Thursday, January 23, 2014

Package From Elder Cook And Amazing Experiences

Love From Home And Elder Cook
Saturday was the greatest day!!! Elder Cook came to Xela to talk to our entire mission. It was amazing! Elder Cook gave me the package you sent with Brett, oh man I was shocked. After the conference was over all the missionaries lined up so we could shake Elder Cook's hand. When it was my turn to shake Elder Cook's hand he handed me the package and then he grabbed me and hugged me. He then explained to all the missionaries that they never do this, only under special and unique circumstances and this is one of those circumstances. We had our arms around each other when he was speaking to the missionaries. Everybody was like wow. There was someone taking pics that came with Elder Cook; he took like 20 pics of us. I told him to tell Brett hi for me and he said he would. I was disappointed I didn't get to see Brett but the experience I had with Elder Cook...there are just no words. This is definitely one experience I will never forget. I will share more about the conference at the end of my letter.
Hug From Mom
English class this week had record breaking attendance: 6 people; if you count me, Elder Navarro and the hermanas we had 10 people. It seriously was packed just like Lavell Edwards Stadium. It was a rockin house. With that being said, I am grateful somebody comes. This week was something else. I am learning what it means to work and teach by the spirit and what teaching with power and authority means. I have seen the power of the Lord so much this week. I have seen how much power there is in bearing testimony. I have seen hearts change this week. I have also seen how much confusion the world is in and why we need this gospel so bad and why it must reach all four corners of this earth. 
On Thursday we taught the people we live with. We gave an unofficial lesson when we were having lunch with them. I have been praying so hard for an opportunity to teach them. Elder Navarro asked them what the difference was between the Mayan religion and the Catholic religion since all the Mayans go to the Catholic church. They said the reason Mayans go to Catholic church is because where the church is at, it is sacred ground for the Mayans. We then started talking about the Bible and they asked what have we heard about the Catholic religion. They also asked if we believed in being perfect someday and we said we did. My question to them was who is Peter for your church? They said he is the founder of our church, he was the first Pope. The door of opportunity was opened and we stated sharing scriptures from the Bible. We asked what they thought of these scriptures. After much discussion we asked them to read Isaiah 29:13 ( The husband, Orlando was like whoa, he was blown away. It was sweet. I than asked them to read John 10:16 ( This scripture talks about when Christ says I have other sheep but they are not of this fold. I asked them to explain their understanding of this scripture. They said other sheep means the whole world because He was in Jerusalem, so it must mean the rest of the world. They asked what does the other sheep mean for you two. Prayers answered and I was able respond by asking what they know about the Book Of Mormon. They said they knew very little about this book. I was able to teach them that the other sheep are the people in the Book Of Mormon found in 3 Nephi 15 ( The Book of Mormon was written here by the inhabitants of the ancient Americas and is a story about the Mayans and explains how they got here. I was able to explain that the Book Of Mormon is the record of two groups of people, the Nephites and the Lamanites. I was able to teach them why the Nephites who were once righteous were completely destroyed by the Lamanites because of wickedness. I also explained to them that the Lamanites often rejected the teachings of the gospel but eventually accepted the gospel and became more righteous than the Nephites. We had their attention like none other. I said some people say this book is from the devil, I am here to testify it is not. I had the wife read Moroni 10:32 ( and asked if devil could have written Come Unto Christ and Be Perfected Thru Christ. They both said no. Elder Navarro shared more information with them. We asked Orlando to read Moroni 10:5 ( He was blown away. He could stop saying and by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. It was amazing. Then I asked have you ever asked yourself who is the other angel in Revelations 14:6-7 is ( He said no, so we read it to him and I asked now do you have a question about who the other angel is. He said yes but said I suppose it is a prophet in the Book Of Mormon. We said yes. Then we had to go. That unofficial lesson was amazing. The spirit was wow. You could see the spirit work in them and see how the words we said had them just glued to us. It was amazing. The other day we came back and I saw the Book Of Mormon where they keep their Bible. I was like yes! I was so happy! 
Doing Some Laundry
On Wednesday night we had other amazing lesson about the Atonement. And we challenged the nativity family to baptism. The father thought for a minute and said, "ehh no, we want to learn more before we commit because this is something brand new to us since we have been Catholics for 31 years so we want to make sure this is right." The daughter almost said yes but then looked at the dad. It was sad but it was also so sweet because if we would have challenged them when we first started meeting with them it would have been a straight up no. It was still an amazing experience. 
Chillin' With The Zone
This week I have studying about the apostasy. The key thing I learned was that during the apostasy people relied on the wisdom of man to understand the gospel and the scriptures, not the wisdom of God. If they would have had the spirit teaching them the wisdom of God then there would be only one church today; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Traveling To The Mission Conference
CCM Reunion
Saturday we traveled to Xela for a mission conference since Elder Cook was here. A member took our zone in their van to Xela. We ate at McDonald's since we were in Xela. Since it was a mission conference I got to see my CCM group, Elder Bonilla and missionaries that I know that have left the zone. It was great to see everyone. Anyway at the mission conference Elder Duncan, a member of the seventy, and his wife Sister Duncan spoke to us first. Elder Duncan's Spanish is amazing, Sister Duncan didn't speak Spanish. Their talks were good. It is always good to listen to disciples of Christ. Then Sister Cook spoke, I should say Elder Cook told us she was going to speak. It was funny because President Bautista said we are going to skip the intermediate hymn and listen to Elder Cook. Elder Cook stood up and said a few words and said before I speak we are going to have Sister Cook speak and then she is going to lead us in the intermediate hymn. Sister Cook spoke about music and Christlike attributes. She said she loves the attribute activity in Preach My Gospel and matching hymns to all the attributes. It was a great talk. Afterwards we sang the intermediate hymn and then it was time for Elder Cook to speak. Wow was it amazing! He shared that when he was on his mission the church changed the age to 19 to serve missions and told about how excited the members of the church were and how it was a huge boost in missionary numbers. How also shared that Elder Holland was the first 19 year old to serve in the England Mission. He talked about Doctrine and Covenants 112. He then asked what is our duty, what is your job as missionaries? He said I know what Preach My Gospel says but what is your duty. Doctrine and Covenants 112 says your duty is to edify the kingdom of God. How do you edify the kingdom of God or edify His church. Missionaries responded by saying strenghting faith and few other things. He said very good, but this is what I want to get to: bringing souls to Christ whether it is through baptism or reactivating. He said is there a difference between reactivating someone and baptizing some one, none, there is no difference, zero. He said you are successful when you reactivate someone and baptize someone. Those words hit me like none other. I now know that if you reactivate 100 people and another missionary baptizes 100 people both of us have the same success. There is zero difference. I realized that Chichi is a reactivating area, it was taken me 5 months to finally figure that out. Elder Cook then said I want you missionaries to connect with the members of your area like never before and in your morning prayers you should ask Heavenly Father how can you strengthen their faith today. There is so much to think about. He ended with envoking a blessing and sharing his testimony. The blessing he gave was amazing. You could feel it was a blessing directly from heaven, words from our Heavenly Father. He blessed us that we will love everyone and they will be blessed for our choice to serve the Lord; you and the people you love will be blessed in the eternities and that we don't need to worry about a thing. He said we will receive warnings and that when we receive warnings listen to them and those warnings will be a protection to you. He ended with his testimony. His testimony was amazing. It was so powerful. The words he shared with us had so much power and authority. The spirit was so strong when he shared his testimony; he said I know that Christ lives and directs his church, I know his voice, I know that he died for our sins and that He is our Lord and Savior. I know that Heavenly Father lives and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. Wow was it amazing. I didn't want the meeting to end. How grateful I'm for this tremendous blessing to learn from one the Lord's chosen disciples. 
Hangin' With Elder Bonilla
Sunday was also amazing. The District President (Stake President) compared me to a prophet in the Book Of Mormon: Ammon. He started his talk by speaking of Ammon and then said, "You have a missionary among you who is like Ammon, Elder Mcilmoil can you please stand. This man is like angel among you, he has great faith and such a strong spirit." I have never been so humbled. I don't know what to say. This week has taught me so much and I know that there are times when you teach with power and authority you will sometimes offend a lot of people because the wicked take the truth to be hard. I to know that Christ lives, I know that He died for our us, He atoned for our sins, He is our Savior our Redeemer and that there is no other name that can save us, only our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know the church is true. I also know that the Book Of Mormon is true and there is power in it's pages.
Doing Some Cooking
What I love about Mom is that she did my laundry and what I love about Dad is that he would run with me in the mornings.

Ducks Forever, With Love 
Elder Mcilmoil
January 20, 2014

Tortilla count for the week: 30

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 9:39 and Isaiah 29:14
What Could Have Been......

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