Monday, April 29, 2013
Things have gotten real crazy in a week! First off, I was transferred to open up the Des Moines East Zone with Elder Spackman, who is from Salem, Idaho! We are both brand new zone leaders in a brand new area working with a brand new zone, so if there is something that we are not lacking, its experience haha so we are trying to figure things out still but things are going great and we have confidence in our zone and the Lord :) Everything happens for a reason! So we serve in the Des Moines5th Branch which is an all Spanish-speaking branch. We cover all of the Spanish-spaking people in Des Moinesalong with some Hermanas (Spanish-speaking sister missionaries). Pray for us as we try to manage the new work load we have on our shoulders!
On a more happier note, Wednesday night, before transfers, Karla and Judy (Irene's little sisters) were baptized in Muscatine! It was such a sweet baptismal service and the Spirit was felt very strongly. Irene gave a talk on the Gift the Holy Ghost and talked about how it brightened her life. She talked about how she is happier and looks forward to everyday and the challenges they each bring. She concludede by realizing that with the gift of the Holy Ghost, she feels the love that our Heavenly Father has for her very strongly and quite often. This helps her deal with the difficulties that life throws at her and face them determined to be happy and to learn from them! I know that this is all true. When we pray sincerely, we can feel the love that our Creator and Father has for us through the feelings and power of the Holy Ghost. I love you all and am so grateful for each of you and the love you have shown towards me. It is that love that I draw upon to keep working each day and be happy when I could very easily complain and be depressed. So thank you and I love you!
Elder Seth McGinn
IowaDes Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. Ste. 19
Urbandale, IA 50322
Monday, April 22, 2013
Hey family!!! I love you all :) We have gotten some crazy rain storms this past week and so the Mississippihas flooded over, into the streets a little bit (see picture) its sweet!!! So I titled the email curveballs because thats what I got this last Saturday. I've already been in Muscatinefor a transfer, so that means we got transfer calls last Saturday (when you find out if you are staying in your area or getting transferred to a new area). Elder Arellano is going home this transfer and I have been training Elder Miranda which is a 12-week training program, so I thought, we probably wont even get called until later in the day and they will tell us that Elder Arellano is going home and Elder Miranda and I will stay here because he has only been here 4 weeks (note the 12 week training program). Well, President Jergensen called early in the morining and said "Elder McGinn, can you handle a curveball?" haha He went on to tell me that he was releasing me as a trainer and that he was calling me to be a zone leader. I was like "Okay...sweet!" haha it was crazy! So I will be getting transferred on Thursday. President is creating a new zone in the mission and it will have Spanish zone leaders, so I will be either going to wherever this new zone will be or to Iowa Citywhere the zone leaders are Spanish speaking elders. So I will let you know where I am head next week!
Besides that craziness, we have been hard at work serving others. The reason a "mission" is so wonderful is because you truly begin to learn the divine lesson that another person's comfort and success is more important than your own. I'm not saying you dont take care of yourself and anything like that, but through serving others and sincerely caring for their well-being, you will find yourself happier, more peaceful, and with a more positive attitude! This is the lesson that Jesus Christ wants us to learn from His life. He set the example for us by teaching and showing that as we love one another, we will find true happiness and peace in this life and we will be preparing ourselves to live with our eternal families in Heaven! So think about this!!! As we truly love others, especially our own family and friends, we will brighten their lives and that light will replace the darkness in our own lives. What goes around comes around (right Dad? haha) So send love and unselfish service around and I promise you will be blessed for it and be able to recognize the blessing that come from it! I love you all and thank you for all your prayers and support! They keep me going and help me serve these wonderful people here in Iowa:) Con todo mi Amor,
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
What is going on everybody?!
Its been another wonderful week out here in Muscatine and the weeks are really starting to fly by. Its already been 7 months! I cant believe it. Sometimes, days are slow and things are tough. Time seems like its not moving at all! Then I look back and I'm amazed at how long it has been! Its crazy to think that it has been a full year since I came back home to Vegas from school at BYU. But the work moves forward :) Irene's sisters, Karla and Judy, are loving it every time we teach them and they are way excited for their baptism scheduled for April 24th which is the night before Elder Arellano goes back to Des Moines to fly home to California! Its crazy!
Also this week, we started teaching a young guy named Jimmy! We just saw him outside his house and starting talking to him. He said we could teach him a lesson so we taught him about the restoration of Christ's original Church. He listened very sincerely and all of his comments were essentially "Yeah, it makes sense!" or "I think I know what you're saying!" haha it was fun to teach him and by the end of the lesson, he told us he was excited to start reading the Book of Mormon and to pray about the things we had taught him. He even made the wonderful connection of realizing "I will just do what Joseph Smith did...pray to God and ask Him if this is right. He won't lead me down a wrong path and I feel good about all of this." It was so sweet and we are going to try to meet with him again today! I love you all so much and hope that you know how much our Heavenly Father loves us. He knows us perfectly and knows the challenges and difficulties that we face each day. He, like any good father, wants us to talk with Him about the things going on. He wants to help us help ourselves! No father is going to do everything for his child, but he is going to do everything he can to help his child do things for themselves, because he knows that is how they truly grow, learn & experience joy for themselves! So lets pray to Him. Even if you dont know or dont believe He really is there. Kneel down and ask Him, sincerely, to let you know if He exist and if He loves you and cares for you. I promise you will receive an answer to your prayer, whether it be through a feeling of warmth and comfort or through the kindness of another person who loves you--you will receive an answer, so pay attention! I love you all and am grateful to be able to have known you and made memories with each of you! Life is a journey and its all about finding true joy in the journey with hope for what lies at the end of the journey. Elder Holland, an apostle of Jesus Christ, has a saying that I just love. He says, "They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step...so watch your step." haha Be careful and watch what you are doing with your time- its precious. I hope that we can all remember those things that matter most to us (our families, friends, and PEOPLE in our lives) and not get to preoccupied or hung up on the THINGS in our lives. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!
Love Elder Seth McGinn
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Hey family and friends!!!
We got a lot of rain last night and this morning. Believe it or not, Iowa is starting to turn green! It is very refreshing from the stagnant brown color that we have had for the past 6 months haha
We had another wonderful General Conference is past weekend! It was sweet to hear from our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and the Apostles! Its such a blessing to have them on the Earth today to give us Heavenly Father's guidance through the unique difficulties of our day and age. Saturday morning, just before conference, Irene was baptized and confirmed! (see picture) It was a very special occasion and everyone who was in attendance was so happy because the Spirit was there. She was so happy as well and it was a beautiful morning!
General Conference was so sweet and one of the greatest things I learned was about how obedience sets us free! When we strive to obey the commandments of God, He is able to bless us in every way. Think about it...He is God. By His power, we were created and so was the universe. Not just the Earth, but the galaxy and all the billions of galaxies that we now know exist because of modern day technology. He has all power and controls EVERYTHING. So its simple, when we heed His counsel (the commandments), He has the power to bless us with "all things we stand in need of." The promise He gives us is that if we keep His commandments, we will prosper in all aspects of life. That is a divine promise and God cannot break promises, so when we keep our end (obeying the commandments) He is BOUND to keep His end (bless us with "peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come"). I love you all so much! Think about these things. You will have more questions, then you can have a stronger desire to pray and ask God those questions of your soul. I promise you that the answers to those questions will be found in the words of God's authorized servants, His prophets and apostles. Go and listen to their words at lds.org!!! It will bring you the promised peace of mind and allow to be happier, despite the struggles and difficulties we all go through each day :) Love you!
Elder Seth McGinn
Elder Seth McGinn
IowaDes Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. Ste. 19
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Happy Easter Everybody!!!
I hope you like the Title of the email...it took me a while to come up with lol we all remember that great song by Queen right??!! haha well Easter was great here in Iowa! We got to help hide eggs with some members for their kids. Fun fact: their kids are allergic to dogs, but they wanted a pet so they have a pet pig (see attached picture)...only in Iowa :) haha instead of barking, it squealed! That'll keep the burglars away lol
Well, this week was great! Irene is progressing towards her baptism on Saturday at 10am! We have had some really cool experiences teaching her and I want to share one and make that the topic of my email today. So lets start out with Irene being the oldest of 4 girls with a single mom. She has always had a lot of burdens and responsibility on her as she practically raised her little sisters. She has had a rough life. She is only 15, but because of her circumstances, she has gotten caught up in a couple rough crowds of friends. As a result she has some minor tattoos and a piercing in her lip. We believe our bodies to be sacred creations of God. We have just celebrated Easter, which reminds us all of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This means when His spirit and His glorified, perfect body were restored back together again. We know that because of Christ's resurrection, we will all be resurrected and that our spirits and our bodies will be reunited again as we will stand in front of God to be judged of our works and desires. For Latter-day Saints (Mormons), this means that our bodies are going to be something that we will have forever. Therefore, we try our best to take good care of them, by avoiding unnecessary piercings, tattoos, harmful substances, etc. So with that in mind, my new companion Elder Miranda, was wondering if Irene would have to take out her lip ring before she was baptized. I told him that I wasnt sure, but that as we teach her true doctrine and she feels the Spirit, she will realize on her own that her lip ring isnt necessary or even "cool" so she will take it out. So I never even mentioned anything about her lip ring the whole time that we have been teaching her and neither has anybody else. We don't judge, but rather, we love. Then, this Friday, Irene went on a trip with the youth to go see Chuch history sites in Carthageand Nauvoo, Illinois. Also, they visited the beautiful Nauvoo temple. Irene said she felt loved and peaceful during the whole trip and loved being with the other youth. We helped her realize that what she felt the whole time was God's Spirit. Then the next night, Irene and her sister Karla, went to a meeting for all the Young Women in the Church. We texted her about how it went and she told us this, "I felt even more amazing. I looked in the mirror and I was so happy with who I am...I took out the piercing I had near my lip!" Again, we had not mentioned a thing to her about how the Prophet of God teaches that we should not have body piercings, but rather, the Spirit touched her heart and taught her personally, how God sees us and our bodies as beautiful creations. We are His children and were created in His image! We are sons and daughters of a glorious and beautiful King who is full of light and truth! Our destiny is to become like Him. This is true doctrine and "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. Thestudy of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." (President Boyd K. Packer - Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) I literally saw this come true as Irene is continually coming to understand more about who she is, where she came from, why she is here (her purpose on Earth), and what will happen after death. This understanding is changing her behavior in a way that allows her to keep the commandments of God and be a much, much more happier person! She is so stoked for her baptism and wants us to teach her whole family as well! Her three little sisters are preparing to be baptized on May 4th :)
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Joseph Smith was truly a Prophet of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's kingdom on the Earth in these last days. The way we can all know for ourselves is through carefully reading, pondering, and praying about the Book of Mormon. It is true! I love you all and hope you can feel God's love for you through me, even though I'm in Iowa:) Love you and keep on keepin' on!