Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Sasquatch meets Ewoks" - Email July 27, 2010

Hey Fam! I did get the Green River Picture, thanks so much! That was really pretty and I'm sure you all had a blast.

I love this work so much! So... here comes a tidal wave of info all scattered abroad! They have an ASTROTURF SOCCER FIELD here and I love it! I play every day and all the little latinos were amazed when I played goalie and not only had some nice saves, but could chuck the ball full field! haha all of their eyes popped up huge as I caught a kick and tossed it the full length of the field to a team mate! I really am Sasquatch in these parts.

The food is 'mas o menos' (more or less) good. Some days I love it, others not so much, but boy do they have good juices! TONS of rice, always juice, and really good bread! Good thing they make you take only 2 or I'd become a round mound of rebound! Oh and strange... I was excited cause I saw cheesecake, turns out the topping was raisins! Interesno... haha. The next few days here are nationally important to Peru and so we had a HUGE buffet today. I've got a picture and found out how to send them, so you'll get a barrage of photos here.

My room is such a blast, we pull pranks on each other and laugh our heads off, even though neither of us know what the others are talking about! They are SUCH a blast and I will have lasting friendships here, what a fun time I've had. EVERYTHING is Spanish here and it is so hard at times, but so worth it! I'm starting to pick up on my companion's accent, but still have a hard time expressing myself. It is frustrating teaching cause you want to express your full heart as I can in English, but there's that language barrier. I then had a humbling experience as I stopped and thought 'you spoke NO Spanish before the mission except for food items at Betos, and look at what you can do now! With simply 4 weeks of Spanish I can say prayers, bear testimony, and carry on a decent conversation, what a miracle the Lord has done for me! The gift of tongues is real, I just need to realize that it doesn't come all in one package, the gift of tongues (as with most things in the Lord's timing) are 'poco a poco' little by little. What a joy that has been for me to look at where I've come, not where I'm going.

Everyone here is so nice, I have lasting friendships throughout the MTC! I'm 'elder español' to one elder cause every day he asks me how my Spanish is coming. He is 'elder english'. One of them really does look like an Ewok, I'll have to get a picture and send it to you all! That's the reason for my title, anyway... the people here have such kind hearts and I don't want to be anywhere else right now. I feel such a love from their kindness, their patience, and their simply genuine care. What a blessing! Oh and ask Ryan McGinn if he knows an Elder Rodgers who ran cross country, he had an SVU shirt on and I asked him about it and he knows him real well and absolutely loves him!

OH HAHAHA back to 'Elder English'... the other night he was taught the song "God be with you till we meet again' and I was laughing so hard as he bumbled around the MTC singing 'Till Me Weet' I haven't laughed so hard in a while!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Griffin's in Peru MTC - July 22, 2010

Hey all! I'm in Peru! WOW!! It is so much fun. First off, I am glad I got to talk to you Mom and Syd, what a joy to light up my face! Too bad I missed the others, but that's okay. You need to thank Taylor for my last meal at the MTC. It was a wonderful J Dawg that made me come close to tears (and that ain't the jalapeños).

Well, I'll go from the start! Packing was nuts, especially with a crazy zone who all want pictures, singing 'God be with you till we meet again' in Spanish, and love us to death! It was hard to leave a few of the elders, I really grew to love them! Especially Elder Beeston from Salem, UT who knows of Kim and Jamie. Speaking of knowing the Andersons... Elder Bradley Fletcher was in our district, but moved up Spanish classes. He is in Peru with us and it turns out he is Melissa's cousin!

The way to Atlanta was pretty fun! I was stuck in between two elders in the VERY back, but that was okay. The attendants treated us so well, I've never had so many peanuts in my entire life! A few FULL drinks, probably 15 packages of peanuts, and a thing of cookies. We landed in Atlanta and took the subway over to our terminal. That was awesome! That airport is huge. We had no time to eat or call cause as we landed and got to the subway, it was time to board our flight to Peru. Guess where I ended up... in the back, in between these two elders! So much for cool window seats or conversion stories. The flight was long, but great! I slept a lot, studied some Spanish, and lived off starbursts.

We arrived in Peru around 11:30pm and got on a bus that took us through the city to the MTC. What a culture shock! There are so many unfinished buildings cause if they aren't finished, they don't have to pay taxes on them. There were a bunch of stray dogs running around going through the trash, houses fenced and wired off, it was crazy! I love being out of the country, it is strange to think I really am on another continent!

We pulled into the tiny MTC around 2am. The temple is a 20 minute walk and we go there Wednesdays. They give us time to shop on the way back if we walk. Saturdays we go out proselyting, in the city, real people! I'm getting ahead of myself. We got to our rooms, switched companionships, and we've all got a native! That will be tough, really tough as I've found out so far, but it will be great. The three natives in our room are from Ecuador and it was SO funny to see them all bundled up in beenies, coats, and gloves in their beds cause it's 60 degrees! Mine was sleeping in his jeans and as we walked in, two of the natives got out to shake our hands, mine just winked at me and rolled over. He knows NO English, nada, zip. And I know about that much Spanish, haha. No, I can communicate with him okay, he talks so fast and everything rolls together, so I have a hard time understanding. Thank goodness he has patience and a whole lot of love!

We have an English district and you'll NEVER guess who my district leader is... ME! I just got called a few minutes ago, here goes round two. Ah, I am going so fast, but here is why my title is 'I have discovered Sasquatch.' I got up to shower, was standing in a line, when I realized I needed to shave. so I went back, took off my clothes to be in my towel and went back to shave in that bathroom. I know no Spanish. The majority knows no English. I have a deep voice and sound like an idiot when I attempt any Spanish. I stand a foot taller than most. I am hairy and probably have more on my chest than them all combined. I am Sasquatch here in Peru! Haha, it was so funny as they all sat there and stared cause I'm the center of attention up at the mirrors!

Everyone is so friendly here, I've been in bits of conversations with many different natives and it is already sort of helping. It will just take time. Everyone says there's not much you can do but sit, wait, listen, and talk as much as you can. I'm with my native comp for 3 weeks till he's out in the field, so I need to take advantage of the times I'm with him; they aren't many though cause it's weird here - the only times I see him are in the morning, night, and some meals. We will be teaching, as of tomorrow, 2 lessons a day IN SPANISH!

This is a lot of info and I'm typing fast cause I have 1 minute, but I love you all so much and love it here in Peru! Oh, I am buzzed, almost bald with a new stylin haircut! A few quick things... letters take about a week and a half - dear elder or not. Don't send packages, I think that's it. I'll get you addresses soon! I love you all so much and hope all is well at home! Elder McGinn

Friday, July 16, 2010

Email - July 16, 2010

Hello All! What a week.

Alright all... so I still don't know much and I'm sorry and I left my travel itinerary back at my room. Peru is coming quickly, it's this Wednesday at 6am I meet at the travel office. We fly from SLC to Georgia and from Georgia to Peru! I think they bought round trip tickets too cause we go from Peru to Georgia on Aug 31st. Anyway... our flight FROM SLC is around 8ish if I remember right and I'll just have to keep you posted. I forgot my itinerary that has my schedule of flying, but hopefully I'll work something out where I can let you know. I'll be in Peru's MTC by Wednesday night, sometime around 10 or 11 pm. It's me, my companion, the two elders I got to know from West Jordan and Mtn. View, and their companions! I purchased two small Books of Mormon to try to hand out on our plane trips! It is so freaky, exciting, nerve racking, pant wetting, ha ha, I am a whole wreck of emotions right now. I'll let you know asap any other info I find out, I may be writing a letter with the info that I get later today.

I think I covered that... this is a spacy letter, but people keep coming in and out and bugging me and time is ticking, so I'm trying to get it all in quickly! I'll figure out a way to send pictures, you can't from the computers, I just tried it, but that's okay. Mom - I may be interested in becoming a doctor. I had a cyst on the back of my leg and it got so bad and nasty and black and purple, so I took the dirty to it and popped it. It bled and squirted EVERYWHERE! But after getting it all out, 40 days and 40 nights of popping haha, I've been tending it and it looks great!

This week has been full of many ups and many hard downs. I have given two priesthood blessings this week. It is so cool giving blessings and being someone to trust in - be the kind of person where people feel comfortable talking to you free from judgment! Be someone to listen, be someone to come to, and be in tune with the spirit, for in giving blessings and simply listening you truly feel the Lord's concern for each and every one of his children! Oh I love the priesthood and being worthy when I'm needed! 5/10 elders in our district are sick, if I make it out of this alive I can stand anything in Ecuador! Ha ha, it's awful. The Spanish is coming along, it is discouraging at times, but a blast at others. We have a native Peruvian teacher who speaks simply Spanish to us and I can feel the Lord working in me even though I know nothing!

I want to say so much, but I have a minute!!! I'll write soon about Peru. The spanish is okay, but a blast. I'm nervous for Peru, but know that as I trust in the Lord, this is the perfect place to learn the language. It will push me, but so did hurdles and what a blast those were. I love you all so much and need the support you constantly give me! The Lord is there every step of the way if you just slow down and take note of it. he loves me so much, oh man. Well I love you all and will hear from you hopefully soon! Whether in SLC, GA or Peru, I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!

Elder McGinn

Saturday, July 10, 2010

An Unexpected Change--Peru MTC

Wow, what a week. I'll try to touch on all your stuff quickly. I love all the word and I'm trying to remember all I can and type mui rapidamente!

Our devotional was E. Dellenbacher and bore amazing testimony on the Book of Mormon. He also said something significant that THE WHOLE FAMILY NEEDS TO HEAR, LISTEN UP! It was on Journal writing. He said that he 'never wrote a discouraging statement.' I took that to heart, stay optimistic and you will love life and those around you. Why be down, there's so much to be grateful for!

I know that was brief for all but I have 4 minutes to tell about my day and as you can tell by my typing I'm going fast as I can! This week has been much better. The Lord blesses those who try! It was fast and testimony meeting Sunday and the spirit was 'making my heart beat like an 808 drum' hahaha, get that one Mase? Anyway, I got up with the spanish knowledge I had and though my spanish was simple, it came out perfect! The gift of tongues is real. I love the comfort of the spirit, it won't be providing miracles daily for me, but every once in a while it gives us pushes of confidence and hope! The work is tough, but I'm working to serve, to love, and to rely on the spirit. It makes things much easier! I love this work, I don't want to be anywhere else right now cause the spirit is with me and I am going to be a miracle in the lives of the people of Ecuador.

OH NO!!! I have one minute and I left out HUGE news... I checked the mail only to find a Travel Itinerary... UH OH! I'm going to Peru's MTC here in 12 DAYS!!! I'm excited, scared, all of the above and then some haha. I'll tell you more about it next week. Sorry but I'm about to get booted!

I love you all so very much and pray for you all. Continue to pray for me! I cherish the memories and the picture I have of you!!!

Elder McGinn

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Rootbeer Floats Continue

Griffin and Erianne started going to A&W for 99 cent floats every Monday. I think they went 80 consecutive Mondays. Cam has unselfishly volunteered to continue Griffin's tradition of 99 cent rootbeer floats every Monday at A&W. Talk about the ultimate sacrifice for his brother!

Email July 3, 2010

Hey all! Just a heads up, the computers are SO screwy and I got hosed! My time went from 30min to 10 in a matter of clicks haha. I'll try to get all I can in; you probably all want to know how I'm doing so I'll start there.

The mission is a roller coaster of emotions. It is fun, it is hard, it is sad, it is frustrating, esta mui bein! Haha the espanol is tough, but coming. I now feel pretty confident in basic prayer and testimony and today actually, we went contacting. We ran around outside and had to greet, introduce, and bear testimony to random elders and sisters. I'm trying hard and some days are better than others.

Things are stressful being the newly appointed District Leader. It is a blessing and I've seen it already, for 'when we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are only in the service of our God.' Christ never said it would be easy, but he did say it would be worth it! It is hard, it is fun, it is a blast, it is discouraging, like life and my years through football and track. Remember your experiences with teams Cam and soon-to-be Syd.

La Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdado. I love the work, please pray for me! I can do it, that's why I was called to Ecuador. I love you all so much, thank Mase for his input. I'll reply to you all next week once I figure this out! I know it is short, but I appreciate the email AND thank you SO much for all of your letters. That means the world to me. Mom - (and fam) the package is AWESOME!!! I love you all so much, I will tell you all about my experience this past week when I have more than 1.489233 seconds to write.

Te Amo mi familia!

Elder McGinn

Friday, July 2, 2010

Griffin's First Email

We were excited to receive an unexpected email from Griffin on his first day in the MTC.

Hello all, the MTC is great! It's so fast and so sporadic, but I know I'm in the right place! (or so they say......) My companion is great, his name is Elder Hall from Blanding, Utah, has a deep voice and reminds me of Scott Curtis. I've seen Dane, Travis, Toby (he's still waiting for visa's to Mexico and has been in awhile), Blake Jones, Lone Peak's Hurdler, Ashley's cousin, and so many others! My companion was getting sick of all the people I knew haha. The food is great and in bulk, but quantity IS quality! I'm on the top floor and on my top bunk, kind of crazy - each of the other elders in our room have a strange connection with me. One broke is neck playing football (in practice though haha, he thought it was lame too) and the other speaks German like me! Anyway... this place sure is great! I absolutely love it here. My companion asked me if I was nervous and I'm really not! I feel so happy, can't help but smile, cause I'm involved in such a great work, I have the Lord's help with friends on my left and right. When I feel incompetent, I shouldn't worry, cause I'm here! I'm in the MTC, the Lord trusts me enough to keep me here! We did some role playing tonight with 3 different 'investigators' and on the last one my companion and I were pulled aside before it began and he said 'I hope you're ready for this!' He asked us to do the role playing, we were the missionaries asking the questions, playing the part, and following the Spirit on the spot! It was scary, and I was mad (not really) at a kid that took the mic from us (it was open for the 30 others to help out and comment) but I had so much to say about the 8th Article of Faith and Joseph Smith's story, vision, and restoration! The Spirit is there for those who try in faith! Oh and ask Allie... my branch president is Pres. Shumway and that sounded really familiar. I think she cuts his hair. They told us to keep it brief and I think they are going to show us the spanish software and around the place, but I'm in the right place! I hope you all are doing well. I love you all and couldn't be happier cause I'm a missionary and have the protection of the Lord in the field and upon loved ones abroad. Oh, and my P Day is Friday.... this week it's Saturday, but the real deal is on Fridays. That's when you'll hear from me while I'm here! The best way through life is to smile, it creates friendships and a place of comfort for you and those around you! I want to keep typing, I'm so happy and thrilled, but I've got to go!

I love you all so much and my prayers are with you!
Elder McGinn

The MTC Drop Off

The moment finally arrived. Griffin reported at the MTC at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, June 30, 2010. Rather than the departure meeting we all attended when Mason began his mission to Bulgaria, missionaries are now simply "dropped off" at the curb. We found it to be a much less painful experience and it lasted less than five minutes.

Because MTC policy is no picture taking during drop off, we stopped by the Provo Temple to take a few final pictures.

Cameron, Griffin, Sydney

Mom, Griffin, Dad

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bye Bye Sideburns, Hello Pizza Rolls!

Griffin said his most difficult goodbye on Wednesday morning before entering the MTC when he shaved his sideburns. Below are the before and after pictures. See you in two years, sideburns!



The morning after Griffin shaved his sideburns, they magically appeared on Cameron!

The pain of shaving his sideburns was soon replaced by the joy of his final lunch at home, 22 pizza rolls!

Setting Apart

Griffin was set apart as a full-time missionary on Tuesday, June 29th. He was set apart by his Stake President (his Dad :-)). The setting apart was held at his Grandma and Grandpa Mangum's home.

It was a fun time for family to gather for this important event.

Dad, Mason, Griffin, Cameron, Jeff

Sydney, Mom, Griffin, Allie, Ashley