Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Live In Thanksgiving Daily And Let Him In

Mission Leadership Meeting With President And Hermana Smith
Tortillas for the week: 25

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How great is to have a day focused on gratitude. With that being said we should be grateful every day. President Uchtdorf says, “Have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?” We have so many things to be grateful for regardless of circumstances. We need to take time each day and find at least one thing that we are grateful and you will be happier. We all need to have an attitude of gratitude. I’m grateful for my dear Father in Heaven; He gave me this life to be tested and show my love for Him as I try to better person each day. I’m also grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Words can’t express my gratitude for my Savior and His courage to say to the Father, “Thy will be done.” I have never experienced so much adversity and heartache as I have these past 17 months but I also have never experienced so much comfort, peace and light. Because of Him I receive the strength and courage to do His work every day. I owe Him everything, He is my everything, He is everything. I love Him so much. And I’m also grateful for eternal families. I’m humbled to know that families can be together forever. It is through the divine love of our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ that we have been given the priceless gift of forever families. It is truly a blessing to share with those we are teaching of divine gift of eternal families. It feels your heart with indescribable joy.
Grill Master Elder Mac
"Feasting On The Words Of Christ"
Once again this has been one crazy week. We did divisions twice, one of the divisions was with the elders in our zone and the other division was with the assistants. It was such a great experience spending time with the assistance and learning from them. The spirit they carry with them is amazing. I have to admit it feels good when one of them gives you a complement. (jajajaja or in Egnlish: hahaha)
Our Crazy Zone
We had so many things happen this week it was crazy. I want to share one of the experiences I had this week. We went by a member’s home last night and we talked with the family about Christmas. I shared with the family that next month is Christmas and I challenged them to change their focus and give to Christ our best gift which is to serve others with all our heart, might and mind. I told them what I love about the word Navidad in English is that as you break down the word Christmas it becomes Christ. Christmas is Christ. President Monson said, “Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season. We can keep Him in our thoughts and in our lives as we go about the work He would have us perform here on earth. At this time, particularly, let us follow His example as we love and serve our fellowman. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior.” I then said let’s all do better this year to have the spirit of Christ with us this Christmas. It was a very special moment for all of us as we could feel the spirit of Christmas in the room; I should say the spirit of Christ.
Brotherly Love
Elder Moncada: Guardian Of The Grill
Thursday is thanksgiving. Let us show our love for the Savior as we take the time to write down at least one thing we are grateful for, not just on Thursday but every day. I promise you that as you do this your eyes will be opened to the many blessing you receive and the tender mercies you are given every single day. Be grateful every day no matter your circumstance. As we become more grateful we will be that innkeeper who will make room for Him and we will let Him. As we let Him, we will come to know Him and our hearts will be filled with gratitude. We will want to share the gift of Christ with others. May we all let Him in and feed Him and take care of Him as we do so we will take care of others and that is serving God Himself.

“Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise;
The tokens in his hand I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed;
These deeds shall thy memorial be,
Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”

May we all be Disciples of Jesus Christ in all things and in all places even until death. For He will always stand beside us.
Somewhere In Huehue
What I love about Mom is the turkey decorations she would make for Thanksgiving and what I love about Dad is the turkey bowls we played in.

Con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
November 24, 2014

Scripture of the week: Alma 34:38

Live in Thanksgiving daily.

BTW: a member watched Duck D!! In Spanish, WHAT!?!?!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Promises And Forgiveness

Picking Oranges
Labor Of Love
Tortillas for the week: 30

So where to begin for this past week, well we had divisions again which was sweet.  I love divisions; it is a time when I get to serve with the other missionaries in the zone and get to know them. I am also able to see how the missionaries work and how I can help them. By the way changes are next week. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by.
Teaching Truth
We had district meeting on Tuesday, and I had the opportunity to share a few words on the theme of the meeting which was the plan of salvation. I shared with them something that has been on my mind for some time. I said let’s go back to when you received your mission call, you were beyond excited, let’s go back to your last hug with your Mom and your Dad, remember how hard that was, now let’s go back even further, to our pre-earth life and think about your best friend, the one you were always with, talking with, playing with, sharing your dreams with. You did everything together. Heavenly Father calls to you to come and hands you your call. You open it and it says where you will be born, who your parents are; it also says you shall receive the eternal blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as you will be born under the covenant. You are so excited to tell your best friend the news but you see he or she is crying, and you ask what’s wrong, then he or she gives you their call and it says the same thing as your call except one part is different, it says you shall not be born under the covenant and you shall receive the gospel if you choose to accept it. Both of your hearts are filled with sadness. It is time for you to go to earth, your best friend looks at you with tears streaming down his of her cheeks and these are the final that words shared with you, “Find me, promise me that you will find me, please I need the gospel in my life.” You look at him or her in the eyes and say, “I promise you that I will find you and share with you the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that you may come back home.”  You hug each other, maybe for the last time and then you leave. Elders and Hermanas there are people that we promised to find, so my question to you, are you going to find him or her or will they find us in the next life and ask, “Why didn’t you find me, you promised me, WHY????” So Elders and Hermanas what are going to do to keep your promise? As I have thought about this scenario often and I have asked myself where is that friend I promised and what do I need to do to find him or her? It has even occurred to that maybe they are already members of the church but they have taken a few wrong turns in this life and maybe her or she is one my friends here. Where ever they are, I testify that we promised them that would rescue them in this life. We must stop and be still and ask ourselves where is that person, how can I find them, how can I be an answer to their prayer?
Somewhere In Huehue
Grateful For Domino's Pizza
We went by a less active member’s house this week and wow, I can understand why one of Satan greatest tools is pride. As we visited with this Hermana, she shared with us an incident that happened 3 years ago or more. She said it is so hard, we just can’t go back because we will see faces and feelings will be stirred up. Elders it is just not good to have those feelings in church. I said to her, “Hermana let’s look at the final moments of our Saviors life, when He is on the cross, with nails driven through His hands, His wrist, and in His feet. The people are mocking Him and the pain He is feeling is a pain that we could not possibly understand. What does He say? He says ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ Now that is unconditional love and forgiveness. If He can forgive, we can to, if we can’t, we can ask for His strength to forgive. We have to find a way to forgive, if we don’t are hearts will always be bitter and we will carry around hate which is pride which is one of Satan’s greatest tool. And we will never seek a remission of our sins. We must forgive, move on and forget. Hermana let me tell you of an experience I had in one of my old areas where I had served, there lived 2 gringos and every time I would see them I would say hi. They never said hi back and I was like what, you’re kidding you can’t say hi back to your fellow gringo, what is this. I became hard in the heart and I stopped saying hi to them. I realized what was happening to my heart. And then I listened to a conference talk that says we must pray for the poor in spirit and pray for those in need. Elder Holland also said in that conference talk I may not be my brothers keeper but I am my brothers brother. I knew I had to have a change of heart and I started to pray for those two men. I developed a love for them that I thought I would never have and I saw them differently. It is through prayer we can have the strength to forgive and see them as Christ sees them. Ask for the strength to forgive this family Hermana and then pray for them, be a disciple of Christ. If we are true disciples we do the Father’s will and love unconditionally.” I love you all.
The Family: A Proclamation To The World
What I love about Mom is that she taught me how to pray and what I love about Dad is that he showed me how to forgive and to forget.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
November 17, 2014
A Missionary Thanksgiving Chicken Dinner
Celebrating Thanksgiving Before Changes
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 6:36

Fear not I am with thee.

“Are we not all beggers?” Elder Holland

“Rich or poor, we are to do what we can when others are in need.” Elder Holland

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Zone Training And Lessons In Humility

Opportunities To Serve
Tortillas for the week: 20

First off here in Huehue we don’t get many tortillas which is fine and a bit strange since I’m used to eating lots of tortillas. This week went by super-fast. I can’t believe we only have 2 more weeks until the next change; time is going by way to fast.
We went to Xela on Tuesday for a meeting with President Smith and all the other zone leaders. It was amazing! We had training in the morning and after lunch Hermana Smith and President Smith spoke, what an incredible blessing to learn from them. Hermana Smith is so humble and when she speaks she speaks with so much love. She loves all of us like were her children. You can just feel how much she loves each of us.
Catching With Elder Navarro
President Smith spoke about faith. He broke faith down into three parts. First faith is knowing God (John 17:3, And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.) Second faith is obedience in doing God’s will. Third faith is sacrifice. His words made me think and look at faith differently. It made me think do I truly know God? My answer is kind of. As I was thinking President Smith shared with us that last night he read a talk given by President Uchtdorf and after sharing what he learned he said “I know the Lord” and he then asked us, “Elders and Hermana’s can you say you know the Lord?” What a great question for all of us. His words made me think what am I truly sacrificing to know the Lord, what do I need to give up to know the Lord? What do I need to do differently to know the Lord?
Zone Training And CCM Comps
After the meeting I had the opportunity to talk with President Smith. I asked him how can a man be more humble. When I asked him that he kind of laughed and he said I really don’t have an answer. He then shared this, I look to the quorum of the twelve apostles for their example. The only desire they have is to do the Father’s will, so if you want to be more humble, do the Father’s will. He also said I like to look at Peter’s story in John 21. (Elder Holland’s nonscriptural elaboration on what occurred when Jesus appeared again to His Disciples when they went fishing and He says to Peter, “Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish?  I have asked you before to leave your nets. And I’m asking you again, and I don’t want to ask you a third time. What I need, Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”) I told him that I just love that story. He said being humble is to love the Lord and leave our nets behind or in other word giving up that favorite sin, let go of it and leave it behind. As soon as he said those words, I knew what I had to drop and give up to become more humble and to know the Lord. Through President Smith the Lord was telling me to be more humble you need to submit to the Father’s will and He needs me to drop my net and leave it behind. By doing so I can truly come to the know the Lord and love Him and feed His sheep. It was an amazing conversation, a definite tender mercy. I learned so much and I know the only way to be humble is to walk in the footsteps of the Savior. In the words of President Monson, “The Savior’s example provides a framework for everything that we do, and His words provide an unfailing guide. His path will take us safely home.”
Missionary Selfies And Photo Bombing
The next day we did divisions (exchanges), all I can say divisions are amazing. It is a chance I have as a zone leader to bless the missionaries I serve. It was a great experience, I was to become familiar with one of the areas in the zone and I know what to expect of the elders in this area. As I was talking to Elder Dasilva a certain experience came to my mind which I needed to share with him. It was experience I hold sacred in my heart and I was hesitant at first but the spirit kept at me to share it with him. So I did and I pray that it helped him. It taught me that if we are worthy the spirit can work miracles through us because we are clean vessels of the Lord. That is all the Lord asks of us, is to be worthy so He can work through us. In Doctrine and Covenants 33 the Lord instructs us to lift up our voices to declare my gospel. Open your mouths and they shall be filled with what to say. It is interesting to see how the Lord will do His work. Nothing is going to stop His work from going forward. The only thing He asks of us is to love Him, drop our nets and be worthy to feed His sheep. As we do this we will gain more faith, a stronger testimony, become more humble and be committed to keeping all the commandments.
Photo Skills At Night
On Friday we met with a member who is trying to do Family Home Evening each week. I told her that is where I learned the gospel; it wasn’t in church it was in my home from my parents. I shared with her the story of the 2000 stripling warriors and then I said because of Family Home Evening I do not doubt that my parents know the gospel is true and I know the gospel is true. As I think about a testimony and bearing witness of the truth, there are so many ways to testify, we always testify of Christ but I love testifying about the small things that make the biggest difference, like Family Home Evening, the testimony of my parents or that home is the best school, it is the best place to prepare for the challenges of earthly life and the blessings of eternal life.
Jocon: Chicken And Rice And Other Stuff I Don't Know
What I love about Mom is that she knows that this is the truth and what I love about Dad is that he knows that this is the truth.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
November 10, 2014

What? Apple Soda
Scriptures of the week: Doctrine and Covenants  84: 61, Doctrine and Covenants 61:36

Faith is the principle of action and of power- Joseph Smith 

The most sacred work we will do in this life will be the work we do within the walls of our home.

He is ready to love.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Remember Lot's Wife And Where Can I Turn For Peace

Welcome To Huehue
Tortillas for the week:15
Where should I start this week, Saturday was dia de los muertos (day of the dead) and Huehue was dead, not literally but there was no one in the street. It was strange. I bought a traditional food that is 100 qtz and 100 qtz is a truck load of money, it was worth it, it was so good. This food is called fiambre (it is basically a salad served with over 50 ingredients) and you can only get it on November 1st and that is it, so of course I had to get it and try it, seriously who would pass that experience up. 
Look Who I Ran Into In Huehue!
The Book Of Mormon Will Change Your Life
Anyway we had so many things happen this week; I hope I can remember everything. We had a meeting with President Smith and the Stake President and wow was it cool. President Smith shared something’s well I should say revelation he had received, and was it amazing. I just felt and knew what he said the Lord was speaking through him. It was incredible experience.
My Halloween Celebration
We had dinner with Josue on Tuesday night. We had taco with a truck load of meat, it was so good. I pray that we can continue to have a positive influence on him. Anyway earlier we had an amazing experience where I know the Lord does truly answer prayers. We were contacting and I asked my comp have you contacted this neighborhood and he said yes. I then asked did you have any success and he said no. I looked at our agenda to see how much time we had which wasn’t until 6. Needless to say all of our other appointments had fallen though. It was about 5 and so I said lets go with the plan (appointment) we have at 6 which was with a member. I wouldn’t normally suggest that but I just felt like we needed to go early, all I can say it was Heavenly Father’s will that everything fell through so we could go to this member’s home at 5 instead of 6. We knocked on the door and she had a friend over who was also a member. We start talking to both of them which then turned into a lesson. I don’t remember exactly what I said but it was something along these lines, life isn’t always easy being a member of the true church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Life wasn’t easy for Him why would it be easy for us. Then came the answer to the prayer, we didn’t go to this appointment for the member but for the friend who was suffering. We were the answer to her prayers. I pull out my Bible and ask if she remembers the story of Lot’s wife. They all said yes, and so I asked what happened. They respond by saying Lot’s wife looked back and she was turned into a pillar of salt. I said exactly. I said let’s read what the Savior cautioned in Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.” I then asked what does the Savior mean by “Remember Lot’s wife?” And just what did Lot’s wife do that was so wrong? With the Lord’s counsel ringing in her ears “look not behind thee” she turned and looked anyway. She just wasn’t looking back she was looking back with her heart and longing to go back. With her looking back with her heart she was saying Lord, I don’t trust thee, there is nothing to look forward to in the future. I want to back where life was good. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. She had zero faith. The Lord is cautioning us to beware of attachment to the past outweighed our confidence in the future. We need to have faith in the Lord’s plan for us. I shared my experience of looking back. I told them how I have been looking back to San Antonio, that I have yearned to go back. I have learned through reading the account of Lot’s wife the Lord was teaching me that I was sinning. He was teaching me to have faith and to trust in Him and his plan for me. I shared with them that I’m changing that today and I’m no longer going to look back. I’m going to look ahead and believe in good things to come. I looked at the member’s friend and I could see tear marks. She said oh thank you Elders, thank you, you don’t know how much you have said means to me. She shared a little bit of what is going on in her life. She opened up to some of the pain she was experiencing. I felt her pain, and her cry to Heavenly Father, the same cry Joseph Smith the prophet poured out to the Lord in Liberty Jail, ““O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed…?” She shared with us that she has talked to her bishop and his counsel to her was don’t look back. Then she said you have given me the same direction. I feel as if the Lord is speaking unto me. I knew He is talking to her, He is saying hija mia, paz a tu Alma (my daughter peace unto thy soul). My companion also shared some incredible words, he said I testify that angles are still sent to help us, on both sides of the veil, He has sent us to teach you. Then we ended with this, there was a night so long ago, where the Savior Jesus Christ went unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. Then saith he unto them, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” And he went a little further and prayed.  He cried out in all loneliness isn’t there an easier way but the Father had to stay his hand as he watched his perfect son suffer in ultimate loneliness as he said, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Mathew 26) Our Savior Jesus Christ overcame everything and now He stands at the gate with a smile and His arms out reached and saying Come Unto Me. I love you wherever you are and whatever struggles and adversities you are experiencing. He tells us “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36) Then we sang ‘Where Can I Turn For Peace.” I just love this hymn
Where can I turn for peace?
Where is my solace
Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
I love the words who can understand, HE, THE ONLY ONE.  I testify He understands. I can’t count how many times I have cried out in pain, saddened, despair wondering who understands. I know He does through many experiences. Elder Bednar says, “There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness you or I ever confront in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. In a moment of weakness we may cry out, “No one knows what it is like. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He has felt and borne our individual burdens. And because of His infinite and eternal sacrifice He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy. He can reach out, touch, succor, heal, and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do relying only upon our own power. Indeed, His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” I also testify of the words shared by Elder Bednar, in the mission I have never felt such great burden but such lightness, I know His hand lightened my load. He lives, oh what sweet the joy this sentence gives.
Instant Nacho Cheese Sauce
Not Sure About This
On Sunday we went to a member’s house and met some family members that don’t live in Huehue. As we talked with them I have never had such a humble lesson in my life. I’m learning to understand that humility brings a powerful spirit. To hear my comp speak with such humility was a very powerful experience especially for me, the hot shot who just loves to end the lesson with the home run testimony or something like that but now I don’t even care about that, all I try and do is to speak form the heart. And that is what happened during this lesson. As we taught from our hearts the family members who said I will never ever change from my church said yes we will pray and ask God to see if these things are true. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to teach and testify of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Plate Of Food=Happy And Grateful Missionaries
What I love about Mom is the Halloween dinner she would make and what I love about Dad is that he was me for Halloween.

con amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
November 3, 2014
Families Are Forever

Scriptures of the week: D&C 84:64 and Alma 37:27

“We must put aside our pride, see beyond our vanity, and in humility ask, “Lord, is it I?” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf