Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 13 and 20

                                                                                    February 20, 2012
Well… I’m very tired. I don’t know if I have ever been as tired as I have been in the mission. I remember when I use to complain about having to walk a few blocks. Now I walk blocks and if it’s more than fifteen, then yeah It’s a Little ways away but oh well. It’s the investigator and we do everything for them.
This week we had a bunch of stuff. I don’t even remember what all happened. We did have a sweet conference. It was based on obedience. I’ve talked a lot about obedience in the last few weeks so I won’t talk too much about it. But it was a lot better done than I did. The whole room was so silent that you could have heard a pin drop.
This week as far as investigators go... it’s been ok:
First we are still working with Elba. There is a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. She started reading the Book of Mormon on her own! And she is praying so things should be going good in no time. She is still in a lot of confusion but we are hoping that everything goes well. So that’s the progress report on her.
Next is an older guy named Arturo. It’s hard to teach him because he’s a bit like Grandpa Woodward (as in he gets off topic really easy and has a ton of stories). He’s one of the guys that you listen really hard and when he says anything remotely that you can use for the lesson, you just go for it. But there was a cool thing that happened with him. We went there this week to pick him up to go to church and he wasn’t there but we had a nice little chit chat with his daughter. She had a bunch of questions (she came last week to church but she was only able to come one hour and we couldn’t get a hold of her the rest of the week. We talked to her on Sunday and it all went really well! Then on Sunday in sacrament meeting there was a little bit of “help from above”. An area seventy came and talked. That helped stir the pot. She has a ton of questions. During church she had a bunch of questions about Doctrine and Covenants and things like that. I gave her a Book of Mormon to get things started and she didn’t want to listen to the speakers, because she wanted to read. Never had an investigator so interested in the Book of Mormon.
Also we have another guy that is coming along. It might take a while but we are trying hard. He says that he wants to come closer to God. We had a great first lesson a few weeks ago. Since then we have only been able to see him a few times. But because we keep trying he said that he’d start taking it a bit more serious because of us being persistent. That’s nice! He’s a dad with a wife and three kids. It could take a long time to get to the rest of the kids but we are starting.
Well the time has run out so I will be quick. In one of the lessons that we had with Elba we had a nice little analogy. All of us have a type of illness. It’s called mortality and human error. With this illness we are not able to go back and live with our Heavenly Father. To get rid of that illness, we go to a hospital. There we get treatment and we are given guidance as to what we can do to help control this illness. Sometimes these instructions are a little different and even difficult to follow. But we always have the head doctor’s phone number to ask if this is really what we need to do. And also while we are in the hospital, should we be surprised to see that the health of the other people isn’t so good? No, they are there for the same reason. To get better.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay

                                                                                          February 13, 2012
Well, it’s been an interesting week! We have been working hard and we have been trying to get things organized. It’s been fun working though. We have found a few new people.
This week we are continuing with Elba. She has progressed a little bit. Before she didn’t like to pray at night, but now she prays on her own. Also her sons are starting to warm up to us. We are penetrating little by little. She went to church this week so it’s ok with her.
This week also we found a cool guy. He says he wants to start his life over. We talked about baptism and how it has the power to cleanse us from sin, like we were starting over. He likes that idea, but he was drunk Saturday and Sunday so we got a little bit of work to do.
Also we found a guy named Arturo. We knew him a long time ago but we haven’t gone back with him in a long time. We talked about baptism and it worked out pretty well. He said that a long time ago he got baptized, but that he later found out that the church that he was going to was a hoax so he felt like that baptism wasn’t right. Pretty well prepared I’d guess. Later on Sunday, he brought his daughter with him to church. It worked out pretty well.
We are just trying to get things done and get everything organized. It’s interesting breaking in a newbie. He’s really cool. He is the only active member of his family so that gives him a little bit of motivation. He works fast too. He worked in an office before so he understands time well. We are starting to gel too. Although he is my first companion that’s taller than me. He’s got me by about an inch and a few pounds too. I put in a picture of him so that should give you an idea of how it is.
This week I was studying in my personal study about 2 Nephi chapter 9. Things are set up so well in the plan of salvation. But could I really expect something less from my Heavenly Father? All of this makes so much sense. And how long did I wander around leaving my scriptures untouched and on the desk? If I could I would love to study for hours and hours. There are so many things that reading the scriptures they just "click". I understand now how important it is to study the scriptures. I understand why our Heavenly Father wants us to study them. They literally guide us to do what we need to do. I love my hour of personal study. I remember before doing Duty to God and I would leave it till the very last days. Why did I do it like that? It wasn’t worth it. Studying the scriptures help us so much to know what to do. There are unlimited answers there to those who look and search for them.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay

Saturday, February 11, 2012

January 30, February 8, 2012

                                                                                       February 8, 2012
Well… things are going to be a little bit different around here… otra vez in Spanish is again. That’s because again I am training…! It was quite a shock. I had to ask the zone leaders something and they had to go up a level more and ask the assistants. They said it would have been better if I would have called because they needed to talk to me anyways. That I needed to go to Merida and pick up another son! I couldn’t believe it. And a little miracle happened but I’ll save that till the end. But for right now that’s the big news. His name is Elder Badillo and he is the only member from his family again! That’s so nice when an investigator wants to say that it’ll be hard. Another cool thing is that he got baptized about a year and a half ago. He’s worried a little bit about knowing everything but it’ll work out good. He’s from Monterey were things are a little bit crazier. He was shocked that there were so many motorcycles and cars parked outside not doing anything. But it’s kind of interesting him being my son because he’s about an inch taller than me and two years older!
In the area things are going well. This week we had a ton of new investigators. It was pretty awesome. We worked hard and especially a better attitude and more obedience helped us out a lot. We finally got a hold of guy that we have been looking for a long time. His name is Rodolfo and we found him looking for a reference actually. We talked to him and he said that it would be ok to stop by. That was about a month ago or so. We have tried to find him and things like that but it hasn’t ever really worked out too well. Finally we did and we had a good sign. He has a ton of questions about how everything works with baptism! That’s pretty cool. And also on Sunday, we had things figured out to go to church he invited his best friends. He accepted to be baptized and everything is looking good.
The Hermana Elba is still looking good. We had a long talk one night and she said that she thought we were saying that the Church of Christ and the church that Joseph Smith was found in were two different churches. Don’t know where she got that idea but we cleaned that up real fast. Well… not real fast. We ended up talking for about two hours or so. Then the next day we came because she was going to do something with corn. We did some service for two hours hoping that his would free her up so that she could go to church… nope. But her two kids went instead. We are pretty sure that we gave them a guilt trip that two young men and come and helped out their mom instead of her own children helping her. We are getting more and more into this family.
And also we have a couple that we are teaching. They need to get married. The only problem is that the “wife” is 15 and the husband is 22... Not exactly what you’d find in the states. It’s ok though. She’s got a goal to read the Book of Mormon in 3 weeks so… I think that’ll deserve some blessings.
Well so for the miracle (next week will have to be the pictures. I tried passing some but my camera died while I was trying to pass them so next week! And I’ve started on the new flash drive. Thanks Sis and Brayden and Mason).
I was walking along (he he he) and I had just gotten off the bus in Merida on Sunday night. I had my backpack and my little suitcase. I flagged a taxi and went to the mission offices (all by myself! Scary!) I was talking with the taxi driver and it was a very interesting conversation. I paid the taxi and got inside the offices. I said hi to everyone and turned around to start getting ready to go to the hammock. To my shock, there was only my backpack! I had left my suitcase in the taxi! I started calling the taxi company trying to get a hold of them. I tried for the next two hours with a prayer in my heart. Just to put the importance on how important everything was… my journal that I have been using for my whole mission was in my suitcase, along with my hammock that is probably worth 100 dollars and a pair of “g´s”. I went into the bathroom and pleaded for the Lord’s help. I put everything I could into it. After I realized that if God wanted it to be this way that it was for a reason. Asking for some spare clothes to get everything ready to go to bed in a borrowed hammock I heard a car horn. The taxi driver remembered where I was and whose suitcase it was and after two hours of terror had come back to the offices. I thanked him very much and returned to that same bathroom and offered thanks. It was a pretty sweet way to open the week. I know that I was answered. And I know that my faith in Christ and my diligence in keeping the commandments were the two biggest things that I could have done to affect the outcome. I know that God answers prayers and that everyone can pray because they are a child of God. If you don’t believe me… try it.
Con amor
Elder Mackay

January 30, 2012
Well an interesting week! This week there was something fun going on. I got to go to immigration to do some papers. As most paper work it took forever! But I am happy to say that I am still legal in Mexico. Another thing that was a bit out of the ordinary was we had interviews with President! We had plans to have it in the house so we had a few good cleaning sessions and it feels a lot better now. We did a good job of keeping it that way but we got called and ended up having the interviews in the church.
This week something really cool happened with a couple. Last week we saw an accident happen and my companion had a dream about them. We went looking for them and we passed three times on that street looking for them and we couldn’t find them. Finally, we started asking people and we ran into a couple that the “husband” (quotations because really they aren’t married) is a member. He said that he saw us pass by a few times and that he thought that we were going to stop and talk one of the times. We ended up talking and it was a really cool experience. They are really good at feeling the difference of the spirit.
Another cool person that we are teaching still is Elba. She was drinking coffee and she was having doubts about Joseph Smith and everything. We taught the word of wisdom and she accepted it really well! My companion and I were really surprised at how well it went. We came back a few days later and she had drunkL. We had a talk and I love having cool experiences in the mission like this. We helped her to understand that it wasn’t obedience to a prophet, but to Christ and that we should do it not because it is just another rule, but because it’s Him that is asking us.  We taped cards that have pictures of Christ on them on the front of her coffee jars (her kids that still aren’t listening to us and still drink coffee so that’s why we didn’t just take it from her). It went well. Also now she is giving us food every time we go over there so that’s helping me get my pre mission shape back (I don’t know if I have mentioned it or not but, by force I have to wear a belt because I have lost so much weight if I don’t I try mixing the gangster look in with the missionary style).
A really sad thing that has happened is that we had Sindulfo going well and we found out how complicated his case just got. He can’t get baptized because he isn’t married with the woman he’s living with (so it’s a law of chastity problem). Normally we would say that it’s not that big of a deal because we are experts on getting people married here. The problem is that he is married to someone else that is in another state and there are a ton of problems. She doesn’t want to get divorced from him either so that’s the problem. But he is going to still keep coming to church and everything so that’s cool.
Well as far as a spiritual thought this week it has kind of come around the same topic. Obedience is something that I saw in investigators, in my interviews with president and with my area. It is so fascinating to think that everything is bound by it, and that even before the earth was created even it being the first law of the heavens. I liked how it says it in Doctrine and Covenants how inseparable obedience and blessings are. No matter how we look at it, we cannot fully expect to be blessed if we are not obedient. And when we give in to our pride or vain ambitions, or we intend on covering past mistakes, or we unrightfully try to use our dominion over someone, the spirit is gone and we are left alone. Talking with my companion that it isn’t so much that the Lord punishes us, it’s that being the one who has given us everything chooses to withhold certain blessings; this isn’t a very foreign idea. We see this attitude in houses that a child looses privileges when he disobeys. We are governed by the same rules. I have figured out this week that I love being obedient. Thanks for all the help and support. I feel it.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay