Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Holy Guacamole . . . Riley's Home!!"


Waiting for Elder McClure to appear . . .

Happy Day!!
With his little sister . . .
Screen shot taken from Denver Channel 4 News.  Riley's homecoming was captured in the background of their holiday travelers story.







Much for which to be thankful!!
All together again!!
We express thanks to so many who supported Elder McClure on his amazing adventures as a missionary in Mexico City.  He will begin his college studies in early January at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg. It will be fun to watch the future journey that awaits the “Life of Riley”.

You can contact Riley at 720-419-5275 and rileymcclure15@gmail.com







Thursday, November 24, 2016

"Hasta Lavista Baby!"

NOTICE:  Elder McClure will report his mission in sacrament meeting of the Timberline Ward on Sunday, November 27, at 9:00 AM.  Location:  600 East Swallow Road, Fort Collins, CO



Last Meal

Last Baptism
Seven Missionaries Going Home

Last Companion
Last good-byes.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

"I Will Forever Seek to Be An Instrument in the Hands of the Lord"

NOTICE:  Elder McClure will report his mission in sacrament meeting of the Timberline Ward on Sunday, November 27, at 9:00 AM.  Location:  600 East Swallow Road, Fort Collins, CO

Fun Bus
Elder McClure's Release Letter:  "It's official"
Last Visit to the Mexico City Temple

Christmas Spirit
I love this season of thankfulness, of joy and of lots of food eating.  To be honest … over the years I’ve come to find that I love Thanksgiving more than any other holiday and it’s not just for Black Friday that comes afterward.  With it being less than a week away from being gran’ ol’ Thanksgiving, I’d like to say some thank yous.  Starting with my parents who were so patient for 18 years hoping that one day I would make my own decision and decide to come on the mission.  Obviously if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.  But I can tell you how over these past 2 years I’ve learned that Mom and Dad are just about always right.  Before the mission I would have denied that fact with all my energy and soul … but the mission has really humbled me and opened my eyes.  My parents are not perfect, but they are pretty close.  So thank you, parents!  You’re the best!

Also, thank you Dave, Erin, Shawn, Brennan, Kacie, Carson, Emma, and Joely for being my family who I have been able to trust and confide in.  Each one of you has played an important part in helping me discover who I really am.  Thank you, friends and neighbors, youth leaders and teachers, all you who coached me and taught me and spent time with me and have written me during these 2 years.  Thank you for your prayers and support and friendship that will last more than this lifetime. 

Thank you to all the members here in Mexico who went with us to teach our investigators, be a friend to them, help us do ward activities and make others feel welcome.  Thank you for your time and love.  Missionary work wouldn’t exist without you.  Thank you to my converts for putting up with me in your houses as I’ve struggled to teach you gospel truths in Chafa Spanish. Thank you to my companions who were with me 24/7 and worked hard with me preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And, thank you Presidente y Hermana Valadez and President and Sister Mecham for being my mission parents and guiding me with love as I have been a representative of Jesus Christ and sought to do His will.  Thank you to all of you for playing a role in my life up until this point.  I am who I am thanks to you, and truly I am very grateful.

As bittersweet as it is, I am very excited to be returning home after serving a 2-year full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  My time here in Mexico has been eye opening and very rewarding.  It truly has been one of the greatest blessings in my life to be able to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ.  I have worked the hot dusty streets in the southern part of Mexico City preaching the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to all in my path.  I have witnessed miracles and great changes as these beautiful Mexican people have listened to and experimented upon the message we as missionaries bring. I have seen hope restored, faith increased, and families healed through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord.  I, too, have witnessed a great change in myself as I have applied all that I have taught in my own life.  I am still me, Riley McClure, but I have been changed and have felt to “sing the song of redeeming love”.  The experiences from my mission are very sacred to me and I will forever hold them close to my heart.  As this era in my life comes to a close, my missionary spirit will continue on.  I will forever seek to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord.

The Book of Alma, Chapter 29
O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of  God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.



Saying Good-bye




This is the final email from Mexico, but we will post another entry with photos of Riley’s homecoming next week.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

"One Real Week Left . . . My Heart is Full"

NOTICE: Elder McClure will report his mission in sacrament meeting of the Timberline Ward on Sunday, November 27, at 9:00 AM.  600 East Swallow Road, Fort Collins, CO.
Our home phone is:  970-225-6946




Hello World!  

I’m not sure what to say ... maybe that I only have one real week left as a missionary …or that we are going to baptize in a week from today … maybe that my heart is full and that I’m very happy with where I am and my progress up until this point.  I realize that I only have one p-day left after today and I do have some final words I’d like to say in that final email home.  But for now, I must say that life is good.  I’ve been studying the Book of Mormon in English these past few weeks and it’s the first time I’ve done it in almost a year and a half.  It’s funny how now I prefer to read in Spanish.  I feel like I understand more and enjoy more of what I read when it’s in Spanish.  I now get caught up on words in English and I’m not sure how to pronounce them.  Who would have ever thought that would happen!  These past few days I’ve been trying to organize myself a little better.  I’m not packing up yet … don’t think that … but just organizing.  I pulled out about 10lbs of Dear Elder letters from my suit case the other day that were from my parents as I started my mission.  No wonder my suitcase weighed so much!  I’ve also been looking over my three 16gb memory cards that are now practically full of pictures from the past 2 years of my life.  I’ve been looking at all my now yellowed shirts and stained ties, holy pants and scripture cases that have withstood one too many rain storms.  Life is good when you’re dedicating every minute of every day in service to your neighbor and representing the Lord Jesus Christ.  My heart is full.  BUT, it’s not over yet, so let’s just take a nice pause right there. :)

What a miracle!  Saturday and Sunday, we as a mission, fasted for the wellbeing of the Elder that ran away.  We all ended our fast in the afternoon on Sunday.  Our President ended his fast at exactly 3pm and at that same moment, 2 youth from a ward in Iztapalapa saw the run-away missionary walking in the street.  They ran looking for the elders of that ward to tell them the news.  The word got to President that night and early Monday morning President and Sister Mecham were able to find, talk to, and help the runaway elder.  The Elder’s heart was softened, along with others who knew where he was, and because of that he was found.  I do not doubt for a second the power of fasting.  When we unite in a worthy fast, miracles happen.  What a blessing!

This week we got to continue doing our Chicken Fat workout routine with Sister Mecham at Zone Conferences.  It’s been pretty fun to participate and teach and train with the other leaders of the mission.  There’s always lots to do and we really do enjoy what we do.

Monday I believe it was, President called us into his office.  We thought it would be something about the mission, but it turned out he wanted to talk to us.  Supposedly he saw something that I wrote a few weeks ago on my blog when I talked about being an office assistant.  He said my comment had been buggin’ him for weeks and so he finally had come up with a plan.  We are now in a new area. The ward is called Educacion and it’s been a rough ward for years now, I’m pretty sure.  It’s close to the offices.  So now we are in-field assistants.  President took away almost all our responsibilities and now we are dedicated to our area and helping the zone leaders by bringing them to our area to see how we are doing it.  We are pretty much the role models for the mission and right now we are starting out at 0.  The goal is to build up the area real good so that next change it can be in full function.  It’s pretty exciting and we have lots to do!  President also told me that he didn’t want me to finish my mission in the offices like he’s seen so many of his other assistants do.  He’d rather we be working hard in the field until our last day.  I like his idea!  It’s a strange transition and for these last 2 weeks we are also gonna stay working in Taxqueña because we have an investigator that’s gonna get baptized on the 19th--my last Saturday here. :)

This next week is going to be crazy, crazy busy!  We have leadership councils, final interviews, the big change meeting that I’m absolutely stoked to be in, going to the temple and probably interchanges with a few zone leaders, a baptism on Saturday and confirmation on Sunday.  There’s lots of sickness going through the mission right now and I can’t afford to get sick-- too much to do!  Pray for me please!

Thanks for your support!  I’m doing great!

Love,


Elder McClure

New Magnum Bars ... Cookies-n-Cream



Saturday, November 5, 2016

"I Wish I Had More Time"


NOTICE:  Elder McClure will report his mission in sacrament meeting of the Timblerline Ward on Sunday, November 27, at  9:00 AM.  600 East Swallow Road, Fort Collins, CO.  Our home phone is:  970-225-6946




What a beautiful time of year!  We have had such a fun and amazing time this past week having meetings with President and big councils with mission leaders, reunions with stake presidents and Area Seventies and 3 of our 7 zone conferences!  We have been busy and busy is just how I like it! 
Last Saturday was the meeting with President Mecham.  We did it in his home and the goal was to get a better idea of what should be taught in the zone conferences.  Sister Mecham made us homemade banana cream pie and, oh boy, I sure love banana cream pie! 

Sunday was special too.  We had to get up early and President picked us up at our house.  We went to the Ermita Stake and there we participated in a meeting with all the stake presidents in our mission (there’s 7 of them), Elder Castiñeda of the 70 and President Pino of the area presidency.  President Pino used to be part of the Temple Department and so he knew all about the Fort Collins Temple being dedicated.  Our meeting was set so we could learn how to use Facebook and other social webs to help in missionary work.  Mostly it was just fun to participate from the back and watch these incredible leaders as they do their thang.

Monday we had a large consejo (council) with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders.  We did practices and talked about needs.  My comp and I made a test about Preach My Gospel that everyone had to take.  Half the mission has taken it now and not one person has pulled off an A.  Ha.  We are pretty good test writers I guess.

Tuesday was a big and rough day for just about all of us.  One of our missionaries just took off while his companion was in the shower.  We got the call and went to go help his alone comp, but as we were on our way there President called us telling us he needed us with him in his house.  So we ran back and got to his house where we waited for phone calls from Elders who had been sent to check all the bus stations to see if they could find him. After a few hours we decided to take a break and go shopping with Sister Mecham while President stayed by the phones.  We hit up City Market and Michaels so she could get Christmas supplies and really it was just so fun to get out and do some shopping with my mission mom.  When we got back to the house President took us to the airport where we went looking for the lost elder, but there we didn’t have luck either.  We still don’t know where he is.  We are sooo worried with it now being 4 days since he took off.  We are very hopeful to find him soon.  At the very least he sent a Facebook message to his family telling them not to worry.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we have been in zone conferences teaching missionaries about health and food and exercise.  We dance a Chicken Fat routine and it’s so fun, haha.  President has focused much of his teachings on living the temporal gospel, which I absolutely love learning about.  Sometimes I feel like we get so spiritual and totally forget about the temporal things.  He’s taught about tithe-paying and work and saving money.  He teaches by stories and life experiences and let me say he’s got a large variety to pick from.  We also helped Sister Mecham make chicken salad sandwiches for lunch.  It’s pretty fun.  But yeah, this week’s been a week, let me tell you.  I can’t explain how much I’ve learned just from these conferences and it makes me sad that I don’t have much time to apply what I’ve learned in my missionary life.  I wish I had more time.  I wish I was just starting, but that’s just how it goes, I suppose.  I’m doing great.  No complaints from me.  We are just still worried about this elder.  I hope he comes home soon.  We are all praying for him, as a mission.  I’m just so happy I can be a part of it all.  I love helping, even when its mostly from a distance.

Love from Mexico from an elder not wanting to go,

Elder McClure

Breakfast at the President's Home
Dead People Bread for Halloween
Krispy Kream

Friday, October 28, 2016

"It's Just So Much Fun to Be A Missionary!"





Happy Birthday to the Best Mission Mom Ever!
Pinata
HELLO ALL!

Oh, what fun it is to ride in … President’s van!  Hahahaha

I’ve had lots of time with President lately and I just LOVE it!

I’m having a really hard time remembering what has happened this week.  Partly because it didn’t even feel like a week--more like a day!  All I know is that it sure is the fall season here in Mexico!  I’m just loving it--cool crisp breeze, amazing sunsets, leaves falling, and big puffy clouds in the sky.  We’ve had a lot of fun.  I don’t know why it was so fun.  I’ve felt like I’ve had a lot of fun.  Last Saturday we had a ward activity and no one showed up, just us 4 missionaries.  So then the sisters went and found 4 kids and brought them so we could play.  It was a pretty lame activity, but we had fun … and ate a ton of sandwiches afterword.

Sundays are hard.  The church services just make me think about home and we never have appointments after the services and so we always walk a lot.  But we found ways to work and have fun. The best was being invited to eat with a very well-off sister in the ward and we ate sooo good.  I sure love food.

Monday we reported with all the zone leaders and then had a huge council with President and it was really amazing.  I love these opportunities to serve and observe and learn from other leaders.  We talk about our worries in the mission and how we can improve and fix things.  The biggest blessing has been having President Mecham here all week so that we aren’t in charge! 

Wednesday we got to celebrate Sister Mecham’s birthday with waffles and a piñata and then some sister missionaries took her out to eat.  Later after helping President take some sisters to their houses in his van, we went to his house and the sisters had made us homemade chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, yes. We hadn’t eaten all day and it was just what we needed.  I love me them cookies!  Other than that we have been cleaning a lot--the offices and the yellow house.  My comp found a giant rat bathing in the toilet bowl in the downstairs bathroom in the yellow house.  So yeah, we have some work to do.  

Office work is fun, too.  I get to go with the secretaries to Immigration which is way outside the mission, and to government buildings, and fill out paperwork.  Mostly I’m just the tag-a-long, but I like traveling and seeing these places.  Yesterday we were up at 3:30 to take an elder to the airport.  President bought us Krispy Cream donuts, which was amazing, and then we talked about women on the car ride home.  I like the advice he gave us.  He sure is an inspired man.

Next week we start zone conferences and that’ll last 2 weeks.  Then my last week here, it’ll be change meeting week and we will also go to the temple and I’ll have my last interview with President … so really, my last weeks are already planned.  Lots of training to do and lots of learning as well.  I’m just so happy. Even though we don’t teach much … it’s just so much fun to be a missionary!  There’s so much joy … even in the little things!

All is well.  Thanks for your love.


Elder McClure


"I love President and Sister Mecham!"
A clean office . . .
video


Friday, October 21, 2016

"Sacrifice . . . Lots of Patience"


Riley's Computer Monitor in the Office
Elder Jennings is the cousin of Zach and Alex and just barely got to our mission 2 weeks ago. Well, he got sick and ended up in the hospital and it was fun to spend some time with him and catch up on things.  He's JUST like the twins and it's so fun to have that connection.  I've personally been trying to help the new white elders feel good and start their missions strong.  They are a strong generation and have great potential.
Hey guys!

The days are just flying by!  I just want to shout out "STOP".

Things have been good here in the offices of the mission--lots to do and just not enough time!  Somehow each week I realize that plain truth, but somehow I just don’t like accepting it.  This week has been especially special for some reasons I don’t think I’m authorized to mention, so let me just say it’s been pretty crazy and cool and hard and full of emotions and overall … fulfilling.  I miss preaching.  I’ve heard that in other missions the assistants are in-field assistants and so they still carry out a full work load in their area while also being assistants and training and doing lots of interchanges.  Our mission isn’t like that.  We are office assistants and so really our area almost doesn’t exist.  But it’s all good.  The administrative aspect of the mission is absolutely mind blowing.  So much work is done "behind the scenes" in order for the mission to succeed.  I like participating in the “behind the scenes”.  It gives me just a bit more time with President Mecham and helps me see how easily the revelation flows through him.

Computers are not my thing.  I sure struggle with the whole computer business thing, so my companion has been doing lots of that and I just find ways to be a help to others.  I go with the secretaries to buy things and pay rents and pull out money from the bank … stuff like that--really whatever I can do to make their loads light.  In the past the office people have not taken care of ANYTHING, at all!  Everything was a complete disaster when I got here.  So, work it’s been-- lots of cleaning and sorting and trying to make right just about everything!  Elder Carling, the new materials secretary, and I have gone to town cleaning out the offices and closets and sheds and yellow house.  It’s still a work in process, but I plan to have everything in perfect working order when I leave this place.  I’ve got a month to do it.  Also, sometimes if there is something broken in a house that we are renting we have to go fix it.  So this week my companion Elder Avila and I got to fix a broken toilet.  We thought it would be pretty easy-- just change out the bobber floating thingy and everything else in the tank, but oh how we were wrong!  It took us 3 HOURS and a whole lot of getting dirty and breaking things in order to get the job done.  After that experience I realized that plumbers are a whole lot cooler than I thought!   Respect!

President gave me permission to watch the Fort Collins Temple Cultural Celebration online and so Saturday night I plugged in, but only got to see the first half hour before having to go home to get home on time.  How cool!  Then Sunday in church all I could think about was the Dedication and how I wasn’t there!  Aaaughh.   Now after seeing pics and stories I’m even a little bit more jealous, but I’ll be ok.  I’m so excited to go and enter inside the temple and do a session in just a short month from now.  And until then I’m going to go enjoy the Mexico City temple one last time.

Life is so good.  I feel this week I’ve learned a little more about sacrifice.  I’ve had to do things that I really didn’t want to do and these things lasted longer than I preferred.  I’ve learned how to love people that really put all they have into disrespecting you.  I’ve learned that everyone has their own situation with their own trials and really we can’t judge.  All we can and should do is love and help.  Patience is a Christ-like virtue.  I continue learning patience. It never quite seems to end!  haha.

Love from Mexico,


Elder McClure

Fixing the toilet . . .

video