Friday, October 28, 2016

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

Happy Birthday to the Best Mission Mom Ever!

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 . . .

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 . . .

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"I Love the Mish" . . . Changes!

Valeria and Fernanda were baptized.
A wonderful day!!

Hello Family!

Oh what a week it has been!   And really I’m not sure where to start.  But now thinking about it, I think I will start with what happened last week because we had a WONDERFUL last week of the change!  The baptismal service of Valeria and Fernanda was absolutely wonderful!  After going through another rough experience trying to get everything ready, people started showing up!  Really from the ward there was only a few that came … like 9.  But more than 40 relatives of the girls showed up and so we had more than 50 people in the service!  What a wonderful time it was!  I’m hoping the pictures I send will help show what I’m saying, but it was absolutely wonderful.

I also got to go to the temple last week!  My companion was invited to go to an endowment of a friend and I was obviously invited because I’m his comp.  Sister Mecham also went because she knows the gal well and was her escort.  So yea, I got to go to the temple on the 7th of October and there in the chapel waiting area I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time in Spanish.  It was a very, very, very sweet experience and I might have cried … might.  While in the changing room of the temple I ran into a bunch of elders from the MTC and I asked if they knew an Elder Thurgood.  One told me he knew him and they were zone leaders together and that he had been in the earlier session.  Sadly, I never saw him, but we were in the temple at the same time.  It would have been wonderful to have gotten to see him!

Well, Saturday night I got a phone call I wasn’t at all expecting.  My idea was to finish my mission in Churubusco with Elder Herrera as zone leaders and baptizing everyone we met.  But, my idea wasn’t at all the Lord’s idea.  So I was informed that I had changes on Monday and that started the process of packing and saying goodbye to all my friends that I had made in the ward.  I love the Churubusco Ward.  I can easily say it’s the best ward I’ve had in my mission (although that’s not to say that I don’t love the other wards) and saying goodbye was really, honestly quite hard.  In fact, I didn’t even tell anyone at church it was my last day because I didn’t want the attention and I didn’t really want people saying goodbye to me because that just makes me sad.  And so it was.  Oh, and I might say that that sacrament service was incredible with Gabriel’s, Fernanda’s and Valeria’s confirmations and then testimony meeting--so sweet--the best going away gift I could have asked for!

Monday was a dreaded day-- so sad.  Paco took me to the church where the changes were.  After waiting a few minutes and talking to tons of missionaries, the assistants came out with the changes and my comp was the first to get the list of the changes for our zone.  He looked down, saw my name and took the surprise out of it by yelling where I was going.  Haha.  Now I’m in the ward right next to Churubusco.  It’s called Taxqueña and my new companion is Elder Avila.  He’s from Chiapas and is one of the funniest 24-year-olds I know.  We get along great and have already had much time in the mission getting to know each other.  I’m excited to end my mission in this area with Elder Avila even though I’m a little sad that I had to leave my beloved Churubusco.  But the Lord knows best.  Now I’m learning a few songs on the ukulele and working hard.  I don’t think I’ll be baptizing again on my mission … but who knows …a miracle could happen.  And even if not … I’ve done all that I can.  I feel good about my work and dedication.

I know my preparation days (P-days) have been a little crazy these last few months with special changes and all, but now they should for the most part be solid and normal ... but on Fridays.  Friday is my new p-day and if we are ever too busy to write on Friday then it’ll most likely be Saturday when I write. Anywho, sorry for all the changes.  I’m incredibly happy and working hard, hard, hard.  It feels good to know that people trust me.  I’m healthy too-- happy days.

Loves to all,

Wish I could be at the temple dedication, but just know that my thoughts are there.  :)   I have permission to watch some of the Cultural Celebration tonight (Sat), but it starts at 8:00 my time, So I won’t have much time to watch.   All is well.    Elder McClure

YUM !!
Good-hye to Elder Erickson
Hello Elder Avila
Saying "hi" in Ajusco.  Wooooooooooooooo, I ove Sebas and Lety.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

"Here's Some Fun from Last Week"

We didn't get a letter yet.  But, Elder McClure sent these photos.  It doesn't get much better than this . . . baptisms and the Temple!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Glory Days!!

Gabriel and Elder McClure
A united, healed family!
Rubi's birthday and baptism celebration.
Oh, how wonderfullllllllll!!!
I sure did love me this past week.  So much good was done.  I love successful weeks!
Thursday was one of the most stressful days of my missionary life!  Honestly just about everything that could go wrong, went wrong.  Well, at least in my perspective it was that way!  Getting the baptismal service ready was a rough experience!  We went about trying to get keys to the boiler for the hot water in the font and after begging and pleading and searching just about every house in the ward we found keys.  Yay.  But, then we opened up the closet where the boiler is and realized there was no gas.  That made me mad.  Maintenance in Mexico is not a forte.  Then, calling our bishop asking for help, he told us it wasn’t his responsibility and that he was going to arrive late to the service, if he was even going to get there.  We went running to the mission offices to ask help of the assistants and they told us “tough luck”.  Then President saw me stressed and I told him why and his only reply was "Well elder, in my mission we baptized in rivers," and ya, that was it.  No help from the mission.  So we decided to just go with ice cold water, but as we started filling the font we realized that the drain was broken and that all the water just left the font.  Ahhh, what do we do?  My companion is brilliant!  We got a black trash bag and used it to cover the drain!  Wooo.  It kinda held!  Cold water and broken font, but fixed, none the less. 
What else could go wrong?  Well, more went wrong, but I’m sure that by this point you all are bored of reading about my stressful day, so let’s just say more stress happened and then ya, it was time for the service!  Oh how sweet it was!  It was Rubi’s birthday and she had no clue that her dad was getting baptized!  She, along with everyone else, was just waiting for the service to start, thinking 2 little girls were going to get baptized, when her dad walked in wearing white.  She, in that moment, was Skyping in with my old comp Elder Stout and Elder Crandall for her birthday and she was taken by surprise seeing her dad in white!  Then it hit her, and she started to cry.  It was the sweetest service ever and you know what?  I couldn’t even feel the cold water.  To me it was warm for the happiness that filled my soul.  And that’s not to mention Gabriel.  He told me the same thing.  He couldn’t even feel the ice cold water.
The baptism was a little rough because that man is like 6 foot 3 and I’m just a little small fella!  But by a miracle I got him up and out of the icy font and oh how sweet it was!  Their testimonies afterward were incredible!  This family was a ruined mess just a few months ago.  In Gabriel’s case he had to hit rock bottom before coming to his senses and learning about the gospel.  But, oh how they have changed!  They have been healed!  A broken apart family is now together.  All are members now and they are working together toward a temple sealing in just a short year from now!  I’m so grateful to have been part of this miracle!  Thanks to Elder Stout being guided to find that family.  He was able to help the mom and daughter and I got here just in time to participate in the miracle that took place in papa Gabriel’s life.  I personally watched a broken-down, mad and sad man make a full 180 with a twist and he is now a holy man.  He went from rock bottom to heavenly high and all in a matter of weeks!!  That, my friends, is a miracle and I’ve been seeing so many miracles and eating so many tacos in these past few weeks that I must say I do believe these are glory days!
Life is good--too good and I love it.  We are so blessed.  We are seeing the hand of the Lord in all we do and it is refreshing and renewing.  It would be impossible to say that God is not involved.  It’s sooo easy to see His love spread upon all who learn His word and obey his commandments.  After all the trials of that cold and rainy Thursday I’m happy to say that we won.  And we will always win, so long as we have the Lord on our side.
How happy I am.  How tired I am.
We are so very blessed.
Elder McClure

I want to throw a shout out to Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita.  (See Elder Yamashita on the screen.) As a missionary myself his conference talk went straight to my heart.  I can’t explain how it feels to personally know the person who’s speaking at General Conference.  It helps me be more receptive to his words and just lets me know even more that he’s a chosen servant of the Lord.  I LOVED Elder Yamashita's talk!
Elder Yamashita Meme
"We found a beautiful canal by our house."
Ward party (food) between sessions of General Conference.
Tacos following the General Priesthood Session of conference.