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,
“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:
“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

Monday, October 30, 2017

Making it through the hard days

I am an official South American missionary; I double dragoned hahahaha (I got really sick)
Juan Carlos got baptized! Amazing seeing how the gospel can change people's lives. 
Last week was pretty rough. I was super homesick and the work wasn´t progressing like I wanted it to. I felt that all of my efforts were just going to waste. But like always, I found some verses in the scriptures that helped me:

Hebrews 6:10-12
10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Reminded me of this quote I love by RG3.

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, & self-centered
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends, and some genuine enemies
If you are honest & sincere, people may deceive you
What you spend years creating others could destroy overnight
The good you do today, will often be forgotten
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough
In the final analysis, its between you and God.
No good deed is ever wasted. And in the final day, when we stand before Him to be judged

Les extraño mucho,

Elder McClune

Monday, October 23, 2017

Training in Riberalta!

October 23, 2017


So this week was dope. Lots of gnarly stuff happened

The rains and the sun have been battling lately; the result is a fairly unpleasant blanket of humidity haha

Made TARANTULA soup. Yeah, you read that right. We woke up to find that lil bugga in the sink. So we made a soup!

Also tried armadillo and cacao (coco, like what chocolate is made from. fyi, did not taste like chocolate haha). Wild haha

There is a cat on the loose in our house. We can hear him wailing and we've seen him like twice for a few seconds I don't know what we did to piss him off, but he's peeing on everything haha, even the wall (not sure how he got it all the way up there hahahaha). Still deciding on a nickname but for now I'm calling him Peeves.

Had a wonderful baptismal service for Yina and Yani. These lil gals are studs. It’s been so fun and uplifting to teach them. They have such bright and powerful testimonies. So happy and proud of them!

Beautiful verse from my personal study this week; 

Doctrine and Covenants 76:22

22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

Reminded me of one of my favorite hymns, 136 "I Know That My Redeemer Lives"

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives, my ever-living Head.
He lives to bless me with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my soul’s complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives, and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
“I know that my Redeemer lives!”

I know that my Redeemer lives. Christ didn't just die for us. He lives for us! Imagine that! Because of Him, we can overcome death, we can overcome sin! Because of Him, we can return to live with God, our Heavenly Father. Because of Him, we can live with our families for forever. HE LIVES!! I am so blessed to know this wonderful message, and to be out here in Bolivia teaching it.

Love and miss you all. You are always in my prayers.

Les extraño,

Elder McClune

October 16, 2017

Elder Ritchie and I are doing a lot of good work. Training him has made me realize how bad my English has gotten hahaha- super broken. And hes making me homesick telling me about all the music, movies, sporting events etc. that I've been missing. Man I am out of the loop haha

"I will only call my house a home if it has AC"- Elder Ritchie

I've almost hit the year mark in my mission. During my personal study I came across this passage that made me reflect on how difficult it has been

1 Peter 5:6-10

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand ofGod, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

God never said that this life was gonna be easy. He told us that there was going to be trials, afflictions, and problems. BUT He promised us that He will help us; that we never need be alone. He loves us so much that, like a parent watching their child try to walk for the first time, He is willing to let us struggle. But He will always be there to catch us. A quote that my brother-in-law, Charlie, told me awhile ago "There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone". 
Elder McClune

October 9, 2017

So for the first time in my mission theres a ton of white boys in my zone hahahahahaha we played basketball for p day last Monday. WILD.

Got sent to Santa Cruz to recieve training for being a new trainer. Wasn't necessary, but a fun opportunity to see some members from old areas and other friends in the mission:)

Elder Ritchie and I are getting it done here in Riberalta!!! Lots of progress. Elder Ritchie gave his first blessing in Spanish! Training him reminds me of the beginning of my mission haha. Crazy how much I've learned, how much I've changed. Can't believe that I almost have a year in the mission

Another favorite talk from conference!

Les extraño,

Elder McClune

October 2, 2017

So with 30 seconds left of email time... 

Ladies and gentlemen, the impossible happened....I stayed in Riberalta!! And I'm training a gringo, Elder Ritchie from Gilbert, Arizona! 

Its been super hot but the rains should start coming in the next few weeks

General Conference was, like always, awesome!! Lots of great talks, but my favorite was probably by Elder Holland https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2017/10/media/session_1_talk_11/5594207155001?lang=eng

Love and miss you all

Elder McClune

September 25, 2017

So I hit 11 months today. Crazy how time flies.

Lots of progress this week. Elder Maccerhua and I have been working our butts off and the Lord has been blessing us. Tons of new people to teach and more commitments to baptism. Cambios are tomorrow. I'm pretty anxious, I don't want to leave yet  I love it here, and there is still so much work to be done.

Celebrated Hermano Felipes birthday!! Man I love this guy, so kind, polite,loving and just an all around great guy. I feel so blessed to have become his friend.

Personal study, John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
I once heard an interesting quote :"If we were on trial for being Christians, would there be enough evidence to convict us?" Christ said that people would recognize if we were Christians by our actions; by loving others as He loves us. It is not by Facebook posts saying "like for Jesus, ignore for Satan", bumper stickers, or crosses. If our actions don't show our faith, then what is our faith worth?
James 2:17-18
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words."
General conference this weekend! A wonderful opportunity to hear from the prophet and other chosen speakers. Everyone is invited to watch this Saturday and Sunday at https://www.lds.org

Love and miss you all. Thank you so much for your love and support. 
Les extraño,

Elder McClune