Friday, August 26, 2011

pues.. allí esta
Aug. 22, 2011
Well it’s a good week. It’s been another hard one but it’s ok. I’ve grown some and a lot of things have change. Beings how this is changes of course there are lots of changes.
Well to try to catch up on everything, it’s been going well. It’s hard to remember what all is going on. Our investigators are few, but good ones. We had a super cool experience finding one. On Tuesday we had a zone conference and president talked about some missionaries that had asked for a man on a certain street that was dressed in a certain way that would accept the gospel. We decided to do the same and see how it went. We set up a time, the street and we asked that he would wear a hat with a collared shirt. Well, we went out there and we were super excited to find him. We walked down the whole street and we didn’t find him. We were a little shocked and we figured out a few things that we could try. So then we continued on the day and we had to use a bathroom, so we visited a house of some members. A long time ago we were teaching a guy named Miguel Campos. He never got baptized because he couldn’t stop smoking. While I was in the bathroom my companion talked and Miguel had stopped smoking! I couldn’t believe it. He got sick and had to go to the hospital and while he was recuperating, he forgot to smoke. He has already seen the good effects of not smoking so he’s not going back. So we set a baptismal date with him and walked away with big grins. Then when we were walking I was picturing what all just happened in my head. I realized what he was wearing too; a hat with a collared shirt. It was a testimony builder that the work is being directed.
On the rough side we had two people that had potential to be super good members, but they didn’t work out as well as we thought. The first one is named Laura. It’s crazy how much she reminds me about mom. She is a teacher, loves her grandkids, works hard, and is enveloped in life. She says that she never has a spare minute, not even to clean the house. When we contacted her, she had a lot of questions about a purpose in life, and why we were here. We came back and explained how in Alma we are taught that this life is the time to prepare us to meet God. Eventually she opened up and said that she already knew who the church was and was afraid of the Book of Mormon. She wouldn’t accept it or anything we said. It was sad to see someone who had asked and done everything that a golden investigator should do and then not accept. The other one is a lady that we contacted last week. We were looking up some old investigators and I knocked the house in front. She came out and we talked for a second. We came back on Thursday and had good lesson. My companion started out with a great question. He asked, “did you know that all you sins can be washed away if you follow Jesus Christ?” She said that it wasn’t that easy or shouldn’t be. Later, we talked more and more and had a good solid first lesson with the commitment that she would pray to know if she should be baptized. We came back on Saturday and she opened up. She already was member, but she stopped going. Her mom was a member and was even a temple worker, but for some reason stopped paying her tithing. Well, without paying tithing, you can’t go to the temple so when her recommend was up, she stopped going to church and nobody ever knew why. It was a super powerful lesson but taught me a lot. One is that I need to remember that it’s not the church that makes mistakes, it’s the people within. Also I remembered that even like David, we are never sure of salvation until we are on the other side.
Also this week… there are changes, but I’m in Pensiones still. Elder Wynn left to a state called Campeche. It was good to be with him. I learned from him and he is going to be a zone leader. He’s even a bigger boss now. Now I have to show the area to another elder. My new companion is Elder Nguyen ( it’s like Elder When; I went from elder “Win” to elder “when”, just some commentary on the side). He is from New Jersey and was a zone leader. I have heard a lot about him and met him once. He has three changes left so I am going show him the area this change and then the next two changes after that he is going to get a greenie and then he’ll go home. I hope to learn a lot from him. He seems like a pretty cool elder and they say that he knows how to love people. I’m excited and a little bummed but that helps lead into the spiritual thought.
It’s hard to see so many people that started the mission the same time or before me and see them progressing. One is zone leader, and all the rest I think are senior companions, except me…. Don’t worry I have already heard all the “all it good time… your being watched over… its better this way…” but in the mean time, its still not that rosy. In the zone conference, President talked a lot about the why behind missionary work. He talked about Ammon in the Book of Mormon leaving on a mission to the Lamanites who wanted to kill him and all other Nephites. He went despite how crazy and how glum the path might be. He did it and we do it because we love the Lord. We love him and want to serve him. Now is the time on earth “to see if man will do what so ever the Lord their God would ask of them.” Our president asked us, “if you were assigned to just carry the scriptures of your companion for these two years would you do it? Or if you could only contact, but never teach, would you do it? Or if you could teach but never baptize, would you do it?” It made me think and now in my situation it made me think even more. Do I really submit to do whatsoever the Lord asks? Right now the Lord isn’t asking me to do much. He is asking me to have patience and do what I am asked to do as a junior companion. And if I was not sent here to do what the Lord asks, then for what purpose am I here? I love the Savior, because he has atoned for me and done what I could not do. He has done so much for me and I want to serve him. And that’s why I’m in the mission; because he loves me and I love him.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

Aug 15, 2011
Well another good week. This is the last week of the change which is kind of crazy because it seems like a week or two since Elder Wynn got here. I don’t get how it is that time goes by so fast here. I have over four months here and I am almost halfway done with this experience. I heard about waking up and realizing that it’s half way and not believing it. I’m starting to experience that. This week was good. There’s so much stuff goes on but Monday comes and I seem to have a blank.
The new news that goes on is that we have new investigator that is super sweet. It’s the daughter of Maria de Carmen. Her name is Ana. She went to her mom’s baptism last week and it was good for her. We watched the restoration while the people were changing and I think it had an impact. We went Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday we had a get to know discussion kind of deal. We got there before Maria de Carmen had gotten there. She came and said, “Maria hasn’t come back yet.” And we said, “that’s fine, can we talk to you? “ “Um… just a sec.” We had magically skipped over the barrier of being her mom’s visitors to being her visitors as well. We had a discussion on praying and she said the closing prayer. It was cool because Maria de Carmen shared experiences about how prayers really are answered. She said that she had been looking and praying for a spiritual path for a little while when we knocked on her door. It was super cool to be able to hear that we were an answer to the prayer. Wednesday, we finished watching the Restoration and talked about it. We gave her some things to read. Actually, Tuesday we had left something to read for the daughter Ana and she didn’t read it all. It was nice to listen to her mom get after her for not finishing it. Also the daughter had a doubt that one beer wasn’t going to hurt that its just one. The mom came back with that the Spirit can’t be in unclean temples, that our body is a temple and in order to have the spirit that we need to be clean and pure, not even a little dirty. Nice to have lessons with a recent convert, bottom line. On Thursday it was cool because the daughter was going on vacation and was going to be gone for her birthday. We bought a little cake and split it before the five of us (us two, Maria de Carmen, Ana and her daughter Marionette). I could hear you (mom) getting after her because she kept sticking her finger in the frosting! She is on vacation but should get back in a few days.
Also it isn’t super crazy but it would be really nice if it worked out. There was a family that supposedly lived in a house not far away from our house. We checked on it, and they didn’t live there, but we were greeted by a very nice family. The mom loves to talk and talk. They thought they were from a big family of four kids. When we told them that my companion is from a family of five kids and I’m from six she got wide eyed. That was some weeks ago. We went over there and it was finally a good time to teach. We didn’t teach to everyone but we stuck our purpose and message out. They invited us over for dinner on Friday this week so there is hope with them. It’s a family of four kids, a mom and a dad. They are a Christian family and it would be really cool but hard to see them progress. I haven’t been able to teach and baptize a whole family yet so here’s a good chance to do it.
The Lugo family that their daughter got baptized last week is still going good. The daughter got confirmed on Sunday. They are always crazy and it’s a bunch of laughs when we go over there. I would like to see them in about 10 years and see how they are doing. They are really an example of how a family can change and pick up the gospel. Even they would admit it that before their life style was different, but now they know where they want to go and what they want in life. The mom gave us home made rolls and it was good, but not as good as the ones from home.
Some of the other “business” of the week: I got a package of jerky from Chris Dahl oops, PRESIDENT Chris Dahl. I would have loved to have eaten them, and I almost did eat one, but then I realized that it was covered in mold. Sorry, I don’t know what the difference is but this time it didn’t make it. I was going to say something else but I don’t remember… oh yeah, this is turning out to be one of the Salt Lake City areas. Yesterday we had breakfast, lunch, lunch, dinner and dinner. All that weight that I had lost felt like it had came back in one night.
Well now the best part. I have really come to understand how much things work better when we work by importance. That’s really something that I thought about this week; how some things are important to others but for others aren’t for others. But that’s what makes us different from others. To many it doesn’t make sense for someone to be in the heat of Mexico and walk around and not get paid for it for two years, but I do it because the people here are my heavenly brothers and sisters. They are important to me. And because they are important to me it makes me go to extra lengths. When the Savior, was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he went and did it because he knew how important it was and would be. And because he loved you and he understood the importance of it, he did it. This life is short, I’m coming to realize that as I “gain more experience and gray hairs.” There isn’t as much time as we think. We need to realize and reorganize our priorities by not what we want, but what’s most important. To me is being with my family and my future family in the Celestial Kingdom. That is the thing that is most important to me. What is important to you?
Con Amor
Elder Mackay
Oh yeah, can’t forget! happy late birthday Dad. Yes I did think about you, just not so much on Monday. I got busy and lost track of time and we had to go like right away. So, feliz cupliaños papí. Also happy marrying to everyone especially Julie and Cliff. ¿Oye, Cliff, sabes español? yo no sabia que lo sabes. ¿Donde lo aprendiste? Me encantara al regresar y hablar con tigo. pues asta luego
Elder Mackay

August 8, 2011
Well another week. Seems like so much happens, but at the same time, I was just here yesterday; its pday, a long, long day, Sunday, then pday again. And I have more news, well I don’t know if its news, but my USB is full. It’s got about 500 pictures on it and I think that I’m going to need a new one. Well, I just found out I had a 1 gig file on there and I just erased it so I’ll be good for a little while. But it would be nice to have a new one if you could find one. I got a dear elder from Ross (thanks man) and Sarah (from trek). It’s good to hear from them. I realized that I don’t get mail from many people outside of family. It’s a bit different, and would be nice to have some more (hint hint=))
One of the hardest things that happened this week is that Yuri, (the investigator that was so golden and so perfect) is going to go live in Tabasco (another state outside the mission). She told us on Tuesday that there was a possibility then in the end, she left either yesterday or today (Sunday the 7th or Monday the 8th). On Saturday, we had our last lesson with favorite scriptures and all that. I talked about the 2000 stripling warriors and all that. It brought back some memories of about a year ago when I was saying goodbye to a big group of people. We finished talking about the Atonement and then just other stuff. She started crying and almost made me cry. She says that more than anything else, she wants to be baptized and wants to have an eternal family in the celestial kingdom. Just why can’t she stay here! I told her that when she finds the elders in Tabasco she needs to march up to them and say “I want to be baptized.” Happy Birthday to some obedient elders over in Tabasco.
This week was the baptism of Maria de Carmen. Everything with went along smoothly. First on Saturday we left in the morning and went to the temple to just look around. When we got there, the temple president was talking to about twelve three to seven year old kids. After, we showed her around and she said that everything even the kids were really calm. After that, we went to the distribution center behind and she bought some stuff. She’s a lot happier than when first saw us. She was really unsure of what we were up to. Now she looks for us, worries about us, thinks about questions during the week and things like that. It’s fun to see the difference in how everything has changed in her. Her baptism was in the afternoon, and it was cool. Our missionary leader believes in letting the missionaries take it easy in the baptismal services. So we didn’t have to speak or direct. At the end of her baptism, she spoke up and said she wanted to say something. She said that she was grateful for the missionaries and how patient we were with her. That she had a lot of questions, but that we answered and complained until she understood it. And that we were her guides while she made this decision to be baptized. Sounds like she understands pretty well how things work out.
Then on Sunday, we had another baptism after church. It was of Yoani and it was one of the coolest so far. It was different, because her dad got to baptize her. Not only was it making sure that she knew what to do, but also what her dad had to do. First though, was a fast and testimony meeting. It was cool to listen and I really wanted a lot of the people from their family to listen to how much the gospel helps people change their lives. Afterwards we had it and we had a good turn out. While we were waiting for them to change their clothes, we watched on the way home. It was applicable to their situation. This is one of the families that has changed 180º in their life style. They are a super happy family and love having missionaries over. In about 10 years, the older son wants to go on a mission. It`d be pretty nice.
Well, not much else crazy stuff has gone on. Just so you know I was going to write something and I started writing, but it came out in Spanish. My brain is short circuiting. That actually happens a lot now. Sometimes Elder Wynn and I (look mom, I used good grammar) will be talking, and just things change in Spanish. Or sometimes we have something to say but we can’t remember how to say it in English so it comes out in Spanish. Sometimes we convert Spanish words into more or less an English modification. I'm going to come home speaking way weird, and I haven’t even been with many Spanish companions!
Well, the thought for the week came to me in sacrament meeting when Maria de Carmen got to partake of the Sacrament. It hit me that that is what we do as missionaries. Many years ago, about two thousand more or less, a man suffered in Gethsemane and died on Calvary. Rising victoriously as a resurrected being on the third day (Sunday) was the crowning event making the Atonement of Jesus Christ complete. This is the biggest, most important act that has even happened, or will ever happen, because it has eternal affects for everyone. Everyone, through the resurrection, will receive something from the Atonement. But a missionary who has been set apart can be a guide, along the path. He holds a beacon to the nations saying that there has been an eternal atonement made, that they can be cleansed of their sins. And that the priesthood authority to partake of said sacrifice has been restored to the earth. He instructs how to be peaceful with life while we are here on the earth, and how to prepare for the life to come. He helps people be happier, “by helping them receive the Restored Gospel.” And he and his companion are the only ones in a certain area who are called and are able to do it. To the audience that receives this letter, if I could have you do one thing, it would be to pray; to pray to know how to apply the atonement better in you life. All of us are in this path, some farther along than others. This is the time to start again. This is the day for men to prepare to meet their God. This time here on earth is so short in perspective of the eternal consequences of our decisions. We need to remember, where we want to go, and why we do the things the way we do them.
Have a great week everyone. Love you all
Elder Mackay
Ps The picture is from Leanor last week. I think I’ve caught up on pictures finally.

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