Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Santo Cambio. Well this week transfer calls came so it looks like I'll be spending at least a solid 6 months here in Lebanon in the Spanish Branch!! This will have be the area I've spent most of my mission! Sadly, my companion Elder Allen is getting transferred down to Chattanooga to train.
Also, another Macdonald Hijo is born!! Training once again:) Heading to Farragut on Wednesday! This is the 3rd time I'm training and I'm still quite nervous but excited as well!! Pray for our area!:)
Im officially an abuelo porque mi Hijo Elder Fillingim is training as well!! Go SON!!!
Esta semana: We didn't work our area super hard. We had a lot of exchange opportunities and different adventures happening throughout the week! Probably one of the weirdest weeks I've ever had on my mission schedule-wise.
Tuesday: I went on an exchange with Elder Hess in my District! Class guy from Fruitland, Idaho. I got to work the English area today with him and to say the least we had one of the most random days of unique events so here's a brief summary: all plans canceled, meeting people from South Africa, corn flavored ice cream (super good), miracle finds, Boony referral, drenched by influx of rain, fat dog follows us, have to put fat dog in our car to return it home, beautiful views, outdoor BBQ, guns, quads, crossbows, and so on and so forth! Hahaha
Wednesday Nights: are the best because we teach the La Familia Diaz English! I've been working with this girl named Katherine. She doesn't speak a lick of English but we've been working with them for about a month or so and she's really improving! We give homework to them as well to challenge them when we leave!
Cookeville 2-Day Trip: Starting Thursday we took off to Cookeville for our first interviews with President Pickett! He's such a cool, laid back guy. Different style than Griffin of course, but he's a solid man. Super inspired. In my interview with him we talked about my current situation quite a bit and then I asked him about transfers and he said,"Are you up for a challenge?" And course I positively responded and right then I knew I was training 😲
The rest of the day we worked with the Hispanics in Cookeville and Monterey. Had some chill success. The Sisters in Cookeville contacted this guy named Francisco and he watched the Restoration movie and told them he wants to be baptized! See where that goes.
I went on a power-up exchange the next day with Elder Sanders!! My boy goes home in a December. But we had very minor success throughout the day. It was nice to chill with them for two straight days and to catch up! The next morning we listened to transfer calls and heard the big news.
Im officially the "oldest" member of my district. Everyone else is 6 months and under. Wish me luck!!!😁
Domingo: more than half the Branch didn't attend today because they had all went to Nauvoo for the weekend to see the church history sites!! But Raul and Esther and their whole family came to church!! I also gave a talk on "La Fe en Medio de La tribulación Trae Paz y Gozo". I love giving talks in Spanish no voy a mentir :)
I'll update more on the investigators next week! Love y'all and as always muchísimas gracias por el apoyo
Les Quiero Ciao
1-4: Elder Hess y la fiesta
5: Katherine Diaz sonrisa bonita
6: WE are the knight who say.........Mormones
7: President Pickett y Cookeville Zone
8: Broooo 🐘🐘🐘🐘😎😎😎😎
9: Sandy Man
10: i guess this trending hahaha
Friday, July 21, 2017
Well there ya have it folks, on Wednesday this week I will have hit my full year mark of being a missionary! Officially am on the downhill Slope towards la playa. I cannot tell if this year absolutely flew by or not. The amount of acción that has happened blows my mind away.....In the past year as a missionary I have been in two countries and 2 different states and speaking two different languages and associating with 3 different cultures at almost all point (Americans, Hispanics, and companions). I can honestly say through this year I have been put through the refiner's fire no doubt. It has been challenging and very rewarding as well. I am working my tail off and through that the Lord is helping me become who he wants me to be. This past week we had a ton of action happen and some good experiences and success but I would like to save the words on that and talk about a few important principles I have learned this year about life:
Obedience: all the blessing from God are predicated upon this life principle. When someone is obedient they show the Lord and others that they are willing to humble themselves and to recognize a higher power and to rely upon that strength rather than his or her own. It is the difference between a truly happy person and someone who would rather be doing someone else. Obedience is the ultimate expression towards your loving Father in Heaven. How grateful I am that the Lord has developed a desire within me to be obedient. I am not perfect, but I know where my loyalties are set.
Leadership is a Lonely Place: going against the crowd is the hardest thing to do. Sometimes what society wants to do is different that what God wants to do. Actually all the time. His thoughts are not our thoughts. But when the moments in life come to when we need to stand up to exercise of agency for righteousness, we need to do so. And sometimes it is lonely. Sometimes we feel like we are missing out on the "fun" or that whatever everyone else is doing may be the "cool" or thing to do nowadays to "enjoy life". Those of you are youth I encourage you not to be ashamed of following Jesus Christ, ever. We are faced with all forms of temptation that will bring momentary "happiness" and also guilt, shame, fear, and even depression. Do not give heed to the things of the world. Be leaders. Follow Jesus Christ, who went through more than we can imagine. When the greatest leader his world has ever known was hung on the cross, the Spirit of the Lord withdrew from him; leaving him not only still suffering for our sins but also doing so alone. You can always stand up for what is right because he did it FIRST!
Patience: This term gets thrown out a lot, but what does it really mean to be patient? Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith--you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled. As I've learned and am continuing to learn about this Christ like attribute I've seen my happiness increase substantially. We need to be patient in this life. Nothing worth having is given to us without having to endure through something!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ: I could write on and on about the most valuable lessons I've learned through this year, but what it all comes down is to the Gospel. In Moroni 8:26 we read about The Christlike attributes in which we all desire: 26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God. If you notice the end of that verse implies the goal that we all have the goal to live with God again after this life. How do we do so? Go to the verse previous (8:25): 25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins. The purpose of this life and in order for us to be most happy we need to live the Gospel. We are all here to change, or repent, every day and every hour as we strive to follow a perfect example. When you try to follow a perfect example (Christ) your weaknesses will become exposed. Exposed in ways that may hurt, that may bring you down to your knees in supplication for help or strength. It is the hardest thing to do. To overcome our weaknesses, alone. But if we live the Gospel (which is meant to make bad people good, and good people better) the Lord has promised us that he will make weak things strong unto us. How grateful am I for this knowledge and for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. How grateful am I, in my own personal fallen state, for my life and the opportunities I have had this past year.
As Captain America would say: " I could go all day!" Bring on Round 2 and beyond. My heart is humbled as I reflect on this past year. I feel gratitude and peace.
My dog Roxy passed away this past Friday. She was a part our family since I was in the 4th grade. Man's best friend truly is a fitting name for these marvelous creatures. My sadness from her passing is swallowed up in the joy of the Plan of Salvation. Love ya girl:) ❤
Love all y'all/ Les Amo
Elder Kyle Andrew Macdonald
Sunday, July 16, 2017
This week was wild. Miracles and fracasos and so many new faces and changes in the great TKM! I am thankful to be out here serving in the Spanish Branch in Tennessee! The weather is definitely getting up here and about to enter into the infamous humidity here. As up until now we haven't gotten hit that hard, but it is coming. Elder Allen and I are having a party together and keepin it tranquilo here in Leb Town!
President Pickett and and family: We had Zone Conference on Friday and we met our new mission president and his wife and family. They are AMAZING. They are from Idaho. President graduated from BYU from the business program and also got an MBA so back to back mission presidents with this type of background!! BYU MBA here I come!
4th Of July: from/basically 5 o'clock on was a party. The hispanos de la rama cooked up some fantastic carne asada and alimentos and we ate A LOT. We had tons of non members come and enjoy food, company and fireworks! These are firework stands set up all over town to buy fuegos artificiales so the temptation was real to go pyro but we made it through with the help of the Lord hahahaha. That will be my only 4th of July in the South!!! Sure was enjoyed. (I go home next July 3)
Ivy Villanueva: She is an absolute miracle (we will see her progression) but we received a referral from Temple Square of a lady named Carmen Maravilla whom we had met a few days earlier from giving her a pamphlet while talking to her outside her trailer home! We came to bring Carmen a Book of Mormon and we met Ivy and it turns out that she is a member that lives in Watertown!!! Which is like 10 minutes away but she as baptized a little over 7 years ago in Texas! She is the only member in her family and has a few kids! Pray for her because she seems hesitant about making a return! Another lost sheep.
Felipe Hernandez: he is such a rockstar I love this man! He is fully active and doing so well. He will pass the Sacrament next week and he also happens to be really good friends with Raul Funes who is our "eternigator" along with his wife so he will be able to help us fellowship them into the church!
The District: right now the Sisters are the only ones who have baptismal dates. Our area has so much potential pumping right now and we are having success finding lost sheep and bringing in new faces! This week will definitely require a training to help motivate us to find those who are prepared.
Anna y Alba Blancas: Mother and daughter who came to the activity for the 4th! Member referral! They live in Nashville but they are so prepared to receive the Gospel! They came to church this past Sunday in our building as well! SO stoked.
Me: I am doing great. My testimony of the Gospel blooms more and more every day and I am finding joy and satisfaction in my work. I still have my own personal trials and weaknesses but I know in whom I have trusted. Gracias a Dios!
La Clase de Ingles: we are teaching English to Hispanics now every Friday morning and we are also teaching a few people in their homes! It is so fun to see them put forth efforts to learn a new language and to progress in this country! We teach the basics and do a lot of role playing and vocab practice! It is helping me improve my Spanish to a greater degree than I knew possible!
Esther y Raul: We showed them a Conference talk by President Eyring called "This Day" which gives a general message that we should not procrastinate the day of our repentance. Such a spiritual lesson but they are still lacking the faith to commit to baptism because they are not doing the little things. We told them they aren't prepared right now but can be and can decide today that they WILL read, pray, come to church weekly, live the commandment, etc etc. We invited them to pray about a date. Pray for them :)
Oscar and Ibeth Lopez: Oscar is a convert of over a year and Ibeth is a return missionary from Mexico. They were married a few months ago and will going to the temple on Aug 5 to be sealed for time and all eternity in the house of the Lord. Oscar asked me to be his escort for his first time going through the temple!! It is right after transfers so I hope I can stay another one. I could stay 6 months here easy:)
So far so good. Nothing much more to say. I finished the Book of Mormon last night and I ponder upon the last word of Moroni to come unto Christ and be perfected in him. What a glorious Gospel this is. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and you read it, ponder its message, and pray to know it is true the Holy Ghost will manifest the truthfulness thereof. By that power you may know all truth. Les amo todos y Ciao!
4-6. BOM squad
7. Felipe tho
8. Youngins from Poplar Creek
9. Mi vato Carlos
10. Mercado con Distrito
Guapos y Guapas cómo están allá Oeste? Aquí estamos obrando diligentemente! Roller Coaster week but this time a little bit more on the down slope and experiencing some tender mercies del Señor! I do not have a whole lot to write but some chill photos I'd love to share (best part).
Update of Carrie Ruiz: welllllll two days after her crying and having a super sweet lesson she let us know like right at the end of PDAY that she had decided our church wasn't for her. Probably got fed some anti-material or just wasn't fully prepared to bring herself to repentance. Either or, we hope we get to see her again! She has such a sincere desire to have a better life. Pray for her!
Felipe Hernandez: is now basically a full pledged member and is back in ACCIÓN! This guy is a rock star. He has so much faith and came back to church yesterday for all 3 hours and participated in the meetings. Hopefully we can get him a calling soon and start just doing the little steps! Honestly this guy is my favorite moment from Lebanon so far!
So we also started teaching English this week and we are going to make a huge push this week to get people to our class on Friday! We teach English in peoples' houses as well. It is really fun and also intimidating but it is probably even more so for the hispanics haha! We do roll plays and situational stuff using posters and assign each of them homework!
Teaching pool wise we have a few families we are working with, nothing to solid at the moment but just putting forth mucho fe, esperanza, y gratitud!
New Finding Activity: La Pulga, this massive flea market where literally all hispanics go to buy, sell, and enjoy their free time. And boy was it fun. We aren't really allowed to hand out materials but we kinda do anyway and we might buy a table next week so tat would be really fun! A lot of people said hi to us and desired to talk to us!
Elder Allen: Slowly but surely helping him find his groove in Spanish. As of now I have been doing the majority of the talking and teaching. I have been trying to help him no have any fear and to be super social with the hispanos! He is a great guy! We got along pretty well. The days are pretty chill and we just do what we are in control of and forget the rest.
HAPPY Birthday to the greatest country in the world baby. God's Country!!!! Gracias a Dios!!! Love yunz
1. Mis Chicas
2. Allen tho
5. Call 911
6. Do not bring me gossip, lets talk about Christ
7-11. Merica' meetin'