Monday, January 2, 2012

Email - January 2, 2012

Haha, I'm glad you all enjoyed Chinese! I bought and saved chips and salsa to enjoy the night! I would send pictures, but the computer would rather that I not, so you'll have to wait a week! But it was crazy here, we woke up at midnight to watch things burn (fireworks, papermaché people, and the drunks) and after 5 y pico minutes we went to bed again. We were the only ones awake in church that Sunday.

It has been a huge learning experience, I have grown a lot and I hope to continue to do so! Something impacted me the other day, we have an Objective as Missionaries. Invite others to come unto Christ by receiving the restored Gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. YES we want to baptize but what is often overlooked is our job to bring others closer and more like the Savior and it is done in many ways, I will share one 'mas adelante...'

Dad... I know I ripped on you months ago for bringing up how much time I had left and forgive me now for this comment... WOW how time flies! 6 months!

Well Mother (and to the rest of you who seem to be dropping eaves) asking if I have any candy left from the package is like asking if they have breakfast without rice and some kind of banana... of course not! Haha it is all gone, and it was enjoyed very well. And, to your utter disgust, except Mason's, I ate the peeps in a matter of seconds. Mmmm doggy! Well my New Years was filled with drunks, things that burn and 'Chuchakis'... that is those who are hung over the next day. It was interesting haha and glad I passed my last one here. It was fun and a great family sent us some dinner to share upon getting home, that was good! We woke up at midnight to see the whole shabang and I won't lie... maybe next year (or this year I should say) I will be preparing papermaché to burn on New Years Eve! What a fun tradition, no one knows from where it came, but things burn, so it is fun.

I wanted to share two experiences that happened this week that strengthened my testimony that God lives, loves us and is aware of each and every one of His children personally. I seem to share experiences like these all the time, but THIS is pure joy on the mission...

We had a really rough day in our sector and were trying to have success with the drunks around. We were going to go to a baptism in the other ward to support them BUT had to get in a certain amount of lessons beforehand to deserve it. We had a good day between our companionship and THAT was the key to what happened next. Walking up the street we passed by a member's house. The wife was there and instead of saying 'hello' whoops 'hola, ¿qué tal?' she said 'ya bajo' or 'I'll be right down.' I thought to myself 'that was a strange greeting...' but we waited. She came down the stairs, sat down and instead of shaking our hand she began to cry. She cried for a few minutes. She then opened up about problems in her family and how she has felt so alone, so insecure and so afraid. She didn't know what to do and was lost in life. She continued to cry, we continued to listen, we assured her that what she was doing was okay and that all would turn out well, we hardly said anything, but she then said some of the most sweet and sincere words... 'thank you for letting me trust in you, I've always looked to missionaries as angels.' We were angels that day, we were instruments in God's hands to touch a daughter of His that desperately needed us. We didn't say anything! We simply listened. Many people know what to do, many people have already decided their decisions, they simply need someone who will listen and say all is well. I KNOW that we were able to touch her heart because we were full of the spirit in our companionship. We were united in thought and action, that was a huge factor. We didn't to anything special, just reacted at the right time and in the right moment. BE that type of angel for someone in need, there are many.

The other experience came last night and is also small, but very dear to my heart. Remember what I shared last week about Jimmy Quiroz? We were there last night and had the most spiritual lesson and it was so simple. We had everyone bring their scriptures, we had everyone pick their favorite scripture, everyone shared it and why, then we did and we finished with a prayer. It was the first time they had listened to their brother, sister, mother or father talk about the gospel. It was the first time they had felt that spirit in their home. They grew in trust, they grew in comprehension, they learned more about each other. Everyone felt so important and the difference could be felt. I know it isn't anything huge, but miracles in the gospel are the little tender mercies seen in applying basic principles with faith. During the week we will teach them how to have Family Home Evening, maybe I'll put in the paper bag game ;) haha, but my testimony was strengthened of the good family I have in parents that give AND teach good examples, siblings who know each other and hear talks about the gospel often, siblings and parents who trust each other, it is the greatest joy I have ever had, knowing we are progressing to be eternal. How is it done? Praying as a family, reading the scriptures as a family, having fun together, having family night, doing service together, going to church together, eating together. What has been the key word here... together. Look up the first part of Helaman 6, before it talks about Satan and bad stuff... they key to success was sharing, whether it was gospel related or not.

This gospel is so simple, the Atonement is so real. Christ simply begs that we will be obedient and repentant and when may be sure of entering into the rest of Our God by having passed with Flying Colors. The family is the Key.

Happy New Year!

Elder McGinn

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