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.