Mexico, Mexico City South - Spanish Speaking

Monday, March 31, 2014

New Comp, Dominos, and can't wait for General Conference

The diagnosis of transfers is this....


Haha okay, well, don’t take that literally... but I am finally getting a Mexican companion. Well at least I assume so because his name is Elder T. And that's a Mexican name... And he is brand new from the MTC! That should be fun, no? I am hoping sooo. But guess what? WE have to CHANGE TODAY. Not tomorrow. Usually we get the news Sunday night, then we have pday to do the things we need... and Tuesday we go and do the transfers... But NOT THIS TIME. Who knows what happened to the crazy people in charge of this thing... But we have to be in Tasquena at 4 in the tarde. PM. and its super stressful. Haha not too much for me because I don’t have to pack... But hey... I can still complain, right? 

But this was an interesting week... We had lots of complications and less time to see investigators... Another week without investigators at church... But they had legitimate excuses... One was dying of hiccups.... WUT? Yes. So he had to go to the hospital. Pobre P. And the other family that is like golden that I told you about last week had other commitments... So I'll let it slide. Actually I am a little worried about them. So the wife of J. C. is super nice but she DOES NOT want her husband to change religions. SO I am pretty sure she is trying to curse us when we are in the middle of teaching him. She is just mad because when they first got married she suggested to changing religions and becoming Jehovah Witnesses... And he told her that he would NEVER change and that he was content with being Catholic. So when we showed up and he started liking what we taught him... She got very defensive, and claws came out. Anyways. I am afraid that he will drop us because it is causing problems in the marriage.... DUMB. But I have faith that God will give him an answer about all this if he prays and does his part. Hoping! And his daughter told us that she doesn’t believe in religions, only God. And I was like... “OKAY WELL ASK GOD WHAT HE THINKS THEN”. Haha. But I have confidence that all will be well... Pray for them porfis.  

We had interviews with President. It was good. We hardly even talked because lots of people kept calling him during the interview and then when he hung up I think he forgot where we were and was like "anything else?!?!" akjajajajjajajahahahahahahha and I was like... puess... no. Haha. So it was super short and fine. 

I can’t express how EXCITED I am for General Conference. You KNOW how much I LOVE IT. Seriously. I am getting all ansie. Its like the night before Christmas, or the car ride to Disneyland. IT’S FANTASTIC. 

Okay so we had a baptism for the branch (the other elders) this Saturday and it was super nice and awesome. It was the mom of the Branch President. She is perfect and kind and so smart! It was totally her time. So after the baptism some of the sisters were going to bring us, the missionary’s, food. And they brought it. But there was a miscommunication that the food was for everyone.... HAHA. So all 30 of the people that attended the baptism were there to feast on the missionary’s food. And we were like AWK. But it all worked out because the Relief Society President bought us each our own box of pizza from Dominos. LOVIN IT. It was so kind and thoughtful and super great and yummy. 

So I am kind of sad about changes because I will miss the presence of some of my District. You know. You just get so used to people. But it’s always so good. Hopefully my new comp and I can work super hard and baptize ALL DAY EERDAY here in Topilejo. I am counting on it. 

I don’t remember the other things that happened this week... ha.

Hope all is well at home. Love you all so much. Enjoy General Conference OKAY? And I will talk to yaaa l8r 

Con Amor, 
Elder Macdonald

So after the baptism they bought us our OWN pizza. Heaven sent.

I was happy ya know?

Soy yo.

One of my favorite families at the Casa de Oracion.

Monday, March 24, 2014

If you read my journal you will read hope falling through the cracks, BUT miracles do happen!

MIRACLES HAPPEN ONCE AND A WHILE EVERYBODY - It’s true. And I am happy and content with life and the mission. 

So as you may remember, these past two weeks have been super difficult and discouraging. Well not just the past two weeks… the past month. Okay, lets get real... this TRANSFER was not the easiest. However, I know that everything happens for our own good. Whether it is something fantastic, or horrible... it works together for our own benefit. 

That’s what I learned this transfer...

This week I was praying so hard to find someone... anyone... even a dog... to come to church with us. Because all of our investigators se chafiaron, they turned crappy. Still wonderful human beings... but really bad investigators. So the pressure was on. We are supposed to baptize every week in April and I was just dying of all the pressure and the lack of success... We had worked so hard and not seen results. We had been mistreated and lied to. We dealt with lots of trivial problems, but they weren’t very trivial in the moment. So yeah it was tough. I was contacting like a monster and literally talking to everyone. I am pretty sure I scared a few people cause they weren’t expecting me to talk to them. Haha. But I didn’t care. I was determined to find SOMEONE. Well…we found lots of potentials that were less than convincing. My comp and I were even getting frustrated with each other because of the difficulties we were having. We were turning on each other. Not too much,… but a little. 

Seriously if you read my journal you can read the hope falling through the cracks. 

And plus, I was super sore from wall ball on Monday.

Then on Wednesday we had a tender mercy. We had a zone training and I didn’t think much of it. Something fantastic happened. We watched a video on the Atonement of Christ. Elder Erying and Holland spoke on the video. Eyring talked about going that extra yard when you physically can’t - through the power of the Atonement. It hit me hard. Because I started to think about the beginning on my mission.... #oneyearago #midmissioncrisis about how it was super difficult for me. The culture change. The language barrier. The companions. Everything. But the only thing that kept me going was KNOWING that through Christ my weaknesses would be made strong. I knew and lived that promise. And Through the Atonement of Christ I overcame a lot and learned to LOVE the mission. So once I started loving the mission and having lots of success... I fell. I fell and forgot that this power is always available because it is something necessary... EVEN when everything is great. I lost the full trust and remembrance I had in my Savior. Well obviously not all the way... But everything was just super good... So I started trusting in my own strength. Big mistake. In that video Elder Holland also talked about the difficulties of missionary work. He said that missionary work was never easy... because salvation was never a cheap experience! And it is so true. We as missionaries have to pass through sorrows and tears to really become true representatives of Christ and representatives of what HE did. It doesn’t mean we have to look for hardship... Because it will and does come naturally... The opposition comes in all things. And I know now it is for our wellbeing. 

This confidence requires a lot of hard work, diligence, love, patience, charity, humility, trust, and prayer. But it comes. I felt like the Nephites when they fell into the pride cycle. Luckily I didn’t become too apostate. But I wasn’t as powerful as I could’ve been because I wasn’t trusting fully in the Spirit, and I wasn’t relying on the Atonement to HELP me in my imperfections. I don’t like to admit those imperfections... HAha but they are definitely there... 

So this week when I was tired, hot, exhausted, and looking for someone I had contacted a few days earlier.... I almost gave up. We couldn’t find the dumb house and we were just super done. But I was like... Fine... I will just knock on this door and ask someone WHERE ONE EARTH this lady lived... So when I did some short guy came out and said that he didn’t know where she lived. So we were lost and annoyed because of some rude lady lying to us.... And I honestly didn’t even want to introduce myself to him because I just thought... HE WON’T BE INTERESTED. I AM TIRED AND HOT. THIS IS DUMB. However what happened in the next hour was proof to me that the Lord knows and watches over us, and that his plan is better then ours. I am soooo grateful I got over myself because he accepted the invitation to a short message then and there. We taught him a lesson and he really was so happy we found him and felt like we were sent from God. Man did I feel horrible and unworthy when we told us that. That was on Saturday. The next day in the morning (Sunday) we passed by his house to pick him up for church and his WHOLE FAMILY WAS READY TO GO. Talk about being humbled. We had 6 investigators come to church yesterday. Prayer is real. But never give up. God is all knowing. If I had never contacted that woman a few days before... And if she hadn’t lied to me (ironic no?)... We would have never arrived to the house of the Familia M. P. It was all planned out. I will keep you updated on their progress. I know they will be baptized. And I am positive the 17 year old daughter will serve a mission. The best part is they LOVED CHURCH. 

Also we went with my favorite couple to talk to one of their friends... But they stopped us in the street and said... “We have to say a prayer to know WHO to talk to”. And I was impressed and said... “PERFECT”. They prayed. We walked around the corner to come neighbor... R. was like.... “THIS GUY”. He ran up to his neighbor and invited him to church and he accepted... And guess what... HE CAME TO CHURCH TOO. So yeah.. Miracles happen everyday folks. 

We had other good things happen this week but the letter is already long. Good things are happening. Transfers will be in a week. 

I love you all and am grateful for the example you have set for me. Happy birthday to Dallpall Larsen. Hope it’s wonderful. Hope you all enjoyed Andrew’s birthday in Cali. I was thinking about you enjoying the sun while I suffered walking in it this week. HAHAH. 

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

Last Monday we went to play FRONTON. I won. Surprising, I know. But I won.

Fronton is wallball.


Painter in the process. Don't mess.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Another hard week and some thoughts on perfection.

Well this week was better but I still wanted to kill a bird on Sunday cause none of our investigators came. But the attendance in general was ALOT more than usual. We didn’t even all fit in the Casa de Oracion because 72 people came! So maybe in a weird round about way it was good my investigators decided to frito out (flake out) and not come... because otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to sit down... AH, what am I saying? Haha. #lame

But we worked super hard with our investigators and members. We gave lots of members lists of the names of our investigators so that they could pray and fast for them as well!!! But the results are slower than we would’ve have liked. We taught 37 lessons and worked our butts off and I think we just have to keep working doing that and then trust more in the Lord. It’s also sad because the investigators that would come to church have to work on Sundays and it’s just so ironic and pitiful. Wanna know why I want people to come to church? Because if they don’t come, they don’t progress... And if they don’t progress, they don’t get baptized. But maybe I want these things for selfish reasons. I have got to do some introspection to do folks. 

Hopefully things start getting better. This week we are focusing on street contacts FOR REAL this time. I know I have said that but then we haven’t really focused too much on it. So maybe that is why people are progressing because we are focusing too much on them and not focusing on finding new people and maybe God needs us to find certain people right now. Who knows why nothing is meshing? All I know is that we have to try new things. lol. help.

But don’t worry about the Branch cause the other half of us are doing SOOO GREAT. Elder Y. and Elder S. are working their butts off too and have a lot better results. 8 of their investigators came to church and I was so happy for them. They are working toward two baptisms in this month and hopefully a lot more in April. I know God is really pressuring his work. Even though he isn’t pressuring our investigators, he is doing it to others. hahahaha. I’m not bitter.... 

P. and R. are still coming with us to lots of citas and are doing great things. Man are their testimonies fantastic. And by coming with us they are gaining more confidence in teaching and in other social aspects. They are such a fantastic couple. 

L. fell off of the face of the earth... Which still makes me sad.

I really thought we taught lots of fantastic lessons. The Spirit was with us... He testified the truthfulness of our message. The people felt it... But their agency is throwing me off the edge. It’s such an enlightening thing. I now understand how God must feel when I KNOW what I am supposed to do but I DON’T do it. It’s frustrating. SUPER FRUSTRATING. Ha. Really though. So I need to work on being more merciful and loving unconditionally. 

Anyways… today I was studying and read a quote from some apostle (don’t remember who....) and he said that God expects us to be perfect as he is. And I was thinking. Great. Haha. I know he expects that from us. I know it’s hard. And LOTS of times we think it is IMPOSSIBLE. But the apostle said something so interesting... "Jesus never said that being perfect means we can't make mistakes..." and I was like WOAH. Profoundness and then I died from shock, the end. But it’s true. Why do we always assume that to be perfect we can’t make mistakes. FOR THAT REASON we have to repent. God knows that we make mistakes and he is so patient with our weaknesses’. He gave his only begotten Son so that in our weaknesses we could become strong and BE perfect, even as He is. So we never should lose hope. I know we have divine purposes as sons and daughters of Gods. We need to show God that we are worthy of these divine purposes through obedience. He wants us to submit our will #agency to HIS. That's why he requires us to make covenants with him. When we make covenants with God, we give up our will and use our agency to follow His will. Or in other words... we USE our agency and exercise our will when we decide to FOLLOW him. Obviously he will never literally take our will or agency away... But he expects us to humble ourselves and give up dumb tendencies. He teaches us how to be perfect, even as he is. And through the making of covenants, we commit to DO IT. I don’t know if that makes sense with anything. But I forgot everything that happened this week so I just decided to write some spiritual thoughts. Hope you can take something from it. 

Well.... the power just went out and luckily everything was SAVED. Love you google. hahahaha. 

Ate some super good food this week. I love Mexican food. But my comp doesn’t like spicy food. So NO ONE MAKES THE SALSA SPICY. rude. Haha. jk. 

Love you all so much. I think lots about you all. I am happy in the mission. It scares me because I am still not even close to the type of missionary I want to be and I only have 10 months left to learn. Why is this so not okay. Haha. 


Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald


A Catholic church I found. Some guy asked why I was taking pictures in front of another church... ooooops. run.

Good clouds. I thought it was the second coming and so I was calling people to repentance like no other. 

silly dog..

da city view. Vista Hermosa... ya our poor elementary school is grammatically incorrect. sowwy.

interesting Mexican frutas.

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Missionary work is tough, tiring, draining, tear provoking, but also fantastic, rewarding, and recommended to all"

Hello family and friendos. 

This week was an improvement from last week. If you would have come to church you wouldn’t have thought so because no investigator came and lots of baptismal dates fell through and it was super chafa (lousy)... But the quality of this week was high. 
We had a fantastic lesson with P. and H.! P. and R. (members whom I love) came with us and helped fellowship them. The lesson was about the plan of salvation and they really enjoyed it. The testimonies of the members were PHENOMENAL, and I was convinced that the investigators were coming to church this week. P. even cried and felt the spirit super strong. Then we left and it warmed my heart to hear how content and happy P. and R. were. Seriously. They said they had never felt the spirit so strong and that their heart was so full it felt like it was going to explode. I just was so grateful that we could be part of a lesson that benefited ALL that took part in it. But unfortunately P. and H. have some other issues and they didn’t come to church and I actually think they are avoiding us. Apparently the mother in law of this family is a witch... And her daughter would help her with "cleansings" and other weird witch stuff. So P. and his kids have been uncomfortable in their house and seen weird things and they are scared all the time and so they were super smart and went BACK to the witch yesterday to clean the children INSTEAD of coming to church....... SO that was not the best choice and I’m pretty sure we will be casting out devils soon. Haha jk. It’s actually something super serious and I am not sure how to handle it. But they are just super confused and when their children get sick they go to extreme measures to heal them.... even just after one day of having a fever. So, that’s annoying and dumb - witchcraft is real and I NEVER got my Hogwarts letter, so pretty mad about that. Also some strange old man that apparently lives close to us claims that he is Jesus Christ reincarnated and has messed with a bunch of people’s heads. He gives them "cleansings" for 1000 pesos and robs poor people of their money. Making bank isn’t always an honest profession when using religious tactics. But these are the perks to living in Mexican pueblos away from civilization. 

Our Frenchman came to our English class and commented to us that he has seen miracles since he started praying to God in the name of Christ. WOOHOO. Love it. But he works in another state on Sundays and so it’s like he can’t come to church... Difficult. But he was able to stay for the gospel class and heard lots of great testimonies. It made me happy.

Marrying people is super difficult and I have lost all hope here in Topilejo. 

The Presidente de Rama and his wife came with us to a lesson on Thursday. They are a great young couple and have super strong testimonies. Two thumbs up. They came with us to visit A. and V., who came to church last week for the first time... Apparently they really liked it and learned a lot. A., being unemployed, saw a miracle for going to church and GOT WORK the following day. So I was super sure that because of that testimony he received he would come to church again this week... But no. I am tired of giving all my time and energy to people that just suck it up and don’t do anything with it. But hey... got to stay positive...

We saw the dedicatory fireside of the new MTC in Mexico. It was super inspiring and I was a wee bit jealous that I never got to know the CCM here... Maybe I’ll move to Mexico after the mission and teach here. Hahha. Elder Oaks was there to dedicate it and he said lots of great things. Learned a lot. Actually it was basically the same gist of what he told us a couple weeks ago. But it was nice to be reminded and reaffirmed. We can’t rely on the members to give us references.... That’s what he told us.  How does that make you feel? Bad? Good. lolol jk. But seriously, GIVE DEM MISSIONARIES REFERRALS. And be happy about it. 

L. is a lost cause. I am very depressed to admit it. But it’s true. Super sad and shocking to see someone so prepared and so excited to make covenants with the Lord change before the blink of an eye. It makes me sad. But I know if we keep doing our work and focus on finding new people that are ready, before we know it, L. with be calling us asking to be baptized. High hopes... But it is all I can do. 

M. is an old lonely woman who lives with her cat and dog. Hopefully she can start coming to church because she has the desire to be baptized. But her dumb work takes advantage of her since she is going to retire soon. LAME sauce. 

All in all... this week was a lot better. Many excitements. Many disappointments. But that is the life of a missionary. So much for being the only time in my life when I didn’t need to be stressed - LOL at that. Missionary work is tough, it is tiring, it is draining, it is tear provoking... But it is also fantastic, rewarding, and I recommend it to everyone. I still have so much to learn and I don’t think I will be able to fit it all in with the time I have left... 10 months and a cachito... wut? Talk about stressful.

Love you all so much. Thanks for your examples and your prayers. Pray for the Topilejo Branch and pray for our investigators. The prayer of the faithful is a useful thing, don’t ya know. 

Keep on chugging along folks. Chaou 

Con Amor, Elder Macdonald

We went to Walmart and I cried of joy after buying and eating this glorified and celestial chip.

city lights

A pretty walk to church.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Life is hard and then you get a chance to learn...

So this week was tough. It was tough in the emotional aspect. I don’t know why cause I don’t normally deal with these problems. But it was different. I felt like everyone was possessed with some kind of devil and out to get my comp and me. We decided that some French man gave us a curse. He said that everyone in Topilejo is crazy and super rude and strange... And we responded... "no everyone here is so kind and helpful and interested in our message". Right after that appointment, everything changed. LOL. So I am very convinced he put a curse on us. Because after that... we were mocked, made fun of, laughed at, etc every day until I couldn’t take it any longer. It was so strange. I have never felt so humiliated before in my life. Maybe I was just extra sensitive.. but I had never experienced stuff like this before. I know now that God really puts us in those types of situations to help us get over our fears and to try to understand Jesus Christ and the humiliation he was put through. It’s not easy. But it really does make one more humble. I understood that everyone has the right to accept or reject our message, but I never believed that some people are truly just mean. So maybe I'll have the proper experiences to write a Taylor Swift song or something. It’ll be on the top ten, I’m sure of it. I don’t really want to go into details because I am just trying to forgive and forget what happened. I am also trying to stay positive and keep loving everyone. I learned a lot, AND I still need to learn a lot. Just remember that adversity is something inevitable in this life. Even when you are trying your hardest to keep the commandments and be good... Adversity can come in sickness, in humiliation, or in sin. But there are ways to overcome any type of adversity when we truly trust in the Lord. I know that he knows us. The good thing is he knows we can overcome anything thrown at us. We have to trust in him if he trusts that much in us. The atonement covers it all. But that doesn’t give you the excuse to look for adversity... Only gives one the hope to overcome the adversity that naturally comes on its own or through natural consequences. 

Although it was hard, it was also good. We saw miracles on Saturday. I got to the point, at the end of the week that I didn’t want to contact anymore because all that came from it was bad.... But I knew God was testing me... and so I kept contacting. And Saturday we saw results. I contacted two grandmas and 20 seconds into the contact they invited us to their homes! That doesn’t usually happen... And after we taught the first lesson with them, they accepted baptismal dates. I was just laughing inside cause I knew God was just having a good time with me. It was a miracle - a true golden contact. Obviously we have to keep up with them so that they actually get baptized... But if they even don’t get baptized it was still enough for me because they were two extremely kind human beings and I felt loved by them and by God after that lesson. So I got excited after that! Then we found another kid and taught him something and put a return date. It was another miracle. I know that I can never give up. Even when I really want to.... Haha... Because in those moments I have to always remember that God is trying me. He is trying my faith, my patience, my character, my obedience, my everything... He knows that I can overcome it... He just wants me to exercise my agency and do it. Even when it’s hard... So my invitation to you all is to not give up. Never give up. Especially when you want to give up... DON’T DO IT. The adversary knows when we are experiencing adversity. He knows our weaknesses and our frailties. He knows our anxieties, and our doubts. He magnifies them in time of adversity. He is rude just like we imagine. He doesn’t like us. He doesn’t love us. And he does not want us to succeed. So prove him wrong. Weak things can and will be made strong through the atoning power of Christ. Even though it never may get easy to have adversity... we can still have the hope that acts as a anchor in times of trouble. I know that it is true. Not easy. But true.

L. will not be getting baptized because her husband decided to buy a house instead of get married and now they don’t have money. She didn’t come to church either. I am worried about her... So hopefully we can get her excited again about this stuff. The adversary is working on her in times of adversity.

The good of the week... A family came to church all by themselves. I was super happy for them. I don’t know if they liked it. I had a member invite them to the Visitors center tomorrow. I hope and pray that they can go. They just need to have confidence in themselves that this is a good thing. eeep.

R. and P. are still my favorites because they are just fantastic. They have struggled adversity more than I can imagine. But they have overcome it all. God will bless them. They are inviting people to the Gospel, and even when they are declined, they keep on going. What an inspiration. 

I need to amplify my vision with the work, with the investigators, with the missionaries around me, and with everything. That is a goal we have as a Zone. The Lord has put much trust in us... All we have to do is prove that we are up to the challenge. 

OH OH OH. I met an Israelite woman and she is so cool. haha. She was so convinced that she was going to baptize us. They hold services in their house. I contacted her because she had an interesting hat on and I wanted to know why. And she invited us in and all over their walls were writings in Hebrew. I was like “WOW CAN YOU TEACH ME HEBREW?”. And then she got all mad because I’m preaching the gospel and don’t know Hebrew. hahahaha. And I apologized and told her that one day I will learn. SO I am now committed. One day I will learn. Their beliefs are that of the Jews... except they believe in Christ and the Jews don’t. I had a major respect for her. Anyone that truly loves God and professes it through any religion falls well in my book. Maybe I’ll be baptized some day. haha

Fasting is starting to become something I actually like... only took 12 years. Or 2 of actually doing it.... lol.

Well I think that is all. Sorry if it was depressing. I fell into depression and wanted to dye my shirts black. But I withheld. 

I love you all.  I love everything about mission work even though I am bad at it sometimes. Haha so just keep loving those awkward missionaries because your son is one too! 

Con amor,
Elder Macdonald

A bird got into our house.... how? We will never know.

Chicken feet are all the rage.

Meanwhile looking for a house that didn't exist.

A dog family.

Weird doggy.

Mexican cheeto puffs. This bag was the equal of one dollar and 70 cents.