Friday, January 30, 2015

Give Thanks For Forever Families


Of Course I'm Going To Check This Out
Passage To The Other Side
Tortillas for the week: 30

This week has gone by so fast! Elder Chavis is a blast, I truly love working with a new missionary. And it is so fun training, I love it. So this week I have never been so busy with phone calls checking up on the zone and other responsibilities. Yeah it has been crazy this week. At zone training we were given amazing instruction and council from President Smith, when we returned home we prayed asking for el ayuda de padre celestial (the help of Heavenly Father) with the missionaries in our zone and we made a convenio (covenant) with Him. So this week as a zone we set a goal for 70 new people to teach. Last night came rolling around and I’m writing down the stats and I am getting numbers like 5, 4, 6 new people to teach. And I’m thinking we are not going to make our goal of 70 then we hit some big numbers and we ended up hitting the goal! We actually ended up with 74 new people to teach!!!  We also experienced another miracle with the zone. For 4 months we could never reach our baptism goal, we would always fall short and I mean way short. So this month we set a goal for 6. Then we made some changes, President Smith told us to leave the Bible in the house, so we did, he also told us to change our way of contacting in the street so we did. On Saturday we had our 6th baptism as a zone in huehue centr. Through many prayers and obedience to President Smith’s instruction and council we achieved our goal. This was a tender mercy our zone needed. I won’t go into details of other changes we made, but we made a lot of changes, hard changes but changes the Lord wanted us to make, we did, and reached our goal. It feels so good to reach our goal and we are just starting!
The Blessing Of Obedience
Today, Monday January 26th is the 5 year anniversary of our beloved angel, Chris Cook being called back to our eternal home. I would like to end my e-mail with these words. As I have had so many experiences on my mission and I have seen many things I have come to know Jesus Christ and I testify that He overcame death, that there is no sting. Yes I know it is hard to lose someone you love; the day Chris Cook my Gramma lost her battle to cancer changed our family. How can we say we are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and how can we bear any moving or lasting testimony of His divinity when we have never experienced anything like He experienced. In words similar to Elder Holland I am convinced that to truly come to know the living Christ, to return home, we have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane or we have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. So my dear family I challenge you that on this day lose yourself in the scriptures especially when Christ came to the American Continent and seek to gain a greater understanding of the atonement. If you do so I promise you will feel a light, you will feel the love of our Heavenly Father and our Savior and you will shed tears of gratefulness. It is no coincidence that this morning we taught a mother that lost her baby and as Elder Chavis and I were teaching her you could feel the spirit testifying families are forever. It is through the power of the Savior’s Atonement, we can be together again with our families after death. So give thanks that we all had the chance to know Grammy and give thanks that families are forever. Have joy in knowing that she has moved on to do a greater work and have joy that we know these things are made possible from a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior who has felt the heartache and pain we feel. Yes I know it hurts but the pain is swallowed up in the resurrección de cristo and His infinite atonement.
Chillin' With Elder Chavis
Horchata Love!!!!
Con mucho amor
Elder Mcilmoil
January 26, 2015 
Mad Wall Skills
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 24: 7-8

“The temple will be an ever-present reminder that God INTENDED the FAMILY to be ETERNAL.” Ezra Taft Benson 

When ye seek first the kingdom of God you shall find joy.

“Do you want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause.” Spencer W. Kimball 

“Everyone loses his or her way at some point, to some degree it is the atoning sacrifice of the Savior that can return us home.” Elder M. Russell Ballard 
18 Months And I'm Still Making My Bed Mom!
Dinner Preparation

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Leaving The Kids At Home Alone And Faith

Look Who I Saw!!! Gerzon de Leon
Chichi Branch Reunion!!!
Tortillas for the week: 25

Big news….THE KIDS WERE LEFT HOME ALONE!!!!!! (greenies/new missionaries) and THEY DIDNT DIE…THEY HAVE GROWN UP SO FAST!!! Why were the kids left at home alone? Elder Moncada and I went to formación líder de zona en Xela con el Presidente Smith. And the Kids found 3 Familias while we were gone!!! WOW!
Ridding With The Big Kids
Anyway the consejo (advice) at zone leader training meeting was something else. President Smith said we need to street contact better. He said we need to talk about both Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon during a street contact. I was like how; I have no idea how to say those two things in a street contact. Then I remembered I am called por un profeta de dios (prophet of God) to say those things. As we street contact we are always looking for a reason to start a conversation, we have been counseled that we have 2 reasons to start a conversation. All I can say is since I have been called to train and be a ZL my faith has grown, a lot! I see almost everything we do as missionaries now as acts of faith. Talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon during a street contact is an act of faith.
Watching Over Huehue
Mission Prep With Lacho
This week we did divisions with the assistants here in Huehue. Elder Portilla and I went to a lesson and as we were teaching this lady you could feel the spirit so strongly and you could feel that she is going to be baptized. It was a very neat feeling. Elder Chavis and I had a cita hoy (appointment today) so we went and our plan was to plan a date for baptism this month but as soon as I walked in I knew that Michael’s date was not going to happen this month, I felt strongly it would be in February. So we challenged him and he said I will be baptized in February. I pray that he will stay committed to a February baptism.
More Stripling Warrior Pics
During zone conference we talked about the restoration and asked why people don’t accept this message. The answer is they don’t understand; why don’t they understand? It is not only because of the traditions of their fathers (Alma 17:9) and not only because of their hard hearts (Alma 17:14) it is because we don’t teach the message of the restoration good enough. We did role play and we saw a good example and a bad example which was planned out by Elder Moncada and me and the sister leaders. Our purpose was for us as missionaries to recognize that we teach the message of the restoration very poorly in almost every lesson and we don’t take notice. It is our challenge and focus to each of us in the zone to teach the most important lesson better and clearer so people can truly understand that there is only one and true church upon the face of the earth. My testimony of the restoration has truly grown. It is amazing how much my testimony has grown.
We Once Had Something To Cook On
Chillin' For A Minute
What I love about Mom is that she is accepting the Lord’s will and what love about Dad is that he has a picture of Christ in his class room at school. 

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
January 19, 2015
Saturday Selfie
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 39:29 

“I testify that bad days come to an end, that faith always triumphs and that heavenly promises are always kept.” Elder Holland 

If God brought you to it; He will bring you through it. 

If we truly want to become like the Savior, we must learn to teach in the way He taught.
Water Well
Yep There Is A Man In That Water Well

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Training Elder Chavez And Clean Vessels

Elder Chavez And Elder Mcilmoil
Tortillas for the week: 20

So this week I gave birth to my first child (mission slang for a missionary meeting the missionary he/she will be training since that missionary is a brand new missionary.) Anyway his name is Elder Chavez, he is from Nicaragua and he is bien pilas (sick=great). It is a blast being with him. I love all missionaries but there is something special about the new missionaries. They are so eager to learn and excited to work. Elder Moncada and I went to Xela on Tuesday to pick up our new missionaries. We got back to Huehue at 6:30 pm and we went right to work. I’m excited to train and excited because the work is really starting to take off here, we are finding people to teach slowly but it is coming. This week has been a good week; we have worked really well together.
Elder Mac y Elder Moncada y Sus Hijos

I want to share an experience I had that opened my eyes to what I really have, so Elder Chavez and I were knocking doors; we knocked on this door of a family and a daughter answered well she leaned over the balcony. I tell her we are missionaries and then her face just turns colors or loses her excitement and is like oh. Then I said to her that we have a message about families. She ok but my parents are busy and she was just starts to shut us down. But before she does I said our message is about families that can be together forever. As soon as I said that she stops dead in her tracks and she stays and listens. I then said if you want your family to be forever, we would like to come by and share how you can have a forever family. She said ok you can come by. I asked her what day would work best. She said cualquier (whenever). So I asked what time, then she said cuando uds pueden (when you two can come by) and she left. Elder Chavez and I felt like we needed to wait a few minutes before leaving so we stood in front of the house. The dad looked out the window, and the daughter looked out the window. So I went and knocked on the door again and nothing.  As I left my heart just ached, in that very moment it hit me so hard what they just passed up/rejected/ missed, not only did they reject Christ, but they rejected the chance to have a forever family. Then I saw what I have, I have two parents that were sealed in the temple and my family is forever only if we live the commandments obediently. I am so grateful that my family is a forever family; NO EMPTY CHAIRS!
Highway To Heaven?
When we contact people we focus on the restoration. It is very interesting to see how people react when we tell them God has called prophets again to guide and direct us here in this world. Some people’s reaction is that is impossible, others reaction is I don’t care and then some find it very interesting and they listen to us. As we search out the prepared it is interesting to see what the Lord does to us, He cleans us to be worthy vessels for example He may say ok your repentance is enough, now you need to know this about repentance so you can be better. I am learning that TRUE repentance and TRUE confession is changing the way you live, actually putting in an effort to change. Yesterday I knew that the Lord has forgiven me, but He told me my son you need to change, change the way you live, to be truly forgiven for I have forgiven you but now it is time to raise the bar in your life. I know that I am on the Lord’s time line; I need to be patient and seek more often understanding how I may become a clean and worthy vessel to be an instrument in His hands to find those who have been prepared to hear His message.
Stripling Warriors

What I love about Mom is that she keeps going and what I love about Dad is who he is. 

Con mucho amor
Elder Mcilmoil 
January 12, 2015
Selfie Sunday

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 1:16

"When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power." President Ezra Taft Benson

“When we love the lord, obedience ceases to be a burden. Obedience becomes a delight.” Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin 

“Flora and I.” President Ezra Taft Benson (think about this quote)
Some Things Never Change

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Training!!!

Happy Birthday Elder Mac!!!
I Love My Birthday Cake
I have Big News I am TRAINING!!!!!  So in the mission President Smith is having most of the zone leaders train. So yes, Elder Moncada and I are still the zone leaders. He will also be training a missionary who has six weeks left in his greenie training and then Elder Moncada goes home. Once again there will be four of us living together. I am so stoked to train; it is going to be fun. As I think of this calling I know it is a very special privilege because it is a calling Christ had in His life. When Christ called twelve men as Apostles to teach His gospel, He had to train those twelve men (Matthew 10). So yes in some ways it is the same but in other ways it is not. Those twelve men Christ called had no clue what to do just like the greenies, I mean at least the greenies had the MTC to help. I have to show this kid everyday life of being about our Father’s business just like Christ did, I will prepare him to teach like Christ did, I need to love him like Christ loved those twelve men. I will show him how he can exercise faith like Christ showed the twelve. There are so many points that are the same, and one of my favorite is this, I have to be humble in teaching this kid the doctrine of the kingdom. Yes we know the doctrine but we don’t know it truly enough and we always need to learn more. I will need to prepare him to teach and testify of the doctrines of the restored gospel by the spirit so the people will feel and recognize the Spirit, and to invite the people to make commitments to do the things that will help them become converted. I need to help him see the basic needs of the people and to serve with kindness and unconditional love. To serve with obedience and desire to work just as Christ taught the twelve to serve. I am truly grateful for this chance I have to train and show a new missionary in a small way how Christ prepared the twelve to serve and to bring souls unto Christ through the saving ordinances of the gospel.
Pizza And New Year's: This Going To Hurt!
No, I Did Not Take The Last Slice
So this week I read 1 Nefi 2: 1-5 which says

1. For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.
2. And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.
3. And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.
4. And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his
inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.
5. And he came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea; and he traveled in the wilderness in the borders which are nearer the Red Sea; and he did travel in the wilderness with his family, which consisted of my mother, Sariah, and my elder brothers, who were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam.

In verse 1 we read that the Lord SPEAKS to Lehi which means the Lord answers our prayers.
In verse 2 it says the Lord COMMANDED Lehi (the investigator or us) to take his family and depart into the wilderness and in terms of speaking to the investigator it could be for example to get baptized and for us it could be being listening to the promptings of the spirit and act without hesitation.
In verse 3 we learn Lehi was OBEDIENT to what the Lord said and as I read that I learned that los escogidos (the chosen) will obey the Lord’s voice. The Lord promises His sheep (the chosen) they will know His voice and instructs them to obey His voice. For the investigator it means to obey the promptings of the spirit and know it is His voice inviting them to be baptized. For us it is to obey the voice of the Lord and again not hesitate when those promptings come.
In verse 4 and 5 we learn Lehi gave up everything and took his family as the Lord commanded into the wilderness. We know Lehi was obedient but also see how important family truly is. Lehi left everything; all his gold, silver and precious things (the things of the world) took nothing except his family. So very interesting as a missionary are focus has been changed to finding the one to finding and teaching families and to prepare them to go to the temple so that may be a forever family. As we bring families to the church or unto Christ we are truly building His kingdom. So don’t always look for that one person, look for that ONE FAMILY to share the message of the restoration and tell them that God loves us so much He has called prophets again to guide us and lead us in this life so we can return back to the presence of Heavenly Father and live forever with our Families. FIND THAT FAMILY!
This Is What Happens When You Don't Have A Fork
New Year's Zone Activity: Minute To Win Games
con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
January 5, 2014 
Ghost Town On January 1st!
Happy 2015!!!!
Tortilla count for the week: 20

Scripture of the week: 1 Corinthians 10:13

“We have the responsibility to stand strong with a shield of faith against the fiery darts of the adversary. We are role models to the world, protecting God-given, inalienable rights and freedoms. We stand in defense of our homes and our families. … How will you resist [Satan’s] aggressive tactics? Put on the whole armor of God.” Elder Robert D. Hales

"When you come to the temple you will love your family with a deeper love than you have ever felt before. The temple is about families." Richard H. Winkel

"I should not like to contemplate an existence, especially one that is going to continue forever, if I could not enjoy that existence with those whom I love. And so we build temples in the name of the Lord." Hugh B. Brown

video
Fireworks!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Gift Of Repentace

 Cantando Missioneros de Huehue
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Tortillas for the week: 20

On December 23rd all of the missioneros de huehue (missionaries in Huehue) sang Christmas hymns in parque central. It was sweet; we had like 100 people or more listening and watching us. It was such a great experience I hope they do it again next year and establish a tradition for the missionaries to do this every year.
Feliz Navidad
Families And Christmas
This week has been a hard week; it has been full of tiny mistakes and a lot of lessons for me to learn. It has been truly hard, but I am beyond grateful for repentance. I have learned that repentance is one of the greatest gifts Heavenly Father has given us in this life. I’m so grateful that I can become better each day and that Heavenly Father is so very patient with me, He is patient with all of us. I know He loves us today and every day. He chooses us every day. The love He has for us is so amazing; He just loves us so much even though we are imperfect. President Uchtdorf taught, “He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. Regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.” He invites us to repent and to get better. “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.” (Alma 5:33) It will be hard, with tears, pleadings, godly sorrow but it is so worth it (vale la pena). In the words of President Uchtdorf, “My dear brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don’t feel downcast or despair if you don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try.” When we feel the Lord forgiving us, it is so amazing, you can feel just love and feel so limpio y puro, como Cristo (clean and pure as Christ). Change is hard but you can do it and it will remove guilt from your heart and brings peace to your conscience. Making changes to be pure and clean will bring you closer to our Heavenly Father and you will come to know Him a lot better. You will begin to recognize His hand even more in your live. There will also be a strong desire to do His will and you become like our Father in Heaven.
El Niño de Cristo
Fireworks: Christmas Tradition
Also we had a meeting with President Smith on Friday. The meeting was with just me and Elder Moncada. President Smith wanted to talk about how we can mejorar la zona (improve the area). It was amazing to have this discussion. Through our discussion we found that we need to have the zone focus more on families. At the end President Smith asked us what we think the zone can do better? We said the use of the Book of Mormon more often. He said, “I want you two to think about the first missionaries, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, Parley P. Pratt and others, how many book did they use?” We responded with, “They only used one book.” He said, “Correct, the Book of Mormon. I have a challenge for you including your zone; all of you will leave your Bibles in your houses and only use the Book of Mormon. Now that is going to test your faith; trust and believe.” As I have thought about this challenge, I know it is going to test my faith but it also going to strengthen my faith and I will have a stronger trust in Heavenly Father and in the Book of Mormon. My challenge to each of you this year is have a stronger focus on the Book of Mormon. I know and promise your faith will be strengthened.
Elder Moncada And Papá Noel
Christmas Ham
What I love about Mom is the letters she had everybody write and sent them to me for Christmas. What I love about Dad is the Christmas mornings we would shovel snow together.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
December 29, 2014
Celebrating Elder Mac's Birthday
I Love This Kid
Scripture of the week: Alma 5:19 and 33

“Personal repentance is part of taking up the cross daily” Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Repentance requires both turning away from evil and turning to God.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell

He loves us today 
Hermana Cony Surprised John For His Birthday
video