Thursday, February 27, 2014

Complete Darkness, Disciples Of Christ And The Holy Ghost

Enough Said
I didn’t go to Chichi this week for Sylvia’s baptism. She wanted to wait and get baptized with her sister and Saturday wasn’t going to be that day. I knew the Lord didn’t want me to go, as I thought about it I was going for the wrong reasons. One reason was to go back home to Chichi. I haven’t truly looked forward with “an eye single to the glory of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 4:5) and put all my trust in the Lord since being transferred to San Antonio Huista. Chichi is an amazing place and a very special place but it’s not my home, Utah isn’t my home. My home is with the Lord. Being on His errand and doing His will, that is my home.
The Church, Our Home
Last night I saw the power of Satan. We have all read, heard or have seen on the news back in the states people being arrested for beating girls, well I witnessed it, not with my eyes but with my ears. A drunk guy walked into the house next door to where we were visiting with members and started to beat another man’s wife. She was home alone; her husband was three houses down helping her Dad. The screams were the most heart wrenching sound. Hearing her plead and scream for her Dad and her husband to come help her was the worst thing ever. I could only stand there and listen from the members’ house and not help; the missionaries are not allowed to help in any way, if we do could be sent home. The members ran over right away; her Dad and the husband came as soon they found out. She was taken to the hospital. Satan is real, very real and destroys lives through his devious methods. We need to be attentive to the choices we make and recognize Satan, his representatives and their works, and not be deceived by them.
"We Deliver Pizza And Cinnamon Rolls"
So we cleaned the house or in any word the church this week. You could say we killed 2 birds with 1 stone. Also this week we were without light for 22 hours. It was sweet. Of course during the day it didn’t matter but at night is a different story-it was pitch black!! So much application comes when you experience a period of times without any light. For me it was glimpse of what the great apostasy was like, complete spiritual darkness, no light of Christ, nothing just completely black. Even today we are engaged in a battle between spiritual light and spiritual darkness. When we seek spiritual light the darkness of Satan departs. The Savior said, “I am come a light into the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” He is the light that will lead us out of darkness. We should always remember we can be a light to those that walk in darkness as walk in the light of Christ.
The Walking Is Endless
This week we went back to back to this house where we talked with this very nice lady. The first time we visited her, her husband was not home. This time they were both home, he was also very nice. We learned he is very cemented in the catholic church. I have to say in the beginning it was one of the funniest lessons in my life. First he starts off by telling us the Bible says the Catholic Church is the first and only true church. Then he goes off on how all others churches are only political and have no truth. Then he started saying stuff about the U.S. Wow his thoughts were crazy. Elder Ipanaque was trying to say share some things with him but the guy would not listen, he was too caught up in his own ideas. I could tell Elder Ipanaque was starting to get really mad. I could fill the spirit inside of me and I knew my mouth was about to opened and it was. I asked this brother if he had read the entire Bible. He said no and then said there is no way someone could ever do that because they have to go work, take care of family and so on. He said there just isn’t time to read the entire Bible. He then said I have read some parts of the New Testament. I asked him if he knew of the epistle of James. He said yes. I asked if he knew what James 1:5 says. He said kind of. Here was the opportunity to teach, I said the Apostle James taught that anyone can receive answers from God, James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” I told him if it was truly the desire of his heart he can ask of God to know if his church was the true church because there is only on true church. I then testified to him I know Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true by asking God in humble prayer and received an answer through the power of the Holy Ghost. I also shared with him when Christ asked Peter, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” Peter’s reply is the confession we all must make: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” I then told him when you truly know Christ, you will know His church, but you have to ask with faith believing He will answer.
22 Hours Of Darkness
So Grateful For The Light Of Day
I saw the story of Ammon this week; it was the Book Of Mormon cartoon video. Ammon is such a great example of following in the footsteps of Christ. He literally and figuratively gathered sheep. Literally is when he gathered the scattered sheep of King Lamoni. Figuratively he gathered the lost sheep of the Lord when he taught the gospel to King Lamoni and his people. He is truly a great example of the good shepherd. And he truly is a disciple of Christ. When I read the words of Ammon when he says to King Lamoni I will be your servant, I hear I clean wash your house, I will tend to your garden, watch over and protect your flocks, I will take care of your horses, I will wash your feet, I will do whatever you want me to do because I am a disciple of Christ. I am learning that a disciple of Christ is the beginning of a lifelong process, and the path is not always easy but we have made a covenant to always to be like Him. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means being an example. It means being a missionary and preparing to be a missionary. It means to serve others. It means you read the scriptures and say your prayers. It means you keep the Sabbath day holy. It means you listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. It means going to church and going to the temple. It means our hands become His hands. We need to follow in His footsteps.
View From The Church, Our Home
Yesterday I read a talk from Elder Bednar, ‘Receive The Holy Ghost’ It is an amazing talk. He made 3 suggestions how we can have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion, (1) sincerely desire to receive the Holy Ghost, (2) appropriately invite the Holy Ghost into our lives, and (3) faithfully obey God’s commandments. I know if we truly follow Elder Bednar’s counsel we will be blessed with the Holy Ghost as our constant companion.  When we strive to keep ALL the commandments of the Lord blessings will come as promised by Joseph Smith; after the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred, he appeared to President Brigham Young and shared this timeless counsel: “Tell the people to be humble and faithful and [be] sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach [you what] to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits. It will whisper peace and joy to their souls, and it will take malice, hatred, envying, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right” My challenge to each of you is walk in the footsteps of Christ and invite the Holy Ghost into your life every single day. I love all of you.

What I love about Mom is that she would let me cheer her on when she raced bikes. GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What I love about Dad is he would let me do the feed bags!!!!!!  

Ducks Forever
Elder Mcilmoil 
February 24, 2014

Tortilla count: Sorry for not giving my tortilla count last week; I forgot. So for the last 2 weeks I ate 105 tortillas. This week I am going to shoot for 100, just for the heck of it. I have not fully committed to 100…..I don’t want get to fat!

Scripture of the week: Mosiah 18:9, ponder this scripture then think about these words: This  week and always, “may we stand by Jesus Christ ‘at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,’ for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone.” Elder Holland  

“Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are.” Elder Holland  
Still Walking
This Is San Antonio Huista

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Foundation Of A Testimony And Take Time For Others

"Love You"
Reunion With Elder Navarro
So where to begin...I got to see Elder Navarro again on Saturday. He came up to my area because his comp used to be in the district I am in now and he had a baptism here. It was great to see him again and talk with him about Chichi and the members. Here in my area we baptize in a river. I haven't seen where we baptize but I got to see the spot where Santa Ana missionaries baptize. It was sweet.
Elder Ipanaque, Elder Navarro, Elder Limon
"Sacred Waters"
We had divisions this past week and I stayed here in San Antonio Huista with Elder Carlson. It was kind of hard since I have only been here two weeks and I don't know the area very well. When I was told I was staying my thought was oh boy this is going interesting and I was pretty sure there would be a story to tell when divisions were done. So it was me and Elder Carlson; he has been in the mission for about 8 months. I was so grateful he had he could speak great Spanish however neither one of us are fluent. We are able to teach every lesson without any language problems, a definite tender mercy. The problem came trying to find the house of one of our investigators. I knew the house was where the road splits or where two roads come together in a v form. We went to look for the house and seriously twenty minutes later I still cannot find the house. I call Elder Ipanaque and ask where in the world is this house he says it the sky blue house, the one right across the street where your last appointment was. Yep it was right across the street from our last appointment. I felt like the biggest idiot. Elder Carlson was laughing so hard, I will admit it was hilarious but so embarrassing at the same moment. I knew there would be a story to tell!
Just So Happy
Elder Navarro, Elder Carlson, Elder Limon
I gave a talk in church on Sunday about testimonies. I think it went really good. This is what I learned as I was preparing my talk which I never realized; there are 3 fundamentals of a testimony. The 1st fundamental is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves His children; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement. The 2nd fundamental is that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel and the Book Of Mormon is the word of God. The 3rd fundamental is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior's true Church on the earth; and that the Church is led by a living prophet today. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel. Through my preparation I realized that I have never truly had one key experience where I gained my testimony. The foundation of my testimony has been a life time of experiences. This realization came as I was watching a Doctrine and Covenants video where Emma Smith says to her Father that there are just some things that you just know with your heart. At that moment it hit me that my whole life I have known with my heart that Heavenly Father lives and loves me; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God and he atoned for my sins. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and restored the gospel and I know the Book Of Mormon is the word of God. And I that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior's true Church on the earth and that the Church is led by a living prophet today. I know these things are true with my heart. Always remember these words shared by President Dieter Uchtdorf, "Our personal testimony is a protective shield, and like an iron rod it is guiding us safely through darkness and confusion."
Field Of Dreams In San Antonio Huista
Done And Dead
This week I read a talk given by Elder Juan A. Uceda, "He Teaches Us To Put Off The Natural Man." 

I had tears in my eyes as I reading the story he shared. I cried even more when I realized that MY Natural Man has done so much harm and I am so sorry for that. I ask for all of your forgiveness. I'm so grateful for the atonement that I can made clean from my mistakes. I know with all my heart that through the atonement of Christ we can be sanctified and we can become clean. I know as Elder Uceda said, "the Savior extends His arms to embrace us during our times of true repentance" Let us strive to put off the natural man and follow Him who loves us more than we can understand. 
Love Kids
Got Some Flour?
My challenge for me and each of you is to strive and live each day by following the Savior and love as He loved taking time for others especially your loved ones. President Dieter Uchtdorf shared this, "I think of our Lord and Exemplar, Jesus Christ, and His short life among the people of Galilee and Jerusalem. I have tried to imagine Him bustling between meetings or multitasking to get a list of urgent things accomplished. I can’t see it. Instead I see the compassionate and caring Son of God purposefully living each day. When He interacted with those around Him, they felt important and loved. He knew the infinite value of the people He met. He blessed them, ministered to them. He lifted them up, healed them. He gave them the precious gift of His time. Let us resolve to cherish those we love by spending meaningful time with them, doing things together, and cultivating treasured memories." This is how we need to live. We will have regrets if we don't take time for those who are truly important to us. I love all of you so much. Trust in God for He knows what is best. I know this from personal experience as He has wiped away many of my tears. Christ said to Joseph Smith, "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." Remember it was from the cold, dark corners of Liberty Jail that came some of the most beautiful, comforting scriptures given to man. Great blessings come from trials, for they led us to arms of our loving Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Action Shot
Sacred And Beautiful
What I love about Mom is talking to her when I came home for lunch. What I love about Dad is our Grim time.

Ducks Forever
Elder Mcilmoil
February 17, 2014

Tortilla count for the week: No report this week

Scriptures of the week: Mosiah 3:19 and Job 19:25