Monday, June 24, 2013

La Obra de Salvacion!

Hey Family!
I love you all so much and its such a blessing to be able to write you all a letter each week! So last night, the Work of Salvation broadcast was amazing! The Spirit was so strong and I know that this Church is true. Why does that matter? Because it brings true happiness!
So this week has been pretty sweet! La familia Lara brought their friend Lydiaand her two daughters, Kimberly and Brenda to dinner on Thursday night! We were able to talk to them over dinner, then teach them about the Plan of Salvation and how they can live together brought so much peace to them as they began to understand the plan that our Heavenly Father has for the happiness of ourselves and our loved ones! They are wonderful new investigators and we look forward to teaching them again this week!
On Saturday, our little Des Moines 5th Branch (Spanish) will be going to the Nauvoo Temple!!!! I finally get to go to Nauvoo! Its going to be crazy humid, but its going to be sweet. The Alarcon familia will be sealed as a family forever, and 3 other members will be receiving their endowments, so the whole branch is going haha Im super stoked and will let you know how it goes! Also on Saturday, President and Sister Jergensen will be meeting with President and Sister Jensen! They will swap places and on next Monday we will have a zone conference with President and Sister Jensen! Its an exciting time.
A thought I had while watching the broadcast last night was how special the work of salvation is and how we can prepare ourselves to do it! I thought about my mom and dad! I love them so much and they are the example of being a disciple of Christ! They set the example for me by always being anxiously engaged in the Church, being proactive and by magnifying their callings! I also thought of Bishop Fife's youth firesides on Sunday nights and how special those were! He was proactive and that prepared us, the youth, to love serving the Lord as we saw Brother and Sister Fife sacrifice their Sunday night family time, by having all the youth over (not to mention the wonderful treats that were always provided!). We all have had wonderful examples in our lives and if we can watch and learn, then act on what we have learned, we will become wonderful examples for others. I know that the greatest example that we all have is that of Jesus Christ! I know that He loves us and that He lives today! We may not be able to see Him but we can feel His love for us as we follow His example. He is engaged in each of our lives because of that love! I love you all and make it a great week! Remember to SMILE :)
Love, Elder Seth McGinn

Monday, June 17, 2013

Life Skills

Hey hey hey family & friends! So I am writing a little bit later than usual today because Elder Spackman and I's dream P-Day (preparation day) was realized today...we went golfing! haha it was a lot of fun as we played a quick 9 holes! Reminded me of all the days spent at Canyon Gate with Jordan haha sweet memories! Also, Ian is a great golfer so I was thinking that I will have to come back and show him up haha :) love you big bro!
So its been a great week! On Tuesday, we went to Iowa City for a meeting with all the zone leaders and sister training leaders in the mission. We reported on our areas and received a lot of revelation together for the Iowa Des Moines Mission and how we will welcome our new mission president, President Jensen, in with a bang! Its short and simple...Back to the Basics! We just need to stick to the fundamentals of Preach My Gospel and the doctrine that is found in the scriptures :) Revolutionary right? Pres. Jergensen always says "stick to the program and they'll call you innovative" haha its so true! To end that meeting, Pres. and Sis. Jergensen stood up and told us that they wanted us to ask them any questions that we had about life. They are such a wonderful couple and have truly become so full of love. I learned so much listening to them answer the questions about dating, marriage, family life, & kids. They love each other so much and they love Jesus Christ and have become like Him! I will be sad to see them go, but super excited to get Pres. & Sis. Jensen at the end of this month!
With that, we have still been teaching a lot of members and Jose, our investigator, gave a talk in Church yesterday haha he is super committed to the gospel and we are waiting for him to get married to Maria so they can both be baptized. Apparently, his old wife in Mexico wont sign the divorce papers...maybe we can send Blake or Jordan over to find her and help her start living the commandments too! haha well I have to be going but remember to pray! In the Ensign (Church magazine), there is a story of this dad teaching his kids about how the Nephites all turned wicked at the end of the Book of Mormon. It says that the Dad asked his kids, what do you think happened that made the Nephites turn away from God. His little girl answered "I think they stopped saying their personal prayers" haha hopefully, we each remember to keep doing the little things because they make the biggest differences! Remember that God sees our acts of faith in private and He will reward us openly :) The Book of Mormon testifies that Jesus is the Christ and it answers the questions we each have about life and our loving Heavenly Father. Read it, study it, pray about it, and share it. It will bring happiness to all who give place for it in their heart! Love you all and keep on keepin on!
Love Elder McGinn

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Hastening!

Que tal everybody?!
Sorry I didnt write yesterday cause things were crazy getting all this zone information ready for this new transfer. Elder Spackman and I are staying together but almost everybody else in our zone will be affected somehow from the changes. We have 6 VISA waiters for Brazil in our zone so each companionship except for one is in a tri-panionship which makes logistics difficult sometimes haha but we love it and are picking up some portugese with these elders!
This last week was pretty normal, meaning it was crazy and full of excitement. We found a new investigator named Jazmin who is 16 and after we taught her the first lesson, she agreed to be baptized! 45 minutes after that first lesson, the young womens pres picked her up and took her to mutual haha the members are the key to missionary work! Then Saturday night, the assistants to the president in our zone had a baptism of 3 wonderful people from Africa! One of them was Godgive, the little boy who we taught the Plan of Salvation to by drawing it in the dirt outside his house hah so sweet! Also, there was a lady and her daughter baptized as well and they are from Burmawho were Muslim before they began being taught by the missionaries...she hardly speaks English but we have this 18 year old member who translates and teaches with the missionaries all the time haha it was amazing and even cooler, President Jergensen baptized one of the African ladies! It was something special! Oh and Jazmin, our investigator, came to that baptismal service with the Ortega Family (where I skyped on Mothers Day), and she really enjoyed it. Only bad news is that her mom is really strong in a different church so Jazmin had to go to that church this Sunday, and couldnt come to ours but we are going to go teach her again today!
Other than Jazmin, we have no others investigators to teach, which is rough, but we spend a lot of time teaching the members because 90% of them are converts in the past 10 years and have very little gospel knowledge, so it fun teaching them! They are practically investigators, but instead of helping them be baptized, we are helping them go to the temple so they can be sealed together as a family forever! Its amazing!
Lately, I have been reading the promise "Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you." This promise is repeated in the scriptures (from the Bible to the Pearl of Great Price) more than anything else! I have been pondering to myself, how much do I really believe that? That when I pray and ask for things, do I truly believe that I will receive them or am I just going through the motions? I think its a great question we can each pose to ourselves. Christ promises us countless times that if we ask the Father for things in His name, believeing we will receive, it shall be given to us...We need not tempt our Heavenly Father and ask for things that are unrigteous or against His will, but as we increase our faith in Jesus Christ, we can pray and plead with God to give us the "righteous desires" of our hearts! Its true and I promise that its true because God is our loving Heavenly Father and He will not lie to us. He is same yesterday, today, and forever. We have faith, dont question that. Only ask yourself if you are being true to the faith that you do have and remember what Elder Holland said in this last general conference, "What we know in this Church will always be greater than what we do not know." I love you all and I know that Jesus Christ knows each of us personally and knows our struggles and difficulties. We can always turn to Him for help! Love Always,
Elder McGinn