Sunday, March 25, 2012

Feb 27, Mar 5, 12, 19, 2012

Elders in Play del Carmen on St. Patrick's Day!

     March 19, 2012

Well, another week down and it was the end of the change so last night was changes! But don’t worry, nothing happened, I’m staying here with my son. It’s crazy though, to think about how much time has gone by and things like that.  I feel like the time is like sand running through my fingers and I can’t grab a hold of it.
This week was fun as far as teaching. We had two really cool experiences of finding people that are prepared to learn the gospel. First there was a lady that has already listened to the missionaries and wanted to get baptized. She couldn’t because she was living in with a man who she wasn’t married to and her husband wasn’t a big fan of marriage. Her daughter is a member though so they came to church this week. We wanted to help her but we didn’t know how. The Lord answered in a mysterious way. Unfortunately the husband died so that made her sad, but the good news is that there is nothing that impedes her from getting baptized! Not exactly what I had in mind but that works.
Apart from that we had two really sweet references (named Luis and Apo). They both accepted baptism in the first lesson. We just showed up to their house unexpectedly, did everything by the book, invited them to be baptized, and then it all just happened. And they both have family members that are members. So that really helps things out.
Also we are teaching a really cool lady from Uruguay. It’s so fun to go with her. This week we went there and guess what Allen. She was drinking Maté! I recognized the funny looking straw. My companion wasn’t too sure about it but I think its drinkable. Right? Like there’s nothing against it in the word of wisdom? Any who, she is really, really churchy. She knows a ton of random scriptures from the Bible that I have never heard from. It’s interesting to teach her though. She randomly brought up the topic of the Sabbath day on Sunday when we passed by and when we told her that it was the day we should respect is Sunday, she said decided to close after we left. It’s all really crazy how fast she accepts things. She just started reading the Book of Mormon this week and she is already in First Nephi chapter thirteen.  So things are going along
One of the cool experiences this week that made me think a little was when I got to teach the gospel principles class, improv - with no time to prepare. Well, I managed. The cool thing was we got to talk a lot about covenants. I understood a lot how to relate it to the class and so because I was teaching I got to look at it in a whole new different way. I understood the importance of covenants, that if we don’t make and keep them, we have no way of being blessed eternally. I imaged all of us before, in the pre existence, promising to do our best. I understood so much, and I was the teacher. This is one of the big perks of being a missionary, being in the teaching chair, doesn’t mean there’s no learning; there is even more.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

                                                                        March 12, 2012
Hello fam!
It’s been great here in playa!
Well the biggest thing this week was that we had Elba’s baptism. We kept on going this week and she had changed so much in just a week! It was crazy. The elder that came to the interview had already come to her house and talked to her before. He said that she had changed a lot. It was fun to help her out. When we were going down into the baptismal font, it was pretty cool. She said the water was really cold, but I thought it was ok. So I had to help her going through the steps. It hit me that I was guiding her through these steps just like I had helped her take these steps in the last three months. It was good on all aspects.
On the disappointing end, two investigators that we had planned to get baptized this week had found work and they have to work on Sundays.  So that put a bit of a setback in the work. We’ve still had some pretty sweet lessons in the work with them.
Friday we had a pretty cool training. In the end president showed us some cool stuff. He talked about how a lot of elders were expecting to be “directed by the spirit” by hearing a voice. Backing up a bit he helped us understand how the spirit works. First we focused on what it was like when the spirit wasn’t there. Then later, he said, “if the switch is down its not up. And if the switch is up it’s not down,” (meaning if you feel like you don’t have you spirit you probably don’t. but if you don’t feel those feelings, it means you do).
As far as a spiritual thought, I had an interesting experience. In church, they needed an emergency teacher for the teenage group (14-17). We got assigned the plan of salvation. It was a bit crazy. I remember thinking about them and trying to think of what they would need in order to get through this stage in life. It turned out being a pretty sweet lesson, but later it made me think about how cool and how nice our Heavenly Father is to give us this knowledge; this knowledge of where we come from, why we are here and where we are going. How many people know these things, but really aren’t sure about them. How loving our Father in Heaven is to make these things known unto us.  If anyone has any questions about these things, we’ll talk in six months!

Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

Hermana Elba's baptism

                                                                                    March 5, 2012
Well a tiring week,
This week we finally had a miracle happen. I have written many times about the Hermana Elba; how she says this and didn’t like this and things like that. It was a super good week for her. On Thursday we went over there and we had a long talk, like a three hour long talk. At the end my companion asked if she would prepare herself to be baptized on the tenth of March, and she ACCEPTED! I was going crazy on the way home it was so nuts. All three of us cried. We had a few more talks this week and everything is a lot more intense now that she has decided to get baptized. She is always a little bit more smile; she has that little glint starting in her eye. Its way cool to see it.
Other crazy things that happened this week… well, also we found a new lady. She was cleaning in front of her shop (she sells dresses for a living) and we offered to help. She said, “Oh no don’t worry, but come in and sit down and we’ll talk about God!” She is from Uruguay and has the funniest accent ever. Speaking of accents, this week a few Americans talked to me and they said that I had a Latin accent in my English.
Part of our area is a type of resort. We went there to find a less active family. The dad is a dentist and the mom is in charge of a sushi restaurant. I tried the sushi for the first time and it was pretty good. The fun thing was it was with chopsticks. I had a good time with them because of a lot of practice but my companion struggled. After they gave us ice cream but it was a little different. They put a type of dough around it and then fried the dough. It was super good.
Also as far as investigators go, we have a lady, I have already talked about her a time or two. Her name is Consuelo. She is still reading the Book of Mormon and things like that. It’s so true that the Book of Mormon is a great power in conversion. She has gone to church several times and if all goes well, she is going to be baptized as well this week.
Things are going good. I have been really doing well this week
This week as a spiritual thought, the biggest thing that had stood out was patience. I realized how being patient with Elba had helped her so much. Several times, my companion or I decided that we wanted to drop her, but we didn’t. We kept going back and going back. It was a crazy journey but it finally paid off. It made me thing about how our Heavenly Father must feel when he is preparing us for something. I understood a little bit more his infinite patience for those who are doing what they can.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

           February 27, 2012
So it’s been a pretty crazy week. And I don’t need any reminders about how much time I have in the mission. I have plenty reminders from members and elders in the district.
This week has been fun. First on Tuesday I had divisions with the zone leaders. It was interesting. One of the cool random comments is that the lunch we had was pure homemade food. First was some beans meat kind of dish. It was made from scratch not from the can. Then she did a cream and salsa with real jalapeños not store brand. They went with some bread. Then for desert, we had papaya (it’s a Mexican fruit) with homemade yogurt. And to drink it was a type of drink made with limes and tomato. It was good.
As far as investigators we are starting to see some daylight. Not this week, but next week we have a baptism planned for two people. It is a dad and his daughter. They are pretty cool. Their names are Arturo and Consuelo. Arturo still talks a lot and tells a lot of story (like how I talked about last week), but Consuelo is coming along great. She has read in the Book of Mormon and is in chapter five. That is including the introduction and the testimonies. So she’s pretty cool she also said that the more and more she reads, the more sure that this is where she should go. We taught the plan of salvation and it is the typical, “yeah, that sounds about right.”
With the Elba we are finally seeing some light! She admitted to feel the spirit. We couldn’t go for almost a whole week because of different things and problems, but we finally went Friday and we talked. Because we hadn’t gone for so long she noted the difference it had made in how she felt so it’s all good. Now we just need to keep pushing. She’s walking at least.
Apart, just an interesting note, we went back with an old investigator and she asked if we knew how to play chess. I said I did and we made a deal that if I beat her she would go to church. She is going to have to go to church next week J
It’s been fun training too. I remember seeing a lot of what he is talking about in my personal mission. He’s saying the same things that I use to have inside of me. We all have our own obstacles but it’s the same principles.
Well… as a spiritual thought, faith has come up a lot of times. Faith I’ve come to understand as a missionary is the belief that through Christ everything is going to be ok. One of the things that I will always remember is that in a basketball game, when one team is far ahead, the loosing team stops trying because they have lost faith. Meanwhile in a tight game, everyone is trying their hardest because everyone believes that they can still win. This is one of the effects of faith. It gives us a motive to get up in the morning. It gives us a motive that even if the opponent is well trained, we can overcome it. If there a big problem that is coming up, instead of ducking down and hiding, faith allows us to hold our heads up high and be sure of a better future. One of the scriptures that we shared this week was Ether 12:4, saying that those who believe in God have the firm hope for a better world. Through our faith in Christ, we can believe that he will come. We can believe that we will receive help. We can believe that tomorrow will be a better day. When we don’t have faith, there is no reason to get up because tomorrow will be as bad as yesterday and today. The faith filled days are always the best ones.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay
PS, this is a sky look here at about or so. Hope you enjoy