Sunday, October 15, 2017

10/09/2017

What a week. What a week. Tempted to say it a third time but my goodness I am just so thankful to be serving the Lord in my life right now. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else or in any other place. My time is winding down here in Lebanon and it is starting to get real....my love for these people exceeds all of my previous expectations. Some highlights from this week will be included and also some fundamental things I am learning to help strengthen my own personal testimony of the Restored Gospel.

Angela: story behind this wonderful lady. She saw one of our English class posters and walked into the chapel where we were giving a church tour. Ever since then she has been a faithful student of English and of the Gospel with us as well. This week we taught her how to pray in English and started to teach her about the importance of living prophets and the Book of Mormon. We testified that she come to know that the Lord is working through HIS church today and that those Answers are given to us through the Holy Spirit. She opened up to us about her previous experiences of receiving answers to her prayers. She shared a particular dream she had in which when she woke up from it she was in tears and had accepted Jesus has her Savior. While tell us this powerful, personal story she was in tears and even asked me, out of the 4 people in the room to share my testimony. I did so and let her know about my love for the Savior and how I know he lives. She is so sincere and close to the truth. I could feel the Spirit work through me so strongly. 

We had district meeting today. To be honest it was a very powerful and spiritually edifying meeting. Elder Lovell is one member of my District who is from Highland, Utah. He was struggling from the beginning and even when he entered the field, but he has grown so much since we had sat down and talked in the chapel. Lo qué pasa es que he gave a training today about God. He share a lot of personal experiences including his family background. He has such a broken up family and is also adopted. He has such an inspiring courage.  I felt the Spirit testify to me how much God loves each of us. I had a role play or....real play....with Elder Peterson today. After talking for a little bit I asked him what the hardest thing about the mission is for him. He told me with tears falling from his face that he is always preoccupied about his loved ones. He has a few inactive siblings and wants to help them. I testified to him that if he serves with all his might, mind, and strength that his family will be blessed by his service and that he will meet someone in this area whom will teach him how he can better help his family. Later that day, we finally helped Miriam Xiquin and the girls move into their new apartment. We got to drive to Mt. Juliet and on the way home we, with Hermano Carrillo, tuvimos que pararnos on the side o the highway to readjust our trailer. Hermano almost got wrecked by a semi-truck hahaha classic times. Got home at 10:30 PM tonight....

“Coincidences”: back in the day when I was with Elder Ney we had been in this Mexican ice cream shop and I saw this girl probably around my age there and I had the impression to give her a temple pass along card. She smiled and went on her way and I thought nothing more of it. On Friday though (I talk to everyone) but we saw her again at Starbucks where we use wifi sometimes, only I didn't recognize her...she was reading like an Atheist book so to make conversation I decided to point that out. It turns out that she remembered me and then through that I remembered her and we started talking about her life and what had happened. Sh recounted to me how she was grateful that I gave her that card...because it turns out that very same day she had found out one of her close friends had committed suicide....and she went online and read all about temples. I was stunned but not surprised because I knew that I followed an impression for a reason. Her name is Danielle Redmon. We will see her on Wednesday. 

I had attended this nondenominational church awhile back as well because we were invited to do so. There was another young girl my age who was a singer there and performed really well. Never met her until Saturday night when we got home to our apartment this girl just happened to walk by and I stopped her and starting talking to her about the church. We made that connection and got to give her some church materials. I hadn’t made the connection until we started conversing and she said that she attends that church. Just another testimony of following the Spirit and talking to everyone and the blessings it brings.

We had to deal with the police on Sunday because the landlord of Miriam’s old home had mistakenly thought that they had abandoned their house (we just helped them get a new apartment) so he went their with his crew and started to throw stuff in the streets. Miriam arrived their to get her stuff and ended up calling the cops. We went there to make sure nothing bad went down. This landlord and his crew really just are not good people...a lot of arguing from them was cast towards us and Miriam but we just chilled and now the girls are out of there finally. 

Elder Lopez is a stud. He’s like the most in tune student of the Gospel I have ever met. He has helped me so much to get my animo back up with studying the Gospel and Spanish! Love that kid. 

We still have Doris Ortez on Baptismal date for the 29th of October (Jakes Bday) haha... she fasted with us this Sunday to receive her answers. 

I invite everyone to listen to Elder Maynes’s talk about integrity and gaining trust from the Lord and from our families. Coinciding with that, Elder Nelson’s talk on the Book of Mormon. If we read and follow the principles of the most correct book on the face of the earth, we will gain that trust that will ultimately bring peace to our lives. 

Love yall, les amo:) Ciao Pescao

Elder Mac 
 
 




 

10-2-2017




 Hola familia

qué tal! What crazy week....to be honest not the best
 week. We had so much traveling this week. We were in our area for like
 2 days out of the week I swear. Knoxville, Cookeville, etc.

 I got to go on an exchange with my boy Elder Hopkins this week! He is
 going home at the end of this transfer so it was cool to see his
 perspective on the mission and what he is going to do when he gets
 home. We got to teach the Plan of Salvation to this woman who is
 suffering from cancer and also her friend who acts as her stay at home
 nurse. The questions that people have about life can all be answered
 by the Plan of Salvation. It is centered upon Jesus Christ's Atonement
 and the love that God has for us.

 I will update more on the work next week. The coming days will be a
 grind sesh in the Lords vineyard。

 It was a tremendous blessing to be able to listen to the living
 prophets and apostles this weekend. I received a lot of answers to
 questions I had previously written down and felt the Spirit testify of
 divine truth. One thing. Noticed is how simple the General Authorities
 speak. The Gospel really is so simple, that even a little child can
 understand it. My favorite talk was by Elder Maynes about the
 importance of integrity and trust.

 I'm still grinding. See yall next week:)

 Les Amo Ciao

 Elder Mac





Sunday, October 1, 2017

9/25/2017

Hola familia!! Lo siento por la semana pasada no escribí mucho para ustedes pero aquí estoy! This week was super awesome and super spiritual and all the above! We are working hard to stay busy and to accomplish our goals! I have a lot of fun stuff to write so here we go! Oh btw the weather was scorching this week..

Fiesta #1: Tuesday we had a half Mission Conference where 4 zones got together and we had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Elder Legrand Curtis Jr speak to us! He and his wife are amazing people who just got done serving in Africa for 5 years! It was cool to hear them speak. They emphasized how they're just normal people that have a desire to serve the Lord just like us, and that we're no different. We spoke a lot about the Book of Mormon, in particular Alma 5. This chapter is what we call the spiritual interview because of all the questions....try it out! I did. Ne thing that was unique too was that he asked Elder McConkie bad in his college days how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he said to read it through and at the end of each chapter ask,"Is this the work of man or of God?". 

Fiesta #2: Friday night we had a Branch Bonfire for a actividad de la Obra Misional. I've been learning to play the guitar so I played some songs for them...the best I could.. oh and we had a lot of investigators come! But anyways it was an awesome night and the first time I've had s'mores since I left on my mish so I was happy. 

Fiesta #3: La Familia Díaz is a family we are working with and we provided chairs and tables for a birthday party for one of their little kids. It was a wonderful opportunity to do some service for them and to come closer. Their son Carlos is like my best friend straight up. We went their on Saturday and hung out and met a lot of hispanos nuevos. Even gave out some materials. 

Training: Elder Lopez is a total stud. Love this kid. He's like a Hispanic version of my roommate from college, Harrison Trinca. We get along so well hahaha. S/O to T Chang finish strong in Japan Boi. He's doing really well with Spanish and we are working hard together. He has a desire to be obedient to all the mission rules! I know for sure I'm leaving next transfer but...might ask Pres to finish his training...:) we will see! And nah he's not s midget he just wanted me to say that last week hahaha. His Spanish is improving and I enjoy teaching with him! 

District: chillin. We all just made a goal to extend at least one baptismal date a week so hopefully we can get that rolling! 

My hope: is that we can set Sheccid and Zahred Xiquin on baptismal dates this week. We had a great lesson with them showing them how the Book of Mormon answers questions! Pray for them! 






Church: we had our Branch Conference and a ton of investigators and less Actives came to church! We grubbed harddddd afterwards! Mexican food for days:) we have been shooting big on church Attendance. We have 7 investigators and we hope to have 10 this Week! 

I'd like reflect on this opportunity we have to listen to General Conference. I think as a missionary this is one of the best times of the year, especially when I feel we recognize the full significance of being able to listen to a living prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. I was reading the Bible this week and I read these scripture in 2 Peter 1:  

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

What I get from this is that the pure doctrine of God has been and always will be interpreted and spoken by the chosen prophets of God. Not by any random man or minister who goes to college. We need not be confused in these latter days about what is God's plan for us and what is not. Take notes this week Familia 

Love yall/Les amo Ciao 

Elder Mac 

1) Elder Vellinga and Sister Yauney from my MTC Mexico experience 14 months! 
2) Mi Hijo enseñando inglés 
3) Katherine y Eric 
4) CARLOS 
5) Miriam mi favorita 
6-7) Conferencia de Rama 
 
 
 

9/18/2017

This week was nuts and I'm super lazy today so I'll give y'all what I
got for today:) but for real though I'm so tired I could barely get
out of bed today hahaha. Workin hard or hardly workin? Anyways like
y'all have heard I'm staying in Lebanon for my 5th transfer (really
rare) and am training a new Elder! His name is Elder Oscarin Lopez!!
He's 4'0" and and was a flyer for cheer in high school! He's a midget
which is super dope! I don't have a lot of time with Week but we are
going to have ZC with a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. We had SO
many people come to church this week it was awesome!!! People are
progressing well and I'm doing great! Better update next week! Les amo
y Ciao Pescao

Elder Mac
 
 




 

9/11/2017

Crazy crazy crazy week here in Leb Town!! So some news about transfers! I am staying in Lebanon for 1 more transfer (7 &1/2 months) and Elder Ney mi Hijo is being transferred to Rogersville! Going to miss the guy, but I'm happy he gets to go to an English area where he can understand and teach legitimately haha! Translating was fun tho. I will be training ANOTHER new missionary! Holy huevos. I'm excited. Supposedly the Elder coming in speaks fluent Spanish so I'll half train him and establish the area and then leave at the end of this transfer! Every companionship in my district will be training!! I'm excited to stay here one more transfer and I hope to get some baptisms with some of the potential we have! 9/11 is also today. Merica' tho. Eventos geniales de la semana incluyen: 

Interviews: this section will take the majority of my weekly. What a wonderful day Friday was! I had the opportunity to perform 4 baptismal interviews with some very remarkable people and also on that same day to sit down with my President Pickett. First off, President and I sat down and he asked how I was doing and so on and so forth, but what I really feel good about our relationship together. Just like with Griffin there is a feeling of trust and confidence. He asked me if I was willing to stay another transfer and I said of course (español)! He then told me the transfer news which didn't come as a big surprise. I wanted to stay here as well. He told me how excited he was about my District! Love the guy. Actually a member of the Stake Presidency came and told me that President talks a lot about me in Stake meetings so I feel good to have Presidents trust and also the Lords. I hope to be able to continue to serve humbly and faithfully as a DL trainer. 

Interviewing Judy and Sam Hunt, a couple of 70+ years old each was absolutely amazing. We sat individually together for an hour and a half each. Tears were shed, laughs were had, and testimonies were shared. They had been looking for this for so long and they finally found it! I hope to never forget them! They said us as member have a 'glow'. Agreed. I also had the opportunity to interview Angel Proctor and her son Lucas (11). Very shy and very reserved individuals but as we prayed together and talked they both opened up to me and we left our sit downs feeling edified and rejoicing together! They were all baptized and confirmed this weekend as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

Investigators: 

Sheccid y Zahred Xiquin: they are my focus this transfer. They are the closest ones here who can be baptized. Sheccid is the oldest daughter of Miriam and Zahred is the youngest. They came to the baptismal service and also came to church yesterday without their Momma (who came later)! They need all the prayers they can get! We are going to set them on date this week because we ended up canceling their baptismal dates due to family Circumstances. They live in a rough neighborhood and they are trying to get settled in a new apartment which we found for them! Hopefully they can get that and live in a safer environment! 

We've received tons of great referrals from Cookeville and Crossville so we will be traveling quite a bit back and forth! Covering the whole stake is so fun hahaha.

We are working with a ton of LOST SHEEP to get them back so that is where we are finding most of our success. I hope I can lay a solid foundation here before I leave. Also, we are expected to get some rain and storms from the hurricane.... prayers 🙏🏼 

Another transfer, another son, another round in Leb Town! Nos vemos familia les amo y Ciao! 

Elder Mac 

1. District Desayuno 
2. Elote Loco 
3. Ciao Hijo 
 
 


 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

9/4/2017

Prayers to the fam out in Houston and all my missionary friends!! Hope y'all are all safe. The Hispanics here all have family out in Texas so we have been saying a lot of prayers with families here affected by the storm! Familia it has been a pretty fun week here in Lebanon. Elder Ney and I are just doing all we can to work with the potential we have. Good stories out here. We got slammed by rain 

Javier Francisco Rico: this dude. Referral from the Sisters out in Cookeville! So since we cover the whole stake we drove and hour a a half out to Monterey Tennessee to go teach him! Supposedly he wanted to be baptized after watching the Restoration DVD so we went over and did just that. We asked him what his expectations are and he was super sincere! He lives alone and is also looking to start a family! We set a baptismal date with him for September 30! 

Sheccid y Zahred Xiquin: ahhh yes. They are great. After giving their family a church tour last week and coming to church we had a lesson with them in the chapel! It went pretty well. The girls are super shy and have had a lot of trials so we are still working on trying to get them comfortable. We taught them the Restoration and showed them the DVD. Ended up putting them on date for September 17! Not super firm but hey we will keep helping this beautiful family:) 

Ivey Villanueva: literally spent 3 hours and her place and had a great time. Even had members of the Relief Society come with us! Friday is when the weather got really bad haha...but anyways long story short we were hopeful their family would come back to church this weekend but they ended up going "flojo" again. Aka didn't show. But hey we'll keep it rollin

The Good Samaritan: actually bore my testimony on this story this week. But we were biking late Thursday night out in the streets haciendo la obra de Señor. We received a few calls from the other companionships in our district that a rain storm was coming in (Harvey's leftovers)....but we continued to press on and work while we could! Eventually we decided to head back and it was lightly sprinkling. However as we were turning onto the main highway heading towards our apartment, I ran over a nail and yeppppp there goes my tire. By then it was POURING rain. So Elder Ney and I just shrugged and happily walked home waving at passing cars and enjoying getting soaked. It felt so good not going to lie. We walked for about 20 minutes until this guy, who had previously passed us in his sedan and went home to get his truck; came to our rescue and loaded up our bikes and took us home! We got to talk to him about the Gospel on the way and I believe we made a good impression. Anyways, that gave me hope for the world:) 

Church:  Miriam and the whole Xiquin family came:) Esther y Raul as well came! One fantastic thing is the Hispanics always have a "Break the Fast" on Fast Sundays so basically we just eat a ton!

Also, we are meeting with ANOTHER lost sheep. Joana Ortez is the daughter of a less active named Vilma. And Vilma's sister has been investigating the church forever. But we had a pretty good appointment with them last night:) stoked for that. 

Im sitting here just grateful to be here. I will find out on Saturday if I'm finishing Elder Nay's training or not! Stay. HAPPY LABOR DAY TRABAJADORES GUAPOS Y GUAPAS 

Elder Mac 

1-2:  Celestial Housing 
3: Bomb dinna 
4: idk 
5: Pollo y Waffles 
6: Storm
7: Miley 
8: Squaw 
9: Chucked this at Elder Peterson