Mexico, Mexico City South - Spanish Speaking

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas, singing in the Metro, and the new Visitor Center

 What a wonderful Christmas week it was!

Seriously I loved it so so much. Even though this week felt like the longest week in the world, because it was, I still loved it a lot.

So I really don’t know where to start so I will make a list so I have some order in this email.... Well Christmas Eve happened and we sang in the metro, as well as ate Christmas dinner with the C.’s (Grammy’s family) We also had Christmas which was our preparation day. We went to the temple on Thursday to see the new Mexico City Temple Visitors Center and do a session. We had great church services. 

Well it isn’t that much....

Okay SO I know I skipped out on a week cause I didn’t email last week about the week prior to this past week so I guess that week will forever be a secret because I really don’t remember anything about it, nor need I. Maybe if you beg you can read my journal when I am home to read about the lost week. But this past week was great! It was super weird because we didn’t have P-day on Monday and so I was just super disoriented because that is like changing 10 months habit. RUDE. But it was okay. We went to the offices that day cause my comp had to fix something about his credit card. Then we worked and worked and had a District Meeting that was horrible. Welcome to my life. I sometimes feel like I babysit a bunch of baby missionaries. Haha I love them a lot but I just really don’t understand how this happened. I have the most time out of us all and I don’t even have a year yet. Then the next two just barely have 6 months. And the next three have 3 months or less. It is natural for them to all be super crazy and immature and not care as much or know how to act, but it gets old. Haha I decided that I am hoping to have some Mexican companions for the rest of my mission. I only have one more year to perfect my Spanish and be the best missionary I can be. So I decided that a Mexican will help me with at least the Spanish part.  

On Tuesday it was Noche Buena. GOOD NIGHT or Christmas Eve. It was fantastical. We worked all day until about 5 or 6 and then got into our show suit and went to the Metro to sing Christmas Carols. You know, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is by singing loud for all to hear. SO we decided to apply those wise words of Will Ferrell and sing out hearts out. Seriously it was absolutely hilarious. So we were supposed to bring a member with us to hand out pamphlets while we sang, and also to talk to anyone that could have had interest. But our members were like.... “wait - it’s Christmas Eve... I want to be with my family”. And I was like “wow, way to be so selfish”. And so we didn’t bring one. Elder K. was passing out the pamphlets when magically our hilarious convert M. showed up from the metro and I bombarded her by throwing all the pamphlets on her so she would help us. She was like “ahh crap, what did I get myself into?”.... But by the end she loved it. She was so forceful in giving the people pamphlets. No one could say no. It was just a miracle. M. got into the spirit and started dancing and directing us while we were singing. Hahaha. I almost couldn’t sing because it was so hysterical. And also because it just made me so happy to see our singing make other people happy. People would walk by with big smiles of thankfulness. Some people even started to cry tears of joy (I hope) when they saw us. We eventually became a big hit.... (not sure if it was for our singing or because we were 6 white boys singing in a metro) and people were taking pictures with us, videos of us, and some started singing with us. It was super touching to experience the Christmas Spirit in action. It is real. And because of that strong spirit I felt, I decided that was the best Christmas ever. It brought such a peace to the hustle and bustle of the metro station and truly invited the spirit of Christ to touch the hearts of all that passed by, but that wasn’t the end of my Christmas EVE. Nay, it was yet the beginning. So we then went to the C.’s with M., because she is too a C., and started cooking the yummy Christmas dinner. Pierna de Lomo. Pig leg. Freaking good! But when we got there they let us put up their Christmas tree. I guess I made a comment like "where is your christmas tree, it isn’t Christmas without a tree" and so they got a Christmas tree and let us put it together. Then when we were done Grammy came downstairs and yelled "WHO DECORATED THIS UGLY TREE"..... hahahhaha. Mean Grammy. But it’s okay. I blame her for the ornaments. Haha. Then we played a bit of karaoke because they have a microphone and speaker and Grammy started singing a lullaby to my tired companion. She’s got some pipes, that woman. Then I was like... “Okay guys. We are going to do a Macdonald tradition and act out the Nativity Scene and read the story of Christ’s birth in Luke 2! Haha. So we got everyone dressed up and prepped to be the actors of the century. Grammy and Papa were Jose and Maria. M. and A. were the angels. M. and I. were the pastors. And their baby doll of Christ was Christ... obvi. Let me just tell you... those roles were inspired because it was the most perfectly funny nativity scene you have ever seen. So I started reading in Lucas 2 when Maria and Jose are travelling to Bethlehem... So they are walking around the table like little travelers. Then the shepherds were in the fields in the same region doing pastory stuff when the angels came and frightened them. Okay climax right here. M. and I. took their part very seriously and started SCREAMING when the angels came to tell them the good news... oh my. M. was like "ayyyyyy ayyyyy OHHH MYYY GOOOOOOOOOSHHHH" (in English, and said the other word) and was absolutely terrified. So I couldn’t keep my cool and messed up the narration. Anyways. They eventually found the baby Jesus and worshipped it legit and glorified God. And it ended wonderfully. So then they were like “okay now we have to sing to the baby Jesus” and I was like “huh?” SO they handed me a blanket and us four missionaries were holding it out to put something on it. They carefully put the baby Jesus on the "cradle" and started lighting candles and singing some catholic song in Spanish that I didn’t know and it was weird cause I realized that we were participating in an idol worship and I was like AHHH CRAP MOM. It was super awk. HAhah. They were like lighting sparklers in the house and it was crazy. Then they finished and kissed the dolls feet and looked at us to do it but we just were like nooo.... HAhaha. But it was fine and perfectly C. Guess we have to tell them about that commandment again. But yaaa. Funny. So we finally ate dinner and it was super yummy. I liked it a lot. Then they walked us home because we were allowed to stay out until 10. What a good memory that was.

Christmas morning we woke up and opened gifts. PS it got really cold this week so it was perfect to get gloves because I have been needing them. THANKS MOMMY. It was splendid. I loved all the gifts. And we made a paper Christmas tree so they even had a place to go.... The rest of the day we just did normal p-day stuff and even got to take a nap. What a wonderful Christmas. Woohooo. I loved being able to truly focus in the importance of that day.

The next day we woke up early to go to the temple. It was great. We had to go to be trained in using the new visitors center for when we bring investigators and members to teach them and give them tours there. Let me just say it was an absolutely amazing experience. The spirit in that building is just amazing. It would be impossible for someone to go and not feel the spirit. It made me so excited to bring investigators there to get to know the prophets of today and to see what the temples look like and everything. They went all out with that building. And then we watched a video about families and it made me remember you guys so much and how much I love you all so much! So it was just perfect. Then I asked President for permission to go and do a session and it was so great because he said YES. I was so stoked to go again for the last time before it closes. By the way, it closes this week. So that was such a tender mercy. I loved the temple. It made me so calm and happy and really it was fantastic. The changes were just beautiful and necessary. What a blessing it was to enter for Christmas. Now I only have got to wait 13 more months to go again. WOW. 

Our investigators are super wonderful. R. M. is just as golden as ever. She decided to quit coffee without a second thought today. She is a huge example to me and what kind of a person I should be. She came to church again this week and loved it just as much, if not more than the last week. One more month and she will be baptized! The other people we are teaching are slowly but surely on their way to baptism.

Well I love the missionary life. It is going by so fast and I am just feeling like I need to keep working hard to keep experiencing what I need too. I know the Church is true. God loves us. He sent his son for us. I love you guys so much and miss you so much! Enjoy the rest of the Christmas break and then get back to work! It was so fantastic seeing you all on Thursday!

Love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

Prepping for the big show. You go Maria (Mary)

The cast of 2013

The new Visitor Center

Saw a friend from BYU

Cristo (The Chrystus)


cookies (looks like he is not sharing like I told him to)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Goals, golden investigator, and choosing to follow Jesus Christ.

 Hey everything this week – busy week full of changes here and at home!

A new church building at home?! What in the world? No one told me- until you went to church there. That’s cool though. Can’t wait to see it!

So yes mother, everything is well. I don’t know why you read that email weird. I am happy and all is perfect. I was joking about the mission rules. I love the rules. Really I do. They help us have the Spirit and they teach us to be obedient if we follow them. So yeah.

We had interviews with the President this week. It was super great. I love my President. We had a nice little chat. He challenged me to make more personal goals to get better at certain aspects as a missionary, as I see necessary. I am bad at making goals because I just usually do stuff. But I am going to try to make more goals. Preach My Gospel testifies that goals are the best way to progress in this work! So I am super down. I mean we already do them, but I am really going to focus on specific personal goals to get better at teaching specific lessons or principles of the Gospel. So that'll be good and make study interesting. 

I also had a leadership meeting and it was great! I saw Elder R.! I haven’t seen him for months! He is a Zone Leader in some place across the way. I just loved catching up with him. We learned how to make exchanges more effective and had an opportunity to train different missionaries according to their needs. In exchanges we have a great opportunity to show our love for other missionaries and give them appreciation for the hard work they are doing and then make goals with them to get better in their wards and areas. So I was like “okay I'll do exchanges today!” Haha. So I did them with Elder K. from my ward. He went to Highland High School. He is a funny kid and a really great missionary. He is a hard worker and loves the work. He inspired me. I loved working with other missionaries because I really do learn something new each time. Everyone is so different and brings the Spirit in such different ways. We have all been blessed with talents and abilities to build the kingdom of God on this Earth and that means we have to USE these talents and abilities. If we don’t... well, we lose them. And something else I like is that we have also been blessed with unique testimonies to bless the lives of others. It is soo true. So bear your testimony in church. ASAP. And also bear your testimony with your nonmember friends. If you see the poor missionaries walking on Hermosa Vista with nothing to do, pick them up in your car, and TAKE THEM TO YOUR NON MEMBER FRIENDS HOUSE and bear your testimony with them! If you don’t, you are just silly. I hate hearing that "no one wants to hear our message... " from the members. It is simply a lack of faith. THERE, I SAID IT. Help the missionaries please, members. 

Other great things happened. We seriously have a golden investigator who is soo spiritually prepared. Her name is R. She is the girl with the bad leg and the sad life. She came to church this week and was balling at the end because she had just felt so much more joy than she had in A LONG TIME. She felt the Spirit. And she LOVED when the woman bore their testimonies in the Relief Society. See.... testimonies are key. We also taught her like 3 times this past week and we put a fecha with her! She is getting baptized in January! Woohoo. She is so stoked and just believes it is so true. She always does her homework. I love being a part of helping people with a true desire to change their life and follow Christ. God has trusted us as missionaries to act as Christ would and teach them about His Gospel. It is so true. It changes lives. It makes people happier, IF they live and apply it. It is all about agency. If you choose to follow Christ, you WILL be happier in your life. It just will happen. R. is a testimony to me that it is just so true. She is so humble and so meek, and just so willing to do the will of God. Love it. I am so happy for her.

Other people are slowly but surely progressing. Kind of, Idk it is hard. If people don’t act, it doesn’t happen. And all we can do is teach and invite. So I am just praying daily for them to be receptive to the Spirit and choose to follow it. 

My comp struggled a bit this week. It is tough. I remember getting frustrated and annoyed easily. And it is tough. I remember taking it out on my comp. Haha. So we talked a little bit. I hope he understands that I am here to help him! Little by little. But things are better. It got pretty bad, but after we did a comp inventory, he felt better and so did I. We were both open to each other. I explained to him that missionary life is super different and hard, but so great. We are all good and he is more excited to work. He is still really struggling with Spanish. So I am trying to get creative with ways to teach him and help him. 

Anyways. I am stoked to skype you all in a week and a few days! It will be chido. I love you all soo much!!!! The 26th we will skpye and I will be expecting to see everything you got. I am so happy Rach’s bday went well! Happy anniversary to Grammy and Paps! Glad Holiday Dinners went well. Is Andrew going to try out for Encore? Do it. Does Rach go to MVT next year? Weird. So weird. All of it. Anyway.

Nothing funny happened this week. We have a Zone Conference and that might have some good stories. Stay tuned.

LOVE YOU ALL. Mexico is wonderful. The church is true. Remember the true meaning of Christmas. Remember to celebrate the birth of YOUR Savior and Prince of Peace. He loves us so much. I know that to be true. He is the fountain of all love. 

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

Christmas sweater

Colorful background

Grammys birthday! Feliz Cumpleanos!

sombreros otra vez

Monday, December 9, 2013

Responsibility, helping the missionaries, and happy birthday to Rachel!

All right - I will just start this email.

I don’t think anything happened – so that’s weird.

Living with four missionaries is legit crazy, four as in me too. Haha. Sometimes it drives me crazy because I have to be the responsible one and tell people to shut up and study and then they all hate me. I hate having to be responsible. Sorry parents for giving you so much trouble as a dumb child. 

Anyways. Haha.

So it’s almost Christmas and it is like legit crazy! WOWOW HOW DID THAT HAPPEN. So we need to pick a date when we are going to skype for 45 minutes. It has to be a day other than Christmas #lol because all the computer places will be closed. So like on the 23 or 24 or 26.... you choose. I vote the 24 or 26 because that’s better. And tell me what time. Probably when it is like noon here or something. You do the math. And tell me what the skype user name and password are again because I totes forgot. DON’T FORGET. Okay? 

So we are being the best missionaries and contacting like CRAZY because members haven’t been giving us references because they "don’t know anyone". And I’m like “okay, well are you just cooped up in your house all day like a hermit?” And they legit respond... “Si.” Haha. So that’s weird. So because of that we are desperate and are talking to everyone we see. Well not really. We are more focusing on when the Spirit indicates it. And if He indicates it and we walk past the person we have to be super socially incorrect and chase after the person to contact them. That’s the way. Uh huh. So we have contacted some pretty great people that have accepted the invitation to be baptized! AHAH. One of them is our neighbor that lives right below us! I was all kind and knocked on their door to "get to know them" since I am their neighbor and all. We ended up putting a cita and at the end of the cita she was like “heck yes, I will be baptized if I know its true.” AND that was the lady that did the Mary Party last week. (which by the way wasn’t a BLOODY MARY ritual JENNY PENNY, it was simply a worship service for the Virgin Mary....) LOLOL. Everyone is having Mary parties and parades right now because its almost Christmas. It is super funny and I love it. Sometimes I want to start joining them but then I was like... better not, but back to our neighbor. So she is great. The other lady is basically our neighbor too. She is struggling a lot because of family and health issues. She is a wreck and it is heartbreaking. She can hardly walk and she has to sell stuff on the street to live. So when we talked to her she was crying the whole time. I think she is really going to love the message. Some more people were good when we talked to them but then they like actually never came out of their house and we waited forever. So that’s always awk. It’s like hmmm... what do we do. But yeah. Contacting is super fun. I sometimes still get scared to do it but whenever I do it I always feel super good and happy. So I suppose I should keep doing it. 

The kid we found at the baptism is flakey and never comes to church. But he is still living with his girlfriend and he has no other place to go and he doesn’t want to marry her so its like... well.... you can’t be baptized then. And so we are working with him.....

Yaya okay what else happened.

Kind of nothing. 

But I really liked the Christmas devotional even though we got their 20 minutes late due to dumb traffic and going in a bus. DUMB. I was like wait why is it only one hour. MORE PLEASE. 

OH YEAH! D. and D. I love them and their sons. They are they greatest people ever. Their sons are already future missionaries because they know everything. And they always pray and thank God for knowing "los mormones". And I love it. But they finally came to church! I WAS HAPPY. They just need to get married. So I played marriage counselor even though I didn’t want to. They have major issues. So I was just like well I honestly am sorry that this is so hard but it WILL get better if you trust in God and start changing your life to follow Him. I told them that it will be more likely to have a successful relationship and marriage and family once it is based on the Gospel Teachings. And I think that it struck them. They came to church. SO now I just gotta play marriage counselor again and get this two kids hitched!  

We are eating with the C. Family on Christmas EVE! WOHOOO. Best Christmas ever probably so don’t even worry about me. Haha. Love you all....

Ya sorry this is boring and short. #onehouremailstinks

I think my mission is the strictest in the whole world. But I still LOVE IT. But we seriously get new rules like every day - what the heck? Yeah we will probably never get facebook or ipads. First, because we aren’t allowed to have fun in this mission #thatsaninsidejokeireallylovethismission, and second because we already teach 30 or more lessons every week. That facebook thing is helpful when there aren’t so many opportunities for teaching like we have here. Not that it is a bad idea. I love it... But I doubt we will get it. 

Anyway. BYE. Love you all. 

Stay happy and strong. Remember your potential. God has not called us to be impure; He has called us to be Holy. We can do it with a little help from our friends. And Him. We have a perfect Pop. He knows our potential. Don’t disregard your greatness. Okay. That’s all. BAI. 

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

PS  OH YEAH MY LOVERRLY SEESSTER RAAACHEL turns like 20 this week. HAPPY BDAY GURRL. jk. 14 right? haha I love you so much. You’re so cool and way too hip for me. Keep being nice to dad.

PPS this is a shoutout - shoutout alright?!?! Love you sister. Be wise and stay sweet.
My Comp and I


 I hit my head on the table. Rude.

Foot in the face

Nobody is perfect. 

Christmas tree O Christmas tree. 

Bus full of missionaries...
Twas cold

Monday, December 2, 2013

New comp, focusing on others, and bed bugs!

SO what’s Thanksgiving? 

Haha - I definitely forgot that it was Thanksgiving until the wife of the mission President said "HAPPY THANKSGIVING" to me and fed us ham. Ham!

So this week was super funny and great and weird. 

My new companion is Elder K. He is from Sandy, Utah, twenty years old, and doesn’t speak a lick of Spanish. But you know what.... neither did I. So at least I know there is hope for him because it’s like people think I'm from Argentina now. He is a really great guy. They arrived here a week ago and we picked them up fresh from the MTC. He seriously has got it so easy because he is living in the same house as 4 Americans and one of them is from his MTC district and they are like bffs. So I am just happy that he has already received many tender mercies since arriving. I really feel like since he got here I actually feel like a missionary that has time and experience. I LOVE THE MISSION. So much. Like now that I can really focus on someone else and their problems, I have forgotten all about mine. I realized that if I serve, love, and focus on other people, I can forget about myself and everything will be taken care of by the Lord. I love it. So glad I finally figured that out. It makes the mission so much easier and worthwhile. I’m glad I got that principle before the year mark. OH YEAH  - WHICH BY THE WAY IS IN TWO MONTHS. Weird. I cannot believe it. Doesn’t Jacob P. get home like now? It is very weird. This time thing is like a trick question #joke. Time isn’t real. So more about my loverly comp. We get along well. I really am glad that he is struggling a little bit because it means I can just focus on loving and serving him. He has been a little bit home sick. He has a true love at home and that makes it tough because he misses her. He doesn’t understand anything. But overall he has been a great sport and he is super outgoing. Everyone here already loves him. Haha it is super funny and sad because now people laugh at him. I remember when I first got here and everyone laughed at me when I tried to talk and I HATED it but now I am that person because once they start laughing I laugh. So I have to stop. But it just brings back good memories. Us gringos know how to make Mexicans laugh. Haha speaking of which.... He was sharing a spiritual thought and Grammy was like "NO INTENDI NADA. jajaja" and I was like “GRAMMY BE NICE”. So I think that people are going to have more compassion for him. This is good. It changes stuff up a little bit and I am just super lucky to have him as a comp. Super humble and willing to work. We got this!!!

So since the new people arrived this week we had to do stuff EVERY morning this week and I was like what the heck. Seriously. One day we went to go get mattresses and then the next we had meetings to train, and then he had to go get his visa, and the next we had something else. SO it was chaos this week. Running back and forth on the metro carrying mattresses and I was like omg. JK that didn’t happen. It would’ve been funny though. We also went to the offices again this morning to get my package, which was in a HUGE box. Super unnecessary. But thanks. I loved the presents. I sneak peeked them and taped them back up and my comp thought that was weird but I was like "what.... I do this every year... why stop now?"

We are living as four people in this house now. Haha CRAZY. It is tiny. But I have been good about it all. It is actually super fun. Elder W. and his comp are funny. His comp is some big football player. A really good guy. It is just a whole lot of fun. But they are supposed to find a new house this week. We will see what happens.

Okay cool miracle. So we went to a baptism for other missionaries in my District. (PS I GAVE MY FIRST BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW AND IT WAS AMAZING I LOVED IT SO MUCH) and so we went so we could teach a short lesson while they were changing clothes after being all wet. SO when we were there the lady was super nice and was crying while she bore her testimony and thanked me for helping her clear her doubts and fears because she had never felt so good like when she got out of the water. It was super touching. But when we were there some 20 year old guy walks in and was like super gangsta in his glasses and I was like who is this chabo and he was like "hey, uh how can I do something like this...." and I was like ummm "TALK TO ME". So we talked to him. His name is C. He has had a rough life and he wants to change it. The Spirit guided him to the church and now he is in the process of talking to us so he can be baptized. I think it will be a challenge to get over a few things but he has lots of faith and a great desire. So awesome! 

We also had other good lessons this week. But I don’t remember them. 

So I will tell a funny story. 

Okay so Friday night we got tacos. And we were running home so we wouldn’t be late in the house and when we approached the house we heard a bunch of chanting and yelling and lights flashing and I was like hmmm… Exorcism? But it wasn’t. it was just a Mary Worship - in our house. No big deal. I mean they only had like 50 people flooding into our house with the gates open and everyone chanting the same recited prayer and I was like “what do we do?” Like I don’t want to be THAT awkward person running through a Mary Ritual. But, if we didn’t awkwardly walk through the crowd to get to the stairs we wouldn’t be able to get home. So I was like uhhh. But we eventually did it. So in the middle of a big Mary Ritual, four white missionaries run through the crowd holding tacos. Talk about that - Only in Mexico - only. 

But despite all of that, one of the women that was there talked to us the next day and wanted to learn more about us. HAhaha. So that’s great.

All is well here. I am losing time. This limit is killing me.

Bed bugs are called chinches. SICK. Some missionaries had to fumigate their house cause their mattresses were infested by chinches. YUM.

I loved the family photos. I loved that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I don’t know what that even is. I can’t believe it is December. I am loving the mission. And I love you all!

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

PS. Shout out to Uncle Damon and Uncle Robby!!! I love you guys so, so much! Hope your birthdays are just fantastic! 

District selfies.

My first baptismal interview!

Elder K!