Monday, March 30, 2015

Chicken Foot

Chicken Foot, Anyone?
March 30, 2015

Hello from Mexico!

This week has been ... another week!  But a good one, so no complaints coming from me!

First thing that comes to my mind is the interview I had with President in his SUPER FRESCA (SWEET) house!  Like we are talking fresca.  It’s just one of those perks I guess for being mission president, but oh my it was like I was in heaven!  The interview went great!  I presented 3 goals I had and he really liked them and told me I’m on track, so that was really encouraging and I walked out really happy and pumped.  I’m really grateful I was able to have that this week!

This week I had the opportunity to try chicken foot.   The lady asked me if I wanted it and all I heard her say was chicken so I was like, heck yeah I’ll have some chicken!  After I said heck yes (but in Spanish of course) my comp looked at me and said "dude, you just ordered chicken foot".   As you can imagine it was ... nasty!  Like we are talking sticky and no meat just skin and bone and the nails were clipped, but not very good, and oh man I had to really work hard to not throw up!  Man I can’t wait till I know Spanish better so I don’t get myself into situations like that!

We have been blessed with really great weather!  It rains almost every day in the afternoon which cools things down and gets rid of lots of the dust!  The only bad part is when you forget your umbrella and then get drenched, but even that’s better than the big yellow Mexican sun!

This week has been a little slow with lessons.  One day we only had 3 lessons!  It was the worst I’ve ever had!  But the past few weeks have been so good that we were bound for a bummer week sooner or later!

We thought we were done with hot water problems and then our gas ran out, so we got to enjoy cold showers ... again!  That got changed today, so life is good!  We finally bought fruit!  It’s so cheap!   We got like 14 huge oranges for 70 cents!  And mangos are soooooooooooo good!  I have one every morning!  (Even if it does bring on diarrhea.)

 Everything’s going well!  I’ve got 2 more weeks with my comp Elder Davis and then chances are he’s gonna go bye-bye!   I hope I get a Mexican comp next so I’m really forced to learn the language!   But really I’m going to enjoy these next two weeks.  Having an American comp is great--I can crack jokes and he totally gets them!  I’m super, super, super stoked for General Conference this week! [General Conference is the Church semi-annual conference and can be viewed on live on April 4 & 5, 10 AM and 2 PM Mountain Time.]  We are going to watch it in English with like 20 other missionaries and eat pizza and junk and man I’m pumped ... can’t wait!

All is well.   Hope FoCo (Fort Collins) is rockin’ with spring just right around the corner!   (kinda jealous!)

Elder MexClure

Yea for Fresh Fruit!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Two Incredible Weeks -- Two Baptisms!!

Note:  This post includes letters from both March 16 and 23.

Riley baptizes Jovita
March 23, 2015

This week was another great week down here in Mexi-cow!   We’ve had much success in teaching our investigators and recent converts and menos activos and total!    We had many many many lessons and my Spanish is getting better and better and better!   The highlight this week was... another baptism! Her name is Jovita and she’s been a rock star with faith ever since we met her!   She’s had an insane desire ever since we started teaching her and she gave up smoking, alcohol, coffee, her boyfriend and a few other things just so she could be clean and make this covenant with God!   It’s been truly incredible to watch her learn and grow throughout the past few weeks and I have to say she is the most emotional lady I have ever met-- in a good way!   But during the baptism she cried and cried and cried and said AMEN like 50 times!   This was a big highlight for me especially because she asked me to perform the ordinance!   It was so scary but so awesome!   The prayer isn’t as scary as just remembering her full name!   Darn Mexican names are so hard! ... and long... we are talking 4 names!   It’s just torture for us missionaries!    But it was awesome!   I said the prayer and before I dunked her I whispered to her to bend her knees... which she did NOT do!   Oh man she planked hard and fast like she couldn’t wait any longer to get under that water and I just about fell in with her!  hahaha   It was so so funny but luckily after a few long seconds I got my footing and got her back up and out!   Todo esta bien!   Phew!   haha But what a wonderful experience it was!   We had our first convert (Rebecca) give her testimony and holy cow I swear she knows more about this gospel than me!   I just sat there dumbfounded for like 5 minutes!   I couldn’t believe she’s so smart and she’s got such a strong testimony and I just sat there like a dummy not believing my ears!   But how rewarding that was to see!   She’s truly truly converted and it’s such an honor to be a small part in that conversion! 

Also I think I mentioned last week that we got a new water heater.  It’s very very slick and very expensive but the hard part is there were no instructions for how to operate it so long story short... I almost blew up the whole block!   Don’t worry mom and dad no one got hurt and really it was a blessing because the fire ball totally took off my scruff and I didn’t have to shave that day!  JK   Don’t worry, it wasn’t that bad... just a little scary.   I’ve learned since then how to use it! 

Some days are a little rainy and cloudy and oh how I love it!   It’s such a blessing!   We don’t have any more baptisms for a while but that’s ok.    I’m focusing on getting all the little stuff down because my training is just about up!   I can’t believe how long I’ve been here!   Each day flies by and it’s so hard to keep up!   But really it’s great!   I love the people, the food, the streets... (sometimes), our investigators and our ward.   I am truly blessed!

Elder McClure Over and Out
Food Fun!!
March 16, 2015

Another week has come and gone!      And..... we had a baptism!  It was totally awesome!!!

Armando is totally a miembro of the Church now and he’s grown so much!    Seriously he went from smoking 2 packs a day to nada in no time at all!  His faith is so strong and really once he put his faith in the Lord he was able to do it!   His baptism service was really really good and the boiler even worked so the water wasn’t ice cold!  I gave the most incredible 1 min talk ever to be recorded and once it was over I like collapsed in my chair because all my adrenalin was gone and it was bad!   His wife’s parents came to support him and that was the best!   (His wife passed away a few months ago and was a member of the Church.  Once she passed he realized the importance of the sealing power and started investigating the church more!)   We are super happy for him and we have another baptism set for this week, a hermana named Jovita.  I’m kinda super duper really kinda nervous because she asked me to baptize her... oh man I’m so nervous!

This week we had the coolest experience of almost getting mugged!   I won’t tell the full story because mother I don’t want you worrying too too much about me but I’ll say this... because of the Spirit and a little bit of common sense... we were safe and fine but it was super crazy to realize the situation we had been in after the moment had passed.   I’m so grateful we are protected as missionaries!   As long as we are doing the right thing at the right time and in the right place we never have to worry!   And lucky for me I have a wonderful comp that is like me in wanting to be 100% obedient!   So we were fine and it was totally cool!

I got a ton of letters this week!   We are talking like so many that when I had to carry them in my bag from the church to my house... I’m pretty sure my spine snapped and I’m gonna have back problems for the rest of my life!   So many letters and I’ve just been soaking them up every night before bed and just loving it!

We had an incredible week with 34 lessons and one baptism-- pretty much the dream for any missionary!   Tons of investigators are progressing and we are healthy and happy!   Our water heater totally broke and so we had cold showers most this week but right now as I write we are having a new water heater (the tankless kind... pretty shnazzy right?) installed!   So I might just go home and take a hot shower after this hour of writing!

This morning during my study I found the most incredible scripture that just hits the spot!  2 Nefi 28:30:  For behold, thus saith the Lord God:  I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

What a wonderful verse to explain how God works-- little by little we learn and God gives us more and more as we progress and continually work our way up the ladder!   But if we don’t keep trying to learn and grow... God will take it all away. Testimonies are key to this scripture.   That’s why I’m so so glad that I can be here in DF Sur bearing testimony time and time again and studying the gospel for many hours every morning!   I feel I have grown so much and I’m so grateful for this opportunity that I have!

Elder MexClure

Armando's Baptism!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kickin' Booty

March 16, 2015

I’m doing great!  Happy, healthy, growing and kickin’ booty down here in Mexicow! 

Elder McClure

Thanks for the pics and the letters!  I didn’t have time to read them, but I will tonight!  I got a ton of letters and DearElder letters and thank you for all of it!  I’ve been loving it! and the mail totally gets here!  haha   Man I love it.

Rooftop lovin'!

A guy we baptized named Armando.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"We Are On Fire!"

They love to bake!

March 9, 2015

Hello Hello from the great down under..  pues .. more like just south of the border!  (not Austrailia!) 

I think the most correct way to describe this week is … WE ARE ON FIRE!! in just about every way possible!  We have taught a TON of lessons, rocked the language, unified a lot more as a companionship, especially in our teaching, and it’s like a million degrees here so yeah!  On Fire! 

We have a baptism set for this week!   We didn’t think we would because this investigator has been smoking 2 packs a day for 22 years and we really didn’t think he had the will to stop ... or put his faith and trust in God and even really try to stop.   But one day this week he surprised us with telling us he’d been good for 3 days and he’s had crazy tremors and eaten a TON of suckers to try to distract himself, but he’s done it!  He’s still good and set to be baptized for this Saturday at 5:00pm!  He might get cavities ... but that’s ok ... I’d rather he get cavities and obey the commandments than keep smokin’.   My testimony has grown immensely while watching him progress though!   Once he involved his Heavenly Father through praying and reading the scriptures he found the motive to quit smoking!   Truly incredible!   So we are extremely excited for him and hope he will stay good good good forever and ever.  We also have another bautismo set for this next week.   I’ll talk more about that next Monday!

This week we had my "evaluation" and it was ... cool.   Really there was a major traffic jam and we arrived 45 mins late and Prez was very upset with us and then the assistant chastened us for not speaking more Spanish while in our casa, like right before bed, but it’s all good.   I sure learned a lot from it and it was a good experience.   We learned that next time we need to leave at 3am just so we can arrive to that certain chapel on time, with time to spare, haha. 

Every week I experience major disappointment on Sunday when hardly any of our investigators show up.   Like this week we had 9 promise to come ... and yet only 3 did.   It’s extremely frustrating and it’s helped me see how important it is to keep commitments.   It’s hard at times for everyone, especially me, but I’m really trying to be better at it because I HATE it when people don’t keep their commitments to us and to the Lord.

I realize it’s totally spring break time back home and that makes me a little sad.  The one true bummer with the mission is we don’t ever get breaks.   But it’s all good.   It’s only 2 years.

The Spanish is coming.   I just need to be patient!   Some days are better than others which is expected, but I can see myself slowly getting better, so it’s really encouraging!   Soon I’m going to be straight-up Mexican and have an accent! 

I’m doing good!   Staying healthy!   Trying to stay safe!   Loving the work and really every day just flies by!   I can’t believe it!   The work is incredible and people here are just so humble that teaching is a blast!   We have seen miracles and been a part of miracles!   I love being an instrument in the hands of the Lord.   This is where I belong and this is where I can make a difference one hot day at a time.   Time is out and I gotta log out.   Peace ‘merica.


Elder MexClure

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Spanish Has Quadrupled

"This is Angel, son of our ward mission leader. I love that kid a lot!"
Her name is Delia!  She makes those things!  They are tortilla holders and she said she’s going to make me one!  She’s like my li’l grandma here and I love her to death!

March 2, 2015
Soooooo cambios (transfers) are today and tomorrow .... but I’m not going anywhere!!!!

neither is my comp or anyone else in my district!   I feel very blessed to be able to stay here and continue the work with those who I’ve come so close to!

Since it is cambios (transfers) I’ve had some time to think and ponder and reflect on my first 6 weeks in the field and to be completely honest I am incredibly impressed by how much I truly have grown in such a short time!  Even though it’s hard to see, my Spanish has quadrupled and my knowledge of the gospel and my faith has done the same!  I know this has only happened through the help of the Lord and I am truly grateful for that!  How blessed I have been!  I have also felt all the prayers that have been sent in my behalf throughout these weeks.  Thank you for all who have blessed me in this way!

This week has been great!  We had 28 incredibly spiritual lessons and we have many investigators progressing.  I’ve been spending a half hour every night reading Our Heritage and Our Search for Happiness.  I’ve been truly enlightened and I love learning about Joseph Smith and his influence in bringing this gospel back to the earth!  I love cooking and have been baking and cooking every chance I get!  It’s a way I get my stress out and I just love being able to make something delicious in hardly no time at all!  My comp and I get along great and we are helping each other grow and learn.  The last half of this week I have been on fire with the language and I’m loving it!  It’s still hard and still a pain in the neck, but with divine help I am understanding people a little easier and talking a little more!  I’m truly blessed!

This week I had carnitas for the first time ... it’s basically pig parts fried in pig lard and then wrapped in a tortilla ... it was delicious!!!!  I loved it ... but after I got super sick and had stomach pains and got to know the bathroom really well ... but it’s all good!  I’m better now and back on track ... Mom and Dad please don’t worry ... it was part of the experience and totally worth it!

Here in Mexico we are DYING from the heat, but what else is new--not like I even need to mention it anymore!  We see some gross things on the street and smell some gross things, too; but the tacos and the gospel make it all worth it!  Again, thank you for your prayers in my behalf and please keep them coming!!  I need all the help I can get!!!

No baptisms this week or next ... people here just can’t seem to make it to church ... but that’s ok ... it’s just part of the process.  We had stake conference this week and I loved it!  It was a wonderful 2-hour nap!!! JUST KIDDING!  Our mission prez attended and spoke and all us missionaries had to stand up and quote Our Missionary Purpose!  It was great!  I’m starting to feel the Spirit more and more and I love it so much!

ALL is well!  Stay strong America!


Elder McClure

Cake from a wonderful lady who owns a cafĂ© and gives us food.  Ooooh man, I love it!!

A recent convert gives us haircuts.