Monday, July 27, 2015

Walking and Singing . . .

It rains a lot!!
July 27, 2015

What a week!   We totally put in a full week of work and got in return 5 lessons in total.   5. Woooooooo!!!!   Yaaa!!!!!    We are awesome!!!   Man the work here is hard and slow!!!!   5 lessons and 4 were with actives (active Church members).   The other menos activo creo (less active members).   We don’t really have any investigators right now, so that’s rough, but hey we are working hard and we will be blessed for it, right? 

So pretty much we walked ... alllllll week, which was awesome.   It gave me some time to sing.   I especially thought of the song about pioneer children walking and walking and walking.   Ya that was one that ran though my head a lot.   And I sang the song by the big guy about how “Everything little thing ... is gonna be alright” as I got growled at by a herd of trash-eating dogs.   Music this week is what seriously kept me going. 

Besides all the walking and singing I really can’t think of anything else that happened this week.   Hmmm.

Yep, that’s really about it!   I’m in chapter of 8 of Moroni in the Book of Mormon ... SO close to finishing.  It’s so awesomely crazy, I’ve been like trying not to read very much because I don’t want it to end;  but ya, 2 chapters left and nada mas (nothing but)!   I’m also halfway through reading the Doctrine & Covenants and half way through reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish.   What should I do next?   The Bible?  Oh yikes!  (It's SOOOOO big!!)

I’ve really been able to focus on my Patriarchal Blessing esta semana (this week) and it’s so incredible the blessings that have already come forth and have happened in my life.   What a blessing to have this guidance to help me find my way!

The work is hard, but it’s awesome.   The walking is good.   I’ve got good views, good smelling cows, great tasting eggs and hotdogs, and a smile on my face.   Life’s good!

Elder McClure 

My bros . . .

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Joy is Full!!

My District!  My companion on the left.
July 20th, 2015

2nd week in Ajusco and I do believe I’m acclimating real well!  So much has happened and soo much hasn’t happened this week that I think I might just be good to call it a post right now.

Nah . . . so first a little bit more info--my comp, Elder Sierra, is from Colombia . . . not Columbia. (Supposedly there is a difference.)   He has 17 months in the mission and is probably the skinniest kid I have ever met.  He’s buying special protein to help him gain weight ... I wish I had that problem!

Ajusco is high in altitude (9600 feet) and absolutely beautiful.  There are ponies and moomoos and sheep and grass and fields and even a little bike trail (if only we had bikes) and volcanos and hills (lots of hills) and really it is just the cutest little giant pueblo you ever did see!  My calves have never hurt so bad in my life and the bus ride down the mountain to get to the city is about as life-threatening as rafting class 1billion rapids!   I LOVE AJUSCO!

 This week we worked hard trying to build up our area.  The truth is that when I got here this area was dead.  Now we have a few investigatores and a few future-investigatores and this week looks promising!  I’m really learning how to talk to everyone and how to understand a Colombian accent.  In all my emails I got this week people said how my Spanish must be getting so much better with an all-Hispanic district.  Oh, how I wish you all were right!  HAH!   I haven’t learned one new thing of Spanish.  Sadly my whole district says I’m already good with Spanish and so they won’t help me.  Elder Galindo from Honduras is fluent in English and he won’t help me!  I asked him to correct me when needed and he was all "ehhh, you’re fine".   So yeah, my Spanish might go a little downhill but at least I have Elder Galindo to talk to in English every now and then, so I don’t forget the basics of English. 

Oh yeah, also this week I went with Elder Galindo in his area for intercambios and it was real fun because he knows a ton about American movies and he kept me entertained for a whole 24 hours with lines from movies and just funny American stuff that I’ve missed a lot.  Also this week both my comp and I were down with a cold which was a little rough, but now we are doing much better and ready to work. 

Hmmmm . . . what else?  I had my first interview with my new Prez this week and my whole idea of missionary work was changed!   That man is truly inspired!  I love him!  He taught me how to love the people and after loving them the rest falls into place.  It’s something I might possibly be lacking so I’m super grateful for this insight and help from Prez.  It was such a powerful interview, we were both crying and wow the Spirit was so strong.  This past week was a bit slow, but things are picking up here in Ajusco and I’m ready to give it all I’ve got.   Missionary work is so rewarding--so hard and stressful and painful at times, ya ya ya; but so so so rewarding.  Oh how I love it all . . .even when it’s hard.   When it’s hard I learn even more so really, always it’s a winning situation.  I’m grateful to be here in Ajusco serving and giving it all I got.

My joy is full!

Elder McClure

My Branch President's daughter and her friend.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ajusco! Lovin' it!

My new area is behind me.
My new district.
July 13, 2015

Wow, my world has been flipped upside down--let me tell ya. So I thought having a call to Mexico City would mean 2 years of straight up ghetto desert city and nothing else ... I WAS WRONG! Transfers came and I am now in a small town called Ajusco.  It’s high in the mountains and extremely cold--like super cold--like so cold I can’t explain how cold!  There are farms and animals and cold and wow it’s so different.  I heard it’s where disobedient kids get sent to suffer and shape up, but I’ve been obedient, so who knows why I’m here.

My district is made up of 4 elders again. My comp, Elder Sierra is from Colombia. He doesn’t know English. Elder Nava is from Veracruz and Elder Galindo is from Honduras. Yes. I’m the only white boy. It’s rough. I ended my last transfer with confidence in my Spanish. Now I just realize how dumb I really am! It’s awesome. I love all the guys here though; they are great and good workers. My house is much bigger than last week, but super cold and damp and my towel doesn’t even dry with a day of being hung. Our house was so gross when I got there I wanted to throw up, but we’ve done some cleaning since then.  But it still needs help. There isn’t a ward here, just a branch of 30 active members and we meet in A House of Prayer. It’s a pretty sweet house though, so I’m pretty excited!  I gave a talk yesterday!  A great way to welcome a poor dumb white kid into the branch, huh! I spoke 15 minutes on testimony and missionary work.

I also had intercambios (exchanges) with the zone leaders this week and learned a ton from them.   They have a sweet area with baptisms almost every week. Also this whole past week my comp had to go to the hospital for tests because he has migraines, so I literally haven’t even worked in my new area yet.  Anywho, lots went on this week and lots of stress and not feeling super, super happy, but still kinda happy! I’m happy and healthy and starving and my calves are destroyed because every road is so steep it’s hard to walk. But I’m good.

 AJUSCO!  Lovin’ it

L to R: My son on the left, then me, my dad, my grandpa, and my great-grandpa. Terms used for who trained who.
Bye, bye!  Iztapalapa!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Good-bye Iztapalapa!

Hurray for Pizza!!
Super weird fruta called leeches that taste ... kinda like grapes. 
July 6, 2015

Hey Y’all,

So um, first off ... saw that picture of my boy Jacob Clark and all, and HOLY COW, he’s already home!  Can’t believe my eye balls!  Congrats to him and boy do I miss him.

OK, now to the other, not so important stuff:

Well we have a new president and I got to meet him last Wednesday and WOW he’s AMAZING!  Talk about a man of God!  And his wife ... she and I are gonna get along just great. She’s so so so so so so so so funny!!!!!!  Anywho, we had a zone conference to get to know him and his main message was "be 100% obedient" ... pretty interesting huh!  I love it!  That’s what it’s all about!  Success and happiness are what come from this whole obedience thing.  I love it!
Anywho, it was my turn to stand up and introduce myself in this conference and I mentioned that I was from Fort Collins and they both in one voice were all "our daughter lives there!!!!" and I was all like "Score"-- new favorite right here!  No not true, but anywho, ya their daughter is in Fort Collins so that’s pretty sweet.  I think I got an “in” with them for sure!! Hahaha--no.  Anywho, they are amazing and I’m so excited to get to know them better and work with them in this sacred work. 

This week was a good one, but very slow, might I say.  Not many lessons and the heat has kicked in -- and rain. los dos (both).   The reward at the end of the week was having 7 investigadores in the chapel on Sunday!  How amazing right???!?!!  We were so happy and 4 are a family--parents and 2 daughters.  They are the ones with the bunny and I’m so excited for them.  We don’t have many investigators, but the ones we have are really good and progressing, so it’s so wonderful.  I’m so happy!

Ok, now the scary news!  I’m getting transferred!  I know not where and with whom ... but tomorrow I’ll be off to a new land with a new comp and boy my adrenalin just can’t stop pumping!  Iztapalapa has been my home for all my mission and here I have made new friends, found much success, seen miracles, felt true happiness and grown spiritually in a way my little brain can’t even comprehend.  Leaving is going to be so hard, but I’m so excited for what lies ahead! 

I feel so, so blessed right now in my life and I’m so, so happy I just can’t put it into words. Serving the Lord really is the best thing any 19 year-old-boy could do. 

Next week get ready for the big news on where I am and who my comp is.

Elder McClure

My Mexican grandmas!