Monday, December 28, 2015

Feliz Cumplianos!

Fire Cake, Yummmmmmmmmm!

My comp made me a homemade Nutella cake for my birthday
20 years old!!
Turns out I am writing today even though it’s not my p-day!  hahahahahahaha   We just got word yesterday that we have to write today-- super fun!  

Well, I’m not sure what to write about!  We talked like 3 days ago and nothing’s happened since then. hahahah   All is well, still.  This week we are thinking of making a trip to Ajusco on our prep day which will be Friday.  We want to hike Eagles Peak which is really famous and will let us see the whole, whole, whole city!  So we will see if it happens.  We are working hard and trying to find new investigators.  That’s the goal.

My birthday was awesome.  I got a few calls from friends here in the mission that remembered my b-day and the lady who we ate with didn’t know, but then my comp told her and she went and bought a cake. hahahaha   I feel bad about that, haha, and I also got a few presents from people in my district so it was real fun and I was happy people remembered.

Tonight I have my first district meeting with my new district and I’m real nervous, but hey I’ve been doing these meetings for over 6 months, so it’s not really anything new.  
All is well--just plugging along and trying to be a good boy.

LOVE you guys like crazy.   Keep up the awesomeness.


Elder McClure

From his Mission President's wife.

  The lake in my area - there's turtles.
Mi amigo, Elder Galindo (from Honduras).

Friday, December 25, 2015

Ho, Ho, Ho!!

Skype Call with Riley - A Great Christmas Gift!
Too fun!!!
WOW!  I apologize for not writing more on Monday!  I only had a minute to set a time for Skyping with my fam on Christmas day … which is today.  And yes, today is my p-day.  P-day on Christmas ... not bad … not bad.

I’m betting a few of you (mostly my fam) are dying to know where I am right now -- what my new area is like and who my new comp is.   Well, time to spill the beans.  My new area is called Hidalgo, in the Contreras Stake.  It’s a sweet area and the ward is the best ward in our mission with like 250 or so active people.

My new comp, Elder Cumbe, is from Equador and is a real sick-nasty awesome dude!  We get along super, super well and work good together.  He has 16 months in the mission so far and I’m so, so, so, so thankful that his accent isn’t bad.  I understand him real well!

My new district consists of my comp and I and 6 sister missionaries. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I’m not a fan. Sisters always bring trouble!  haha   But no, not really.  All these sisters are really nice and really cool and hopefully won’t be too much of a handful.

On Monday we had a mission Christmas party.  We had 3 zones there and I loved it! There was tons and tons of food and tons of sports and we watched Frozen … although it was in Español, which means it wasn’t nearly as good.  We also did a zone skit and I was a body guard for Santa and really didn’t do much, but it was really funny.  The talent show was incredible and President Mecham sang for us.  That was the only time I cried—but yes, I cried.

Yesterday my comp played guitar all morning and I sang (just in our house) and it was awesome.  I took videos and I’d love to share them, but I can’t until I get home in a year.  Then in the evening we went caroling with the zone in a huge shopping center and handed out like a million pass-along cards and 200 pamphlets of the Restoration.  It was so much fun and I took videos of that too.  It was truly a success which was cool because I didn’t think it would be.  Then at night we ate with a family and played a game involving freckles and drawing freckles on other people’s faces.  It was so funny and fun and we had permission to stay out late.   We got home at like 10:30ish--so fun!

This morning I woke up, tore open my package from the fam and then played music and sang in the shower till it was time to go to the chapel (which is like right down the street) to go play volleyball and eat hot dogs for like 6 hours with the zone!  SO FUN!  Now I’m here … waiting to Skype with my family--writing a bit and smiling real big.  I love this Christmas time and the spirit that’s here.  All the Mexicans are super nice during this time of year and everyone says “Feliz Navidad” to you in the streets!

Of course this is a time to think of and remember the Savior, what He did for us, and how, thanks to Him, each one of us has hope--hope to change, hope to be happy every moment and the hope to live again in the presence of our Heavenly Father. What a Blessing!  I love my Savior.  He’s my older brother and my best friend.  This time of year has made me reflect on my life and where I have been and where I am now.  Tomorrow is my 20th birthday.  How proud I am to say that I have dedicated the entirety of my last teen age year in my life to the service of my Lord.  This past year I have come to know Him.  I have grown closer to Him than ever before and because of that, I have grown in the most incredible ways. The mission is the most amazing experience any 18 or 19 year-old could dream of.  I am SO grateful for this opportunity to serve.

In the past few days a handful of people have called my comp and me Angels.  I cannot tell you how much I love hearing that--not because I like "credit" or because I like being recognized, but because what a blessing it is to see how they have been blessed by the Lord through his humble servants and afterword recognize it!  WOW!  I do not claim any glory.  The glory is all His. I am simply a humble instrument in His hands, and heck, I love being an instrument.  For the rest of my life I will seek to be that instrument--the one that serves and sings and is happy every day of his life.  It is only possible to achieve if we live a Christ-like life and seek to do His will over our own.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  He has called me here, to the Mexico Mexico City South Mission to serve his children and bring them unto Him. I am an instrument in His hands and I will do what He commands.  I glory in my Savior and I love Him with all my heart.

I hope and pray you all have had a wonderful Christmas morning and that in this new year each and every one of you can be an instrument in the hands of the Lord and help someone find their way back to Him.

I love you all,

Elder McClure

Monday, December 21, 2015

Late and Brief . . .

He doesn't really wear glasses.  Silly boy . . .
Riley didn't send much today and it came late this evening.  His Preparation Day was changed this week, but he didn't say when it will be.  He only had a moment on the internet to tell us this much:

"Right now I'm a little sick ... a cold I think.  But hopfully I can get over it.  We had our [mission Christmas] party today and it was a blast!!"

We plan to Skype on Christmas day. If Riley sends anything more, we'll update the blog.  

Just before his last haircut.

Monday, December 14, 2015

One Awesome Week!

One Year!
"I got a bunch of new ties, 5 pesos each."
Hey Everybody,

WOW, we are talking one AWESOME week!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOO!

Let me explain: First, its Christmas time. Wow I love it.

2nd, it was just an awesome week!!!!!!!!!!

At the beginning of the week my comp and I set a goal to teach 40 lessons. That’s the goal that the mission has for every companionship for every week, but let me tell you, it’s hard to get!  In fact I have never had 40 lessons in one week!!!!  But we set the goal with a lot of faith and a lot of good planning and then we went to work!  Tuesday we taught 9 lessons, and on Wednesday we went on splits and I taught 9 and Elder Miller taught 6.  By the end of the week the number of lessons per day had slowed down, but Sunday night we finished our 41st lesson and then called it a week!  WOW!  IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! 

Thursday was my hump day.  It was pretty fun!  We celebrated by going to Tianguis, which is like a swap meet or huge garage sale!  I bought 10 ties for 50 pesos and they gave me an extra just cuz they liked me!  WHAT A BARGAIN!  Then we went to a nice lady’s restaurant and she gave us cake and hot chocolate for freeeeeee!  It was like the best day ever! 

Sunday we didn’t have any investigadors at church but that’s only because we didn’t have church services!  Instead we all attended the temple dedication of the Tijuana Mexico Temple! It was soo incredible and it’s soo awesome to see Pres. Hinckley’s son as the new temple president!  His Spanish is pretty good! 

Last night I got a phone call saying that my time here in Jardines is just about up!  Tomorrow morning we have transfers and I’m headed off to a new area! Elder McNall of my district will be the new district leader and every one in my district is staying, except Hermana Gonzalez because she is finishing her mission tomorrow!  Super crazyyyyyyyyy!

Another highlight of the week for me was setting up the Christmas tree with my converts Rebeca, Fernanda and Sylvia!  We went to their house and helped them set up the tree and decorate it and it was exactly what I needed!  I felt right at home and I just really got going with the whole Christmas spirit!  What a wonderful family they are!

The work here has really exploded as we’ve taught much more lessons. I feel good leaving Elder Miller with what we have.  He will no doubt have much success and many baptisms in the next few months! 

POSOLE! My most favorite dish of Mexico.
My district in total.  We had a great district meeting!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 52 - Time is a Flyin'

Riley's ward at the Temple Visitors' Center.
My Mexican grandma, Delia.

Now it feels like Christmas!
Hey Friends,

Wow, it’s DICIEMBRE!!!!!!!!  I can’t believe it!  Time is a flying!

This week was super killer!  Totally got my health back and we worked our bum-bums off and even had 8 lessons in one day.  Then, on Saturday we partied hard by private busing it to the temple with the Ward to see the Visitors' Center and take pics with all the Christmas lights! LOVE IT!

So umm, yeah we taught a ton and got our area up on its feet and then found some new investigadors and found one who is already a member!!!  Let me explain. This guy was baptized, has the priesthood menor (lesser or Aaronic Priesthood), patriarchal blessing, and has done baptisms in the temple and right now he’s technically not a member because some of his information has been lost!!!!!!  So we were asked by bishop to teach him the lessons and baptize him.  It’s pretty awesome.  It is safe to say he’s progressing. He even showed up to church yesterday to bless his month old baby.

The temple was amazing. There were about 2.3 billion people there so we weren’t able to enter and do baptisms, but the Visitors' Center was bomb and the lights just made my whole world light up.  It’s hard to feel the Christmas spirit here in the heat and feel of Mexico, but really at the temple ... it was Christmas and I loved every minute.  Also, like 8 of our investigators came with us to the temple and I got to hang out with Rebeca and Fernanda and a bunch of others, which is so fun to see how much they’ve grown in the gospel.

We got news that our misión Christmas party will be on the 18th and we will be playing sports, doing skits, and watching Frozen!  YAY!   If I stay in the area for the next cambio (transfer) then it’ll be the 18th.   If I get transferred next week I might have it on a different day-- all depends.  I’ll let you know.

An elder in our neighboring district went home this past week and so now there are only 3 elders in that district and so now they are part of mine.  Now I have a district of 9-- pretty exciting! My family just keeps on growing!

All is well, all is fun, all is spiritually uplifting and I’m lots less stressed with an area that is making some good progress!

YAY!  Love you all.

Switchin' it up for the pic.
Crazy puppy!

My companion, Elder Miller.
Great times at the Temple Visitors' Center.