Friday, January 31, 2014

Week 59: Working Hard in the Small Pueblo in Mexico

Hey family!

How's everyone doing?  I hope good.

This week was pretty awesome! Here in tanquian, this little pueblo. I like it alot and all the people are really nice. But its really hard to learn the area and where everyone lives because all the streets look the same!! All dirt roads.  jaja

Im really liking it here and being the district leader is fun also. But there sure is a ton of work here in tanquian. A LOT OF WORK. theres a lot of less activos that we are working with and we have one investigador named Alverico. He is 15 and he is from Texas! haha he was born there and just reciently he moved to Tanquian to live with his grandparents. He speaks english perfectly and spanish perfectly. He is a cool kid and understands everything that we teach him. A lot better than most the people i have taught on my mission! A smart kid. He was going to go to church yesterday but we forgot to pass by his house to walk with him to the church. He told us after church that he was all ready, had his pants and his white shirt on and was waiting for us! BUt we never showed up! WE were so mad with ourselfs, but we now know what we got to do haha

Saturday we went to The city Valles for the zone conference. President Jordan went and taught us the plan for mexico that the 70s have. It was really interesting and gave me ganas or pumped me up for this year! And he taught us how we can find more people to teach, find new investigadors. Im really excited actually for this week! Its going to be good. President Jordan also talked about miracles. How they really exists, and shared a talk from Elder Holland. How Elder Holland can barely breathe that the profet and the apostle knows whats coming and the anxity of how much work we have left is crazy. That the Lord is really hastening his work and there are miracles.

The president talked about when Peter walked on the water to Jesus. And explained it really cool. He said when all the apostles saw Jesus they all freaked out then Jesus told them Peace, it is I. Then Peter asked if he could walk out to him. He explained that Peter had the faith to even ask. That he believed in Miracles. Then what Jesus said to the question Ven, which in spanish mean come but to everyone or in this case the apostles. And none of the apostles had the faith to walk on the water to jesus except for Peter.

It was really cool, obviously he explained it way better. I hope you all could feel the power from it haha.

Well i love you guys and i hope everyone has a good week!

Elder McNamara

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week 58: Transferred: Left Huejutla Hills and now in a SMALL PUEBLO!

Hey familia!

How are you guys doing? I hope really well!

So your probably wondering why i didnt write you yesterday. Thats because i got changed to a new area! Thats right it was transfers.

So i left good ol Huejutla. I loved that area so much, even though we had to climb up those mountains all day long. And i loved my comp Elder Santeliz. He is a stud and a great friend. He is like my brother.

I was a little hard to say good bye to Alfonso.  I figured out that i was leaving after the first class on sunday and i didnt tell him until church was over. But guess what??? Alfonso recieved the Aaronic Preisthood on sunday!!!!!!!! And i got to participate in the ordenation. How awesome is that, I got to find, teach, baptize, and see him recieve the preisrhood. I feel so blessed to have been apart of his life and see that miracle. Miracles do exist! I gave him a picture of his baptism with us in it and wrote some things on the back.

I also said goodbye to other members, just a few because i didnt want everyone to come up to me saying oh wow where are you going, blah blah haha things like that.  I went to say goodbye to the hermana taly and her family, the lady that i shared that how you have been an example to me mom! She reminds me so much of aunt kelly, just her personality haha

So your probably wondering where im writing from, Im in Tanquian, San Luis, Mexico!  Its a REALLY small town. I thought Soto La Marina was a small town, i thought wrong. This area is even smaller.

They just barely opened it up like 6 months ago, they closed it in 2011 because the missionaries couldnt teach anyone! No one wanted to listen to them. But every thing is changing for the better, from at least what i have been told. Im the District Leader of the district with 4 elders. I have us two here in Tanquin, and another 2 elders in another small town an hour away! We are in the middle of nowhere! Its so cool!

My compa is Elder Soto from Chile! And im his step father, or in other words im his 2nd companion. He just finished his in field training so he's a greeny haha.  He is cool, his got a girlfriend waiting for him, likes cool music, he's a ballerina haha, likes to dance and things like that.  Honestly if he didnt tell me that he was a ballerina i would have never guessed he was.  And he seems like a hard worker so thats always  good.

Im really excited for this change here in this small town.  Wish me luck and pray for me with EXITO (success).   I love you all.  :)

Elder McNamara


Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 57: Letting Go of the Unwilling and Moving On ... All is Well

Hey family! 

Well this week was alright.  Not as awesome as the week before but that's all good!  

I got pretty sick tuesday night and all wednesday.  We ate some wierd food for lunch tuesday and after i was feeling pretty bad the rest of the day. Then when we got home i told my comp, im going to throw up in one hour. And i was right!  haha  i was throwing up like crazy then again at like 5 in the morning.  I was feeling like poop.

Then wednesday was the district meeting and for some reason we combined the 2 districts here together and the other leader taught.  I was alright with that because i wasnt feeling good at all.  But before the meeting we all met together to practice contacting people in the street. And we all left to go contact for 10 minutes. It was really cool. 

We were walking out of the church and there were people right there but my comp and i got nervous and then we kept walking haha but it turns out that the sister missionaries contacted them and they are in our area.  So we visited those people last night and now they are our new investigators! haha.  But we went and contacted this guy and taught him real quick the restauration and stuff.  It was a cool experience.
After the district meeting we went to the food and i only ate one plate and started to feel like poop and we went home.  And i fell on my bed with my missionary clothes on and just passed out for 4 hours haha but im feeling good now.

This week with lessons and teaching people was a little difficult.  Some less actives dont want us to visit them anymore. And we dropped our other investigators because they werent doing anything, reading, praying or going to church.  So we have been focusing on finding new people.  A little difficult at times!!  A lot of times getting rejected by a lot of people.  But everyone has their own time for every thing right?  We are just there to give them the opportunity to choose if they want it or not. 

Saturday night was really good and funny!  So we taught Alfonso that night and that lesson was really spiritual. That morning we were thinking about what we could teach him to help him and at the same time repass the missionary lessons with him.  So i was thinking and then i opened the Liahona with the general conference talks in it.  And i opened to the talk of Russell M. Nelson (Decisions of Eternity) I LOVED THAT TALK.  And it was perfect for alfonso. 

It talks about how the everyday decisions determine our destiny. Our decisions with our body and how it effects our spirit. With drugs, alcohol, tobacco and even swearing, treating people badly and sexual stuff. Then it also talks about marriage and all that. 

We used that to teach the principle the gospel blesses the families. Alfonso really liked the talk and expressed how he felt and stuff.  That how he did all that stuff before but then made a decision to change and he did!  And he told us how all his friends and family have noticed this change that has happened in him. And it makes them interested in the church!  Actually he already has taught them a little what he has been learning and stuff!  Alfonso is a true convert to the gospel!  He also told us that he has been thinking a lot about it and that he now wants to get married!  He just has to find someone...It was a really good lesson. 

Then after that we were walking home. Coming down from the mountain. And we passed a house that was playing music really really loud and we pass it and oh my gosh hahaha i about peed my pants i was laughing so hard. There were 3 drunks dancing in a circle with beers in their hands really uncoordinated haha and then they called us over like ¨HERMANOOOSS¨ then we started talking to them and the main guy was asking about Jonas and how long he was in the desert then i told him that was Moses and then he asked me how long did moses fast and what did he eat when he was fasting hahah then the other yelled from where he was sitting and said ¨The bible says......that when one talks.....the boss wakes up¨ It was really funny. 

Well theres my week for you all.  Im really happy that im here on my mission and serving the Lord.  Best thing in the world to do!  I only have 10 months left and ill be home...WOW.  The time has really flown by.  I have learned a lot in these 14 months about the gospel and myself but more importantly about the savior and his sacrifice.  Im grateful for my Savior.  Everything about the church is true! Word.  I love you all :) 

Elder McNamara 

p.s  Shout out to Michael my bro.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAN!!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 56: Starting 2014 with the Baptism of Alfonso!

Hey family!

Thanks mom and dad and Brandon for your emails.  I really liked them a lot.  Made me feel good.  So, thanks for that.  :)

Well well well...this week was pretty awesome!  I had fun and felt good.  This week we prepared Alfonso for his baptism. What an amazing experience.  But I'm going to save that for the end of this email.

We were teaching Alfonso last monday and all of the sudden he started telling us a story about how he was talking with his amiga about the church, that she had some questions and stuff.  And Alfonso answered them perfectly and he said that he felt really good sharing the gospel.  And also he told us that he saw ¨the other side of heaven,¨ the movie where the girlfriend faithfully waits for her missionary, and he said that when he saw it he wanted to do something like that, ...being a missionary.  A future missionary???  Maybe, who knows; but that would be so cool and awesome.

One day my comp and i where contacting people because all our citas fell through. So we go to this one house and this grandma came out and said she was catholic but it was okay to pass in. So we go in and meet her son in law. Who turns out to be christian. So we start talking to him about the bible and christ and stuff. He had a ton of knowledge of christ and the bible. It actually surprised me!  While we were talking i was thinking to myself, how or what can i teach him right now to help him or bring him to church.

So, literally right after the scripture in the bible, Ï have other sheep which are not of the fold, one fold and one sheperd¨ So i pulled that out and we read it. and i explained it a little and BOOOMM pulled out the book of mormon and we started talking about the book of mormon and joseph smith and how to gain a testimony about it.  Then we read a few parts in the book of mormon to show him that it says the same things as the bible. That God is always the same.  He wont say one thing to a nation and say a different thing to another. He understood really well and said that he was going to read it. It was a really cool lesson.

After all that he shared something with us that i believe he was inspired to say it for me.  He started talking about the story when the apostles saw Jesus walking on the water.  That they thought he was a ghost.  But Jesus said, Peace, it is me.  Then peter asked the lord if he could walk on water as well.  And Jesus let him. So, peter stepped out of the boat and started to walk!!

He had his sight set on the Lord.  He didn't look to the left or the right or behind him, completely set on the Lord.  But, then he noticed the wind and the waves and started to look around him and got scared.  He took his sight off the Lord and started to sink in the water, and called for the Lord after.

Hearing that from him touched me.  I needed to hear that in that moment.  I was having a little hard time.  But that story comforted me and i felt the spirit.  It made me realize a lot of things.  I was thinking about that story all that day after.

I am here to serve the Lord.  I am his servant.  There isn't anything better than this work.  Nothing better in the world.  I only have these 2 years to be apart of this great work all day every day.  What an amazing blessing I have!  The mission is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Changed and is changing my life for the better and I'm really grateful for that.  That night my comp and i talked about that for about an hour!  It was a cool spiritual talk.

I did divisions this week with the new elder in my distrito, Elder Norblad.  He's from Plamdale, California, and hes 18!   Isn't that crazy, haha, and he graduated in 2013, thats wierd!   I'm old...I decided to do the divisones because he is having a hard time with spanish and teaching.  So i helped him out the best i could and gave him some pointers and stuff.  It was a fun divison with him.

And now for the best part of my week....Drum roll please bum bum bum bumb bubm bumbum aiahfdghdghdihgfdhgf    El servicio bautismal de Alfonso!!!!!!!!!!

I was so nervous and so excited at the same time.  One of the sister missionaries asked me ¨Your nervous huh?¨ I told her no then she told me ¨ Then why do you keep walking back and forth checking everything?hahaha   My comp and i filled up the font, (I got picture ill send you)  Then the baptism.  It was so spiritual!

When he entered the water my heart was full of joy (like the scripture in alma) Then the brother that did the ordinance said it perfectly and everything.  Then he was baptized!!  After we were singing hymns waiting for them to change and i had tears in my eyes i was just so grateful to be able to bring a soul unto christ.

My comp and i just gave each other a huge hug haha Because its pretty rare to find someone and start teaching them and see their baptism without changing an elder out.  Then after it was all over and everyone left we gave our gift to Alfonso.  I gave him a tie and my comp also, and we also gave him the book of mormon, the D and C and pearl of great price and the bible!

Then he asked me how it was when we first met him, because he doesn't remember because he was really really intoxicated. So i told him and then he started thanking us for finding him.  For helping him come unto his savior and helping him through this experience.  That was the best feeling in the world, to have your convert thank you for everything. What an amazing experience!

I know this church is true, and that I'm in the place that i should and need to be at this moment in my life. Thanks for all the support; and i love you all!

Elder McNamara

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Week 55: Christmas 2013 and Soon to Baptize Alfonso

Well this week was alright!  It was really good to talk to the family and katie (via Skype on Christmas Day).  All you guys look the same.  haha and you all sound wierd now.  Or im just used to the mexicans and I speak like one now apparently!  I think thats cool.

After we all talked, we went home and just went to bed.  Fun christmas right?  ha no not that much. Talking with you guys was like a bitter sweet experience.  It was awesome and all but after i missed everyone so much.  I couldnt focus for a couple days.  It was a little difficult thats for sure. But saturday night and sunday made it all better!

So saturday night was the interview for Alfonso. The sister missionaries were there as well because their investigator was being interview too.  So we were in the hall way talking and stuff then their investigator came out and passed but alfonso and the zone leader were still talking.  The sisters left and my comp and I were waiting and Alfonso finally came out.  He was all quiet and looked all down and stuff. Then he told us in a low soft voice.  Hey guys, i dont know....what day i can be baptized, firday or saturday?

My comp and I thought that he didnt pass by the way he looked so we were all feeling down then we realized what he said then we jumped out of our sits and gave him a hug. It was so good to hear that news. That took away my homesickness a little bit.

Then on sunday i was still feeling down and all. So in sacrament meeting one of the elders talked.  He talked about the work of salvation. Of the members working with the missionaries.  He is a convert and he told his story about his mom and how she was baptized. That she rejected the missionaries for years but the missionaries kept trying with her until she finally let them in the door and they taught her. She was later baptized along with her two sons.  The thing that touch me was when he said he is eternally gratefull for those two missionaries. That they completely changed his life.

I started to think about that and how my investigator, ALfonso will feel the same about me. That he will be eternally grateful for me finding him and changing his life through the gospel.  He didnt believe in God or christ, he drank, didnt have self confidince but he changed everything.  I honestly saw a miracle through my own eyes.

Thinking about that i was full of joy.  Just like the scripture in Doctrine and Convenants 18 thats says if you bring save it one soul unto me, how great will be your joy with him in the kingdom of my father.  I felt that joy and casted out all my homesickness.

Im so grateful to be here as a missionary.  Even if its really difficult at times.  Im here to bring souls unto chirst and i will have brought one to him on saturday at 6.  I will be okay if thats the only one i baptized my whole mission.  What an amazing feeling to see someone change and be part of it!

Well i love you all.  Write you next week.

Elder McNamara

we found a new part in our area. Las Chacas

"showering" Christmas Eve

washing my clothes.  We didnt have power so i washed them in our washer we made

Christmas Day