Monday, December 30, 2013

Lessons On Forgineness And Counsel To Love The Lord

Quetzaltenango Guatemala Temple
This morning when I woke up I had a sore throat. I said out load, "I have a sore throat," the same way Bill Cosby says I have a sore throat. Yep I'm sick right now. It stinks but it is what is, hopefully feel I will better soon.

Where to begin this week: I went on divisions but I didn't stay in Chichi; I went to Quiche with Elder Rodas. The Lord wanted me to be in Quiche. I know this because of one lesson we taught and an experience with another family. This is my experience--as we are walking up to the house of a family we are going to check on, we met this person walking down from the house and we were told the Dad had just died. Elder Rodas and I were like no. We walked up and saw everybody bawling, seriously this crying wasn't normal. I envisioned this family as when the Lamanites in the Book Of Mormon were mourning the loss of a loved one when they didn't have any knowledge of the gospel. My heart broke, it was so sad, there was nothing we could do or say to comfort them. To be honest it was uncomfortable being there and a bit scary because of their unbelief. This experience confirmed to me that the knowledge of plan of salvation brings comfort, families can be together forever. The next day was better, we went to visit an inactive and hopefully teach her. This lesson is definitely why I was in Quiche. As we were talking I could tell she had been offended and had hardened her heart. And she was not willing to forgive the person who offended her. This conversation was not a coincidence; that morning I read a talk given by Elder Boyd K. Packer, 'Guided By The Holy Spirit' Elder Packer said, "We are taught to love one another and to forgive offenses." He shared a story about how a man's life was shattered after losing his wife from an infection after giving birth. His heart was bitter and he wanted sue the doctor for not catching the infection. This man's stake president invited him to come visit with him. The counsel from the stake president was simply Leave It Alone. He struggled with the counsel but decided to be obedient and Leave It Alone. He said many times he has fallen to his knees to give thanks to the Lord for the counsel of his stake president. He said he would have ruined his own life and the lives of many others if he would not have Left It Alone. Elder Packer shared this, "If you are carrying some burden, forget it, let it alone. You will be watched over and blessed." I was thinking about this talk when Elder Rodas was teaching. I felt impressed to share an experience with her I had about 4 weeks ago. The Lord reminded me through the spirit I hadn't forgiven certain people for a thing that happened to me. Every time I thought about that experience I could feel my heart was full of bitterness, anger, and hatred. It was so hard to humble myself and ask the Lord to help me to forgive them. I know the Lord is continuing to help me soften my heart so I that I can completely forgive and won't be bitter when I think of them. As I'm talking tears are streaming down her face. I then share the story Elder Packer told from his talk. I also shared with her how Christ asked Heavenly Father to forgive those that crucified him. Luke 23:34, "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." I told her to let the Savior in to help her to take away the anger. I told her that is through the mercy of Christ atonement that we can find peace and forgiveness. As we were leaving I said to her in my broken Spanish one day Christ will wipe all our tears away. As we left I knew that was why I was in Quiche.
Our Christmas Tree

The nativities here in Guatemala are so different from back home. I love seeing all of them. Seriously everybody displays a nativity. The fair ended and I'm so grateful, it was so crazy-holy cow it was nuts. I can't even describe what it was like. It was so heartbreaking to see so many kids younger way younger than and probably younger than 12 years old with beers in their hands. It is so sad. Satan has so much power of the hearts of these people; it just kills me. I knew Satan had power but I didn't know he had this much. There is just so much alcohol in Chici. Everyone says Chichi has the most drunk people. Seriously there are bars on every street corner. At times you smell the alcohol in the street. It is so gross, I can't stand the smell. Anyway we had the branch Christmas party, it was great!! Everybody said they loved the potatoes I made, they were probably just being nice. I thought they were awesome, the only thing that was missing was Ranch! So I asked to give a talk next Sunday on my Birthday. It will be a good day. I'm going to try and make the cake you sent on Saturday night to share with members we eat lunch with on Sundays. 
Branch Christmas Party

This week I also reread Elder Holland's talk about Peter. It is just the greatest talk. Elder Holland said, "We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord." This admonition is for everyone: We are all Disciples of Christ and it is not a call for one day its a call for forever. For all you missionaries that have left the church or came home early for some reason other than when the mission president was prompted to send you home but for other reasons you have broke the Lord's heart, my heart and the people your were serving. You went back to being be that same person you were before the mission and YOU CAN NOT DO THAT. Once you have been called by the Lord it is Forever. We all have been given commission from the Lord to feed his sheep. ALL OF US. So for all of you out there heed to the words of Elder Holland, "I'm asking for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally." The Lord needs committed disciples—and he needs them forever. The Lord needs disciples to feed his sheep and save his lambs. "I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned them to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world." We are called to be disciples to change the world and to defend our faith. We promised at baptism to stand by Christ in all things, at all times and in all places. So go out and FEED HIS SHEEP. He needs the very best to feed his sheep and that is each of us. We are representatives of the good Shepard. We need to act as he would so when others see us they will see and feel Him. We need to like him everyday. I'm not perfect but I try harder everyday to be better than yesterday. So I ask myself and you how much do we love the Lord? Peter, Alma, Ammon are all great example of loving the Lord through their commitment and dedication to serving the Lord. We can be just like them. By loving the Lord we will desire to dedicate our lives to becoming his disciples and feed his sheep like the ancients did. One of the best ways to feed the Lord's sheep and save his lambs is to unconditionally serve people. I have learned when I'm truly not committed to serving the Lord I'm not happy. When I serve with all my heart I'm beyond happy! Commit now to be Disciples of Christ to Feed His Sheep and Save His Lambs. 

What I love about Dad is that he sends me quotes from Vic, he seriously the best quotes. What I love about Mom is the ornament.  

Merry Christmas Everybody, I love you!! Ducks Forever!
Love Elder Mcilmoil
December 23, 2013 

I will Skype between 5 and 6 on Christmas day. I cannot wait-2 days!!!

Tortilla count for the week: 55 

Scriptures of the week: Always remember the true spirit of Christmas-Luke 2, 1 Nefi 15:25

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