Monday, September 12, 2016

9/12/2016 Dalton, Georgia

WOOOOOO it has been another great week here in the Southern heart of this glorious country. I would like to start off by first expressing my gratitude for those in the armed services and those that continuously fight to protect and serve us here in the USA! I forgot to post some pictures from Mexico that I left out so I will include those! As well!! This week was absolutely unreal though. Filled with crazy surprises and endless hard work. The Lord truly blessed us this week with not only success but with opportunities to do things we have never seen nor done. So grateful to be here!! I will go through each day of this past week! absolutely amazing!

Sept 5: This was my first P Day in the field and we decided as a district to go to the beautiful city of Chattanooga and tour the city a little bit and play some ultimate frisbee down at this park right next to a gorgeous bridge and giant river. Chattanooga is super green and has really beautiful buildings that make it look even better. It was a good day down there and I got a lot of pictures!! After our fiascos of P Day we met with a member family who has two inactive sons. So we have a NEW RULE in our mission that says we are not allowed to go to a member's house for anything unless there is a less active or an investigator present. It really helps us use our time wisely for the work. I know that this rule was inspired through President Griffin. 

Sept 6; Today was amazing, we taught 7 lessons to investigators and inactives! Used our time super wisely and it was awesome! We had lunch with Hermana Alfaro and her husband is not a member so we left a nice message with them. We then went tracting later that day and it was BLAZING outside. The weather here in Georgia is on and off, but it is mainly roasting right now but not too bad for an AZ native!! We met this guy named Randle who was super interested in the message but he spoke only English so we referred him to the sisters! But it is always awesome to be able to share a message with anyone! We also met a new investigator named Maria Calderon and she was super receptive and we will see her soon! We had much more action this day but the highlight was meeting our top investigator Edy Ortiz for the first time!.....and the first lesson with him would be about the Law of Chastity! It went super well and him and his girlfriend committed to live it! His gf is a less active member so it was cool to have her input! I could really feel sincere charity for those people:) 

Sept 7: So we start off every Wednesday at Providence! which is this local cafeteria/church that helps feed people so we spent a good deal of time there helping out people! Chik Fil A after of course! We had several appointments happen this day but the best thing that happened is when we were driving to go tract an area and this car was broken down with a busted wheel. And of course, we stopped to see what we could do. Our equipment wasn't efficient to help out there wheel but through stopping we met this guy named Justin who doesn't really like denominations but he really like the Message of the Restoration! So we got a return appt with him which was awesome! Super optimistic guy. And later that night we tracted this are called "Heather Way" and found 3-4 potentials and investigators in about a half an hour! It was awesome and the people were so nice! Wendys also has 50 cent frostees by the way so hit that up! 

Sept 8: we went tracting after our district meeting (which is in Ringold and is a beautiful drive) and i forgot a water bottle and almost suffered a stroke. Classic rookie move. We talked to this guy accidentally for 30 minutes from the Church of God. The funny thing what southern old people is that when you talk to them they will not want to let you go, they just keep on talking and talking and interrupting it is classic. So after that we taught this lady named Chata (we call her Horchata) and she is super interested in the Church. Her momma is Catholic and her dad is Mormon and her momma has a feud with her dad over that for some reason. But she is super receptive and excited, the only thing is she doesn't know how to read so we are working on getting some Spanish tapes for her to listen to. And also we will teach her of course haha. We then taught a recent convert named Amy and also a less active family (Mejias) about the Formula of Happiness which is in 2 Nephi 5. Each of those visits we ran into two sisters from the ward who happened to be going to the same place so that was awkwardly classic. Taught with them both times! 

Sept 9: Mornings are rough here in the field, especially when you only get half an hour to work out hahaha Elder Mitchell is also cashed out. You will see Elder Mitchell throwing up this hand sign that usually means "okay" but in the mission I guess it means "ball is life". so just clarifying that. Today we had all our appointments fall through. It was a reality check but through perseverance we were able to teach this guy named Raul and we'll see him again but the best thing was having the opportunity to serve this less active family named the Garcias move their laundry machines! They got us Panda express but afterwards we left a great message and invited them back to Church and they came!! 

Sept 10: We got called Angels today by this gospel singer lady that we met and it warmed my soul to the maximum haha, she is a potential investigator for the sisters but we had the best conversation with her. Super nice lady. We taught Hector Rios, one of our progressing investigators this week about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and really focused on baptism! We had some fellow shippers there named Hermano y Hermana Sierra. We had in impression to choose him to bring along.....and it was perfect. Both them and Hector's family ended up coincidentally being from Honduras and they became like best friends immediately! It was a great lesson! Hector will commit to baptism soon, he's learning and progressing so much. We also got in with some of our progressing investigators named Delmi (the mom) and Odalys (the daughter who is 14) and we also invited them to be baptized through reading through 2 Nephi 31! Delmi then told us that she doesn't want to get baptized until she resolves her divorce with her husband....who lives in LA.....but we have faith that will get resolved!!! We are praying for a miracle! But we know she has a desire to learn and grow more. She is progressing step by step, we always remember that we are on their time, not ours. 

Sept 11: First off, We will never forget this day 15 years ago. I do not remember the day and where I was, but I remember what happened and the causes and effects and how it changed us as a nation forever. Bless the people who serve this country with their lives on the line so we can be free of those things that happen in the world. Yes we still have problems, but this is God's Country. God Bless the USA! Had my first ward council today which went really well. In ward council we just report to the ward leaders how our progress went this week. Hector Rios brought his WHOLE family to church, we were so insanely stoked!! And Hermano Sierra (his fellow shipper) was giving a talk about temples and eternal families and in the talk he looked at Hector and his family and said "When you become members of the Church, we will be in the Temple with you" or something like that in Spanish. Elder Mitchell and I looked at each other in disbelief and joy! awesome! then we taught the gospel doctrines class about the Priesthood (the power and authority to act in the name of God). We also had 2 less active families come to church. We were planning on having a lot more come but the plans fell through with them....but we have hope for next week! Hector and his fam stayed for all 3 hours! it was awesome! and afterwards we went on a 4 hour trek with Hermano Rojas, this brother on the High counsel from Costa Rica, and we saw and met a ton of less active families and potentials. It was a good time and we received a lot of food from people including shrimp...:) We also later that night go to meet up with Miguel Hernandez who i met my first day tracting and we made a return appt with him and he had already been reading in the Book of Mormon and had a lot of great questions!! can't wait to see him! 

I probably left out a lot of things that happened this week! but it is okay! the Main gist of this week is that we know we can do all things if we have faith in Christ. Faith that he will help us have success and faith that he will help us overcome our problems and challenges! I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know this Gospel is true!! It truly is the way we can be most happy in this life! I love you all and thanks for the constant, undying support and prayers. Have the best week!

Love ya and here's some pictures!!! 

Elder Macdonald


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