Sunday, August 7, 2011

July 25 - August 1, 2011

Elder Wynn (From Aberdeen, Idaho) and Elder Mackay

August 1, 2011
Well… it’s been a super long week full of ups and downs, but it’s been fun. In case anyone forgets, I have 11 months today! How crazy is that! One more month and half way through, or so they say. I still don’t want to believe it. Before I forget, yes mom the package did get there. It got there about a month before my birthday. I didn’t like the sign that met me before I could open it. And I like the fact that you put the 2011 on there just to make sure that I couldn’t get around it. It seems that you know me all too well. The banner of course was the best thing. It brought back a lot of memories and such. The egg timer was exactly what I was thinking and yes, I have used it. Everything was just like I hoped. The next time you send a package I need two things. One is that my watch died. I went to a watch shop but then somehow water got in it so… well it doesn’t work. Also for a long time I didn’t want to say it, but when I was in Kanasin, my last week my pants, and white tie and a long sleeve shirt disappeared in the church. The next day I got changed out so… didn’t really have time to look for it. I don’t know if you can do anything about it. The shirt isn’t a problem, just the pants and the tie.
This week was the Hermana Leanor`s baptism; finally. It’s been crazy to think of how her ride has been. She came earlier than us to the church for her interview. She had been waiting for a sign basically a lightning bolt, but it finally worked out. She is super happy. When she was waiting I asked if she was nervous and she said no, she just felt peaceful. Then we had the baptism and I got to baptize her. It was way cool she came out of the water and she started crying I think. She was so happy. Sunday I got to do the confirmation. It was my second but I can’t wait for her to be in the primary or in the nursery or something. She is a way cool lady.
The Lugo family that I think I have talked about has finally brought their daughter back. I think I have talked a little bit about them, but they have really changed their life around and are going well. The dad is going to get the priesthood and we are teaching his daughter so that he can baptize her not this Sunday but next Sunday. It’ll be pretty special. We go there and it is a circus. It’s so much fun to be with the kids. They are so hilarious, but you have to know the family. We are teaching the daughter and everything is going well.
Also the lady Yuri finally came back from Cancun. It was a relief to find her again. She is really easy to teach. We taught the word of wisdom this week and the law of chastity. With the word of wisdom it was pretty sweet, because she drank coffee. She said, “good thing you guys told me, otherwise I would keep on sinning! I’m going to tell my family here about this.” So everything is going well with that. She hasn’t drunk coffee since. Apart from that we were worried that we were going to have problems with the law of chastity, because she has a three year old son and no husband or boyfriend that we have heard from. We were a little bit worried about how she was going to take it, but she took it well. She said it was a lot like the word of wisdom that you need to take care of yourself. So she is good. She just didn’t go to church last week so we got to figure out why.
There is another lady named Maria de Carmen, she is going to get baptized this week and she is super excited. I remember the day that we found her and she wasn’t super big fan of commitments, not even to put down another appointment. Now we are going to her house every day almost this week. On Saturday in the morning we are going to the temple in the morning and baptizing her in the evening. She has changed a lot and is a cool lady.
But the real circus was Saturday. At seven, we did some service. Then in the rest of the morning/noon time, we had the baptism of Leonor. After that we had another lesson with the Lugo family. After that, we had plans all set up to go with the mom of the Jasso Pocheco family to go to a baptism and then later to the temple. But for some reason, she sent us a message and said she couldn’t go or something like that. We went back to her and talked to her face to face. I was about ready to get… intense with her. We did things the nice way and she decided that she would go. We went back to get the ride and turns out that he was out of the city. We were devastated and started scrambling for another ride. We tried calling a few people, but nobody could. Finally we were calling someone, then someone that I would have never guessed that helped us, came up alongside and said they would give us a little bit of help. The grand daughter in the car just happened to see us walking and they decided to see where we were going. So we got the investigator to the baptism in another area, and it was a special baptism because the mission president did it! It was intense and our investigator took a group picture with the mission president. After, we got on a bus and took her to the temple. We got there and went into the waiting room. She said she could feel the difference, and that when she talked about not going to the church again, she hurt inside. She already has her answer she just needs to accept it! Then we went home but that was all one day.
The spiritual thought is about being happy. One of the reasons why I love the mission is because of how much it changes people to be happier. It’s funny to the point of being a little unbelievable when you go tracking and you say to their face that you want to help them and their family be happier, but they still shut the door. The reason why a missionary can say that is because they (I) know that it makes happy. The gospel brings the closure that people crave, the idea that all will be well. The happiness comes from knowing that there is someone that always loves you. There is the happiness that there is always a way out because of the eternal atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Because of the participants work in the gospel, The Spirit begins to be with that person more, when the person receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, they begin to change even more. Because the natural man is much like Satan, he is unhappy and never satisfied. But the man who has let The Spirit and the Gospel take part in his life begins to put off the natural man. Then becoming a saint becomes full of happiness. Be happy this week, know that there is help around the corner, put one more step or as mom would say, eat one more bite, then its gets easier. We are sent to this life to have joy. Now there is still more to do, but one day I hope that we can all achieve the eternal happiness that awaits us in the Celestial Kingdom. So… be happy!
Con Amor
Elder Mackay

These are just some birthday pictures. I figure you would like to have them. (Editor's note - this is the package that I sent him for his birthday. The first picture is how it looked when he opened it up. I had no idea when it would get there and so put the paper to make him wait until is birthday. The next picture is after he took away the paper and the last is the homemade chocolate chip cookies that spelled 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY'. Here are some more birthday pictures. The little cake is one that Elder Wynn bought me. Then the other pictures is Maria de carmen and her daughter, when they bought us a cake. Then to cap it all off, there is a bread company here that their slogan is ¨Ayer, hoy, y siempre (which means yesterday tomorrow and forever). Thought that they had it right, just for the wrong thing. Then and the end, there is a little Tai-kwon-do. They are doing it for mutual and they needed a volunteer. That's all for this week!
cumpli años felic! (birthday was happy!)

July 25, 2011
Wow! I’m old! Well not that old, ok maybe a little bit old. I’m twenty. It came like a ton of bricks. Well not at once though, I just always remember always being the young squirt and now, well I’m not so young anymore!
This week was a good week. A change in companion has really seemed to change the area around. We are now just trying to use our time more efficiently. We found some new ones and some old ones and well, it’ll make sense as it is all explained.
First thing is our investigators that we already had. I talked about a lady last week named Yuri. She went to Cancun and we couldn’t find her all week. It was pretty sad but we hope to find her safe and sound. We’ve been checking her house a lot to see if she has been home but to no avail. She did bring her Book of Mormon with her and a couple pamphlets. It would just be nice if she read aloud or gave them to her sisters to read too. It’s about a two and a half hour ride to Cancun.
Leonor is doing really well (she’s the one that has read all the Book of Mormon already). We had our last lesson on Saturday and she said that everything just seemed to work out. From the moment she saw me she said that my figure was in her head and that she could always remember me. Another thing is that we can’t teach in her house because she lives with her daughters who are Christian and they don’t want us teaching there. So we do it in the church and she said that was another miracle. She was already keeping the law of chastity, word of wisdom and likes going to church. When we talked about tithing, she said that she would pray so that the Lord would give her work (right now it would be taking care of two dogs in front of her house) so that she could pay tithing. We explained 1 Nephi 3:7 but looking at things from the back end. We saw the Lord how he had prepared everything leading up to this moment. It was nice to see it from the back side for once instead of having to assure people that the Lord would provide a way.
The other lady is Maria de Carmen. We met with her Thursday and Saturday. Thursday we had a nice little lesson and we talked about a bunch of little stuff. I told her about my upcoming birthday. She went to the Relief Society activity on Friday (by herself) and then later on Saturday. She said congratulations for my birthday. Hardly anybody else remembered but her and she said if it was alright, that after, she would bring out some sandwiches and a birthday cake. I was super surprised (also she snuck in a hug which felt really awkward). I didn’t bring my camera so next time send the photos.
The new people are two families. One is a family of three. The dad’s name is Victor, the mom’s name is Sonia and the son’s name is Santiago (son is 5). They are really cool people and are very accepting to let us come in. The dad sells clothes and gave us each a free shirt. One is yellowish so we can’t use it but the other one is an American brand. We got in and talked and I asked, “What are you expecting from the church that you want? Or how what would define the church so that you would say ‘Aha there, this is my church?’” The dad said was a little bit surprised from my question and said it was a good one. The mom is Christian and the dad is “a believer”. We talked and such and basically all the needs that they have came out in the first lesson. They want to know what the Book of Mormon is, they want to see our church and see what the services are like, they aren’t married and the dad at least has word of wisdom issues. Now the only problem with teaching them is knowing where to start. They invited us back over for the next day to have lunch and we ate home-made pizza. We were going to have a walk through the church to get use to it before but they couldn’t come.
The last family that is new is actually not a new family. A while back we talked about the family Jasso Pocheco and that they didn’t go to church and didn’t read the Book of Mormon so they weren’t as high on the list and well… fell off the edge. We were in the area by their house one day and remembered them and I decided why not go visit them. We went and visited and the mom was about ready to send us a message or something. We came back on Saturday and we talked. It was long but super intense. She said that when we came over and talked, she just so calm. Also she had had problems with being a little down (like a little more than the blues) but when we came over all she felt was just peace. We helped her understand that that’s not us, that’s the Spirit (good to know that we do something right and that the Lord has blessed us with the Spirit). She thought that it was because of the way we talked but now she knows the difference. But things have happened since. The son that was Christian now has moved back to Catholicism with his dad. So the mom and the daughter are Christians and the dad and the son are Catholics. We finally got the mom and the daughter to come to church on Sunday so they’ll probably all be part of the same church soon=).
Sunday I really did get my birthday present. We had 4 planned to go to church, but 7 came and we had a baptism! It was super crazy. The bishop here asked us about the baptismal font. We told him we’d take care of it and he said that there was going to be a baptismal after. We asked and found out that one of the kids that was going to be baptized was 10. So because he wasn’t 8 he wasn’t under the bishop’s direction, it had to go through the mission. We talked with him for a second and then we had a zone leader come in and do an interview and then we had the baptism. His family already had it all planned out so we didn’t have to speak or lead or anything. Talk about a free baptism! It was literally a blessing. That doesn’t ever happen so I think someone remembered that it was my birthday.
So with it being such a good Sunday with so many things that just went right, this week is kind of a follow up week of the miracles that I talked about a few weeks ago. The formula for a miracle is to have faith in the Lord, believe that it is possible for Him to do it, and put in our part. Then after we receive the miracle, we need to remember where they come from or else they stop coming. We had had a pretty good week and we were fairly happy with the people we had going to church. We made lists of old investigators we were going to visit and part member families. We got up at 6:30 and all that other stuff that it would be easier to just do it another way but that’s not how you are suppose to do it. We put in our part being and doing what we could. Then on Sunday, the blessings and miracles came. But this formula isn’t only applicable in missionary work. When I would take finals, I knew it was almost useless to try to pray for guidance in a test without having studied first. I didn’t put my part in. When the brother of Jared needed light in the barges, he melted and worked the sixteen stones before asking the Lord to touch them. When we try and put our best effort, then the blessings of the Atonement can be applied, and the plan of salvation can be accomplished. But the biggest piece of the puzzle is only if we put our part in. If we could have done better, we will not be as blessed as we could have been. Who knows what would have happened to the stones with the brother of Jared had he just picked 16 random ones. But because of the purpose of preparing ourselves to return and live with our Heavenly Father, we have time to become like those sixteen stones; molded, refined and made ready for That Day. I invite all to put this formula to the test to see if it isn’t true, I know that those who do it and with sincerity believing will be blessed. We are asked to put in our part and nothing less (because that not be just to less of some and more of others) or nothing more (because that would not be merciful to ask of that which we cannot provide). These are the eternal laws by which things are done.
Con Amor
Elder Mackay
oh yea, it also rained a couple hours on my birthday. I’ll send pictures next week.

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