by some other elders in the other room. We were studying some scriptures and such when a lady came around the corner with a pass along card about the Book of Mormon. She said (in Spanish) that she was looking for some elders who were suppose to teach her and she said something about being and investigator. My companion asked her if she was looking for the TRC (which is where volunteers come in to be investigators for missionaries). She got really confused and said no. She then talked about the pass along card she had and really wanted to learn more about it. I got up real quick and grabbed my Spanish single Book of Mormon and figured we could use it for the lesson. We all figured that she just saw some elders and wanted to help out. We taught her the first lesson, but I think it was different. Her answers weren't like what you'd usually get from the TRC. Her dad was a pastor and she was really confused about how the Book of Mormon fit into it all. We bore testimony and did all the stuff we were suppose to in a lesson. When we asked her to pray she said she didn't like to pray because it felt awkward. We marked a chapter in the Book of Mormon (Alma 32) and she seemed genuinely excited to read the Book of Mormon. After that we all just expected her to stop role playing and tell us what we could do better, but she didn't. She just said thanks and said again that she'd read the Book of Mormon, and then left - with my Book of Mormon. So we're still not sure what all happened, but a nice lady named Suzzana walked off with my Book of Mormon. I'm counting it as my first Book or Mormon placement. I was so psyched for the field at that point, but at the same time, wanted to talk more with Suzzana.
Another teacher a few days later came in and told us about his story getting his mission call. Due to some really random events that had nothing to do with him or his desire to serve; his papers were delayed six months after he wanted to have them turned in. He had done everything right but he still had to wait. He bore testimony though that that happened for a reason. Had he not been delayed for those six months, he would have not met and touched the lives of the people he did in his mission. After his mission he tried applying for a school at either BYU or BYU-I. He didn't get in and he had to wait a year at home after his mission before he could go to school. However, in his first year of school when he finally got to go, he met his wife, and got married -all in the Lords timing.
I’m trying to think of other cool things this week. It’s hard to remember what happened in individual days. On Tuesday we had Elder Bednar come talk to us. Pretty crazy for two reasons. One is that it’s our fourth apostle in a row and second that had I gone to Mexico, I would have missed a great talk. I feel like I’m on borrowed time (I just wish that it wasn't cutting into my field time). My teachers are going to get a new district this week which means we get kicked out. The only problem is that we might get "transferred" to a new zone. Maybe even move to a different residence hall. It'll be way interesting to know how these next two or three weeks play out. Getting to go to the temple three times a week is always nice though. I got the "end part" pretty well memorized now. Spanish is coming along well. Mom you asked if all I do is speak Spanish now. I try, but a lot of the times it’s hard because either I’m reading something in English or someone else is talking to me in English. If someone talks in Spanish, its way easier to speak back in Spanish. It’ coming along nicely though. If anyone asks any questions, email me or send me a letter (dear elder). I'll probably be here all week!
Con amor, Elder Mackay

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010
So this week has gone by really fast and slow at the same time. Time is a weird concept. I can't believe its Friday already but then again it seems like this week has taken forever. Because we were supposed to be gone already we get some "added bonuses". One of those is that we don't have to go to so many meetings (which make everyone in the district happy) and we get to go to the temple like three times a week! It’s so cool to teach a lesson literally only about an hour after going to the temple. With all our time there its also helping us grows even closer as a district.
Another cool thing that we get to do is study lesson three in the MTC. The lesson is titled "the gospel of Jesus Christ". Our teachers have shared some way cool stories about this lesson. Usually in the MTC we only study the first two. Our teachers are being "progressive investigators" for us to practice on. It’s about as close as we’re going to get here. Josue is the one we've been working on lot with. He knows that a good thing or feeling will come from God. We went a little further with that and taught him about the Holy Ghost helping him. He had a drinking problem and we committed him to follow the word of wisdom. (all of this is happening over a few lessons). He said that since he doesn't have any drinking buddies any more that he's kind of feeling alone. We told him about how if he is baptized and keeps the commandments that he can always have a companion. He had the desire and then we committed him to be baptized. The only thing he says that is holding him back is that he doesn't know if the Book of Mormon is true yet. More praying and reading. I think we have another lesson with him later tonight.
Another cool thing this week is we had M Russell Ballard for Devotional on Tuesday. It was such a good talk! He talked about being a master communicator and that is really the secret to teaching in a mission. This is our third apostle in a row and its just so crazy how much they know. After wards everyone comes out with glazed eyes and can't walk in a strait line. The hardest thing this week is just getting through a day and not wondering what it could be like. A lot of times I get teaching a lesson then afterwards I would wonder how much good it would have been for a real investigator. Also it’s really hard to ask a person who's pretending to be an investigator how they feel. If it was a real investigator it would be a real answer, but since this is made up its hard to take those things for granted. Hopefully pretty soon we'll be getting our visas. Every time we're in a lunch room and we hear a beep, our whole district stops and hopes for our district leaders name (Tyson Fuller) to be said. When it finally does its going to be crazy. It'll happen though. The weather here's been pretty nice too all the sudden. Last week we had one night where we got maybe a half an inch or so in great big flakes. If it would have been colder it would have stuck more. This week we haven't gotten any rain or any snow. Just nice warm days.
Yes mom I did get the package with my camera and stuff it in. The brownies aren't gone yet I’ve been pacing myself. I've gain six pounds at the MTC! I don't know where it all went though. The MTC really is great though. I just want to be in Mexico with the culture, people, food (even the spicy stuff) and doing the things that every young man that is a member dreams about. I want to see the light spark, and then beam in the eyes of an investigator. A teacher came and substituted one time. He's a Mexico native! He said and made it very clear that we need to challenge most of the investigators in our area to be baptized on the first or second lesson. They people there are from such humble circumstances that they are really teachable. Also a lot of them can't read so it'll be interesting to see how that hurdle goes over. Can't wait to Go!
Know that whoever reads this email, I love you, and hope that you have the success that God intends you to have.Be happy, Keep the Commandments and Endure,
Elder Mackay

October 29,2010

Hola todos persons quien esta leyendo esta carta,
So here is the skinny on the Visa issue. I do have my permisa. That’s good because they won't send you out on a re assignment if you got that. The bad news is that we don't have our real visas. We didn't know this till this week and we'll probably be here two or three more weeks. Kind of stinks cuz I want to go teach real investigators ahorita, but I should be happy with this opportunity that I have. Other things have been good. We're the oldest district now, (that seems really weird to say). This week we've taught a lot of lessons to other companionships in our zone and I barely feel adequate. It’s been two maybe two and a half weeks here. The concept of time is sketchy in the MTC. I think that there's only like three days. There’s a class day, a pday and Sunday. That’s really what it feels like. Like I’ve learned so much here and changed a lot. My testimony has grown so much and I can teach in Spanish now. If someone told me my Spanish was going to be at this point right now, I would have said your crazy! One of the things that is nice about having extra time here is to make more Spanish mistakes around people who won't look at you funny, rather than in the field. Its way cool to start teaching with only scriptures and understand what my fellow brothers here need to hear.
Oh yeah, for devotional we had Richard G. Scott come. He compiled, "a life time of experiences [in following the spirit] onto a front and back piece of paper." After wards he gave us his notes on the talk. Some pretty crazy stuff. Nothing extremely new or different than what I would have said, he's just got a lot bigger vocabulary about it. It’s so crazy that its pday already. It seems like just yesterday I was writing and doing laundry. I can't think of what else to say right now. I have some time left so if I think of something else I’ll try to squeeze it in today
yo sé que JesúCristo es nuestro Salvador. He sentido su amor para me y para nosotros. Estoy muy agredecidio por la oportuidad servir una misión en Su Nombre. Sé a traves la manera de arrepentimiento podemos encontrar pas, gozo felicidad y todo de los bendiciónes del Señor. Quisas si es la voluntad del Señor, seré un mejor misionario que sé. Digo estes cosas en el nombre de JesúCristo, Amén. (Google translate works wonderful)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

Hola familia!
So... this is crazy but I only got like ten more days! (We’re not even thinking about not going on time). I feel like we've been here two weeks! not two months! One of the highlights of the week was our Tuesday devotional. It was Russell M. Nelson! The other cool thing was that me and my companion were offered (and obviously took) front row seats! it was so cool. I don't think he had a talk or anything prepared. He just came up there with his scriptures. I tried to take notes but I’m sure I missed some. One of the things that I liked was his humility. I know that kind of sounds corny but it’s true. He said he'd rather talk with each one of us, learn about our families and hear our testimony. How crazy is that! One of the quotes I can remember is, "It is better to have character than to be one."
As far as visa stuff goes we don't know much. We might get travel plans today but even if we do get them, they might get canceled. We went down to the travel office to talk to him and asked about it. He said that if we're lucky we'd get our visas the Friday before we leave. Kind of cutting it a little close I’d say. So if we get travel papers and no visa, the church will just cancel our flight plans. they do that so that they make sure that we get a seat on the plane. Me and my companion "KNOW" we are going but some of the other guys in our district aren't to sure. This morning (because it was p-day) we got to go to the temple. We did initiatory and had some extra time. We went down into the basement and helped out with laundry. It was super fun! I just love the guys here. It’s almost not fair that I have to leave so soon. That’s another reason why if I get delayed I’m not going to be super angry, I just want to stay here and not get re assigned. It’s super great here. One of the things that I love the most is bearing testimony especially about the atonement. here's a brief over view of it
"porque de el Caída, tenemos la habilidad pecar. aveses vida esta muy dificil, pero otro tiempos esta bien. Acemos decisiones bueno y setimos bien en estes tiempos. Otro tiempos no mucho. pecaramos. DyC 1 versiculo 31. 2 Nefi 9 versiculo 7 por medio 9. tengo mucho errors en mi vida. Estoy no cerca perfecto, no casi perfecto. 2 Nefi 4 versiculo 17, tambian Alma capitulo 36 versiculo 12. Escucha la palabras de nuestro Harmano. DyC 45 versiculo 3 por medio 6. tengo muchos gracias por Él. Sin the expacion, no podems hacer cualquier cosa. ¨O Dulche el gozo este oración da, Yo sé que mi Salvador vive!"
Not that I’m complaining but I didn't get a whole lot of mail these past two weeks. I wanna hear how everyone is doing. It's my last real week here so after this I won't get Dear elders. Make sure that you use it! I want to get one last letter from ALL of you, please?
hasta nos vemos
Elder Mackay
para siempre Dios este con vose

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 15, 2010

October 15, 2010
Hola familia!
Ijole its Friday already! (No mom I didn't just type some random jibberish in the beginning of the sentence. It means on my goodness). Anyhow, it’s crazy that it’s Friday already. Not to mention that I only have 16 days left! Who said time could go by so fast? I didn't... any how. In answer to some of the questions, my companion as I said is Elder Calvert. He's from Salt Lake in a place called Holiday? I don't know where that is but whatever. Anyhow, he's a way cool Elder. He had some missionary prep classes too so we teach really well. That has really been a blessing is that from the beginning we both knew how to teach and knew Preach my Gospel. The rest of my district is pretty cool too. We use to have ten elders. Some of them left early for the Peru MTC. Those Elders were going to the Peru MTC (lucky guys). Now we have seven and it seems really small. We're all going to Mexico, just two missions though. Everyone else in my zone is Spanish speaking too. It’s way cool because we are all in the same boat with speaking Spanish. Some of us have to bail water faster than others.
Speaking of Spanish, mine is coming along nicely. A way cool experience I had started out really rough. Each week we have that’s called a TRC. It’s where we "Practice" with a "real investigator". We practice with other districts through out the week but this is someone we don't know at all. Also we have a task or something that we focus on that week that’s not related to our lesson. It’s for being able to survive normal type stuff. This week we were practicing ordering food. I practiced a lot of words so that I wouldn't embarrass myself. When we got in there, a lot of the things that were on the menu weren't in the book I had studied. It was frustrating and when you’re frustrated you can't think in Spanish or have the spirit. After that we had a lesson and it felt like I didn't have a Spanish word in my head. It was a super rough lesson and my companion did most of the talking. By the end of the night when I went back to the residence hall I was discouraged and down hearted. Why couldn't I do better? I had practiced. I was being obedient. I was doing All the things necessary to be a good missionary. I pleaded with the Lord to know what to do. The next day in the morning, started out like any other day. We had a lesson from one of our teachers on patience. I wondered if it was a coincidence or if they always gave that lesson after our first TRC in Spanish. Later on that night though, we had an awesome lesson on how we feel and the different ways we can feel the Holy Ghost. I felt comforted knowing that I wasn't abandoned. I had another practice lesson with some other Elders and the Spanish came. Some days are just hard. In those times is when we stand up, brush the dust off, put our hat back on and get back on the horse.
Each week we have a devotional on Tuesday. We had a way good speaker this week. He was the Presiding Bishop. He had been in the Bishopric for 18 years! He knew what he was talking about because he's seen a gazillion missionaries. He gave a wonderful talk about how we're odd for our age, but a good odd. We have things that others don't and that’s why we're on a mission. He then gave a few points on how to have a successful mission. After devotional, we have a "aftermath" testimony type meeting. We got on the subject of when we're not feeling to happy that we need to remember our favorite things. We have the gospel after all, why shouldn't we be happy? I kept thinking about something related but I didn't want to send us off on a tangent that nobody would understand. Eventually I raised my hand and what the spirit said through me went kind of like this.
"I was quite busy in high school with sports and other things. I sometimes feel over whelmed that I can't do it anymore. At times like this I use to remember a family that lived down the road. They seemed to have every physical sickness or trial imaginable. The lesson from here is that it can always be worse. Even in my ignorance, I sometimes think my life is worse than anyone else." At this time I started to choke on myself, "I think that I can't do any more that it’s too much. But I haven't been asked to do too much. I haven't been asked to take upon the sins of the world. I haven't been asked to bleed from every pore under that weight. I haven't been betrayed by one of my friends who I held dear to my hear. I haven't been falsely accused of crimes that are almost exactly opposite of my purpose here. I haven't been publicly mocked, and spat at by men who claim that I’m a heathen. I haven't been tied to a post and been whipped so horribly that my flesh is laid wide open. I haven't had a crown of plated thorns placed then forced into my head. I haven't been nailed to a cross, lifted up, and then suffered there. No I haven't been asked too much at all. When I remember this, my trials seem so pitifully small. I can do it. It’s not that hard."
I don't know where all that came from, but the spirit was so strong. a few others things that you asked about mom, don't worry about the pajama pants. I have seen Brenden and Joel but not Jonathan Dilworth. The dried pears were great. I shared some to one of the guys in my district and he was way jealous. The last cool experience this week was in an interview with one of my teachers. I told him about how my purposed has transformed. It started out that I wanted to baptize people. I just thought that was the coolest thing. Then I contemplated and it was better that I bring souls unto Christ. After I thought about it more, it’s more about bringing my brothers and sisters home with me to know Christ. As I told each one of them, the spirit got stronger and stronger. Well I've got about ten seconds left.
hasta luego!Elder Mackay

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 8, 2010

October 8, 2010
Hey family!
Wow it seems like I was sitting in conference just yesterday and it’s already Friday! One of the really crazy things that I’ve been preparing for and will finally do tonight is teach the whole first lesson in Spanish! Its fun though. We are forced to think and teach simply because that’s all our vocabulary can handle. A tradition that we have is that when a district leaves that we sing "God be with you till we meet again" in Spanish. We did that this past week and now there's only one more time to do that before I’ll hear it! Crazy! I’m working on my Sixth week! I know I have changed and learned a lot of things, especially Spanish, but not that long! Maybe like a week and a half or so!
The next part is what I wrote in my journal directly following Conference:
Nothing can describe the feelings of today. Nothing will be as this was. I should start at the beginning. Today I had the opportunity to sing in the choir at General Priesthood. Much preparation and thought went into it. We left at about one thirty (total about three hundred and sixty of my brothers on seven busses). After crossing "the threshold" and seeing "real people," I was reminded of my reason for being here. I do not know whether they were members or not, but they are my brothers and sisters. When we reached the destination, we were ushered into a room to practice. I do not know what the room was used for previously, but there were three large ornate chairs on the stage. We practiced and ate a quick snack. After, we lined up in our sections by height. Thanks to my father I was seventh in line from the top. When I got into the loft, I realized that I was singing to and for many people. I wondered as I sat down, "who has sat here before me?" Singing was magnificent. I tried to, as our conductor said, "Bare my testimony through my face and eyes." If the eyes truly are the windows to the soul, then I want to communicate to every soul within sight, that God lives and loves us and that Jesus is the Christ. I sang in the presence of Apostles, General Authorities, Prophets and the President of the true Church of Jesus Christ; I know it and I cannot deny it. The last song of the evening was ‘Called to Serve’. The Last word was King. I felt my Fathers acknowledgement. From this day forward, I will never teach about prophets the same way again.
In the Loft I was in the middle section in the top on the left hand side. I was second from the top and four or five guys in.
In the evening I have tried to describe the Experience here in a metaphor. It was fun to write but I don't know how many other people will like it. Any how:
One morning in late April a Master Herdsman looked out over the fields and found that a new colt had been born. This excited the master because he knew the potential in one even so young as it. He quickly ran to the fence line to get a better look. A fine tall grey horse. While he was young he'd be tended by his mother but eventually would be ready to be taught much more. Each day for several years the master would go and check on the colt to see how he was doing. From time to time he would notice substantial growth. But also, he saw that the colt would get to close to something and receive a small scratch or a nick for his efforts. Under the supervision of his mother, the master taught the colt how to be led. At first, this was quite different for the colt. Besides his Mother, nobody had ever told him what to do or where to go. Yet the colt knew the Master a little and decided to follow him. "Mother does so why shouldn't I?" After about a week the colt followed with relative ease. This spurred excitement in the eyes of the Master. For he knew it was almost time for the colt to be used fully. That day came quickly to the colt. he was led away from his mother and locked in another pen. He had all the necessities such as food water and some nice shelter, but it wasn't the same as home. After a few days of adjustment the Master led the colt into a round pen. The colt thought he was going home. He ran all the way around the fence line but found that he came back to the Master. The training begin. After a few weeks, this training intensified even more. Saddles and bits were put on and with much protest, fitted correctly. The colt didn't like having to learn and stretch. Yet the Master persisted on. He knew that if the colt would learn to love the learning, it would go by faster and much more would be learned. However it was up to the colt. One day the colt was being particularly stubborn. After it ran away from the master. Yet again, the Master held his head in his hands. He didn't look angry, more heart broken. The colt didn't know this, but there were some wild horses a little ways away that the master wanted to bring back. The colt noticed this sorrowful look and slowly with his head down walked back to the Master. Ever so carefully he drooped the reins at his feet. The Master looked into the eyes of the colt and knew that he was ready to learn. At this time a quote is needed. Boyd K packer said, "something remarkable happens when a person chooses with his own free will to be obedient." The next few weeks went by quickly and he learned to love the Master and the bit. With a flick of the master’s hands the colt knew what to do. One night a mighty tempest arose and it was so intense that the barn seemed to want to come off of its foundation. The Master heard the whinnies of fear from the barn. Without a moments hesitation he lept from his chair and ran out to the barn. The colt was running in tight circles and thought that he had been deserted by everything. When he stopped worrying about himself so much, he saw the master waiting patiently at the fence. He trotted over to the Master not knowing what would happen. The Master put his hand on the nose of the colt and looked into the eyes of the colt and communicated. Fear and doubt were in his eyes no more. They weathered the storm together in the barn that night. The next week, the day came when the colt, with Master atop left for the other wild horses. They had once belonged to the Master but could not see the love he had for them. They left, with the idea that they could manage on their own. Several, through time, became sick or crippled with no Master to help them. They colt was exited as was the Master. When they got to them the colt couldn't see the difference from one horse to another, but the master atop could. He knew which were ready to come back. They brought a few in each day. They worked for days on end. When the colt would return in the evening, he would lie down exhausted. He smiled and knew the days work was well worth it when he heard the master say, "Well Done my Good and Faithful servant." They brought many back to the Master.
Well I don’t' have much time left. Hopefully this story will make sense to a few of you.
Con amorElder Mackay

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 1, 2010

Oct 1, 2010
So these computers are being weird. They keep freezing on us so it’s really difficult to keep writing. One of the biggest highlights this week is Choir practice. Even just singing, words have stuck out to me and resounded in my soul. Words like "CHOSEN 'ere to witness" or "God our strength will be". It’s going to be a way cool experience. One of the things the choir directors wanted us to do is to sing well, but have it be accompanied by the testimony in our faces. They eyes and the conviction we sing with are as strong and as powerful as the words we say.
Another thing that me and my companion do is English fasts. This is where we get only speak Spanish. It’s hard and I don't know how to say a lot, but by the end I start thinking in Spanish. We tried to do one as a district but we couldn't answer the questions the teachers had for us. Me and my companion only do it when we don’t' have a teacher. It’s way cool though. Last night in companionship study my companion and I practiced teaching in Spanish. We did the first lesson even though that’s not till next week. I'm not fluent of course but its coming.
Another "blessing" is that the gym is open and we get to play basketball. Its way fun and I try to not get too completive.
Another crazy is going on, there's another district in our zone leaving. When they leave, we'll be the second oldest. Oh yeah, I’m halfway through the MTC! It’s crazy. I’ve learned a lot in Spanish and like how to better teach, but I still have a long ways to go. As soon as you can mom I’d like to know about my camera. Also what about the pictures that we took for family reunion? I know I don't need a ton of pictures but it'd sure be nice to "see you guys". Ah this is such an amazing place. I’ve never been where there are so many people exactly my age and exactly the same reason for being here. Yeah, I went to college and school and stuff, but this is different. We are set apart; chosen by divine command. Through out this week I have come to know that I’m not an average person in this world. Of all the people in the world, I have been chosen and recommended as one worthy to teach the people in the world. I know that this will be rough but what a rewarding work. Whenever I hear stories from my teachers I get excited and think that'll be me in a few weeks. Another tradition we have is singing "Para siempre Dios este con vos" (God be with you till we meet again) to the districts that are leaving. Its a pretty cool to sing to my bro's. One day instead of being in the choir, I will be the one of the ones being sung to. I just wonder what everything is going to be like. I hope that I can fulfill my purpose.
One last thing was devotional this week. The speaker talked about, "the rock cut out of the mountain without hands. And it grew until it covered the whole earth". Pretty cool talk and to know that I am part of that growing process is even better. Can't wait for tomorrow! Going to be so neat (and nice to get out of the "fence").
Hope to hear from all of you asap
Con amor
Elder Mackay

Cousins at the MTC

Glenn's cousin Tanner proceeded him to the MTC by a little over a month. How fun that they ran into each other the day that Glenn arrived and saw each other daily until Tanner completed his training on September 27 and went to his area if service. Another Cousin, Jared, is serving his mission in Peru.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 24, 2010

Hola Familia!
I should probably take notes of things through out the week so I can say everything I want to in the emails! This week has gone by super fast! I've made it through a third of the way through the MTC! Its way cool. Went to the temple today. We did initiatory. We had to be quick because we were late.
We had choir practice.... FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE! I have the opportunity of singing in the Priesthood Session of General Conference. Its way cool. I'm second tenor so I’ll be in the middle. I’ll be wearing my favorite tie (the one that I wore when I went into the MTC). One of our directors said that he was watching last years singing on Youtube. I don't know if it will this year but it'll still be way fun. Also another reason to go on a "field trip". One of the things that I’m looking forward to is the ability to look back after my mission while I’m watching priesthood and remember that I was in that choir.
We had a pretty cool devotional this week. The part that stuck out to me the most was, "we can only learn spiritual things by a manifestation of the spirit." I hadn't ever really thought about it but it makes sense. After some reflection I realized that I had had the spirit with me a lot more often than I thought.
This week me and my companion have been focusing on the second lesson. For some reason in comparison to the first lesson it seems super long! Its nice though that it all ties together. Spanish is coming along nicely. Slowly but nicely. We had a substitute come in and he made small talk then we talked about studying our mission language. Most of us confessed that it was one of the hardest things we've had to do. After some talks and pondering time this stuck out to me the most, "You were Chosen by God, through his mouth piece, to serve in your area. Not only your are but in that specific tongue. He would not ask you to do this if he did not know that you could do it. He had the gift of tongues waiting for you, if you are desiring to work for it." It was a comforting thought that I can do it, and I know God knows it.
As far as just regular everyday things go its alright. I have to get up earlier for choir practice but given the alternative I’ll get up. Twice now I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night thinking it was time to leave. I looked back at the clock one time after putting my belt on and realized that it was 12:10 not 6:10.
I don't know if I mention before but we got more roommates. They are funny and good elders as far as I can tell. I hope they can persevere. They gym opened finally and I played against them. One of them I had two super hard blocks on. Made me feel big and tall. He didn't like it too much though. I was reading in my journal a few nights ago and I read something that I don't really remember writing. Its pretty neat and I don't have it with me so I’ll send it in a second email. I know that many are praying for me. It is my hope that I fulfill those prayers and hopes.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay
P.S. Mom I sent the package with my camera in it today. I expect interest in the form of food! Well not really, but it would be nice.

I talked about a journal entry that I had that I wanted to write. Here it is:
Much as Nephi was prompted to share some things in his "journal," I have a similar feeling. Maybe not as important but I feel prompted to do so. I have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord. I am to preach the gospel of repentance to the souls belonging to the sons and daughters of God." I wonder 'how am I, one of such low stature able to do this?' Also I consider, 'how many drops of blood were spilt for me, that night, in that garden of Gethsemane?' as a representative of that Great Being of the earth, I desire with all my heart and soul to not disappoint that name, even Jesus Christ. While learning and struggling it is easy to get discouraged and feel unable to do this. I must remember that if I work hard and be obedient, I will be made equal to my calling. Being a man of reason and mathematics, I know I am not presently equal to my calling. Therefore over the course of a few months, I will slowly have things added to me to make me equal."
The funny part is I don't remember writing much of that. I hope that I can do what it says though.
One more thing I forgot to mention is that I got a haircut today. It’s a little different than what mom did but it’s still pretty good.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Glenn's Letters Sept. 4, 2010 - Sept. 16, 2010

Sept. 16, 2010
Hola familia!
I just got out of a session of the temple. It was a way cool way to start out the day. I think we should do that every day. The days of this week have gone by super slow, but looking back, sometimes it doesn't seem like I’ve been here for two weeks. Classes and such are coming along. Me and my companion teach well together. Sometimes we cut each other off but that’s because we are both so eager. And it’s hard to get mad when I do the same thing, and when he teaches a good point. A lot of the teachers say we teach well. Some of the other elders struggle a little bit more. I guess talking to everyone has gotten rid of that fear.
One of the highlights of this week was Tuesday Devotional. The speaker was Elder Richards, (member of the seventy) and it was of course on missionary work. A cool section in his talk was, "why isn't missionary work easy? Why don't missionaries get pneumonia from spending too much time in the fonts?" He pulled up a talk from Elder Holland and the answer is, "Missionary work isn't easy, because salvation doesn't come cheap. It won't be easy for you these next two years, but not as hard as that night so many years ago in Gethsemane. Reconsider what you are asked to do and put it in perspective with what the Savior did. Now does that seem so hard?" Kind of felt like a little kid after that. Afterwards as a district we all went back to the class room and had kind of like a mini testimony meeting. We just shared our thoughts on the night.
One of the other things that stuck out for me from he talk is, "Who do you represent? Are your actions what He would do? Are you studying as He would? Are you as anxiously engaged in a good cause as He would be?" Final thought on devotional was the idea of having no regrets. Elder Richards was a mission president in England. He said that there was an elder who in his first interview said he didn't want to have any regrets. Throughout his first year he demonstrated this. In his second year he was a brilliant assistant to the President. When the President dropped him off, they both knew that he had no regrets. That’s my goal. I know I’m not perfect, but I don't want regrets. The only thing that I get frustrated with recently is Spanish. There's just so much to try to learn. I feel like the concepts that they are teaching me are fairly easy to accept, but its just that I seem to have like no vocabulary. While we were waiting in line for food at the temple today, a couple sisters came up behind and started a conversation with me. They said I was good for only having two weeks of study. A little more concerning not was that they said I was going to get fat off of the rice and beans and tortillas. I guess in Mexico they don't ask if you want something they just give it to you any way and you eat it even if you don't want to. Also they said if they ask you if you want your food hot, say no. They are referring to spice not temperature. Over time I hope to get accustomed to the food.
A few elders left this week and it caused some reflection in that pretty soon that will be me leaving. What will the "real world" be like? I'll finally be "in the game" not sitting on the bench waiting. It'll be with real investigators with real salvation on the line. Its a scary principle but I’m not afraid. If I do my best, the Spirit will do the rest. I was talking with a councilor in our branch presidency and he said, "On a mission we are asked to do two things. One is to speak our mission language. In your case Spanish. The other language is the language of the Spirit." He went on and on and on afterwards but it was all really good stuff. Speaking Spanish seems to be the biggest obstacle.
A few less important things, my camera got knocked off a shelf and doesn't work. Like it turns on but it turns off right away almost like the battery is dead or something. I wondered if I sent it home that you could take it to a camera repair place. I would guess that there is just a wire or something disconnected. Hopefully it can get fixed. I'll try to get some pictures sent in a regular letter. Also the people in the zone that I asked said to just send my Gortex jacket. I kind of feel a little silly asking for these things but it makes me happy that I’ll get another package:). Well I got to run hopefully I’ll hear from you soon! Por favor?
con amor
Elder Mackay

September 11, 2010
Hola Familia!
So this week went by super fast. I can't believe it's Friday already (sorry mom I only get to check email once a week). I'm glad that you are canning so many peaches. Hopefully you will send me some? por favor? :) Any how some interesting news, an elder in my district got sick with symptoms a lot like what people from the family reunion had. The doctor said he tested negative but had sufficient symptoms to declare him "sick". The doc wondered if he had a false negative. Any how so we all get to take pills so we don't get sick and I'm in a trio now. It changes a lot of things. Like for example when we teach instead of switching off between two of us we have to rotate through three of us. We aren't as smooth and it seems like we bounce around a lot. The sick elder won't be back for a while either. He had a temperature of 100.6 so the doctor said he wouldn't be back until his fever had broke for 24 hours. Seems to me like he needs to cowboy up or something.
Anyhow... the gym opens up next week and me and my companion are super excited. The floor is getting re-done so it'll be soon I hope. It'll be interesting what we do cuz he's five ten and a shooting guard and I'm a post.
One of the things that didn't happen unfortunately was I wasn't able to go to the temple today because I didn't have my temple recommend because my wallet didn't come. I tried to get one today but none of the members of the mtc presidency were here this morning last I checked. Made me sad and I felt bad for my companions because they didn't get to go either... but mom you'll be happy because now my room is clean and my closet is organized :).
In Spanish we are learning to congegate verbs and that helps sentences a lot. If you directly translated my Spanish a lot of it would sound like a three year old talking because I don't have the vocabulary (or maybe the mental capacity) to say any more. When we decide that we are only going to speech Spanish for a while I get real quiet and don't say much for a few hours :( One of the things we also learned in Spanish is street contact phrases. We will use it on an "investigator" tonight and later teach them in English.
Not much else is happening. I showed some of the elders the panoramas of off the deck and they said they wanted to live there. BTW mom, they thought the action figures were neat, although when I pulled them out of my back pack I was a little embarrassed. They are on a shelf in my room now for "inspiration" and cuz they look cool. Not much else is up. I'm getting better at Spanish. There are a couple of elders moving out on Monday and its crazy for me to think that I will be like that in two months (hopefully). They can speak perfect Spanish compared to me and its so FAST! I hope I can learn as much as they do so I don't take forever in the field catching up.
One thing my branch president said was to use dear elder to write messages. We get to check mail every day (sometimes multiple times a day) but only get to check email once a week. Also I guess dear elder is free so its probably a good way to go. There is one elder that he hadn't gotten any mail until yesterday. And then he got a letter AND a package. Any way I hope that you are all doing well and hope to hear from you soon.
yo se dios ha un plan para me y usted. tengo mucho aprender. estoy agradecedio por la oportunidad ser misionerio y ser CCM. es mi favorito "except" casa y el templar. en el nombre de Jesucristo.
asta luego con amor,
Elder Mackay

Glenn began his mission on September 1, 2010 when he went to the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah. He was so excited to go! The pictures are taken at the Provo Temple as there was construction at that time at the MTC.

Glenn went to the Rexburg, Idaho Temple on August 17, 2010 to receive special ordinances that help his on his pathway to return to his Heavenly Father. The pictures below are of our entire family at the temple that day. This was the first time that our we had been to the temple together.