Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 13, 2011

Well as the subject said the gortex Works but I’ll talk more about that later. It was a pretty good week. As far as sticking to it but its still rough as far as investigators go. The mission is always getting clearer and clearer as I get into it more. There is so much that I have learned. One of the things that has been in my heads is how is normal life? I don’t remember. I know I use to do it but I don’t remember how. But the gospel is so clear. This is how it is to live and I love it
This week we are working on a guy named Vincent. He is about fifty or so and is quite an interesting story. He grew up in a little pueblo and worked and worked and worked. Finally he got into Merida and started working in the police. I guess he saw some pretty rough stuff back in the day. Part of everything that went on he kind of started out with anger problems. It grew and grew and grew. He got into drugs drinking and women. He ended up in the psychiatric ward and was there on drugs for a while. Finally he got out (I don’t now what got him but he got out) and he says that he wants to change. A couple missionaries found him awhile ago and it was interesting to read the comments that they had on him. They dropped him; later other elders picked him back up and then dropped him. A member was driving us around one day and he said that he went to an interview with the elders here once. We got in and started talking. He’s a lot more into it now. He still has angry problems and such but he wants to get better. The best part is that he likes our church because he felt a “peace” when he went to church. He’s quite a chatter box and is interesting to listen to. He has a baptismal date for the twenty fifth, but it’s more of just trying to tame him down. All the other elders already taught him everything; we are just more following through.
This week on Thursday we had a lesson with a new kid. He is eighteen. We were going to do some other stuff then it started raining (didn’t have my gortex). We went to his house and tried to see if he was there. Nobody answered the door. Then the rain REALLY started. He came out to go some where and took pity on us and let us wait on his porch while he left. We had a good talk on the restoration. He was super interested in it especially the Book of Mormon but is super busy. He works on concerts during the week and the week ends he does them. It’s a frustrating deal but he is a super good kid.
On Saturday we had a battle. We were knocking doors and we were in a richer neighborhood. We were going to contact a guy who was sitting on his porch and he said the equivalent of, “Just keep walking.” It was hard not to turn around and throw some scriptures in his face, but we just kept on walking. We knocked on a few more doors then this one door; a guy just let us into his door without even asking who we were or what we did. I gave my companion funny look and we both knew something was different. We went there and he is a guy who has traveled the world. He has studied a lot of religions and wanted to know what we believed. We talked about the Restoration and the 13 articles of faith. After the fight began. He talked about how it was “our truth” but that it wasn’t “his truth”. We talked about personal revelation and this and that but he just kept fighting. He said that we were a lot like the Muslims but I failed to see the comparisons. It was pretty rough. We came out two hours later. He was still the same but our testimonies of personal revelation were strengthened.
As far as ward news goes on we had a sweet change as far as missionary work. Our missionary leader that we have now has a super rough work schedule of twenty-four hours of work and then twenty four hours of rest. He doesn’t seem to be super excited about much else (and even less missionary work). The bishop said he is going to change him for a guy that we did lessons with. The guy is from Argentina (yes Allen he has the funny accent). He is super stoked about missionary work. We’re just waiting for the announcement. Then yesterday we ate with a family of a kid who is thinking about going on a mission but isn’t sure yet if he wants to go. It was a really peaceful house with just him and his mom. I realized how much the mission has changed me and I thought about the ¨pre-missionary me¨.
Later that day it rained and I mean rained. It flooded the street in about an hour. It came in super hard then backed off, but didn’t go away for a few more hours into the night. The gortex shoes work good. I felt like a kid walking through puddles again. It was pretty sweet too see the water just go off without any problems. Jacket still works to. Although I think its anti weather powers only work in the states, because it doesn’t have any affect here (if you don’t get that one you’ll have to ask my mom). It was fun though. Some of the streets were super flooded as in up to my ankle and overflowing onto the sidewalks.
The spiritual thought for this week is on personal revelation. One of the reasons why faithful member are so faithful is because they KNOW its true. Many people have said that there is no way to know if something is true. That person hasn’t ever heard of revelation. Revelation comes from the true source of knowledge and in its pure form isn’t misunderstood. Therefore, if a person feels the spirit while something is going on or while the pray or are asking for guidance, they can KNOW what to do. Not just believe. When a person says that they know that the Book of Mormon is true it is because they have received an answer from the heavens and this answer cannot be confused. This is the only way to know spiritual things. Joseph Smith said that a person cannot enter into the kingdom of God without revelation. Its true, and revelation isn’t just visions and dreams. It’s the little moments reading the Book of Mormon and realizing that three hours have gone. It’s the little things of coming out of the temple seeing a great view and taking a deep breath. It’s the discussions around the dinner table. It’s the little things that grow the big testimonies. I know these things are true, and I know them to my core.
Hasta la próxima.
Elder Mackay
ok well only one this week there is no time.
this is my companion.
ok maybe two this is the crazy rain. gotta run!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011
Another week in Mexico!
First thing that was super cool this week was that my package got here! With everything in it! Also came a package from Chris oops … PRESIDENT Dahl. I think about every elder knows when another elder gets jerky because this has happened to me every time that it’s been sent to me. My companion loves it and wants his own bag, and asked that if I die, that he can have my jerky. Another elder gave me the package and knew that it was jerky by the smell. So it’s a pretty hot item here. The rubix cube is so nice to feel again. Because it’s so new, it slides a lot better than the old one that Elder Brixey taught me on. Love the Fruit snacks (my companion does too). He says you’re an awesome mom. The camera got here fine and everything. I miss my old one, but this one has some new features so that’s always nice. Oh yeah, maybe I didn’t explain what I wanted when I said egg timer. I was talking about a timer I can use for like up to sixty minutes. The one I remember is just the simple face one. Oh well. I wanted to use it for my studies because what happens a lot I get going and have planned time. Then I look down and I got ten minutes left when I should have been studying this and this and this. Anyway, till next time if you can. The fishing game was a surprise. I think I’ll use it for a kind of family home evening. Help them with the “fishers of men” kind of an idea.
This week as far as work went slow again. A lot of the people we had planned to do different things this week they couldn’t or they fell through. One was on Sunday a kid that we had been teaching a little named Henry. His family is Catholic but he believes in his own way. We taught him some things then set up an appointment to come back, wasn’t there. The next week he was this and that and any way really frustrating with him. We came to his house on Sunday to go to church because he said that he would go with us. He basically lied to us and said that he had to go to a football game. Little things like that make the mission hard.
A new thing that has been pretty fun was we found a recent convert that we didn’t know. His name is Rodrigo. He is studying to be a chef. He is 21 and is a big guy; like taller and a lot wider than me. He is a really cool kid though and I respect him a lot because he is the only member of his family. So that’s cool. He brought his younger brother to church. It is super cool to see someone like that working in the gospel. It’s so fun to see people share the gospel. That’s one of the things that we are starting to do better at. We have plans to do family home evenings. Oh yeah this will make Allen a little bit more excited. I got to go with a guy from Argentina this week. He talks different, but talks a lot. That night we found three examples of people who were frustrated and on dangerous grounds with their testimony because of being offended. When we got home that night, the lesson of the day was to put our trust in the Lord, and not be offended. The church is true because it was given by divine revelation. The people within it however, are not so divine. If there is anyone that is offended, think about all the temporal and eternal blessings they are losing, all for some badly said words. Puts those words down the list a little in importance.
Well it’s a little bit shorter this week but we got to run. Here’s the spiritual thought for the week. Sunday we didn’t have a meeting like normal so we went knocking doors, seeing and experimenting how fruitful it was. It was trying to rain and we got in a door, but he really didn’t accept what we said. My companion was frustrated. Well we were both frustrated but him more, because the people seem to be rejecting so much. The cool part was the bit of a talk on missionary work from Elder Holland we found. He said “Anyone who ever does any type of missionary work has the opportunity to ask, “why is this so hard? “ the missionary work is hard because the experience of salvation was never a cheap one. The work of salvation was never easy. How can we expect it to be easy for us when it was never easy for Christ? It’s my opinion that everyone who does missionary work should spend a few minutes in Gethsemane. Also they should take a few steps on the hill on their way to Calvary. And then they will have a question, “is there not another way?“ This is a normal question. But there is no other way. And we must remember that we aren’t the first one to ask ourselves this. Once a man much greater than, a long time ago asked if there wasn’t another way.” Kind of stings a little but at the same time puts things into perspective. Helps me to understand more of why we are here. Also in this little battle of despair I thought about that one time when I figured out why I’m here. That great man suffered more than I can bear. He paid the price that I couldn’t. He was so great and did so much for me that I can never repay. He still gives and blesses me. Now, when he asks that I give two years of service and to give it the best I’ve got. I’ve got an everlasting opportunity in front of me. He asks me to serve a mission and the answer is easy: of course I will.
Until next week!
Elder Mackay

May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011
Well, another week. I figured out this week that 3/8 of my mission is over already. How crazy is that? I feel like I’m just getting around the bend as far as not being so green. Hard to imagine too that nine months ago I saw everyone for the last time. There was a missionary that is leaving this week and he gave his farewell talk today. It was a good talk and brought me back to that time of excitement, how I was super excited to go, but didn’t really know how it all was going to be. I don’t think I really understood what an adventure this mission would be, but I’m glad I’m here. There is no other place for me. Oh and by the way this week was changes. No news, I'm still here. And my companion is too. We were figuring that it would be like that.
Well nothing super exciting for me has happened. This week was more baking in this oven. Still no rain either. They say that it should start any time now, but I haven’t seen anything of that yet. My companion has a little over a year and he said one night it started raining and it didn’t stop. They went out and took some pictures and
the water was up to their ankles. That will be cool to see when it finally comes.
Some pretty rough stuff has happened this week. We taught one lady a while ago and she was really pumped up to read the Book of Mormon. She said she was going to read it in two weeks. We hadn’t been able to visit her for a couple weeks and we finally found her. She sent her little girl out and she gave us the Book of Mormon back without a word. That was pretty rough. Sometimes you’ve seen, “I'm busy, can you come back later?” Or “I'm leaving right now can you come back tomorrow”. After about five or six times a normal missionary can figure out what’s going on, but this was one of the hardest
straightest “no” that I’ve ever found. Also we had a sweet lesson with the lady Georgina. We taught the plan of salvation lesson (after checking to read the Book of Mormon. She said she had and was in chapter five after the intro and testimonies). We taught pretty well bouncing off one another and teaching how important things are in this life; that they can affect what we do throughout our life. The next appointment we had was for Friday. Right before we left the house she called us and said that she wasn’t going to change religions and that she wanted to check things out in her own first. We went there and had a long talk with her about trusting in what God wants and not what we want. It was really interesting and hard. We came to the conclusion that we were going to wait a little while and she was going to keep reading the Book of Mormon and praying to find out which church was true. Someone’s relying on Higher Powers to testify of the truth. When we left I turned around after about half a block and she was still watching us go. I don’t think it’s over with her but hit was a really hard blow. The two things that are the worst about this mission really hit hard. One is when people like her lose interest or are confused. The second and this is probably worse is that this mission is only for two years and there is no second chances.
Another cool experience was with the grandpa of Kendra (one of the girls that got baptized last week). He said that he didn’t really believe in God. Not that he believed that there was no God, but that he didn’t know if there was a God. How do you teach a guy like that? I remember Elder Luke talking about one of his investigators had some questions similar. To try to see if he’d open up, we took him to the temple. We went and two or three people came by and bore testimony of the existence of our Heavenly Father. He said the only problem was that he couldn’t feel that (I'm thinking more not wanting to feel and denying the feeling; honestly who goes to the temple and doesn’t feel the spirit?). Anyway, it was pretty interesting to see him think and look at the temple. Sometimes people would come up and see where we are from. When they would talk to us he would stare at the temple. In the end an old couple asked us to take some photos of them. It was funny because some of them spoke English and Spanish, some just
Spanish and some just English. But that’s the basic isn’t it? Having the confirmation, and believing that there is a God is the most fundamental principle of the gospel. If there is no God, there was no pre-life, no purpose here in life, and there is no post life. How boring is that? But we do have a Heavenly Father. He loves us and has a plan that we are to come down to earth and exercise the power of the Atonement in preparation to come back with him. Had there been no God, there would be no reason to prepare ourselves. But there is a God and a reason to prepare ourselves. There is a reward for clean hands and a pure heart. There is a reason for everything in the Gospel and everything we are asked to do. The thing is that we can’t see probably about 75% of how it all works. Sure we see and read scriptures but without the divine testimony of the Book of Mormon, it is only a history book. Sure we can have prophets, but without the testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet, these men today have as much authority as anyone else. We can pay tithing, but without the faith that this is a commandment of God and that all this is for a purpose, it is just giving money that we’ve earned to someone else. The feelings and identification of the Spirit are essential to our eternal progress. Without these feelings, we will be like the seed that fell among rocks in the parable of the sewer. When the sun comes (like the giant ball of pure heat that I'm getting to know here) it will dry up our puny roots and we will not bring forth fruit. Testimony is necessary; it (grouped with the blood of The Lamb) was the only thing that allowed us to keep our first estate. They are also the only things that will help us to continue on and progress. And it all starts with one question. ¨Does he exist? ¨ He does.
In answer to your questions real quick mom, I'm pretty sure that I meant to put that the baptism was 10 in the morning. I don’t know how to get some people to church at 10 let alone to a baptismal service at 4. I don’t have the bomb scriptures with me. I’ll try to bring them with me next week. Also with the hammocks, there are… well I can’t really describe them. They are well, I’ll take a picture and that will explain how it all works. And I still have my card reader. Don’t worry about that one.
Well don’t have any more time. Thanks for those that have repented and written. I’ll get back as soon as I can. For those who don’t, well I'm still waiting.
Con amor
Elder Mackay
p.s. all hopes on getting my package today

May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011
Well… this is going by way to fast. It’s not fair that my mission is going away and I only have one shot to do this. Any way a pretty good week; we have some interesting things going on.
First is on Tuesday I had a conference with all the junior companions. President talked a lot and some pretty cool stuff. He is such a good speaker and so nice to listen to. One of the cool things is that I got to see the two guys that were in my district before in the MTC (Elder Calvert and Elder Fuller). Elder Calvert has put on about twenty pounds since he started the mission and I hadn’t seen him in about three or four months. It was way nice to see them again
Then later we had a few interesting things happen this week. One was we found a lady and we finally got to talk to her. Her name is Georgina. She right now is catholic but doesn’t go to church and was really interested in the Book of Mormon. I hope that she can really get into things. We found a couple of people who were temple workers who live nearby. Can you say member help =). We taught Georgina the Restoration and she seemed super interested in what we had to say.
Next is the guy Fray that I had mentioned a few other times. We finally found him again. He is really an interesting guy. He wondered how he could prove to himself that there is a God or things like that. But he prays and things like that so it’s kind of backwards. He however really wants help on reading the Book of Mormon. When we got on the topic he wondered if we could come by his house in the morning. He said something like this:
Fray: Yeah so I was wondering because I don’t understand this book as well as I’d like maybe you guys could come over in the mornings and I could take time out of my work. What time do you guys get up?
Elders: 6:30 but we have studies and things like that in the morning could we come by at about eleven?
Fray: Yeah that’d be great. We could start at eleven and finish around one or twelve thirty…..
He was super interested in us and he’s starting to make jokes which is pretty cool. We invited him to the baptism we had and he went, (cool statistic that President said. 90% of the people that go to baptisms end up getting baptized if they haven’t already been baptized). He said that he was going to go to church today but he didn’t go. We’ll have to go see what’s up but if he starts understanding the Book of Mormon will be a short trip to the baptismal font.
Another cool lady is a lady named Nora. She is also a teacher and we had a fun time getting to know her. One of the things that helped us get in with her is that I told her that my mom is a teacher (thanks for that by the way). We got talking and we had a super distracted lesson but she accepted a baptismal date. She also likes to read so if we can get her started with the book of Mormon things should be pretty easy.
We also have the lady named Leonor that we started teaching last week. We only got to meet with her one time this week, but we passed by and she said that she was in chapter seven of first Nephi (after having read the introduction and testimonies first). Now she is still reading, but she says that she’s only going to be able to have time to meet with us for once a week. We’ll see how that goes. But she’s doing a really good job at doing her homework and stuff like that.
The weather here is really really hot. Like the hottest it’s been. Friday it was 42 degrees Celsius (that’s like 110) with a lot of humidity. Fasting in this weather is super hard and it sucks the strength right out of you.
Oh yeah how can I forget the best part. The BAPTISM! It was on Saturday at four in the morning. It was good. We had quite a bit of people come. A lot of it was family of the two girls getting baptized so instead of trying to do one person the next goal is incomplete families =). The only problem is that we didn’t realize if the font was super full or not. There wasn’t as much water in the font as we thought. We both had to baptize twice. The first girl her foot came out and the second one her elbow didn’t go down. But there were juice and cookies afterwards. It’s all good though I’ll try to get some pictures next week. Well love you all
There was a cool thought that president shared with us in a few meetings. It was in reflection of Mosiah 2, 3, 4 about how much we are in need of a savior. I’ve also put together a couple scriptures (I call it the bomb) and it takes about 15 minutes but you go through a lot of emotions. Through these kind of experiences we really understand our need for help and how much we really don’t do. There was a story about a man who made his own company and grew rapidly and wealth. When he was going to a meeting his limo got hit by a truck and it killed him instantly. Getting up to the judgment bar he thought of his biggest achievement in life and he said, ¨I made the biggest fastest growing company in the world. And I did it all on my own without any help. I don’t owe anything to anyone I paid all my debts and actually a lot of people owed me money.¨ The Creator looked down on him and said, ¨I made thee.¨ We will never be able to make up our debts. But a cool quote that President Monson said, ¨To live a life of gratitude, is to touch heaven.¨ Lets not take things for granted the things that aren’t ours.
Well got to run. I miss hearing from a lot… well pretty much all of you. Excluding mom, dad, and Aunt Julie I refer you all to Alma 60:6 (and repentance). If I’m going to be sharing my experiences with you I want to hear yours too!
Con amor
Elder Mackay