Wednesday, September 25, 2013

These Things Shall Give Thee Experience

I have been way sick this week but I have also had a very special experience. I have never felt so close to Christ all day. I felt like I was walking with him to the hill Golgotha as he carried the cross and felt as if I helped him carry the cross. I felt what it is like not be loved for my comp wasn't very patient with me but I still loved him. I also can say brother Joesph is amazing. For I have never felt so miserable in all my life. As Elder Holland said, "Before our lives are over we may all be given a little taste of what the prophets faced. We will be called upon to face trying times. When that happens we can sometimes fear that God has abandoned us, and we might be left, at least for a time, to wonder when our troubles will ever end. When lonely, cold, hard times come, we have to endure, we have to continue, we have to persist. Remember that God has not forgotten you and that the Savior has been where you have been and heaven’s kindness will never depart from you." We must remember, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high" I also felt the pain of Grammy and have felt her close by. I know there is much to learn from my suffering and pain and I also know it will come to an end.

I am starting to understand about 60% of Spanish but it is still very hard to speak but I am speaking better each week. I think my journey to learn another language is beginning. We have a new family and they only speak K'iche'. Our first lesson with them is tomorrow and will have to bring a translator with us. I also gave out another Book of Mormon. Something I have learned is that the very best missionaries don't always have to say a lot during the lesson. Sometimes their presence in a lesson is all that matters. Those missionaries are ones that have submitted to the Father's will and truly listens for the promptings of the spirit as to when to speak and is willing to do what the Father asks without hesitation. Those are the best missionaries.

I have a funny story. So this sister hasn't been to church in a month, she has a new born baby that is about a month old. Elder Bonilla said we need to get her to come to church. I was like wait a minute, she has a baby that is a month old and hasn't been to church in a month. Then I tried to explain back home new Moms don't go to church for about month and a half and a lot of Moms don't leave the house because of the babies health. He then said they don't do that here. I said let's go visit her and share when Christ blesses all the children. So we did and the sister and her husband have been to church every single week since we visited them. 
I received your package. Boy did it make my day. Thank you so much for everything in there. I just wept when I opened it and read the letter. It was amazing. I took pictures of it!! So this morning I made apple pancakes. They were way good. I had my first street food. It was good but I kind of had to eat it because it was an inactive family and I didn't want to offend them. It was their last corn on the cob and then they gave us Arroz Con Leche (Mexican rice pudding). I'm starting to like the tortillas now. Which is good since we have them every time we eat with a family. We eat a lot of eggs and beans not much rice, when we do it is so good. And let me just say I have eaten a lot of beans this week. When we eat with the members I help them cook. I love it because I kind of get to talk with them and I get to cook and learn new things for them. They are so surprised when I help; I don't think they have many missionaries help with cooking. It is so awesome. Anyway I have a sweet wallet now. It is made out of chip bags. An elder in my district makes wallets, it is sweet! This coming Saturday I will be teaching an English class at 3 o'clock. Wish me luck. Mom with the Spanish be patient and don't worry about memorizing every verb. I am still learning and memorizing. The temple will help you and you learn everything that you need to learn. 
Chip Bag Wallet
I have also learned if your not obedient you will be unsuccessful, we have returned home late, more than 20 minutes late multiple times this past week and it has effected us a lot. I want to share with all of you again: Numbers Will Never Truly Show Your Success. Don't let numbers bother you. Submit to the Father's will and when you do--You Will Have Success With Families and Those You Teach. 

What I love about Mom and Dad is the package they sent!!!!!

Ducks forever!
Elder Mcilmoil
September 23, 2013

Total tortillas for the week: 35
Scripture of the week:  Doctrine & Covenants 122:7,9...all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good. And will give us light. The Church is true and Christ is our Savior, we need to come to him and be perfected through him. 
Ancient Ruins In Chichi
Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Chinese Food For Lunch In Chichi, Guatemala

My Homemade Apple Pancakes

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eathquake, Soccer And The Spirit

"Hangin' with Sully"

"Me and My Minion"

I experienced my first earthquake last week. It is the weirdest thing in the world; it is so cool but beyond weird. It was crazy, all the lights went out for an hour and it was dark! Feeling the earth shake and the building move is something else. Just so strange. So I went to the clinic on Tuesday and I may have 2 parasites. I go back to the clinic tomorrow for my results of the another test called cultivo. I have a strong feeling there is a reason I'm having to go through this trial. I don't know why, but there is a reason. As Elder Neil L. Anderson said, "During a trial, we are spiritually refined and strengthened." And Elder D. Todd Christofferson explained what he learned from a personal trial: “Though I suffered then, as I look back now, I am grateful that there was not a quick solution to my problem. The fact that I was forced to turn to God for help almost daily over an extended period of years taught me truly how to pray and get answers to prayer and taught me in a very practical way to have faith in God. I came to know my Savior and my Heavenly Father in a way and to a degree that might not have happened otherwise or that might have taken me much longer to achieve. … I learned to trust in the Lord with all my heart. I learned to walk with Him day by day.” I am trying to eat, it is just hard because it just goes right through me. Anyway here is the food update for the week. I had a tres leches cake, let me just say Costa Vida and Cafe Rio have way better tres leches. I was so disappointed. There is a Chinese Guatemalan Restaurant where we have district meetings. WOW it is dang good. On Monday we ate with the members and they made us some great soup. Then on Saturday I had a huge ice cream thing called a Bomba. It was so good.

Saturday we had an activity with members and non members, we played soccer. There is nothing like being the fastest kid out there. The funny thing is that I'm not even running. I will admit I schooled a couple of them and that was funny since they don't like it because I'm a gringo. I am able to keep my cool and not be competitive which is very nice. I'm so grateful for that blessing. When I was on divisions I mowed another lawn with a machete. It was sweet. By the way Mom, I just let you know I make my bed every morning.

We went to visit a lady that hasn't been able to walk for 7 years. We weren't expecting her husband to be home but he was there when we came. He had the smell of beer, he could understand everything were saying so I know he wasn't drunk. He expressed his feelings of pain and sorrows; when he was done I was holding back tears. I have never felt so much love and compassion for people in my life. He asked me if I suffer back in the States and I told him I did. Then I told him with tears in my eyes, "I feel your pain Hermano." I gave him a huge hug and we wept for a little bit. I gave him a Book Of Mormon. I saw a hint of hope and light in his eyes when I talked about the Book Of Mormon. I feel very strongly he will be baptized in this life and so will his wife. It is amazing what you can do thru the spirit. The spirit can guide you to do amazing things. Words can't describe what it feels like saying words that are not yours. It is amazing. Acting upon the spirit is the greatest gift in the world. We always have to stay strong and have faith. The Lord is blessing us and has people for all of us to teach. The Priesthood truly has power. It is a power from God and it is the greatest gift. It is so amazing. ALWAYS LISTEN to the SPIRIT. 

What I love about Mom is the charity she has and what I love about Dad is how he magnifies his calling.

Elder Mcilmoil
September 16, 201

Tortillas this week: 15

Scripture of the week: John 14:27

Nachos I made for dinner.

"The Bomba"

"Breakfast of Champions" (drinking OJ from a bowl)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Two Months, Parasites, And No Root Beer!

I can't believe 2 months has gone by. It seems so fast yet forever. I ate at a restaurant in some huge warehouse, it was dang good! So I do have a parasite. The nurse in the mission office had me go to a clinic here in Chici and I had some tests done. The results came back which said I have a parasite. I'm not being treated, I have to go back to the clinic on Tuesday for another test and then then the nurse will determine the treatment I need. It has been a rough week because of my illness. I have no idea how I make it thru each day, I pray to receive strength and I go to work. I'm greatly blessed to make it thru the whole day. To be honest I have never experienced so much pain. Sometimes I think this could be a glimpse of being in the garden, I cannot comprehend how much Christ suffered. How he didn't turn back is amazing. The tender mercies of the Lord provide so much strength. Elder Bednar said, "The persistence and the fortitude that enables us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord." Our hearts should be filled with gratitude for His abundance of tender mercies given to us. I received a priesthood blessing from an Elder who spoke English. In the blessing he said I would be healed according to my faith. I have learned that we can only do the Father's will and if the Father's will is to have me suffer for the rest of the month or my entire mission then I will suffer. So I have worse news than the parasite. It is heart breaking and I bawl like a baby every time I think about it! NO ROOT BEER!!!! Zero, none, zilch!!! Ok only one place in Xela has some but if your never called to serve there you won't get Root Beer. Truly heart breaking. And there is also have zero Pop Tarts here! Hey at least they have peanut butter. So one morning we had bad milk like bad bad. We bought it the day before and it was bad the next day. Both jugs were bad. Crazy. The bread here is amazing. I have never had such good bread I think I need to talk to Bishop because I eat the bread way to much. It is just so good. And there are so many different kinds of bread. Its so weird. Anyway I to got my haircut for the first time here, they trim your hair with a straight razor. It is sweet.

The talk I gave on Sunday went good or at least I think. My topic was repentance. I didn't speak for very long but I believe I said what I needed to say. I said something I was not expecting but I was given an impression in my mind during the very first hymn we sang. The Hermanas spoke with me. They both spoke a long time, it was all good. This was my first talk in Guatemala and in Spanish. I never had the opportunity to speak in the CCM. The members feed us on Sunday. I had rice and some chili stuff. It was good.  

Well I can say I am an amazing chef. Guy Fieri would be impressed with what I can pull off with what we have. I should be able to dominate on Iron Chef when I come home. I have also had a frozen banana covered in chocolate and cream with nuts on it. It was good but it's way different. I liked it but I didn't like it at the same time. Here is my recipe for the Best Breakfast Soup: rice, water, milk or soy milk
Boil the water then add milk and bring that to a boil then throw in the rice. Cook it until the rice is just the way you want it. You can add cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla, maple or whatever you want with it. It is so good. (you will have to experiment with it at first but it is way easy, I can't give exact measurements, it is just by hand)
I have learned from all the missionaries that we walk way to fast. We need to slow down. We represent Christ and he would never walk fast. When we walk fast we are not in tune with the spirit as we should be. We can't hear those tiny promptings. As President Monson said, "There is always time for pancakes." We need to take that advice and slow down. Take your time even if your going be late, who knows what the Lord has in store for you in your next 3 to 11 steps.

We set a baptismal date yesterday. It feels good to have a date set but I think to many missionaries are to concerned with numbers. Elder Bednar taught you truly need to think why you want to serve. You should never think about numbers. Your here so that families can be together forever and you should do whatever it takes for them to achieve that. Don't be concerned with dates and baptism be more concerned for their salvation and how you can help them achieve eternal life. 

This is great, I cut this guys yard with a machete!! And of course I forgot my camera. It was so cool. it is way hard but its sweet. You have to tell Shortie not to mow his lawn for 2 years and I will cut his yard for 100 bucks with a machete. It will be the best looking lawn in the neighborhood.

What I love about Mom is her testimony. What I love about Dad is that he is a worthy priesthood holder. 

Love ya,
Elder Mcilmoil 
September 9, 2013

Tortillas this week: 7
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 133:50--We Will Never Be Alone

Monday, September 9, 2013

Go And Serve Everybody

So lets see what happened this week, I read a talk by Elder Neil L. Anderson, this is his promise, "I promise you, as you pray to know with whom to speak, names and faces will come into your mind. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them. Opportunities will open to you. Faith will overcome doubt, and the Lord will bless you with your very own miracles." This talk isentitled, "It's A Miracle" Such a great talk, everyone should read it. I find such great comfort and joy when I read conference talks, they are full of guidance and comfort.

I also went to the capital for visa stuff and was reunited with my old district. They are amazing. I like to call us the sons of Mosiah. It was a long trip so we had to stay the night in a hotel. We had good experiences as we are all together. I went on divisions (splits) with one of the zone leaders. I learned so much from this experience. He taught me so much. It is good to see how others teach. When I was on divisions with one of the zone leaders I helped give a blessing. I was able to speak Spanish as I asked to anoint.I have handed out a total of 6 Books of Mormon. My companion has suggested we need to fast for our investigators that they will be committed in keeping their baptism dates. We have fasted many times. So I'm able to understand and speak Spanish better each day. I had an experience with the gift of tongues, I had no idea what I said but words just filled my mouth.

Just to let you know the food is good. I had potato tomatillo on Sunday with a member family. I'm sick again with the same thing like I had in CCM. My experience this time wasn't as bad since I didn't throw up. Everything just runs right through me and I still haven't gotten over my dumb cold. Needless to say I don't feel so swell right now. The week has had its ups and downs but a good amount of ups. I have learned that if you don't have the spirit you might as well not show up to the investigators house for your appointment. You cannot teach without the spirit no matter how good your knowledge is. It is better to follow the spirit more than anything because the man upstairs knows everything. I have also learned the Lord loves to give you little tads of revelation like little sticky notes.

The world is so full of wickedness the time to teach as the ancients is now and we must serve the Lord. As Elder Holland has said, "In this battle between good and evil, you cannot play for the adversary whenever temptation comes along and then expect to suit up for the Savior at temple and mission time as if nothing has happened. That, my young friends, you cannot do. God will not be mocked. I ask for a stronger and more devoted voice, a voice not only against evil and him who is the personification of it, but a voice for good, a voice for the gospel, a voice for God." GO AND SERVE EVERYBODY!!!!

What I love about Mom and Dad is that Mom has a soft love and Dad has tough love and I have learned so much from both of them 

Tortilla count this week: 15 

Love Elder Mcilmoil
September 3, 2013

Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 88:73

My CCM Comps: The Sons of Mosiah

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Area: Chichicastenango Guatemala

My first area is Chichicastenango. It was about a 3 to 4 hour drive for the CCM. By the way they have some sweet climbs for you to do, but not safe. It was fun being with the other Elders from the CCM. Anyway my trainer is Latino so communication is very difficult. I am also learning words in K'iche' and it is a very different language but I kind of understand it better than espanol. The only language I can compare it to is Tongan and an Asian language. I am still learning Spanish, most people speak both.
Some days are so difficult. I can't talk to anyone and I feel so alone at times. I have found myself on knees so many times with tears in my eyes just pleading. I know if its not hard its not worth it. I also know in a year things will be way different, President B goes home. I just have the strongest feeling that in a year we will be teaching like the ancients; like Alma and Amulek, Ammon and his brothers and all the other missionaries from the greatest book in the world--THE BOOK OF MORMON. I love my mission president and his wife, he is awesome and she is just so nice. I have given out 2 Books of Mormon. Both were to drivers, sometimes we have to take cabs or buses which are vans to places. One spoke English so I shared my words in English. I have had two run ins with drunks. One was a investigator and it was heartbraking. I was crying and I didn't even know this guy. Also last night we were at a house and they started to watch a movie so I went outside to pray/talk or converse with Heavenly Father and I asked that I would feel your and Dad's love and three minutes later 2 ducks come wading up. I was like of course it has to be ducks. It was cool and very special. 
The culture here is so different and people here can't drive. It is so scary! The people here listen to popular American music all in solid English, it's so weird. It has rained everyday and it gets a little chilly at night. I wore the tie you gave me and Greg on Sunday, since it was his speaking assignment. It was so powerful. I also blessed the sacrament in Spanish. I asked the Bishop when he needed me to speak in church. I will be speaking September 8th on repentance. For p-day, today, we played some v-ball with the district and had lunch. We also bought food for the next month/week and then my comp wants to take a nap, I'm not going to I'm going to use that time to study. If you get the chance thank the elders for me at home, Elder Guzman and Elder Hernandez. They have helped so much. I use what they taught me. Splits helped more than I thought. I can't thank them enough. So you gotta  start a tortilla count. I have had 5 so far! 

The Lord has answered my prayers today by reading e-mails and finding my coin you gave me, I lost it for a day. I love you and Dad so much.  What I love about you and Dad is what sweet comfort your words bring. I know this church is true and the Book of Mormon is true and is the greatest book ever written. Love you and talk to you next Monday. LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Elder Mcilmoil
August 25, 2013

Scriptures of the week: 

John 15:19. We are people of Christ and not of this world. We need to let our light shine!

3 Nefi 12:14-16. We need to follow Christ and declare his word and let go of our nets and love him with our might mind and strength. We need to do what Dallin H. Oaks says in his talk Followers of Christ