Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Another Week in Toto!

Hey Everybody! 
Happy holidays and I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! Christmas time here in the mission wasnt anything like it is at home, but I have never spent a christmas so close to the Savior. I just want to tell you guys that I know that this is the true church, heck if I didn't know that I sure would have come home by now. Missionary work isnt easy, but its worth every hard moment. I encourage you all to do something this week to strengthen your own testimony. Help to build someone elses testimony or just do something that you know is right. Remember when we serve others we are only in the Service of our God!

I miss you all. Make right choices and do something each day that you know you should do. :)

Love you all,

Elder McLain

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ELDER SANTA CLAUS: The Adventures continue in ToTo.

Hello Everybody! I don't have much time to write an email today but I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and I hope that you all enjoy this week and remember the true meaning of Christmas! I love and miss every single one of you! Remember how much our Heavenly Father loves us. He has given us His Son so that we can all have eternal life if we only choose to accept this gift. 

Love you all!

Elder McLain

From Austin, “Yeah we are singing in the central park here in Toto as a zone so I only have a little bit of time to write.”

Austin was also Santa at the ward Christmas party. I sure love that boy <3

Santa and his reindeer. Got to love Missionaries!

Who knew dressing up as Santa was part of the mission experience? :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Earthquakes in Toto and Working Hard!

Hey everybody! 

I hope everything is going just fabulous and that you are all enjoying this wonderful time of year!

This last week was pretty good here in the mission. Ive been learning a lot with this opportunity to train a new missionary. Ive had to take a lot of the responsibility and honestly I was really scared to be training, but so far Ive seen that when we put our trust in the Lord we are able to fulfill our callings. We just have to do it his way, not our way. 

As for our investigators right now. We don't have too many whom are positive but we have been meeting new people every day and there are bound to be some prepared people whom we run into in these upcoming weeks. We challenged our investigator to baptism this last week, Carlos, and he told us he would be baptized. However, he is waiting for God to tell him what day he should do it. So we are going to be working with that over the next week or so.

I felt my first real earthquake! It was pretty weird. Sunday morning at 6:11 AM I was woken up by my bed shaking vigorously. It was pretty sketch! I kinda screamed because I didn't know what was going on. That lasted about a minute. Then later that day I was studying, and my comp had gone to take a nap..... when the whole house started shaking! It was the weirdest thing that Ive ever felt. So I got up and ran to the door. And just waited it out. It ended up waking my comp up as well which I guess was Gods way of telling him he shouldnt be napping. :) But the one in the morning was a 5.7, and the one in the afternoon was a lot stronger, however I don't know what the rating was.

Good news is that I have now lived through 2 earthquakes.

Alright everybody! Have a wonderful week.

Love Elder McLain

Hello Everybody!

This last week went really good! We met a bunch of new investigators and spent a ton of time contacting and talking with the people here about Christmas! Which is extremely difficult because half of the people here are Evangelico, and believe that celebrating Christmas is a sin.... and the other half of the people are Catholics who don’t want anything to do with us. But, regardless, we met some, Good news we ended up having 6 investigators come to church! That's the most that I have had in the mission! But, besides that the week was pretty normal. Nothing special really. We did meet a family of 13 who are all super positive! So we will be working with them over the next few weeks. But everybody, I know that this is the true gospel, that Joseph Smith really did restore the gospel in its fulness to the earth again, and that today we have a living prophet here on the earth. I want you all to know that I love you so very much and i miss you, however I know also that this is where I am supposed to be and even though it may be difficult, it's worth every hard moment.
have a fantastic week and try to do something nice for somebody else this coming week,

Con amor,

Elder Mclain
Totonicapan. Beautiful!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Training & Thanksgiving

Hello Everybody!!!! Long time no see. Well only 4 months... But yeah long time. I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving definitely wasn't the same here but we did get to eat Thanksgiving dinner with the Stake President and his family. Now would I consider it a thanksgiving dinner if I was at home no, but it was still good. I'll include some pictures of what we ate.

Well I began training this last Tuesday! My new comp. is Elder Monzalvo from Mexico! He's really awesome and I can tell that he wants to be a really successful missionary! We have been working hard since he got here and I'm really confident that we are going to have success in the coming weeks. We had something pretty cool happen. We have an investigator named Lesli, and we were walking up to her house to visit her, and the path to get there is really small and there is only one. We started up the path and these two dogs came out all angry and I'll be honest I thought I was going to die. We couldn't get past them.. So we kind of backed up and just waited. Meanwhile a man came out of one of the houses because he had heard the dogs and got them out of our way and all, then invited us into his house. Turns out that he had a dream that we were going to come and visit him. And when he heard the dogs he had a strong feeling to go outside... Well he is a member who hasn't been active in about a year. But I guess he has really strong desires to put his life back in order, and he is already doing just that. He came to church with us this Sunday. I don't know, I thought that it was a pretty cool story to share with you all. So we will be working with him more now and hopefully he will become active again.

Something else really cool happened last Friday. I was with the Zone leaders in a place called Noaholah which is about an hour and a half from our area. We had to go up there to do a baptisimal interview on our way back from the training meeting. After the interview we were waiting for a bus on the side of the road, and or a car. We really were just waiting for anything. I finally saw a car coming so I waved at it and surprisingly it stopped. We walked over to the window and learned that it was Elder Ochoa, the President or first counselor I'm not sure of all of Central America. So... Haha we went back with him to Cuatro Caminos, and he just talked with us the whole time. He basically just told us that when we have problems and aren't baptizing or aren't having success, we can't blame it on the problem, we have to do our part and overcome the problems that we have. It really was an awesome experience that I can't explain over email... But I feel like a lot of times we have problems in our lives that we like to use as excuses for not doing what's right. But really we need to look at the problem, address it and do our best to overcome it.

Well everybody. I hope you have a wonderful week. Love you all.

Elder McLain

P.S. go check out this video. 

He is the gift
Basketball on P-days. 

Elder McLain's Thanksgiving dinner. 

Thanksgiving with the Stake President and family. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Eating Cow Liver!

       How is everybody doing on this fine Monday afternoon? This last week really seemed to fly by! It was insane. We didnt get to do a lot in our area, nobody really had time to listen to us which was a bummer. But life goes on, right? There were however two baptisms in our ward this last week by the sisters Hermana Velasquez and Hermana Viera which was awesome! We've been helping with these kids a little bit as well so it was nice to see them take the step of baptism. Sunday I had the opportunity to confirm Lester as a member of the church in sacrament meeting! It was one of the coolest things Ive ever done, but I was insanely nervous. First off, I had to do it in Spanish. Secondly, Ive never ever done that before. But in the end it all worked out. We dont really have any new news as for the work in our area. We are still working hard on setting some baptism dates but we will just have to see what happens. This could be my last week with Elder Carlson as well as we have changes next Tuesday. We will see what happens. All I want is to stay here in Toto for at least one more change. I really have come to love it here. Other exciting news of this last week, I ate cow liver which was nasty. Ah. It was terrible.... But I've heard of other missionaries eating worse so I will just count my blessings. :) 

Well everybody, have a wonderful week and remember to choose the right.

Love Elder McLain

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Taco Bell!

Hello Everybody! 
Nothing much has happened here in Guatemala since the last time I wrote you all. The work has been pretty slow... But we have been busier than ever. I dont really understand how it works out that way but it does. As far as our investigators go, Andres who is about 60 really wants to get baptized, but his wife has threatened to leave him if he joins the church... So that's a really tough situation right there. We will just have to keep working with him and hopefully a milagro (miracle) or something happens. The familia Batz has really been progressing lately, and we are going to put a baptismal date with their daughter Diana for the 22nd of November this coming week. I'm extremely confident that she is going to accept. She has been singing in the choir in the ward and come the last two weeks. She has a lot of family in the ward and is always extremely positive. As for our recent converts, Danny has been working super hard, and we learned yesterday that he can serve a mission, he just has to go and talk with the Bishop. He really wants to serve he has just been scared to talk with the bishop, our doubt was that he was too old (25) but I guess they make exceptions for recent converts. Also, one of the highlights of last week, we cant go into malls as missionaries, and Taco Bell is in the mall in Xela, Danny went to Xela Saturday and bought my comp and I Taco Bell. Talk about heaven. :) When I poured out my mild sauce it went into the shape of a heart <3. 
We also had interviews with president last week which were wonderful, hes such an awesome guy and full of so much knowledge of the gospel. He shared a quote with me, it was something like this, "A man cannot have both doubt and faith at the same time." I really enjoy that quote and have put it into work here. Attitude is everything especially on the hard days, as long as we have faith, we will always get by. 

Well everybody, I will talk to you next week. Have a wonderful week and CTR. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

10 New Investigators!

     Trick or treat everybody! I hope you all had a very happy Halloween and didn't eat too much candy. I don't think I ate any candy on Halloween, it was kind of sad, but we had better things to do. This last week was really good. The week started out as normal, and it was pretty hard to find anybody to teach. But, Friday my comp went to Jucha and our district came here to Toto for divisions, and that was the best day work wise that I have had here in the mission. My companion’s name is Elder Mendoza, and we taught 11 lessons in the one day that he was here. He taught me how to really work and really what we should be doing as missionaries. Hes an awesome missionary and really I learned so much from him. We went and taught a new guy named Carlos, who was a reference from the sisters, and it was one of the saddest lessons I have had while I have been here.

      Carlos has a wife and three daughters whom have left him. Yes, they had a good reason to leave him, he has a really bad drinking problem, but it was extremely hard to talk to him and listen to what he had to say. I really feel for the guy, he has such a strong desire to change, he is just having problems getting over his addiction. He was crying just about the whole lesson, and in the end he asked us if we could give him a blessing. So we did. We have a lesson with him tomorrow and we have a whole game plan set out to help him stop ,but it is going to take some work on his part as well. But, I know that anything is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I am extremely excited to see him progress.
     As for other people, we met 10 new investigators on Friday and should be working with them over the next little while. Danny was able to bless the sacrament on Sunday, and I think I know how my parents felt when I blessed it for the first time, because I felt like my little kid was all grown up. It was such a cool experience to see him up there in a white shirt and tie. Our other investigator Carlos who owns a barbershop came to church this week, along with the daughter of one of the part member families. It was the first time that we have had more than one investigator at church! Whoo. We also tried to put a date for baptism with Andres, and he didn't accept, he wants to know all of the commandments before he will accept a date, so hopefully this time next week I will be writing you all with a baptism date for the next Saturday. :)
     Saturday was the Day of the Dead, which meant that every single person here in Toto was at the cemetery. It was crazy, nobody  was at home nor in the streets. So we didn't get much done Saturday nor Sunday after church, because I guess the day after the Day of the Dead everyone goes back to the cemetery and stays there the whole entire day. But, next week should be a lot better. I have new goals and new methods that Elder Carlson and I are going to use to find new people and teach our current investigators. 

    It has been really cold here lately, we are up at 8,000 feet and I guess come December, there won’t be snow, but there will be ice everywhere, whatever that means. So that makes me more excited for Christmas here.We already put up our like 8 inch Christmas tree and one strand of lights. Whoo.

Love you all and I will talk to you next Monday. Thanks for everything.

  Con amor,

             Elder McLain
Christmas Decorations in Toto. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Work Goes On

This last week went by really fast! So fast that I don’t really have that much time left today, so I’m just going to say the highlight of the week. 
Our investigator who was baptized last week received the priesthood yesterday in church, and it was amazing. He is currently working on getting his temple recommend and the bishop is working on giving him a calling in the ward. Besides that our investigator Andres is really progressing and we are working on putting a baptismal date for November 8th for him, but we will see. He is extremely smart and really enjoys coming to church. 

Alrighty all. Do good this next week. Don’t eat too much Halloween candy. And don’t forget to pray.

Elder McLain

Elder McLain lives in a beautiful place. 

He really likes taking selfies. 

Monday, October 20, 2014


Whats up whats up everybody. Hope life back home has been just fabulous. The mission life has been flying by, I need to take a second and smell the roses (or the garbage that's everywhere you look here). :) But, I miss everyone just wanted to let you all know that. Some of you have emailed me, and I haven't emailed you back. Don't think its because I don't love and or appreciate your emails, because I really do, sometimes P days are just crazy and I run out of time to Email you all back. So sorry for that, but I do love each and every one of you and appreciate everything. 
    This last week was wonderful. The week started out good. We have 2 new investigators who are really positive, and so we were super busy teaching them and getting ready for the baptism on Saturday. We had to plan everything because our mission leader had surgery so that was stressful, but we got it all done and the baptism was absolutely wonderful. Elder Bryan and Elder Babbet our Zone leaders who have helped teach Danny came and Elder Bryan played the guitar. They sang the song Cuando Me Bautice, which is When I am Baptized, and it brought the spirit in perfectly right before the baptism. It was absolutely wonderful. After that Elder Carlson baptized Danny and I was just overwhelmed with peace and joy. Danny is so awesome and he made the right choice, I know that Heavenly Father is extremely happy with him right now. Sunday we had the confirmation Danny officially became a member of the ward. That is what the mission is all about. Seeing that smile on his face when he came out of the water and hearing him explain how he felt, there is nothing better than that. The blessings and joy we receive when we obey the commandments are more than we can ever imagine until we actually take that step into the fog, that's when we see the light on the other side. 
       I don't have much time today so I'm just going to keep it short. 

My weekly challenge: Enjoy time with  your family and or those who you love (if you don't feel like you love your family). Have a family night. Pray together, read a scripture or two. I know that this will help to strengthen relationships with those you love.
Elder McLain and Danny

Baptism day!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Baptismal Date!

Well hello everybody! Good news, bad news and a miracle from here in Chiyax, Guatemala, We will be having a baptism this coming Saturday at 4:00. One of our only positive investigators Danny is whom will be baptized, and it is a miracle that he accepted a date. We have tried for the last month to get him to accept a date, and also the missionaries before me trtied but he just never felt ready to be baptized. So last Tuesday Elder Carlson and I decided to fast for a milagro  and for Danny to accept a fecha to be baptized. When we went to the visit with him that night we brought along a member of the Same age Christian, and we pulled out just about every scripture and thing we could think of to help him recognize an answer and realize the importance of Baptism, and in the end we challenged him for the 18th of October, and he accepted. This may not sound like much of a miracle to all of you but it was a miracle for my comp and I.

However two days after he accepted the fecha, his pastor came from the church he used to go to. The Pastor hadn't talked to him in over 4 months, and coincidentally came just two days after Danny decided to be Baptized. Satan does not want us to be happy and succesful in this life, and when we are closing in on some of the most important choices of our lives, he does all that he can in his power to stop us. For instance with Joseph Smith, right as he knelt down to pray, right before the most important part in the Restoration of the only true church on the earth today, Satan did everything in his power to overcome him and stop him. But, light cannot overcome darkenss unless we allow it to. Just as when Joseph  Smith called upon God, Danny did the same. And Danny, after being offered a spot in the choir in his old church, prayed and has made the right choice. 

We are going to do everything we can to help him out this week, and make sure that he stays positive and is ready for his Baptism. Besides that, we had some good lessons with other investigators and met some new people who hopefully will be positive. We are just going to have to see. But, life here in Guatemala goes on. The culture here is so different than back home.. Haha some things happen that I cant even explain, they would take too long to write out. 
However, I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this church, and I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that we have the true church, with the authority from God, restored to the earth once again.  

My challenge for the week: 

No matter where you are at in the process of growing a testimony, share what you have. If you dont think you have a testimony or that you can share it, work to strengthen it to the point that you have confidence enough to share it. But all in all be an example for others.

I love you all.
Elder McLain

He loves the tortillas!

Scenery from Toto. 

Elder McLain loves the children. 

His zone at the temple on his birthday! Great looking group of missionaries. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Visit to Guatemala City & Conference

Well hello Everybody! I hope life in the states is going well. I sure do miss all of you but I love hearing what's going on back home. 

Last week was really hectic, and I don't feel like I've been a missionary since last Tuesday. Last Tuesday I got the call that I needed to go back down to Guatemala City to get my visa figured out and sign some papers, so we ended up doing just that. Wednesday afternoon I left to Guatemala City with some of the Elders from my district in the CCM, so that was fun, however the bus ride wasn't. We left at about 4 and got there at 8:45, the only good thing about Tuesday was going to Burger King! Artificial food has never tasted so good. :) But we stayed in a hotel that night, However it wasn't like the hotels back home. There was one room with 6 beds and the other with 3 really small beds, I slept in the room with three. Thursday morning started with seeing an Iguana, a massive one out the window which was pretty cool. But after that we went and waited in a building for 2 and a half hours...Then we went to the actual building to get our visa, which in reality took about 15 seconds. We signed a paper and took a picture, then left. They dropped us off at a bus stop and we had 2 hours to wait till the next bus left for Quetzaltenango...So we went to Wendy's. Yet again artificial food.... So good. :) We got back into Quetz around 7. Just about the only missionary work I did was talk to the guy I was next to on the bus and turns out he is really interested in the church and had been talking to the missionaries 6 months ago, but somehow they lost contact. He doesn't live in our zone but I gave his information to the Elders in his zone, and hopefully  Things go good with him. But Thursday night we got back too late to take a bus back to Toto, so we stayed in another Sketchy Hotel in Xela (Quetzaltenango). We did get to go to Mcdonalds...And I got a double Big Mac... I don't think I have ever been so happy. It was fantastic. Then Friday came, and Guess what I ate for breakfast, an Egg McMuffin from Mcdonalds, The perfect Birthday Present, besides going to the temple. We got to go to the Temple on Friday, and I am still in shock. I have never ever been in such a beautiful building. That is my favorite temple, so far :) But the spirit we felt in the temple was amazing. It is always nice to just take some time and get out of the worlds for a minute and just relax, especially as a missionary. After the temple we went to Subway, which usually isnt my favorite but It was better than a lot of the food in the field. So I was Happy. 
Now lets get to the real fun, General Conference. I have never before sat down and watched all 4 sessions including Priesthood Session, But we were able to, and It was incredible. We watched it in English on Saturday, and I took about 10 pages of notes. For any of you who Haven't or didn't get to hear Elder Holland's talk, I encourage you to go and listen. It was my absolute favorite out of all 10 hours. Holland just has a way with words or something. But, Sunday Danny ended up not being able tyo come to the first session, which actually turned out to be a blessing because the second session was exactly what he needed to hear. Especially when Elder Bednar ended up talking to those who aren't members. That was just awesome.  We are gong to go with him tomorrow and hopefully we will get a baptismal date a little sooner than the one we have set. 
 I am 19 now which is extremely weird to think about, I didn't even realize it until about 4 o clock on my birthday, Lets be honest birthdays in the missionary field don't really exist, but that's okay. All I want is to see Danny and some of our other investigators find the truth and be baptized, that will be better than any birthday I can think of.

Some of my favorite notes from conference that I can remember, (I left my Notebook at the house).

¨¨Daily Decisions Determine Destiny¨ And with that we need to ask ourselves with every decision we make, What are the consequences, will this in turn make me a better person?

My challenge for the week. Go and listen or read Jeffery R Hollands Talk from the Saturday afternoon session. It will change your perspective on things. I'm pretty sure they are already on lds.org. But I'm not 100 percent sure.

Anyways, I love you all, 
and I will talk to you next week.

Much Love, Elder McLain
Beds they slept in. 

Artificial food! 

Birthday Present

Quetzaltenango Temple

Haircut. He looks like a giant! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cow Foot Stew and Flooding

      Well last week was very tough. I forgot to bring my journal so I'm not going to have a daily update of what we did each day, just more of an overall update. So in the last email I talked about the less actives who the dad was passed out drunk in the mud... Well we went and visited them Tuesday I believe.. and it was extremely sad. I had no idea what to do. The wife and the two kids were there and the dad was still a little tipsy.... The wife was telling us about what the dad does when he gets drunk and how they have absolutely no money for food, the dad was mad and he destroyed part of their house... which meant that every time it rains water comes in. 
     If there is one thing I can't really handle in this life is when people are abusive to children, so this was extremely difficult for me to handle. I had no idea what to say to them all I could do was sit and listen to the parents fight and they both kept trying to bring the boy into it to defend their side. We ended up just leaving with a prayer and telling them that the stake president is there to help them. Elder Carlson and I have gone back one time since, it was on Friday, and the Dad was still drunk. This time wasn't as hard, but we are trying to work with them and get them back on the path. 
      On Friday we also had most of our visits fall, so we went and visited a different less active family. It was a whole different story than the other one. The Dad who isn't a member said that the night before he had been contemplating  calling us, but he ended up not doing it. He told us that he had had just this pain in his heart and didn't know what to do. Not a physical pain but a spiritual pain. He thought about reading the book of mormon but ended up not doing it. He also told us about a dream he had had a year ago about two missionaries coming to his house in his time of need. Which was awesome! It's a reminder that God is preparing his children to come back into His fold. We ended up giving the Dad a blessing and sharing a message about the Book of Mormon. We will see where things go from here, but I really want to see him and his family happy and I hope that they will find that happiness through the gospel, whether its Elder Carlson and I or some different Elders. They just need the blessings that come with being obedient to the commandments of God.

      Saturday.... Saturday was just a great day haha. So we got at the stake center to play basketball at 6 AM and we started playing. Afterwards at about 7:05 we were getting ready to leave when we noticed that there was water all over one side of the church. Elder Bryan the zone leader had forgotten that he turned on the Baptismal font and therefore, we flooded half of the church, and I ended up having to go into the freezing cold Baptismal font and pull the plug.. Which I wasn't going to do in my clothes and walk home wet... so you can imagine what happened. I like to think of that as my first Baptism (Insert smiley face)but after I pulled the plug and spent almost 3 hours getting water out, we got home around 10.. Haha. What a good day. We also ate some stew called Pata. Which is very similar to Pato which is duck, but nope PatA is cow foot stew... It was horrific. Worst thing I think I have ever eaten.

My testimony has been strengthened this last week about the little things. The little things we do in life make a huge difference. No matter what it is, from sports to the gospel. The little things in the end change the outcome. Keep that in mind.

I want to share a quote and it is also the challenge for the week, but this is what is helping me handle the Family who is having the problems.
 ¨We must Develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present, but as they may become¨

Love you all! Hope all is well and I hope you are all enjoying nice American junk food!

Elder McLain

Some of the Elders when they went on the zip line
View from the zip line. 

Cow foot stew. Bleh!

Elder McLain with his new favorite drink.