Sunday, September 23, 2012

El Salvador!

Hey guys so let me explain how first week is going to and living in el salvador was. i have changed so much just in this last week so on the way to el salvador apparently a bus on the road flipped so my bus driver decided to just drive on the wrong side of the road because it was faster to el salvador. hahahah its so weird here. so i get there and some guy was hugging me and in my head i was like why is this guy hugging me and who is this elder. ya it was the mission president so first day just stayed with the mission president and the assitants . so next day we go and get our companions and get to work. we get to our area to teach oh my companions name is elder Ñañez and he is from lima peru!! and we get in our house and its half out side and half inside and there was trash every where and lizards and bugs. so yes surprisingly i didnt buy treats the first thing in the mission i bought garbage bags, soap, and toilet paper. and cleaned the entire place. and now i keep the place clean every day. because i dont want  bugs or animals living with me. even though the animals understand me more then the people do. the 2nd surprising thing  other than i cleaned and washed everything and make my companion wash his hands and dishes after use. i have a goal to wake up at 5:30 every day and so far i have kept it. because i want an extra hour to study!! but time to talk about some funny things 1. i live  in the jungle part so when i have to pee i cant pee at the first tree i see because the trees our peoples houses here.  so instead i pee on the first house i see. just joking i dont pee on the houses either i just have to hold it for 2 years. people here dont know how to read and those that do cant say my name. but those who watch t.v. think i look like zoolander. i also own a machete so i am the latino indiana jones around here. i have to use my machete a lot. yup havent had time to buy my big umbrella so i get soaked a lot. i thought i knew what rain was until i got here nope this is real rain. it actually pours and is thick and fast. i get socked so today i bought my boots and umbrella. i'm sure i'm out of money in my account dad i get to visit the san salvador temple every 4 months and the families i baptize that can get sealed there' i get to take them.  oh and all those who want to send me a package it has to be through normal us mail with value less than $40. if not in normal us mail it will cost me 100 dollars when it gets here but us mail is free for me, less than $40. but time to talk about what i went through here. first week out in the field i was miserable first couple days. day number 1 was really misersable i cant understand my companion dont understand the people taught 6 lessons in my first day. which was the best part but nope dont know any spanish again. i have no idea whats going on here. i lived in the dirtiest house . but now i cleaned it so dont worry. and i just felt like the frist 2 days that (i cant do this)  (i just cant do this). (i cant do this)  (i just cant do this).  it was miserable but on friday i was talking to guy named renay and i asked him to be baptiside dont know the word in english. baptisized or something like that. sorry i am forgetting my english. but when i taught him i could see the change in his eyes and i felt the spirit so strongly through me to him it was increable and that is why i am here!!! i had a family that i was teaching who is learning english ask me to pray in english yeah  i didnt remember hahaha so bad. but then yesterday i contacted a person on the street taught a first lesson and she committed to baptism and she was crying and i could just tell her life has been changed and she wants to come unto christ. mom i am so grateful you accepted the gospel i wouldnt be here if it was not for the gospel i love the gospel. sorry i cant spell because i am trying to learn spanish and now applying it to my english sorry. so the people here are incredible and different. i mean they all live in grass mud houses and you will be teaching them and there cow will just walk in and sit with us. so i probably could of baptized like 80 cows by now. there is animals every where in the houses people just sleep with there animals i swear in every house there is like 50 chickens 4 cows 15 dogs and 3 cats. and a billion lizards and there house is probably as big as our kitchen or smaller. and families have like 15 children all from different fathers. because here they dont believe in marriage so the law of chastity is big here!!! and they dont have marriage license here they dont exist. so its hard to get people married. its incredible!!! and so it went from being the hardest most miserable first day of my life. to getting better. but just like the scriptures say "love casteth out all fear and doubt". and i love the lord!!! i am sorry to hear that some of my friends have come home!! that makes me super sad!! i love you all have a great week i pray for you all!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I love the Gospel!

Hey so this week has been quite the adventure.  We went proselyting and we just decided to work hard and we set some goals.  We completed all of our goals and more! We placed lots of el Libro de Mormons and pamphlets.  I think that’s the English word for them. I am starting to forget some English words hahaha. Anyways we were talking to this one guy in the street and it took me five min to realize he was speaking English.  I was like wow you speak English and he was like yup. hahaha so then I resumed talking to him in English I found out he lived in Louisiana. He was in their prison.  He bore his testimony about the book of Mormon and how he knows joseph smith translated the book of Mormon through the power of god. It was so cool.  I asked him where he got his lessons and he said he received them in prison. hahaha so funny.  I asked him to be baptized and he said yes!!!  I sent the missionaries in that area to him.  I hope he gets baptized.  He said he wanted to be ready on his own terms before he gets baptized.  Time to be serious. I want you to know I have grown so much just in these last 9 weeks. These past 9 weeks only felt like an instant. The first week in the MTC in Provo I was just wishing and hoping the 2 years would already be over but still would have all the experiences.  I just wanted to go to college and get married and see my friends. I was stupid for thinking and wanting that.  these past 9 weeks went by way to fast. I want you all to know I love the gospel!!! I have come to love this gospel more than anything!! Even laughing!!! This gospel is true!! Our father and savior Jesus Christ know us all personally and wants to have a personal relationship with us. our savior Jesus Christ, who is perfect in all things, showed us the example of being baptized (2nephi 31) and showed us how to preserver hasta el fin (endure to the end sorry forgot the English way for a second) and then he being full of charity went into Gethsemane and suffered incomprehensible pain, bleeding from every single pore, solely for all of us. I say solely because we should all have a personal relationship with our Lord to feel like it was solely for ourselves. Our savior has gone through all I have gone through and everything I still have to go through. Not just emotional pains or physical pains but he has lived through all of our trails. We just have to turn ourselves to the lord. He wants us to and we have to if we want to be the best we can.  We have to put our faith in the lord. He wants us to and feels the promptings of the lord. I always asked myself how I know if it the spirit is talking to me but just as Elder Bednar says stop worrying about it. If we are a good boy or a good girl and trying to do our very best then it’s the spirit talking to us. Another way is what president Hinckley said, if it is an influence for good it’s the spirit. I know our savior suffered on the cross. I just get so teary eyed every time I see our savior on the cross!!! How hard that must have been. So hard for peter to have the savior be crucified on the cross and not know what to do for a while. I testify that joseph smith translated the golden plates.  There is no way a young man could translate the book of Mormon, establish the church and have it last this long on earth today if it wasn’t true. As I am writing I can feel the spirit testify all this to be true. I feel it through my entire body. I love the lord and our father in heaven. I am so honored to be able to give up 2 years of my time to the lord. I am sad that these 2 years are only going to feel like only a moment of time. Because this time is but a blink of an eye I need to make sure I don’t waist a moment of it. My savior, yes my savior, has done everything for me.  Suffered everything for me being all charitable.  I would feel awful to waste time in my two years that I dedicate to him. I am so honored to be his instrument. I can’t do this work without him. I have come to realize you can’t give more to the lord than he has given to you. Every time I feel like I just served the lord I still come to realize he is blessing me ten times more than what I have done for him. I love the lord. And I say all this in the name of Jesus Christ amen!!
I love you all!! Have a great week your all in my prayers

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One more week! 9/1/12

So great news I get to leave in one week to El Salvador (fist bump with elder Ashcroft even though he isn’t going there but we just still fist bumped).  I am so excited to go teach and tract. Tracking is so much fun! I love doing it here. I get to go this Monday again.  I’m so excited. I have a new favorite song "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing".   I love it!!! It’s so funny, here there is a street sign that says "don’t read the book of Mormon it’s how they get you" of course it says that in Spanish though.  Hahaha so funny!!!  Since I have gone on a mission I have been thinking about what I want to be and for some reason I have a got good feelings about joining the military or being an ancient world history major.  They are two very different things and I don’t want to join the military, but I have a good feeling about it.  That sucks. So I know I talk about the language being the hardest part a lot but I have been a liar. Don’t get me wrong it is hard and I feel like I am behind everyone else but honestly there are 2 harder things.  1. Not having any candy or snacks. I have a harder time being awake and focused because there is no candy or snacks all day!!!  I pretend like my vitamins are candy sometimes.  Now that my pee is a different color though I decided maybe I shouldn’t take 2000 milligrams a day.   So I went back to only taking 500 milligrams a day. I never realized how good vitamins were until I got here. The 2nd thing is, and I am sure you all knew this before I came out here on the mission, self-discipline.   I will always plan to study something at certain times of the day but when the time comes I change that to something else because I would rather study something else. I feel really good though, my teachers tell me I understand the gospel very well and that I should just worry about the language and not stress. This is funny though because the only time I get stressed here is when we have to watch the videos on how to have good stress while we are out here.  I start getting stressed that I am not stressed.  Then I worry I am not growing or working hard enough.  When the video is over I feel good again and not stressed anymore hahahah.  Really I am most excited about leaving in a week because then I can have snacks and track my two favorite things!!! Well I miss you all and love you all!!!  I want to wish Savannah and Martin a happy birthday. I am sorry that I am two days late saying happy birthday Savannah and 1 day late Martin!!  I love you guys!!!!!


Adventure! 8/25/12

This week was a big adventure!!! On Monday we went to town and it was so much fun!!! Everyone here is kind of lame though.  They said their favorite part was eating at Wendy's, but no it was definitely the market!!!! Because of my mom, great mom, I ran a hard bargain to the market people.   I got a Mexican poncho for 75 ketz that’s like 10 bucks. They were trying to sell it to me for 150 ketz, but nope I won’t be scammed! Nope nope nope. It was funny, I understood more Spanish than ever before at the market bartering.  Like I was telling you my shoes ripped in half from all the calle soccer, so I got my new shoes at the market!! They tried selling them to me for 300 ketz that’s about 40 bucks but I bought them for 200 ketz which is like 26 bucks.  These shoes are nice! Don’t worry mom these ones won’t rip!! I won’t play soccer in them; I’ll just play bare foot!! Hehe.  Lately for pday and free time we play volleyball!! The 3 biggest sports here are well of course football, by a long shot then surprisingly, its baseball and third volleyball. So I chose the better second choice, volleyball!! I got a pretty good spike going on.  On pday and free time I spend most of my time with Elder Ashcroft y Elder Anderson.   Elder Ashcroft is from Colorado and we are so much alike. We are always laughing non-stop and having the best of times. He is super chill!! We both work really hard and of course have fun while were working and get a lot done!! We have the best of times.  He loves to relax, laugh and have fun. I know Elder Ashcroft is here to help me through the CCM with the companion I have. My companion is Elder Jones and we are complete opposites!!! I don’t think he has ever laughed or smiled in his life. I thought I was emotional but not compared to him.  So the other day I was talking to him and I asked him if he was ready.  I asked him in Spanish of course and the only way I know how to ask that in Spanish is listo. He said yeah he was ready, so we start going to class and he exploded.…… I mean exploded. I was like what’s wrong and he was yelling at me that he wasn’t ready and he was super frustrated that I asked him if he was ready. By this point I couldn’t help it I just started laughing because if you weren’t ready why didn’t you just say you weren’t ready?  He was like you need to ask it a better way. So then I asked him how he would like me to ask and do you know what he told me? He doesn’t know how to ask it a different way. Well how does that help me, help my companion, it doesn’t.  That is just one example. Here’s another one.  We were sitting down talking and when he stood up there was red stuff on his pants and I was like elder you got something on your pants.  He started yelling at me because it’s not nice of me to point flaws out. I was just trying to let him know so we could go change his pants.  His anger doesn’t help me because it just makes me laugh. Don’t get me wrong my companion is a very smart guy and he knows so much more Spanish then I do, and I am learning a lot from him on staying organized and focusing. I know god put me and him as companions to help me learn to focus more and use time more wisely. It’s hard because when I try to help him he won’t humble himself. But it’s all good. I am having a great time here!! Loving the work!! I love my investigators. I just got Marisol to commit to baptism.  We set a date this September 24 or something like that but sadly I won’t be here for that day!!!
Elder McKenna