Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 76: May 26th: Racing Kids in Mexico; Not Quite as Fast Anymore.

hey familia!                                                                                                    May 26, 2014

how you all doing' I hope awesome. So this past week was pretty difficult man. The poeple in Tanquian are really hard to get to. So on tuesday we did divisions with the zone leaders. They both came to our area and we split up.

I went with Elder Cutler again like i did the last change. And he is a really cool guy, hes from draper and knows all the ssame kids i know. Anyways we taught some good lessons. One ood lesson we had was with Ofelia. Im pretty sure she is going to get baptized there in tanquian. SHe told us that she had recieved an answer that the book of mormon is true and that everything we have taught her is true as well. She is really progresing a lot! And guess what? she went to church yesterday!! Oh yeah. And she really enjoyed it!

SO something funny that happened this week..was one day we were walking around not knowing where to go so i saw some teenage kids playing soccer and i looked over to my comp and said...........hey you kow how i run right? How about if i ask those kids if they would race me. And if i win the give us there address so we have someone to teach. Then he asked me..and what if you loose? I lauighed at him and said. elder por favor i wont lose, im faster than all of them. then my comp just laughed and said alright.

So we go over and i ask them all and trying to get them to want to race me. BUT they were all scared or didnt want to. So we left. And then 3 days later we see them and they said hey lets do a reace now! So i agreed and the kid that i was going to race was a short guy with huge legs and he is always there playing soccer. So i get a little nervous because i havent ran in over 2 years but still had my confindence.

We get to the other side of the soccer field and we start the race. the first 10 meters i was thinking...he beat me in the start but i can beat him in the long run...20 meters...he is still there in front okay okay ill catch him. 40 meters....crap im out of shape. 60 meters....something is happining to my thigh muscle 70 meters i slowed down and he beat me hahaha i finished with a smile and i was pretty surprised. i lost. hahah my comp was just laughing at me.

That just goes to show what a year and a half does to you on the mission and how out of shape i am! BUt he only beat me by a step. SO theres the most interesting thing that happened this week!

Oh yea so i got transfered from Tanquian!! And now im in Tampico. and my new area is called Playa. Its pretty cool so far from what ive seen. SO im excited to see how things go this change!

So before we came here to our area we had to go to the mission house to pick up an elder so he can stay with us for the night. And before we left president jordan wanted to talk with me so he pulled me aside in his office and sat me down. And said...hey Elder McNamara, i just wanted to thank you for your hard work in tanquian.

I know the numbers down show but i know that you worked hard there. Im proud of you. Just know that your on the short list of becoming a zone leader so keep up the good work. I trust you a lot....he told me somethings about my new comp Elder Cortorreal. Hes new in the mission so im his second comp. He just finished his training.

SO IM EXCITED!!!!! I love you all.

Elder McNamara

the hermana Juanita. Presidents wife

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Week 75: Tough Going in Valles, But Working Hard to Find Contacts!

Hey family!

How's everyone doing? Thanks for all your emails.

Nothing much happened this week. We had interviews Tuesday with president and you know what we talked about? He talked to me and taught me about how to be a good husband and some experiences with his son in laws and stuff.  We talked about an hour about that.  haha it was good. That's when you know you have little time left in the mission, when your mission president talks to you about marriage.

Then Wednesday we went to Tampico because I had a meeting with a 70.  Well all the leaders in the mission went. Wednesday night we just ate pizza and stuff and thursday morning was the meeting with Elder de Hoyos. It was a really good meeting.

We talked about how we can better the mission and what things we can do so that we are baptizing every week. That's the goal the area 70 have put for all of Mexico, is to find a new person everyday and to be baptizing every week.  And he also talked to us about how we need to put more emphasis in using the Book of Mormon and giving it to people in the first lesson.  And also about receiving referencias from the members and investigators. By the way you guys should give the missionaries in your wards references!!! They need people to teach!!

Elder de Hoyos gave the prayer in general conference. He said that he was really nervous to say the prayer because he had to say it in English obviously. And that it was hard for him; haha

My area is so hard!!! Honestly I'm just ready to get out of here. We had 6 people in church again and the members are just being lame. We have tried so many things to try to help them but nothing happens. Their attitudes are so negative. But I'm trying to stay positive but its a little difficult now after 4 and half months of being here and not seeing any change. So this is the last week of the change and I'm for sure getting changed out of here.

We got one investigator that's progressing.  Her name is Ofelia. She is a special women. She's the women that felt the spirit in  her prayer she did like 2 weeks ago.  Yesterday we taught her the first lesson. And about the profets and stuff.  But the cool thing that happened is that she told us that she had receuved an answer that the book of mormon is true. She told us that she finally said a prayer one night and just felt peace and she knew that it was God answering her prayer. That just strengthens my testimony that anyone can receive an answer that the book of mormon is true....Because it is!!!

Pray for us so that we have a successful week!  I love everyone single one of you guys! Have a good week.

Elder McNamara

Week 74: Day After Mother's Day, Last Time Talking to Family: and 6 Months to Go!

Hey everyone!

Well i really enjoyed talking with you mom, Julie, Brandon, and grandma and grandpa Mac. (Dad was on a plane flying back from Florida, and was VERY sad he missed David.)   I miss you guys a ton! I really do. I love my wierd family. I love how we are weird. Julie when you started to make those weird faces and sounds the guy behind me started to stare at you like...are you retarded? and also when you guys tried to speak spanish. Everyone in the room heard and tried not to laugh. haha it was funny.

So this week was alright. On Wednesday we had the clase de Zona and after we had super divisions! In the zone class we talked about the gift of the holy ghost and how we need it to sanctify us in order to enter the kingdom of God. It was very interesting. Then we had two super divisions.

I went with an Elder named Elder Croft. He is a cool guy. He has only a little time on his mission so couldn't speak Spanish that well. But it was fun with him. I taught him some things so he could do better in his area. A cool fact of him is that his brother was an army ranger and served in Iraq 3 times and has pretty cool stories. How him and 3 other rangers took on a Taliban army of 200 and other cool stuff.

And Thursday we started there in Valles to do weekly planning. then we got back in our area kinda late. Oh my gosh,so Friday and Saturday we couldn't find anyone to teach!!  Everyone was celebrating Mother's Day and went to parties the little town had in the central.  hah so we didn't have that much success.

So only 6 months left on the mission. Wow, that's so crazy. I got 18 months and it has flown by. And especially the past 6 months have flown by so i cant even imagine how the next are going to feel like. I have really learned a lot and I'm so grateful for my mission; the best thing I have done in my life!
I love you family!

Elder McNamara

yeah a nice treat while coming home saturday night..........a drunk past out in front of our house haha

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 73: Touching Many Lives as an Instrument in God's Hands

Hey family!!

So i had a really good week this week. Especially these past couple of days!

Oh my gosh...the past monday was so hot!  It reached to 50 degrees Celcius and in the main city, Valles. That's where the rest of the zone was 60 degrees! That's like 140 F, haha; oh gosh!  Glad I'm not there or i would die of the heat.  But the past 4 days it has been normal.  Raining so that makes it nice and cool. To the point I have to put on my sweatshirt because I get cold. I would die in Utah now.

So on wednesday after the district meeting i taught. I did divisions with the other area. Because they have had problems with getting references and new investigators. I went with Elder Rawlins. He is one of my best friends in the mission. Well, he is my best friend.  He is from Utah. We talked about Halo and xbox for a long time; haha. So i helped him to learn how to receive more references that day and we got 16 references; haha, it was pretty easy.  So now they are doing a lot better with that aspect. So now my district is growing and getting better! Oh ya.

On friday i had a really spiritual experience. We went with a hermana who we have been trying for months to help her get to church. She has a lot of problems with her family and with her marriage.  Her husband drinks all the time and always comes home drunk and making a mess, and a bunch of things. And also about 4 months ago all of the sudden she started to have a big lump on her throat that grew and grew. And now that the lump is really big. It's a tumor.

So that day we talked with her about her sickness and about the power that Christ had when he was here. That he healed the broken hearted and healed the sick. And we asked her if she had faith that Christ could do those things. And then we told her that the power Christ had was on the earth today, and that we posses that same power and authority.  And if she wanted a blessing we could give one to her.  So we gave her a blessing and inmediatly when i put my hands on her head i could feel the power of the priesthood running through my whole body and we blessed her that she would heal completely.

Then after she was crying and said the closing prayer. And in her prayer she said, thank you heavenly father for the blessing.....and then she started bawling. And she finally closed the prayer. That room was so full of the spirit is was amazing. Then after I testified that her Heavenly father loves her and knows exaclty what she is going through. And that he can give you that peace whenever you need it.  It was a really power spiritual experience.

Another one that happend on saturday. I had to go to Tamuin. The other area in my district to interview a women for her baptism. She is 57 and such a sweet old lady. While i was interviewing her she told me about when her son died. He died about a year ago for no such reason. And that the passing of her son was always tormenting her inside. That she cant get that pain out. I sat there listening to her and watching her just bawl for 10 minutes. I could feel her pain and i almost cried too!

But i explained about the love of God and that everything was going to be okay. I felt the spirit so strongly while i was talking. The words were definately not my words! And i gave her a promise that came from Heaven. I promised her that the day of her baptism, after she leaves the water she will be healed completely from the pain she has. That she will have the strength to keep fighting on. That women has a special place in my heart.

Another experience happened yesterday after church. Which by the way we only had 6 people in church....yeah i was sad. but we went and visisted an investigator. It was the first lesson we had with her and she is really nice!  We taught her about the plan of salvation and how she can use that knowledge to help guide her family. Then i felt impressed to talk about baptism. I told her about all the blessings she can receive and how we can become a better example to our kids.  And i invited her and she said yes!  And then we had her say the closing prayer, which she was nervous and didn't want to say it. But we patiently taught her and encouraged her to pray. And she of the most powerful prayers i have heard from an investigator.

I could just feel the spirit strongly and i knew that she felt that!  She ended it and was kinda emotional. And my comp was about to get up and leave. But i felt like i should have asked her how she felt. So i asked her and she said good. Then i asked her if she felt like Heavenly father was listening and she said yes and started to cry a little and then i asked her if she felt His love. And she started to cry completely. Then i testified that this is the path for her and that she can have those same feeling of peace and love as she follows down this path and then her baptism. I was a really spiritual lesson.

So i'm pretty much just loving the mission right about now!!  Especially with these spiritual experiences i am having. they strength me so much. There is nothing better than to be an instrument in God's hands. Im so grateful that i'm out here serving the Lord and i'm so grateful that i hold His holy Priesthood. It's such a blessing in my life to have it and i'm always going to be worthy to exercise it!

Thanks everyone for your emails! All the cousins and grandma and grandpa. And thank you Kay Guzowski also. What you told me touch my heart! I love you all!

Elder McNamara

Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 72: Menudo, it's Not Just a Boy Band from the 80's. It was David's Lunch!

Hey family!

How is everyone doing?

Mom and Dad, it seems like you guys had some really busy weeks.  Dad with you traveling a lot, and mama working your butt off, haha.  Well, that's good.  I get Tyler's and Lindsay's letters, ...and blake's.  They all sound like they're doing awesome.  Now all of us cousins are out on missions!!!!!  What an amazing feeling having the family serve the Lord.

Mom you said that Blake is having a hard time with French...yeah, i remember those days struggling with Spanish.  It was so hard but it comes with time and lots of prayers.  Now I'm having a hard time with English! haha.  I'm starting to forget how to speak well.  Like my comp studies English everyday, and asks about what some words mean, and I have no idea.  Oh well, Spanish is better!

This week.....holy poop!  I was so so so so hot.  It got to 45 degrees Celcius.  That's 113 in Farenhiet!  I was honestly sweating like a Mexican dog.  Actually, the stray dogs don't even walk in the streets when it gets that hot.  It's just us missionaries walking in the streets when its that hot.   Yesterday, as we were walking to the food.  My forearm touched my belt buckle and it burned me!  haha   That's how hot the air gets.  And they say its going to get even hotter in May. Bring it on!

I got to get you guys caught up on some interesting food I have eaten.  So about a month ago i had the wonderful privilege to eat Menudo..or cow stomach.  I was just about to throw up!  My comp was laughing at me the whole time because of my face while i was eating.  I managed to eat the whole stomach. I just put a piece in my mouth and drank some coke and swallowed it whole!  haha  I was dying....

Another thing that I haven't eaten before is pigeon.  Last Monday, I had the opportunity to eat a pigeon. One investigator that we had killed two pigieons with his BB gun and then plucked the feathers and fried them. I actually liked it a lot!  It tastes better than chicken.

My comp and I are actually finding some new people to teach!  I'm so happy for that. We have been working hard to get references from everyone.  And this past week we contacted 19 references!  And we found 12 new people!  Oh yeah.  With every reference that we contact we just teach them right there in front of their house.

It makes me really sad some times because of how hard the peoples hearts are.  There was this one lady who started to attack the Church, saying things about what we teach.  The biggest apostatsy that i have heard in my mission came from her.  She said I read the Book of Mormon and all it talks about is Joseph Smith, and it doesn't talk anything about Christ....Then I showed her the front cover where it says "another testament of Jesus Christ." Then I shared my testimony about how God works through apostles and profetas and other stuff.

Then another time we contacted another reference and it was some old guy. He told us that he has read the bible for 45 years, so we started to talk about prophets and how God is the same yesterday, today and forever and always will be.  And then we talked a little about joseph smith and how Christ has come again, and called other prophets like he has done before. When i told him that, he told me that it wasn't true and told us to leave... Oh my gosh.  I was pretty sad after that. I actually wanted to cry because no one was accepting us, and just rejecting us at every house we went to.

But at night we finally got accepted and we taught a bunch of sisters. And what do you know?? One of them is wanting to get baptized. She easily accepted the baptismal date. It was a spiritual lesson.

We have one investigator that is progressing. His name is Herlindo. We found him when i first got here. We found him drunk out of his mind. And we stopped visiting him because he was always drunk. But about a month ago we started again to visit. And he is doing so much better. You can see the happiness in his face that is growing little by little. And now he hasn't drunk in a week and a half!!  And he went to church yesterday!!  He told us that was the first time in 15 years that he has gone to church, and he liked it.  He is a guy with a character. haha

Anyways that was my week. I love you guys. hey and I get to talk with you all in 13 days!!  I will be calling the 10th of May. That's a Saturday.  Talk to you all next week.

Elder McNamara

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Week 71: Becoming Better Leaders Through Example: Loving the Work!

What an awesome week!  I had a lot of fun and things went pretty well!  And no, yesterday i did not conduct the meeting. or even pass the sacrament. We had 22 people there so that's good. But i did teach the class, which went pretty well!

Wednesday was the district meeting and i taught the missionaries about how through Christ we can be clean and faith. I felt really good teaching it and we practice teaching it also. I'm really liking being a lider in the mission, its fun and challenging and stressful sometimes. But its all good. I really like teaching the district meetings, that's my favorite part.

So Thursday there was a capacitation for district liders en tampico. So i got to take the 5 hour bus ride to Tampico. It was really interesting and I definitely learned some new things, and things that can help me to be a better lider en my area.

President Jodan talked to us about becoming a better lider than we were yesterday, and having to put the example for the rest of the missions, And he said that it us, the district leaders, that are most important in the mission. Because we have to bring to pass the Area plan for missionary work in mexico that the 70s had put in place. It's because we talk with all the elders every night and are teaching them very week.  So WE have a lot of contact with all the elders.

Friday we had another meeting with president and he taught us more things with the assistants. And then we traveled back to valles. And elder Nieto and I couldn't travel to our area because it was too late and we would have gotten back to our house at like 10 at night. So we stayed with the Zone leaders. And i had the worst night sleep of my life! haha 3 guys on 2 beds. Oh gosh.

Anyways that was my week. I actually enjoyed it a lot. I'm gaining a better love for missionary work and i'm seeing the difference! It's awesome.

I love you family!  Have a good week!  Way to get your first kiss Julie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) hahaha

Elder McNamara

Week 70: To Know God and that The Church is True

So this week was alright.  It is starting to get so hot here. They say that this zone that i'm in is the hottest zone there is in the mission.  And, oh man....IT'S HOT!  And its going to get even hotter.  I miss the wintertime here but ill be okay.

So this week like every other week, we have been trying to find new investigators!! Do you guys know how hard that is?  Ya, so hard.  So we found this less active young girl that is married and has a little baby. They're 19 and 18 and are living by themselves. The husband isn't a member and has talked with missionaries a lot. He wants to get baptized and all, he just can't go to church because of his job.  So once he gets over that challenge he will get baptized.

We also talked with his little brother, who is 15 and loves Xbox and video games and all that. So i talked with him about all that good stuff so he would feel comfortable and not think, "who are these weird dudes talking about god?"

So then we started teaching them about baptism, and to pray to know if what we taught them is true, and i shared my testimony about how i learned for myself the first time that this Church is true.  I told him that i played Xbox a lot, and the stuff about God didn't really mean much to me, but one day that i saw a video about Christ at EFY i felt something that i had never felt before and that night i prayed about it and received an answer. I told him that he might think 'oh cool, the love of God,' and stuff like that (all sarcastically); but that everyone needs to feel that love and know that God is watching over you. It was really powerful. so we'll see what happens there.

Then Wednesday, i did divisions with the other area in my district.  In the area of Tamuin.  Its a little town, bigger than the one I'm in. So we took the 2 hour bus ride and got there. We taught a young women named Kathia. She's an investigator and her  ex-boyfriend is Mormon.  So that's how she knew the church.  The missionaries had dropped her, but then we returned to her that day.

I was trying to see where she's at in the knowledge of the gospel and all that, and seeing what she has understood from the missionaries. Then i started to teach her about prayer; how she can receive an answer from the Lord.  It was probably one of the leccions that i have felt the spirit strongly. I testified to her that she is a daughter of God and that HE wants her to know the truth and to help her en every aspect of her life.

And i read in John 14 where Christ says...I wont leave you comfortless, i will come to you....The peace I give you, the peace i leave with you. She was feeling the spirit big time. Then we all sat there in silence and then my comp for that day invited her to be baptized and she accepted. That just goes to show you that there's a time for everyone and that this gospel is so true and that the Love of God is for every single one of His children.

Thursday we went to Valles for a zone conference with president and then i talked with president afterwards. The thing is, is that we didn't get back to our area until 10 at night; haha crazy.

Then yesterday, hardly anyone went to church,  including our branch president. So guess what? I was presiding and i led the meeting again, haha, and passed the sacrament to the 7 people that were there. Then at night we visited a family that was preparing to go to the temple.

The stake was going to pay for their traveling cost and the branch president was going to pay for their garments. SO, they had everything paid for..but you know what happened? They didn't go because they said they wanted to have good clothes to go to the temple.....that's probably the lamest excuse that i have heard; to deny the wonderful blessing of being sealed to your family. I was so mad. So know what we talked about that night? About sacrifices, and i and my comp planched them.

We talked about the purpose of God and about a family in the Philippines that sold their house and all their possessions to be able to go to the temple. I'm pretty sure they understand now, ha.

Well that was my week for you all. I love you and thanks for the emails. I'm staying here in Tanquian for another change, haha oh yaa.....

Elder McNamara