Mexico, Mexico City South - Spanish Speaking

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blessings of keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and a baptism in warm water!

Very, very, good, good. 

SO this week was interesting. Not a ton of success (work wise)... But we had a baptism! It was like super last minute and I was afraid that no one was going to show up, but luckily a few people came... They made yummy food too that gave everyone and myself else diarrhea. That was loverly and funny when the President and his wife asked me at church if I had diarrhea too... HAHA. Gotta love Mexico.  

Well... Our new elder in the District is from Colombia. His accent is fantastic. Its so different from the chilango way of talking. He is a good, young elder with lots of stomach problems. They don’t eat chile in Colombia. 

I had intercambios this week with Elder P. He is my Zone Leader. We are good buddies. If you recognize his name it’s because he was my District Leader a while back. One of his first companions on the mission was Chris Barcus. Haha. He loved Elder Barcus. That day was super fun. We contacted a couple people. Some of them turned out to be Seventh Day Adventists. I met many Seventh Day Adventists this week, more than I have in my life. She was super nice in declining our invitation to hear our message but we still managed to get her address... We have a way with words. Some people just can’t say no. 

I found my favorite family in the world here in Topilejo. They are so humble and strong in their testimonies. They are converts of about a year. They struggled the whole past year with employment because they wouldn’t accept jobs that required work on Sundays. Everyone told them that they were dumb and that God would understand their needs... (#EVILPEOPLE). But they knew what was true and chugged along. I LOVE them for that. To begin, they are already super poor. And to go months without a stable salary, well, is just insane. But they did it knowing that God was trying their faith. They stayed firm and overcame the trial. And this week they both got jobs. I was super happy for them. I love to visit them and they love when we visit them so it’s a win-win.  They are such an inspiration. Although they might not know everything in the Gospel, they know how to recognize the spirit. And when the spirit gives them an impression, they follow it. I hope we can all be like this young couple. We have to learn how the spirit talks to us. We need to be worthy of his promptings. And we have to then listen and do what he tells us. Its putting trust in something you don’t see, but something you feel and know. 

Then we had the interview and we went to her house in the morning early to do it. (the woman getting baptized) They made us breakfast and the silly investigator of mine made the remark... Here is hot milk with sugar since you don’t drink coffee....  “WHAT .... you mean none of us, Hermana, drink coffee?” I was super concerned that she had been drinking coffee at first, but it turns out she just made a weird comment. And she passed the interview and was baptized the next day. The family was super content. All of them were like “we are finally a familia mormona!”  And I was like, “well..... technically not until tomorrow when your Grammy is confirmed”, but whatever. I’ll give it to ya. We went early to fill up the font. It took forever. But at least the water was warm. Warm water is a rare and beautiful thing here in Mexico. Elder Y. and I sang a duet. Then they made really yummy food but unfortunately it made everyone sick... Awkward. 

Then Sunday was interesting. All of the investigators that said they were going to go to church, didn’t go. AHH. The family that has the same excuse every week told us the same excuse again. And I was super frustrated. I think we will drop them. Hey, let’s not be rash...,but seriously. #bigdropping. The one that made me so sad was L. We ran into her before and she was like "hermanos, ya no"... And I was like fetch - what are you saying?”.... Because ya no means not anymore. And I was like “WHAT HAPPENED L?” I thought she was dropping us. She started to cry and I was super confused. Then she finally explained that her husband (who isn’t her husband yet) had been drinking and she told us that they are going to separate. And it was super sad and I had no idea what to say. She said she wouldn’t be able to make it to the Casa de Oracion (church) and went inside. So.... I am very perplexed. They were supposed to get married in a week... But I suppose not anymore. But the good thing (thinking positively) is that if they really to separate, she will still be able to be baptized. We have to see her asap. When we left we ran into her twin brother and dragged him along to church with us... literally. Cause I was like, “we need someone in church”. And so he came. He liked it... I think. Hopefully he comes back. 

J. also came to church. But he is having difficulties. I am worried for him. He disappeared this week. He is so young and I am afraid he has bad influences as friends. He said he would come back again next week. Hopefully we will be able to see him and talk about baptism again. Cause he was technically on date for this past Saturday. Ah man. Satan is a bozo. furreal.

Anyways. Oh yea. haha Sunday night we had a big long talk with two Seventh Day Adventists (different ones).  It was interesting. They were not convinced about Joseph Smith and were full of Bible rhetoric. It was draining, but interesting. I was actually pleased with the lesson. And it turns out that they already owned the Book of Mormon.... It was an old version. We taught a good lesson, bore testimony and left.

I am content but not pleased with the results we are having with new investigators. The key is always finding new people to teach. AH. So we are going to do that this week. Yes we are.

I love you all a lot. I am not super tan. I am more sun burned actually. Well compared to Mexicans. lol. So don’t be too jealous you white Americans. 

Elder Macdonald

Waiting 3 hours for the baptismal font to filll....

Da whole fam



We were on a bus and saw ourselves in a mirror. So we took a myspace pic.

Cleaning. I don't know why you thought I was tan....

Monday, February 17, 2014

The miracles of fasting, Family Home Afternoon and the pizza chef, and frozen common sense is pricey!

This week was fabuloso!

First of all... we have changes tomorrow... and I’M STAYING HERE. Yaya. Haha, I didn’t think I was going to be changed, but it is still nice to know. COMFORT ya know? So that is good. Oh yeah and my comp is staying here too!! We were shocked because he has already been here for four months.... But guess his work here isn’t done yet! Elder Y. is also staying in my District! But, Elder W. is going, going, and gone. He will be the new secretary.... haha. He isn’t too fond of the idea. 

Lots of good things happened this week. L. found miracle money hidden away in some account and is going to get married in 3 weeks!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO. That means that she will be able to get baptized also. WOW - A true miracle. That’s what fasting and praying will getchya, folks. I am extremely happy for her. She loved the conference last week and felt such a strong spirit when she shook the hand of Elder Oaks. She just keeps proving to be golden, even though, Satan doesn’t cease. He is throwing many temptations and hardships in her way. But she is so strong. She already wants to start preparing her dos youngins to be missionaries. It made my heart happy when she told me that. What a mom. Keep her in your prayers that she can be strong.

M. is getting baptized this week baby! I am sooo happy for her. YAYA. She is da grandma of the family that just got baptized she has such a sweet spirit. We just have to keep teaching her all the lessons and then she will be getting in dat water. We went with their family yesterday to eat lunch after church. AND guess what we ate? PIZZAS. Haha and guess who made them? ME. I am actually really good at making pizzas. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but man was it yummy. I have lots of photos of us all in the kitchen doing a little something. It was super fun. They called it a Family Home Afternoon. HAHA. Adorable. I do love that family. They were so relieved to know that my comp and I didn’t have changes. ALSO, all the Mexicans were all a little ancey when the pizzas where cooking (cause it took a little while) and they all insisted on eating it "NOW" even though it wasn’t quite ready. Patience is a virtue my loved ones. But hey... they are used to 2-minute tacos, so I can’t really blame them. 

We found old investigators again and they seem to be more interested this time. But they never come to church. Its like “COME”. But they won’t even let me come by their house cause they know if I do they will have to come. So they came up with excuses like... “oh, we will already be in the center of Topilejo buying stuff, so we will just see you there”. And I was like “no.... you won’t”... And they were like “YES”. And so I was like “OKAY”. But they tricked me. Tricks are for kids... not missionaries. RUDE. I think they are just afraid to come and feel out of place. So I will be sure to drag them along next week. No worries folks. 

Okay although I may have learned many things thus far on the mission... I still am pretty stupid. So, it’s cold in Topilejo, right? Well, it is. But no worries because we have this heater that the mission home gave us, and we have been using it every night because it gets COLD at nights. And it never really clicked with me that that was a stupid idea. But I guess it was a stupid idea. Want to know why? Because we got the power bill this week and saw how much it flippin’ costs. OMG. It was 2000 pesos!!!! Which is like 200 bucks. That is so not normal. The bill is usually a tenth of that every month. Or like 20 bucks every months... That is flippin’ ridic! So the moral of the story is - Never ever, ever use a heater all night for 2 months in a row. And if you do, you’re DUMB. Super awk when I had to tell someone. Everyone just looks at like me like.... “do you not have common sense???” I was like... “maybe it (his common sense) was frozen?”. 

I got lots of your loverly letters and Christmas cards. They were all fantastic so thanks so much! I was also sent a hilarious hand knit scarf from some weird, secret admirer. But it is hilarious. 

PS happy birthday to GRAMMY KOCH AND GIBBY KOCH this week! I love you all so much. Oh and Grammy, I read your talk!!! It was fantastic!! Thanks for sharing. Love ya’ll too much.

Well, anyways. I never got Andrew’s email (it is a letter that we mailed)... fyi. And to answer random dad questions... Yes it is very polluted in the city, but I am above the pollution in my area. My stomach is used to the food here and I LOVE it. And yes, it is probably because of all the flaming hot cheetos I ate. haha. My ankle is better. It hurt for a little while, but the swelling went down after I took pills (ibuprofen) and rubbed a magic lotion on it. Aha. 

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

The ankle - not too bad... just fat and now it is all better... a little bit sore if I move it weird... but it's all good.

tamales. yum.

It rained and made the earth bootiful.

M. One of the many grammies here.

Hna. G. She makes good food. And yummy FRENCH FRIES. Like, wuut?

Made ice cream... with our new fridge and freezer. 

Sunday morning. These are the volcanos. The sleeping woman and Popocateputil. loverly.

pizza pizza

y mas pizza


Bombing in some other Districts foto with my sick scarf.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Swollen ankle, what's behind the blue door, and Elder Oaks knows my name!

Howdy folks.

Well this week was a week of pure craziness. Seriously. Its like I was never allowed to sit still or sleep. And for that... I am very tired. I also was walking down a hill today and I FELLLLL like a loser #biffedit sooo bad and my ankle is HUUUUGE and swollen. Gigantico. So that was awk. People literally just looked at me and didn’t know what to do because the fall was just so uncomfortable looking. lol. Thanks random strangers in the street. 

Okay well first I will start with my fantastic investigator L. She straight up fasted. She has known us for 2 weeks.... And she fasted. WUT. I didn’t fast fur real until I was like a senior in high school. I am a loser, but hey. She fasted specifically to be able to get married as soon as possible by having more work to pay off her debts. So I think we are going to do something special with her and she is gonna get married super quick. Pray for a miracle. I am. She also came, with her MOM, to the stake conference with Elder Oaks. They were the first ones in line to file in. She got to shake his hand. I can’t wait to talk to her and find out what she thought about the conference. 

We found a perfect family this week. They live super close to us too. We pass their house all the time and I have always wondered who or what lives behind their blue door. Well one day we went to visit a less-active family and he was there talking to them. We taught the Restoration and he was interested in talking to us more. He told us he lives in the house with the blue door and I was like “NOOO”. lol. So we went and he and his wife are true gems. Their children are adorable. And they already want to feed us. HAHA. They were like "when can you come over and eat?!?!" And I was like “uhh GO TO CHURCH AND SIGN UP”. They were like "OKAY!" haha. They already want to be baptized. They just want a fresh start. He had a tough addiction to alcohol and used to fight with his wife a lot. But now they have changed and just want to follow God. I think they will have to get married because it would just be very unlikely that they be married. Soon I will ask. The best part is they live like right next door to some fairly new members. And that means they can be best friends!!!! yaya.

So this week we talked to everyone. Well lots more... and got to find lots of new people. The funny thing I have noticed is that the fantastic investigators that we get are usually through our personally contacting.... But when God sees that we are giving our all, he basically hands us the people he has prepared through other means. He just wants to see us exercise our faith. And he will give us a testimony after the trial of our faith. He is a tricky guy. Haha.

Also had lots of practices and conferences this week. 

We also had to go to the yellow house to pick up our refrigerator. So we needed to find some man to drive us but here in Topilejo no hay nadie with a car – nobody has a car - Twas very tricky. We finally decided to just go in public transportation there and return in taxi... I was expecting a little itty-bitty fridge... to fit in a little itty-bitty taxi. But when we got there the fridge was not itty-bitty. hahaha. So the assistants were like “just go home and come back with someone that has a car”. And I was like “NOOOOO. We traveled so far and wasted preaching time in our area for this dumb fridge”. So I found a taxi guy and bribed him to take us. He was like "well let’s see if it fits....." and at first it didn’t. So we had to rip it out of the box and luckily it fit. - JUST BARELY. My comp and I had to share the front seat all the way back. Super uncomfortable. But it was worth it. And now we have a fridge and the house is complete. Haha. 

The next day we had to go back to the yellow house at night to stay the night there because our area is way too far. 12 missions from the farthest areas (Chinampas was there) all united in the yellow house, showered at night, and woke up early to leave to the temple for the Saturday morning conference with Elder Oaks. The conference was so good. He said something that was profound to me. We need to always be full time missionaries. He compared it to a fisherman. Super original. Haha but it was good. He said that when he plans a fishing day of 10 hours, he leaves early in the morning and puts his line in the water so that his line is in the water for those 10 hours. He has also had other fishing days when he starts the day off with a big breakfast with his buddies, goes on a hike to enjoy nature before they get to the lake, and then takes a lunch break on the boat. In total he would only have had his line out for maybe 4 hours of a day planned with 10 hours. Obviously he caught lots more fish when his line was out for the FULL 10 hours. That’s how we need to be as missionaries. We will never have the chance to dedicate our full time and efforts to the Lord ever again. After the mission we have to worry about school, dating, jobs, marriage, children, etc etc. All of which are great things... but those things will NOT allow us to dedicate our full time and efforts to the Lord. He said not even an Apostle of the Lord has that convenience. Sometimes we take our 2 years for granted and don’t act like full time missionaries, even though we are called to be full time missionaries. I only have ONE more year to invite everyone I see to come unto Christ through repentance and baptism. I will never get this chance again. Elder Oaks said it so well and lovingly. I just want to rededicate myself to the mission and be a true full time missionary. I know I have done a pretty good job thus far, but there is no more room for forgetting this amazing objective.

His wife is a wonderful woman as well. I didn’t know that she didn’t get married until she was 53 years old. So strong! She served as a missionary in Japan and bore a wonderful testimony. 

Also he made the effort this day to shake the hand of all 300 missionaries that were there. He said my name when I shook his hand and it freaked me out. I thought.... "wowow he even knows my name" hahahahhaha and then I realized that I have a name tag on 24 seven. hahahahah. It was funny. But it was truly an act of love to shake every single one of our hands. I thought about it and I know that Jesus Christ will do the same. He will make the effort to make every single one of us feel loved and special. I know Elder Oaks is a special witness of our Savior because I felt my Saviors love through his words and actions. 

He did the same in the Stake Conference on Sunday. It was so beautiful and touching to see him just love all of those amazing people in this stake. He was able to bring such a strong spirit into that building. He truly does glow. And it’s not just because of his shiny head. Hahahaa. I was so tempted to touch his head for good luck. But I refrained. lol. He said something amazing about tithing. His mother was a widowed woman with 5 or 6 children. She didn’t make enough money to provide for her family, but also knew that she couldn’t get along without the blessings of the Lord. He invited everyone, especially those that are poor to pay their tithing. It was so special and the spirit bore witness to me that tithing is true principle. He also stressed the importance of Sacrament meeting attendance. We need to renew our covenants with the Lord every Sunday to be able to have his Spirit with us throughout the week. The Lord loves us. 

All in all... This week was super great. I got the package with the coat.... What do I do with it? So ironic that right when I get it, it stops being cold. SO FUNNY RIGHT]?!?!?! Should I send it back or give it away to someone? I also got the Jenny Penny calendar. It is fantastic!! AHHH ONLY ONE MORE CALENDAR. What is this? 

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

Look whose name I found in a missionary goods transportation truck. hahahahaha. So I wrote my name by his. Hi Jacob. 

The whole mission. Dats right. Mision Mexico Sur 2014.

We saw the Dixonater!

I interviewed these two women!

Lovin it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Divina Luz, music, and making pizza?

Hey FAM and others. 

This week FLEW by. I’M SERIOUS. It was probably because I had a bunch of choir practices. But even with so many choir practices, we still taught 38 lessons and found quite a few more hopeful investigators.

So I forgot my journal and don’t remember anything. It’s like someone hit my head and gave me amnesia. Well anyway - We are singing Divina Luz for Elder Oaks. It is Lead Kindly Light in English. It is an interesting arrangement... But it’s still pretty. It has been something really powerful to have all of these practices. First of all it has reminded me how music has helped me recognize the spirit in my life. It also reminded me of having choir practice every day of my life since forever. haha. It’s really been a tender mercy. Especially because the song we sing is such a beautiful piece about being guided by God’s Light daily. And that’s what we, as missionaries need! We have to be guided! Because if we aren’t... Well then we are wasting time. So it’s been interesting being able to analyze the words more as a prayer and a plea to God for guidance, than as a song. 

It has been fun too because I have been able to do intercambios with Elder Y. in my District which is also a tender mercy because I am sick of speaking English. And he is Mexican. So we speak Spanish... He is also a very good teacher and missionary, so I like to be taught by him and steal good ideas. I also was able to see Elder G. and W. (Elders he flew to Mexico from the MTC with) and we took a picture together. None of us can believe that we have a year in the mission. WEIRD. They are doing so great and I'm stoked for them. 

So our investigators are doing great! L. loves everything about the church and God and wants to get baptized so bad... But she can’t quite yet because she has to get married. So this week she was like "hey we picked a date... and we are getting married in Agosto!".... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I was like “what the heck why so far away girl?” Then we talked to her about how important it is to keep the commandments of God as soon as possible and not wait. She understood a little bit better and now realizes that she needs to get married asap. But unfortunately she is paying of debts right now and that’s why she isn’t able to get married quite yet but we made the goal for March or April to get hitched and baptized. We will see what happens. It’s because her boyfriends’ family wants them to have a big wedding but she doesn’t because that’s just too expensive and that means they will have to wait for a long time. So I was like “hey the members would be totes willing to pitch in and make food and do decorations”... Haha. Threw them under the bus, that’s for sure. I guess only time will tell. We are praying and fasting for a miracle with her. M. is the Grammy and she is getting so happy and excited. We have taught her the first three lessons. She only needs to come one more Sunday. We will see if she wants to move the date up to the 15th of this month. I am so happy for that family. They are just golden. They are going on an excursion with the Stake to the Veracruz temple since the temple here is closed just to do baptisms for the dead! How fantastic?! No?! They are going this Wednesday. They also invited us over to make them pizza because I told them I know how.... Haha. When I said I know how, I was talking about frozen Digiorno pizza. Lol. We will see how this turns out. It’s in my American blood. J. is also working towards to 22 de Feb to get baptized. Well.... He isn’t super convinced for this date because he thinks it is super quick. And I am really encouraging him to just trust in the Lord. So I hope he has a good experience and decides to get baptized this day. He has come to church 2 times now and is reading the Book of Mormon. He said he knows its true.... I don’t know why the hold up. I think he wants to wait for his mom... She is also an investigator but she can’t get baptized because she can never come Sundays since she works. She has already read more than half of the Book of Mormon. Hopefully we can help him out. 

Other investigators we have just aren’t progressing or are avoiding us. OUCH. Haha. So we are working on that. So funny story that didn’t happen to me - Last week I felt super prompted to contact a girl because she reminded me of my cousin Taylor! And so I invited her to read the restoration pamphlet and she seemed golden because she was like “ya come to my house”. So a week later my comp and Elder G. went to visit her when Elder Y. and I went to go sing in Tasquena and I guess the visit went a little cray cray. She is super confused about beliefs and only wanted to fight with them and then her dad also came out and was Bible bashing with them and it was just a big rofl bash because Elder G. got super defensive and forward with people and my comp just doesn’t speak Spanish and it was just one big fat disaster. Oh dear. So I think that they might have ruined all opportunity we had, but we shall see. They put another cita... so it must not have been so bad. Right?

I am super content with the mission and the area. We are trying to talk to more people because we need more investigators that progress. I am excited for this weekend because we have a missionary conference with Elder Oaks on Saturday... then the other missionaries in the Rama have a baptism, then on Sunday we have a stake conference and Elder Oaks and I am just super excited. Haha its gunna be crazy. I think they are going to make us sleep in the YELLOW HOUSE on Friday night because otherwise we would have to leave our house at 4:30 in the morning to make it on time for the conference in the temple. Haha. So that should be interesting. The yellow house be crazy. 

I love you all so much. The missionary work is the best. The Lord has hastened his work.... all what’s missing is that we actually do something. So open your mouth and it will be filled. It’s a promise from the Lord. D&C 24:12. Do it to it. 

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald
El niƱo dios. Everyone in Topilejo carried their doll all around town. So I did the same.

The GENERATION. Seriously- the best missionaries you ever did see.

The bus
Dominos after choir practice.