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.