Sunday, May 28, 2017

Small and beautiful day to day miracles

Found a pimping Papa Johns hat for 15 Bs. ~$2 in Hipermaxi (the Bolivian version of Walmart)

Monday is our preparation day; our "day off". After we emailed last week we went to the church to play piano. Elder Ferreira and I left to buy some food at the market. At the corner we were stopped by this Pastor from Brazil. He invited us inside his chapel, and we started chatting with him about the gospel and our missions (Portuguese is fairly similar to Spanish so wasn't hard to communicate). He really appreciated what we were doing. But didn't understand why we only serve for two years, and why we paid to serve missions. In the end he offered Elder Ferreira and I both jobs as Pastors haha!!

There are dogs everywhere here! Like there is a legit possibility that there are more dogs than humans in Bolivia. I love dogs so normally this would be awesome. But the majority are dirty, diseased, or unfriendly. Elder Santos and I were contacting (going door to door to find people to teach). At one house this crazy dog went bonkers and tried to bite us thought the gate. Now I just so happened to be carrying my bottle of Tobasco hot sauce with me. I sprinkled a little on one of our contact cards and held it just within reach. He of course took the bait. Tobasco-1, dog-0.

"Winter" has officially come. While it's nothing like winter back home, it actually gets fairly cold because of the humidity. It just chills ya down to your bones. It's been raining practically nonstop for the last 3 days.

Cambios are this Tuesday, we'll find out if I'm staying or bouncing.

Awesome scriptures I read during personal study:

Alma 37:6-7

6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

I wouldn't say that I've seen huge Moses-like miracles. But I've seen the small and beautiful day to day one's; finding personal revelation in the scriptures, recieving a little strength and comfort from a prayer, a closed heart being opened to the gospel. And to be honest I think those have helped my faith grow more than the parting of the Red Sea ever could. God's hand is constantly in our lives. We just need to be willing to see it.

Les extra├▒o,
 Elder McClune

Monday, May 15, 2017

In the Lord's hands I can do more than I ever dreamed of on my own

Found the "Elder" wand hahaha

One of my favorite foods down here is empanadas de queso. The other day at our pensionista we were eating empanadas for dinner and I was plowing through them. I was at #14 when Hermano Mateyo told me "¡Elder, usted come empanadas tan criminalmente!" (Elder, you eat empanadas so criminally!) hahahaha

So I got to Skype my family last night- Mom and Dad in Mexico, Aubs and Charlie (and TJ and Cam!) in Louisiana, lil man and Grandpa and Donna in Washington! It was awesome:)
The work is progressing. We are teaching some wonderful families. They are so close to baptism, just have a few things left before they are ready!!
The other day during my personal study I was reading a talk by Boyd K. Packer when I found this poem, "The Touch of the Master's Hand"

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.

I love the mission. I love the gospel, the people, and Bolivia. But its not easy. I get pretty homesick sometimes and my Spanish.... well it's a work in progress. I feel inadequate to do such an important work. But despite my flaws and weaknesses, I can do something beautiful here. In the Lord's hands I can do more than I ever dreamed of on my own. I promise you that if you come to God in faith and humility, that He will bless and help you. With Him you can overcome your doubts and fears, and achieve your dreams.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Les quiero,

Elder McClune

Monday, May 8, 2017

"Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight"

May 8th, 2017

Pretty normal week.

Weathers been pretty warm.

Elder Santos and I were walking to an appointment and these homie parrots just popped their heads out to talk with us.

One of my favorite quotes from President Gordon B Hinckley: “stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight.” Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but instead of focusing on the brief storms, we should enjoy and appreciate the good things.

Life is good.

Love and miss you guys.

Les amo,

Elder McClune

May 1st, 2017

Api (its like apple sauce but made with corn instead of apple- super rico! )and empanadas are the best thing to eat when its cold!

Kinda felt like combination of Inspector Gadget, Sherlock, and a wizard when I wear that coat haha

Cold showers are nice when it's hot outside...but it's like taking a polar plunge every morning now hahaha

Crazy cool experience: Turns out that Elder Ferreira was baptized by Tyler Weiss, one of my friends and teammates at BYU!! And now we are serving in the same mission, living in the same house! Small world haha

Les amo muchisimo,

Elder McClune