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

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 69: First Week that David Received No Emails or Letters ??

Hey family. 

Hope everyone's doing alright. I didn't get one email today, except for the small sentence from mom and Blake . You know how important those emails are to me every week and are like oxygen to a missionary. 

Well anyways, this week was alright, I have been sick all week, walking and working all day everyday.  I am more than exhausted all week long.  But I'll be alright in a couple days. 

Nothing too interesting happened this week. I did divisions with the Zone Leader, Elder Cutler.  He is from Draper, Utah too, haha.  And, he went to Alta!  He was a year ahead of me though.  I never knew him before the mission but we know the same kids back at Utah and my track coach Doug.  He was fun to talk with him about those high school days and other stuff. 

We have been working with a family lately that's really good and nice.  With the mom, Elvira and Julianna. and her kids. The little kids are so respectful and pay attention to everything we teach. There's a little girl that's like 9, her name is Dulce, when we go to their house she respectful puts her hands together and down by her legs and waits until we shake her hand. Shes cute. And she reads all the parts in the Book of Mormon we leave with the whole family.  I really hope the get baptized and are able to go to church this Sunday! 

The general conference was really good.  I enjoyed it.  We went to Valles about 2 and half hours away to watch it in the stake center.  I got to watch it in a room with other elders, in English.  I liked all the talks. Especially the one by President Utchdorf, when he and Tommy Monson go on Air Force One, and Pres. Utchdorf got to sit in the captain seat and he started to have memories of his days of flying...then he put his hand on the throttle and then Pres. Monson said...."Dieter, don't even think about it." haha   I laughed so hard.

And the other talk by Elder Scott, when he told about when he dated his wife, when she told him something that changed his life ...when she told him that she is going to marry a faithful returned missionary ...and then Elder Scott all of the sudden had a desire to serve a mission!  I liked that a lot too. haha.   And, of course the talk by our Prophet, about being more kind and loving towards all of God's children.

I hope you all liked Conference.  I think about you guys daily, and pray for you all everyday.  I miss you and love you.  Only one month until i get to talk with you (Mother's Day), and only 7 months until i get to see you all in person! 

Elder McNamara

PS:  Dad, thanks for your instant emails and always being there for me, especially today when I didn't receive any emails.  It made me feel much better, and not so forgotten.  It really helped, and it was fun.   I love you very much.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Week 68: 600 B.C. Ruins, Julianne & Juliana and Burning Leaves

I had a good week this week!  All is well, ...all is well!

The reason that I didn't write yesterday was because we changed our P-day to today (this week) so that we could go to the Ruins of the ancient American people. It was pretty cool!  I enjoyed it a lot!  It was really interesting because the first thing that they showed us was an figure of a women that the dude said it was dated to 600 BC and that the oldest date was 600 BC, and the guy kept on talking and saying that right now the archaeologists are trying to find out how they got here in the Americas.

So me, as a missionary, of course I know how they got here.  The Book of Mormon starts out 600 years before Christ, and I know how they got here.  I tried sharing it with the tour guide, but he wasn't that interested.  It's all good.

My comp and I are finding a lot of new investigators.  We found this one family that is really nice, and I think that they are prepared by the Lord.  We put a baptism date in the first lesson with the mom and her older daughter.  Guess what the daughter's name is?  Juliana, haha.  I told her I have a sister with that name. Anyways, they are a really good family and receptive to the spirit and all the things we have taught them so far.

Sunday night we were looking and contacting new people and we found this one young women, 20 years old, just burning leaves so we talked to her and got to know her.  I couldn't believe she was 20, because i thought she looked 30. But right there is when it hit me that I'm 20 too! haha.  I don't feel like a 20 years old, I still feel like I just barely left high school.  So I think I went through my mid-life crisis.

Anyways this young women is married and has a baby, and now they are getting divorced after 2 years. How hard is that?  That's definitely not happening to me. But we started teaching about the atonement and then baptism and then she accepted a date for her baptism. We did all that standing there watching her burn leaves. The Lord works in small weird ways sometimes!

I miss all you guys like always.  I'm so excited for General Conference, and hope you all are too!
I love you.  Have a good week!

Elder McNamara

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 67: The Four Cousins ("The Posse") Out On Missions Simultaneously!

Hey family! I hope all is well.

I'm a little jealous that i missed out on the family reunion there in salt lake.  Sounded awesome, with so many cool experiences and stuff. With Blake's farewell and the 77th birthday for grandpa (McFerson). Awesome that most of the family could be there.  I'm so happy that in just a few weeks the whole little posse will be on missions.
Pictured Right:  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? No, the four cousins:  Dustin Welch, David McNamara, Blake Simmons, and Justin Persinger. 

What a such cool time in life, right?  In the prime of our lives, dedicating 2 years to the Lord. What else can be better than that?

This week was alright. A lot of work in this area like always. We are working our butts off to try to find those people that are prepared by the Lord. We might have found one that is prepared. She was a referencia from a member that we received like 3 weeks ago.  This past Friday we finally went and visited her and it turned out that last week while she was in the main city, valles.  The missionaries contacted her and her mom, and they gave her a folleto of leccion 1 and she read it.  It's a small miracle that the missionaries contacted her there in the big city.  So i thought that was cool.

I feel like that the Lord guides us in every step of this work. Well it is His work.  But we go to houses and it just so happens to be that the whole family is ready to listen to us, or we are walking in the street and there's some person that needs help with something and we just so happen to be there in the perfect moment.

This week the Lord has answered my prayers for so many things.  I know without a doubt he always hears us and answers us.  Sometimes he waits a little to respond to our prayers but the thing is, he ALWAYS responds. This week he answered my prayers through a member that said something and i knew the Lord put those words in his mouth to answer my prayers.  I know the Lord is in charge and will never let us down. I love this work and I love my Savior.

And of course i love all of you. Have a good week!

Elder McNamara

                                                            "Okay, let's do this thing!"

Week 66: March 17, 2014: St. Patrick's Day (Not in Mexico)

Hey guys!

Hows everyone doing?   I hope good.

This week not much happened.  You know just preaching the gospel and trying to find new people to teach and all that fun stuff.  Elder Nieto and I get along really well.  I'm definitely learning a lot from him.  Because he was a Zone leader he now his teaching me how to become a better leader.

I'm loving the mission like always.  Growing my testimony about the Savior and the gospel.  It's so true what they say that the mission prepares one for the rest of their life.  I know that's true.

So this Wednesday we had zone conference.  The zone leaders asked me and Elder Nieto to teach part of the class so we taught about how to have better contacts in the street.  I really liked teaching in front of the 20 missionaries.  On the last change I was asked to teach as well.  I'm liking it!

I also got a letter from Katie. and a package from Julie!  Thanks girls for that.  Julie your card made me laugh so hard!  With the couple watching the elephant. oh my gosh hahah   I really laughed a lot.  Thanks for that because it lifted my spirits, it came just in the time that I needed it.

I'm pumped for general conference in the next couple of weeks!  I love it now and cant wait to hear the prophet speak.  Tommy Monson is awesome haha

Sorry that this letter is so short.  Just not too much happened!

Love you all.

Elder McNamara

Week 65: March 10, 2014: Belief, Faith, Miracles

Hey family!

This week was pretty good.  We had 26 lessons.  The most this area has had since it has opened.  Thanks mama for your email.  I'm exited for you to go to Mexico!  Yeah too bad that you don't have my awesome language skills, haha.  It's alright though because all the Mexicans on the coasts can speak English.

Soo cool that Cody is getting married. That's one special girl. I'm exicted for that part of my life coming up!  But before i got to get everything out of the mission in these 8 months :)

 Julie!!!!!!!! Do you know how proud of you i am?  I'm so proud.  You are such a good little missionary. Good job, and it's definitely preparing you for your mission.

Me and my comp, Elder Nieto and I get along so well. We joked around a lot, get things done, and we are super obedient.  The most important thing.  So yesterday guess what? I lead the sacrament meeting haha its really hard here in this small little branch.

There is only one family that really has a testimony and they are such a big help.  His name is Nefi.  He is awesome.  Yesterday he came with us to a lesson and then after we taught him and his family. The lesson we taught his family was about how we can help this branch and about having a good attitude towards things and believing.

That if we believe we can do something we are going to be able to do it.  I shared the story about the mile runner who broke the 4 minute mile and once he broke it all others broke it as well.  But that before that, everyone said it was impossible...until he broke it.

Then we shared the scripture in D&C that has a promise from the lord that he will go before us and that he will be on our right side and our left side and will put his spirit in our hearts and the angels will be there to support us. So then I shared a story about angels.  That in one meeting president Jordan was teaching us and testifying to us that he has had a set of missionaries not to long ago that were in a really hard situation. That these two missionaries said that they saw angels around them, helping them. Its true i know it.

There are so many promises in the scriptures about angels helping us and about miracles. Miracles do exist. Miracles are a fundamental part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and come by faith.   Always remember that! Not too much out of the ordinary happened this week.

We are just trying to find those people prepared by the Lord!
I love you family and everyone.

Have a good week!

Elder McNamara

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 64: God is Real, and He Truly Knows and Loves You

Hey guys!

Today were changes and my comp left and I received a new comp here in good ol tanquian. My new comp is actually my old comp that i had in Soto la Marina haha Elder Nieto again! OOOOHHHH YEEAAHH. He was one of my favorite companions and im really excited and we are going to raise this area.

So this week was alright.  We haven't been able to find our investigators in their houses and we haven't been able to teach them. What a bummer, but we have been doing our home teaching;  haha, yeah coming all the way to mexico to do some home teaching.  haha.  It's all good though.  The members are really cool here and nice. So that's always good.

On monday, we went to Micos a waterfall place, which i think i already told you guys. So cool then on tuesday i did divisions with my zone leader and wednesday i did divisions with an elder in my district, Elder Rawlins. He has the same time as me and those divisions that we did were so fun.  We are definitely are good friends and we made some plans to hang out after the mission.  He's from Utah, haha, like all gringos here.

So thursday was special because Presidente Johnson came to the mission. And who is presidente johnson? Hes a 70 alright. So we learned from him that day.  He talked to us about our Heavenly Father and that he has a body of flesh and bones. Then he asked us if any of us have prayed about that. About no one has. He explained about the importance about an investigator actually knowing the characteristics of God. To have their faith in something real.  Then he told us to pray that night for 5 things:  1) if GOD really exists  2) If he has a body of flesh and bones 3) If you are a child of god  4) If he knows whats happening in your life, what your going through  5) And if he loves you.

Wow, i felt the spirit strongly when he explained those things.  I really needed it because that whole week i was feeling a little down, and couldn't recognize the spirit that much, but when he talked about that i felt it strongly.  To have a 70 talk to you is so awesome.

Then we practiced teaching about God and his love for us and his plan and that we are able to become like him.  And some elder asked a sweet question.  One person said that she didn't believe that they could become like god, he is everything. Then the elder said, If you believe you're a daughter of god and that he created you, then why do you think you're nothing?  Boom!

So yesterday, Sunday i had a really spiritual experience.  So the president of the Branch asked us if we could go to his cousin's house in another town like 20 minutes away to give him a blessing, because he was just diagnosed with cancer.  I had to ask for permission to go, but we taught a lesson and in the closing prayer I had the impression that i had to give the blessing, and give a blessing of full recovery.

So i asked for permission, and so they allowed us. Then we went, and when i entered the room the spirit just hit me so strongly.  One of the strongest times.  I felt again that i needed to give the blessing for full recovery. So i explained to the man that the blessing will work according to his faith, and my comp then asked if the man believed if we had the authority to do it.  The man shoke his head. Then my comp turned to me and said that he was going to do the first part and i was going to give the blessing. After he told me that he felt strongly that i had to give it.

So then i gave him the blessing.  I blessed in the name of  Jesus Christ that he would be healed completely of his sickness.  I felt the spirit the whole time while i was giving the blessing.  Then we ended it. Then i told the man again just to make it clear that if he has faith in the blessing we gave him that he will be healed 100 percent in the name of Christ.  Then we left... WOW what an experience.  I was so grateful for that.

I love you all, like always.

Grandma i did get those peanut butter chew things!  They were so good.  I got them exactly on Valentine's day!  Muchas gracias grandma!

Until next week.
Elder McNamara

Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 63: Being a Missionary is the Best Thing Ever!

Hey folks, familia, y cuates 

You guys are probably wondering why im writing so late. So ill tell you why. So today we went to Micos here in the city of valles. Its so cool! Its a bunch of waterfalls and rivers and stuff like that. Too bad we couldn't go swimming; but oh well. haha   I took pictures but i forgot to put my stupid camera cord in my backpack so i wont be able to send pictures this week...that will be next week.  I'll send a ton next week so be prepared. 

So monday and tuesday i was in Tampico getting legal in this pais again. So now im legal here in mexico. I went with an elder in my district, Elder Rawlins. He is really cool and one of my best friends in the mission. We talked all night monday until like 4 in the morning and woke up at 6:30 haha good thing that the best ride is 3 hours long back to my area. 

Wednesday we had the district meeting. Which i taught pretty darn good, im not going to lie. Thanks to the spirit. Before the meeting i told my district that they had to come to the meeting with atleast 3 contacts in the street, and we all did. wooohooo. Then i talked about that they really are people prepared in our areas. Like Preach my gospel says in chapter 10, have faith that the Lord will put you in the path of a person or will put a person in your path. 

Its so true and I fully believe that, that there really are people prepared for each missionary. We just have to have the faith, and faith is action, so we got to do everything in our propio (power).  Like i said last week, i have no idea where all my faith is coming from haha. So a goal that president jordan want us to have for new investigators for this week is 17 new investigators. That number is pretty up there. But 2 weeks ago i was praying about it, and if it really was possible for our areas. And i recieved an answer that ya it is possible. And that we are going to find those 17 new people. I also felt that this week we are going to see a miracle.  I don't know what or when but there is going to be a miracle this week, i can feel it. 

Speaking about miracles, there were 2 lessons this past week that were amazing. One was with this women named Ana Cristina. We found her by contacting her mom and then later going to her house and met Ana. She is really open to everything and understands everything that we have taught. So 2 weeks ago we gave her a book of mormon and told her to read it and she did. So last week we asked her what she learned and understood from 3 nephi 11 and she understood that Jesus gave authority to people so that they were able to baptized. Then she asked the golden question, She asked us if there is anybody on earth today that has this authority. Boom, i was taken away by that question. Ive never heard someone ask it here. BUt i told her yes and then i explained to her when jesus was here than he died and the apostles died and didnt give anyone the authority. Then i explained to her about Jose smith and his story in detail. And recited the first vision and the spirit was there so strong. 

Then i testified to her about the first vision and that it really happened and that through Jose smith the Lord restored that authority. Then my comp went on teaching about baptism. Then later we invited her to say a prayer right there in front of us to ask god if what we were teaching is true. I cant even explain to you guys how strong the spirit was there, it was like my whole body was burning with the spirit. The whole area where we were. The wind started to pick up and blow the trees back and forth. Im not even joking. It was the best feeling ever. 

She then told us that she feels like she was being backed up against the wall but that she will do it when we leave. So after a while we left and when we walked to the fence we looked back and she was staring at as strangely. Once we left i realized that she was looking at us like that because right then and there she realized that we are servants of the Lord. That we are sent by God and that she felt something different when we were there. What an amazing time to be a misionary. 

Another lesson. On Saturday we went to a new investigators house and there we met her cousin, who had listened to the missionaries when she was 16, that was 12 years ago. We taught about the Book of Mormon and read a little in it. Then she started telling us about her life and that it has been really hard for her. That when she was litle her parents treated her badly and that her dad beat her. So at the age of 15 she got married, hoping that everything would get better. No, just the opposite. 

Her husband would drink and drink and other bad things would happen. She told us all that and after i sat there for a few moments and felt impressed to talk and i started talking to her. I told her thanks for sharing those experiences with us. Bad things always happen to everyone but you know why god allows those things to happen? Because that's the only way that we can progress, to learn, to grow, and to become the person he wants us to become. Maybe those things happened to you so that you could have become a better mom for your kids. God loves you and Christ loves you and suffers with you. Then i testifyied of Gods love for her. The words that i spoke were not my words. As i was speaking i felt that my whole body was burning with the spirit. I wanted to cry because i felt the enormous love that God had for that women and for me. Another amazing experience. Being a missionary is the best thing ever. Definitely worth every sacrifice. 

I think that im finally realizing the power of my calling. I'm a representative of Christ himself.  What a huge but sacred opportunity. I'm loving it, but it's still hard. 

In 2 weeks a family in my area is going to get sealed and i get to go!!!  I'm super excited. It will be my first sealing I'll get to see.  

I love you all and have a good week! 

Elder McNamara

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Week 62: Encouraged by a Seventy on Valentine's Day

Hey everyone! Hows it going? 

This week was a ton of traveling also! We didnt have much time to work here in our area. And guess what else? Im going to tampico after i write this email to renew my visa for the last and final time! Wow the time really flies! 

So tuesday we all did super divisions. The whole zone just mixes and yeah haha so i stay in the city of Valles tuesday with an Elder named Elder Ortega from Puebla. He s new here in the misison and asked me a lot of things haha. The main thing that i was asked to teach him is how to contact. Because i guess that everyone says that i can get into any house haha It was a good time. 

We taught a woman that had listen to the missionaries like 2 years ago. we taught her the restoration again and it was a really spiritual lesson. I liked it a lot and she had never heard about the book of mormon?? How is that possible?  The other missionaries hadnt even taught her that. wow. So we taught her the book of mormon and she seemed pretty comitted to read it. 

Then afterwords we were looking for some referencias they had and we couldnt find them! Its so frusterating because there are never the names of the streets no where!! ANd i mean nowhere! And the numbers of the houses dont even make sense haha one house could be 110 and the one next to it can be 600. Really difficult to find referencias. So we started to ask around and i started contacting them haha we asked this one old man with like 50 aƱos. I asked him and he didnt know then i started talking about him about whatever and the bottom line is that he invited us in his house haha I dont even remember what we talked about. After we left Elder Ortega was like (How the heck did you do that?) haha Then later that night we taught a less active family that i fell in love with the family in 20 minutes. They are so cool and really nice. I'll send a picture of me with them.  A really cool family.  

(This computer is not recognizing my camera connection, so I cannot send pictures this week.  Sorry.)

Wednesday were Interviews with President Jordan. We were there the whole day. I enjoy talking with president Jordan. He explained to me something that really touched me. He was talking about when Chirst died and was talking about the apostles and what they might be doing. He said that they were probably there in a house with the 11 there in silence. Thinking about what had just happened and becoming a true brotherhood. Putting there arms around each other and asking quietly..What do we do now?. Then they other 10 look to peter and asked, what do we do? And Peter saying I dont know and the others, Well Christ gave you all the keys for the church. And president asked me how do you think peter felt in this instant? I told him really overwhelmed. And then later the apostles going in the upper room and there was christ. WHen i was just imagining that those moments, the apostles coming closer to each other like a true brotherhood. Thats exactly how the mission should be. All the Elders and that how my district should be a brother hood. 

On Friday we went to Valles again because a 70 came to the stake! It was good because it was Valentines day and i didnt want to see all the couples in the street and all the love in the air hahaha so instead we listened to a 70.  He talked mostly about the ward counsel and how it should work. Which there is a ton of emphasis on ward consel here in Mexico, i dont know about the states though. And at the end he started talking about our scared calling as a misionary. How blessed we are to be servents of the lord when he is hastening the work!  He talked about how the apostles choose the mission of each missionary. That preaching the gospel is the duty of the apostles but theres only 12.  So thats why they call us. Young men and women, to preach the gospel.  Then that they send a special letter to the stake president of a missionary, giving the stake president apostolic keys to set apart the missionary.  And that we have the same sacred calling as the apostles.  Wow, what an amazing meeting.  He obviously said so many more things and said it better AND in spanish but thats just a little taste of what happened haa. 

Nombre!! Church this week was good and spiritual. The only thing is that there were only 11 people! Including us. Oh my gosh. Its pretty difficult here but we are moving along little by little. I dont know why or where it came from but these past 3 weeks I have had a ton of faith and ganas for my area. I honestly feel like this area is going to grow and explode with baptisms.  We just have to have the faith to see the miracles.  Like it says in Ether 12, God cant do any miracle unless there is faith. 

Have faith family and friends and youll see the miracles you need. I know my redeemer lives and im happy to be a missionary! Love you all.

Elder McNamara 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 61: Finding the "Prepared" in El Pueblo. Life is Good!

Hey guys,

Que les va?

Well this week was pretty bomb. It was a really good week for my comp and I. We have found so many new investigators! 10 in one week. Every since president jordan talk to us about there are people prepared and all we got to do is have the faith and actually believe theyre there! So i have been focusing on that thought the whole week, believing, praying, asking so we could find those people....and we did!

Its been awesome! I have had a really good attitude about everything and just happy and this week i have noticed the spirit guiding me even more. The best feeling one can have, the companionship of the holy ghost. And i got to give some of the credit to my comp, elder soto. He is one of the most obedient elders i have meet, no the MOST obedient elders i have meet and has really helped me be even that more obedient. Its so true that obedience bring blessings!

So we found this one investigator named Audo. He is about 17 years old and his brother is a less active member for about 15 years. His name is Uriel, and he has lived in the USA for like 10 years and was in the army. One day we were walking in the street and we past uriel but then he said something to me in english haha so i went and talked to him. And thats where everything started! When then taught his brother the first lesson and after 5 minutes he cousin walked in and sat down, then 5 minutes later his other cousin came in and sat down and later his uncle came in and sat down. haha  All our new investigators now! How awesome is that, ey?  2 of them have baptism dates for the 29 of march! Oh yeah. So we are going to prepare them for that.

We found another family contacting in the street. My comp and I believe that there are the people prepared that we were looking for. We taught them lesson one as well and the spirit was super strong. Its a little funny, while we were walking to their house my comp and i started to get nervous for the lesson, that hasn't happened to me since my first weeks in mexico, but the family understands really well. Its a young couple with 3 kids. They're really nice and all that good stuff.  We will see what happens this week with them!

So at church yesterday guess what i did?....I was presiding the meeting and my comp lead the meeting. I blessed the sacrament and my comp passed the sacrament, I gave a talk and my comp gave the other talk. My comp gave the first class and I gave the last class.   WE ARE THE BISHOPS HERE! Its all good though. The spirit was present, that's all that matters!

Thanks everyone for your emails. You know how mail is for missionaries!!! Julie im giving you a special shout out. YA YEA!! Can i just say that im so proud of you!! With your missionary moment with your friend. It touched my heart and im so happy you're doing what your doing. And yeah..guys are retarded. Ive told you that so many times.  haha

I love you all ...MOM, DAD, Michael, Brandon, and Julie!   Have a good week.

Elder David McNamara

making eggs with cut up hot dog at 6 in the morning.  haha do i look tired?

so we were walking in the street and passed this cow and it saw that i was eating some chips and started following me and came right up next to me so i fed it a chip. haha