Monday, August 26, 2013

FOR TIMES OF TROUBLE...Spiritual Solace From The Psalms- Elder Jeffrey Holland

I had listened to a wonderful DVD of Elder Holland addressing a small group of people.  He answered their questions that were focused on the turbulent times we live in and drawing many answers from Psalms.  I shared many of the things I learned last night in my letter to him.  I am thankful that I was in tune to the promptings of the Spirit and was able to lift him in his times of trouble. 

He spoke about hearing the promptings of the spirit, and I felt that this was something Scotty might need to  hear right now.  This is what I wrote:
Hearing the Promptings of the Spirit, as shared by Elder Holland;  "Standard rule, If you follow a prompting as you get it, then you will get more of them, if you don't follow the prompting, you will have less of them.   The two extremes are -- you will be having them all the time, or you will have none at all."  Without knowing our daily circumstances, Elder Holland knows that if we will try to respond to that prompting, it is a message to God that we are listening and that we care. He counsels Stake Presidents when they are called to expect a flood of revelations, and to keep a 3x5 card or small notebook in their pocket, pen and paper by the bed, because they will receive these promptings at any hour of the day or night.  If it is not recorded at the moment received, it will be lost.  "Heaven will be watching to see what you will do with that."  He believes that God watches and asks Himself, "who's interested" and He will speak to those who are willing to listen.  He said President Monson is one long story of following the promptings of the Spirit. Sister Holland spoke about the New Testament, and shared her belief that Heavenly Father is always in us, all of the time.  We are usually doing far more good than we realize because He is always in us.  Believe in ourselves no matter how we feel that we are.  Her favorite passages is in the 8th chapter of Romans....if God is with us, who can be against us.  "We are all going to have our moments, but the course, the direction is absolutely clear that He is for us and blessing us, and EVERYTHING will work for our good."

Dear Mama,
I really enjoyed your letter today. It was an interesting time to have it come. This week has been a wonderful and the most busy week on mission so as well. This week we had an emergency transfer and my companion Elder Animba has gone to the other District for the next two weeks. And I took the other Elders companion, who happens to be my MTC companion Elder Narteh. Elder Animba and I are still the Zone Leaders, so since I am still in the ZL area it is like I almost a single Zone Leader. But I am actually really enjoying it. I feel happy keeping myself constantly busy and productive.
Elder Narteh and I have been having a good time. He is a sweet guy. I am also trying to figure out what to do with the area. I had hardly been there 2 weeks when Elder Animba left. So right now I truly have to rely on the Spirit constantly right now.
I am glad you enjoyed Arizona, but Mama, you know I know how you work to much. Anyways I have got to go. But mission is wonderful right now, we were sad to have 2 of our sisters finish their missions and go home. I will certainly miss them.
Anyways, love you Mama,
love your son,

Elder McDonald

When the Rain Comes Down...

Dear Mama,

I hope you are having a good time in Arizona. I am sure it is pretty stinking hot. Right now the weather is super nice here in Sierra Leone. We are in the heart of rain season, so it has been pouring on us hard lately. And Elder Nickle who just went home apparently theifed my umbrella, so I have just been putting my scriptures and small
things in a plastic bag and I go full out to soak. It is really nice. I even feel cold sometimes, so I have been making myself lots of ovaltine. Which is delicious and I do not know why you never gave me any before mom!

I am glad you got to see some of the family. I hope everyone is doing well. So this past week has been soooo busy. I came into this position and probably one of the busiest times in ever. On Tuesday we had to
transport over to Western Freetown so that we could attend the newly established Mission Leadership Council, we had the very first one. Where all the Zone Leaders and Assistants meet with President and Sister Ostler. We just discussed everything going on in the mission and he is making us missionaries a big part in what he does. It is very different from President Roggia. But it is really nice. It felt like King Arthur and his knights of the round table having a meeting in Camelot. So we are preparing for the flood of missionaries. But the biggest focus in the mission right now is, families. We are now all purely looking to find, teach and baptize families. If they are not in a family investigating the church or a part member family, we only teach you if you are real serious. So it is a twist for us here mainly because it is hard enough to find a nuclear family here. Let alone one all interested and willing to keep commitments. But we have already seen much proof that it is inspired and so we are doing
all that we can. And we are finding success. I am enjoying my time in Wellington 2 but I spent 2 days in other areas on exchanges. So we are almost always busy. But I love being busy. Anyways I hope all is well at home and I will let you know more next week.

I love you Mama,
Love your son,
Elder McDonald

PS you will see what I did with the pictures a bit later.
And in the next package you and Dad send, I really need some personal money.

No umbrella and loving it!

Scotty is behind the umbrella man, and Elder Hovley, his buddy, is to Scotty's left, the blonde, cute curly-haired one.  :-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Commitment, Determination with a lot of Balance

I hope that every missionary is as happy as Scotty is on their mission.  I am amazed and so proud of his hard work and commitment to the people and his mission.  He has set such a great example for me, and has inspired me to be stronger in my faith, knowing that all things are blessings from our Heavenly Father, and that He is always aware of us and helps us in every step and every decision we make.  I hope to make Scotty as proud of me as I am of him.  

Dear Mama,

This week has been such a wonderful week, right now I am currently with Elder Gherkins, he  the new District Leader replacing me in Wellington 1. But Elder Baffoe-Appiah was transferred last minute so I am showing him the area and helping him out and next week I go to Wellington 2 as ZL.

But this last week has been so spiritual Elder Gherkins and I are so similar. But we are really focusing on the missionary work and it is so awesome. Every lesson we teach we are so unified that the Spirit just floods in. In fact even this past Saturday we taught one man named Aruna who lives FAR FAR up the mountain about a 30 minute hike to his house and then another 20 minutes to the church. But it was a wonderful lesson about the Restoration and he loved it. The next day he came to church. What is the most impressive is he only has one leg and came down and traveled on his crutches. But he loved church.

Next week I will be going to Elder Animba, I am still in the same apartment and I am excited to serve with him. He is a wonderful guy. But haha I guess you saw my companion and I toting the couch for one of our members. Luckily we are the exact same height.

Yes I can see that you see I have been called to another position, I was actually hoping to keep it a bit on the down low though hehe. I do not want to do anything for the glory of men at the moment. But do not worry that you posted it. But the last thing I want to look like is a bragger.
But mission is so amazing right now. I have been constantly feeling the spirit particularly through the unity we have at the moment.

That is surprising about Jared, but I know he will do well there. It will make him a bit more of a man. And at the rate he was going he might have become to attached and would have been a very homesick missionary. It will toughen him up a bit.

Just really stay close to Justin and the kids at the moment. Try to find activities to do with Justin. Like watch movies with him and such, even if you need to watch weird Sci-Fi movies. Hehe, but Mama I want you to know I am doing as much as I can to make you proud right now. And I am proud to have you as my Mama.

But I gotta go fill a survey so I love you Mama,
Love your son,

Elder McDonald

Elder McDonald and Elder Gherkins helping on move day
Scott and his companion Elder Gherkins were challenged by the Senior Couple to carry a piece of furniture on their heads since all the natives do it.
And Off they go!!!!
Notice the human transport is ahead of the vehicle transport