Monday, April 16, 2018

Press forward-no matter the trials


April 16, 2018

Well its been a rather interesting week. 

FUTBOL IS BACK BABY!! MY SKILLS ARE INSANELY average. But hey its still fun haha. 
Countdown to wrestling t-minus 6 months ayyyyyyyyyyyyy. Gotta try and get back some of the weight that I've lost but bodyweight exercises, rice and chicken don't exactly make for big gains haha

Elder Millis has been pretty sick so that’s slowed us down a little. But nevertheless, the work moves on! This Saturday Hna Adrianna will be baptized. She was finally convinced by the Book of Mormon. That book is a blessing from God, truly changes lives. 

During Sunday school an Hermano shared a story about Hernan Cortes, an explorer. He ordered his men to burn the boats so that they would have no option but to conquer or be conquered.  Reminded me of an awesome talk by Elder Holland, where he warns us to "Rember Lot's wife"- don't look back. When we believe in Christ, when we make the decision to follow him, we cannot afford to go back. We need to press forward- no matter the trials. Faith is for the future!!  https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/jeffrey-r-holland_remember-lots-wife/

Love and miss you guys!!:)


Elder McClune





April 9, 2018

This week was AWESOME!! Man I don't even know where to start. LIFE IS GOOD BABY!!! 

Elder Millis and I went hard and found a ton of new people to teach! I love my area! 

We took a expedition to this little town called Porongo just outside of Santa Cruz. Had to cross the "river" but some homies gave us a lift in their truck. We didn’t know anybody so we just started talking to people. It was super fun and we had a lot of success!

Found this dope bath robe in the Cumambi for $7. Makes me feel like Moses, Gandalf, and Palpatine all at once. Its called Surf Monk and usually its worth about $200 hahaha SO to sketchy Bolivian markets. 

So today starts the countdown of 6 months until I go home.... wow. Mixed feelings about that. I miss home so much but I'm tempted to extend. We'll see what happens.


Just a couple verses from the Book of Mormon that I love. 

Ether 12:8-9


8 "But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

9 "Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith."
 


Love and miss you guys like crazy,


Elder McClune






April 2, 2018

What a week. 

Got to do an exchange with some other missionaries in my district- so I got to visit my old area-Bajio! It was awesome saying hi to the members and my converts. I am so blessed.

Crazy how fast time is flying by. I only have 6 months left!! Kind of hard to find a balance between enjoying the last bit of my mission and being excited to go home haha 

My area is pretty big. Goes from kilometer 9 to kilometer 16. Kind of wish I had a bike but hey walking everywhere builds character and helps you find more people to teach hahaha

I love the people that we are teaching. Makes me so happy helping them come closer to Christ.

I got pretty sick last week. Feeling loads better now. But the night and morning before general conference I double dragoned hahaha ouch. I've heard that the harder your mission is the hotter your wife will be. Future Mrs.McClune is gonna be una belleza entonces jajaja ayyyy 

All of the talks from general conference were amazing, but here are the links to two of my favorites!:) 

Love and miss you all,




Elder McClune


March 26, 2018

Elder Millis and I did a service project for Hna Fransisca, Cristian's mom. Moved a lot of sand and brick and made potato chips!!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Got a package from my family. The offices called and sang happy birthday. Hna Paula, Estefani, Ana and Hno Alvaro made a surprise visit with cake and presents! Elder Snyder and Elder Martin bought me Papa Johns. It was pretty dope:) Wierd to think that I’m 21 now. Crazy how time flies haha

Aldo visited me again!! Man I love that guy. He gave me a dope chess set for my birthday 

I got pretty sick Saturday night and a couldn't sleep. I laid down in the hammock  and was resting for a while- until the bar broke where the hammock was hung up and I fell on my backside hahahahaha ouch. Now I have a huge bruise and it hurts to walk�

The mission has been tough but man have I loved it. The experience of a life time. So grateful for all that I've learned and for all of the people that I have met. Truly a blessing.

General conference this weekend!! Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to hear the word of God:) https://www.lds.org/church/events/april-2018-general-conference?lang=eng
Love and miss you all!! 


Elder McClune







March 19, 2018


Well I got transfered. Broke my heart to say goodbye to everyone in Pinos. But the good new is that Flia. Palma Ortiz and Estefany got baptized!! I'll send pictures next week.

Remember how Sid went missing back when I was in Riberalta? I FOUND HIM!! or better said, he found me. Turns out he has some gnarly physic powers- he saw in the future that I would be transfered to Asai! Being humbly aware of his limited speed capabilities, he started traveling down to Asai so we would get here on the same day hahaha



So my new area is pretty cool. Very beautiful, the members are awesome, and there is a lot of potencial. My new companion- Elder Millis (Pennsylvania) is chill. Its going to be a good cambio. 

Cristian got baptized! This kid is a stud. Hes going to help us teach his mom now. I love how this gospel bless families:)

I'm not sure about Spanish, but my Camba is perfect hahaha

Like always I ran out of time. I got a lot more to tell ya guys but Ill save it for next week. Conference is coming- GET SPIRITUALLY STOKED!!!


Elder McClune

Derek Paul McClune
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March 5, 2018

This is why I always check inside my shoes before I put them on haha... lil bugga was just camping out haha

Gave my first baby blessing. I thought the first baby blessing that I would give was going to be for my own kid, in English haha. I am very grateful, it was a very beautiful and humbling experience. 

Aldo visited me again!

Delcy and Nilson got baptized! I am so happy for them. In one year they will be able to go to the temple and be sealed together as a family for all of eternity:)

This nasty lil bugga is called "vibora cuco"- literally means viper cuckoo. But as far as I know its actually pretty harmless haha
mage result for vibora cuco

Elder Godoy of the Seventy- (a leader of the Church), came to visit us. Shared some amazing insights on how we can be more effective in sharing the gospel. I learned alot.

Heiver visited me! He just got his mission call, so we'll find out where he will be serving soon!!

Had some dank apple pie yesterday. Sweet taste of liberty!!

I met Ayoub, a Muslim from Morroco that lived in Chile for awhile but now is here in Bolivia. He speaks 4 different languages! It was super cool talking with him and learning more about Islam. He says hes going to get me a copy of the Quran!! He has a ton of questions and doubts that I know can be answered if he reads the scriptures so Im going to try and get him a copy of the Book of Mormon in Arabic. 

We have cambios tomorrow and I am so stressed out. I have no idea if I will be staying or going. I would like to stay at least one more cambio, I've done so much work here. I hate saying goodbye and I love the people here so much. AGHHHHHHHH! S'all good. Ill be okay for ext week but until then I feel sick to my stomach haha

I gave a talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ yesterday. (https://www.lds.org/topics/atonement-of-jesus-christ?lang=eng)  I might have shared this awhile ago but its something that we all neeed to remember more often:

Alma 7:11-13

“He shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” 
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. 

(Alma 7:1113; emphasis added).
The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. No one knows.” No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
Love and miss you guys:)



Elder McClune




Sunday, March 4, 2018

Clay in the Master's hands



February 26, 2018

Man I miss Riberalta. I love my area, but I've never really liked the city. I hope I get to go back to Beni soon.

Did a couple service projects. Set up a barbed wire fence. 
I wore holes into both of my pairs of shoes a while ago. But I got them fixed up- now they have tire soles hahaha

During family home evening (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-home-evening?lang=eng&old=true) with our investigators I have been teaching them to play Scum, Spoons, I doubt it, etc. hahaha they love it!

I love the mission so much. But I also miss home like crazy. I'm going to be torn apart emotionally when I go home. Less than 8 months left!
Felt compelled to share a story about one of the hermanas that we are teaching. She lives with her boyfriend and 3 kids. Without going into too much detail, her boyfriend treats her horribly and he has another family. When we first started teaching her she was cold and very skeptical. But little by little, as she started to read the Book of Mormon and pray, her heart was softened and her faith grew. This last Sunday during class she shared her testimony of prayer. Through prayer she came to know of the truthfulness of our message. Through prayer she has recieved comfort and strength. I love and admire her so much. Her faith and devotion to God is so strong. I am so happy that she is making these changes in her life, I know God will bless her for it.
Little insight from my personal study:

Jeremiah 18:1-6
Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

One of my best friends is very talented with ceramics. I remember him explaining to me the importance of centering the clay in the middle of the wheel, or the piece will wobble and won't form correctly. These verses made me reflect a lot. I know that at times my life I've felt liked a marred piece of clay. My own stubbornness and pride have often prevented me from centering my life on Christ, and as a result left me deformed. But with loving, guiding, and perfect hands, He is always willing to pick us up and reshape us into something better. During my mission I have really tried to submit myself to His hands. It has not been easy; it requires a lot of sacrifice and it's downright brutal at times. But I know that I am so much happier than I used to be, that I can become so much more, and that I owe it all to Him. 
Love and miss you guys so much.

Elder McClune  











February 19, 2018


Sorry I’ve been too busy to write a group letter but just wanted to let you guys know that I'm alive and doing well haha

Carnival was last week I'll tell ya more about it next week. I’m undefeated in chess against the other missionaries (7-0)

We got cambios. Elder Yocom bounced to Riberalta. I miss him a ton. I stayed and Im training a new missionary from Argentina, Elder Brasesco. He’s chill, doesn’t talk much but he’s funny. We get along well and we're working hard. 

I accidentally have swallowed like 5 mosquitos this last week during lessons haha

We changed houses, moved into our area so that makes things a lot nicer

Rice is the bane of my existence

Getting a little tubbier everyday so there'll be more of me to love when I get home hahaha

Trying to complete my life goal of getting nice calves by staying on my tip-toes while I cook breakfast and brush my teeth. I wanna be like Johnny Bravo but with legs hahahaha

Tried some delicious chocolate mani- its like hot chocolate but peanut butter instead. Im opening up my own book store/bolivian cafe when I get back to the USA.

Cool experience from one of my investigators, Hermana Paola. We taught her how to pray a couple weeks ago. This last lesson she told us how she lost 200 Bs walking to the pharmacy. She looked all over and couldn’t find it. So she remembered what we taught her and prayed. She felt prompted where to look and found it!! GOD LISTENS AND ANSWERS PRAYERS!!


The mission is the best. Love and miss you all. 


Elder McClune











January 29, 2018

Wow. What a week.

Cambios are this Tuesday. As always, I feel worried and sick to my stomach. Hopefully everything turns out okay. I'd like to stay with Elder Yocom for one more cambio. We work well together. And he's my first companion that'll work out with me everyday haha. He's a good kid.

Soccer AND basketball are now banned. Yippee. Thinking about taking up speed chess. Or water color painting. If you don't hear from me next week, it's because I died of boredom.

I got sick for a few days. Had a gnarly headache, felt super weak, and puked so hard it came out my nose. Just another week in Bolivia:)

Aldo came to visit me again, love that guy haha

Elder Yocom and I have been finding so many new people to teach its hard to keep track of everyone haha. I guess thats a good problem to have.

Ana got baptized!! Its been a pleasure teaching her and her family, they are awesome:)

This week was pretty tough because a lot of investigators and converts have been suffering. It breaks my heart not being able to help them more. But this gospel helps them draw closer to the One that can:


Alma 7:11-14
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.

That is our message as missionaries. That the Lord knows us and our struggles. He suffered unimaginable pain for us. He loves us and "is mighty to save". I have seen so many lives changed and blessed by His hand. Everyday I draw closer to Him and the peace he offers.

John 14:6&27
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Love and miss you all,



Elder McClune

PS: Shout-out to the YSA for sending me cookies! You guys are the best!!





January 22, 2018

Awesome week. Elder Yocom and I are putting in WORK baby!!

Super bummed because President is going to ban soccer in the mission:( too many missionaries have gotten hurt.

Found a crazy huge worm/snake thing.

Puppies!!

Celebrated Elder Yocom's birthday!

I find it incredibly ironic that some people don't believe that we are Christians. Our church is called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". And as it says in the Book of Mormon, another testament of JESUS CHRIST; “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we  prophesy of Christ "(2 Nephi 25:26) There are a lot of rumors, gossip, and myths about the Church. But if you would like to see who we really are and what we believe in, there is this awesome movie called "Meet the Mormons". It shows the lives of 6 members of the Church, and how their faith has blessed and changed their lives. Just follow the link!


Love and miss you all,


Elder McClune







January 15, 2018


Well President multiplied our goals 3x. No worries though, Elder Yocom are up for the challenge. We found 25 new people to teach this last week! "There ain't no rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need it!"- Lyle McClune

It has been raining a TON!! Practically swimming to our appointments haha

Loving the mission. Every day is a new adventure and a new opportunity. So grateful to be out here.....but I really miss chocolate chip cookies and BBQ. S'all good, only 9 months left!:)

Amazing talks from this last general conference about the Book of Mormon.



3 Nephi 11:10-14

10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.

13 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:

14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

Love and miss you all,



Elder McClune






January 3, 2018


E´Izquierdo thought I played in the MLS... not sure if thats a compliment for me or an insult to American soccer hahaha

Had a flan chugging contest- LOST. Had a pepper eating contest- WON. This white boy becoming more Latino everyday ayyyo

Rained a ton this week. Elder Yocom and I went out in flip-flops all day because the water was up to our knees but there aren't any boots that fit us haha

Diego and Marcelo got baptized!! Love these goofs, its been great teaching them. Amazing the love that you can develop for someone when you see them as God see them

Our beloved prophet President Thomas S. Monson passed away January 2, 2018. It hurt to hear the news but I am happy because I know he is in a better place. I also am comforted to know that God will call a prophet again.


Amos 3:7
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Moroni 8:18
18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.



I know that God lives. I know that he is the same yesterday, today and forevermore- because He is perfect, and perfection never changes. I know that He loves us, and because of that he has sent us a prophet to guide us, as he has since the beginning of the world.


We thank thee, O God, for a prophet
To guide us in these latter days.
We thank thee for sending the gospel
To lighten our minds with its rays.
We thank thee for every blessing
Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee
And love to obey thy command.

One of President Monson's last requests and advice:


"We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children.
If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.
My dear associates in the work of the Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives. I so testify with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."


Please read the Book of Mormon. It has changed and blessed my life and I so desperately wish that for all of you. If you would like a free copy or have the missionaries visit you, visit mormon.org .

Love and miss you all,


Elder McClune