Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Helping Out President Smith And Working Together

Way To Hot To Sleep Inside
Tortillas for the week: 25

IT IS SO HOT HERE IN HUEHUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe how hot it has gotten, this is very unusual. It is so hard to leave between 1-4 pm en la tarde (in the afternoon) because of how hot it is. The worst is after lunch when it really hot; that is when we are super tired. The other day I sat down to read el libro de Mormon (Book of Mormon) and the next thing I know the phone is going off. I had fallen asleep, I was like what is going on. It was bad but also funny.
Elder Perry And I Sleeping On The Roof
Enough about the heat let’s talk about Wednesday and the presentation we gave to the stake, it went great. Elder Perry and I presented our plan and we pray that the bishops will meet with their missionaries to put it in action. It should help the members a lot with their testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. When the meeting started we had about 120 people in attendance. I sat on the stand with President Smith and Elder Perry, wow all I can say is that was a very special privilege for me. After Elder Perry and I are done sharing our presentation President Smith speaks and he has a coughing attack (he is sick at the time of meeting). He just starts coughing super bad and he looks at me; I’m in the congregation helping and he signals for me to come up. I walk up to the stand and he says to me can you finish what I’m saying. And I told he yes, luckily I have heard his talk before so I knew what to say. So I finish President Smith’s talk for him. I have to say I was humbled to stand in his place but it was also a pretty sweet experience. So that is what happened at the training meeting.
After Four Months I Finally Made My Birthday Cake
This week we did a lot of contacting and we found a soccer player to teach. This is going to be great to teach this guy, we go back tomorrow to meet with him. I can’t wait!  Also we did divisions this week. I stayed in the area and Elder Salazar come over. It was funny to think Elder Salazar and our two kids (missionaries in training) have about 6 months of experience between them and I have about 22 months of experience. It was strange to think I have the most experience. Anyway this week I have realized that working alone in the Lord’s work is not good, yes I’m working with my comp but members need to help us more. It is hard working alone, the Lord needs all of us to work together. In the words of Elder Andersen, “If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your heart.” This is His sacred work. He will guide each of us in what to do. He will open doors, remove roadblocks, and help each us overcome obstacles that may share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as we work together. 
Just A Roof Top View Of Our Water Tank
To end I want to express my love and gratitude for my parents, thank you both for everything. Words cannot express my love and gratitude for them; especially since they taught me the gospel and helped to plant the seed of my testimony and showed how to nourish and strengthen my testimony. I also express my love and gratitude to my church leaders and all my teachers I have ever had; thank you. I thank all of you for your support and your prayers. And I deeply express my love and gratitude for my family, you guys mean and are the world to me! As I have seen this gospel bless people and families my love for my family grows even deeper. This gospel truly blesses families mas que sabemos, thank you all. 
Can't Be To Safe
What I love about Mom and Dad is what they taught me.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil 
April 27, 2015
"Bat Moth"
Scripture of the week: John 2:4 *Footnote JST John 2:4 and Matthew 5:19, 29-30

“He is ready to come unto you when you are ready to come unto Him.” Joseph Smith 

"Have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?” President Uchtdorf  
Oh The Places You Go

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

So Many Ways To Serve If We Just Pray And Listen

Another Amazing Day
Tortillas this week: 30

I can’t believe we only have 3 weeks left until the next change, I hate this; time is going by way to fast. Where to begin, I don’t know, all I can say is this week has been crazy. We have been doing a lot of planning. We have been planning a meeting we are having this week with the stake which includes all the bishoprics, ward counsels and all the full time missionaries serving in the stake. President Smith, Elder Perry and I will be presenting a plan to the stake on how the members can help us (the full time missionaries) to teach more lessons and inviting all to come unto Christ. President Smith will be talking about the mission’s vision. Hopefully by doing this we can all work together as a team. This will take place on Wednesday night.
I "Mustache" You A Question
Last night we had a very good lesson with a less active family and one member of the family is a struggling returned missionary. The lesson we had was amazing. When I experience lessons like this I don’t want to go home. We asked this struggling returned missionary if you could summarize his mission what would he say. He said love and service. We then tied in what he said to the video Because He Lives and showed it to the family. You could feel the spirit so strong and you could see that his heart was touched. He called us this morning and said I need your prayers because I have a job interview. I told him we would pray for him right now. He was like un serio (serious)!!!! And I said of course. He was so grateful. It was just so special to kneel down in prayer with Elder Mendoza, Elder Perry and Elder Figueroa and pray for this less active struggling returned missionary for his job interview. I just love this mission!!! I testify that when we pray for chances to serve it happens. As President Eyring said, “…pray for the way to know their hearts, to know what things are amiss in the lives and the hearts of people whom you don’t know well and who are not anxious to have you know them. You will need to know what God would have you do to help them and to do it all, as nearly as you can, feeling God’s love for them.” This is what I love about the mission; we have so many ways to serve if we just pray and listen. 
This Is What Happens When You Have Not Eaten All Week
We have found a lot of people to teach which of course is a blessing since our teaching pool was getting smaller but now it is growing. I am so thankful for the tender mercy of finding more people to teach. No matter what we just keep moving forward and we keep looking to Christ for guidance in our service. We had another great opportunity this week to teach a lesson another to a less active family. We retaught them the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was great because we only taught with the Book of Mormon. We did quote a few scriptures from the Bible but when we opened the scriptures it was only the Book of Mormon. It was such a powerful lesson. Diego understood what we were teaching but most importantly he understood priesthood authority is to act in God’s name. He is now super excited to learn more. I honestly love teaching less actives because we can see their testimony be rekindled. It just makes my heart melt and shout for joy for the atonement of Christ. HE LIVES AND LOVES US. For He asks us will we not come unto me so that I may heal you. (3 Nephi 9:13)
Oh The Things You See
What I love about Mom are the letters she writes me and what I love about Dad is how good of a young men’s president he was.

con mucho amor, ducks forever
Elder Mcilmoil
April 20, 2015

Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 32:9

“God can grant us power in..... whatever circumstance we may be in. It simply requires that we ask in humility.” President Henry B. Eyring

“We do not ever walk alone.” President Monson

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Si Señor Yo Ti Seguiré

"Sir Loin"
Tortillas for the week: 30

I made my decision not to extend my misión, it was hard to decide to come home but after much prayer and counseling with President Smith it is time to come home. I’m so grateful for the experience I had when making this decision. I have learned we cannot rush when seeking answers, we are counseling with Heavenly Father. We can’t just say hey God I need my answer now and oh by the way this is what I might do. We have to look at everything, truly decide our choice and then counsel with Father in Heaven. With that being said my release date is June 23rd, so I will be home June 25th.
Busted Shower Pipes
Alright so this past week I went to Xela with Elder Perry for por consejo de liders, which once again was amazing. Then on Friday we had zone conference which was also amazing. Elder Perry and I felt we needed to raise the bar. I will talk about that soon.
Utterly Delicious 
We found 2 familias (families) to teach this week and one of them is our neighbors which is dang calidad! To break the ice with both familias we showed gracias a que el vive (Because He Lives When the video message was finished we shared our testimonies and taught about la restauración (the restoration). With our neighbors we talked a lot about the restauracion and they had some good questions and we were able to answer every question which was great, so we will see what happens there.
El Almuerzo
Alright it’s time to talk about what we did for zone meeting. First off we talked about chapter 3 in PMG (Preach My Gospel) and focused on the restauración. A big thanks to the sister leaders for doing that. When they were finished Elder Perry and I talked about the Holy Ghost and being guided by Holy Ghost. And then we had the zone participate in an activity. Let me explain this activity; I took this idea from a talk given by Elder Gavarret from last October’s General Conference. The talk is called Si Señor Yo Ti Seguiré (Yes, Lord, I Will Follow Thee). This is what Elder Gavarret says about this activity that he did, “During my first month in the mission, the zone leaders held an activity to demonstrate a gospel principle. Each missionary in the zone was blindfolded, and we were told that we were to follow a path leading to the cultural hall. We were to follow the voice of one particular leader, a voice we heard before starting to walk. However, we were warned that during the journey, we would hear several voices that would try to confuse us and get us to stray from the path.”
So the activity was based on his experience but we did things a little bit different because this phrase from Elder Holland has been on my mind for some time; he said, “The entire human race in free fall—every man, woman, and child in it physically tumbling toward permanent death, spiritually plunging toward eternal anguish. Is that what life was meant to be? Is this the grand finale of the human experience? Are we all just hanging in a cold canyon somewhere in an indifferent universe, each of us searching for a toehold, each of us seeking for something to grip—with nothing but the feeling of sand sliding under our fingers, nothing to save us, nothing to hold on to, much less anything to hold on to us? Is our only purpose in life an empty existential exercise—simply to leap as high as we can, hang on for our prescribed three score years and ten, then fail and fall, and keep falling forever?” So with those thoughts we wanted the missionaries to somewhat understand what investigators may be thinking or experiencing. Here is a short summary of what we did; we had lots of noise and distractions so the elders and sisters had to listen carefully to hear a voice. If they followed the wrong voice they sat in a dark room blind folded and they couldn’t talk. I talked with those that followed the wrong voice and asked them, “Is life like this? Dark, no redemption, we can’t repent, we are just always failing and falling” And then I said that may what your investigators feel or think. I told them I hope you guys feel alone so that you can somewhat feel what your investigators maybe feeling. I told them there is one person to save us and then a sister took the sisters by the hand with a nail and an elder took the elders by the hand with a nail so they could visualize Christ and then they were lead to a room that had lights on and had the sacrament set up (just empty trays, a bag of water and a piece of bread). I shared with them about how we need to partake of the sacrament every week to have the spirit with us and to know the spirit’s voice and that we may say si señor yo te seguiré (Yes, Lord, I Will Follow Thee). It was a great zone conference because it was different. I learned so much and I pray that we may all follow the spirit each day and covenant with the Lord to follow Him each day.
This Is Not Good
What I love about Mom is that she acts upon the whisperings of the spirit she receives and what I love about Dad is that he follows the voice of the spirit and that he is a priesthood man.

Con Mucho Amor
Elder Mcilmoil
April 13, 2015
Holy Cow, Last One I Promise
Scripture of the week: Mosiah 4:11-12, 19-20, 26

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

“Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.” Elder Holland 

“But if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less [than it is].” Elder Holland

“You can be a great model, an average one, or a bad model. You may think it doesn’t matter to you, but it does to the Lord.” President Henry B. Eyring

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Hands That Save Us

He Is Here! With Us, Always!
So my time in the mission is winding down fast (return home date is TBA next week.) I can’t believe how fast my mission has gone. It is crazy how time flies. Anyway I have new son (training a new missionary companion from the CCM de Guatemala.) He name is Elder Mendoza and he is from the Dominican Republic. I’m excited to train again, this truly is a blessing.  
Elder Mendoza And Elder Mac
This week was a hard one because it was semana santa (Easter week) and everyone goes out of town. Even though it was hard, it was great since it was General Conference. I love Conference. But I have to say it truly hurt to see that there were members who didn’t sustain the Prophet and Apostles and opposed vocally their disapproval. I just don’t understand how anyone could do that. Which brings me to a very interesting experience we had on Friday night. Elder Mendoza and I went to visit a family and as we talked with them we were able to develop a good relationship of trust. We learned that the Dad and Mom do not believe in living prophets. They told us their apostle is on TV and they wanted to show us. So we watched and it was the most uncomfortable feeling. You could see the power of Satan working through this man as he was preaching. He didn’t even teach anything pertaining to the commandments of God. Actually he didn’t know what he was saying, there was much confusion with his words and it was hard to follow. I was heartbroken. I’m so grateful I have a testimony of a living Prophet and Apostles. That knowledge and testimony brought so much comfort when I listening to this man preach. As I listened I tried to put myself in the shoes of investigators, even in the shoes of young Joseph Smith. I could see why Joseph and many others were so confused. I could not believe what this man was saying. I gained a new reverence and respect for young Joseph Smith. He knew and felt the confusion of so many claiming they had the truth. I’m grateful beyond what words could express that he was brave and asked God (James 1:5) knowing he would receive an answer to find the truth. His prayer opened the windows of heaven and we are the recipients of what happened next.
Yep, That's One Big Turkey
Gobble On

I want to talk about two talks from General Conference, yes one is from Elder Holland and the other one is from Brother Gibson. I have a huge decision to make and as I sat there listening to Brother Gibson, his words told me I was asking the wrong questions. He shared a story about his sons, they completed a 50/20, walking 50 miles in under 20 hours. As he was checking on his sons to see if they were ok, his eldest son said this to him “That was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and I will never, ever do it again — unless my son wants me to do it.” As I thought about that I realized as I was making my decision I needed to think about my family, even more my personal family (the one I will one day have). This reminded me of what Elder Holland said in his talk ‘The Miracle of a Mission’, “Plan right now for the stories you will tell your children about your mission. Live right now in every way to look them in the eye and put them on your knee and rock them on your lap and tell them as I am telling you, that you loved every day of your mission. That you worked your head off! That you’ve never worked so hard in your life. That you were tired and sweaty and dirty and hungry and you knew how Paul felt and you knew how Peter felt and you knew how Mormon felt and you knew how Moroni felt. And I promise you that your children will remember and never forget it, and they will cherish it and hold it dear for their mission and so the generations go.” His words were also a reminder to every missionary and I’m so grateful we have been taught this: WE CAN NOT GO BACK TO WHO WE WERE BEFORE THE MISSION, you will break the heart of God himself, if you turn your back on the gospel of Jesus Christ, which you have pledged your life to teach. I just love that because we have committed to be Disciples of Christ for time and eternity. It does not mean we are perfect but we just need to try to better every day.
Elder Mac And Elder Corbett; Waiting For Our "Sons"
I want to end with Elder Holland’s talk for General Conference and about those hands that save us. He shared a story of two brothers; John, 19, and Jimmy, 14, who began a climb up a sheer canyon wall in southern Utah's Snow Canyon State Park without any climbing gear. At one point near the top of the climb, they reached a ledge that they couldn’t climb up or go back down. John managed to help his little brother up to safety, but he remained stuck. In a last-ditch effort, he made a vertical jump, knowing that if he missed, he would not survive the fall. He jumped and his hands slapped down on loose sand on a flat stone. John said his last prayer, he felt his fingers begin to recede slowly and knew his life was over. John said, “But then suddenly, like a lightning strike in a summer storm, two hands shot out from somewhere above the edge of the cliff, grabbing my wrists with a strength and determination that belied their size.” His brother caught him and pulled him up to safety. I love that story because that is how we are at times; stuck or are fingers begin to recede knowing we can’t hang on, but then our Brother, our Savior stretches forth His hands at the last minute to save us. He will never let go of us, never. His hands were pierced by nails and the blood He shed was for us. Those are not the hands that hold us, the hands that hold us are new hands, the resurrected hands of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Remember that the Savior loves us, and so does our Father in Heaven. Remember when you are falling, y talvez ud esta cayendo and you let go of the Savior, He will never let go of you. I pray that we may never let go of the one that prayed, bleed, was bruised, was rejected, was crucified, and rose again from the dead for us so He could hold us and have us come back to His presence and His Father’s presence. I bear witness to all that He Lives y nos ama.
We Are Never Lost Never Lost When You Can See The Temple
#BecauseHeLives We Can Find Peace
What I love about Mom is that she did the days of Easter for me, what I love about Dad is that he always told us its 10 or 2, it’s time for conference.

Con Mucho Amor, Ducks Forever
Elder Mcilmoil
April 6, 2015
Guardians Of His Work
Scripture of the week: Luke 24:5-6

HE LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“I will never, ever do it again — unless my son wants me to do.” Larry M. Gibson 

“Today is Easter Sunday. This is the most sacred day of the year for special remembrance of brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the very abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and from our sins.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Holy Cotton Candy
Duck, Duck, Dinner