Sunday, February 18, 2018

2/12/2018

Oh man what an awesome week. Packed full of insane action and staying busy/grindin for the Lord. 

Real sincere and quick Shout out to my big bro Alex and his fiancé Madi getting married in St. George this weekend!!! Catch me there in spirit muchachos! 

We are working SO HARD. I am so happy out here just werkin’ for the Lord! He is blessing us so much and also the other companionship in our ward! Elder Stockinger and Elder Adams! I love it here. 

Goldie Vela, a little 8 year old who has just lit up my world, was baptized this week. Jake the Snake is her Dad there in the pic. We had the opportunity to teach her and to help prepare her for baptism. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong there and Goldie even gave us shout outs for stuff she had learned. 

We ate at like the richest neighborhood in East Tennessee on Super Bowl Sunday. It as unreal. Member’s name is Brother Jones and he is also a chriopractor so we got to teach them about the Book of Mormon and get our backs cracked. Legit. To legit to quit. Brother Jones is kinda less active and he wants to play a round of golf together. So stoked. 

We went on two power ups this week. I went with Elder Farnsworth from Peoria AZ up in Kingsport and it was so fun hahaha. He is a funny dude. I also went with Elder Gohr from Idaho and for both of these power ups we went finding all day. Elder Gohr is the man. We played basketball against two black kids in the streets. Balled out. Got called an A-hole that day, classic. Just super fun days. I really enjoy helping out other missionaries and their areas! Kingsport Zone is doing really well!!!

We got smart phones and they’re amazing for the work. They make everything so much more efficient and also have great accessories such as a wifi hotspot. Still and IPhone guy but these Samsungs are sweet. 

Alberto Castro is doing so well. He is probably going to propose to his girlfriend this week and he has no concerns whatsoever. Our Bishop thinks he will become a general authority!! Haha he also is teaching Institute!! I have seriously never taught a guy like this. He is so prepared and the Lord is blessing his life as he progresses in the Gospel. 

Brandyn is finally going to move out. He hit a stand still in his progression. But he’s taking a critical step in his life. His home just doesn’t have the Spirit. Too stressful for their family financially, spiritually, and relationship-wise. 

Angela is still up in the air. She is doing fine, just baptismal date has not been decided. The Lord’s Time isn’t our time. 

We met some Awesome new investigators this week. Charlie Hopson is this super prepared homie in the ghetto and Rosa is a Hispanic girl (25 años) that I met at Golden Corral! People are everywhere. More updates on them later. 

I have been reading the BOM everyday and committed to read a chapter everyday for the next 20 years. LETS GO! I love 2 Nephi 2 and what it teaches us about the Plan of Salvation and how their is an opposition in all things! If we are on the right path it will always be Uphill. 

Just such a great week and our schedule looks fantastic for this week. Everyone going to Alex’s wedding I want to take pictures with yall hahaha (prop). 

Love yunz 










Sunday, February 11, 2018

2/05/18

Hola familia btw I am absolutely cashed right now hahaha. We did an insane workout this morning with Jake the Snake Vela. Long story short we are alive and well. This guy is infamous in the mission. We had an insane week I hope I can fit it all in. Love yall so mucho.

Anyways so Tuesday was Zone Conference and the Spirit there was absolutely amazing. President Pickett laid down the hammer and used one of my favorite talks 
Called the 4th Missionary. I remember my cousin Steve sent me that so shout out to him. Our mission is making a huge push for obedience and accessing more into the spiritual power that the Lord can empower us with. In our zone, we are completely focusing on the BOOK of MORMON. We had a wonderful break out session and everyone is pumped to use the BOM with higher intensity. 

I had a wonderful exchange with Elder Lovell this week. We hit the streets hard and he also opened up to me about some of his personal struggles. I always try to point people back to the Lord and his amazing grace. 

Alma 32 has been an absolutely unreal chapter in my teaching and everyday life this week. Highly recommend that everyone reads it. Contacted Danielle Redmon from Lebanon this week and that made my day. Meeting with Sister missionaries this week.

Edna Omigie and her husband Oduwa are stoked for the temple and are attending Temple Prep. Im definitely going to their sealing. 

Everyone is amazing right now. Brandyn came up to me on Sunday and talked about how he’s already starting to pay tithes, reads everyday, fasts, and is looking fr an apartment to live in so he can get baptized. Such a legend.

Angela is finally back in town. Since she was gone for so long we will have to reschedule her baptism. All goodie. 

Alberto is an absolute legend. Best Law of Chastity lesson of my entire mission easily. He’s progressing well. 

Elder Rosengren and I had the opportunity to teach in Young Men’s on Sunday and the most important message that we feel would have benefited them the most was the Book of Mormon. Super powerful. Love the Youth. 

Love yall:) 

Elder Mac 







Sunday, February 4, 2018

1/29/18

This week was one for the books. I am loving my time here in Johnson City so much. I have to take a few moments to talk about the climate changes here. It went from snow, to sleet, to rain, to pure sunshine all in one week. AYÚDAME. Read this whole email plz:) 

Starting off the week strong with Mission Leadership Conference in Knoxville this past Tuesday. We picked up the STLs and road tripped down so that is always a party. I had the opportunity to give a training in the meeting on Sacrifice and I alluded to Genesis 22 and talked about the effects of sacrificing not only bad habits, thoughts, actions, etc, but also the good things that us missionaries have to momentarily abstain from such as family. In the conference we had great trainings by Elder Hatch one of my last companions and also Sister Kite and Monty on becoming a consecrated missionary. Elder Leavitt (my dude) and Elder Hancock introduced Smart Phones to our mission which will start tomorrow at Zone Conference. I am STOKED for this. President Pickett is absolutely amazing. He is such a great leader. He is cracking down hard on disobedience and laziness in the mission and he’s doing it the right way. He is a great teacher and powerful. We made a mission goal to have 300 baptisms this next year and he also implemented new rules to reinforce the White Handbook. I am really excited to create new goals and plans for the zone this transfer. 

We are having fun teaching for sure. Our pool is fantastic. This transfer we are shifting from focusing so much on our “model area” to more of helping out individual companionships and ministering to their needs. We already have 8 exchanges planned for this transfer and for the most part we will be going to their areas. 

I will write more about my investigators next week. We are continuing to try to build their faith in the Lord, especially using the Book of Mormon. Angela might get baptized this week. She has been out of town this whole week and will be this week so that might change. All is well:) 

Two experiences from this week that really opened my eyes. We got a call on Friday from a less active member in Bristol who had a few friends that were in the hospital and the ICU for a new born child, named Casey Watters. This family, the mother had just had Casey 10 days earlier on January 16. She was born was some rare genetic disease that was deteriorating her lungs and other things. Approaching the family and feeling the spirit of the room it was apparent that Doctors and nurses knew that this baby was to pass away. Nonetheless, this family desired a priesthood blessing of God. As it says in James 5: 13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 

I saw this little girl. She was about 3 lbs. Her head was about the size of a grapefruit. I was able to give her blessing and in the blessing it promised partial restoration of health. We left. I then remember getting in the car and Elder Rosengren earlier in our visit had read the scriptures found in Moroni 8: And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.
18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity. 

I broke down in the car as I thought about holding that child. I am so grateful for the Gospel that gives us strength through times like these. I know God loves little children. 

Brandyn Myers, one of my favorite guys out here is progressing really well. Last week he had said he wasn’t too willing to move out to get ready for his baptism. He called us on Friday night for 45 minutes talking about how he had slipped into some old habits. I recall some of the things that he told me as he was quoting to us the feelings of guilt, emptiness, and dissatisfaction he has been feeling. These feelings are very common for those who do not follow the Savior or aren’t doing what God would have them do. I remember similar feelings in my past life. He said he was tired of letting God down and he just wants to be right with him. The words of my favorite scripture were shared with him: 41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. 

He is ready for change. I seriously love repentance and the Atonement. I have changed so much and I have seen those changed in others. The Savior really does live and wants to forgive us! 

That’s all I got, les amo mucho :) Ciao 

Elder Mac
 
 



 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

1/22/2018

Hola Familia and friends this has been an absolutely insane week! Transfers came this week and my trio with Prueitt and Frederick got split up. My new companion is Elder Rosengren from Las Vegas!! He is a beast and at the same time a teddy bear. He goes home on March 1 so I will be his last companion! We are working harder than ever and I am thankful to be working with him. I have already learned so much from him that will help me out for the rest of my mission! We had an insane week. I am so tired. I kinda love it. Every time we get home we pass out within 20 minutes of entering the door! Rosy is also going to BYU Provo so it is cool to make a new friend. 

Transfers were crazy. On the day of, a huge snow storm came and a lot of people in the mission couldn’t get a ride out there. I ended up doing like 6 hours worth of driving that day due to some Elders in Kingsport that needed a ride. Honestly I just love being busy and it was a crazy adventure for us. My college time up in Utah also prepared me for driving in the snow. When it snows here Tennessee completely shuts down due to there lack of equipment in the state for salting etc etc. Elder Rosy served in Kingsport as his first area and so we toured around that and even went on a sweet minty hike. So far it is going really well. 

I am grateful for living prophets and for the historic announcement of the New First Presidency! I know President Nelson and his counselor and so forth are guided by the Lord. There is no doubt. This is the buffet of blessing. The fountain of fortune. Try it out! Love this Church and what it teaches me. 

Our first day together we taught Brandyn Myers. Please pray for him and his family. Him, his girlfriend Elizabeth, and his son Peter all want to be baptized. Brandyn is looking to move out so he can come in compliance with the Law of Chastity and Elizabeth (who smokes two packs a day) is fighting to overcome that addiction. They are very financially unstable as well. The path of discipleship and repentance has and never will be easy but we are trying our best to help them have more happiness in their lives. 

Miracle!! After meeting with Angela this week she has been having doubts about the church. She had that amazing experience at the temple in Washington DC and then during this lesson kept saying, “I just want to know from God”. After asking her some in depth questions, I remember bearing testimony about my mission and how hard and rewarding it has been. I testified of how we CANNOt forget about spiritual experiences and answers we have received, because there is always opposition. After class on Sunday, she told us that she wants to be baptized on February 3!! We were so stoked. 

Another miracle we had was when we got to sit down with Alberto Castro, one of my favorite dudes!! He is from Portugal, actually from an island chain in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean called the Azores!!! He is awesome. Served in the military, two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped protect NATO leaders. He grew up Roman Catholic but did not quite agree with the teachings and practices thereof. We had a wonderful lesson with him about the Plan of Salvation! He is so prepared. I love the guy. He said that he will be baptized on February 24!!

As I come on the last leg of my mission, I cannot help but look back upon all the pains afflictions, and mercies that have come upon myself and others. It has been awesome. Honestly. It has been awesome. I love my mission because I get to walk with the Savior. Yes I have a comp, mish president, etc but in reality I am on a walk with the Savior. I know he lives and I know that he loves me and wants the best for all of us. Love y’all so much!! 

Elder Mac 

1. New District yo!!
2. Rosy boi
3. First Self Reliance Initiative class in the Kingsport Stake 




Sunday, January 14, 2018

1/08/2017

Family and friends do I love all of you!!! Thanks for all the supportive emails and awesomeness I have received the past 2 weeks and just throughout my mission it has been awesome. This week I had so many crazy experiences and some very very spiritually moving moments! There are 4 people I want to talk about today and so I will keep my week at that! 

President Thomas S Monson: Our beloved prophet as you all have heard has passed away this week at the age of 90. It was quite expected on my part and I am glad he is rejoined with his wife and Savior!! It is strange to think that the teachings in which he has shared have affected me nearly my entire “childhood” life ranging from 6th grade to now. He is the prophet that called to me to be a missionary. It was really neat to see the world react to his passing over social media and in the community. All positivity from my viewpoint was derived from my observation of those areas, I did however have an amazing experience last night with the Spirit. There Is a “party” which we go to every Sunday night with this investigator family. They have a taco night every Sunday and so of course we go if we can. On this particular night, they had me take the “16 Personality Test” (super famous online, do it!) and my results came out that I was an ESFJ. Look it up. It is pretty spot on. But anyway we were talking about our personalities and we started talking about how we need to enjoy the moment more in life. It is SO easy for us to think in the past or even n the future; but staying focused on the moment is a tough task that requires practice. We talked about how the most humble people are the most grateful. We came to this conclusion talking about pride and what considers someone to be a prideful person. Many people associate Pride with someone who boasts a lot, talks a lot (especially about themselves), etc. Which is true but there are also other forms of pride. And going off of the statement above, there are also a lot of very humble people who tend to talk a lot or even dominate social situations, doesn’t mean they are prideful because they talk a lot or even about some things they’ve accomplished/done/ seen. It is almost a feeling. But anyways he told me about how Moses called himself a “meek” person. Called himself that. So does that make Moses prideful? Well, now lets look at Jesus...he called himself the Son of God and proclaimed salvation comes through him (though fact, from perspective of the Pharisees/ Sadducees/ etc it was prideful of him). But really being meek and humble has a different sense and vibe to it. Moses and Jesus were very humble and very meek especially in their expressions of gratitude. I promise y'all this conversation made more sense in person but through this I was able to talk to him about living prophets and the passing of Thomas S Monson because I distinctly remember reading something by the Huffington Post about Monson being the “nicest man in the world”. Now categorizing him as that may be biased, may or may no be accurate, but I am so grateful for his life of meekness, humility, and service to the Lord. He has taught me so much about what it means to be a follower of the Lord and how I can best honor my priesthood. He has taught me how crucial it is to follow the Spirit. Loor al Profeta! Service is what life is all about!:) 

Angela Soumastre: I know I have talked about her so much but I am going to give you her full story today! She is dating on of my homies in the ward, Brian Green, and moved from FLorida after te hurricanes to live closer to Brian and to get a new start in life. In the moving process she was having a HUGE problem with finding an apartment. She literally applied for like 50+ apartments and had no luck because she has a dog. She really wanted one that was super close to Brian but she got denied. After that, she was super stressed on finding a place that he had the impression to “pray over the Book of Mormon” that she had. She did. And immediately afterwards she received a call from the landlord of the EXACT apartment that she wanted confirming her request!! That was insane. Our first lesson with her was amazing and I remember walking out the door with her and she did the “air guitar” with me because that’s just her hahaha. It has been such a blast teaching her. Her ultimatum to being baptized was that she really wanted to go visit the Washington DC Temple. During the holidays her and Brian went on a trip. At first though, Angela went home to Florida to visit her family. She ended up seeing a lot of the “old crowd” of friends and even went to hang out with one of the girls she considered to be her best friend at a social swing dance club. Her friend, being a Jehovah’s Witness, then took her sweet time in attacking her with Anti-Mormon facts and trying to talk her out of following the Savior. This really was hard for her, because she had never faced opposition like that before and it was fro someone that she considered to be her best friend!! Doubt and confusion crept into her heart and she even told Brian she didn't think that she wanted to join the church. After Florida, they went to DC together and on the way to the temple she was praying for a confirmation of the things we had been teaching her! As they were going she remember the temple creeping over the horizon as she was on the freeway and a spiritual bomb just engulfed her entire being. She said she had never felt that way in her life and was almost moved to tears in the car! She even thought for a moment that like the AC was on but they had heat on full blast. Anyways, she had a wonderful experience and has come to know for HERSELF that this is the only true and living church of the Lord Jesus Christ. She got up and bore her testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday and seriously it moved me to tears. Edna (the Nigerian) bore her testimony as well and so everyone was on a spiritual high note all day! Angela is such an awesome example to me and even to others whom I will talk more about now!

Brandon and Elizabeth: Brandon is probably my favorite dude on this Earth. They said I could be there children’s Godfather haha. Anyways, at this moment they are fully committed to joining the church and having a temple marriage and eternal family. We have had some really great lessons the past two weeks. They are in a tough spot currently...We are trying to help Elizabeth out a ton. She has been smoking for more than 10 years and she told me after church (after hearing the testimony of Angela) that she was going to quit “cold turkey”. Pray for her that she may have the strength to get rid of this addiction in her life! Also, she has not been divorced from her previous marriage so we are working hard on how we can get that cleared up. Brandon cannot move out because they are incredibly unstable financially so that isn’t an option; however, with the help of the ward and the Lord I know they will be able to have the blessings of the Gospel in their lives soon!! They absolutely love church and the Lord. Pray for them! 

I spent some good time setting some goals for myself spiritually, physically, and mentally. I like where I am heading. I am so thankful for the Lord! A quote from a talk I studied this week really stuck out in my studies: “The Savior’s Atonement is a conduit for the constant flow of charity from our Father in Heaven. We must choose to abide in this love in order to have charity for all.”

Love yall les amo mucho ciao 

Elder Mac. 






Saturday, January 13, 2018

1/01/2018

Boy was this week nuts!!! Christmas, best gift was being able to serve the Lord at this time. I will be honest though, the holiday cheer out west destroys Tennessee. I got to talk to my family and friends for a little bit. Classic quote from that was, “Hey man, there’s even waves in Shiverpool”. Haha if anyone knows me you know what that means. We had an absolutely amazing dinner with one of my favorite family, the Wells. He is an oral surgeon so we talk a lot about that and they cooked us some fantastic Prime Rib roast. SO RICO. New Years doesn’t really feel like New Years at all out here there wasn’t too many celebrations but we are going to celebrate ourselves!!! We are going to die today from a workout with Jake the Snake.....played basketball this morning with the ward. I am still out of shape but I am coming up on my last 6 months!! Time to work out more. 

We are currently in a Trio right now which is pretty awesome. We have transfers again in 2 weeks..the changes will be super interesting and I am pretty excited for them! We are going to work hard together for the time while it lasts. We are guessing Frederick is leaving and Prueitt for sure is as well, but he will still be my District Leader! 

So many awesome experiences this week! We had a power-up exchange and I got to go with uno de mis hijos Elder Ney!! We had an awesome day. Good to see the guy again. 

My sisters who were with me in the MTC, Sister Yauney and Sister See went home this past week...We got the entire Mexico MTC crew at transfer (Vellinga and Detiege). Glorious day. 

I officially conquered the one full year I would be in the mission field! 

We are still teaching Brandyn Myers and his family that are all on date for January. We are waiting for Angela to get back in time. She should be going to the temple grounds soon! I am honestly so stoked for the holidays to be over. All the college students are gone and our other investigators! 

We also adventured all the way down to Columbia, SC to take my recent convert Edna to the temple for the first time! Her husband baptized her for those who have passed on and then I got to baptize Oduwa and Elder Frederick! Definitely something I will always remember! 

It has been an awesome week for real. Lately I have been gaining a stronger testimony about praying to the Lord with a vision and for help with the goals you set. I know that if we pray daily and with real legit intentions that the Lord will bless us! I hope that we all can develop our own visions of who we want to become for the year 2018!!! WRITE THEM. Somewhere where you’ll always see them. I will give yall my goals next week love yunz les amo Ciao

Elder Mac