Monday, December 16, 2013

It's so cold!

Sorry...I'm behind again!
Here's the pictures and emails. He is doing great and I can't wait to hear from him next week. We get to find out what time we get to SKYPE him!!  I get to see both of my brothers for Christmas! So excited :D Enjoy!
 
Tell mom to send me my swim shorts! It rained so hard last week! The storm rose the creek behind our trailer to a very uncomfortably high height. I thought we were going to get flooded out!
We went to Ashland, KY for a Zone Meeting and when we got there the church parking lot was blocked off. We parked in a neighboring area and walked to the chapel. Well the sisters who got there after us decided to park in the grass by the road on church property.... They got stuck in the mud.. So about 8 of us elders pushed them out and you wouldn't believe what they did next. They drove down 10 ft and pulled off into the grass again thinking it would work that time.... They got stuck again hahahaha Sometimes I wonder about sisters XD
Zone Meeting was on becoming spiritually reborn. This concept is usually just looked at as being baptized but don't we always have to be spiritually reborn? Conversion is a lifelong process so we constanstly have to renew ourselves and bcome better. I had my first district meeting after the zone meeting and i think it went really well! There is a senior couple, Elder and sister wilson, in my district who are just amazing! He's been a bishop twice and a stake president. I had him teach us about Heavenly Father and who He is. Then I had Sister Wilson talk about the love a parent has for a child. This tied in perfectly for me to teach that we are children of God. As missionaries I'm afraid that since we teach others that they are a child of God all the time, we can lose grasp of that knowledge with ourselves. It was a great reboost to focus on us for once and have a reminder of our divine potential. After Ashland we got home and as we went out to work a couple of the hollows were flooded! The creeks were overflowing and we couldn't go anywhere! So we drove through the water in some spots in order to get to a couple investigators homes. It was wild! The rain has slowed down so the creeks are still high but going down. Everyone always wonders why I would live in Vegas where it's super hot but sometimes I wonder why anyone would settle here because the weather is absolutely crazy! The wise built is house upon a rock so that the floods wouldn't wash him away... ummm I don't know how 18 wheels will do in a flood but I hope It's not foolish to live in a trailer ;P On Sunday we had sacrament but the rest was cancelled so people could get home safely. Sleet is a sneaky thing. President Pitt's Birthday is today so if you could email him or something that would be nice!
President Pitt’s Missionary Truth: “Convincing power leads to converting actions.”

HAVE A HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I'LL BE SENDING YOUR GIFT A LITTLE LATE BUT YOU'LL HVE IT NEXT WEEK! :) LOVE YA!
 












 
 
     The winter months out here can be quite depressing. it's so cold!! everything is dead! and the sun hardly shines. Gloom and doom no matter what.... The tears freeze before they hit the dirt. jk I'm actually not depressed at all. hahaha I'm happy! A lot has been happening though. We talk to and teach a lot of people who have very unique situations in their lives. The gospel is perfect to help them but it is still hard to bear burdens and overcome some things. The saddest times out here are when the people we love and teach don't keep their committments. When they don't exercize faith and repent. Because when they don't do those things they don't get happier and they don't come closer to Christ. Not only do investigators, members, and whoever else have hard times, but missionaries struggle as well. I've been so blessed to stay optimistic and positive for most of my mission so far. I've been helping another missionary who is having a hard time and it has really taught me alot about myself. I've had a thought before of becoming a psychiatrist so that I could help people but after being able to help other people with deep real problems out here, that thought has become a reality. It's a definite maybe. I mean I've always known that I want my career to be based off of helping others, so that might be it. Ha luckily I have a lot more time to figure things out! There are a few things that are really fulfilling to me: Personal Repentance, helping another person repent, and feeling love from my family. Oh and In N Out too but that is thousands of miles away X( President Pitt and Sister Pitt came to our ward yesterday and spoke in sacrament. I have so much love and respect for them two. As a missionary they are literally like parents because they help us out. Haha tomorrow we actually get to see them again because we have specialized training in Huntington, West Virginia. Oh crap! that reminds me that we have to wash our muddy car! haha all the other areas keep their cars pretty clean but since we are in the hollows our car gets dirty fast. Excited for tomorrow. Elder Cowley and I are singing a song but we still aren't sure what we are singing.... hahaha and it's in front of pres Pitt + 2 zones :P Maybe we'll wing it Nacho Libre style.
CHRISTMAS! I'm extremely anxious to skype on Christmas! I'll let you know all the info before hand! Woo! It sucks not being home and seeing you all constantly so I'm excited to talk face to face :D I remember when we skyped Adam. I loved it. I talk to him and nathan a lot. haha emailing adam back and forth right now! It's always funny talking to them :) I love this time of the year because teaching about Christ's birth is so much fun!

Parts of President Pitts letter this week: Apply it to yourself!
This is a wonderful time of year to review our personal relationship with the Savior, our personal standing with Him, our love for him. We all can hear Elder Holland say, “Do you love Him?” and we could follow-up with “How much do I love Him?” Enough to lay aside thoughts, feelings, actions that are still home, or gentilish in nature? Are the things we do done because we love him? Most of the problems we encounter come because our personal relationship is still wobbly. The gift we can bring to the Giver of all gifts, is the gift of a willing and determined heart—determined to spend our mission in His service as we serve others. In 1John 2:3 “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. Verses 5-6 add: “Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected; hereby know we, that we are in him. He that saith and abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” We have been asked, even in the small details, to walk as He walked and talk as He would talk, thus we will be blessed with power to accomplish His purposes here.

Light will forever be one of the greatest symbols of the Christmas season. Not only was there a new star or light in the sky signifying his birth, but in the promised land there was a day, a night, and a day with light which was an unmistakable sign of His coming. Light brings about a new day, and light from the Savior brings an opportunity to begin anew, to start a new day in our life. Where there is total light there is no darkness. Our purpose is to fill ourselves clear to the top with light so there is no room for anything else. We bring the gospel message to others that their lives might obtain this light and bring the comfort and peace they need. Nothing else will substitute for the message of the gospel. Just as the angels, may we be bold in our declaration, that the King of Israel is born and has brought with Him the truths necessary for us to return to His presence. May our light so shine, that others really do want to know our message.

This week, as our twelfth week, we will want to study the birth of Christ. Look up scriptures in the New Testament, Old Testament, and the Book of Mormon, concerning the prophecies of the coming of the Savior. See if you get to know Him better because of what is given to us in these prophecies. How can this study help your relationship with the Christ? This is an important study. We tend to make less mistakes when our relationship with Him is secure and alive. He lives and He loves you so very much. Everywhere we have gone in speaking with stake presidents and Bishops and Branch Presidents, they have all said the same thing, “Thank you for sending us such great missionaries. We have never had such wonderful missionaries before. They work hard; they serve the members and they fulfill assignments. So we thank you for being such a blessing to the mission.

May the Lord bless you all this week. Remember to study about the Savior and make your prayers very meaningful.



We love you, President and Sister Pitt

President Pitt’s missionary truth: “Our objective is not to be popular or to say what someone wants to hear, but to preach repentance.”
 
 
If you could leave a comment for Elder Mackelprang he would LOVE that! He checks this blog every week so a little message for him would mean so much to him. Wish him a Merry Christmas or something :D Thanks!

 




Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thanksgiving!

I hope you enjoy hearing about Elder Mackelprang's very first Thanksgiving as a missionary. 


Miracles do happen.
I've been pretty stressed out with this pricey speeding ticket since I got it. Been praying and fasting for God to somehow fix my mistake for dad. Well the blessing came when i read that dad got a job! but it gets even better.... I got the ticket cleared! I've got connections haha wooo!! I know that through all of my shortcomings and mistakes, the Lord still has my back:)
Thanksgiving.. Turkey, not squirrel haha Yumm! We played in the famous McKinney/Parsons Turkey Bowl. After being talked down and verbally bullied, we proved our athletic righteousness! haha it was a blast. Score was 12-4 ;) I love that family so much! The people in our ward take care of us. No we don't get fed too often but lately it's been raining food! Ate at the Bentley's that night as well which was a blast! We had a taco bar at the Shannon's the day after because they went Black Friday shopping... I can't believe you all shopped from 9:30 pm to 5:30 am!! Why would you ever do that?!?! I remember goingshopping once with mom and kaylee during black friday and i went back to the car after an hour and slept :P Yesterday Sister Elliot invited us over and we had a 4th "thanksgiving" meal haha I have a real love for all of these people. It's going to be hard leaving when I get transferred.
Why would all of you want to make me cry... should i be thankful for that? haha During the baptism Bro/Sis Shannon gave me their ipad out of no where.. I looked down and started reading the sweet messages you all wrote. I felt the spirit of thanksgiving stronger at that moment than ever in my life. Why am I such a baby? haha I hate crying! I guess I love my family though :P Thank you for that surprise. Elder Cowley loved your message to him as well! Thank you for including him. It was great :D
Small Thanksgiving List:
My family- all the love and support I get from all of you. I wouldn't be the sond of God that I am today if I didn't have all of you.
Heavenly Father and his son Jesus- beyond grateful for the guidance and for the relationship I have while sanctifying myself and helping others make/keep sacred covenants.
Abigail Allen- I just like her for her sugar hahaha jk mom... she's been the best friend I could ask for. She always expects me to be better and the 2 letters a week I receive from her help me stay diligent.
The area of Martin Kentucky- I look back at all that I've learned during these fast 5 months and I'm amazed at the Lord's wisdom. This is where He needs me and it is where I need to be. I've learned stuff here that I will take with me for the rest of my life. This place has helped me realize my true potential and the potential for the Mackelprang family :)
Something Elder Cowley and I learned this week is that we can create our own happiness. We are in control of our destiny. Other's decisions may hurt sometimes, but it can't hurt our happiness. We are trying our best and constantly trying to help the faith of people and help them repent. That is how we come unto Christ. Every child of God has their agency. I must respect that and simply do my best. We are teaching some amazing people and the power of the Atonement is perfect. They are growing in the gospel and understanding why it's important to repent and be baptized. Now as we teach them they just need to make their own steps of faith. I love being a guide along this process. I get to see the conversion of a person who is caught up in the ways of the world into a child of Christ.
The Lord is my shephard and I will follow Him.
Getting closer and closer to talking with ya'll on Christmas :) I'm so excited!!! :D
My favorite scriptures right now:
D&C:82:14- "Zion must increase"
2 Nephi 33:15- "I must Obey"
John 3:30- "He must increase but I must decrease"
Family- Think about the importance of family history work! I'll be sending a letter about it soon and I want al lof you to start doing it! Mom's side needs to be done. Our ancestors are waiting! Have a great week and boast of God! He is a perfect Father :)


















Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's SNOWING!

Two posts this week. The first one is from this week and the last one is from last week. Sorry I have been slacking! November has been CRAZY for me and December is even crazier! So please bare with me! I will try my hardest to update them on time!
 
Elder Mackelprang is doing so well! It is snowing there! My brother has visited snow for a weekend but definitely has not LIVED in it before! Pray for him! haha
 
Enjoy the letters! :D
 
When I think my responsibility is more than my ability, the Lord adds more to it! I'm humbled to know how much Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father, and President Pitt trust me to have so many responsibilities. I'm training Elder Cowley and now I am the new District Leader. I will be a servant leader for the areas of Hazard (2 elders, 1 senior couple), and Prestonsburg. I'm excited to help us all have more success in our areas. I know I'll learn a lot from my district because they all have been out for almost twice as long as me. So their wisdom and experience will definitely give me insights that will help Elder Cowley and I. It's stressful but there is comfort in knowing that my shortcomings and mistakes are covered by the atonement of Jesus Christ. I'm trying to sanctify myself more than ever right now so I can be an affective instrument in this marvelous work. I want to help others be happy. That is my purpose, to bring them unto Christ.
Elder Sitati of the 70 came to our mission. His accent was AWESOME! He's from Kenya and he is a convert. He taught us about our purpose and something that hit me hard is how he added a small part to it: "To [come unto Christ] Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." If we as sons/daughters of God, as members of Zion, are to help others come unto Christ, how important is it for us to first follow Christ ourselves? This is why sanctification is important, so that we can help others.
Primary Program! The Martin Ward had it's primary program and I loved every part of it! The little ninos are hilarious. What gets me every time though is when they sing their primary songs. I looked around at the parents and you can see in their faces how proud and happy they were to have their kids up there. Those weren't my snot-nosed kids but I sure did love it!
This week has been crazy! From hospital visits for members to stepping in Ohio! The missionary life is not the stand still boring life. It's always moving forward. It's proof that the work is hastening!
I went to Ashland Kentucky on an exchange to serve with Elder Fielding (Zone Leader) for the day. Their area is on the Kentucky/Ohio state line so I got to serve in Ohio! Oh! I'm staying in Martin by the way haha I'll be here for 6 months! That's 1/4 of my mission! I love this place. Had deer stew and I've seen plenty of deer hanging from trees. Hunting is life here. I don't think I could shoot one though, they look too innocent. But I sure can eat it! haha I love deer meat!
Transfers are tomorrow and Elder Spencer is leaving. It sucks getting close to other missionaries just to have transfers roll in. I know he will do great in Charleston though. Elder Moffett is going to Lexington which sucks too... butt... We are getting Elder Erickson back! haha I love him! He's the computer tie elder in the pics I sent a few weeks ago. Might as well combine our last names because I am "Eric's son". I should go by Elder Erickson Mackelprang. Okay maybe I shouldn't.. Speaking of Eric.. I'm happy dad got a job! hahaha See, the Lord blessed him with my speeding ticket so that he would get a job! ;P We did service at the senior center in Martin and it was hilarious. We helped bring in food boxes from a delivery from a food pantry. We carried boxes of food to the elderly's cars. They are so funny or super grumpy so we had a blast XD Hung out with Brenda Camp who is a sweet lady we helped come back to church. She hits me all the time haha she's lucky I'm a missionary! 
I'm sorry to hear about what happened at the temple. Desirae shared with me to watch the Mormon Message "Mens Hearts Shall Fail Them". "Don't demand yourself of things which are unreasonable. Demand of yourself improvement" Love you all. Time to grocery (frozen pizza) shop... haha stay classy


"He who plants kindness, gathers love" -Elder Spencer's Grandma
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Last weeks email...
 
I don't have anytime for a long post but I'll leave you all with three statements about my week!
1. Elder Sitati is an amazing African servant of the Lord!
2. Snow is cold.
3. I blame dad for my speeding ticket! haha

Love you all, have a great week!
 













 
YES IT'S TRUE... Elder Mackelprang got a speeding ticket! Crazy kid...
 
Have a great and safe Thanksgiving week!

Monday, November 4, 2013

4 Months! :o

Most people say the first six months go by SO slow. I can't believe how fast it is going by! Before I know it my little "big" brother will be home running around playing with my kids and messing with me! I miss that kid a lot! Enjoy this weeks email and all the wonderful pictures!
 
(I don't have much time since we are headed to Huntington to play basketball)Yesterday was my 4 month mark... That means I've been out for 1/6th of my mission!!! I don't like that! This is going by way too fast! I definitely have a new sense of urgency in this work! Yes, I will continue to spread the gospel my whole life, but these two years are special and set apart for only that! It's really a blessing that I can have so much time every day to study the gospel and help others understand it. When I get home I will be busy and I won't have as much time to study. Eh It's weird thinking about when I go home.

Because of the rain and storms here the beautiful leaves are all falling off. haha this place is starting to look super gloomy! It will soon be skeleton trees allover these hills. We are working hard every day and slowly progressing our investigators. It will all happen in the Lord's time and we are being patient while diligently working everyday. I make sure to recommit myself to my purpose and my obedience every day because it can be easy to lose focus and not try so hard.

Elder Cowley is doing wonderful! He is a missionary who came out pre-trained. Because of the inspired set up of the 12 week training program that we do, Preach My Gospel, and great leaders that we have in this mission, Elder Cowley is without a missionary who will create success in whatever areas he goes too.  

I hope you all enjoy the pictures! I loved the videos I received of little "Papa Mahu" hahaha I call Elder Cowley that sometimes but he has no idea what it means XD Love you all and I pray for you constantly!

President Pitt’s Missionary Truth:  “Let your light shine.  Stand on the rain clouds, not under them.”

Keep The Faith :)