Mexico, Mexico City South - Spanish Speaking

Monday, October 27, 2014

12 weeks to go, draining a font with a bucket, and butt dialing as a tender mercy.

 Hey family. I am bipolar with my emotions right now. We have changes. I stay. Everyone knows I hate changes. But EVERYONE knows that I end up loving those changes after a few days or weeks. Why can't I understand that at the beginning of every transfer? 

My beloved companion, Elder R., has been a Zone Leader his whole life basically. So seeing that he only has 3 changes left, the President moved him to be a District Leader and to have him TRAIN. That is awesome. But the most awesome part is where he is going...... QUETZAL. My beloved Quetzal. Where lives my favorite rabbits (The “rabbit family”) and Grandmas. I am super stoked for him. But I am really sad that we have to be separated. It has been the easiest companionship in the mission. I have learned lots from him. And these past 12 weeks FLEW BY. I cannot understand it... seeing that I only have 12 weeks left in Mexico, it makes me want to cry.

So I am staying here... which makes me super happy. I HOPE with all my heart that I stay here until the end of my mission. The rest of our companions are leaving too, expect for one. This District has gotten so close and I am very bummed that all of our fun has to come to an end. Or it just has to change. I am sure the new District will be fun. It should be interesting. The Lord is definitely testing me in these next changes to see if I will truly put into practice what I have learned throughout my whole mission. It should be good. It is always good. But I think without a doubt, these were some fun days here with some great missionaries. 

Now that I expressed that.... Oh haha my stomach is still screwed up and I threw up nothing today in the morning. I think it was a combination of nerves and of my sickness. It is worrying me. I sure hope I don’t have to die or get surgery before my mission ends. I think I will talk to a doctor soon because it IS so annoying having to throw up this much. I feel bulimic. 

We had a wonderful baptism this weekend! M. de J. and her niece, K., were baptized and it was so spiritually uplifting for all who went. We had to drain the water from the font the old fashioned way.... with BUCKETS. And this font is HUGE. I don’t understand why it is so big? It’s like they built it with the purpose of baptizing multiple people simultaneously. hmm. ? go figure¿ 

We sang, the children sang, billions of people went, the Bishop went, our new converts gave fabulous talks, and everyone was crying in a hot room. Hahah. Honestly, it was wonderful. We confirmed them members of the church of Jesus Christ on Sunday, and the daughter of M. got a lot more excited and convinced to be baptized in November. 

We are going to baptize more and more people in November. We are still dealing with less than we have in the past transfer.... But I think we should at least baptize 3 or 4 people. Depending if they still want to, seeing that their favorite Elder, Elder R., is going home. Hahahah. They all love him. Basically, they worship the ground he walks on. He has a way with words that most people don’t have. That’s why they love him. And so, we are hoping to still baptize a lot. We have to start planting this month to baptize in December and January. AHHHH. WHY?! What. I cannot understand or believe this. It is all happening so fast. Too fast.

We found new investigators this week. We taught great lessons. We had a good Zone Training. We have done so many fantastic things in these past 12 weeks. AHh. I just have to trust in the Lord and know that he will make me strong in my weaknesses. ayayayay. I know it is true. It is always true and will always keep being true. But it’s all good. I have to work really hard because I am going to "train" por decir a new Zone Leader. He is a good missionary. His name is Elder J. Sure enough, he is from Utah. And I don’t know much more. But it’s okay. It’ll be a fun new adventure. We will learn a lot together and enjoy this time. But that’s another thing that makes me nervous and weak in da knees. 

I am so blessed to be working in the ward where I am working. I am learning valuable lessons and truly applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I am learning how to lead and guide and be led and guided. I am learning how to love unconditionally and always have a smile on my face. I am learning that my example means a lot more than I think it does. I am learning that the Lord trusts so much in His wee little children that it is almost unbelievable. But he does. It’s all true. I love you all.

I am short on time. We have lots of stuff to do. Lots of tears to be shed and yeah…

Wait hold up. Okay so this week we butt dialed an investigator. She is fantastic and has a brother on the mission. But on Wednesday she got home from work and said a prayer to her Heavenly Father. She expressed her worries to Him in a small and simple prayer; and told him that she hadn't felt His presence with her that day. Right as she said "amen", she received an unexpected call from the ELDERS... In this moment, she received our butt dialed call. She broke out into tears and was in shock. Of course we didn’t realize the impact this would of had on her... so we just did small talk and explained to her that we called her by accident. But this experience testified to her that God works by small and simple things. He knows our needs. He hears our cries. Our concerns are His concerns. And He is our Father. I have been able to see so many tender mercies like this one as a missionary. This merciful blessing, just as many others, are only possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. By and through Him, we can be strengthened and taught. We can receive blessings when we feel like we don’t deserve it... and we honestly never deserve it. But because of Christ, we can receive his merciful hand in our life, produced by the love he has for each and one of His children. 

I love you all so much. I hope you all look for and recognize the tender mercies of the LORD in your lives. 

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

The dumb font decided to stop working. Good ole "drain the water out with buckets" trick did its job. 


Best buds

The best District ever
The Pres. He's the best

and he fell

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Moldy shoes, miracles, and carnitas are dangerous

Well, first of all, know that Zach is in my prayers. I hope everything goes perfect. Keep me updated. I know you will.

Second. This week was another great week. It has been raining so much. My shoes have legit water damage problems. Like 30 minutes ago I just took out the soles because I bought new ones in Walmart.... and the souls were MOLDY. YUCK. I am shocked at how bacteria resistant my feet have been.... who knows how long they have been like that. It also has to do with the fact that they don’t dry all the way because we live in a cave.... and I don’t have many shoe options. Hahah But just thought I would let you guys know. Those are the joys of being a missionary in Mexico City. Moldy shoes. #cool

The fun fact is that there is an hermano in a ward here in the Stake that will fix them for FREE. But I am a little bit lazy to do that. We shall see...

So now, on to the work...

The work has been fantastic and wonderful. We saw miracle after miracle that turned out to be trials of our faith. Mainly because at the beginning we saw the superficial aspect of the miracles, but whatever... because they keep being miracles. 

We dedicated a whole afternoon to contact references from the referral manager... and we found 5 new investigators that day through 3 lessons and the people basically told us... “WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU”. And we were like “ah sorry”. So we repented for not being responsible and contacting the referrals right when we received them, but hey - I understand that everything happens for a reason and everything has a time. So it all worked out perfectly. All of them told us that they were going to go to church, but none of them came. Which is totally fine, but kind of annoying at first glance. But then I realized that it’s okay. We are doing our part. 

We are teaching M. de J. And she is finally going to get baptized this week. She hasn’t smoked for a week and a half. WHAT A BLOODY MIRACLE. I love Word of Wisdom miracles. They are the best. So their interview is this week on Wednesday, and if they pass, then their baptism will be on Saturday at 6pm. Her niece is going to get baptized too. They are progressing so well. It is a pleasure to work with them. The cool part is that this week we started teaching the daughter of M. de J. Her daughter has always been there in the house while we taught... but never wanted much to do with our message. But finally, her time has arrived. She is a super intelligent lady and loves going to church. She has gone two times now. She is preparing to be baptized in November. He boyfriend ditched her... The bright side is this - now they don’t have to get married. So we didn’t know how to take that... miracle or tragedy. For us, it was a miracle. Even though we did start teaching him too and he was getting super interested in our message. It was too bad to lose a brand new investigator... that would’ve been a priesthood holder... But then he disappeared and we got dropped. So that was that. 

They also signed up to give us food some days this month. Yaya. I love that. She apparently is a good cook.

Another fun fact of this week was.... uuh my mind went blank.  

I got super sick. HAHA no, actually the whole District got sick. So I have been pretty wooosy in the stomach lately. And then to my great surprise we ate carnitas on Sunday.... pig tacos that are pure pig. Everything that a pig has to offer... is on the plate. They are called tacos de carnitas. And they are horrific. I hate them. I honestly can hardly hold my stomach from jumping out of my throat sometimes. But we ate them on Sunday and the meat was either old and bad and diseased, or the something was in the air... because we all woke up in the middle of the night to die in the bathroom. It was hilarious because we all went through the same thing. hahaha But that night I wanted to throw up... I didn’t know if it was for the food, because I was sick before eating them too.. so I just went to bed early to avoid having to throw up. But the next day, our doubt was confirmed... all of us got sick. Hahaha thanks a lot carnitas. 

The investigators are progressing so much. We are still seeing so much progress. But we still need to find new investigators to baptize every week. 

We went to the temple this week to get shots. YAYAYA. I love shots. haha shots shots shots shots. My arm hurt for a little. My comp got sick because of it. And everyone was just terribly afraid. It was shocking to see how many people honestly are afraid of the needle. LOSERS. Just kidding. But the tough kids on the block aren’t so tough anymore. I saw Elder Johnson from MVT there. He came up to me and basically threw me around. He is huge. I forgot how tall he was. Tell his family we all say hi. He is the one that you were telling me about a few weeks ago with Andrew’s Homecoming date and I don’t know what else. 

WE did intercambios. I went with Elder G. Yeah. He is crazy. He and Elder W. are in the same District. They were comps in the MTC and are the best of friends. It was a fun exchange. We all go home way too soon. It is sickening. 

Well there isn’t much else. We found the most beautiful apartment complex to rent in such a great area but it was way too expensive. Elder R. and I fell in love with the house of our dreams, and they ripped it away from our sights. Hahaha, just thought I would add that in. I hope that never happens to me in real life.

I still haven’t gotten my package. Just FYI. And that’s a wrap.

Lunch date with the generation. Exchanges with Elder G.

Guess who I saw? Elder Johnson!

Getting ready for Halloween

District meeting with P. He goes home in 6 weeks... ahhhh. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

We see miracles and we have disappointments, but it is all part of a plan made by a loving Heavenly Father.

This was a great week.

We are working so hard. We see miracles, and we have disappointments. But it is all part of a plan well made by a loving Heavenly Father.

So I will start with the baptismal interviews. We were planning on baptizing three family members... But we only ended up baptizing a married couple. The mom of the couple did not pass her interview. It was a huge disappointment and confusion for her. She told us that she was done. She was done feeling rejected. She was giving into Satan’s lies - telling her that she is unworthy of anything that has to do with God. She was discouraged to keep pressing forward. She never wanted to step foot into a Mormon church ever again. It was honestly one of the saddest experiences I have had on the mission. We had three days of talking to her and expressing our love for her through the testimonies we gave, just to help her see the light at the end of the tunnel. It broke my heart, but she wasn’t ready. And that’s all. I know that she will be baptized soon. We are working on a couple things, helping her understand better the doctrine of this gospel to be super prepared the next time she has her interview. She is a strong woman. After 3 days of not wanting anything, we kept strong. We prayed so much for her.... and guess what?! She showed up to the baptism on her daughter and son in law, and she went to church. So we are still in progressing well. Pray for C. Please. 

On the other hand, her daughter and son in law had a great baptism. I was a little bit annoyed with the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader because they didn’t show up and didn’t let us know.... but then I just got over myself and saw the blessings of the baptism. It was run completely by RECENT CONVERTS. Hahah it was a beautiful thing. A new generation of pure hope. The prayers were given by investigator and the talks were given by wonderfully prepared recent converts.... and it was just a miracle. I have seen too many evidences of lives changing as a result of baptism to doubt my testimony of this gospel. It is real. It is so real. These people progress substantially after entering the waters of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

AHHH. O., M. and the L. are going to VERACRUZ to do baptisms for the dead. Hahahaha. I basically forced them to go, but hey, it is for the best. I cannot wait for them to go this week and see their faces glowing with the spirit when they get back on Sunday. Haha - we had to help them start their family history trees... and let me tell you, it was not easy because NO ONE knows anything about anyone here. But with lots of faith, and good works, we got all we needed. I will let you know how they felt when they get back.

M. de J. was going to get baptized this Saturday..... BUT she smoked half of a cigar... so we have to wait another week and her niece wants to wait for her. But it’s fine. It gives us more time to work with them. The good thing is she has 2 days without smoking! YAYAYA. I love seeing the miracles that coming from using our moral agency to have the power of the atonement present in our lives.

Lots of other things happened. We had to give interviews in the Zone for other baptisms. It all worked out. 5 baptisms in total this week. That aint too shabby. 

E. is the sister of a missionary. She is a great lady, but has never been interested in being baptized. But we are persisting to see miracles. We want her brother to get home and have one last baptism! Ohhh... PS he is in the same mission as Derek Skousen.... Elder R....... I think that is his name. Idk but I think that is awesome. He gets home in January too. Eeek. But yeah. She went to Conference and was BOMBARDED with answers. A God that doesn’t insist (require), is a God that doesn’t exist. So she was like wow that was a slap in the face. And immediately wanted to know how to follow his commandments. We ALMOST set a baptismal date with her. She is a tough cookie. But she wants her brother to baptize her, although she hasn’t told him anything.... haha. So yeah. She has talked to a million other missionaries. But nothing has worked. We are so blessed to be here, helping her progress. It has strengthened my testimony that everyone..... EVERYONE, someday, will open up and let the spirit touch their hearts. It is her time. And she went to church his week too. She liked it. But she won’t stay for classes. Ugh. But she gives us cereal every week. The people here are so nice to us. 

Ummmmm....... G. and D. are still amazing and chosen but their dumb schedules do not permit us to see them in the week... So they have to wait a little bit longer to get baptized so we cant teach them. But wow, are they fantastic. 

We are teaching so many family members of new converts and soon to be converts and we can just see the Lord’s hand in his Work in this part of his vineyard. I love it.

I really wish they would send to Meet the Mormons here because I have a movie theater in my area. LET’S GOOOO. But dang.... eeeps. I hope it was marvelous. 

We have Zone Conference tomorrow. It should be fabulous. 

Love you all so much. Hope everything is wonderful and great and happy. Hug Scout for me. And keep inviting people to hear the missionaries. Actually I feel very prompted to have you give referrals to the missionaries to L. Don’t ask them. Just send the missionaries to the house and you can say it was from me. And Josh Kennedy. I don’t know how he is doing. But please find his address and send those Elders to his house! Oh and someone in the ward... Betty? Pretty sure you haven’t sent missionaries to her house. So that would be wonderful. DON’T BE AFRAID. Listen to Elder Bednar, and be excited to share you beliefs with others. Have a great day.

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

V. and I. got baptized!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We are a worldwide church and General Conference was fantastic!

Well General Conference was fantastic.

This week was super great and really full of tons of work. I can’t believe it is already October. Time is a strange concept.

I am being weird and throwing up a lot, but I’m not very sick... hmmm. hahaha. Don’t know what to do about that?? Yesterday and today I threw up RIGHT after breakfast. It was very uncomfortable. Just FYI.

Yesterday we ate with President and Sister Valadez. Their house is beautiful. And they cook so YUMMMY. I loved it so much. They made us a plate from the Yucatan. It was a piece of pork marinated in some yummy sauce with a green pasta and salsa. I ate sooo much because I had to make up for my breakfast that I threw up. I didn’t get sick after lunch so I thought I was all better, but then today L. made us breakfast because we washed our clothes in her house and it was super yummy. Mexican eggs. But unfortunately I threw it up again. Grr. hahaha. So yeah, that’s my strange story of the week.

We are preparing three people to be baptized this Saturday. And of course here come the big random trials that we have to overcome. One of the sisters had problems with her kidney and she got really sick. She went to General Conference but couldn’t enjoy it for her dumb kidney that is hurting her.... The other two liked Conference a lot. And the husband went to BOTH sessions on Sunday because he liked it so much in the morning. It was great to ask them what they thought. They felt so much spiritual strength after leaving the stake center. The wife said that she is ready to be baptized because she already made the decision. And when she makes a decision... she follows through. Her husband is more timid and has more doubts, but we also think he likes everything more. But they are totally going to do it together. Their interviews are tomorrow. If it is God’s will, they will get baptized! Hoping for the best. 

We are teaching the funniest old man that can’t hear ANYTHING. So it is hard to teach him. But we have had pretty nice experiences with him. He is really discouraged because of his physical state. He is embarrassed of his body and misses the “Glory Days” when he used to be a macho man. He always tells us about how everyone used to be afraid of him. LOLOL. He is a little bit lost with the doctrine, but he finally learned how to pray correctly. 

The recent converts, O. and M. are still strong as ever. We re-taught them the restoration and part of the plan of salvation. They went to Conference, but I couldn’t see them so I still don’t know what they thought. I am sure that they loved it. Miracle. Her ex husband, who was never her husband, but is the father of her children wants to get back together and O. is afraid because now she has to get married... haha. She is seeing miracles from her baptism.

We had Leadership Counsel. It was great. I didn’t talk much. I’m more of an observer. I should probably talk more. That’s all.

SO General Conference was fabulous! SO great - just magical. That’s all. What I loved the MOST is the fact that men got to speak in their native languages. BOOYYYA. Haha - sorry America. But it’s seriously such a testimony that we are a WORLDWIDE CHURCH. And yeah, that means that we all have the duty to LEARN more languages. Just saying... If you want to enjoy the talks more.... you need to understand them without translation. I feel so bad for the people here because most of them can’t understand English... and the General Authorities always spoke in English.... and it is sooo much better to hear them speak in English because of the emotion and spirit it invites.... the translation is always crappy... not because it is incorrect, just because the translator just reads.... So it makes me so happy that they put emphasis in that. English isn’t the only important language. Learn another one. And you will be able to appreciate so much more what those men were saying. I don’t know if that makes sense. But I liked that the most of anything.

I loved Elder Holland’s talk. He is an amazing speaker and brings so much umph to his message. I liked the Jorg guy. He was super straight to the point. I liked Uchtdorf and his many talks. He is my favorite person. I wanted to like Eyring’s talk, but I didn’t get to hear it because of internet problems.... I loved the Carlos guy talk that spoke in Portuguese. He was inspired. I loved the Prophets talk, but I only heard bits and pieces for the dumb internet.... I loved Bednar’s talk. I just loved it all so much. It was such a powerful Conference. It made me sad because it was my last Conference as a missionary. But I have to LOVE the Conferences just as much when I’m not a full time missionary. if I don’t, you have to hit me. 

We watched it in the high counsel room. hahahah with a projector and with comfy chairs. We were so spoiled. Loved it.

Well I am so excited and happy and pleased that we have living day Prophets that lead and guide us in these latter days. I don’t know what we would do without their counsel every 6 months. BE HAPPY AND OBEY THEIR WORDS.

This week should be great. Love you all.

Con Amor,
Elder Macdonald

The Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders

super blurry,,,, but our conference session was so legit

Taking pictures of taking pictures