Monday, September 8, 2014

Elder McLain's first week in the field!!!

Elder McLain is officially out of the MTC. He is loving his new area and he seems to be doing well after his first week out in the mission field. Continue reading for the group email from him! 

Well Well Well.
       I am oficially a real missionary doing actual missionary work rather than just sitting in the MTC all day! It´s crazy! My companion is Elder Carlson from Clearfield, Utah and we are in Totonicapan, Guatemala which is just about an hour and a half from Quetzaltenango. So living on the top of a hill my whole life I never really thought that I would have to deal with walking up bigger hills than I was used to, but I was wrong. The hills here are insane! And our house is on the top of a hill as well. Our house is massive, we have 9 bedrooms, a kitchen and then two bathrooms. Plus, we have a whole roof that we can hang out on top of that has a pretty cool view. I'll send some pictures with this email.
      Leaving the MTC was pretty sad, I had grown pretty close with my district and with Elder Macfarlane and Johnson who were also in our room, the Monday night before we all left we got 103 elders into a bedroom which is smaller than the average hotel room and we sang Called to Serve plus God be with you till we meet again. That was awesome and also really sweaty.... Yeah. The next day we got on a bus about 23 kids. 15 gringos and 8 latinos and we headed up to Quetzaltenango, however the main road was closed because of protesting so we had to go around which took 6 hours instead of 3 and a half, that wasn't fun. There were some pretty amazing views however, which I enjoyed very much. I quickly learned that there was a whole lot more to Guatemala than just the MTC, and that the MTC is probably the nicest building in all of Guat. 
          So after the 6 hour bus ride we arrived at the stake center in Quetz.
We had some meetings and got to meet the Mission president and his wife, then we were on our way with our companion. I was extremely nervous for what laid ahead but all in all it ended up just fine. My companion and I walked to a chicken bus with my two 50 pound suit cases, and when we arrived at the bus a guy came, put each suit case on top of his back, didn't hold it or anything he just balanced it, and climbed up the back of the bus with it. It was loco. After we arrived at our house in Toto we went out and began proselyting. We ended up going to a less active members house who had two kids and his wife in a little tin house with dirt floors. His Aunt had just died and he was really struggling so I had the chance to share a message with him. I shared Ether 12:27 I believe. It was definitely an eye opener and at the same time a very spiritual experience.
      The next day we had a zone meeting about half an hour away, and lucky me I'm so tall that I hit my head in the bus and cut it open. What a great way to start out my time in the mission field. I ended up stopping the bleeding and got that figured out. The zone meeting was cool. I learned that Elder Miles, Elder Hadderlie, Elder Ramos and Hermana Martin from my district in the CCM were all in my zone! That was great. 
      Thursday morning we got up at 5:30 to walk to the Stake Center and play basketball with the Zone leaders which let me tell you was a huge stress reliever. My comp. and I won both games, technically we aren't supposed to keep score, but the zone leaders did the score keeping not me. Whoops. On the way to basketball however there was a treat waiting for us in the road, a cat had gotten hit by a car, and was basically cut in half. I could see like all into its stomach and everything. Wow. Yum. 
    Every day we eat lunch at a members house and so far it has been pretty good. I haven't gotten sick which is a bonus. And, I haven't had to try anything too out of the ordinary. There was a chicken heart one day in my soup... with arteries and everything connected. Yum. The tortillas are to die for, that is one thing I don't think I will ever have a problem eating. 
       Here in Toto there are a lot of Bolos or drunks that fall asleep in the street or when they are awake, love to talk to us. They seem to think they know English, but their vocab is rather select if you know what I am saying. Its pretty funny the things that they say to us! Haha I enjoy it.
        As far as the work here goes, they haven't had a baptism in over 5 months....and only have had 4 this year. It's going to be tough but I am up to the task and my comp seems to be up to it as well. Yesterday we had a meeting with an investigator at a members house. Juan Carlos is his name and the moment I saw him walking down the street, I for some reason had a feeling he was going to be my first baptism. Later I found out my comp had the same feeling. But, he could barely walk and there is something wrong with his arms as well. He has some sort of disability, which was very sad to see. But he didn´t let that put a damper on anything. He was a very happy guy and I really enjoyed getting to know him. We taught him the restoration and he seemed to be very interested. I'm excited to see how everything goes with him.
    Well everybody, I have learned a lot in only my first week in the field. I look forward to seeing what lies ahead in the coming weeks. Remember how privileged we are at home everybody. We truly are blessed to live in such a beautiful, clean country and we often don't realize how easy we have it. Never take anything for granted at home. 
I will send some pictures today and hopefully a more organized letter next week.
Con amor,
   Elder McLain

or Elder McDonald's as the people call me here.
A look inside Elder McLain's apartment. 

Matchy matchy. 

Elder McLain and Elder Carlson

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