Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Bolivia!

January 1, 2017

Got to Skype my family Christmas day. I finally met my feliz niece Elise!! It was so great- an amazing Christmas. Next one I'll be home!!

Tried carrot yogurt. Strangely delicious.

Alejandro, Gosha, and Paula got baptized!! It was a beautiful service. I really love these guys and their family. They are wonderful people and amazing friends. So happy for them:)

New Years is a bigger celebration than Christmas here.  Got woken up in the middle of the night to fireworks going off like crazy. It was like we  were in  a war-zone haha

Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Keeping you guys in my prayers and wishing you all the best for 2018. Here's a great talk thats helped me reflect on how I'm going to change this new year:
https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/jeffrey-r-holland_remember-lots-wife/

Perhaps at this beginning of a new year there is no greater requirement for us than to do as the Lord Himself said He does: “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more” (D&C 58:42).

The proviso, of course, is that repentance has to be sincere, but when it is and when honest effort is being made to progress, we are guilty of the greater sin if we keep remembering and recalling and rebashing someone with their earlier mistakes—and that “someone” might be ourselves. We can be so hard on ourselves, often much more so than with others!

Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is it charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ.

You can remember just enough to avoid repeating the mistake, but then put the rest of it all on the dung heap Paul spoke of to those Philippians.
Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 Dismiss the destructive and keep dismissing it until the beauty of the Atonement of Christ has revealed to you your bright future and the bright future of your family and your friends and your neighbors. God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go.

This is an important matter to consider at the start of a new year—and every day ought to be the start of a new year and a new life. Such is the wonder of faith and repentance and the miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“Remember Lot’s wife.” Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come.”
I love you guys so much. Thank you for you love and support.

Elder McClune




December 18, 2017

Santa Cruz has been a blazing inferno lately. I miss snow. But less than 10 months baby!! Man time flys by

Elder Yocom and I got new hats. They don't block the sun much, pretty much see-through. But they pimp up our style level to "righteous cowboy pastor"

Got my first package from home, and just in time for Christmas!! The nativity set is great, very thoughtful and loving of my mom and sis:)

Aldo came to visit again. Gustavo and him, went to visit the temple in Cochabamba!! Makes me so happy to see my converts going to the house of the Lord.

Elder Yocom and I got permission to go to the gym!! I would love to say that we are pumping some serious iron but we are actually pretty weak haha body weight exercises haven't really been doing much. But we are still working to get that Bolivian-jungle-Tarzan-bod 

Aracely and Abismael got baptized!! It was a beautiful service. They were so excited and happy. Wonderful day. Their grandma and cousin will be baptized in a few weeks!

We will find out this Tuesday who is staying or leaving. Elder Yocom and I have put in some serious work this cambio. We (or whoever is here) is going to have a lot of success next cambio

Christmas next Monday! Can't wait to Skype my family, I'll finally get to see Elise!!

I absolutely love teaching others of Christ. My relationship and devotion to Him has grown so much over this past year. I feel overwhelmed with love and gratitude for Him. He has given me everything. Please take a moment to watch these videos, it reminds us of what Christ has done for us.

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-12-1000-why-we-need-a-savior--a-christmas-message-about-our-savior-jesus-christ-asaviorisborn?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-00-1420-because-of-him?lang=eng






December 11, 2017

AHHHHHHH I MISS WRESTLING

S'all good though. Next year.

To be honest this week started out pretty rough "and you know, that's all right, that's OK, because sometimes in life, you're gonna start slow. That's OK. We told ourselves, 'Hey, we're gonna start slow, we're gonna keep going fast. We're gonna start slow, but we're always, always gonna finish fast." haha but for real we kept working and everything got a lot better.

Charlie and Seabiscuit warming up on the court haha

This is Yoel, my homie that lives next door to us. Always passes by asking to play futbol or for a book to read. We got home one night to see him in front of his house, just taking a nap. Lil guy cracks me up haha

Apple pie baby on a Sunday baby!! Thats a righteous dessert

Awesome thoughts from my personal study on faith;

The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice....Faith is a choice. (Elder Neil L. Andersen)

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't. (Blaise Pascal)

Alma 32:26-27
26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.
27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
We are not going to know or understand everything in this life. Some things we have to take on FAITH. Faith is puting your trust in God (Mosiah 4:9), and taking a step forward even if you can't see the path. Our faith, and thus our happiness all depend on our decisions. Do you want to be happy? Do you want to find peace? Trust that it is possible through God's plan, and follow it. https://www.mormon.org/

Love and miss you all,
Elder McClune






December 4, 2017

Sorry guys I really suck at this haha. I'll try and be more detailed in the future.

Awesome week. Elder Yocom and I are working hard and getting a lot done! 17 with dates for baptism!!

Convinced a mom to name her son Derek. He'll be a handsome young lad

"El Espiritu nos da un senitmiento de gas"- Elder Yocom

"Brushing our teeth should be done with faith!!" President Cabezas

"You can give a great and wonderful Christmas if you remember the gifts God has given you, and as best you can, offer them to others as He would." –Henry B. Eyring
 https://www.mormon.org/


Les extraño,


Elder McClune






November 27, 2017

This last week was a pretty flippin phenomenal week. Might be exaggerating, but I'm feeling really happy so:)
Elder Yocom and I have been working hard to find new people to teach. The Lord is aiding our efforts!
Rad rainbow circle thingamajig. Don't see that everyday!
A couple members have told me that I look like Hercules....when he was a chubby baby. Nice hahaha
Spanish down here in Bolivia isn't the best hahaha


Last second remembered it was Thanksgiving, so we went to Patolandia to celebrate haha. I might not have had pumpkin pie or baby back ribs (we usually don't eat turkey in the McClune household haha) but it was still a great opportunity to reflect on how incredibly blessed I am. I have good health, an amazing family, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the gospel in Bolivia. What more could I ask for?


37 And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ;
38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worshipGod, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.


December is coming up, which means Christmas carols, gifts, and hot chocolate etc. I love the Christmas season! Great time to be with family and celebrate the birth of our Savior. But we don't have to wait until the 25th to celebrate Christmas. I invite you guys to check outhttps://www.mormon.org/ Each day leading up to the 25th, lets do something to share the light of Christ; to make the world a better place. He spent his entire life serving others, we can at least do it for a month:)


Les extraño,

Elder McClune





November 20, 2017

A baby cockroach scuttled across the computer screen as I started typing this...nice

Busy week, but no time so..

Visited an hermana that was feeling sick. Being priesthood holders (https://www.lds.org/topics/priesthood?lang=eng), we offered to give her a health blessing. She thought about it for a second and then declined, saying that she'd wait until she felt a little better. I was a little dumbfounded by the irony of that statement. Reminded me of a scripture in the New Testament:

Mark 2:16-17
16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Sometimes we procrastinate and make excuses to not go to church. Could be because we've made a serious mistake and we don't feel worthy (or because we're just lazy). Somehow we think that there is a level of perfection that we have to achieve before we are deemed worthy of God's love and mercy. This is an absolute lie. God always loves us, saints and sinners alike; we don't earn his love. This gospel is for "the perfecting of the saints". We don't go to church just when we are perfect; we go so that we can learn of Christ and become more like him.

Moroni 10:32-33
32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him.
Love and miss you all. Have a good Thanksgiving (man never thought I'd miss turkey this bad haha)

Les extraño,
Elder McClune




PS: send pumpkin pie!!

Novemeber 13, 2017

Sorry no time, so super short haha

Cambios came....traded my paradise in the Amazon for a concrete jungle in Santa Cruz. I am now in Paraiso, los Pinos 2 with Elder Yocom, from Utah. I don't like the city but my comp is chill. It'll be a good cambio.

Powerful but simple spiritual moment. We were about to have a lesson with Hermano Mario but his little 5 year old brother Gustavo (we are homies) kept trying to grab his pamphlet. I gave him a card with the picture of the temple in Cochabama in the hopes that it'd keep him distracted for a bit. He looked at it for a few seconds, then asked me "Es la casa de Dios?" A 5 year old that knows nothing of the church, but immeadtiately recognized that the temple is the house of God. That is a testimony to me that this is the true church.


Les extraño,


Elder McClune






Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Christ-like attributes

Super busy week. Loving the mission!

Hijo mio, Elder Ritchie, was in Trinidad for half the week, so Elder Maccerhua and I were working together again for a few days. Got a lot done and had a good time doing it!

Found another tarantula in the house this last week... lil bugga chased me butt-naked out of the shower hahaha

I was blessed with the opportunity to baptize Hermano Armando. Great kid, very happy for him:)


Cambios this Tuesday. We'll find out who's bouncing and who's staying. SUPER NERVOUS. I love Riberalta and I don't want to leave yet. Nevertheless, I'll go where the Lord wants me to go.

During my personal study, I reflected on Christ-like attributes. As Christians, we are followers of Jesus Christ; he is our example and role model in every aspect of our lives. There are may wonderful traits that can be attirbuted to Christ for example; faith, hope, charity and love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence, and obedience.  A children's song I grew up singing in church, "I'm Trying to Be like Jesus"

I’m trying to be like Jesus;
I’m following in his ways.
I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.
At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,
But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,
[Chorus]
“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.”

I’m trying to love my neighbor;
I’m learning to serve my friends.
I watch for the day of gladness when Jesus will come again.
I try to remember the lessons he taught.
Then the Holy Spirit enters into my thoughts, saying:
[Chorus]
“Love one another as Jesus loves you.
Try to show kindness in all that you do.
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,
For these are the things Jesus taught.”

And from one of my favorite talks by Elder Jeffery R. Holland, "Be Ye Therefore Perfect--Eventually" 



My brothers and sisters, except for Jesus, there have been no flawless performances on this earthly journey we are pursuing, so while in mortality let’s strive for steady improvement without obsessing over what behavioral scientists call “toxic perfectionism.”12 We should avoid that latter excessive expectation of ourselves and of others and, I might add, of those who are called to serve in the Church—which for Latter-day Saints means everyone, for we are all called to serve somewhere.
In that regard, Leo Tolstoy wrote once of a priest who was criticized by one of his congregants for not living as resolutely as he should, the critic concluding that the principles the erring preacher taught must therefore also be erroneous.
In response to that criticism, the priest says: “Look at my life now and compare it to my former life. You will see that I am trying to live out the truth I proclaim.” Unable to live up to the high ideals he taught, the priest admits he has failed. But he cries:
“Attack me, [if you wish,] I do this myself, but [don’t] attack … the path I follow. … If I know the way home [but] am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way simply because I am staggering from side to side?
“… Do not gleefully shout, ‘Look at him! … There he is crawling into a bog!’ No, do not gloat, but give … your help [to anyone trying to walk the road back to God.]”13
Brothers and sisters, every one of us aspires to a more Christlike life than we often succeed in living. If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human. May we refuse to let our own mortal follies, and the inevitable shortcomings of even the best men and women around us, make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for our future, or the possibility of godliness. If we persevere, then somewhere in eternity our refinement will be finished and complete—which is the New Testament meaning of perfection.14
I testify of that grand destiny, made available to us by the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself continued “from grace to grace”15 until in His immortality16 He received a perfect fulness of celestial glory.17 I testify that in this and every hour He is, with nail-scarred hands, extending to us that same grace, holding on to us and encouraging us, refusing to let us go until we are safely home in the embrace of Heavenly Parents. For such a perfect moment, I continue to strive, however clumsily. For such a perfect gift, I continue to give thanks, however inadequately. I do so in the very name of Perfection itself, of Him who has never been clumsy or inadequate but who loves all of us who are, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.


Jesus Christ is our Brother, Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. True, everlasting peace and happiness is possible because of Him. He is the Light, and He has shown us the way. Let us follow it, because it is the only way that will lead us home to our Heavenly Father. I may not be anywhere even close to perfect, but I know that with His help I can get there. 


Les quiero muchisimo,

Elder McClune