Wednesday, August 25, 2010

5 Days!!!

NUTS!!! I have 5 days probably, I think we go out on Tuesday, but I’m not sure exactly. This is just nuts! Time goes too fast, enjoy every minute you can!
So... this Week was nuts!

I learned the importance of knowing how to do the shuffle this week ! I had papers from being Zone Leader in between my legs as I was washing my hands in the bathroom, but the towels were ages away. WHAT DO I DO?! 'Do the Hustle!' Haha and I shuffled my way over to salvation!

Proselyting was nuts this week, a companionship of North Americans, our trio with the Latino was abolished so we could get more work done. I was nervous, but the gift of tongues is real! We understood close to everything, got 2 lessons and people committing to come back to church (less actives) and 3 contacts! One with a drunk who came to us speaking in English haha. He said 'come on, please speak to me in English, I know you can. You’ve got an awful accent!' haha, and as I got talking to him, he said how friendly the missionaries are. I gave him a card, played around with him, testified of Christ, and invited him to Church. He said he wouldn’t go unless we were there, but I explained I’m in the MTC. I said we’d come back and teach him next Saturday and he accepted! We’ve got 2 of those teaching appts. set up for next week! BUT I wouldn’t let him leave without a commitment, so I said he needs to do us a favor, 'what’s that, I love the missionaries!' you need to go to church, cause I WILL CHECK UP WITH YOU NEXT WEEK AND SEE IF YOU WENT! He committed and I am so excited to teach him next week. What an experience and miracle of the gift of tongues!

Oh and the miracle of Prayer! I’ve been sick with a nasty cough and asthma, kinda like you have mom, and it turned into a fever just before proselyting. There would be NOTHING to stop me from going, so I prayed like crazy and even sacrificed my gym time to nap ;) haha, but in the morning of proselyting still felt just awful. I prayed for the strength, cause I was going no matter what, and I promised to give my all. A miracle occurred and didn’t realize it till after! We were eating dinner and realized I didn’t have a fever, I was able to do all of our trip with no sickness! And 'what added more to (my) joy' was that just at that moment, the fever came back and I felt just awful the rest of the night! I prayed and vowed to give my all, but if I was to be sick, I would still go and do in faith. The Lord answered my prayer and literally TOOK AWAY my sickness to touch the lives of those we encountered! What a miracle, the sickness came back right as we finished! My testimony of prayer and our personal relationship with God has multiplied, miracles happen today! I already knew that with my neck, but it’s nice to have these reminders! Oh and I am feeling better by the way haha, still have a bit of a cough, but wanted to share that with you all!

The word of the day is 'manillas' which are Handcuffs... but also means spouses! Haha so the quote at work is real 'you find out what true love is when you’re married, but then it’s too late!' hahah.

I LOVE my companions and am so stoked and nervous for the field. More stoked than nervous, I just get so antsy thinking about all of this! Oh, CRAZY so we had a little teaching appt. with our teacher to practice committing to baptism. We did great, so he sent us on a task. I need to commit the prez of our MTC AND Elder Lolie, another Prez here who is an Emeritus 70 to baptism! We did Elder Lolie already and what a joy!

I have 20 seconds, but I love you all so much, farewell! I pray for you always!!!

Elder Griffin McGinn

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Email - August 18, 2010

Well well well... have you ever wanted to slug someone right in the noggin? Haha that has to be the emotion of the week. I’ll get to that in a bit though ;).

Well...sometimes you do just want to slug a man! Haha, this week was crazy. I was really mad after our Lima Trip and shouldn’t be... to a point. I got stuck babysitting the sisters in our district and they wanted to contact instead of shop! What fun! I’m in a pickle cause I’m here doing the work, but there went 2 hours of Lima central to get cool llama stuff, ties, sweaters, and Peru things. I was really mad, but me and this other elder decided to contact too. Why waste time? What an experience! I gave out two pass a long cards and I felt inspired to stop and testify of Christ, simply testify. I understood about half of what he was saying, and as I opened my mouth the words came out something like 'I don’t understand much, and don’t speak too well, but...' and asked him a question about Christ. I then gave him a pass along card with the picture of when Christ came to the Americas and he’s descending from the skies. What an experience! He was really interested and I was mad then cause we had to make it to our bus which cut our conversation short, but I learned an awesome lesson which seems obvious. Make the best of your time and simply trust in the Lord, as impressions come, act on them. How simply and how rewarding! So the trip was good and bad, but I’m over it!

We are in a trio for a bit cause there are 5 latino elders whose North American companions are still in Provo waiting on Visas. What a blessing! We have an elder from Panama who is going to our mission and he speaks so clear! I absolutely love him, Elder Gonzalez and Elder Juliana with me! We also have an elder going to our mission who played for Guatamala’s pro soccer teaml! This is weird... that night new Elders came last week I had to be up at 1:30 to give them info and keys and welcome them and guess who runs into me? Literally runs into me? McKell Denna!!! That was AWESOME, he is so great and I love being here with him. By the way, Timpanogos High School sends it’s regards, there are 5 here! Me, E Denna, E Blake Jones, E Jacob Heiss, and Hna Penovich!

Oh, I got a haircut again, I didn’t need one but boy do I love this buzz! My hair is SO short and I love it! This wouldn’t go so hot in Provo ;) haha. Oh and two funny verbs in spanish, you’d only laugh if you knew me and since your my fam, you won’t hate me if you don’t laugh. Haha one is 'Azogar' which I came by just flipping through the dictionary, it means 'to have mercury poisoning' great to know! And the other is 'Supurar' which is 'to discharge pus!' haha that made my week!

Elder Nash from the Area 70 came last night for a devotional and it was fantastic. He took the first hour to simply shake all of our hands and look us in the eyes as he told us how grateful he is for our service. That was a man of god, how special I felt as I felt God’s love through him! That was amazing, The Lord always sends a spiritual re-boost! I LOVE this MTC!

The temple was such a joy today. It always is, in the temple you find the Lord, for it is his house. The temple should be the aim of us all! I am so happy for the blessing of eternal families! Afterwards we ran to a little candy shop and I unloaded on candy! This was getting back at my Lima central downer ;). I got so much! I spent 50 soles, thank goodness that’s about 15 bucks in US dollars, but I’m living the high life! You’ll see my skittles and ritz I snagged!

I am so excited for Ecuador, it’s scary but really exciting! Fear is a lack of faith, but my faith is in the Lord! 13 days I should be heading out!!! Wow time flies, the Lord is with you always, simply look. As you look the blessings don’t stand out - they jump out.

I’m going to take a nap, but what a day and week! I’m learning patience, but all is well. I love this work, I love the lord, and I love the gift of tongues. It is real, we can obtain all if we simply ask and seek diligently! Anyway, I love you all! I feel the love of the Lord DAILY and know that I can and need to always go to him.

Elder Griffin McGinn

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Email - August 11, 2010

Hello all! I love hearing from you!!! My week has been just fantastic, I got a letter from Jeff Watkins which lit up my whole mission. What a joy it is to hear from friends progressing in the work! The Lord truly sees to everyone, we all have blessings in our life that we take for granted - not daily, but by the second. All we have to do is open our eyes, open our ears, and the Lord will fill them!

A first great blessing was a lift in my Spanish. I feel like I’m doing fine, I’m not feeling down about it, just wish I were fluent... you know? haha, but we had a meeting and from my teachers I was recommended to bump up to an ALL LATINO DISTRICT these next three weeks. They felt I had good enough Spanish to understand and be in a class where we don’t learn the language, simply learn the work. That was a huge compliment to me in knowing my TEACHERS thought I had good enough abilities to make it with the Latinos alright. I didn’t take the opportunity, I’d like to have more language learning, but what a lift to my spirits!

Also, I had the weirdest dream in the world this week! So Allie and I were out running at the corner of 400 East and 1600 North to the cemetery and WZHOAMMM! someone came zooming by us! Turns out this crazy person was Aunt Renae on a shopping cart being pulled by a HUGE yellow lab!

Today we are heading out to Lima Central for a tour and to see the beach! We have new companions, but no new missionaries here. Every year they take the old missionaries out to Lima Central for buying stuff and seeing the city. I’m stoked! Oh and now I’m not District Leader, they switch it up every 3 weeks. Now I’ve got all the time in the world cause I was just called to be a Zone Leader! Haha it’ll be great. I’m excited to serve because the Lord blesses those who are in his service. What an opportunity! The joke now is that I will be called as the AP as I step off the airplane here in a few weeks!

Well, I love the scriptures. The Lord has blessed me so much in my life, it is ridiculous! I love this work, it brings a joy to my face every night when I can get on my knees and know that even if I didn’t accomplish a thing, I gave my all. The Lord doesn’t require us to run faster than we have strength, but he does require us to run. I’m running and at times I feel inadequate, not good enough, or that I could never finish, yet as promised in 2N 25:23, we are saved by grace after all we can do! The Lord NEVER overlooks an opportunity to bless us, an opportunity to let us stand a little higher. The next time you feel down and like the Lord has abandoned you, DON'T. Turn around, for the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. WE are the ones that change, we are the ones that turn, and the Lord is always there for the ones who try. 'Stick to your task till it sticks to you, beginners are many, but enders are few. Honor, power, place, and praise will always come to the one who stays. Stick to your task till it sticks to you, bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too. For after the bend and the sweat and the smile, comes life's victories after awhile!´

I got another spiritual smack in the face, a humility check, haha (I’m good at receiving those) but what a life lesson! In proselyting this week I just got mad. I have issues with the language, I freeze up talking to natives, and more than half the stuff I don’t understand. I always find myself having the same testimony and the same words about relying on our Savior, and sadly I wanted something more. Then I found a quote from Pres Uchtdorf saying NEVER tire from the first principles of the Gospel. I am called to tell the world of Christ, our gospel revolves around Christ, without Christ we would be nothing! I am doing the Lord’s work right here by testifying continually of our savior and his hand in my life. Though I freeze up, all I need to tell the world is of the Savior. What a blessing, the Lord is having me do just as he would with my language barrier. I am working to have patience with myself! I love this work with all my heart! The Lord smacks me a lot to snap me to my senses. Yeah I can’t do a lot right now, but without him I could do nothing. Realize that, the Lord is our Lord, we are nothing without him for he created us. Realize it, accept it, and enjoy it!

Elder Griffin McGinn

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Email - August 3, 2010

So I’ve come to know better what TRUE blessings are in this Gospel. A blessing comes from DAILY and DILIGENTLY working towards a goal but having the GODLY patience to accept when it comes. Spanish has been a true blessing. Before the MTC... nada, and though I get frustrated I love to look at where I’ve come! What a blessing, I am really coming to understand what GODLY PATIENCE is, not simply patience. What an important quality! Haha and when I get my hopes up I get a 'humility check' below the belt! I’m doing great and as soon as I start to FEEL great, I get one big smack. Testimony is so important, that is our MOST POWEFUL tool in this work and the most important thing in our lives. Our testimony is in Christ and in Christ we receive the greatest blessings this earth can offer and more! When I don’t understand the language in teaching (we teach twice a day in classes, I simply look for a key word and bear my testimony. The most important and key tool we have in this work is an understanding of how the scriptures have helped US and how OUR STORIES can help others!

Haha as for teaching... I was asked in a simply teaching scenario if I’ve ever prayed, I said 'si' but then was asked another crazy question and drew blank. So what word do I refer to... 'si', haha. Turns out they asked if I’d ever seen God! Good thing that was practice in the MTC! Oh and my companion threw something to me and I pulled my Robin Hood 'ooof!' and he got a real kick out of that, I had never seen him laugh so hard until then!

It was so cool on Saturday, we got to go out and Proselyte! However you spell that in English, haha. Our companionships get set up with either a member, missionary, or bishop as we are assigned a few inactive families in the ward. We got the bishop! It was so humbling to see the living circumstances. Oh, my gosh. One family opened their door and looking inside their walls, not house - walls, it’s simply a field of boulders. They did have a tiny shack the size of our shed, but wow. Dogs all over, one was hacking up it’s lungs right behind us as we were making a contact and I got SO distracted! We taught two families, were lectured by a lady for an hour outside her house, and that’s about it, but wow. So humbling and scary! We taught an 18 year old and I got to bear testimony of the moment that changed my life forever - when I broke my neck and the absolute MIRACLE it is that I’m here today. I have some purpose important here and the Lord wanted me alive that day, my Spanish was okay but my spirit and confidence was amazing. That’s what we need in this life, Spirit and Confidence. That story stuck with that boy and I hope he went to church as we asked him to. I don’t understand much, especially when they speak NUTS but there’s one thing I do understand and that is my testimony of this gospel. What a joy to obtain! I am so glad a teacher back in Provo had us write and memorize our 'conversion stories' for that is what I got to bear to that José that day. I really need to get going on my Spanish, the whole day I probably understood less than 20 percent of what was going on, but my day lit up as a little girl passed my companion and the bishop to ask me how I pronounced my name! I got hers and she had a smile so big and precious! That is missionary work, not what we say, but how we feel and what feelings we can draw in others. 'Let the holy spirit guide, let him teach us what is true.'

I am way bummed... this coming Wednesday our companions ship out and I am so mad! I love my companion and the joy we’ve shared here. Though I don’t understand him perfectly, we have a love, we enjoy each other, and we are working toward a common goal - Christ. The reason why I’m so bummed is cause this next shipment of elders here is almost all North Americans who will speak next to no Spanish! We are going to speak no English to them cause I am NOT going to lose the español I’ve gained here. I am really mad about that, not going to lie. Latinos are much more fun and yes, yes this is a complaint of mine... soccer will not be nearly as good without the latinos! I am loving soccer! But only cause I play goalie where no foot skills are required, haha.

Oh! What a blessing... an elder I love, Elder English, only wears one tie. So I pulled him aside one night and let him pick his favorite of mine and he is so happy! I’ve never felt so happy seeing that smile as I taught him how to tie it! It’s the only one he wears now! The joy of simply loving and simply giving. That was our Saviors whole life.

I’m about to head out and play soccer again! What a fun time that is!!! Oh and in one week we get haircuts again and I’VE STILL GOT A BUZZ! What am I going to do. Oh and last night we got busted by another DL cause we were up laughing our heads off till probably 10:40 last night. I love our room so much! We laugh our heads off with the little Spanish we know, but the body language and functions all nations, races, and people can perform!

Well that is my week, the gospel is great, Christ IS our redeemer forever and always and the most precious gift we have in this life is our testimony of how he’s affected us for the better! Hang on to the little moments and always look for someone who is in need, whether it is a tie, a smile, or a little humility on our part. I love this work, I love Peru, and I really don’t want to be anywhere else!