Sunday, May 20, 2012

Email - May 19, 2012

Well hello! Long time no see (well that is true) but long time no talk isn't so true.  Sorry, I don't have much time, I want to let you all know how much I love you and tell you of the great week I had!

 We had Elder Waddell here and lucky us, we got to accompany him to each of the 3 zone conferences he held. What a blessing! I will never forget how we met him. We waited for President's car to welcome them into the 1st conference. They pulled up and I went to open his door. He jumped out with a huge smile and this 6´6 General Authority says with a big grin 'Hello! I'm Elder Waddell!' He is so full of love for the work and love towards others, I learned so much from him.

 My week was running around with them from conference to conference. I'd like to share all, but here is what I feel will help most. He is so in tune with the Spirit and shared the following tips to have an illuminated life. 1- Pray on your knees, and do it sincerely 2- Study the Book of Mormon Daily 3- Go to all meetings with a question in mind (Esdras 7:10 - we are to search, not to wait and receive) and we will always take something out of it 4- Divide our page of notes in half. One half that has stuff you HEAR or LEARN and the other for things you FEEL and PERCEIVE. He taught so many great truths and was an answer to many prayers of mine.

 I will finish with this. Me and my companion are starting something that I challenge you all to do. I lack 6 weeks and we will see how you and I do. It's called 99 miracles. Every night when we finish the day, we talk of the miracles we saw, if we saw any, and we write them down in a part of our Journals set apart for miracles. It is beginning to open our eyes to all that God does for us, and how He truly is on top of our personal lives. We are seeing how fast we can hit 99, the goal is long before I get home. I will share with you an example- - Last night we were going to go up to the Mud Mountain but had a feeling to visit our recent convert instead. As we headed over, he wasn't home and we were bummed. As we walked away, we ran into him and he said he'd be back at his house in a half hour. We returned in a half hour and he wasn't home, but his mother (who isn't member) was present. We last saw her 2 weeks ago and she didn't want anything. We taught her through the Book of Mormon of Christ and His Atonement, got her talking and it was an edifying lesson. She feels great as she reads and doesn't know why. At the end of the great lesson, she finished with a prayer and the Spirit filled the room as she sincerely thanked God for sending 'the two brothers' over to the house when she least expected, but most needed them. She is beginning to progress again and has plans to go to church tomorrow. That was a miracle in our lives last night and I am stoked to see how quickly I can get to 99. 2 Down!

 I love you all and know this work is of God. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and know that the Holy Ghost will guide us to be more like Him as we keep its presence near. Miracles happen all around us, we just need to pray for them, work for them, and look back on the day to notice just how many we experienced.

 Elder McGinn

Email & Pictures - May 12, 2012

This week was great! We traveled quite a bit, we weren't in our sector much, but we did get the 2 baptisms. That was such a blessing. There were a lot of friends, the room was PACKED. Almost more people than the sacrament meeting (65ish people in the service). The bummer is all of the friends that came to see the baptism took off early AND live out of our sector haha, but we are doing some followup. There are two pictures, one of Ayda and Sandra and the other one of Sandra after her baptism. What miracles those two baptisms were. As for the rest of the week, we traveled a lot, had a few conferences, it was fun.  This next coming week Elder Waddell of the Seventy is coming. He is doing a mission tour and so we should have quite a bit of time with him this week, I am really excited!

 I'm going to talk to you all tomorrow, and I have a really cool experience to share tomorrow, so I'll hold it in now. But for the eavesdroppers who read my emails but DON'T get to talk to me tomorrow, I'll share something I liked a lot from my personal study this week. There is a difference between faith and hope and I truly enjoy it. As we learn in Moroni, Faith is a principle of Power, Action, being able to do. Faith is not waiting or hoping that all turns out well. Faith is the constant, optimistic, diligent action to change our life circumstances. We must act, not be acted upon. The brother of Jared exercised such faith as he worked to find stones from which he could make light to help make his people's journey a bit easier. We must be constant, optimistic, and diligent in all righteousness to change our life circumstances. Hope on the other hand, is the surety of peace we find AFTER we have done all that we could. Hope is knowing we gave it all, and though our circumstances haven't changed, we did what we could and will receive a reward from On High. Hope is the assurity that Nephi testified about in 2 Nephi 25:23. We are here to act, not to be acted upon. We are here to have joy, not watch others have joy. They go hand in hand. Let us act after what is right, with perfect brightness of hope in our Savior Jesus Christ. Those who act, with Christ as our example, can taste sweet joy. There will be no regret, there will be no sadness, yet there will be progress and there will be confidence. I am convinced that that is what is spoken of in D&C 121:46 (?) then shall our confidence wax strong in the presence of God.

 Les amo a todos, Cristo es Mi Redentor y es el Suyo. El ha puesto Su ejemplo y amorosamente pide que le sigamos, nada más. La jornada tiene un fin, sabemos lo que es y cómo alcanzarlo. Hagámoslo. Testifio que Dios nos ama, Él es observante de todo lo que hacemos y nos elogia por Su Espíritu Santo cuando hacemos el bien. Sigamos adelante, no hay mejor causa. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.

 Elder McGinn

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Email - May 5, 2012

As for Yours Truly, Sandra and Ayda are getting baptized today! They are so excited and have invited many friends to the service. I love that about the Gospel, people who are truly converted seek to share in whatever way possible. Our other convert, Eliana, has a message in the baptism and has been teaching her siblings the gospel while we haven't been able to make it. The other missionaries in our Zone are bringing investigators, it should be big.  This week was full of trainings and interchanges. We met up with the zone leaders for a training on Wednesday and yesterday was with the missionaries that are being trained. It is great to see old faces and progress in their lives.  That is one of the sweetest fruits of the mission.

Yesterday we also had exchanges with a companionship in another part of the city that is struggling. I am a firm believer of the truth taught in D&C 84:106. God has given us so much and our personal progress depends on ourselves alone, but let us be humble enough to help another on their way, who may not be as fortunate as ourselves. Many times we are selfish, self-centered, self whatever-else-you-want-to-say. But as we reach out, listen instead of share, and give instead of wait to receive, many are blessed. I love a quote by Elder Nelson from Preach My Gospel (I don't remember it word for word) 'Let us, disciples who have been blessed with a greater hope, lift the hands that hang down, strengthen the feeble knees...' In studying John, I am amazed at the number of times Christ refers to 'His Will' or of 'He who sent me' or 'The Father.' He was so humble, He knew why He came, what He had to do, and what the Father wanted of Him. I am sure He still is that way. As we learn to treasure the scriptures daily, we too can be filled with such humility, such love, such diligence to the work.

 I love you all and hope you enjoy Cinco de Mayo! Which is NOT an Ecuadorian Holiday ;)

 Elder McGinn