Monday, July 29, 2013
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 Seth McGinn
IowaDes Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave. Ste. 19
Urbandale, IA 50322
Monday, July 22, 2013
Hey hey hey family and friends!
or rather, que tal?
So believe it or not, I am actually learning some Spanish here in Iowa haha it helps being in an all Spanish Branch now for 3 months! Quite a blessing to be here and my new companion is Elder Brian Andreasen from Alpine, UT! He's a boss and a wonderful missionary! He graduated 2010 and has been out for 14 months! We are stoked to be together and we knew were going to be b/c they just switch between here in Des Moines and out in Iowa City, so that is where Elder Spackman is now!
Some logistics: I did get the note from Ian and Lindsay in the package and I wrote them a letter as well last Wed....hopefully they get it :) Layne& Tom- Thank you for the email and the picture of Adam and Ellie! If you could send out some pictures of everybody, that would be sweet (so like the whole family haha) Mom, I will figure out my ring size then let you know! Thanks for the email as well this week! Sounds like Dad and Pres Teshima got a little Alma and Amulek action goin on this week in the Willows Ward haha I love them and I miss hearing Pres. Teshima's powerful testimony and stories of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Also, I will keep praying for Ian and Lindsay! Hopefully I will have a new nephew or niece from them by the time I come back!
So Jose and Maria didn't make it to Church this week, but we are going to keep trying to get in to teach them, if not, we will at least make sure the kids (Geoffrey and Esmerelda) get a ride to church if they don't go. On the upside, this inactive lady Soraida came to Church on Sunday with her 10 year old son, Kerlin! We had a very powerful lesson with here on Thursday with the Relief Society President and her husband...game changer! She loved Church and Kerlin loved Primary and wants to be baptized, so we are grateful for that miracle from Heavenly Father. Soraida has goals for her family and her sons and she is beginning to understand that her Faith in Christ and membership in the Church will propel her towards reaching those goals she has! We have a lesson with her on Thursday so pray for her and Kerlin and Jose and Maria too please! I love you all so much and I know that Jesus Christ lives. He can help us through the trials and tribulations of life and give us hope and direction as we understand the purpose of life! I am a representative of Him and of His true and living Church. We should strive to be His disciples by showing love one to another and by working to develop His attributes, such as love, patience, hope, diligence, humility, and obedience :) All of my love!
Monday, July 15, 2013
So I will try to send more pictures for Dad, I just need to figure out how I can send more in one email haha Its great to hear that the Larkin's are back, Jordan better write me and also sweet that Ernie is now a Ward Mission Leader! That Work of Salvation broadcast was amazing and there is a lot to learn from it :) So to answer your question mom, being a zone leader is sweet because to get to serve all the missionaries a bunch. Here in Des Moines, we give the elders in our zone and bunch of rides b/c they don't have as many miles as we do so its great! I have come to understand better the saying of President Monson that it doesn't matter how many leadership positions you hold, but how many people you help! That is so true and that is something that we will be held accountable for so I love helping all these wonderful people in Des Moines.
Saturday was a beautiful day (hence the subject title) because we were blessed to have 8 people be baptized into the Des Moines Ward! I will attach a picture but it was totally awesome! Saydee and Rebecca were two of them and we had the chance to teach them a lot and it was so good to see them baptized! Saydee raised up his hands when he came up out of the water ahah it was like he had just won a boxing match or something but it was really cool to see how happy he was because he had been "born again". He talked about how good he felt knowing it was a fresh start and that he can not worry about anything that had happened in the past, but look towards the future with a lot of faith and hope!! Super sweet :) The other people in the picture is the Quayee family, also from Liberia,Africa! They are beautiful and it was such a sweet baptismal service!
Its sweet that there is a bunch of new art work in the chapel because we just talked about getting some more in our Stakecenter here so we can have better church tours for people who are interested. Last night, we began organizing plans to have a huge chapel presentation/church tour for anyone in Des Moines who wants to come. It will be 3 wards combining to make it happen and we will handing out fliers and getting it in the newspaper and everything for August 23rd and 24th(Friday and Saturday night). We hope that anybody who wants to see it will come, and also, that the members will invite their interested friends and neighbors! We, the missionaries, will guide the tour and teach while we do it ;) the Spirit is strong inside our chapels!
So the picture Dad got last night was from our investigators Jose and Maria! He thought he would be funny by adding the Valentines heart thing around it haha please pray for them b/c they are struggling making it to Church on Sundays and finding time to meet with us. They know its right and true, but they are going through a rough spell right now. but Elder Spackman is getting transferred on Thursday but I will stay here in Des Moines with the zone and get a new companion on Thursday as well at Transfer Meeting! The time is just flying by and I cant believe its almost August! We are excited with all the changes taking place right now with missionary work. We will be getting some sort of tablet soon (ipad?) to use for teaching and as an area book and we will be much more involved in doing Family History Work on computers at the Church. Also, we just found out about a new missionary dress & appearance thing, so that is awesome and it looks like we will be trying to eliminate the use of backpacks, which I agree with because it kinda makes you look immature and like a kid haha (who wears a suit with a backpack ;)) so its awesome and exciting!!!
I love all of you and hope that you all stay positive and "always look on the bright side of life" (Monty Python shout out!) Love you!
ps we totally laid some cement for this less active guy, Orlando (see picture) and it was pretty sweet! They said I was a natural so I guess the "home-improvement" blood from my dad does flow through me..a little bit haha and let me know if this way of sending pictures through Word works better!!!
Monday, July 8, 2013
Hey family and friends! I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July and had good times with the family and your friends! We had a lot of fun as we ate a great dinner with the Lara familia and taught them, then they took us to a fair to go get funnel cake...it was great!!!
Jose y Maria are progressing towards their baptism but we are still waiting on divorce papers from Mexico so we get have them get married so they can be fully keeping the law of Chastity, so they can receive the blessings that come from obeying the commandments! Now that Blake is working in the office, he might be able to pull some strings down there in Tampico to help us get that divorce haha I love him and all my friends out serving the Lord as His missionaries. We are teaching all over the world!!!
This week, we were able to teach a couple from Liberia, West Africato prepare them for there baptism this Saturday. The man is Saydee and his wife is Rebecca and they are the sweetest and most humble people ever! I will send pictures of them and their baptism next week, along with the Quayee Family who will be baptized as well next week (also from Liberia). I know that these humble African people are being sent here to Des Moines not only for physical refuge and protection, but also to find spiritual refuge and assurance through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!
Americais a choice land, where we have such a sweet spirit of freedom which has allowed the Restoration of the Gospel take place, beginning with the humble prayer of a 14 year old Joseph Smith. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is evidence of him, of the truthfulness of the Bible, and that Jesus Christ really is the Savior and Redeemer of us all. Elder Spackman and I share these things freely with everyone we talk to and it amazing to see how it changes lives for the better! Thank you for all your prayers and support! I feel them and I need them! I love you all & remember that you are a child of a King, who loves you and wants to help you. Don't hesitate to pray and ask for direction, support or help from Him!
Elder Seth McGinn
Monday, July 1, 2013
Hey Family & Friends!
It has been a crazy, awesome week this past week! I did send a letter last week so hopefully that one will find you this week and you get 2 from me!!! So highlight of the week was Saturday! We woke up early and the Lara family drove us to Nauvoo, Illinois! We went to the beautiful temple there (pictures) and had the opportunity to see 2 members from our Spanish branch endowed and after that, the Alarcon family was sealed together has husband and wife for time and all eternity along with their 2 daughters! It was just a beautiful day and the Spirit was so strong all day. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He really did suffer for us as the Son of God, that we might be able to have peace and joy in this life by following His example. It was special to be in Nauvoo and feel of the pioneer spirit that resides in the city. I felt so strongly while I was there about how Joseph Smith truly was the Prophet of the restoration of the gospel and church of Jesus Christ. Anyone who reads the Book of Mormon and his testimony in the introduction can know that as well!
On a different note, on Saturday night, 2 elders serving in Chariton, IAwere T-boned by a Dodge truck going 60mph. One was life-flighted to Des Moines and is still unconscious while the other just has some bumps and bruises and even came to zone conference yesterday. Please pray for them and its amazing that they are still alive. To add to that, Saturday night was President & Sister Jensen's first night in Iowaas our new mission president and his wife. They are so loving and full of charity as they stayed with the elder in the hospital all night by his side. We met them yesterday and they are just full of love and are so Christlike! I look forward to serving and learning with them as President & Sister Jergensen returned home to San Diego, CA.
Well, that all I have this week! Love you all and remember that God lives and He is our love Heavenly Father. Love ya,