Monday, December 26, 2016

We spoke with Elder McClune on Christmas!

We were all so excited to sit around the computer and skype with Elder McClune yesterday.  He has already learned so much! his Spanish is coming along well, and he is happy. We sure do love Elder McClune and are so grateful for him.  

His letter from this week: 

Last P-day we were supposed to play soccer as a zone after email, but we got rained out. Got some dope pictures of lightning later that night tho.

All of the missionaries got together for a public . Each zone sang a song. My zone, Viru Viru, sang "Escuchad el son triunfal" which blended into "Jingle Bells" which ended in "Feliz Navidad". We weren't the worst, but I wouldn't go so far as to say we were the best haha. But people enjoyed it, everyone had a good time.   Elder Silva is a wizard on the piano. Completely self-taught, he can play literally any song just by hearing it a few times. My favorites are the Mario Meledy and the Shire song.

Our schedule is packed. We have absolutely zero time to relax or goof-off. I only get 30 min. every morning to work out, and there are no weights to use. I only have a jumprope, exercise bands and myself. And the only music I have to listen to is church music. So just picture me doing push-ups to "Battle Hymn of the Republic" hahaha

The ward had a Christmas activity. All of the kids did a Nativity scene renactment. It was so funny and sweet to watch. A lot of our investigators (people that we are teaching) came! Huge success, fun night.

Elder Silva and I were walking by a farmers market of sorts when I saw this lil gatito (cat) chowing down on a side of beef hahaha.

So as many of you know, missionaries only get an hour a week to write home. But we also get to Skype or call our families on Christmas! I know that sounds super strict and tough. It is but it also helps me stay focused here. Anyway, best Christmas present ever, and the shortest hour of my life. So blessed to have such an amazing family:)

A scripture that I picked up during my study,  now one of my favorites:

Doctrine & Covenants 6:34

Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.

Incredible. This life is not easy, for anyone. We all have our own trials and problems that we deal with. But I know that if we trust in the Lord, if we build the foundation of our lives on Him and His gospel, that we can overcome anything.

Belated Merry Christmas! As always thank you for your thoughts, letters, and prayers.

Also, look up the song " I am here" by the Bonner family. So stinking good!!

Con amor, Elder McClune

Monday, December 19, 2016

Heart felt letter for Christmas

Sorry, no pics this week, computer is being weird.

I don't think I've ever been this tired in my life. I go to bed at 10:30 and I wake up at 6:30, so theoretically I should be getting enough sleep. Wrong. Nope. Not even close. I've almost falling asleep walking to our appointments haha

Weather here is crazy. Blazing inferno, not a cloud in the sky, and it can be pouring within seconds.

Food still continues to amaze me. Lots of rice and chicken, surprisingly haven't gotten tired of that yet haha. Theres this roll and cheese combination thing called cunepe, I guess thats Spanish for mana (chistes, but for real thats stuffs the bomb) Some meat thing called falso conejo (false rabbit). So I understand its not rabbit, but what is it? Anyhow tastes good. Also a Chilean version of a hot-dog calle Shori-pan. It gets super hot throughout the day so we stop to get this yogurt that comes in a puch calle Pil-Frut. Super rico, 2 for one Boliviano. I think the exchange rate is 7 Bolivianos to 1 US Dollar.

I've had some amazing spiritual experiences this week. Commited 3 to baptism!! I'll tell more about it next time.

This is easily the most humbling experience of my life. It's given me a huge reality check on how blessed my life has been. I have a loving family, a roof over my head, never having to worry about my next meal, clean water to name a few.

Some advice about faith. Ask questions, but never doubt. Having questions doesn't mean that you don't have faith, if anything it means you're trying to strengthen and grow your faith. Just don't let your questions lead to doubt. Never doubt in Christ. Never doubt in his love for you. If there's one constant in this life, its his love. I've seen that throughout my life and I see it everyday out here.

I am overwhelmed by how much love and support I'm getting from everyone. Thank you so much for your letters and prayers. I'm sorry I don't have time to write to everyone everyweek, but I always keep you in my prayers. Feliz Navidad and a Merry Christmas!!

Con amor,

Elder McClune

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The keyboard is smoking from how fast I'm writing this letter (not really, I type like a chicken and I use CAPS lock instead of Shift key).

Where to begin?

It was rough leaving the MTC. Lots of emotional goodbyes. I'm really going to miss everyone.

The mission president, President Cabezas (Yes that is head in Spanish), and his assistants picked us up from the airport. First thoughts of Bolivia; its a lot like Louisiana, just more extreme. It is insanely hot and humid. If something gets wet, it doesn't dry out for a couple hours. Toyotas are very common, especially Tacoma’s. Makes me miss my truck :´) Its pretty poor and dirty. Lots of garbage everywhere. But its so beautiful. Lots of green and the sky is amazing. Weather can change in a second, we've been caught in a couple storms. ​

The people down here are so kind and giving. They don't have much but they'll give it all. Elder Silva and I eat lunch with a member family, the Justinianos. They have two girls, Vicki (4) and Maria-Daniella (11). Vicki laughs and tells me jokes. Maria helps me with my Spanish while I teach her English.

Food here is great. Saltenas are amazing!! Lots of rice and chicken still. I've had a ton of different types of potatoes, yuca is my favorite. FYI. donkey doesn't taste too bad when cooked right.​

​Papa Johns and Subway are extremely popular down here, everybody craves them. Coca Cola is all over the fricking place. People drink more soda than water haha (tap water isn't safe).

My first companion in the field is Elder Silva, from Santiago, Chile! The only English he knows is "What's popping cuz?" hahaha. We are serving in Santa Cruz, Universitario.  Spanish here is hard to understand at times. They don't pronounce their S's or D's all the time. For example, nosotros, is nosotro. Doesn't seem like a big difference but when you're a Gringo still learning Spanish, it throws you off quite a bit. A lot of my area has Brazilians so I've been learning Portuguese too (just phrases tho)

Sorry if I didn't get to reply to everyone this week. Thank you so much for the letters and updates.

Con amor,

Elder McClune