Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Light-bulbs And The Apostasy

Thanks Mom!!!
Tortillas for the week: 30

Where do I start this email; fist off Dad, I do not live in a church and by the way Dad our neighbor loves to listen to 80’s music so you two would be best friends. Anyway this week was great! We had 6 investigators come to church and Elder Chavez and I both gave talks yesterday in church. The speakers couldn’t come so we were asked at the very last minute. As a missionary we always need to be prepared to speak at a moment’s notice because you never know when you will be asked to speak or fill in for someone. Sacrament meeting was amazing not because we spoke because you could feel the spirit of Christ when the emblems of the sacrament were being passed. As I sat there I could just feel something swell up inside of me. It was such a sacred experience.
A Little Piece Of The States
Missionaries Agents Of God 
This week Elder Chavez and I taught the restoration over 10 times! We teach extremely well together. Each time we would teach about the restoration I just felt so humble to share this life changing message. The Prophet Joseph taught that every prophet, priest, and king in every age “looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day;… we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory.” As I share the message of the restored gospel I just feel so much responsibility on my shoulders and being as imperfect as I am it hurts because I am called to represent the Savior or you could say to be Him for 2 years. Yes I am imperfect but the thing that keeps me going is this; the Atonement. Through the Atonement I can be lifted up and cleansed and not fail just like Peter, Paul, Alma, los hijos de Mosiah, King Benjamin, Nephi.  
The Force Is Strong With The Missionaries 
So Elder Chavez and I have found a way to teach the apostasy; we compare the church to a light-bulb. When the church fell it literalmente (literally) shattered into a thousand of pieces just like a light-bulb does when it falls to the ground. When the light-bulb falls and shatters to pieces there no light just darkness. During the apostasy there was darkness not physical, it was the worse, spiritual darkness. The people were without divine direction from living prophets. Men corrupted the principles of the gospel after the death of Savior and His apostles so God withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth. Imagine to yourself the spiritual darkness as people were looking for the word of God but they couldn’t find it, so people began to take the shattered pedazos (pieces) they liked the most and formed their own church. After teaching that we ask those we are teaching if you only have a pedazos (piece) from the shattered light bulb can there be light from the light bulb? They respond with no. Then we explain it is the same with the gospel of Jesus Christ, you can’t just take one piece and say you have all the truth. We ask the how they feel, they usually say I never knew about this and it makes sense why there are so many churches. We then share the message of the restoration. We have some say this is unbelievable, this is wow and many feel the spirit testifying to them that what we are teaching is true and they believe. We had one guy tell us after we finished sharing our message that he believed Joseph Smith is a prophet and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the authority of God. I can’t even describe what I was feeling at that moment.
The Cobbles Of El Quiche
To end I would like to end with something Elder Chavez and I had to do, we had to fix a problem. We had to go visit some members to apologize for a missionary’s behavior. As we talked to the family we talked a lot about covenants and as we talked about covenants I could truly feel that I made a cevenat (covenant) with the Lord to represent the Lord Jesus Christ. And I must do all I can to have celestial conduct. I shared with this family it hurts because of how imperfect I am and I am called to represent the Savior and how eternally grateful I am for the Atonement because of my imperfection; I know He will never give up on me. I testify of the Atonement and its cleansing power. “Be not afraid, only believe.”
Called To Watch Over El Quiche
Only You Can Choose To Believe
Back To Countless Parades And Celebrations
What I love about Mom is that she used to tuck me in at night and what I love about Dad is that he would take me shooting with him.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
May 25, 2015
Sometimes You Have To Treat Yourself
Scripture of the week: 3 Nephi 11:32-34, 36-39 

The Savior also taught the people to come unto Him through sacred covenants.

“Unlike every other era before us, this dispensation will not experience an institutional apostasy; it will not see a loss of priesthood keys; it will not suffer a cessation of revelation from the voice of Almighty God” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Santa Cruz de Quiche: My Final Six Weeks In The Mission

Tortillas for the week: 33

My first week in Quiche is about done and it was a good week. So Quiche is not as hot as HueHue, a matter of fact I am actually cold. I know I have said it before but I have never been so tired, this week I was like a zombie, it was bad. Maybe it is because of changes since I didn’t get much sleep the night before. When the alarm goes off at 6:30 in the morning I’m like you have got to be kidding, I just closed my eyes 5 seconds ago. Another thing that has happened is about 5 in the morning someone decided to set off some firecrackers. Elder Chavez and wanted to go outside and let them have it. And then there are some other people who turn up their music at the crack of dawn for all of Guatemala to hear, it is horrible but oh well, the life of tired missionary.
Elder Mendoza, Elder Mac, Elder Bonilla
Generation Photo: Son, Father and Grandfather
So this week we had some very good appointments, on Tuesday night we have a very good lesson. We were teaching a familia parcial (part member family) and we met a daughter that always leaves right before the missionaries get there. We show up and she is about to leave and I said Hermana why can’t you just stay, the lesson will be 30 minutes. And Elder Chavez also encouraged her stay so she did, which was awesome. We taught about the restoration. I can only remember what happened towards the end; we ask her how she felt and she said good. I was like there is more than that, so I asked what does your heart say? Again she says good. And I’m like umm ok you feel peace and hope and she said yes. I said do you feel that your Heavenly Father is telling you to come home, do you feel like He is calling you? She started to cry and said yes, she then said I have been gone to long and I need to come back, it is time. So my friends I testify to you it is never too late to come back because we have a gift called the Atonement to help us. I testify of the Atonement and that through the Atonement we can be made clean, loved, forgiven and strengthened. As my mission comes to a close I know the Savior’s Atonement is available for each us, always. It have felt the healing power of the Atonement in my own life and the Atonement can felt be in each of your lives too. It is through Him we can find peace and solace from our pain and our sins if we will but come unto Him with humble hearts. I ask why shouldn’t we talk about the Atonement and share the joy of the gospel because there is always hope through of the Atonement of Christ. I am beyond grateful for the Atonement of Christ for some many reason but this week I have witnessed the healing power of the Atonement in the hearts in some of the people we are teaching. I have been able to give more things up to the Lord and it is through the Atonement I have the courage to submit to the Father’s will.
Walking The Roads Of Quiche
I would like to end with an experience we had yesterday, we went to go teach this young man. As we were teaching him he told us he wants to repent, he wants to be someone and he wants to do what is right. We shared a scripture in 3 Nephi 11:11, we learn Christ submitted to the Father’s will by drinking of the bitter cup and He has taken upon the sins of the world with great suffering and a light to the world. Elder Chavez and I told this young man you are submitting to the Father’s will by your desire to repent and willingness to do what is right. We told him if you want to be someone then truly submit to the Father’s will and take those steps to repent so that our Father in Heaven can say this is my son and I am so proud of him. Friends I know that if we do the Father’s will, we will actually find our real selves and become someone, a light to those that walk in darkness. Before I end I want to share of other sweet experience we had. We taught his kid who is working to be baptized; his parents were baptized a month ago. When we challenged this kid to be baptized he looked at us and we thought he was going say no. He said I have been talking to my friend and I want to be baptized and so does my friend so is there way we can be baptized together? Elder Chavez and I about died, we just sat there in silence, yeah fue bien calidad (this was so great) and it turns out the kid’s friend has been to church 4 veces (times), all I can say is wow! The Lord is preparing gente (people) to come unto Him.
HueHue Familia 
What I love about Mom is that she taught me that it’s more important not to shrink than to survive, what I love about Dad is that he has taught me what it is like to love like our Father in Heaven.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil 
May 18, 2015
Good To Back In A Small Town
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-19

“I have learned that not shrinking is more important than surviving.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell

“As we confront our own trials and tribulations, we too can plead with the Father, just as Jesus did, that we might not shrink.” David A. Bednar

“Real hope is much more than wishful musing. It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine.” Elder Neal A. Maxwell.
Saying Goodbye And Leaving My Tie As A Reminder To Always Serve

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mother's Day, Changes And A Prayer Answered

I Love You Mom!!!
Make Your Time With Mom Count
Tortillas for the week: 20

First of off I just want to say HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you so much!!!! So for Mother’s Day we bought 5 dozen roses for the women in our ward here. It was a great experience to see all the women’s eyes light up and to see a huge smile on their face as we handed them a rose, I loved it. 
They Had Been Taught By Their Mothers
I do have changes tomorrow, my last change of the mission. The crazy thing is where I am going….. I’M GOING BACK TO MY VERY FIRST ZONE!!!! I’m being changed to serve as a zone leader in Santa Cruz del Quiché. It will be sweet because I will be able to visit the members in Chichi. My companion will be Elder Chavez, he is from Mexico. I know Elder Chavez from serving in the zone where I am currently serving as zone leader (Zona HueHue Centro). He is a great missionary.
Making Cookies In Pot, Why Not?
One Last Hurrah With Elder Mendoza
This week was hard but so worth it, I don’t have time to write about everything that happened but I just want to testify that our Father in Heaven answers our prayers. I know this from many experiences. I want to share my experience I had on Saturday as a prayer was answered. I had the blessing to baptize a Mom, not just any Mom but the Mom of a convert that I taught and baptized in San Antonio Huista. This Mom would not give permission to her daughter to be baptized at first but eventually her heart softened and her daughter was baptized. On Saturday I baptized the Mom. I witnessed this family being made complete; the Dad is now active and is on his way to be a branch president in Las Hustias, and now the Mom is a member. When I left that area I prayed and asked our Father in Heaven that this Mom would soften her heart even more and want to be taught the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that I could see her enter into the waters of baptism and I did. Not only was my prayer answered but I had the blessing to baptize her. The Lord does hear and answer prayers; in 2 Nephi 26:15 we read that the prayers of the faithful shall be heard. I testify again through that experience I had by witnessing the baptism of Estelita that the Lord hears our prayers. This experience was truly a tender mercy of the Lord. He lives and this is His work and He truly has people chosen and He does whatever it takes to prepare them, and He does it on His timeline. Once again as hard as this week has been, it was tender mercy for me and it truly showed me that our Father in Heaven does love each one of us individually. I know that He lives and loves us and that He is willing to work with us when we are willing to let Him work through us. I love each and one of you!!!!!!
Answer To Prayer
What I love about Mom and Dad was just being able to Skype with them on Mother’s Day.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil
May 11, 2015
Las Familias Son Para Siempre
Until We Meet Again
Scripture of the week: Doctrine and Covenants 93:24 and Jacob 2:12 

“We have great helps to give us courage in this life. The greatest is the atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of what He did, sins can be washed away in the waters of baptism” Henry B. Eyring 

“Mercy is of the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Gordon B. Hinckley

Why shouldn’t we talk of the at-one-ment of Jesus Christ????

My Mother taught me.
Conesejo (Mission Leadership)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Look Unto Me In Every Thought; Doubt Not, Fear Not

Soldiers On The Lord's Errand
Tortillas for the week: 15

Well what can I say about this week, other than it is super-hot and then it rains like crazy. Definitely crazy and unusual weather here in HueHue. This is the last week before changes so the next time I write I will know where I will be ending my mission.
La Belleza Está En El Ojo Del Espectador
We had interviews with President Smith this week, it was great as usual. I learn so much from him. He told me one thing that caught my attention during the interview, it was this, just take everything you have learned and put it in to practice in your last change.
Elder Robelo: Humble And Submissive
Also this week we had divisions and it was a great experience. I stayed in my area with Elder Robelo. I learn something every time we have divisions. This time I learned how important it is to have a fast heart to love and to forgive. That is something we should all think about in any calling we have. Anyway one thing that was interesting about this elder is how bad he wants to do everything by the spirit especially teach by the spirit. It was truly humbling to watch and learn from this young elder as he is truly trying to be led by the spirit. It was a neat experience.
Object Lesson
So this week I have been studying Jacob 2 and it has been interesting because we learn in verse 18 that we must seek the kingdom of God first before seek the riches of the world and then in verse 19 we then read that if we do seek riches we must seek riches for the right reasons, to help the poor, to clothe, provide relief for the sick and afflicted basically Jacob tells us that if we want to be rich we must be rich for the right reason, which is to help build the kingdom of God here on the earth, that we may be able to help God in this marvelous work and wonder. I bear witness this work is the work of the Father, that this is His work to bring forth the immortality and eternal life of man. 
Doritos And Avengers Coming To Me In June
I want to end with this words of heed, times are changing, Satan is hastening his work and God knows this and for that reason we must prepare ourselves for whatever the Lord reveals to us. Remember these words from our beloved prophet Gordon B Hinckley, “God is at the helm. Never doubt that. When we are confronted with opposition, He will open the way when there appears to be no way.” So my dear friends stay strong, and embrace atonement of Christ, come to know Him and everything will be alright. We will be protected if we read the Book of Mormon, pray each day as family and pray individually and pay a full tithing and go to the temple often as we can. Go forward with faith and “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:36)
Iron Man Action Shot
What I love about Mom is that she has always been in tune to the spirit, what I love about Dad is that he has taught us how to be prepared through the spirit.

con mucho amor, ducks forever,
Elder Mcilmoil 
May 4, 2015
Art Crimes
Scripture of the week: Mosiah 5:15

Be strong, and always abound in good works.

“If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland