Thursday, August 28, 2014

#ShareGoodness


Missionary Love
More Missionary Love
Tortillas for the week: 30 and another duck.

Ok so here in Guatemala we are facing a pretty bad drought, the worst in decades, the food prices are being jacked because of major crop losses (beans, corn and coffee). The government has declared a state of emergency. It is bad and yes the people are suffering, but this is good because I pray that this drought will soften the hearts of this people so that they will truly know that their Father in Heaven needs them to come unto His Son, the Savior, Jesus Christ. When the people will turn their hearts to Heavenly Father and pray for relief, I know He will answer those prayers and the rains will come. We will see what happens.
Service=Love
Lifting Loads=Love
I Will Go Where You Want Me To Go, Dear Lord=Love
One night as we were walking home this guy was coming our direction and he was wasted, he was stumbling all over the road and I was thinking, what is going to happen. When he was right in front of me I took a step out of the way because he wanted to grab me and lean on me. We walked past we hear HEY! HEY! I was thinking I don’t want to get involved with this and then I hear JOHN! And I stop dead in my tracks and turn around and its Joel, he is dying, he is about to eat the street because he is laughing so hard. He said he saw us coming so he acted like he was drunk to see what we would do. It was funny. With relief, I started to laugh; Joel grabbed me and gave me a hug. It was such a good joke and a dang good prank. I love Joel. We read with him the tree of life vision, it was a good lesson. 

Just a random side note, I took a two hour Spanish test this week; let’s just say it was horrible. It was a voice recording test and after I was dead. I said to myself I am not looking forward to school, not one bit. 
"House Of God"
Seriously A BYU Fan In San Antonio Huista
We went by to visit Noe and his girlfriend this week, they don’t know if this church is true or not. We did help to them to understand this principal found in Ephesians 2:20 it says we must build upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone. They understood to have the true church we need to have 12 apostles and 1 prophet, not dead ones but living ones. As I look at them I see one thing that they lack: BELIEF, they need to BELIEVE. They lack the faith to believe. If you believe all things are possible. I think that they believe that Heavenly Father will answer their prayers. I see that in almost all of our investigators that we are teaching, they don’t truly have the faith to believe. It’s sad, Christ said this about believing, “And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.” (3 Nephi 26:9-10) This is the mountain we are facing right now getting people to believe, not just investigators, getting the members to believe and yes missionaries.  
Edwardo's B-Day Celebration
"Woody" And "Jessie"
Piñata Goodness
On Wednesday I gave out the weirdest commitment. I told/challenged this señora to ask her pastor where in the world he got his authority to act in Christ’s name, to baptize and to establish Christ’s church. She said she will so we will see what he says. I would love to have a lesson with every pastor about the priesthood and tell them you do not have power and authority from God, but we do because this is what happened; the authority of God to organize His Church and perform ordinances of salvation was lost because of apostasy after the death of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. It was restored by the Lord to Joseph Smith by the laying on of hands by those who held the priesthood anciently, John the Baptist, Peter, James and John. 
Happy 3rd Birthday Edwardo!!
Birthday Love
My challenge to my parents and to everyone that reads this blog; Mom, Dad and everyone listen up here, you all know Facebook, twitter and Instagram right, I pray that you do, use my account and your accounts on Facebook, twitter and Instagram every week to share goodness, to flood this earth with simple messages of truth that this the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want my mouth to be opened on all levels, virtual and in person, so post things for me, I know someone is out there that needs to read, see or hear something that will change their life forever. So post a quote or a scripture on Facebook and twitter. Post a picture with quote or scripture on Instagram. Go and post everything with #ShareGoodness. I testify to all of you that the Lord is truly hasting His work. I know that the gospel can be like a wild fire, His message can sweep the earth as we open our mouths and share simple messages of truth. Talk to people every day so it can spread, people everywhere are in such need to hear the message of love, the message of peace, the message of forever families, the message of comfort, the message of the atonement, the message the Savior, Jesus Christ lives.
Edwardo And His Mom And Dad
More Birthday Surprises
Balloons And Birthday Love
I want to close with this thought I shared in zone meeting about the atonement. The atonement is two words: Love and Father. Why the Father? Because He loved His Father so dearly. I will share this as reverently as possible, have you ever thought about what the atonement cost our Heavenly Father? We always talk about Christ and His suffering but I want to talk about Heavenly Father. Elders and Hermanas none of us are parents but I know that if your child screamed out in pain you would do whatever it would take to save him or her, I know my parents would. What did our Heavenly Father do when His Son was bleeding from every pore, He couldn’t do anything, He couldn’t take the cup away, He couldn’t save His Son; the Son that was obedient in all things and followed every command. What could Heavenly Father do when He saw the nails rip the flesh of His perfect Son, He sat and watched or possibly He left and entered in His room and just wept because of what He saw, because of what was going on with His only begotten Son. Elders and Hermanas if you think about the Father and the Son more often we will sin less and be better because when we sin not only do we hurt those around us but we hurt the Son and the Father because of suffering they both experienced for us. Think about Heavenly Father more, because His love for us is the love that kept Him going through those horrid days, those 3 days without intervening by removing the bitter cup. Love the Father as He loves you. 
Bunny Ears=Missionary Photo Op
Ipa's Final Days
What I love about Mom is that she made it through her first 1/2 Iron Man and that she was qualified and was invited to race the USA Xterra National Championship. Congrats Mom!! What I love about Dad is that he is always there for my Mom.

Ducks Forever
Con Mucho Amor
Elder Mcilmoil
August 25, 2014 
Burning Fields
Struggling To Keep Crops Alive
Girls B-Ball Action Photo Op
Scripture of the week: Mark 9:22-24

“All things are possible to them that believe.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“I exhort you to sweep the earth with messages filled with righteousness and truth—messages that are authentic, edifying, and praiseworthy—and literally to sweep the earth as with a flood.” Elder David A. Bednar

“The Lord is hastening His work” Elder David A. Bednar.
 
Be Strong-No Matter What

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Faith In Jesus Christ Is A Firm Conviction That He Lives


The Zone Leaders, Elder Turner And Elder Lundquist
Duck!
Tortillas: 20 and a duck, yep that’s right we ate duck.

I don’t know where to start this week. Last Monday when we went to visit Noe and his wife and as we were teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ, my eyes were opened that even though churches believe in Christ they don’t know for sure that He lives. Many say yeah I believe Christ lives but you can see in their eye that they don’t know for sure which became clear with Noe and his wife. We changed directions and talked about faith. I told them there is something different about us, it is this, you have faith in Christ right, they said yes. Faith in Jesus Christ isn’t a simple declaration of belief. Faith in Jesus Christ is a firm conviction that He is who He says He is and that He will help us when we seek Him. Faith in Christ means trusting in Him, remembering Him, and following His teachings. It is a conviction that He is the Son of God, "The way, the truth and the life." I then shared with him the difference is not only do we have faith in Christ but we know He lives. I testified I know Jesus Christ lives; He is our Savior, our Redeemer. I know He lives, I give you my witness that He lives. I then asked wouldn’t you two like to know He lives. They both said yes. I said it is just this simple, read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is the word of God. In the moment I felt something come over me, I knew that someone was in the circle or that someone was standing between us and I knew that the spirit was there and you could see something in the eyes of Noe and his wife, they could feel it.
Celebrating Edwardo's B-Day
I Love This Kid
Yep He Loved His Cake
After our discussion with Noe and his wife we went and visited another family. Our message was on the Sabbath day. The mom was just bashing on her 23 year old son and her 11 year granddaughter about not going to church and the funny thing is she isn’t active in her church. She was like they won’t be saved and then I was thinking whoa Hermana why are you saying this. As I opened my mouth I felt something well up inside and I said there is only one church that is true which guides us to salvation or brings our salvation, it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only this church can bring us eternal life because it is the church of Jesus Christ. Those other churches are false, they are of man and if you think those churches will save you, you are mistaken, this is the only true church upon the face of the earth, it is the only true church because in it are the keys of the priesthood, the power and authority to act in God’s name. It is the power to bless, to heal and to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel. Come to church, come and feast upon His word, come unto Christ. He is calling you to come unto Him. I then shared something that I didn’t expect to say, I said if this church wasn’t true I would be playing football for a college not here sharing His message inviting you to come unto Him. I still don’t know why I said that but I did. And again I said to them please come unto Him, please. Answer His call and let Him heal you. The kids committed to come to church but they didn’t come Sunday. It truly was disappointing.
My Latest Artwork
Local Taco Shop Loves The University Of Georgia Football
We are still continuing our visits with Joel. Right now we just read the Book of Mormon with him. One night as we were reading he shared an insight I have never thought about Nephi. He said Nephi didn’t believe his Dad about his visions. And I was like whoa here and my comp said yes he believed. Then Joel said, “Then why did he go to Lord to ask if those things were true, yeah you could say he believed if you want to call it that but he didn’t know, he only had the belief to lead him to the Lord.” I was like wow, who is this guy and why aren’t you member. As I thought more about what Joel said; Nephi believed enough to follow so he went to the Lord to know, like how we all have to one day. Nephi is a great example to follow, believe enough then go to the Lord to know. I challenge you all of you to follow Nephi’s example, if you only believe go to the Lord to know.
P-Day And Ziplines
Safety First
This Is Going To Be Sweet!
This week the biggest thing that has helped me is the sacrament. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the sacrament. I read a talk; “The Sacramental Covenant” by Melvin J. Ballard and he talks about the cost of the sacrament. He says have we ever truly thought what it cost our Father in Heaven. As I thought about it, I realized I have never truly appreciated the sacrament and the gifts it brings us. I try my best to be ready to partake of those emblems, which come to us more readily and more repeatedly than any other in our life. We partake of sacrament in what has been called “the most sacred, the most holy, of all the meetings of the Church.” As I think about what the sacrament truly means I see this; when I see the crust of bread, always broken, blessed, and offered first, I remember His bruised body and broken heart, His physical suffering on the cross and I see this as I look at the small cup of water, I remember the shedding of Christ’s blood and the depth of His spiritual suffering, anguish which began in the Garden of Gethsemane. I ask what do you see as you partake as those emblems of the body of our dear Savior?
Missionary Photo Op
Just More Views From The Zipline
Yesterday we visited a less active. After Elder Ipanaque spoke we sang a hymn called, señor te necesito. After we sang I asked a question, “If Christ was with us right now, what would He say?” The lady said I think he would say what we are doing is good and keep it up. I looked at my comp and he said I don’t know. I said we just sang the hymn, señor te necesito, so I am certain He would say this Gloria te necesito (which is Gloria I need you), Elder Ipanaque te necesito and Elder Mcilmoil te necesito. He needs us, I am certain that is what He would say, te necesito because if He didn’t need us, He wouldn’t have died for us, but He did so He needs us and we need him. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you have done, you are never too far from His divine love. The Savior is saying Come Unto Me simply because He loves us and He knows we need Him. He can help us and heal us. He understands us because of His own experiences. As I said those words I got a glimpse of just how much the Savior needs us and how He is saying to all of us te necesito: Come unto Him, the most meaningful invitation ever extended. And we are all invited. As we accept the invitation to come unto Christ, we will find that He can heal all wounds. He can lift our burdens and carry them for us, and we can feel His loving arms wrapped around us.
"The Sun God"
"Lift Elder Lift"
Shrek Selfie
What I love about Mom is the sacrament experiences she gave me when she was in the hospital. What I love about my Dad is how he took care of my mom during those days when she was in the hospital.

con much amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil 
August 18, 2014

Victoria Center, Santa Ana Huista, Huehuetenango, Guatemala
We Want To Teach You
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 4:3

“If you have a desire to serve the Lord you will, I promise you that.” Elder John D. Mcilmoil

“I need you.” Jesus Christ

“You cannot fail on the Lord’s errand” M. Russell Ballard

Lord I need thee. O I need thee. Every hour I need thee. Come unto me.

“In the simple and beautiful language of the sacramental prayers those young priests offer, the principal word we hear seems to be remember.” Elder Jeffery R. Holland



Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Book Of Mormon: Power, Comfort And Protection


Zaculeau Guatemala, Two Miles Outside Huehue
Relaxing Before Interview With President Smith
Pizza After Interviews
Tortillas: 15
This week was good and long, we had to go to Huehue this week. We had to get up at 3 am to catch the bus, so we haven’t had much sleep this week and I haven’t been able to catch up on sleep. We went to Huehue to have interviews with President Smith. The interviews went great, I cannot express enough my love for the President and Sister Smith, I just love them and feel so much love from them, they are the most amazing people in the world. Every time I talk with President Smith I just feel like I am talking to an apostle and even the Savior, his voice is so full of love and he speaks by the spirit. As I was talking to him he talked about the Book of Mormon, then we ended up talking about President Ezra Taft Benson talk, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion.” I say to all read that talk. This is what President Smith focused on: “In 1832, as some early missionaries returned from their fields of labor, the Lord reproved them for treating the Book of Mormon lightly. As a result of that attitude, he said, their minds had been darkened. Not only had treating this sacred book lightly brought a loss of light to themselves, it had also brought the whole Church under condemnation, even all the children of Zion. And then the Lord said, ‘And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon’ (D&C 84:54–57). Has the fact that we have had the Book of Mormon with us for over a century and a half made it seem less significant to us today? Do we remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon? ........If the early Saints were rebuked for treating the Book of Mormon lightly, are we under any less condemnation if we do the same? The Lord Himself bears testimony that it is of eternal significance. Can a small number of us bring the whole Church under condemnation because we trifle with sacred things? What will we say at the Judgment when we stand before Him and meet His probing gaze if we are among those described as forgetting the new covenant?” President Smith asked me what did President Benson mean when he said the church is under condemnation. I said honestly I don’t know. President Smith then asked this, if someone read the Book of Mormon everyday will they every leave the church? I said no, he said correct, then he said if an investigator reads every day, they will want to go to church, to be baptized and to go to the temple but this is what President Benson meant, if we are not LIVING it, we are not studying it enough to live it in other words treating the Book of Mormon this gift from the Lord lightly and as though it is of little importance, go and read Doctrine and Covenants: 84:54-57 and read it with that thought in mind, are you living the Book of Mormon, are you treasuring the words up in your heart and are your investigators desiring to live it. The Book of Mormon will teach us to live in times of trouble and see the dangers of the world that may creep into hearts. By reading and living the Book of Mormon we find great power, great comfort, and great protection. As I read those versus I realized that I am not living the Book of Mormon, not truly living it, and I need to study it more to know what to live and pray on how I can live it.
Traveling Inside The Bus
So This Is What It Is Like Inside The Bus
So who knew a country song would lead to a street contact well actually a bus contact. As we as we got on a bus to go to the main bus station, I heard a very familiar tune to a country song, as I realized what the song was my mouth dropped open and I was like there is no way I am listening to Just To See You Smile by Tim McGraw on a bus in Guatemala in English. I looked around to see if it was a cd playing or if it was the radio station.  I saw it was a cd, so I said to the bus driver, una pregunta (question) ¡es esta musica es suyo? (Is this your music) the bus driver said si es mio (yes its mine) then I said mi encanta..Tim McGraw es el major (I love it, Tim McGraw is the best). Then the driver starts talking in English and said he was in the states for 10 years, he was in Florida. Then I said in English, so you understand the lyrics, he said yeah man, I love country, then I died laughing (well almost) We ended up talking for as were are going to the bus station, turns out he has been to and maybe even lived in Tennessee, Illinois, Chicago, Florida, Kentucky, Kansas. He said he has never talked to Mormon missionaries. I told him what we do and that there are more than 80 thousand of us in the whole world, and then I said if you get the chance to see to a missionary again talk to them and they will go to your house to visit you and share with the greatest message you could ever listen to. He said ok and then I had to go to catch my bus to go back to the Huista. It was a sweet experience. It is amazing what can start a conversation about the gospel. 
My Little Pink Chick
Purple Chick
Elder Ipa And All His Chicks
We meet with a family on Tuesday and had an amazing lesson with them. At first we started on their porch, then we moved into the living room because it started to rain and again we moved into a bedroom because that part of the roof didn’t have holes where the rain could come through. Once we finally sat down, the lesson truly started. As we shared the first vision we asked the Dad, so what is Christ going to say about what church is true, he was like ummm, I don’t know. Elder Ipanaque said, remember when we don’t have prophets and apostles, there isn’t priesthood power or authority upon the earth to direct Christ’s church. Then the Dad said Christ is going say none. I said you are correct, Christ said none of the churches have the truth because they did not have the priesthood, authority from God to organize His church and to act in His name. He called Joseph Smith to be a prophet. The priesthood was restored by the Lord to Joseph Smith through heavenly messengers to establish His church once again upon the earth. The Lord has revealed to us how can recognize and to the know the truth. Paul teaches us this in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 13:1 “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” I then said the Lord has prepared the second witness for our day which is the Book of Mormon. I showed the Book of Mormon to them and I asked what does it say below the title? They couple read otro testamento de Jesucristo (another testament of Jesus Christ). I shared with them the last prophet in this book wrote a very special promise for each of us and then we read Moroni 10:3-5. I told them you can know this is true, then these words filled my mouth, if you ask this very night if these things are true as you read the Book of Mormon, you will receive an answer tonight by the power of the holy ghost, I promise this to you in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. I then challenged them to baptism (this was our first lesson with them).  I said when you receive your answer and know these things are true will you be baptized by someone who holds the authority of Jesus Christ. They both said yes. Now we will have to work on getting them married and having them come to church and to be committed in READING the Book of Mormon. The good thing is, neither one of them have been baptized into another church. They go to a church and that’s about it. The Dad is the guy I wrote about 2 weeks ago and how I saw a cry for help in his eyes. In a quick 30 second exchange we had with him on the street I have never forgotten I saw a blackness, sadness, a plea for help and I know we can help him and his brother. I know we can bring them to the truth.

B-Ball In The Rain, Why Not?
My Biggest Fan
I challenge you to all to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to know that it is true and is a gift from God. Your life will be changed and you will draw closer to the Lord. The Book of Mormon will provide safety for the soul. I promise you that God will answer your prayers. I promise you if you truly read this gift from God and truly pray about it you will know the truth because this is the book that builds us upon the rock of our Redeemer that can build such great faith that you cannot fall.  Read the Book of Mormon every day, and you will never leave the church most importantly we won’t abandon Christ and He will never abandon us. We will never have to walk alone for He will walk by our side. No wonder Mormon wrote “Ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ” I pray that we will read and live the Book of Mormon.
Thinking Of My Mom And Dad
Another Beautiful Day
The Courtyard At The Church In Zaculeau
What I love about Mom is that she read the Book of Mormon to me when I was super sick and by the power of those pages I was able to have peace and receive the rest I needed and what I love about Dad is that he would get up early to read the Book of Mormon. Dad I watched you do this just about every Saturday as I got up to watch cartoons. I got up early to watch you read. What I love about both of them is that we read the Book of Mormon as a family and that they taught me to love the Book of Mormon.
Nothing Like Soccer and B-ball in the Rain
t
Hoopin' It Up With The Youth
con mucho amor
Ducks Forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
August 11, 2014

Scriptures of the week: 3 Nephi 9:13 

“Will ye not return unto me.” The Lord Jesus Christ

“Let me heal you.” The Savior of the world Jesus Christ

Come unto Christ to be healed by him.

You have never traveled to far from His out stretched hand, you are never too far from the one that truly loves you.

Moroni 10:3-5

“We must make a simple choice with the Book of Mormon: it is either of God or the devil. There is no other option. I have read every page of the Book of Mormon, again and again, and I bear my solemn witness it is from God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Elder Tad R. Callister

“I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world that the Book of Mormon is true.” Elder Jeffery R. Holland

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