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:
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.
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.
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.
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)
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,
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
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:)
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:
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.
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)
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.