Thursday, December 31, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Balmy weather before the storms!
Hello!

This week was a different week because of Christmas and I didn't have time to write anything for this email during the week. So, here are the highlights:
The two in black are named Elder Moore and they are companions, the one on left
is the district leader. Then left in gray is Elder Crowther and then Elder
Hughes. Notice the thing of cookies and scarves!! Haha good day.

Tuesday we had our district meeting! Elder Moore is our District Leader and he is great! I was amazed at how the Spirit works, once again. I had been praying to not only receive some kind of inspiration during the meeting, but also I had been praying for more patience and in general how to be a better missionary, and  that's exactly what our meeting was about!

Because of the new focus from Elder Oaks, (teach repentance, baptize converts) we focused on personal purification so that we will be worthy to teach repentance and then baptize converts. My favorite part (aside from the Christmas scarves and chocolate chip cookies of course) was that we went through the attributes of Christ and did a self evaluation in Preach my Gospel (I highly recommend this activity). With the Spirit we rated ourselves on the list, and then chose the lowest phrase from each attribute, wrote it on a card, and stuck it on the mirror to recite each day. We were promised by an Area 70 (not sure who) that if we did this and read the nine sentences everyday we would improve in those attributes! It has really been awesome to have these short sentences running through my mind, especially because they are simple and clear ways to become a little bit more like Christ in every moment. If you were to ask any professional on overcoming debt, they all would say to pay off the little ones first. It is the same as we are trying to come unto Christ and be more like Him. It is not possible nor is it productive to gather all of the things you are bad at and try to "pay off" that "debt." Line upon line, poco a poco, "Behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." (Alma 37:6.) The Lord will take you where you are! No need to tackle it all in one sitting. Start with one attribute at a time or a few small sentences, and great things will come to pass! It's amazing, really.

Our iPads and our phones need recharging every night, we too need to be recharged and we can do that through studying. Everyday we need to gain a little bit more insight, or we will run dry! Studies are what keep the gospel fresh in our minds, and Christ especially in the forefront. :) D&C 11:21 "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."

There is JOY in repenting daily! If we repent, things will improve. Being more obedient brings us more in harmony with the Savior.

Apparently this is an "el nino" year ... which I think I heard of before but now I hear it like everyday. It has been really warm and muggy! Christmas was a balmy 73 degrees! But starting on Tuesday we have had off and on storms with tornado and flood warnings. How did we know this? Well, that's because our storm warning radio thing went off  Tuesday morning at 4:30, 4:45, 5:15, and 5:45, when finally Sister Moore jumped up and unplugged it! :) It's so hilarious because the alarm is SO LOUD and then the radio guy comes on and in the most mono-tone voice he reads through a list of the warned areas. My favorite warning is the weather ones that say "85% chance of rain in 15 minutes" when it's already dumping buckets!! I am suddenly grateful for the ditches on either side of the road, and like, everywhere.
Loving Bike Week

MY FIRST BIKE WEEK!! It was too hard to ride bikes in Danville because there were only like three sidewalks and no shoulders on the roads, so we always walked instead of biking. But here there are lots of sidewalks and everyone lives a little farther away, so we biked! I LOVE IT. I think maybe just because it was really good weather so biking was not too hot or too cold. (Also we had a lot of members take us teaching and the Elders let us use their car on Christmas and the day after, so yeah that rocked.)

D&C 118 "And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith." (read the scriptures. They are the best books.)

Pinata

First Fiesta!
FIRST FIESTA CON LA RAMA ESPANOL!! They are so so much fun, the Spanish branch. We got all set up the night before Christmas Eve with tables and tons of decorations. On Christmas Eve, we went over at about 5:00 and we had to leave for curfew, but apparently they were partying quite a bit later into the night. I love them all so much! We had great food and activities. They asked us to share a spiritual thought so we read through the Living Christ (with a little piano in the background from yours truly) and it was great to focus on that amazing testimony about Christ. I loved Christmas as a missionary. We don't have time or money to buy gifts, and we still have to study and teach and be missionaries even on the holidays! So we focused on Christ so much. The mission gave us a little advent calendar with scriptures, activities, and songs for each day. I know that Christ is the greatest gift from God. Heavenly Father loves us so so much and He sent His perfect son for us. I can't imagine how hard that must have been but also how joyous because through Christ we can ALL return to Heavenly Father and live in happiness there. The simplicity of His birth was so amazing.

We were at a dinner appointment with someone in the ward, and after sharing a little thought from the Christmas devotional about focusing on the baby, the daughter of the family said "I think it was very quiet there. Very peaceful." I think so too. There were heavenly angels there singing praises, but I imagine it was somewhat like the temple. There are hymns of praise and supplication, and maybe a little bit of whispering, but overall it is reverent. I imagine there were whispers around His cradle and cries of joy as the shepherds saw the baby. Somehow that thought brings me so much peace. I think because as I am learning to make Christ more and more part of my life, I feel glimpses of that peace and reverence. It makes me want to stand and sing praises with the angels but also sit quietly and calmly and reflect on the Savior and His love for me.
Our Christmas! The fireplace was made by Sisters Ponce and Lewis.

Christmas Eve Morning French Toast

Christmas Eve Pajamas from home!

Skyping with familiy was certainly a highlight. I am so grateful for those four at home that are so loving and supportive of me, as well as the rest of my family and friends!! Love you a lot a lot a lot. I was reading this morning the story of the 2000 stripling warriors. The favorite and famous verses, Alma 56:47-48 "Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." There are so many amazing lessons that can be learned and applied from this story. The faith of the fathers and mothers, the faith of the boys, the faith of Helaman, the hand of God in all their doings, etc. But the thing that made me smile this morning was when it says "they rehearsed unto me ...." To rehearse means to "repeat aloud." I just imagine all of these young boys in unison "repeating aloud" "WE DO NOT DOUBT OUR MOTHERS KNEW IT!" haha It's such a fun story. I am so grateful for my amazing parents. Their example has helped me be here. They are faithful and undoubting. I find strength in their diligence!

Christmas Morning Sunshine

Bike Week
On Sunday we were able to teach the young women. We had a little lesson about missionary work. It was so cool to see the potential in these girls! We are often working with adults or less-active families, but these girls are really something special. They are smart and love the Lord, and really want to share the gospel with their friends! One of the leaders talked about an analogy that I think President Monson or Elder Oaks or someone gave. Let's say you have invited your friend over for breakfast. There is a large display of food and a cold glass of orange juice. Would you just happily drink your orange juice in front of your friend? Probably not! We talked about different ways that we can "share our orange juice" and how it's not a scary thing, it is a happy thing! :) -Also Sister Moore and I sang together in the Spanish branch.
video

Happy New Year!
video

Hermana Macfarlane

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Transferred to Russellville - Staying with Hermana Moore!




Monday:
We started to say goodbye to the people of Danville because TRANSFERS.
Good-bye Lois Lane

Saying good-bye to Leann
Bad packing job and too much stuff.
Good-bye Nix Family!

Tuesday:
A generally stressful day of saying goodbye and trying to pack. I will miss my people in Danville! They were so great to me. The Torgerson's had one last dinner with us! I will always love Danville!
Saying bye to Torgerson's! (Eric, Genevieve, sister T, and brother T was
teaching with the Elders)


Wednesday:
TRANSFERS. The weirdest transfer meeting - holy cow. 9/10 of the Hermanas got transferred somewhere new! That's crazy! They also opened up a new area for Hermanas in Memphis. Sister Moore and I are in Russellville! It's crazy because she has been here her whole mission except for that one transfer with me in Danville. I think she will go back to Danville some day. But I am so grateful to be here with her because she knows the area and people really well. It is so nice. There are a few people and things she doesn't know so we are trying to figure stuff out there. But all is well here! I love it!
First teeth brushing in Russellville. :)

On our way home from the meeting I read this 2015 Devotional called "Like a Watered Garden" that I highly suggest you all go read. It's sooo great. I like this quote "Daily decisions make tiny, almost imperceptible differences in the roots of our faith, the effect of which becomes foundational."

Crazy thing though is that President Wakolo received training and there will now no longer be transfer meetings in any mission anywhere! It may not seem like a big deal but it is!! It's kind of cool because we now have the technology to do it electronically. Also it will be crazy to try to find rides to where we need to go and especially when there are transfers from state-to-state. It is inspired though! It is cool to think about how much more proselyting time we will have as a missionary force when all these missionaries around the world have like 4ish more hours of time to teach. All of that added up=productive work! Elder Oaks (I think. I actually forgot who it is now) is the new head of the missionary department and he has this new focus of "teach repentance, baptize converts," NOT the other way around! Of course! It doesn't really change anything but it is a great reminder because we often are like "Oh, well they will learn that after they are baptized" which is true, there are a lot of things that you don't know before you are baptized. But repentance (not only of major transgressions, but also to repent and change and start keeping the commandments consistently) is something that needs to be learned before baptism in order to maintain conversion and happiness. :)
My new desk.

No bed frame because they cleaned everything out due to bed bugs.

The stairs of doom.

Nativity cling

Study area

There are flocks of birds everywhere. Mom, it reminds me of you.

Thursday: 
RUSSELLVILLE IS SO BIG AHHH. I am lost like 85% of the time because I am used to the two or three streets in Danville! We had fun getting to see everyone here and meeting new people! We met the bishop of the English ward, Bishop Stokes, and his family. They are awesome and very active and involved and I love them. I met Presidente Hernandez of the Spansih Branch and he too is really active and involved! He is very humble and on top of things. His wife is hilarious too. My favorite thing was that we went to meet Hermana Veronica who is the Relief Society President, I think, and she is so funny! We went to go say hello and start getting names of people we need to focus on and get caught up with the spanish activities. We had just eaten lunch-bad idea-and as soon as we sat down she offered us a key lime cupcake, which was delicious. Then we were talking about food and she offered us some lunch but we told her we were fine. As we kept talking about food she just said something like "okay, I'll warm this up for you and you can try some." So she did, it was the most heavenly noddle slop stuff with spicy salsa verde! I was in heaven. But it was so funny because they love to feed us all the time. I love the branch! I am also understanding Spanish a little bit better. I'm getting there! It's really hard to understand the men and sometimes they like to talk really fast just because they tink it's funny that we can't understand them! Usually we are with the ladies and they are easier to understand until they are all together talking reallly fast and ahhhh it's so fast. But seriously the gift of tongues is really really real.

Friday:
SURPRISE! IT'S ALLERGY SEASON. Hahaha it was so funny today. We were talking to people and my eyes would just start watering like crazy and I got really weird looks because it was always at weird, non-spiritual parts of the converstaion. Anyway I finally decided to pray-duh-and ask for help with my allergies because I was sneezing and crying and runny nosing and sniffing all over the place. Once I did it took about three or four minutes and it was gone. God is so watchful over me!! I still have to take two allergy pills and a decongestant everyday everyday everyday.

There were a lot of little tender mercies that happened where God put people in our path that we weren't expecting. My favorite was there is this referral from the Elders that we checked on, and she was not interested at all. Before we knocked on her door though, we talked to this lady who was letting her cat out. We were just chatting and asking her about church and she said she had been a member for a few years but isn't very active. After we talked to her and gave her the Christmas card we looked it up and she is a less-active member! Of our church! Haha We weren't sure if she meant she had been a member for some years from our church or a different one. But man, that was a cool one. It's all in the Lord's timing! That was cool I think mostly because at the transfer meeting we watched a video about referrals. They are to be treated as sacred, especially  those from headquarters. But they really focused on knocking areas around the referred area. The Lord works in mysterious ways and often times he will put you in a place where one or more people are ready. So, like this referral, she was not ready but that less-active lady needed to be found or else we would probably not have ever visited her!
 
Lunch with Grace and Sister W.



Saturday:
We had such a busy day on Saturday! We had lunch with Grace who is a recent convert and her mom, Sister Warrendorf. They are so so sweet! Then we got Quiznos and Froyo. Good stuff. They shared some realy cool stories. They do a lot of temple trips so it was cool to hear their stories. :) We had my first correlation meeting in Spanish ... I am actually surprised at how much I understood. But after a while it gets really tiring to translate in my head what everyone is saying. But it was fun to be with everyone and talk in Spanish! I love the Branch. And Presidente Hernandez has great ideas. Same with Hermana Barrera and Hna. Roque. Afterwards, we had sports night. Lol. Yeah. I did sports night. It was missionaries - in this case there were three because one was sick or something - against 5 or 6 members of the Branch who really really really really love soccer!! Finally Presidente Hernandez joined us and then at the end one of their sons joined our team too, so we did better. But really it was just Sister Moore and Elder Moore (oh yeah we have Elder Moore, Elder Moore, Hermana Moore, and Hermana Mac. It's hilarious.) against everyone else. I kind of helped by just running around and getting in the way of the other team. I think I scored one goal on Hermana Barrera though, so, yay! Haha it was really fun though. We also went teaching with Hermana Barrera which was so fun. She brings a great spirit and testimony - and knowledge of Spanish - to the lessons. We taught this lady about the Plan of Salvation and she seemed to be really interested and sincerely asked questions and is going to pray about it. I love the Plan of Salvation because it is so comforting, but also because the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of it so well. It's just so cool to have this knowledge!

Sunday:
My first Sunday was un poquito loco because we cover the Spanish and English and they were combined for Christmas. We had choir practice in the morning, then a great sacrament meeting with lots of songs and a lovely solo by Sister Fox. After, we ran around after trying to get evryone to class and make sure everyone was settled. It's crazy, but it's kind of fun. I had my first clase del nuevo testamento en solo espanol! We also got to see one of the recent converts get the Priesthood and be ordained as a Deacon, and we went to Spanish Relief Society. After church, we passed out flyers to all the hispanic people we knew of for our party on the 24th. It was good to get out and walk around. We did our best to follow the Spirit as we walked around the neighborhoods. We left a lot of pass along cards and met a nice lady who we will go back to see and she gave us a referral to her neighbor!
Caroling is a blast!

I love the Hermanas!


Caroling Video:

video

It's a cool area, people are generally pretty friendly. We went to the rest home and visited the sweetest ladies ever, then headed up for dinner! We had a dinner with the Fox's. They are members of a lot of years and they love focusing on Christ more at Christmas. After dinner we went caroling with the Hermanas in the Relief Society! They are so so so hilarious. Oh heavens, they talk so fast together. It was so funny to sit in the back and listen to these five ladies make jokes in Spanish and stuff. I love them a lot! Sister Moore always says they are like our crazy aunts - it's true! We sang Jesus en Pesebre (Away in a Manger) like six or seven times. I was so exhausted by the end, but it was so worth it. I love to sing about Christ, especially in Spanish

Love,
Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sweet is the Work

Last District Picture :-) Transfers Coming ...
Monday:
We had cookies at the church, went to dinner in Russellville (Spanish members that were so cute) and we - us and the Russellville Hermanas - drove to Little Rock!

Dinner in Russellville
I made a really cute cookie ... and this one, too.
Headed to Girl's day and Christmas Conference

Tuesday:
Girls' dayyyyy!!!!! We went to Little Rock with ALL the sisters in the mission!! 8/10 of the Hermanas stayed in LR and we met up with the other two that are on the Memphis side at the meeting. The Wakolo's weren't able to be there because they are amazing disciples who were last-minute called to do some training videos in SLC! But the assistants and President something from Little Rock did a great great job of instructing us! We did our service project which was too fun. It's called the tunnel project or something. I was on weighing duty-making sure all the bagged meals weighed the right amount. It was sort of an assembly line where one table has a bag and a funnel and a bunch of food that they pour into the funnel into the bag and they run it to us to make sure it weighs the right amount, they seal the bag and put it in boxes for local shelters. It was great! (Also we got approved to listen to music of the world so that was exciting.)

Sweet is the Work - Service Project!


We then had a small dance party where they taught us a funny dance, we made treats, had lunch, went caroling, and ate the treats we made! It was actually more exhausting than a regular day! But it was so fun to meet all the Hermanas and get to know more sisters. The caroling was hilarious because literally all of us wanted to sing alto. So, of course, me who can't sing high got stuck on soprano with Sister Tester and Elder Diez. Hahaha Elder Diez is hilarious. Anyway, we went to this one lady's house and she said "Well do you know Mary, Did You Know? I don't know if I have ever played it on the piano but I can try!" So she whipped out this absolutely stunning accompaniment and we rocked Mary, Did You Know? Hahahaha so so funny. She was old. I love days with missionaries.
video
Here is part of it because it takes too long to send the whole thing. It's the Hermanas singing! Me, Moore, and Tester were on soprano, but mostly you can hear tester! We were just singing hymns because we didn't know what to study so we recorded this one.

Massage Train: Hermanas Bennett, Hudson, Madsen, Ponce, me, Lewis, Moore
After the meeting we went to LR and did blitz with the 8 of us Hermanas that were staying there. I went with Sister Lewis and we taught some really awesome lessons-EN ESPANOL. It was so fun! :)

Sister Arnold!! (Choir friend from High School)
Wednesday:
Aaahhh good day!!! The Wakolo's were gone again for this day but the APs and President Busbea instructed us on the atonement and "the way." It was so enlightening, really. We had an amazing lunch and even more amazing desserts, a talent show, gift exchange, and we watched the Cokeville Miracle. During the talent show, the Wakolo's showed up!! It was so cute to look back there and see them happily holding hands and watching the talent show. The talent show was fun, hopefully the videos will send! We drove back, got our car and had a great Book of Mormon class that evening.

Ricky, a recent convert
Thursday:
Having a week and a half of walk week, we sort of drove 95 miles (we have an allotted 36 per day) around to see all the far away people!!!! It was so needed though! We also had a great dinner at the Torgerson's again. Seriously they rock. Sister Moore shared a cool insight about the refiners fire. Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness-- She said that one of her MTC teachers said they wanted to find out more about the refiners fire and how silver is purified. They went to the place where they purify the silver or whatever and asked the workers how they do it. They individually grab a piece of silver and manually -not by machine- hold it over an open flame until it is ready. They asked how they know if it's ready, and the workers said they know when they can see their own reflection. HOW COOL. When we are going through the "refiner's fire" and all of these difficult things we go through, when we internalize Christ and really strive to reflect His light and be more like Him, that is when He takes us out and uses us for beautiful and marvelous things! Turning our wills to the Lord helps us become more like Him.

Christmas Devotional with the Torgersons
Friday:
Oh man, Friday was so fun too. We are trying to be more involved with the Sisters in the Branch and get to know more of them, so we went visiting teaching with Sister Hibler and Sister Rogers! I can't remember if I have written about them yet. Sally Hibler was a missionary here as a senior sister about 15 years ago. She met Linda Rogers and helped in her conversion process. They are the best of friends now and are the most righteous and cutest ladies. I love them a lot! They are involved with the work, especially by feeding us the most delicious goodies and dinners. Anyway, we went with them to see the Taylor's and had some nice visits. (I hope the video of brother Taylor will send. Oh my heavens, he is so funny.) We went to visit Sister Sharp in Ola, too, and then we tried to visit a new sister, Sister S, but we went to the wrong "mountain!" We had a great day with them getting to know them and the other sisters some more. They fed us lunch too! It was really cool because the VT message for this month is about compassion and kindness. I love the verses that are suggested in the message about Christ visiting the people, and they ask Him to stay a little bit longer, so He does, and He heals them from their sicknesses. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of compassion. When He was tired and hungry, He stayed and taught and healed the people-always! How great. And Sisters Hibler and Rogers are amazing examples of compassion too! They are always looking for opportunities to serve and brighten people's day. Often their service goes unnoticed, and often they don't understand how much their kind attitudes help those around them.


Saturday:
We had a pretty normal day of missionary work. We made contact with an investigator, found a new investigator, read some of the Book of Mormon with a recent convert and her adorable little son and her kind husband, and the best was we visited with some of the ladies at the rest home! We were looking in to volunteering for their Christmas party this week, and as we left, Sister Moore and I felt like we needed to chat with our "greeters" by the door-they are there every time. They told us about 4 times that they have houses close by and we chatted about their lives and church. It was so pleasant! We also were able to meet some of the workers there and talk to them too! It was so nice to have a conversation with people who were open and loving.

We also had a sweet lesson with E! We showed up at his house and he pulled in right as we were about to leave! We were able to have a great sit-down lesson with him and help him understand the baptismal process a little more. We taught him about the law of tithing and it was sooooo cool to hear him just totally agree with it! He has been so prepared and he really has such a contrite spirit and is very teachable. His testimony is already so strong. Especially of God's love and of prophets. I am so grateful for the people that are prepared and that we can all be in each other's paths at the right time. He is so prepared!
Lake Nimrod

Sunday:
SUNDAY FUNDAY. Church was great! We had a good sacrament meeting about fasting, loving God and your neighbor, and following the prophet to help us prepare for the second coming. Also a gospel principles lesson by Elder Allred on the Second Coming and we talked about strengthening the stakes in Relief Society! This branch is so fun. I love the people! There were also some new callings made which was exciting. One of my favorite people, brother Mullinax, is now part of the Branch Presidency! He has the kindest heart but also is so funny. He is the one that makes Book of Mormon class hilarious. Good ol' brother Mullinax. Also we got a new young men's president called too, that will be cool. The Lord puts people here and in certain callings for very good reasons! His timing is a good thing to have faith in.
Flu Shot!

This week, I have learned a lot about the Lord's timing. It is not my will, rather, His! Always! When I pray, I am turning my heart to God and putting it in a place that is ready to see and recognize the blessings and the miracles of prayer and faith. No matter what I do, if I know I am keeping the commandments, things will work out in the Lord's time. Often times we mistake tender mercies for sad situations. Looking at the big picture really helped me this week to see things as blessings from the Lord instead of bumps in the way. Christ is the light as well! He is steady and the only thing we can place our faith in that won't make us falter. Also, I am ever so grateful for a living prophet. Holy cow. There are so many things that I have experienced in the 4 months that I have been out that have strengthened my testimony of Thomas S. Monson and the other prophets and apostles. They are truly called of God and we need them!

Your prayers are felt, thank you! I love you! I love the gospel! I love the Lord!

Hermana Macfarlane

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sharing the Savior's Love. PLUS, Christmas, sleepovers, and puppies!

Found in the Christmas Decorations box!
Our cute Christmas apartment.


Last District Meeting with Elder Allred.
Tuesday:
We had a great last district meeting with elder Allred. We talked about having faith in the Lord. That evening we had a really fun FHE! We are trying to have more of them to help model FHE in the homes and to get to know the members a little better. This one was at the Brooksby's with Sister Kassaw and Sister Bovine! We shared the Christmas video and asked them to write their testimonies in a Book of Mormon and share it with someone! The mission also gave us these fun little advent calendars that have a thought, a scripture, an action, and a song. The first one was about gathering together and celebrating so the song was O Come All Ye Faithful, Matthew 18:20, and to invite a member or investigator to do the advent with us! So we text them the scripture and song and thought every day. It's so fun!
Hermana Moore looking like a mummy.
Wednesday:
Along with trying to do more FHE's with families, we are also trying to go visiting teaching with the sisters! It can really help us get to know all the sisters, active and less-active, and help us to get referrals, and help them do their visiting teaching! So, we started out with Sister Ferrell. She is so kind! She came all the way out to Danville to get us and drove us around to do her visiting teaching. Only one lady was home and she was a sweet older lady that we chatted with and shared the message with. Sister Ferrell is so kind and she made home made peanut butter cookies for all of her visiting teachees! I am thankful for her example. :) After VT with Sister Ferrell, we did some teaching in Danville. 

As we left one of the apartment complexes, there was this very energetic little girl playing basketball. We asked if we could play with her and talked to her about church, sports, school, music, etc. She was such a sweet heart! We had a really awesome Book of Mormon class! We have been trying to figure out how to make the class more worth people's time so they will come more frequently. So, Elder Brooksby put together a little lesson and guided the class as we read through 1 Nephi 11-13. It was cool  to read through it all and study out the meanings but also why we have those things now. Like, why does it matter?!?! We talked about having a firm testimony and choosing to be on God's side.

Thursday:
We finally got to go to the Taylor's for the first time this transfer!! They are the SWEETEST!! I love them! They made some really delicious spaghetti. We talked their friend about Christmas and we all sang a bunch of Christmas songs together. I really love when I have the opportunity to introduce "Far Far Away on Judea's Plains" to people! She is not LDS and she loved the song! We played and sang and the Spirit was so strong as we sang about our Savior's birth together. :) We had an incredible dinner with Genevieve! (She's the best. Seriously.) She made this amazing tortilla soup that is to die for and I had so many servings and left overs! The Torgerson's are fantastic cooks. We talked with her about motherhood and the sacred role that it is. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful mother and to have learned from her and also to meet all of the faithful women out here and to see their good examples too!
Please oh please don't let them get bed bugs!

I stole this pic from her comp's blog! Thanks H. Moore!!

Friday:
Yayayay HERMANA FIESTA!!!! Our sweet sweet Sister Training Leaders got bed bugs................. ew. They have been dealing with this all transfer long! They are troopers. But, after sleeping on their tile floor for the last 2 weeks, they finally got their beds sprayed and they get to stay with us for a little while!!! We love it. Minus the constant fear that bed bugs will be in our beds now. But, whatever. We have loved having them here because 1. They have a car and 2. They are good at Spanish and 3. They are funny. Haha it is so fun. 

Our new found friend, Heather.
Now. Heather. She is the best: As we were walking down the street, we saw this cute little baby puppy sprinting toward us bouncing and being so stinkin' cute. At first we were a little bit afraid just because we have had bad luck with dogs lately. But she was so so so sweet and started loving on us. We just kept walking down the street and she followed us! SERIOUSLY EVERY TIME WE ARE ON THAT STREET WE MAKE A NEW DOG FRIEND. I LOVE IT. She came and knocked on all the doors with us, and no one would claim her! She walked all the way down and all the way back and we were trying to go get our mail but it's across the worst busy street and we care about her life so we tried to go the long way. She still followed us. Then we got to almost the end of the street and she just stopped. (I think it's because we were praying that she would return home so she would be safe and we could cross the busy road.) She just started running home! So we started booking it down the street, and we never heard from her again ... until .......



Saturday:
HEATHER ROUND 2: Seriously this dog is so so so cute. We were walking down that same street again trying to get a hold of someone and out comes Heather! Again, followed us all over, and not even kidding when we got exactly to that same spot, Heather stopped and started running home! We don't know if it's like where a different dog lives or what but she will not go past that spot. So funny. OH also I don't know how we named her Heather. We were thinking of different names, and nothing was working and I just said Heather and now she totally responds to it. She is the best. But, she did bite me. She is a tiny puppy with razor claws and teeth and she kept trying to play with my boots and she got me!! Pretty good actually, considering. :) But that's okay. :)


We also had a baptism for a little boy in the ward who just turned 8! It was so cool to see his whole family there supporting him. There were great talks given about baptism and the Holy Ghost. Testimonies were born!

H Moore's mom sent matching PJs!!
Sunday: 
We talked about the Sabbath Day again with President Hall. It is just so important! Also, I was supposed to translate because Sister Moore got asked to teach a last minute lesson on the Millennium (don't you love that??) but sadly/probably a good thing I didn't have to translate! (Turns out the Spanish people I have to translate for were sitting in the foyer. Oops on my part...) But I did bear my testimony in Spanish! There are a few Spanish members that speak really great English but it was cool to know that I can bear a testimony in Spanish. I am so grateful for temples and that I can be with my wonderful family forever!! It is something I think I took for granted
a little bit, but I have sort of internalized it more while being here. It is such a cool thing. Also, the sacrament is amazing. I have had my testimony of Jesus Christ grow so much this week because of the focus on Christ and my wanting to learn more about His birth, ministry, and Atonement. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father
who sent His Son for us! :) 
Watching the devotional with people we love!
After church we went to visit a few people in the area. While we were at church, we were talking to Genevieve again and we mentioned that we weren't sure where to go to watch the devotional in the evening and she mentioned that she made a bunch of dinner hoping to find someone to come eat it with her and her cute son, so it was perfect!! She came to get us and we had delicious chicken tacos and ice cream (and I enjoyed guacamole for the first time because she put loads of lime in :) :) :) :)) and we watched the devotional and played with her cute toddler! It was a really awesome spiritual night. I love when things work out like that! :) (Notice Genevieve fed us twice this week. She rocks.) 
P-Day at the church before heading to the Hermana Missionaries Christmas Festivities

Thank you for all of your love and support to me and all the missionaries, and for continuing to love the Lord. Have a good week!

Hermana Macfarlane