Monday, December 30, 2013

A Brand New Year

Hey family and friends!
I hope you all had a great Christmas filled with good memories with the family and friends. We had a great one here in Iowa! Our mission had 29 baptisms this week alone, which is the most ever in the history of our mission! I love how these 29 people all chose to be baptized during this Christmas week and that they really gave a great gift to their Savior by being baptized. They are giving of themselves and making promises to be better and to do better just as the new year approaches! 
Our investigator Scott is doing well! He wasnt fully prepared for baptism this week so we pushed it back to give him more time. Now he is working towards the 11th of January so that is sweet! Also, my companion Elder Bates just got called this morning and will be transferred this Thursday so I will have a new companion that day. I have loved serving with Elder Bates and we have had a lot of great experiences together! It is always difficult with transfers, but also exciting to see what will happen next. I know that I am doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do right now. That allows me to have full faith and confidence in the decisions I make and in the Spirit of the Holy Ghost which helps me make decisions as I pray and ponder on those decisions. It is so sweet and I know that God lives and loves us!


Im stoked with the anticipation that a new year brings! Its a great time to evaluate this past year, remember lessons we learned, and forget any grudges or hard feelings we might have. This change or new start is exactly the reason Jesus Christ came into the world: to give us hope for a brighter future! Faith always looks forward at what lies ahead. Hope is an "anchor to our souls" which motivates us to act now to receive future rewards, and Charity is the pure love of Christ that we feel and are filled with as we lift the hearts of those who surround us. Its great cause I get to spread this message each day with the people of Iowa and you can too, wherever you are. Its for everyone! I hope/invite all of you to set aside some time this week to pray, ponder, and write down the "desires of your heart and your vision of what you can accomplish". And THEN, set goals that will help you fulfill those desires and your vision :) I did that last year and it has helped me set great personal goals which have helped me stretch and grow and become happier. Make it a good week! All my love, Elder McGinn

 
 
ps This is a link to a good video for the NEW YEAR! Talk to you all next year :)
and the picture is of Christmas morning with the Hunger family (who we live with)
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Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Hey family and friends!
What a great time of the year! We had a huge ice/snow storm this weekend and it is currently 3 degrees outside and feels below zero with windchill :) I love Iowa haha it really is great though! Unfortunately, Church was cancelled yesterday but other than that we had a great week here in Iowa City. We had exchanges with President Jensen on Wednesday so we went to teach our investigator Scott with him. Scott had some of the great classic questions that we love to answer as missionaries. He asked about some strong things like homosexuality and plural marriage. I wont go into a lot of details, but it sufficeth me to say that we went into the scriptures a lot, especially the Bible and helped Scott find answers to his questions. It was an awesome lesson and it was really great to see our mission president right there teaching with us! Definitely a lesson I wont forget! 
Then on Friday morning, we woke up to an ice storm (freezing rain) and our cars were grounded. I wasnt a big deal because we had studies all morning, but then Scott called. He told us how he had some more questions and wanted to move the baptism back to Feb 14th. Well, we decided that was worthy of a 2 mile jog to his house. It was probably one of the most fun/nerve racking moments of my mission haha we ran on the snow-covered grass and slid across frozen over driveways for 2 miles in cold cold weather. What made it unforgettable is that we had another intense lesson with Scott and taught him the Doctrine of Christ and the importance of not procrastinating your repentance. As we taught, the Spirit brought understanding to Scott's mind and confirmation to his heart. Three hours later, he had his baptismal interview and felt ready to make the covenant of baptism on Dec 28th! Talk about some Christmas miracles.
I know that miracles really do happen. The miracles I'm talking about is that we can change, transform, and control our happiness. We have a Father who is in Heaven that is anxiously aware of us and engaged in our lives to the extent that we let Him be. He loves us and that love is eternal. He is merciful and His Son, Jesus Christ, is evidence of that. This is what we are celebrating! That God loves us so He sent His Only Begotten Son to the Earth to show us the way to be happy in this life and to make it back to our heavenly home with our families. Families are forever! Enjoy the tangible Spirit of Christmas and please recognize what the prophet has taught us, that what we are really feeling is the Spirit of Christ! (Just drop the last syllable) Merry Christmas and All My Love, 
Elder Seth McGinn
 
 
ps Picture of Elder Bates and I with Demetrio Rubio...the funniest man in the world haha He was baptized in May and is awesome!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dreaming of a White Christmas

 
Hey!
Happy Birthday to my grandpa (Papa)! He is a young buck at the age of 74 now haha I will always remember watching tons of sports and faulty towers with him :) I love you Papa! Also, I hear that the gender for Ian&Lindsay's baby will be known on the 21st. My guess is that it will be a boy!!! and they will name him Seth....right? ;) haha but Im really excited to hear how that goes! Thank you for all of the Christmas cards and gifts too! I'll send thank you notes out and I really love coming home from the cold to some mail! 
Well, I had some neat experiences this week. On Friday, I did a baptismal interview for a lady named Khajidsurn Navaantanba who is from Mongolia.  She is here to get here doctorate in mathematics and speaks pretty good english for only having been here for one year! It was really neat because she shared with me her testimony of Jesus Christ. I realized in a new way that Christ really is the Savior of us all! 
Friday, we also had exchanges. I was on a bike with Elder Polatis in his area and it was a long night. We talked to EVERYONE we saw and tried some people who were potentially interested but nobody invited us in to teach. We were both freezing and a little sad but with a little bit of humor we lightened up and rode our bikes on the snow covered sidewalks to our dinner with some members. It was cool because although we didnt see any "success" that night, we felt the Spirit with us, assuring us that we were doing all that we could do...that is a satisfying feeling :)
Then Saturday, we taught a man named Kagulo who was baptized this summer. He is a little less active now so we are trying to help him come to Church every week. He is from the Congo, so hardly speaks English. We read 1 Nephi chapters 1-2 with him from the Book of Mormon. We read in English and he read in Swahili. His remark at the end of the lesson was something like this, "So we need to keep commandment or else it is not good and we be destroyed like Jerusalem." We laughed a bit at the harshness of it, but assured him that he was correct. We taught how the people in Jerusalem had "destroyed" themselves by not keeping the commandments. They had put themselves in a situation in which when Babylon came to conquer, they were exposed completely to them b/c they had not listened and prepared as the Lord had commanded them. It was sweet and again I learned that this gospel is for ALL children of our Heavenly Father, no matter what background or culture. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is pure truth and truth is eternal and unchangeable!
Each day this week, we met with a man named Scott who we started teaching this week. He had been taught before by some sister missionaries this summer but had taken a break from learning. Well, we have had some of the most powerful lessons with this man. He has received all sorts of spiritual confirmations that the Church is true and the Joseph Smith really was a prophet and man of God. Yesterday, we made a breakthrough and he opened up to us about how he had become depressed some years ago after he had to give his 3 sons up for adoption b/c he couldnt adequately provide for them. We taught him about the Atonement and read Alma 7 with him (from the Book of Mormon). The Spirit was strong and we all felt the truthfulness of the words of the prophet Alma as he talked about how Christ not only suffered for our sins, but for our pains (physical, spiritual, emotional), sicknesses, and afflictions too. It was intense. Afterwards, we gave him a priesthood blessing. He felt very good he told us and is working towards making the covenant (promise with God) of baptism on Dec 28! There is no greater feeling of joy than when you feel the love and power of God working through you to help another person. Thats missionary work for you :) I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas season. Enjoy the company of family and friends and those you love. Think about them first and you will feel that true Christmas spirit which warms your very core being with joy! Love you alll, Elder Seth McGinn
 
 
Picture of that freezing night we were biking!
 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Another "White" Christmas

Hey Family and Friends!
I love you all so much! I hope that you are enjoying the Christmas season as much as I am. It seems so easy to just smile and be happy this time of year, even when you are out and about in the falling snow all day. That was our day yesterday! We had a great Christmas program in Church yesterday. There were some great musical numbers and even Elder Bates and I with 4 other men from the ward sang a song called "Guard Him, Joseph". We sang with a harp and a flute playing behind us, so it didnt matter how good our singing sounded haha everyone was focused and delighted by the harp!!! It was a win-win situation ;)
 
Yesterday, we also finally met the family of Jose Hernandez! I forget how much I have written about him but he was a man who wasnt attending church but is a member and we found him outside his trailer one day! He is from El Salvador and was baptized there and we didnt even have his records here in Iowa City. Well that was 3 months ago when we found him. Since then, he talked to his family (wife and 3 kids) that were in Mexico and told them that he found the missionaries and the Church. None of them were members and his wife told him that she would never become a member of la iglesia mormona (the Mormon Church)! Well, the kids saw some missionaries in Mexico that very week he told them he had found us and they wanted to be taught about the gospel and our Church! Long story short, Jose's family, including his wife (haha) were all baptized in Chiapas, Mexico on Nov 16th this year!!!! Whats even crazier is that they went to Tiajuana, then San Francisco, and then flew into Cedar Rapids, Iowa and got to Iowa City this past Saturday! We met them all last night and it was one of the coolest feelings in the world. It wasnt just a family reunited after a long, long time (11 years) but it was now a family united in their faith in Jesus Christ, each with a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including the priesthood power to seal/bind families together forever!! That is their common, uniting goal :) how sweet it that?!
 
This is why being a full-time missionary is the best thing in the world, b/c now, its our privilege and responsibility to continue to teach them about the plan of happiness, how to study the scripures daily, and help them get to the temple so they can be sealed forever. Pretty sweet job description.
 
Well, I'm grateful for my family. I look forward to being with them next Christmas! Yet, I find true joy and happiness in leaving my family for 2 years so that other families can be together for eternity. (I stole that from a quote :)) Last night in the 2013 Christmas Devotional (found on the homepage of lds.org),  President Monson quoted President McKay when he said that "True happiness comes only from making others truly happy." I love that and I know that it is true! I'm going to look for more opportunities to give of myself to make others happy, b/c it makes me happy. That is the Christmas spirit :) Love you all, Elder Seth McGinn
 
 
ps The picture is Elder McKeon and I! He is a good friend I have made out here and he just finished his 2 years and went home to Santa Clarita, CA for the winter haha lucky guy ;)

Monday, December 2, 2013

December to Remember

Hey family!
So it was a great week! Sarah was baptized and confirmed this weekend! I attached a picture of her with us and Rocio Jones (the member who invited her over for dinner and introduced us). It is wonderful to see the Work of Salvation in action :) Sarah told us on Sunday how happy she feels and how praying and studying the scriptures have helped her solve problems and overcome challenges in her life. That makes a missionary pretty happy to hear that because that is our message!!!
Thanksgiving was great! We played some basketball and volleyball with a ton of members in the morning and played with some of their non-member friends! It was really fun. Then we ate with the Blacks, Neumanns, and the Hugies all at the Blacks home. It was one of the best tasting thanksgiving dinners I have ever had...i dont know why. Maybe because it was just like the ones we had at home haha the stuffing and mash potatoes were ridiculously good! Also, Ian would like to know that Brother Black, Brother Neumann, and Brother Hugie are all in law school right now so we talked a lot about law as a career haha maybe Ian's dream will come true and we can start a law firm together...who knows! At thanksgiving, I really appreciated how much a family models our relationship with Heavenly Father. It was awesome to watch parents interact with their children. Mainly, I caught hold of the love that parents have for their children. It is love that is patient, constant, and eternal...a lot like the love that God has for us. I can feel it most when I pray sincerely and pour out my heart in conversation with Him. I am learning more and more that prayer is so important when it comes to having true faith...so we are really helping everybody we teach pray! Helen is doing good and wants to be baptized, but she still wont set a date lol we love her and are praying for her! I hope you all enjoy the Christmas season, the music, lights, and the Spirit of Christ that fills the hearts of many! He, Christ, is the source of all truth and happiness. Enjoy it and love one another :) Love, Elder McGinn

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Miracles

Hey everybody! Hope you all had a great week! We sure had a good one here in Iowa City. First off, birthday shoutouts to Adam Fender (my favorite nephew ;)) and to Lindsay McGinn (my favorite sister-in-law ;)). haha I love you both so much and I miss you. Lindsay, thanks for your charity in marrying my brother haha he definitely married up and you two are perfect for each other! I'm super happy that you are going to start a family together too!!!! Also, a big thank you to Granny & Papa for the awesome sweater they got me for Christmas! I got it right in time because the snow is already falling.
 
This week was great, though! Sarah passed her baptismal interview so she is set to go for this Saturday :) Then, on Friday night, we were going over to teach Sarah about Thomas S. Monson, our prophet and president of the Church, when Helen (one of the Jones' other friends who we are teaching) got in a car accident. So we followed Rocio Jones and Sarah to the hospital and Helen was okay, just a little shooken up. So we went back to the Jones' to teach about the prophet. We taught both Sarah and Helen and we followed the promptings to watch President Monson's talk from the General Relief Society meeting in October. It was so good and the Spirit was very strong. We closed with a prayer and as we were about to leave, Helen stopped us and was like "I've got 2 things on my mind...First, I think I have received my answer to my prayers about if all this is true or not." We were stoked! Then before anybody could shout for joy she said "wait, dont say anything." She then reminded us of our last lesson in which we were trying to set a baptismal date with her. She was being really stubborn so Brother Aaron Jones said "Helen, what if something were to happen to you and when you got to God's presence, He asked you why you just didnt get baptized and kept pushing it off." Well, she told us that the second thing on her mind was that and how the car was totaled in the accident and that the airbags didnt go off. She said she could have easily had very bad injuries. So she recognized it as an obvious sign from Heavenly Father. We know God works in mysterious ways and as scary and frightening as this accident was for Helen, it was what she needed to realize that her priorities needed a little rearranging. So she is now preparing to be baptized and become a member of the Church she loves in December! I feel very humble to be here in Iowa teaching people about why they are here and who they are (children of God). Its something special and eternal, meaning we will take it with us no matter what happens here on Earth. Jesus Christ lives and He loves us. He has called and works through His prophet on the Earth, Thomas S. Monson! Its so sweet. I love you all and have a great Thanksgiving! -Love, Elder McGinn
 
 
 
ps picture of Elder Bates and I bowling on Pday!
 

 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Keep it Rollin'

Hey everybody :)
Its been a great week out here in Iowa City! We had the director of training from the MTC come and train us on how we can better HELP people pray, read from the scriptures (esp the Book of Mormon), and come to Church (esp Sacrament meeting). It was sweet and we are going to train on that tomorrow at our zone training meeting. The work is progressing!
So this week, we had a hard time getting in contact with Ricardo and he didnt make it to Church but we got a hold of him last night and have a lesson set up with him later this week. He works a ton and is never home haha classic. But on another note, we had dinner on Tuesday with some members, the Jones', and they brought two friends! We got to know them over dinner (we ate some fufu which is an African dish lol) and by the end of the night, Helen and Sarah had both agreed to let us teach them! We taught Sarah the next night and she loved the Restoration, accepted a baptismal date for Nov 30th, and wanted to come to Church. We also had a Church tour with her and the Jones' Saturday night which was sweet and she loved Church on Sunday :) We taught Helen on Friday at the salon she works at with Sister Jones. We watch mormon messages with her and taught her about prayer. It was great and she said she was coming to Church, but didnt come. But its all good cause the Church is still true :)
Im grateful for the Church in my life b/c it has helped me reach my goals and fulfill my deepest desires. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ really is the "fountain of living water" and when we turn from the other worldly fountains we can drink from to this fountain of the Atonement of Christ, we will never thirst and will be truly, profoundly satisfied! I wish all of you a happy veteran's day and a great week! Love you, Elder Seth McGinn

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Better Way

Hey everybody :)
Its been a great week out here in Iowa City! We had the director of training from the MTC come and train us on how we can better HELP people pray, read from the scriptures (esp the Book of Mormon), and come to Church (esp Sacrament meeting). It was sweet and we are going to train on that tomorrow at our zone training meeting. The work is progressing!
So this week, we had a hard time getting in contact with Ricardo and he didnt make it to Church but we got a hold of him last night and have a lesson set up with him later this week. He works a ton and is never home haha classic. But on another note, we had dinner on Tuesday with some members, the Jones', and they brought two friends! We got to know them over dinner (we ate some fufu which is an African dish lol) and by the end of the night, Helen and Sarah had both agreed to let us teach them! We taught Sarah the next night and she loved the Restoration, accepted a baptismal date for Nov 30th, and wanted to come to Church. We also had a Church tour with her and the Jones' Saturday night which was sweet and she loved Church on Sunday :) We taught Helen on Friday at the salon she works at with Sister Jones. We watch mormon messages with her and taught her about prayer. It was great and she said she was coming to Church, but didnt come. But its all good cause the Church is still true :)
Im grateful for the Church in my life b/c it has helped me reach my goals and fulfill my deepest desires. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ really is the "fountain of living water" and when we turn from the other worldly fountains we can drink from to this fountain of the Atonement of Christ, we will never thirst and will be truly, profoundly satisfied! I wish all of you a happy veteran's day and a great week! Love you, Elder Seth McGinn

Monday, November 4, 2013

After All We Can Do

Hola everybody!
I just want to let everybody know that I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. A good question to ask yourself is what that means and more specifically, what does that mean for you! If you dont know, don't be embarrassed to ask someone who does. I would suggest that you first ask God, your Heavenly Father, by praying to Him. Find a private, quiet place. Imagine picking up a telephone and talking to the individual who loves you more than anyone else you know and who knows everything about you and wants you to be happy :) In order to find peace and joy in the sometimes intimidating world we live in, we need to know who we are and what our purpose is. Those soul-searching spiritual questions can only be answered
through soul-stretching spiritual answers. They must come from a source that provides those kinds of answers, namely directly through God himself or through His words that He has given to worthy, honest men we call prophets. Those words are found in the scriptures: the Bible and the Book of Mormon, along with Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. The last thing I will say about this is that the more we learn about the nature and character of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, the more we learn about ourselves :)
 
With that said, we are seeing miracles here in Iowa City "after all we can do." (2 Nephi 25:23) We have been working hard to find people to teach in our area but we  have struggled. In the last two weeks, we have only found 0 new investigators in our own finding efforts (knocking doors). But, we've received 3 member referrals and of those 3, we are now teaching 2 of them!!! Ricardo is one of them and the first time we met him in person was at Church yesterday. He is from Veracruz, Mexico (near where Blake is serving right now) and has been in Iowa for over a year. He enjoyed testimony meeting as we translated it for him from English to Spanish and then we were able to teach him about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ afterwards. He loved everything we taught and really connected with Joseph Smith because he, too, has always wondered why are there so many churches and which one is the right one. He agreed to read the Book of Mormon and to prepare to be baptized as he comes to feel and know that it is true. So sweet!!! So remember that we are not justified by merely accepting Christ as our savior but we are redeemed from our mistakes, weaknesses, and struggles as we try to LIVE like Christ :) We tried our best all week and did everything the best way we could to no avail haha but in that labor, we qualified for the trust of our members and the Lord, so they blessed us with a prepared person like Ricardo! I hope you all have a bright hope for the future that lays ahead in your life :) Love you all!
-Elder McGinn

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Party

Hey!
Yes, we are stoked to have a Halloween Party. Not so we can dress up, not so we can party, not so we can trick or treat, but so we can meet the family and friends that the members have invited to come!!! haha its my idea of a great Halloween celebration :)
 
I hope you all have great plans for this week and that you are all happy! That is important. We had stake conference this last weekend and it was all focused on the Work of Salvation. It was awesome!!! President Condie, the Nauvoo temple president was there and gave one of the best, most enjoyable talks I have ever heard. The man is hilarious and a spiritual giant. After his wife's talk, he gave her a kiss then said, "Yup, shes mine....forever" haha He talked about how after living in England, France, Germany, and other places, the hardest time he had helping a neighbor come unto the Church and be baptized was his neighbor in Provo, Utah haha It was an awesome story. I want to share the ending as my email today b/c I dont have much time. He said that after this man and his wife were sealed in the temple, the man said "Why didnt I do this sooner?" Then, there was a fast and testimony meeting in which many of the members shared how sorry they were for not sharing the gospel with him sooner. Many had been his neighbors for more than 20 years and had not once tried to share the gospel with him. It really impressed me how all these people felt so sorry and asked for his forgiveness. I'm sure that how it will be with those we interact with if we dont invite them, then later they will find out about the gospel and we will feel sad and sorry that we didnt share it sooner. I know the challenges and fears we have. I face them everyday haha its hard, but that is where our faith in Christ kicks in. Miracles are result of faith and action! So we are praying for missionary experiences here and those are miracles!!! I love all of you and know that we are children of a Father in Heaven. We lived with Him before and now we are here! Jesus Christ is His Son, our brother and Redeemer! I love you and hope you feel His love for you! -Elder McGinn

Monday, October 21, 2013

Here Comes the Snow

Hey fam & friends!
Hope you all had a great week. It is getting really cold here again. Its supposed to snow tomorrow haha Im really happy that this is my last Iowa winter for now! Sounds like the Chili Cook Off was a success and a blast! We have a ward halloween party coming up so we have talked to all the members and they are planning on inviting their friends and neighbors!!!! Its gonna be sweet and we signed up to be judges of the dessert contest...its great to be a missionary! Also, Blake, Jordan, Dallas, Chase, Trevor, James, and Dallin are all doing great. I love reading their letters! We were definitely all in the same "work of salvation" classes in the pre-earth life ;) STUDS!
 
So this week, we ran into some apts with a bunch of Congolese people. We met like 6 families and started teaching them a little bit. It is hard b/c all the men work all the time and most the older women speak only Swahili or French. But the kids love us and we will see what comes of that tricky situation!  We had a sweet experience the weekend before last. We hadnt been able to meet with Milord (our investigator with a date for Nov 2) all week and it was Saturday so we really wanted him to come to Church. We called and texted all day, but no response. Then, as we are saying our goodnight prayer, he texted at 10:32 and said he was sorry that he had been working all day. Well, it was tempting, to say the least, to text him back and make sure he knew about Church the next morning at 9am, but we are not supposed to use the phones after 10:30 (Lights out). Because we were raised by goodly parents who taught us to trust in the Lord, we stayed obedient and prayed that he would come. The next morning he called at 8:30am, told us that he had gotten off work at 2am that morning but still wanted to come to Church! He came and it was a great fast & testimony meeting. 
 
It is my testimony or knowledge that obedience to the Lord's commandments means everything!!! Like Joseph Smith said,"I make it my rule that when the Lord commands--do it!" And there is nothing that our Savior Jesus Christ didnt teach us when he uttered with the weight of the agonizing atonement on His shoulders, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done."  If we really are Christian and believe in God and His love then we obey. We understand that we are imperfect and tend to mess things up, so we might as well follow the promptings of the Spirit and leave the rest to our Heavenly Father. A lot of times, we think that we are powerful and great, so we can do things on our own. Like with Milord, we think that WE are the ones who can get him to Church. That is when we forget that only the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost has the power to change hearts and natures, not us. We need to always be putting ourselves in situation where we have to rely on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That is the essence of humility, which leads to all other Christlike attributes, including faith and charity. Obedience is the first law of heaven so lets find ways to be more obedient. Nephi in the Book of Mormon is my favorite example! Read the scriptures and it will fuel your motivation to do more, believe more, and love more. Have a great week and I love you! Love, Elder Seth McGinn
 
 
ps Pic of the Tristan family from Des Moines! She is the one that was in Vegas and called dad :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Go Hawkeyes!

Hey there,
So Thursday I was transferred to Iowa City and so far it is sweet! It is where the Univ. of Iowa is and campus is the whole town haha. We have a lot of really smart Med. students in our ward (Iowa City 4th Ward) and lots of professors from the univ too. Its awesome.
 
Angel was baptized on Saturday in Des Moines!!! He is such an awesome kid and his mom is really regaining her faith as she is coming back to Church. Saturday, was a ward temple trip, so luckily we got to go to the Nauvoo temple again!!! (talk about counting your many blessings) It was amazing. My new companion is Elder Bates from Logan, UT and he was at BYU the same time I was there. We get along great and in the celestial room in the temple, we talked about plans for the next transfer with the 4th ward and with the Iowa City zone. Probably, the BEST place to do some transfer planning ;) We got a ride back with our bishop, Bishop Gelder, and he is so sweet!!! For the 2 hour car ride, we went through the ward directory name-by-name and talked about how us and the ward can work together to strengthen them. Work of Salvation status!
 
Mom and Dad, we just moved in with members on Friday when I got here (they were living in an apt before). So karma haha They are the Hunger Family and they have 4 boys, ages 15, 13, 11 and 9! So we are excited to set a good example for them and strengthen their desires to be great missionaries. We live in the basement and its a really nice set up for us. So mom, let me know what things I should do or not do as a missionary living with members!
 
Right now, we are teaching a man named Milord who is from the Republic of Congo. Yeah, he is great and we are working with his wife as well, but she only speaks French. But they have a baptismal date for Nov 2nd! Its exciting to be here and I feel really good about the potential we have here. Through faith, doors are opened. We tap into the power and miracles of God, our Heavenly Father! I know that He lives and loves us, along with His Son, Jesus Christ. They want us to be happy and that is what we offer, peace, purpose, and direction! This is His gathering of scattered Israel, His covenant people. I know this work is DIVINE! Have a great week, smile, and know that I love you!
Elder McGinn
 
This is Angel who got baptized! Right before I left!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Goodbye to Des Moines

Hey there!
 
We got transfer calls this morning and President Jensen informed me that I will be getting transferred...crazy stuff! Elder Andreasen is staying here and we were really hoping to stay together but we are not Heavenly Father, who knows and understands ALL things :) I will still be serving as a zone leader and so, with only two zones that have Spanish speaking zone leaders, that puts me in Iowa City!!! I am really sad to leave all the sweet people here in Des Moines and especially here in the 5th branch, but I look forward to serving the people in Iowa City. So that will be my new home on Thursday!
 
So Angel, the sweetest little 9 year old you'll ever meet, passed his baptismal interview this weekend so he will be baptized on Saturday!!! I wont be there for it, but I will make sure to get a picture with him before we leave. Also, we found this awesome family this week. Its the Ramirez family and they want to come closer together as a family and to God. We are helping them do just that! They are very ready to receive a testimony that God once again leads the families of the Earth through a prophet and apostles. I grew a deeper conviction of that this weekend watching general conference. WOWIE! I love our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He is full of love and inspired direction for all of us. He and the 12 apostles can see just over the horizon at what is to come, so they give us counsel as to what we can DO to have consistent happiness in a world of shifting morals. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is constant and is as a rock, on which if we build, we cannot fall when the shifting and changing winds of the world beat against us :)
 
I find a lot of peace in trusting in God. Like the apostle Boyd K. Packer says, "We are not obedient because we are blind, but because we see."  Faith in Jesus Christ is NOT a perfect knowledge of Him, but rather a HOPE in Him because through Him, we will overcome our trials, weaknesses, sicknesses and eventually death! We will be happy now, in the future and forever. Faith is so sweet!!! I will end with one of my favorite things from General Conference this past weekend. Elder Vinson of the Seventy talked about being in "spiritual shape".  He said that just as we cannot get in physical shape to play basketball by simply watching basketball on TV, we cannot get into spiritual shape by just watching conference on TV...we must DO! I know that is true! My brother-in-law Tom said it best when he wrote in my journal these words, "You will find more joy wearing yourself out in the work of helping others than anything else you can do." This is true! You know it is because we have all had times when we completed a great, difficult task, only to find ourselves deeply satisfied and full of joy. That is what spiritual work does to you so JUST DO IT ;) you wont regret it! I love you all so much and I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior in ALL things!
Love Elder McGinn

 Spent a day biking on exchanges...it was a road bike haha so sweet
 
 
 
Elder Witham has been waiting for his VISA to Sao Paolo South Brazil for 6 months here in Iowa and he left today!! He knows Amelia Knuth, the Wittke's granddaughter, from BYUI. Great missionary and great friend too.
 
 
Elder Barson, one of our fearless District Leaders..he goes home on Thursday!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Families are Forever

Hey there!
Well, I had a great 20th birthday! Thank you for all the letters and packages :) they are the best! I love the Ringer family and the awesome package I got from them with the picture of Meesh's wedding with Blake and Jordan's cutouts haha Also, Ian and Lindsay, thanks for the Spanish scripture case! It is awesome and has already been used a lot! For everyone that sent things, I am trying to write back so please be patient and thank you!
 
As birthdays go, this was the BEST birth day every. Literally, the best September 28th I've ever had. Awake at 3am we met up with members and recent converts to drive to Nauvoo. We were with our branch president the whole way which was so sweet b/c he is awesome. We really strengthened our relationship. At 8am, we did baptisms for the dead in the temple and Elder Andreasen and I were the witnesses...so dope! Afterwards, we ate carne asada. (Whats a temple trip without some grilling?) Then, we saw the Nauvoo visitors center for a second and decided, with our branch president, to do a 1pm temple session! It was great and right after the session (with the sweet new presentation!), Elder Andreasen ran into a couple that he used to teach in Iowa City that was getting sealed in like 5 minutes....an absolute miracle/tender mercy. So we went to the sealing with a ton of members from that Iowa City ward and saw this great husband and wife be sealed together for time and all eternity with their 3 young kids. It was something else. I felt full of gratitude for my family and fully understood that as the purpose of this life: to have and experience true joy in our family relationships and to make those relationships ETERNAL!
I love my family! They are so awesome and I look forward to spending eternity with them...and seeing them again in a year too ;) but right now, I have the privilege to share the things I have learned from/with my family with other families that are looking for help and direction. As a missionary, that is what I do: help families stay together by teaching them what Jesus Christ taught :) simple enough right, but so profound. The temple is an amazing place and especially the feeling in Nauvoo is something that is hard to explain. I love each one of you and, like always, I want you to be truly happy! So I invite you to ask questions and seek answers to the questions you have. There are tons of wonderful Latter-day Saints ready and willing to help you! Ask, and you will receive :) Love you all!
Elder Seth McGinn
 


Here is a picture from the trip!
 
 
Great one for the Elders...not so much the sisters haha



Monday, September 23, 2013

Missionary-Minded Members

Hey family!
Well, its been another great week! Its good to hear that Blake was good and safe down in Tampico with that hurricane. I love that guy! Its great to read his, Jordan's and Dallas' letters each week. I got lucky with some great friends! Just to echo what they were saying in their letters, its all about the Work of Salvation! Saving people from their worldly troubles, addictions, sicknesses, stress, and giving them hope for peace in this life and eternal life afterwards!  I am learning more and more about how our mindset, or the way we view "missionary work" needs to change.  I always thought of it as we, as members, need to help the full time missionaries with their investigators. That was good and it worked, but Heavenly Father expects more of us! We as members of the Church are the ones who should be finding, befriending, and testifying to OUR friends and neighbors. Then, the" full-time missionaries" help us with OUR missionary work :) You see how that works! Its great because instead of 2 or 4 missionaries and 25-30 helpers in the ward, we get 25-30 missionaries (members of the Church) and 2 or 4 helpers in each ward (the full-time missionaries). I hope that makes sense! Anyways, that's my addition to Blake and Jordan's rant on the Work of Salvation haha
 
Last night, we met with Pres. Pence, the Des Moines Stake Pres, and with Pres Jensen (our mission pres.). These are the men with the priesthood keys in this work!!! It was a great meeting as we made some great plans to reach the stake goal of 214 converts this year. We are 100 short right now, but we know we can reach it as WE help the members, instead of them helping us. They know way more people than we do anyways ;)
 
The 5th branch is doing great! We had a bit of a crazy sacrament meeting yesterday b/c we had a recent convert almost faint right before we took the sacrament. We think it was hypo-glycemic problems but we ended up helping her out to the foyer and giving her a blessing right there! It was sweet and she is doing much better today! We are teaching Rosario and her family still, a nine year old named Angel, a husband of one of our best members, and a sweet young couple named Juan and Delila :) Teaching is the best and I'm trying to lose myself in these peoples lives so that we can help them understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and feel the joy of our message. I love being a representative of Christ! It is hard and I fail everyday in some way or another, but the important thing is that I am learning the importance of daily repentance and just continually trying to improve. "The only true failure is when we stop trying." I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's kingdom on the Earth. That is bold to say but I know it is true with all my being! I invite all of us to come closer to Christ through learning more about Him. I love you all and hope you have a great week this week!!! Enjoy the fall weather :)


Love Elder Seth McGinn

 
pic:My companion and I..Elder Andreasen aka Andre the Giant jaja

Monday, September 16, 2013

Elder Robert C. Gay

Hey family and friends!
Its was a life changing week. We had a Seventy (general authority of the Church who helps the Apostles) come and visit our mission, Elder Robert C. Gay. He is something else...absolutely an amazing man.  He has done tons of amazing things in his life, but is so humble, wise, and loving. He taught us all many things, but I felt very deeply impressed and impacted by the way he taught and the stories from his life that he shared.
I don't have much time, but simply put, how much do we believe the words, life, and love of Jesus Christ? It is a matter of faith, hope, and charity! I learned that with faith in Jesus Christ and His love, we can show Heavenly Father that we are willing to walk through the doors that He will open for us. Faith is an amazing thing and it has everything to do with consecration, or giving everything you've got and laying it all on the line!  This week was so life changing for me because it changed my mindset, or the way I see things and think about things! We can have so much more than we now have with the correct application of faith and hope and charity to our lives! I loved it and am super excited for general conference coming up, where we will here counsel from our modern day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, his 2 counselors, and the 12 apostles!


As for our area, the branch is really starting to catch the wave or vision of every member a missionary. Its not a change in the way they live, but rather, a change in the way they think about others they see as they live their life. We set a date with this awesome 9 year old kid named Angel as his less-active mom is coming back to Church! Rosario and her family are doing good, we are just praying and fasting that she can act on the spiritual witness that she has received that the Book of Mormon is true and so it this church! I love these people and its so hard to help them repent and change, but is so great when they do keep commitments and feel the Spirit! Patience is a virtue and it involves persistence in being bold to invite and loving to understand and uplift! I love you all and hope you have a great week! Enjoy the changing seasons too! All my love, Elder McGinn 

 
ps Picture of Elder Andreasen (my companion), me, and Elder Kilpatrick (a zone leader up in Ames who I served around in Muscatine). Also, you'll see the transfer van that I drove to Iowa City and back haha the elders and sisters said I should look into a professional career as a bus driver but I think I'll pass on that one :)
--

Monday, September 9, 2013

One Year Already

Hey errbody!
Time just keeps moving along and Thursday will be my official "hump day" haha the year has sped by and Heavenly Father is sending me a present...Elder Robert C. Gay of the Seventy (one of the general authorities in the Church) is coming to our mission on Wednesday, then we will have a Mission Leadership Council with him on Friday in Iowa City! I am really excited to receive counsel and direction from him because I know he is called of God, a servant in the Lord's hands to help us reach our full potential here in the Iowa Des Moines Mission! Quick fun fact: At a stake priesthood meeting the other night, the Stake President told us that the Des Moines, Iowa stake is the fastest growing stake right now in the North America Central Area! Super sweet to see that the Lord is blessing us with prepared souls who want to follow a living prophet and be member in the only true and living church of Jesus Christ :)
This week was great! We got permission to go to a little branch campout this weekend and boy, did I enjoy the great outdoors! We cooked carne asada over a fire and it was soo good! Then we had some smores, and I taught everyone how to make smores the Palmyra Ward way...Deluxe! (see picture and shoutout to Mikey Call, Raul Fernandez, Zack Taylor, Brother Fife, Brother Truman, Brother Taylor, Brother Call, Bro Ro (Brother Rodriguez, Brother Miller, President Nielson,the Ringers, and anybody else who was with us on that Young Men's trip to Brianhead when we mountain biked, paintballed, and etc.) That was the best trip ever and when the Deluxe Smore was born haha
The Spanish members here are the greatest! They were singing and laughing the whole time and it was a blast. The branch is growing so much with reactivations and baptisms, The Work of Salvation is pumping through every Branch Council and its so good to see everyone embracing the restored gospel. I know that I am about my Heavenly Father's business. My purpose is simple and brings me so much joy when it is fulfilled as I invite other to come, follow the Son of the living God. This is His work and His glory. Im grateful to be a participant in it! We are to save mankind from the calamity of its own self destruction, and that can only be accomplished through unity in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. His Atonement (suffering, death, and resurrection) is real and through it, we can become happy and peaceful with the circumstances we are in. God loves us. We are His children. I love you all and hope that you too are searching for God's love, b/c you will find it :) Love Elder McGinn

--
Elder Seth McGinn
Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. Ste. 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

Monday, September 2, 2013

Miracles

Hey family & friends! So real quick, I love you all and want to tell you about this miracle we saw this week. We were finding on Sunday night when we were led to an apt complex that we had not planned on going too. We have tracted that place inside and out a bunch, but we saw a young Hispanic family just about to go into their apt when we contacted them. They were not interested, but we asked what their names were and the man's name was Eduardo Moroni Olivo...haha so we jumped on his middle name being Moroni (a prophet in the Book of Mormon) and he told us that his grandmother gave him that name and that he was baptized into the Church when he was 8, but then stopped going to Church when he was 15 because of the death of his grandparents.  He was deeply wounded that Heavenly Father took away is grandparents when he was so young and that his father dad when he was only 2 months old in the first place (all of this was in Mexico City). Well we knew that the Spirit of God had led us to them so with a lot of love we were able to set up a time to teach them. So last night, we taught them the Plan of Salvation and the love of Heavenly Father was felt very strong!!! We helped answer their questions as we taught about the Atonement and why their is so much suffering in the world! It was one the most powerful teaching experiences I have ever experienced as the Spirit totally took control of the lesson. We "understood one another, both of us were edified and we rejoiced together" (DC 50:22)

 We ended by inviting them, as always, to pray and to ponder about the things that had heard and felt as we taught. They are hung up on praying to el angel del muerte or the angel of death...weird I know, but we left them with our testimonies and a sure knowledge that salvation can only come in and through Jesus Christ. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is so important to understand that our Heavenly Father has a plan for our success and happiness in this life. The plan is made possible due to Jesus Christ and His atonement. Our happiness depends on if we choose to follow Jesus Christ and use His atonement. I promise that is the only way to find "peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come." I love you all and invite you all to pray to your Father in Heaven, in Christ's name. It is something we can do anywhere, at anytime to feel His love for us :) -Elder McGinn

Monday, August 26, 2013

Finishers Wanted

Hey everybody!
It has been a great week and probably the fastest one of my life thus far haha Time is flying out here!  Mom- It was just a cold and I am feeling much better. Don't worry about the agrespt b/c I will honestly never use that nasty stuff :) Make sure Dad is still using it though!  And I have never heard of dedicating a zone before but hey, we don't have any mountains to climb out here either haha Transfers is coming up next week but I think I will stay in Des Moines with Elder Andreasen. He is great and time is flying by b/c we get along so well.
The 5ta Rama (5th Branch) is growing so much! It has been such a blessing to see sacrament attendance go from the 80's in April to now in the 100's! Rosario and her family are still progressing and we are reading the Book of Mormon with her as we go over to teach her. Also, we pulled an Ammon with her and spent 3 hours vacuuming/deep cleaning her carpet on Saturday. She loved it and made us some great food for lunch! Service generated by Christ-like love opens even the hardest hearts :) President Jensen came out teaching with us last week and he is a boss!! He is so loving and humble. He is absolutely pure and carries the Spirit with him everywhere he goes. We taught Rosario with him and also Soraida and Kerlin. Soraida is still super flakey and didn't come to Church on Sunday :/ Kerlin wants to be baptized really bad but we need his mom to act on the testimony that she told us she has! It is a hard situation b/c her husband doesn't support her at all!
That brings me to share what I really internalized this week: the power of families! A husband and wife who are committed, dedicated, and respectful to each other is so important! It is so clear how vital those things are in order for them to raise a family and live together in peace and love. Unfortunately, families like this are becoming extinct!!! It is so hard to find this now-a-days and I honor my parents for being great examples! God's Plan for Happiness is centered on families like these and they are being attacked today. I have learned that the strength of a society or nation is in its families. So I hope that we can remember that success in family life is most likely to be achieved when the family is founded upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Living the gospel and the commandments of Heavenly Father is the key to living a happy, quality life :) I know this is true because I see it everyday. So evaluate your happiness and your life and envision your future. We are children of God, offspring of a perfectly loving Father in Heaven. Smile!
Love Elder McGinn

Monday, August 19, 2013

Families

Hey everybody!
It has been a great week and probably the fastest one of my life thus far haha Time is flying out here!  Mom- It was just a cold and I am feeling much better. Don't worry about the agrespt b/c I will honestly never use that nasty stuff :) Make sure Dad is still using it though!  And I have never heard of dedicating a zone before but hey, we don't have any mountains to climb out here either haha Transfers is coming up next week but I think I will stay in Des Moines with Elder Andreasen. He is great and time is flying by b/c we get along so well.
The 5ta Rama (5th Branch) is growing so much! It has been such a blessing to see sacrament attendance go from the 80's in April to now in the 100's! Rosario and her family are still progressing and we are reading the Book of Mormon with her as we go over to teach her. Also, we pulled an Ammon with her and spent 3 hours vacuuming/deep cleaning her carpet on Saturday. She loved it and made us some great food for lunch! Service generated by Christ-like love opens even the hardest hearts :) President Jensen came out teaching with us last week and he is a boss!! He is so loving and humble. He is absolutely pure and carries the Spirit with him everywhere he goes. We taught Rosario with him and also Soraida and Kerlin. Soraida is still super flakey and didn't come to Church on Sunday :/ Kerlin wants to be baptized really bad but we need his mom to act on the testimony that she told us she has! It is a hard situation b/c her husband doesn't support her at all!
That brings me to share what I really internalized this week: the power of families! A husband and wife who are committed, dedicated, and respectful to each other is so important! It is so clear how vital those things are in order for them to raise a family and live together in peace and love. Unfortunately, families like this are becoming extinct!!! It is so hard to find this now-a-days and I honor my parents for being great examples! God's Plan for Happiness is centered on families like these and they are being attacked today. I have learned that the strength of a society or nation is in its families. So I hope that we can remember that success in family life is most likely to be achieved when the family is founded upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Living the gospel and the commandments of Heavenly Father is the key to living a happy, quality life :) I know this is true because I see it everyday. So evaluate your happiness and your life and envision your future. We are children of God, offspring of a perfectly loving Father in Heaven. Smile!
Love Elder McGinn

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ups and Down

Que tal everybody?
Sounds like Lake Powell was everything it was supposed to be: fun, scary, & imperfect yet perfect all at the same time! I love that place!  Quite a crazy story but its great that nothing to bad happened haha hopefully the "Toothfairy" isn't done for good but it sounds like it might be :/
Well the work keeps going here! I was a little sick this last weekend but I am feeling much better this morning.  It is one of the worst feelings being sick as a missionary...you know that you only have a short time to teach others the gospel as a full time ambassador of Jesus Christ, so being sore & sick during the afternoon is not fun haha but it does help you express more gratitude for being healthy!
My companion, Elder Andreasen, is an amazing teacher and we are having a lot of fun together finding and teaching the Lord's elect. President & Sister Jensen are great and they want Mom to know that they see me and love me a lot. They love that you are housing a missionary that they knew from South Carolina. He has the keys to convert baptisms in our mission now and it is amazing to see how the Lord calls and qualifies us!
 
Today marks 11 months for me and its crazy to think that I have been gone from home that long. But time keeps flying by as we are already in August! Our goal as a mission for bringing souls unto Christ through baptism is 550 and we are currently at 285! We are little behind, but are so much further ahead than where we were last year at this time! Yesterday, we met with the Des Moines Stake President & the growth on the Stake level has been incredible. He said he got an email from Church headquarters asking him to write letter about how/why the growth has been so amazing. Along with things such as African refugees, great Ward Mission Leaders & full-time missionaries, he contributed all the success as a gift from the Lord and the attitude of gratitude! (cheesy right?)
Its true though! Gratitude for what we have and what we have been given will always lead us to be given more.  I am so grateful that we have a living prophet on the Earth today. Heavenly Father loves us and has given us prophets and apostles to remind us of God's eternal & stable truths in a world of shifting values. With Jesus Christ as our chief cornerstone, the scriptures, and living prophets and apostles provide us with a firm, solid foundation if we choose to listen and obey. The only true victory is a surrender; surrendering our will to Heavenly Father and being loyal to Him and His commandments. I love you all and God's truth is still marching on :)
Love Elder Seth McGinn
 
ps I love the song "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd" and its one of my new favorites!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Gratitude!

Hey!
I didn't know mom & dad were going to Lake Powellthis year!!! That is super exciting and I do look forward to those trips when I return home. They're the best! Also, I got the package and loved everything in it! So many snacks that I don't even know where to start and the letters were the sweetest part. I love my parents and I'm so grateful for them! Special thanks to the Carter Family for hand delivering that package to the mission office haha Sister Simmons (our office receptionist) said they were so sweet and she loved talking to them for a little. Oh, and mom, thanks for reminding that I am coming up on my year mark...like you're keeping track or something! haha
Well we have had an amazing week here in the Des Moines 5th Branch. First off, we had 120 people come to sacrament meeting yesterday (the most ever) and it was a wonderful testimony meeting! As different members of the congregation bore their testimony(or their belief and conviction) of Jesus Christ and His restored gospel, the Spirit was very strong and you could really feel the love of our Father in Heaven. Rosario and her 3 kids came along with Jose and his kids! It was great to see them come and enjoy being with their families and learning about Jesus Christ and how families can be together forever through the Priesthood and by the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. We are being blessed with people who listen and ACT on the message of the Restoration of the Gospel. They love to learn that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that He has called a prophet to guide His children today as He has in the past with prophets like Moses and Abraham. They love learning that Heavenly Father has provided us with another testament (witness/evidence) that His Son is the Savior of the world. That testament is el Libro de Mormon (the Book of Mormon) and they dive into because they ACT on their faith in Jesus Christ. They test the promise that by living the teachings of the prophets in the Book of Mormon, they will bring themselves closer to God that by any other way. I know that is true! Jesus Christ is the light of the world and as we keep His commandments we receive that light and happiness! I have seen in the very eyes of the people I teach. They are truly happy and full of hope. I hope we can all be a little less stubborn and more humble so that we can give place to the message of the Restoration of the gospel in our hearts. As we experiment or simply try out this glorious message, we will feel our hearts swell within us as we are filled with the light and joy of Jesus Christ, who is the loving Son of God. These things I know and try to share with everyone because I know it will help us. I love you all and I am grateful for the miracles I see everyday! I invite everyone reading this to think of the things in your life that make you happy or give you peace. Be grateful for these things and Heavenly Father will bless you with more :) Love you!
Elder McGinn
pic: A few of my favorite missionaries in the zone!


--
Elder Seth McGinn
IowaDes Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. Ste. 19
Urbandale, IA 50322

Monday, July 29, 2013

Miracles

Wow, we are seeing some miracles here in Des Moines! First off, awesome that Carter got his call to Brazil and that Garen got his call to Madagascarhaha the field is white ;) Its absolutely the greatest news to hear that President Teshima and the Lakes Stake is catching the wave!!! Fasting and prayer is so powerful and remember that when you are on the Lord's errand, you are entitled to His help which comes through His Spirit. I am excited to here about how the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon the stake! Elder Andreasen does not know the Bridges b/c he graduated in 2010 so they had just moved up there. Its so sweet to have President Nielsen home in the ward! I would look to him as a guide for how to catch the Spirit of the work of salvation if you haven't yet caught it!
So here we saw a crazy tender mercy on Thursday night! So we were going to have dinner with Hermana Ruiz, but we thought it would be great if she would have Soraida and Kerlin over, so we got her approval, then asked Soraida and she said maybe...So we got over to her apt about 30 minutes before the dinner is going to start and she says that she is kinda tired and doesn't feel up to going. Well, thanks to the Spirit and a lot of study/pondering of DC 121:34-46, we persuaded her that it would be great for the kids and its free food!! So she followed us over in her car (a long drive haha) but we finally made it! We had a great dinner, Soraida was really happy and enjoyed it along with her boys. Then, for the lesson, we showed the Reflections of Christ: Another Testament slideshow (so sweet) and then taught the Doctrine of Christ. The Spirit was present and Kerlin is going to work towards being baptized on Aug 17th! This was a pure gift from God that all of that happened.
Second miracle: On Saturday, we went on a less-active/former investigator hunt. We went to visit a former when this 17 year old African kid opened the door and said he just moved from Kentucky. He said he talked to missionaries there and that he would go to Church tomorrow, so we gave him all the info. We told him that we teach people in Spanish and he pointed across the hall and was like "They speak Spanish." So we knocked it and found a lady in her early 30's in a wheel chair b/c of polio. We talked to her briefly and invited her to come to Church with us the next day. She said she used to be a "testigo de Jehova" (Jehovah's witness) but that she would love to come and learn more about "La iglesia mormona" (Mormon church haha). She needed transportation so we got her a ride set up and she came to Church yesterday with her 3 kids! They all liked it and said they want to come back next week! We have a lesson set up with her tomorrow so pray for her (Rosario). Well this was all because of the mercy of God. He has given us commandments to keep us safe and happy, just how we have many city/state laws that do the same thing for us. As we obey like a humble child, we receive joy, understanding, more capacity to love and be patient! We all have a choice though, and we will not be forced to keep these commandments, but as we do and as Soraida, Kerlin, Rosario, and their families have began doing so, we receive light and power from our Heavenly Father all because His son, Jesus Christ, suffered for each of us so we can have hope that we will rest from our cares and sorrow. I know they live and love us. We are His children and He wants us to be happy and find joy! I have learned that this is accomplished as we keep the commandments :) I love you all!
Elder McGinn

--
Elder Seth McGinn
IowaDes Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. Ste. 19
Urbandale, IA 50322