Wednesday, September 23, 2015

First Week in NYC!

So this has been awesome so far! To start I will just say that the gift of tongues is real. I have grown so much in spanish this last week and it is not because I am a crazy smart person. jaja. My trainer is Elder Mcbride, he is from Arizona, and he just got done being trained last week so basically he knows a lot more spanish than I do, but he isn't fluent. Soooo it is quite the experience for the both of us everyday to try and understand and converse with people! jaja. The Lord has helped us so much.

So kinda funny story: We are teaching this 20 year old Dominican kid named Victor and he is one of my favorite people ever. He loves me for some reason jaja. We can barely communicate but we bond! He is getting baptized on the 10th of October! But the story is this... So we were teaching him yesterday and we had him say the closing prayer. So he starts the prayer "Heavenly Father" and then I am not exaggerating when I say that there was about a 20 second pause of silence. jaja I peak my eyes open and he is just leaning over to his brother whispering and smiling. They both look at me and we all just kind of start to chuckle. Then hearing the chuckling, my companion peaks as well. Victor sees that and just starts laughing! So we are trying not to laugh obviously and then victor says "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." and we all just bust up! So the entire prayer was just "Dear Heavenly Father. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." jajajajajaja I love Victor. He kinda has a learning disability, so I forgive him but yeah it is just funny! If that prayer was a "sandwich" (like we always describe prayers) it would have been just bread! Funny funny kid.

I have been really blessed to start off in the best area for speaking spanish in the whole mission. I am in the Northern Manhattan zone/Inwood and it is approximately 75% or more spanish speakers! I don't feel like I am in the USA at all! It is nuts. Plus they are all Dominicans basically and let's just say that Dominican spanish is not even close to what they taught me in the MTC! jaja! They mumble a ton and like never say the "s" in their words! I am picking it up little by little though, so it's all good. The other missionaries said that once I can understand a dominican, I can understand anyone that is speaking spanish and with a lot less effort jaja, so that is something to look forward to. 

We tract a lot and my companion makes me give most of the lessons! It is hard, but it has sure helped me grow. That is how life is really. Challenges are the fastest and most effective ways to grow, so I am happy about it! Life is really good here in NYC. The only thing is that everyone seems mad all of the time, so I smile at everyone!!! I am just trying to brighten this city up in any way possible jaja. Little by little. 

I get my ipad on friday and then I will send some pictures next week! Love you all!

Elder Mackintosh

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I'm in New York!!

I have been here in New York for 24 hours and I love it.  My mission president is President Smith and he is just the coolest guy.  He is so genuine and has a really strong and powerful testimony.  I love him and his family already. 

I have been assigned to the Manhattan North zone and it is seriously the coolest and best place to start. This is the place that has the most Dominicans by far and everyone says that it is the best place to learn the language! I'm told it's 75% Dominicans - that will help me a ton to pick up the language I am sure! Yes, I know it will be hard of course, but that is what I signed up for - it is all good. 

My companion's name is Elder McBride and he is from Mesa, Arizona - he is a REALLY nice elder and I can tell that he is obedient and hard working, so that is good.  He just barely got done being trained and now he is training me a day later. (jaja)   His Spanish is good, but he isn't fluent and he is already a trainer!  Crazy!  We will have a lot of fun and growth because we will be out of our comfort zone every single day talking to people in Spanish.  He promises that I will come out of the next 12 weeks better at Spanish than the other elders that came with me and better at teaching because he says that he won't let me rely on him 100% of the time.  He says that tonight he will let me talk quite a bit and we have two appointments set up for tonight so that should be interesting and fun. CRAZY, but exciting though.  

Just know that life is good.  I am trying to do my best everyday - I love it!  You are all in my prayers and I thank you for yours.

Elder Mackintosh

This is my awesome trainer Elder Mcbride from Mesa Arizona. 
We are going to do good work here. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Last MTC Email!


Wow this was such a great last week. To start off, thank you to everyone that thought of me on my birthday and for all of the prayers! I pray for you too. 

So on my birthday I received some packages from home (so that was great already). During class I left to go to the bathroom, and when I returned to the classroom my district had drawn birthday wishes all over the chalkboard, and my teacher had brought hostess cupcakes for everyone to share! Heck yeah!  Then later at dinner my district made me a "cake" which consisted of 7 pieces of toast with nutella between each one, and then a thick coating of nutella on the outside as well! Crazy unhealthy but incredibly good, so I am not complaining. (jaja)  At dinner as well, all 500 missionaries sang happy birthday to me! I always feel awkward in those situations but it was a lot of fun and everyone made me feel like it was a special day. So yeah, It was great! Thanks again.

Side note: some of my favorite things in the entire world are sunsets and sunrises but unfortunately my schedule is just barely off to the point that I miss both of those things by a span of about 15 minutes every single day jaja. so that is one thing that I miss and I am looking forward to occasionaly seeing once I am in NY next week!

I had a pretty cool experience this week with teaching. On Saturdays we teach what is called TRC and that is teaching (usually) members that just volunteer to come, but also we could teach non-members that have been invited by teachers as well. SO, this last week we taught a non-member and it was incredible! So you know how I don't know spanish yet? Well when I am in the lessons, I can speak really well actually! That is a combination of the spirit helping me and the fact that I know gospel topics in spanish really well. (jaja) But besides the language thing... we were teaching a lesson about receiving revelation through the Book of Mormon and it turned pretty powerful. We had to teach the kind sister what revelation was and how she could receive it. I was testifying at the end and said that I knew that she could receive personal revelation and then randomly I felt prompted to bare testimony that God loves her personally and knows her.  When I followed that, she started crying, and then I started crying!  I pointed out that the spirit was in that room and that was the feeling that she had. She loved it!  We invited her to pray that night and study the Book of Mormon for guidance.  She said she would, and I will follow up with my teacher on how that woman is doing! (How is that for the first time teaching a non-member?!) It is one of my favorite experiences so far for sure and it strengthened my testimony a lot about promptings. Loving life and I am so blessed. We all are so blessed.

Another side note: we watched Meet the Mormons and for one thing, seeing NY for a second made me soooo excited and for another thing, that was the first time that I watched the missionary part at the end and didn't cry! Guess I am happier to be here than I was with leaving when I watched it before my mission jaja. 

If you want some good scripture reading this week here are some good ones about faith!!!  Alma chapters 32 and 36 and also Ether 12. These have helped me a lot since I have been here. Love you all and thank you for your support!! 

Love from a 19 year old,
Elder Mackintosh

 The 7 layer Toast Nutella Birthday Cake!

My awesome district!

It's always great to run into a familiar face  - Josh Mortensen from my home town and high school 
...and also Heritage Tours

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

P-Day is Wednesday!

Hola familia y amigos!

My pday is now Wednesday from here on out, so SURPRISE! jaja. Yet another great week here in the Mexico MTC. I leave here in less than 2 weeks now (the 15th) and that is absolutely crazy to me because I feel like I just got here but at the same time I am SO excited to get to NY and start talking to real people about the gospel! I teach even more lessons now because now we do role play lessons with other missionaries from my district and it is amazing to me that even though I know that they aren't actually the person that they are pretending to be, I can feel so much love for them both from myself and from God. I have had so many spiritual experiences already in those lessons and I have been getting better at letting the spirit teach the lesson instead of my companion and myself. Had to say goodbye to a district that I became really close with (two elders in particular that I know I will be friends with after my mission as well) and that was pretty hard to do... but also exciting because that means that my district is the oldest in the zone now and that we are the next ones to head out of here! Awesome! Spanish is coming along nicely, I read some of the spanish that I tried to write my first couple of days and wow I am much much much better now jaja! The Lord has helped me so much and honestly I am not worried about the language. It will come. 

Funny stuff: So back at home to start family night we used to always sing a hymn to bring in the spirit but usually that didn't work because I would just be laughing the entire time from hearing my fathers pretty terrible singing (no offense dad jaja). WELL my companion is like the same as my dad I realized except with less rythm and he thinks that he is really good, so he just sings really loud all of the time! Singing in spanish is already a little bit harder with the rythm because we don't know the language, so having someone with poor rythm already sing it, just makes for a good time! jaja! It is bad because I end up just laughing the entire song and not bringing the spirit in very well but I just don't have the heart to tell him that he is a poor singer and the cause of my laughter jaja.. Love the kid though! He is a great missionary and just an all around great guy. Luckily he will be in my mission as well so I won't have to say goodbye to him (well kinda) in two weeks. 

Life is good though! I read a great talk this morning and would invite anyone wanting to just read something awesome to read it. it is called "The Four Steps on the Stairway to Heaven" by Dan Clark. SO GOOD! Inspiring talk, so please take some time and read it. You will not regret it. 

I just want to share quick testimony that this church is true and that God knows each of us individually and knows what we need. He is just waiting for us to ask him. 

Love you all!
Elder Mackintosh

 My District! 

My companion still doesn't like taking pics with me  - jaja