Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 365, Hump Day, One Year

Dinner Is Served
Catfish Soup
Tortillas: 15 and I had catfish. OK IT WAS OFFICIALLY HUMP DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEP ONE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hummmmp Daaaaay!
365 Celebration
Pizza And Hump Day
Where to begin this week, we met this guy, Joel who lives in Georgia. We met him when I was on divisions with Elder Turner, he called out to us because he knew weren’t local. We talked with him in English. The guy is sweet and funny. He told I am not Mexican or Guatemalan, I am an American. He has lived in the states for 15 years. He was born in Guatemala and is here visiting family. He said, “Man your Spanish is good for only learning it in a year.” Honestly I am not satisfied with my espaƱol, I want to be fluent. My desire is to speak the language the way the Lord wants me to speak it so I can communicate with the Laminates. Anyway he wants to learn more about the church, we will meet with this week. Also this week we had a BBQ with the Branch. We had about 50 come, members and non-members. I made BBQ chicken and potato salad. It was funny because everybody asked where the tortillas were at, I just smiled and said this is an American BBQ. They said ok. It was a great activity.
Branch BBQ Prep: This Is What You Do When It Is Pouring Rain Outside
Branch BBQ: American Style
Let's Eat!!
WOW I have been in Guatemala for one year and honestly it doesn’t feel like it. This is what I am feeling about my one year mark I don’t like it all because everything is about to be my last, my last interview, my last district meeting, my last zone meeting, my last of this and my last that. I don’t want that to happen. Honestly before my year mark I just looked forward to having a year and now I know time is going to fly by and I will be home. During this past year there were times I had no idea what to do and now at times when I don’t know what to do I turn to the Lord for help so I can know what I need to do. He always helps and shows me the way. Serving a mission is the greatest choice I have ever made. I have discovered things about me that I would have never have discovered if I didn’t serve mission. You cannot find any greater joy than serving a mission. You cannot find greater heartbreak and sorrow than serving a mission because you are the Lord’s hands, helping Him gather the lost sheep. You see that some sheep just don’t want to come back at all, they don’t want to answer the Masters call; the call of pure love, the call of redemption, the call of peace, the call of Come to Me and I will give thee rest, the call of the Master’s words of I will heal you. It just rips your heart to pieces seeing them turn their backs on the greatest invitation ever: TO COME UNTO CHRIST. You also see the people that do answer, now that is indescribable joy. The hardest and saddest thing is when YOU don’t answer the call of the Master. At times I haven’t always answered the call of the Master in my service. I have said no I’m done, no one wants to listen. I have felt that I don’t want to work because I get tired of people not caring or that just don’t want to Come Unto Christ because it is too hard to give up things and too much commitment. In those moments He comes to me and heals me, He gives me a feeling of peace that everything will be ok, that there is someone, maybe not in this area but someone that is searching for answers, wants to make a change and wants to listen. Without a doubt Christ is our Savior, without a doubt He is the reason why I get up every single morning. He knows how hard it is to get up and go to work when it seems pointless. All I can say is that He knows, HE TRULY KNOWS! Yes there have been so many times when I was like ok I am done, I am going home, I want it easier, I want to serve in the states, I want to speak English, I don’t want to learn a new language, then something stops me, the spirit telling me that He didn’t want to do it either, I can hear these words being said to me, John I didn’t want to do it either, that night was so excruciating, the next day the pain didn’t go away, the pain I felt I could barely bare. I said my God, my God where are Thou? I made it, so can you; you have my strength because you have taken my name upon you and because you came unto me. This past year I come to know Christ more than I would have. I have come to know my Father in Heaven, the Father who loves me so much He sent His only begotten son to atone for my sins and to rise from the dead again that I may escape spiritual and physical death bringing the blessings of eternal life. I have also come to know that He has showed me that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Yes it is worth everything to serve a mission just to come to know our Heavenly Father and to know He loves me and sacrifices everything for me just like my Dad and to come to know my brother, the Savior Jesus Christ. I have come know these glorious beings through prayer, scripture study and miracles. Yes I have regrets in the past year and I have seen so many tender mercies that makes this past year so precious. I testify Christ lives, I give you my witness that He lives and this is His church. Since this is His church why do we expect at times life to be easier as we declare ourselves Disciples of Christ. If we truly our His disciples we should experience His life as much as we can. In the words of Elder Holland, “How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. Missionary work has ever been easy. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul because it was not easy for Him. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Yes a mission is hard that is how we can bear our witness of the truthfulness of His gospel. I love being here among the Laminates, it is so amazing, they are a chosen people.
Me And Elder Turner Hitching A Ride

Brahma Bull Hitching A Ride
Nacho Hitching A Ride
Great is this work. I can say these words from the Book of Mormon in Alma 17 about my mission, “And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.” “And it came to pass that the Lord did visit them with his Spirit, and said unto them: Be comforted. And they were comforted.” “And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.” “….great was the work which they had undertaken.” “And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.” Yes at times this people are heart hardened but the Lord is pouring out His spirit upon them and one day they will be like the people of Ammon. Those who have fallen will be people of such great faith and they will have sons like the 2000 stripling warriors. Yesterday I was thinking about my mission as I was studying the story of the 2000 stripling warriors, and I realized the change that overcame them when Helaman writes that we did go before the Laminates not knowing what is about to happen and he says to the 2000 stripling warriors, “Therefore what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle?” This is when the change happens. Helaman says this to Moroni, “And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, nay, not amongst all the Nephites.” For they told Helaman, ”Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.” “Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.” “And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.” These young men were running for their lives with fear, the fear of death, the fear that they said their last goodbye to their parents, the fear of the unknown, then all of a sudden the power of God came upon them, and they exercised faith and they feared nothing. They said IF we DO NOT DOUBT God WILL deliver us because our Mothers taught us to believe. As I was reading this account I saw myself among them, because the day I left I was running, I was running into the unknown but since I have been taught by my Mom and Dad that if I did not doubt God would deliver me. I do not doubt that my parents knew it, they still know it but most importantly I now know it for myself. I say to all of you who read my words and all to the world that JESUS IS THE LIVING SON OF THE LIVING GOD. THE CHURCH IF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTERDAY SAINTS IS THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. I BEAR WITNESS OF THE TRUTHFULLNESS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON, IT IS TRUE AND IT IS THE WORD OF GOD. I SAY TO ALL THAT I KNOW WITH EVERY FIBER IN MY BODY THAT CHRIST LIVES, THAT HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD, THAT WE MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE AND BE FOREVER FAMILIES.
Preparing For The Burning Of The White Shirt
Hump Day Burning Of The White Shirt
Nothing Left But The Buttons
What I love about Mom and Dad is that they have made it a year, DUCKS FOREVER.

With love, 
Elder Mcilmoil 
July 14, 2014 
Action Shot: Stick Pole
Love These Kids!!!
Sunday Selfie
Scripture of the week: Alma 17:11 
Has the time for stripling warriors come and gone or do we need them now more than ever? 
“Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: “I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].” Jeffrey R. Holland
Stand Strong And True
“God not only loves the obedient, He enlightens them.” Henry B. Eyring 

“You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith.” Henry B. Eyring
365 Day Shirt
“I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not aall angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind.” Jeffrey R. Holland 
Sometimes You Just Don't Ask
“I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world.” Jeffery R. Holland

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