Tuesday, April 24, 2012

March 26, April 2, 9, 16, 23


                                                                                    April 23, 2012
Well, a great week!
First we had the visit from Elder Anderson. It was quite a show getting everything together. Imagine in a house that normally fits two missionaries, we crammed ten. In one room, there was one elder in his hammock and one on the floor. In the living room, there were three on the floor (and when I mean on the floor, like literally on the floor, not a mattress or anything. Then in the other room there were three on the floor and two in hammocks. And to make things better we got up at four to get good seats. I didn’t fall asleep in his speech, but when I got home at the end of the day it didn’t take very long to fall asleepJ. It was such a cool time to see an apostle close up. We got to shake hands. One of the things that he reminded us that have a little bit more time in the mission is that the mission does end and that we need to be prepared to go home; kind of felt like he was talking right to me… and not wanting to go home. But it was such a great talk. Ok so that was Tuesday.
Wednesday: we had a few lessons but the best lesson was with George and Irma. Oh but first I have to put this in so it makes more sense later on. We went and visited Consuelo and when we got to her house, her neighbor told us that everyone had moved out and she didn’t know where too. In this time our phone didn’t have any credit so we were a bit worried. Anyway so back with George and Irma, we found out that after 42 years being together they haven’t gotten married! I was so shocked! We talked about a ton of stuff and the spirit was super strong. I remember sharing the story about when Mom and Dad went to London (well at least I think I got all the details right. There weren’t any lightning bolts crashing down around me in the lesson so I don’t think I was teaching false doctrine). I described that they were getting ready to go to London and were going to cross the ocean in the plane. Then later Dad leaned over to Mom and said, “Honey if anything happens to us, I’ll see you in a bit.” It was a sweet lesson.
Thursday, we had a few sweet lessons. The biggest thing was that we finally found Consuelo! We spent about three hours looking for her (we got a bit distracted with teaching few lessons in between). Anyway we found her and we got all the details figured out for her baptism on Saturday. It was a super hardcore lesson.
Then on Friday, two baptismal interviews. It was super good. We tried coordinating the baptisms, but it wasn’t going to work. So we got things figured out. A few lessons, but nothing too crazy. A missionary that ended his mission in my area came to visit. I knew him so it was pretty crazy to see him without his name tag.
Saturday was two baptisms! One at twelve and one at seven. To make things more complicated, this week was also stake conference so in the evening baptism, there wasn’t hardly anyone. And also, one of them forgot to bring her bag with clothes! In other words, she didn’t have white clothes, a change of under clothes, sandals or a towel. We rushed a few things to get them together and everything worked out good.
Sunday was stake conference. We had two miracles show up to church. The problem about stake conference was that it is an hour away (made me think about home how we have to go to Missoula). Then at night we had to go to a family home evening that accidentally got canceled without telling us. We had a good talk with the members though, (they are a bit less active).
One of the cool things that I understood this week comes from a bit from each day. In the conference that we had with Elder Anderson, he had a cool quote that talks about the importance of the work and success. He said, “you can count how many seeds are in an apple but you can’t count how many apples are in one seed.” Our job as missionaries isn’t to count numbers. It is to work with all of our heart might mind and strength to preach the gospel to those who are in need of repentance. In the process there will be many who accept and many who do not. It is not however, our job to force the gospel upon them. I have been stressed out a lot because sometimes the people don’t accept, but I hadn’t understood that I couldn’t do anything more. I had planted the seed, and who knows how much someone in the future would be able to harvest thanks to that one seed. I’ve come to this conclusion: work hard to preach the gospel, and don’t worry about anything else.
Con amor,
Elder Mackay


                                                                        April 16, 2012
Well a good week. I’m really tired so I think that’s good.
First things first, I have to give a big thanks to Sister Everson. I got her package this week and it was awesome! Thank you so; make sure that she knows how much I appreciated it. I really wasn’t expecting anything and I was super excited when I saw the package so once again, thanks.
In other news, we have a big treat tomorrow. I am going to see an apostle! ¡Estoy tan animado que podrĂ­a explotar! But it’s going to be interesting. The whole mission is going to be in Cancun, (it’s a pretty good sized city, with two or three zones), and we are going to be sleeping in the houses of the missionaries there tonight. It should be pretty crazy because every house is going to have three or four companionships extra!
As far as the past week, we had interviews with president. It was super crazy! Normally president is really on time and really strict as far as scheduling. There was a big problem with roads and he was almost an hour late. We were the first companionship to get there so when we got there, and had to wait, we got worried. But everything ended up really good.
 As far as investigators, we had some interesting lessons. We have a couple of young adult type. They are family and friends of a few recent converts. They are going to take a bit of work. We went there one day and they were drinking…. Oops. They were going to go to church but they didn’t show up. There is the hermana Consuelo that was getting ready to be baptized this week. She drank coffee this week so she couldn`t get baptized. Grr…. Oh well. This week on the 21 then will be her baptism. Everything is good. On Saturday we had a good lesson in the morning. We read Mosiah 18 and we talked about baptism (we just happened to be in the baptismal font). It was pretty good.
Then last on the list is a couple. They are a bit older, but are really sweet. They are the ones with the laundry mat (George and Irma). We are trying with them. The husband knows a lot so we get a bit off topic some times, but we try hard. He’s reading the Book of Mormon so that’s where they are at.
I had a few cool experiences about repentance this week and it made me think a bit. I understood why humility is required in order to repent. Firstly, a prideful person would never think to second guess their actions. They have such a high opinion of themselves that they forget to think about their own imperfections. Secondly, they have to admit that they are wrong. This is something that a prideful person would almost never do. And finally it takes humility to accept something new, and not come up with your own solution. The majority of the time when Christ was on the earth, his tone of voice was soft, and did not want to hurt anyone. But now I understand why a good chewing out is important. Like he did with the brother of Jared, he had to make things known that they were wrong. Interesting how the more I learn the more imperfect I see myself.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

            April 9, 2012
pero no hay coneja = but no rabbit
Well, a really crazy tiring week, but at the same time I don’t even know what to write about. One of the crazy things is it’s starting to warm up. By the end of the month, we’ll be in the good oven.
One of the things that I think was super cool is a couple that we are teaching. They were a reference a long time ago. We went there and they have a laundry mat type thing (it’s a little bit different because here in Mexico, you leave your clothes and they wash them and fold them then you come back. There are a few like in the states where you do it by yourself.) Anyway we got to take a trip with them to the church so they could see the inside of it. As soon as we went in there the spirit hit and it started working. You could tell because they started talking quieter and quieter. We went in to the sacrament room and it was amazing. The wife said, “Nobody has done this for us. We have gone to so many different churches and nobody has treated us like this. They felt the spirit super strong then we went to the baptismal font and it was super sweet too. We are working pretty well with them.
Apart from them, we went and visited an old investigator. He said that he had been having some family problems and who would know but we just happened to call. He doesn’t even remember that we had his number. We also went and checked out the church and he loved it. The only thing was because of Easter break, there are a lot more tourists so his work got complicated.
Apart from them we have three investigators that we are having a ton of problems trying to get a hold of. They are just floating around waiting to get baptized. In football terms we are good at driving the ball down the field but we are having some problems in the red zone. They are ready and could get baptized this week if everything went well. They are Josias, Consuelo, and Mari. Consuelo is pretty likely because we have a better opportunity to find her. Josias just got a job where he works from 9 in the morning to 9 at night so that’s making things hard. And the Hermana Mari (that’s the lady that her husband died so now she can get baptized) just disappeared on us. We call her and go to her house a bunch but we can’t find her.
This week was good as far as Easter goes (minus there wasn’t an Easter bunny… maybe he doesn’t like the heat) it made me think a bit. (Just a cool quote that I heard this week as well, we don’t celebrate so much the fact that Jesus died, but we choose to focus on the fact that he resurrected)  Its super cool to think how perfect God’s plan is. He knew exactly what we needed and he gave it to us. Because of the effects of us being mortal, we have the inherit problem of dying. With this trait, we cannot bear the full presence of our Heavenly Father physically. Therefore, we needed a way to live again with an immortal body after death, (because if there was no time, there would be no end to our probationary period.) This is overcome because Christ broke the bands of death and made it so that every child of God that would receive a body would take it up again in immortality to be judged. Were it not so, we would never be capable of being judged and the plan of God would fall short. The other obstacle that we have is being less than perfect. Because we do not reach perfection as our Heavenly Father, we cannot be with him. Our filthiness would in turn make him filthy and that could not be. Therefore, we need a way to overcome this imperfectness. Once again this is possible only through the Atonement of Christ, and unlike our physical inability, this solution is not free. Forgiveness is not attainable without considerable effort on our part. Only after we have done all that is within our power to repent and to come unto Christ will we be able to overcome this obstacle. Having things planned out of this manner perfectly satisfies the demands of Justice and Mercy; satisfying the need for punishment of sin, while extending a helping hand to a learning soul. Our Heavenly Father’s plan is so perfect, is there any doubt that it wasn’t created by a Divine creator? Is there any doubt that it can’t be foiled? This is the plan and it has been placed before the birth of man. Our Heavenly Father knowing the beginning from the end has placed all the pieces to make salvation attainable. I have also come to one more conclusion. I imagine that our Heavenly Father is an awesome chess player.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay
P.S. Last week I forgot to mention, I ate fish head soup. It was eatable especially because as a desert, we ate homemade yogurt that the sister sells at 4 bucks a liter.

                                                                                    April 2, 2012
Well… a crazy week!
I loved conference. We had a great time. The rule here in the mission was that we can only go to a session of conference if we had an investigator with us. One of our investigators usually is stuck in the house all day because he doesn’t have a job right now so he was our ticket into every session of conference! It was great, although there were a few difficulties. First is that there was a screw up on the scheduling so the first session on Saturday we only got the first half. Secondly, in the second session on Saturday we had computer problems so we missed elder Holland’s talk (I almost wanted to cry. We just heard enough to know that it would be him speaking then it cut out). Then on Sunday in the evening session the computer cut out again. But what we could get went well
The investigator that we took with us to conference is named Josias. He’s a great guy. He’s a member’s brother so we got some pretty good connections. The problem is that a lot of what he knows is from the JWs, so we got a lot of fixing to do. The good thing though is he has a ton of questions. I remember when I was scared in high school if they were going to ask something. After a little bit of practice I feel so much more confidence. He’s praying, reading the Book of Mormon, and went to every session of conference, so I think he’s progressing.
We had a super sweet investigator named Consuelo that was progressing and going to get baptized this week. We went to her house on Tuesday and she looked like there was something wrong. We asked and she just laid it out that she doesn’t want to get baptized. We tried a ton of different ways of asking “why not” but she had a pretty good lock on her mouth. We’ll keep trying. And the other lady that was going to get baptized this week had some health problems so she couldn’t go into water above the waist. It should be good this week though. Not really helping the situation out though.
Another lady that we are starting to work with is a reference that we contacted a long time ago that we are starting to visit again. Two cool things. First yesterday, we had a really good lesson on how the Book of Mormon can answer the questions that she has about life. She had five really good questions that we answered with the Book of Mormon; so that’s the first part. The second part is that she gave us some HUGE bananas! Like, I’d say twice as big around as a normal sized banana. So it’s going good there.
Also we found a new couple. They are a little bit older, but are really sweet. We went to their laundry mat and when I we offered to help she gave us a hug. It felt really awkward. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like when I’m at college in a LONG, LONG time. But they are reading the Book of Mormon as well. They are a good prospect.
One of my favorite phrases from conference turned out for my spiritual thought. Elder Uchdorf said, “being grateful is one of the most important ways to show our love to our Heavenly Father. I have thought a lot about gratitude. And it’s true. It’s not fun to work with people that are ungrateful. They are always unsatisfied no matter what you try to do. But when someone says thank you, for a little thing, it completely changes your day. Gratitude is a Christ like attribute, that we should all poses. It will change our lives, and turn the tint, from a blue downcast, do a bright optimism.
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay

                                                                                                March 26, 2012
Well, a crazy week! But it’s been a good one. Full of work so that makes things go well. The harvest is coming!
This week we had a fun time for investigators. The lady that I talked about last week Mari (that her husband died so she could get married) well we couldn’t find her the whole week until Saturday. We talked to her and she wants go get baptized. We didn’t even have to twist her arm or anything! So that’s going to be this week.
Another investigator that we were talking about is Consuelo. She is a super sweet story. We were talking with her for a really long time and it was looking good but she got a job in Wal-Mart so that cut her Sundays out of the picture. We talked to her this week and she came to church. We found out that it meant that she had skipped work! That’s a lot of faith and I’m not sure how she is going to be rewarded, but it should go over pretty well. She also is going to get baptized on Saturday if everything goes to plan.
We also have a few young single adults that are going along well. They are relatives of a few members. They have a ton of questions. One day this week we went over for a lesson and it was an hour and a half of straight questions. They are also good looking candidates for baptism.
A lot of other small business, but it isn’t worth writing about. As far as something crazy going on, well there’s not much. Just a bunch of work to get going on. Something, maybe I haven’t talked a whole lot about it in other letters; we have a pretty special ward as far as church goes. Every week there are tourists that show up for sacrament meeting.  You get a new group every week. It’s fun to practice my English with them. A lot of them don’t understand Spanish, but they still come. It’s hard being translator though sometimes because I get my English line and my Spanish line mixed up. I end up either speaking English to a Mexican or Spanish to an American. And even some times half the sentence is in English and the other half in Spanish. It’s going to take some work to get back to normal.
This week I had a fun opportunity to have a spiritual moment. I got to give the lesson in a family home evening with some less actives. I got to speak on prayer. I had never studied it out so much. I realized how big of a role prayer has had in my life. I understand now how lost we are without prayer.  That we really need it in order to be ok. Many investigators talk about how just praying every night and every morning helps them to change so much. Prayer is an inexhaustible tool that we have to change our life. It doesn’t have batteries or a limit on time. It is free of these things due to its spiritual background. The question is "are we really using this tool to its full capacity?"
Con Amor,
Elder Mackay