Monday, January 26, 2015

First Week Has Been Great!

The Newbies with the President & His Wife

Elder Davis, My Comp, at our Desk

Elder Davis and Me
January 26, 2015


My first week in the field and I’ve already been mugged!  The guy had a knife so I’m counting my blessings that I didn’t get stabbed and that he didn’t have a gun!  Just kidding! 

The Field is insanely amazing!  I have the best comp in the world and we are doing an amazing work!  We have like 10 people with baptismal dates and I don’t even know all their names because they have Mexican names and they are hard to remember!  We taught a total of 29 lessons last week so we are sooo insanely busy!  So many people just want to learn about the gospel!  I don’t understand a whole lot of what is said, but I’m guessing I understand about 60 percent!  And I can’t talk worth a darn!  So I bare my testimony at the end and that’s about it!

Mexican food is delicios!  I’m getting more and more fat each day!  Our meals with the members are at 2 pm and it’s like our only real meal of the day--it’s weird.  My comp’s name is Elder Davis and he is from Sandy, Utah!  He’s pretty much my twin!  So we get along well and I’m so proud to say that we are 100% obedient!  That is why we are so blessed!

There are dogs everywhere and I step in a lot of poop.  It’s gross … and the dogs are gross, too; but sometimes a cute one will follow us around.  I think it feels the Spirit that we have with us.  haha  Oh might I say what area I’m in!  I’m in Iztacalco.  I’m not sure if that’s how you spell it!  It’s a dump and right in the city!  There are 4 of us elders in the ward.  I gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting which was really scary.  I think I wet myself a little!  I’m in the Jardines Ward.  We walk probably 10 miles a day, if not more, and I’m very sweaty and gross all the time!

My mission prez is cool, but I can’t understand a word he says because he has a terrible accent! Sometimes we take the hippie van buses to get around.  It’s 4 pesos a ride and they are always jam packed!  So I think I’ve broken the rule of not being too close to women cuz man we are packed like sardines!  The hippie vans are called combis--something like that.  My comp has only been here 3 months, so he came straight out of training himself; so sometimes it’s really hard, but he is practically fluent so that’s a true blessing!  I have good news and bad news.... good news first... my tongue is starting to get feeling back-- like 50% (Riley lost feeling in his tongue following removal of his wisdom teeth).   Bad news ... my bottom right gum where I  got the wisdom tooth pulled is infected again, I think.  It’s an open wound and all yellow and puffy.  Not sure what to do, but we’ll figure it out! 

Life is so good!  I love it here!  The language is so hard, but I’m gonna give myself a good 3 or 4 weeks before I let myself get down on how bad I am at it!  I pray all is well in the promised land! I miss grass ... and clean streets ... and drivers who actually had to pass a test before getting their licenses ... and the snow ... and clean air ... and carpet ... and girls--mostly girls though.  haha 

Have fun Fort Collins.  I’ll see you in a week!

Elder McClure

P.S.  Mom I’m safe!  Literally I don’t feel in danger at all!  And I’ve had like no culture shock!   Just love this place!


I'm in My Mission Now!!

Darth Vader?
Letter to family on January 19, 2015
I’m in my mission now!!!!

Everything is super weird and scary and I got 4 hours of sleep last night so I’m pretty much dead!!!  They said I could have 5 minutes on the computer to write home real quick to let you know I’m going good so WooHoo I’m a writing you!  I got 26 new emails and no time to read any of them so that stinks but anyways everything is all good!  I’m spending the night in the mission home tonight and then I meet my new comp and head to my area tomorrow!  I don’t know where my area is but I know it’s in the city so I’m really nervous about that... I was really hoping for a place a little south of the main city!

Saying goodbye to my district was extremely hard but we took lots of pics so I can’t wait to share those with you next Monday!  I’m pretty sure I’m gonna get mugged--like everything is super sketch but I guess that’ll be a fun experience!  The mission home is kinda ghetto... I was expecting nicer after being in the Japan mission home but I guess I’ll live!  I don’t understand anything anyone says and it’s frustrating cuz they are teaching me the mission rules but not really cuz I can’t understand them haaha.  So if I’m breaking rules it’s not my fault haha.  My Mission Prez is really nice and said you guys emailed him.  I told him dad was CES and he likes that haaha.  But anyways hope all is well back home!  Wish me luck and keep praying for me! This is gonna be the hardest 6 weeks of my life!!!

Love you guys!!  Be good!  Remember who you are hahahaha.


Elder McClure

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Last Week in the CCM (MTC)

Elder McClure & Elder Richardson

Saying good-bye to this district

January 15, 2014

Hello All!

 I hope all is well in the Fort and where ever else you might be while reading this message!

I’ve heard there were some terrorist attacks in some countries and crazy sickness in the US, so I hope and pray all is well! 

My week this week has been a very good week and I think the reason for it is because I have had a very selfless week!  While at the CCM everything is still kinda about you!  It’s all about preparing yourself to help others, so yes, you have other people in mind in the long run, but really everything is still about you!  This week hasn’t been so much about me though, and it’s been great!  Let me explain!

Elder Billman, my comp, ran into a pole over a week ago.  I don’t remember if I mentioned that last week, but he really took a fall--into a pole.  Unfortunately I wasn’t there to witness it myself because I was on splits, but ever since then I have had the privilege of taking care of him! Anyways, since the accident he has had terrible headaches and sickness to the point where we have missed much class and meals so he could sleep because that was the only thing that helped the pain!  We gave him a blessing and took him to the doc and he got 3 prescriptions, but still he hasn’t been doing good.  So on Tuesday we got the chance to take a ride to a nearby hospital so he could get an MRI!  Let me say this... that car ride was probably the worst car ride I have ever experienced!!!  I don’t know how I didn’t throw up!.. definitely a tender mercy of the Lord!  I have realized how lucky I am in to be in a walking mission because these roads here curve and dip and the drivers accelerate and stop and weave and honk and drive 5 wide on a 2-lane road! Man oh man-- scary! hahaha  But he got an MRI and that was good and we got the results today! He’s gonna be OK!  Just some bruised brain and nothing too serious!  What a blessing it is! He still has bad headaches, but every day is better than the last!  Because of this I have missed out on a lot of classes and fallen a little behind in my language learning, but the blessing that has come from it is I have started and now am hooked on the book Jesus the Christ!  Man oh man, I love that book!  Yes there are a ton of huge words that I have no clue what they mean, but the Spirit I feel while reading about Christ is undeniable!  I kick myself for not getting that book out sooner in my life!

This week I had to say goodbye to the older district in my zone and it was incredibly hard!  It’s so crazy how easy it is to love people!  And then when you realize you may never see them in this life just makes things so difficult!  They are all now in the Long Beach area.. I think they will actually serve in the hood, right by LAX.. Dad you know what I’m talking about.. we stayed a night in the hood and we all thought we were going to die!  Remember that? haha  But they will be awesome missionaries and maybe someday I’ll be able to see them again!

This week has also been all about pranks within my district! which I know is not the best thing to do and really I try to not be a part of them!  In fact really I’m just a recipient mostly! Haha--lots of dumping buckets of water over the half wall on guys in the shower.. hiding in guys closets and jumping out and scaring them.. taking all their belongings out of their closets and hiding it in random places in the casa while they shower... yeah stuff like that!  Anyways, I encourage all you future missionaries out there to not participate in such activities!  As fun as they are they take the Spirit away and that is no bueno!  (So don’t do it!)  J

Today I had the privilege of leaving the CCM again and going to the Mexico City Temple and Visitor Center!  IT’S INCREDIBLE!!!  Mom, the visitor center here is supposed to be the best the Church has, so imagine the Mormon Battalion Visitor Center that you were at times 10!   Wowwie, wow, wow!  It stunk because we couldn’t even go on the Temple grounds because of construction, but I was very content with the visitor center!  My favorite was the little kids’ room!  It was decked out.  We got to color in pics of Captain Moroni on cool tablets and then project them up on fake leaves on the fake trees in the room, haha  It was so awesome!!  I asked the Hermanas there if they knew an Elder Thomas.  I couldn’t remember which mission he was in and they were in the MC East mission, but they didn’t know him.  I forgot to ask about Hermana Newton!  Maybe she’s the one in MC East.

The other day a bunch of us in the district walked to the post office ready to be disappointed again.. when something very, very beautiful happened J  hahaha  We opened the mail box and there was a whole stack of Envelopes!!!!! Elder Pratt, our District Leader, pulled them out and started to read each one and who they were for! 

“Elder Bird, Hermana Burnett, Elder McClure, Elder McClure, Elder McClure, Elder McClure, and .... Elder McClure!”

He said it with a disappointed voice and it was just like the scene out of “The Best 2 Years” (a movie) and so all I could do was act out the rest of that scene... "YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!"  It was so funny and, man oh man, I felt so blessed to get 5 envelopes from my parents! hahaha  It was so great!  Thank you so much for the letters Mom and Dad!  Oh how I desperately needed them.

I head for the mission field Monday morning at 5am!  I don’t know why so early because my mission home is less than an hour away, but I’m gonna go when the van goes, so that’s 5am!  I am incredibly nervous, so I ask and pray that all who will, will pray for me as I enter the field!  It’s a whole new world outside these CCM walls!  I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to learn and grow here in the CCM and I’m sincerely going to miss the Spirit that can so easily be felt here! 

Next time you hear from me I’ll be a different person-- most likely struggling a whole lot but what a perfect way to grow!  I’ll be a missionary in the field-- not just a CCM missionary! Fort Collins, please be good and I’ll write you in a week!  Be strong and have fun!  Life is too short. Every minute counts.  Don’t miss out on the chance to make a new friend, because friends are one of the few things that can help when you’re having hard times! 

CeCeMe Elder McClure over and out!

Elder McClure




Friday, January 9, 2015

Loving the MTC (CCM)

A Fresh Haircut

The Posers

January 8, 2015

It’s been a bit chilly here in Mexico!  We had 60 degree weather the other day and my oh my I needed a jacket!!!!  JUST KIDDING!  haha  It has actually got down to 40 something at night so really honestly kinda chilly since I’m used to 70s now but its all good!  This week has been Great!  My cold has finally gone away and I’m back in action! 

The first thing I guess I wanna share is the highlight of my week!  It has to do with an elder in my district who got strep!  Not that strep is good at all--but the cool part about it was that he asked me to give him a blessing!!!  I’ve stood in blessings before but this was the first time for giving a blessing!!!!!!  WOW!  I can’t describe how incredible it was!  I was so nervous before hand but I prayed with faith and during the blessing I had this overwhelming feeling of confidence and a knowledge that the Holy Ghost was directing me in what to say!  Of course... I was crying my eyes out during the whole thing but man what a beautiful experience that was!  I really truly gained a powerful testimony on priesthood blessings from this experience!  I’m happy to say that Elder Greig (Mr. strep throat man) is all better and back in class learning how to teach the gospel!

Hmm, what else has happened this week. . .  Well I’ve been teaching with my comp everyday and even though I dread lessons--purely because of the language barrier... I had a great experience teaching a real investigator on Wednesday night!  My Comp, Elder Billman, did a somersault into a metal pole at gym a few hours before hand and had a major concussion, so I was left to do most of the teaching!  The pressure was on!  Might I also add that Elder Billman is super good with Spanish so usually I rely on him to do most of the talking!  I was very nervous but we went in with faith and gave a super good lesson on the restoration of the gospel!  I’m sure the guy didn’t know what I was saying most of the time, but he was very focused and when looking into his eyes I could tell the Spirit was doing the real teaching and that he was feeling it!  I came away from that very relieved and happy and thankful to my Father in Heaven for helping me when I desperately needed help!

My district loves to play volleyball, kickball, soccer, cage soccer, signs, Mafia and just hang out and get to know each other better!  We all get along so well and I know I’ve talked about them before, but really we are just like a family and we help each other and lift each other up.  I trust all of them and really feel so blessed to be in the district that I’m in!  I am very nervous for when I have to say goodbye to all of them in 10ish days when we go our separate ways.  I’m trying to make every moment count!  Every moment is so precious and I’ve only got 2 years so really…every moment counts!

Our district got to host the new greenies yesterday!  It was so awesome getting to show them around and act like I’m all confident and know what’s going on! hahahaha  They all looked terrified and in a daze and I can only imagine that is what I looked like a month ago! I want all you about-to-be-missionaries like Matt and Tarryn and Mallorie and Julia and whoever else to know that you can’t get a real feel for the MTC till you give it a few days!  So don’t judge too quickly! I definitely judged the MTC right off the bat and I couldn’t believe what I had gotten myself into!  Yes it’s a prison... but trust me you want to be on the inside of these walls!  It’s kinda like what Charles Burnside said about boot camp… everything here at the MTC is set up so that we can’t sin!  Like, yes, everyone does and can sin no matter where they are, but here at the MTC the Spirit is so strong and you are so busy being happy and learning good things that there’s no time or place for sin!  It’s wonderful!  I love this place with all my heart! This truly is Zion! 

Talking about loving this place… Pres. Pratt, the man in charge here, had some very harsh words to say to me and my comp as zone leaders!  We got in trouble because we were having a zone meeting when we were supposed to be having district meeting... but its not our fault because we were instructed by the previous zone leaders and also our Branch President to do it this way!  But it’s all good! After the harsh talking to (which was in front of our whole zone) we found Pres. Pratt and apologized and we are all good now!

There are these really, really, really delicious cranberry juice things you can buy here in the Tienda and they come in these tin metal bottles.  After we drink the juice we save the bottles and then pour boiling water in them.  Then we have contests on who can hold the bottle the longest! Elder Richardson got a video of me holding the bottle and it’s so, so, so funny but I don’t know how to send it via email so I don’t know… we’ll see if I can send it!  It’s really funny and all of us in district 4A probably have some nerve damage in our hands but it’s all good!  We have to let our immaturity out sometime!

Mom you should be really proud of me!  We had unexpected room checking or whatever you call it and our room passed with flying colors!  We’ve set a goal to keep everything tidy and clean and neat and we’ve kept that goal!  The other rooms in our casa are so bad, I can’t even go in them because they smell so bad!!!
Anyways, that’s probably enough fun stories for this week!

I’m doing very well and I’m very happy! The work is great and while reading in 3 Nephi this week I came across a scripture that I think defines me.  It’s 3 Nephi capitalo 5 versiculo 13:

"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life."

Family and friends, I apologize for not writing too many spiritual things in my email blog thing.  I do want you to know that I have incredible spiritual experiences daily while reading in the Book of Mormon and teaching the gospel in the Spanish language!  I have been writing these experiences down in my journal and never remember to bring my journal with me when I write home to share some things I have learned.  But what would help you feel the Spirit more than reading my experiences is if you go and read the Book of Mormon yourself! Please, please, please study and read the Book of Mormon daily!  I promise you will feel the Spirit and you will be taught by the Spirit.  Through the Spirit you may know the truth of all things!  Please be strong!  Act in Faith!  Even just the tiniest little drop of faith will do!  Please, for me, for you, and for your relationship with your Father in Heaven.  I love you all so much!  I hope all is well!  Be strong and move forward in faith!
Remember…Look Good, Feel Good, Let's do this thang!

Love, Love, Love,

Elder McClure

Riley 'the Studious'

"Love these guys!"

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christmas & Birthday

Service project scraps = Teddy Bears!!

My District is the Best in the Whole Wide World

19th Birthday!!!
January 1st, 2015!!

Hello All 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

So much has happened in this past week--so much Christmas cheer and love!

Christmas here at the CCM was totally the best!  Our district did service (cutting blankets for old men that sleep on the floor) and a present exchange and we had a mini tree and so much more! We had a fiesta because one of the boys in our district got a whole pie in the mail and also bags of chips and soda and cookies so we had a good ol’ time and shared our favorite memories of past Christmas’.  The Spirit here at the CCM was just so strong on Christmas day!   We had devotionals broadcasted by Elder Nelson which was live from Provo and then a recorded one from Elder Bednar that was literally the best talk I have ever heard in my life!!  I’d share my thoughts on it but my notebook is back at my casa and honestly I’m so brain dead I can’t think. We also had an Area Seventy come and speak to us which was great but it was in Espaniol so I didn’t get very much out of it!  Christmas morning we weren’t sure what to do as a district so I suggested we go caroling and we did--to every single class room and also the president’s

house which was really scary but turned out alright!   All the natives here really enjoyed our singing and would get pictures with us and I really think I have the best district in the whole wide world.   We spread the Christmas cheer like wildfire!

The next day was my birthday and I am now 19!!!  (How did that happen!!!)  My birthday was a little down because everyone knew Christmas was over and we all had to get back to work but my district sang to me and made me a present and I felt really loved so it was just great!  I loved the presents you sent me mother!  The pictures especially!  A missionary can always use more pictures!!  All in all my birthday was really good and I’m extremely happy and honored to spend my last teen year serving the Lord!   There’s nothing I would rather be doing!!

This week has been a bit of a struggle because on the 27th I got a cold and have been fighting it ever since!  I am still happy but all the district members are constantly asking me if I’m ok because I’m not smiling so much!  I just tell them that I’m being how I was before my mission and that I am still happy--just feeling really sick so it’s hard to smile. That also kinda hit me in that people really do notice if you smile or not.  It made me realize that smiling is a good thing and can help other people smile!  It’s contagious!!  So I’m trying to smile even though I feel like I’m going to die!

We teach people every day and my Spanish is slowly getting better!  I love being able to teach.  It’s really the coolest thing to watch people feel the Spirit as you sit there and teach them the gospel!  My comp and I work really hard preparing for lessons and I do think its pays off!   The Lord blesses those who work hard!

A few days ago Elder Richardson and I saw the natives eating whole chilies at lunch and crying because they were so hot!  So being the smart elders we are we thought we minds well experience the feeling too!  Let me say this-- my whole body has never been so hot!  We literally cried for an hour straight and they had no milk so we each drank about 20 cups of apple juice and I’m kinda glad I did it but at the same time I just wonder how much of an idiot I really am!  If natives cry because it’s so hot then Americans should just back off!

I’ve spent the last few gym times walking the perimeter of this compound!  It’s huge--96 acres I think!   It feels really nice to just walk though and I like to jump up and look over the big wall and see real Mexico right on the other side!  It smells so bad here like dead bodies and feces mixed together and it’s really hard to get used to but I think I’m making progress with that! 

Last night for New Years all the Elders in my district got up at midnight and cheered and drank sparkling cider that again an elder in my district got in the mail--5 bottles!   It was really fun and fireworks were going off like crazy so it was just so cool!

I’ve been learning a lot about prayer this past week--learning that we will receive answers to anything we ask about as long as we have sufficient faith and patience!  I’ve really put this to heart and am working on the faith aspect for sure!  I’ve had a lot of really specific and personal things I’ve been praying about lately and I know God will answer. 

I’m so happy being here as a missionary!  It’s a new year and I’m 19!  I have great friends here and back home, a family that loves me and supports me, Heavenly father who’s watching over me and a Savior that knows exactly what I’m experiencing with the good and the bad!  I’m so blessed and I can’t not be happy knowing that! 

I pray all is well back home!  I apologize if I don’t respond right away to people that email me! My time on the internet is very limited and family comes first!  I’ll write as soon as I can though!

I love you all! Be strong!  Know that God loves you and you are important--important to Him and important to me! 

With Love,

Elder McClure

OH also for my blog:

We had a Costco pizza eating contest!   Each slice is about a third of a large pizza!  I’m sick so I lost... I ate 2.  Elder Taylor, the giant in our district ate 7!!!  He didn’t feel too good afterwards though so I’m not too jealous and mad that I lost!

One more thing to the blog:

Elders Richardson and Greig in my district snuck into my room before I woke up on my birthday and locked themselves in my closet.  When I woke up and opened up my closet they jumped out and I almost wet my pants!!!!!  What a horrible birthday surprise!  They got pics of it right in the moment.

The Birthday Surprise!