Friday, September 5, 2014

Branch President And Begin With The End In Mind

Banana Leaf
If Only It Would Rain
Tortillas for the week: 20
I don’t know where to begin except that I am now the branch president in San Antonio Huista. Yep Elder Ipa has completed his service as a missionary and is going home tomorrow. Yes I am sad but also super happy because I have been with him for 5 changes and it has been rough with many challenges. Tomorrow I get a new comp and a fresh start.
Missionary Happiness
So this past week we traveled everywhere. We had to spend the night in Colotenango and it was sweet. We were there for divisions. It was a great experience to meet the investigators in Colo.  As we were getting ready to leave I felt like I needed to talk to the 2 elders serving in Colo about what they wanted to have happen with their investigators. They told me and I said that is good but your missing something, if you only focus on baptism your investigators will go inactive because they will only think all they need is to be baptized and that’s it, no more church, no more of anything, nada. I then shared with them what Elder Nelson said, “Missionary work should begin and end with our minds focused on the blessings of the holy temple.” So begin with the end in mind. Envision how you’re your investigators would look in white baptismal clothing and how very good they would look dressed in white temple clothing kneeling across the alter to be sealed as husband and wife and as family, or maybe it is a future missionary receiving the gift of the endowment. Whoever that investigator may be focus on the temple. Elder Nelson also said, “We join this Church to make and keep covenants that qualify us for eternal life. We join this Church so that our families can be together forever.” We have a very unique message to share that no one else has, our message is Families Are Forever. What other church has the keys to perform the sealing ordinances that bind families on earth and in heaven, none. Yes elders your investigators need to be baptized but your focus should be the end in mind: baptism leads them to qualify for the saving ordinances: baptism, confirmation, the temple endowment and being sealed for time and all eternity to a spouse. So your goal should be the temple and the second goal you should have is for your investigators to feel Christ’s love for them. When your investigators can feel the love of Christ and have knowledge of forever families they will have hope and light to a world filled with darkness. A successful missionary is one who loves the people and desires for them to have eternal salvation. I then challenged them to focus on those two goals; it was a very cool experience.
Sacred Views
The Chapel In Huehue
On Thursday we went to Huehue for Elder Ipa’s last mission interview with President Smith. It was super nice to see President Smith, I love that man! I was able to talk to him for a little bit. He said are you ready to take charge over the branch in San Antonio and I said yes I am. He then said to save your branch you need new blood, you have to get new members. He then shared an experience when he was working for his company; he said he gave a presentation about the Garth Brooks album called Fresh Horses and how the company needed new and fresh horses. He said after the presentation he gave the board members each a copy of the album and he said 20 years later people still remember that presentation. He then told me get your fresh horses and that will help you save your branch and the members will never forget.
If You Build It They Will Come
So one night we were walking in the streets and there was a light drizzle anyway as we were walking down this hill this guy on a motorcycle pulls up to the side of us and says I don’t want to offend you and when he said that I was like what the heck, what is going to happen, then he said you are Mormons right? I said yes we are, and then he said I need a Book of Mormon. I about fainted, I was so taken back; I didn’t know what to say, so I just said ok. Then he asked do you have a Book of Mormon? Still in shock I said yes do you want it right now? He said yes. I asked him where he lived and he said I am from Jacaltenango. He then said Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon by God’s direction, we said no. He quickly responded and said he was an instrument in God’s hands right, we said yes and then Elder Ipanaque gave a brief introduction about the Book of Mormon. He said I want to read and study it because I have read the Bible and learned that Christ said we need to endure to the end and that is what I want to do. During this conversation I’m in shock, I didn’t know what to say because things like that don’t happen or they don’t happen to me. It did happen and I was there and I remember feeling something very peaceful and hearing these words it is going to be ok, we found each other. I can’t put the feelings I experienced into words. As we walked away I was almost in tears because of how I felt and all I could say the rest of the night was my Lord, my God how great Thou art. The rest of the night I had the feeling of warmth, comfort and peace. I have been so stressed because of what I have been called to do. During that 5 minute conversation I knew it was going to be alright and that the Lord is about to do things in front of mine eyes that I never thought I would see, it was a feeling of John you are ok, don’t worry you will find those that I have prepared. 
Look What I'm Bringing Home
Ginormous Rabbit, Just For You Mom
On Sunday I was called to be the branch president. And we went straight to work; we made some changes, made a new calling with the help from a counselor in the mission presidency. The counselor from the mission presidency taught me this, he said elder let me tell you this, this is your branch, your called to serve as the leader but your still a missionary. He then said you have to be obedient because one person can put a branch, a ward, an area, or whatever under condemnation through disobedience. The Lord asks each of us to be obedient and when we are not obedient it just doesn’t hurt the disobedient but it hurts everybody around that is doing all they know how to be obedient. Please be obedient so this branch doesn’t suffer anymore and that His work can progress. 
Scenic Photo Op
I testify to you that if we are obedient the Lord will bless us beyond belief. I know that families can be together forever. I know that families are without beginning and without end.

What I love about Mom and Dad is that they were sealed for all time and eternity. 

Con Much Amor, Ducks Forever
Elder Mcilmoil
September 1, 2014 
Iron Man Now Showing In Guatemala
Feeding The Flock
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 107: 99-100

“What matters most is what lasts longest, and our families are for eternity.” Elder M. Russell Ballard

“We are to learn our duty from the Lord, and then we are to act in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful.” President Henry B. Eyring

“Plead that the Spirit will show you what the Lord wants you to do. Plan to do it. Promise Him to obey” President Henry B. Eyring

“Disobedience is selfishness; it is a sign of pride.” Elder Mcilmoil 
Sometimes You Just Have To Have A Flour Fight

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