Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Because He Lives Be Not Afraid Only Believe

Forever Brothers
Tortillas for the week: 25

I don’t have changes in other words I won’t be leaving huehue, so this will be my quinto cambio aqui en huehue (fifth change here in huehue), that is a long time. Elder Chavez is done with his training program and has been assigned to a new area. I will be training again so I will be here for at least another six weeks. Only three people in the zone have changes, which was a huge shock.
I'm A Missionary I Know It, I Live It And I Love It!
Alright let’s get to work, so this week was crazy. Elder Perry and I have been together doing house checks for 3 days this week (checking to see if the missionaries’ houses are clean). It was crazy since we don’t know where all the sisters live so had to do some house hunting with a missionary couple so they could check out the sisters’ cleanliness. On top of the house checks I also had 2 meetings to attend. So Saturday was the only day I was home in the morning to help Elder Chavez with the remainder of his training program. We also had district meeting so this week really has been non-stop.
Bringing The World His Truth
Yep this week has flown by, it just seems like each week gets busier; especially this week. I had to show Elder Perry all the investigators we were teaching and Elder Chavez was showing Elder Figueroa other contacts we had because I honestly thought Elder Chavez and I were both going to be changed. I was wrong which is nice because we found a very sweet family to share the gospel with. Here is the story, so last week Elder Chavez and I were standing in front of a members house and talking about where to go, and then a lady we looked so familiar passed by and we stood there with a look on our face of I know you but who are you. She told us I’m going to my house because my kid is sick. A minute or two after she left we both looked at each other and said we should go find her but we could never find her house. As we were looking for her house we both realized where she worked, so Elder Chavez went inside the store and asked where she lived. Crazy thing is where she lives is on street we have never knocked doors. Later on Elder Perry and I go over to her house with a member and have a very special lesson. As we sit down to teach her we start off building a relationship of confidence so she feels comfortable with us. We then share with her what we believe. We could feel the spirit so strong. We also showed her the video message GRACIAS A QUE ÉL VIVE (Because He Lives) http://www.mormon.org/easter After we watched it you could see the spirit touch this lady and her Dad. We testified of Christ and that He lives and we also testified that Joseph Smith is a profeta and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. As I testified the lady and her Dad both nodded their heads in agreement. This has never happened before. It was a very special lesson and what a way to end the day since that day everything fell through and things were looking horrible. The tender mercies of the Lord fill the soul with indescribable joy and gratitude.
Elder Smith And Elder Mac Reunited 
To end this e-mail I want to end with this experience. Yesterday we had a stake activity for the young men; at the end of the activity we had an hour to take these young men and knock doors. I left with my group and it starts raining which was sweet; these young men got a real mission experience. We knocked 5 doors, 2 weren’t home and 3 were but we never got invited inside. Even though we didn’t get invited in to any of the houses each young man was able to share their testimony at each doorstep. The experience that happened at the last door was amazing. One of the elders says lets knock this last door before we go back. So I said let’s do it. A white man answered the door and as soon as I saw him I knew he wasn’t going to be able to speak in Spanish; we asked him a few questions in Spanish and he said lo siento no tengo interese. So I quickly said ud sabe ingles? He said yes. I asked him where he was from and he said Canada. Then Elder Robleo who is from the states asked him, “What’s your opinion about the Mormon church?” He said he didn’t have one. Then Elder Robleo asked this man, “Do you believe in Jesús Cristo?” The man says yes but I have my doubts. I asked what are your doubts and he responded with this: there is just so much suffering, and it’s not right. I said I know and it breaks Christ’s heart, but there is opposition in all things and that is the way we learn and grow. I said, if you kneel down tonight and ask through prayer with all the humility of your heart, Christ will answer your prayer and tell you that He loves you. I know He does and I promise you that is true. When I said those words, it wasn’t me who said them, they came from the Savior of the world through the spirit. I was just blessed to be the vessel to share those words with him. After we left Elder Robelo said Elder Mac I felt the spirit so strong when you invited him to pray and then Elder Salazar who is kind of learning English and only has one change in the mission said he also felt the spirit when I said those words. It was a sweet experience since we had those three young men with us who don’t know English but were able to witness that there is one language when it comes to the spirit. I testify this is God’s work and He works with the language of the spirit to touch the hearts of His children.
Elder Chavez's Graduation Feast
What I love about Mom is that she made me breakfast every morning and what I love about Dad is the priesthood sessions we went to together.

Con mucho amor, ducks forever
Elder Mcilmoil 
March 30, 2015
Fiesta de Cumpleaños
Scripture of the week: Mark 5:36 

“President Hinckley received a mission call to England—at the time the most expensive mission in the world, with no equalization plan as there is today. As he prepared to leave, with all of these emotions and such potential problems troubling him, his beloved father, Bryant S. Hinckley, quietly handed him a card on which were written just five words: “Be not afraid,” it said, “only believe.” I am still not sure why that little story, told 20 years ago, has affected me so much, but it has.” Elder Holland 
Elder Perry And Elder Mac: Zone Leaders Hard At Work
El Esta Aquí 
Discover, Embrace, Share

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Listening To The Spirit And Simple Invitations Can Change Things

Chef Mac Prepping For The P-Day Zone Feast
Tortillas for the week: 25

This week was just one big blur. I can’t even remember one day from the other, so I ask for your patience in this email. The big highlight of the week was the multi zona que tuvimos el pasado semana (multi zone conference we had last week). The conference started at 9:30 and ended at 4. It was a great meeting! During the meeting we watched about 40 minutes of the movie “Meet the Mormons”, all I can say is I just love that movie! It is so good! I just love the way the movie ends with the missionary, and how it says this is us, we want everyone to talk to these young men in ties and white shirts and yes I admit I did cry during that part especially when he left. 
Ready To BBQ
Ok enough with that, let’s get to the messages for the multi zona. President Smith once again blew everyone out of the water when he talked about the Prophet Joseph Smith. He made me rethink about the divine calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He said I have studied over and over again the teachings of this Prophet and I learn more everytime about what he did for us when I read his teachings. President Smith said every person needs to hear this message, he said as we talk about Christ, it is impossible not to talk about Joseph Smith because he restored what Christ gave to us through the Atonement and His death. With that here is a news flash folks the church is releasing a new video called “Because He Lives”, and wow is it good! At first I didn’t really like it because it wasn’t bam like last year’s Easter initiative “Because of Him”; but now as I have watched it over and over again, the message has a lot more power but subtle at the same time. It is an amazing video. You see what He has done for us and that He is always with us. I challenge each and every one of you to hastag #BecauseHeLives #GraciasaqueElvive. Just to let you the video doesn’t come out until March 28th (we already have it….jajaja.) I love the church’s focus with this video and how much we are focusing on that He lives. Not only did He die, but He rose from the dead and He lives. He lives, I testify that He lives, I am sure of it.
This May Take A While
Sunday I gave a talk on the Atonement of Christ. It is just special to see what happens to my heart when I start studying the Atonement of Christ; my heart just softens and I become more in tune to the spirit. It is amazing how the spirit works through you as your heart is softened and you become humble. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Christ. I testify all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is the greatest evidence we have of the Father’s love for His children. He so dearly loves us. The Atonement, is the greatest act of love in human history, it changed the world, the possibility and destiny for all of us. As I think about the Atonement I think about a song called “He Is” by Hilary Weeks. She sings, “He is a garden and a prayer. He is two strangers on a hill. He is an empty tomb and the price that heaven paid. He’s our chance to try again. He is open arms. He is a quiet invitation. He is hope when hope is gone. He is lasting peace and the answer we are seeking. He is the pathway home” That is the Atonement. As we study the Atonement day by day, we will feel an increased desire to be more obedient and live the teachings of Jesus Christ. 
Hot Dog Photo Bomb
To end this email I want to end with an experience I had; during the multi zona we talked about the baptismal challenge and how it plants seeds, and how when we challenge it helps the investigators change and progress. That night I had a lesson, the first lesson we were going to teach to this investigator and it wasn’t the very best lesson. I actually thought it was horrible but at the end I felt like I needed to challenge this young woman to be baptized. I was thinking to myself why, the lesson was horrible, and there is no way she is going to say yes and she probably won’t even understand. I followed the promptings of the spirit and I challenged this young women to be baptized and she said yes! I about fell over. As I challenged her I felt the spirit and I felt peace. When we were teaching her I didn’t feel the spirit. As I asked her she to be baptized I felt the spirit and when she said yes you could see a change about her. You could even see more changes when we saw her on Saturday and Sunday. The cool thing is she is helping to reactivate her aunt! I pray I won’t be changed next week so I can see her progress and help her family out. I testify that a simple invitation can change things. When Elder Perry and I went to teach another family who is less active, we shared our testimonies and invited the family to church and they came yesterday! Then all four of us went to visit another less active and as we showed up, the less active got the message and we didn’t even share a message (we didn’t talk) but the spirit shared the message. It was sweet!
Wall Of Love
What I love about Mom is the pics she sent in my package and what I love about Dad is when we would play football in the backyard at night when I was younger. Football $15, jersey $20, shoes $25, beating your Dad priceless….jajaja

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
March 23, 2015

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 26:24-28, 33

“Jesus held on. He pressed on. The goodness in Him allowed faith to triumph even in a state of complete anguish. The trust He lived by told Him in spite of His feelings that divine compassion is never absent, that God is always faithful, that He never flees nor fails us. With faith in the God He knew was there, He could say in triumph, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Friday, March 20, 2015

You Are My Hands

Tortillas for the week: 22

This week I got rejected like my Dad did on his mission. This is what happened, we found a very nice man and he asked us to come back tomorrow at 10 am. So of course we did and when we arrive he is waiting for us and when I saw him waiting I thought this is either really good or really bad. He says to us I talked to my pastor last night and he said I couldn't talk to you two. He then said I am so sorry but I can’t; my pastor said you guys will come twice a week and try to convince me to change my religion. My heart was broken and I was also mad. It was just horrible because this very nice man wanted to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ before he talked with his pastor. I just didn't understand how the pastor could say that, well I do but it just hurts. It is so frustrating because everyone says we worship the same God. If they truly believe we worship the same God, then why can’t they listen to servants of the Lord Jesus Christ and make the decision on their own which church is true.
Celebrating Being A Missionary
This week we had consejo de líderes with President Smith. We talked about helping people like Christ did. We talked about Mark chapter 9 and President Smith asked how many of your investigators have said I believe and all of us raised our hands, and then he asked how many of your investigators have said help me in my unbelief; not many of us raised our hands. Then President Smith said lets read what Christ did. After reading President Smith took one of the Elder’s hand to the lift him up, and then he asked us are we lifting up our investigators like Christ with an outstretched hand. His hand is always outstretched, reaching for us and our hands can become His hands as we reach out to our investigators.
Two days later we had a zone meeting and it went dang good! Elder Perry talked about how we need to teach like Christ. He asked are we TEACHING like CHRIST? It was very interesting because as he was teaching us to teach like Christ and how the restoration applies. You could feel the spirit just testify to us that these are the last days and we are promised great blessings and we will raise up God’s kingdom, and the church de jesucristo de los santos de los últimos días, is the most sure thing in the world. When it was my turn to teach I showed the stats we had as a zone and everyone just bowed their head and I asked how would you feel going home with these stats??? I then asked have we helped the poor in spirit???? Have we reached our hand out like Christ??? As I was asking these questions I could see that each companionship had some challenges they were facing. As I talked about what President Smith taught us about Lord I believe but help thou mine unbelief (Mark 9:24) and His hand reaching out for you, you could see a change in the missionaries. On Sunday when the stats were reported it was a wow moment, the zone listened to us finally and the stats were amazing.
So for me this week it has been about the atonement. I have made to many small mistakes and I have been on my knees seeking a lot of repentance and yes it hurts but it has showed me that I made these mistakes because I took my eyes off the Savior. As I have started to study the atonement again I felt forgiveness through the spirit, I felt happiness, I just felt renewed and it was amazing! The atonement is the greatest thing ever, it makes everything possible. I am so grateful for the atonement as we are given the reassurance everything will be ok, it truly will be ok as reach out for His hand.

What I love about Mom is the letters she writes me and what I love about Dad is that he made me run when I took second in a wrestling match.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
March 16, 2015

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 25:26, 28-29

“We know for certain that if and when everything else in the latter days is down or dying; if governments, economies, industries, and institutions crumble; if societies and cultures become a quagmire of chaos and insecurity, nevertheless, through it all the gospel of Jesus Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that bears that gospel to the world will stand triumphant. It will stand undefiled in God’s hand until the very Son of God Himself comes to rule and reign as Lord of lords and King of kings. Nothing is more certain in this world. Nothing is more sure. Nothing could be more of an antidote to anxiety.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“Making, keeping, and rejoicing in our covenants will be the evidence that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is truly written in our hearts.” Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What Does The Restoration Mean To You?

Always Have The Temple In Your Sights
Tortillas for the week: 30

This week has been great for us but not so good for the zone. There is no need to talk about that. On Thursday we went to the temple, it was so good. As soon as we entered the gate to park the car, I could just feel the spirit, and as I got out of the car, the spirit was stronger. It was an amazing experience. I just loved walking around the temple grounds. I've never really taken time to walk around temple grounds like I did on Thursday. It was so nice, I could just feel the spirit and I could feel that this is truly the casa del señor y and that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. I'm even more grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith, because of him and his prayer, we have the temple; our home away from heaven. Walking into the temple was so soothing to my soul and I could fell the burdens eased from my shoulders. In the temple there are times when I can truly feel the presencia del señor and it makes my heart beat with joy. I'm willing to give up everything to be in His presencia para siempre (presence forever).
The Temple: Our Home Away From Heaven
With that being said, let's talk now about testimony. This has been a huge topic for Elder Perry and I, as we talk about the zone, members, all of us. We asked what would happen if every member truly understood what Joseph Smith did for us, what would happen with la obra misional (missionary work)?  What would we do as missionaries if we truly understood what Brother Joseph did for us? We came down to the conclusion that none of us truly understands except for a select few and that our goal for the new missionaries is to help them to have the best and greatest understanding of the importance of a testimonio del Profeta Joseph Smith. We need to ask do we understand the importance of the Restoration, do we understand what the Prophet Joseph Smith truly did for us??? I ask each of you to take time to ponder and meditate on that; ask yourself what does the Restoration mean in my life.
This Is How We Roll, Only In My Dreams
Last district meeting I gave a workshop on how can we address the need of a family to understand the Restoration? I asked the missionaries how can you do that? First of all in order for everyone to build a foundation of understanding they have to go through lesson 1, which is the Restoration of the Gospel/Church of Jesus Christ. I don't get why so many missionaries are so scared to share this message, they would just rather share the Plan of Salvation or talk about Jesus Christ. By doing that it gives people or families the opportunity to say well that's a feel good message but I don't want to join your church, I don't see it is any different from our church. We are different and we need to be reverently bold and teach them about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration as the first lesson. The Lord has declared this is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth” (D&C 1:30). We know this to be true through the Restoration as Joseph Smith prayed to know what church had the fullness of truth. If we truly are His discípulos (disciples) we need to teach like Him, with boldness and a reverent heart. Who cares what the world thinks of us, just go out and bear witness of the truth, we have the truth, so be a man or a women of God and share the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Corte de Pelo
I want to share an experience Elder Chavez and I had this week. We found a single mom and her kids and we talked with them. We talked with her about the Restoration and then we shared with her the Book of Mormon and testified of the power of the Book of Mormon. We shared with them the story of the 2000 Stripling Warriors and how they had been taught by their mothers if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. You could see the spirit touch the mom.  We are going back this week to teach her more about truth and that after the death of the Savior the truth was corrupted and an apostasy occurred and more about that the truth has been restored. The funny thing is I have now have a testimony of la apostasía, which I never thought was important but as I have this testimony it has strengthened my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and it makes me more excited to share this message, the singular message we have. 
Taking The Hot Pepper Challenge
So this week we have taught the Restoration like 13 times, and it has made a huge difference when find los escogidos (the elect). It makes everyone doubt their church and it makes them feel broken and then they feel the spirit testify to them of the truth of our message. They feel Christ's love through as we testify to them about the Restoration. I know that the true church of christ se cayo en apostasía, y no estaba por mucho tiempo pero por medio la garcia de cristo, el escogió un hombre justo, el uncio hombre que podría hacer esta obra, el escogió Jose smith para restaurar su iglesia, y por conducto el profeta Jose Smith, jesucristo Restauro Su igelsia y somos los frustos del profeta Jose Smith.
This Is Tom, Our Newest Comp And Guardian 
What I love about Mom is that she helped a very special friend of mine out and what I love about Dad is that he has a new phone, he is finally upgrading! Love you Dad!

Con Mucho Amor, Ducks Forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
March 9, 2015
Dreaming Of Sister Aspinall's Sapa Sui
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 135: 3

"I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet whom the Lord raised up. I am bold to say that, Jesus Christ excepted, no better man ever lived or does live upon this earth. I am his witness." Brigham Young 

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven 

"Blessed to open the last dispensation, Kings shall extol him, and nations revere. Great is his glory and endless his priesthood." Praise To The Man, Hymn # 27 https://www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/praise-to-the-man?lang=eng
Is This Bus Ever Going To Come?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Every Day Obedience

Impressive Architecture 
Tortillas for the week: 16

This week was so crazy!! First off I got stuck in Xela an extra day this week because of protests (Elder Chavez had to go Guatemala City for his visa and I stayed with the Elders in Xela) and then we had something come up in the zone and we became watchmen. I also had divisions with another set of Elders so I only spent 3 nights in my own bed. And this week is going be another crazy week which is fine with me, I love when things are busy. This Thursday we are going to the temple!!! I am so stoked, I just love sitting in the temple; it feels like home because it is home.
Taking A Moment To Relax
One day this week when I was getting ready I was listening to a song called 'The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved To Do' and it hit that my mission is coming to an end, and its coming to end super-fast. Each day keeps getting faster and my hope is that I still have time to do some great things. I truly wish time would just slow down! It is so difficult to know that I only have 3 transfers left until my mission comes to a close and I will return home. I don't want it to the end. I'm so grateful for each and every day to serve the Lord because of who I have become.
Elder Mac: The Dog Whisperer 
This past district meeting we felt strongly we needed to have workshops and each leader taught a class. Elder Perry taught a class, the sister leaders taught a class and then I taught a class. The district leader was also going to teach but he got sick. The theme of the workshops was the Restoration; each class was very different but the focus was the same. From what I heard the zone just loved it. We are doing it again this week. As I had said before we are really focusing on the Restoration and as the mission has experienced this change you can truly feel that the Lord is hastening His work. As we focus on the Restoration we also find los escogidos (the elect), the ones that the Lord said, "They will hear my voice." It is happening and it is amazing! I wish I could be a full time missionary forever, to have all the time in the world to dedicate my time to the Lord, serve Him and preach His gospel.
Welcome To HueHue

This weekend we had divisions, I went to Tojocaz and it was the bomb. I have to give props to Elder Stoelzing and his comp Elder Salazar, they are boss in the mission field. My heart just aches for them because they work so hard and don't get the success they deserve. They are hardly teaching anyone and they are constantly talking to people. I went over there to help them, well they helped me. I learned so much from them. They showed me to relax and enjoy the mission. One thing I was able to provide help was when they would street contact. We stopped this lady and I talked with her I was able to show them the difference between what I said and what they were saying when they street contacted. The difference is that I would teach by asking preguntas inspiradas (inspired questions) and testificar (testify) and not just talk. As I did this the 2 elders were able to see the spirit touching this lady's heart. I was able to catch her attention through the miracle that happened that morning and it is not a coincidence that I studied chapter 9 in Preach My Gospel. The focus of the chapter is finding new investigators to teach. As I read one section the spirit told me that is what I needed to do to show these 2 young Elders by example. After talking with this lady they said your contact was so much better and this was the opportunity to teach and I asked why? They said because you taught, testified and asked preguntas inspiradas (inspired questions). This 2 Elders will do amazing things. It was a very neat experience for me and them as we taught each other.
Band Of Brothers
To end this email I want to end with an experience I had during a lesson when I was in Tojocaz. We go to an eternal investigator's house and we sit down and these 2 young Elders start to teach the lesson. Elder Stolezing has 8 months and Elder Salazar only has 2 weeks, so it didn't start off great but they were trying so hard. I felt prompted to ask a question as I noticed on the wall of this lady's house was a paper that said, "Me and my house will serve the Lord this day." So I asked, "Hermana what does that scripture mean to you?" She said I don't know. I then ask, "Are you and your family serving the Lord?" She responded by saying no we are not. I asked, "How can you and your family serve the Lord?" She gave basic seminary answers but she never said anything about baptism. As I asked more questions I knew she doesn't have a testimony of the Restoration, she didn't even understand it. I have learned that for the spirit to work through me I must serve el señor cada dia obediently, not on just some dias. Every day obedience helps me to understand how I can teach His lost sheep to Come Unto Him. I will serve obediently all the day long and every day. As we taught her you could feel the spirit. I know that lesson will help her progress towards baptism especially now that Elders know they need to teach her simply, clearly and with testimony.  
Elder Mac And Elder Perry: All Is Well
Yesterday the ward sent off a sister to serve in the Guatemala Coban Mission. It was a neat experience. It just shows us that the Lord will always call us to advance His work and that each missionary is called of God.
Hastening The Work

What I love about Mom is that she taught me how to serve, what I love about Dad is that he taught me to answer the Lord's call when someone asks for help.

Con mucho amor, Ducks Forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
March 2, 2015
We Will Bring The World His Truth
Scripture of the week:  Mosiah 3:13 

Millions shall know ‘Brother Joseph’ again.

The revelations poured out upon Joseph Smith affirm that he was a prophet of God.

Something to think about: Your mission is a reflection of the way you will live the rest of your life.
Throwback To P-Days With Elder Moncada