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)