Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fishers of ...

Last Sipple Selfies

Here are some funny things about Arkansas:

No one uses their front door. For some reason this is a cultural thing, and I don't get it. It's like people are so weirded out when we knock on the front door! Maybe it's because the houses are sort of crooked sometimes so you don't really know where the front is. But I think it's because everyone has long driveways and stuff and they wrap around the back, so that's where everyone goes in and out of. I love this place.

I have yet to have fried chicken. But chicken fried rice is a must! Also chili. I have had chili at almost every house I have been to! Granted that's like 4 houses, but still. It's a hot item here in the fall.

Everyone likes trunk-or-treat. The thing about Danville is that there are churches on every corner. Kind of like Utah but more and none of them are the same. The most common are Baptist churches, but there are quite a few different kinds. Some are these massive meeting houses the size of 2 Stake Centers and some are smaller than our house! But they ALL have trunk-or-treat! (Even our tiny little Danville Branch is having one. So excited.)

Everything is so small here. We went to a homecoming game and it was so hilariously small town, but so awesome. Our homecoming (at LPHS) was huge and the entire school was there and everyone's parents and grandparents and uncle Joe from California flew in. But here, it's just everyone's parents and friends, but they're all friends with each other and the school is so tiny that it hardly would be the size of the band section at Lone Peak. (Just kidding. It was a little bigger.)

I have had a small growth in testimony of organized religion this week, and really this whole transfer. I didn't consider how cool it is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the same everywhere. There are different teachers and callings and things but it's the same manuals, scripture, interpretations, gospel, principles, etc. It's all under the direction of God and He has given us the truth. It's amazing how the truth is applicable everywhere you go! There are those funny differences as you go across the world, mostly cultural (for instance, sister Garvin in Australia said that for the primary program there they all dress in white and sing stuff. In Utah they sometimes dress up or sometimes just sing good stuff but everyone and their dog comes to see it and all the girls' hair is on point. In Danville, it's about 15 kids and they are just singing with all their energy!). I'm thankful to know I belong to the one true church!

We are sad to see Sister Sipple go this week. She had touched so many lives. She was never concerned about having bad numbers for the week or whatever. She taught me to care about the people, and the numbers will come as God needs them to. I realized if we pray about our goals with the intent of helping others and not ourselves, God can and does help us reach those goals. I asked her yesterday for her parting advice, this is what we got:
"Don't take a day for granted, but don't regret the choices you've made."
"It'll all be worth it."
"The Atonement is real, use it."
"Better yourself as a disciple of Jesus Christ but don't let anyone change you. You should only allow the Atonement to change you."

That last one is something I have thought a lot about this week actually. I am trying to figure out how to be molded without changing myself. I have been called here for myself but also because I can bring things that others can't. I'm trying to figure out how to be like other good missionaries and do the things we are supposed to do, while still being me. And that's exactly how you do it, with the Atonement. Only our Heavenly Father knows our true potential, and only through the Atonement can we reach it.

And here it is. The awkwardness of the district is not fake. It is
very very real! Also, Brooksbys were in their car so they didn't
get in the picture.

We had a District meeting this week and it was so funny because we let the Elders know we would be running a few minutes late, and all they said was "mmmmmk alright." Assuming they were mad, we sped on. A few minutes later we see the familiar Chevy Cruz pull up behind us with the Elders sinking down in their seats trying not to be noticed. It didn't work. We beat them there. It was a really good district meeting! Though, role plays will never be more awkward.

Katie made Sipple a video this week with signs and music and it was SO cute!! We helped her out a lot with it, and Sipple cried. It was so sweet. She will be so missed! It was a fun project this week!
We ate with the T's this week again, and they made the best lasagna with zucchinis instead of noodles, it was amazing. I want to eat it everyday everyday everyday! Also the T's found out that I kind of softly yell when I get excited ... I'm working on that.
Good-byes with Sister Sipple

I was able to teach in Spanish this week! We taught J (in the rain standing on his front porch) and he was SO nice about my Spanish! It's nice because he knows English but he also knows that I don't know very much Spanish so he helps me along. Most people here are like that, they can pretty much understand what I'm saying. He is a recent convert and we taught him the Plan of Salvation! He kind of taught himself, he's great. It was cool. Also, the gift of tongues is real! I don't fully understand everything. I haven't put in enough effort nor is it reasonable for me to always understand Spanish, but I can understand WAY more than I should! I love the Holy Ghost and the gifts that it brings.

This week has been a sad one but good one. Sister Ponce and I are ready to go ham (I have no idea what that means) on Danville for our walk week!!!!!

We prayed and fasted to find a family of 5 that speak Spanish in Danville, and I had the impression we need to contact a less-active family. So, prayers and fasting are so amazing! Specific prayers bring specific blessings. 

This is our newly organized study room. My perspective (looking at the tapestry) and also what I
look like when I "study"

Companions hate this. I love it.

Our ponderizing scripture this week is Mosiah 4:15

Katie teaching me how to fish! Well, just reel in actually. I didn't
know you could do it a right or wrong way! She kept telling me to put
the rod down. Hahaha it was so funny

In church, sister K taught Relief Society about the three new Apostles. They all had something in common of feeling inadequate but how the Lord prepares those he has called. I may not ever see the effects of my work, but if I do my best and do what I know is right, God will make my efforts enough. I'm so grateful this isn't my work because if it were, I would fail.
First Sippless Selfie
Cool underpass in Little Rock

I know if I can turn my perspective outward and worry about what people are learning and their spiritual well being, and stop worrying about my bad teaching or lack of ability to empathize, God will give me the knowledge I need to connect with people and love them and touch their hearts and do good here.

I love you a lot a lot!!! You have taught me so much. I'm noticing more and more everyday the good things you and dad have done for our family. Especially simply being a good example of what you believe. You can say all you want, but you aren't a hypocrite so you will actually do those things you say!! That didn't make sense. Sorry. :) I'm grateful for your mercy. I'm grateful for the things you overcame so I could be here today. I'm grateful for your love and example. I'm grateful for your willingness to follow the lord and do the right thing, always. We are so similar and I know we can be our best with the help of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! I think our desire to do what's right gets turned against us somehow. Satan tries to use our good qualities of wanting to be good and make us feel like we're not enough. When we ARE enough! There is work to be done but the Lord is happy with our progress and potential. I love you and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it's true and I know I've been sent here for some reason. I have been told that in blessings, and I'm ready to be put to work!! I love you!!

I hope you guys are having a good fall there. Tell Sipple hello for us if you go to lunch with her!

Much love,
Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, October 19, 2015


You asked me before about my most spiritual experience. I think it has been knowing that I am sustained by God as I do this. It's hard, and then I remember how in every blessing I get they say that God wants me to know how proud He is of me and how aware He is of me and how blessed I will be for my efforts. It's hard to care all the time ya know? It would be way easier to just go through the motions and teach without real emotion and all that and "complete" my mission. But, I won't grow or progress that way and it would be hypocritical. I may as well leave if I have that attitude ya know? So I am really trying to allow myself to still be myself, but become the person that God wants me to be. Also knowing that angels are with me as I do missionary work is an amazing feeling. I realized that I don't ever see them or hear them or really see exactly what they do, but I always have this thought like "an angel is in this room" or "that happened because of an angel" or "Angels were with you when you did that" stuff like that! It's really cool. I realized that's ow I know they are with me. I am so excited to see them all in heaven! :) Thanks for raising me in a righteous way so that I can have these experiences! I love this whole missionary work thing. It's cool because, like most commandments, God could get the work done in some way using His power and the Holy Ghost. But, because we need growth and opportunities to become like Him, He lets us help out with the work. He lets us test our faith and pay a full tithe so the church will grow, and He lets us pray so that we can see direct blessings, and He lets us come on missions so we can learn to be selfless in our callings when we return and to learn how to be good spouses and stuff! It's hard, yes. But so worth it! Mostly the hard things come when I'm lazy or when I haven't kept my testimony strong that day or the day before. When I don't take the time to really study the scriptures I don't have a stronger testimony. It's so much harder said than done though. It's so easy to just kind of like I said go through the motions, but I never regret acting on the promptings I receive! Anyway, it's good stuff here. What about you? Any good spiritual experiences?

Monday: This day was relaxing! We went to Russellville and made pumpkin bread. Then we went to the Brooksby's for dinner! Sister Brooksby is a great cook and she made us really great shrimps soaked in so much butter and lemons and tons and tons of seasonings. Finger food shrimps. So good! With potatoes, peas, carrots, and a salad. Welcome to the south! Haha they are nice though. They are actually really funny together! Elder Brooksby reminds me so much of dad's family! He reminds me of the old old version of Paul! Haha they are nice. It was a good P-day.

Tuesday: We met D and A today! They are a young couple who were really excited about the gospel! they asked so many questions and are ready for baptism and stuff. SO cute and great! We ate dinner with our close friendly investigators! They're really nice. We helped them clean the kids' rooms. They're so cute! They make the BEST food by the way. Holy cow. Fresh pulled pork, really good chicken fried rice, really good egg rolls, etc.

Wednesday: We did regular missionary work this day! We had Book of Mormon class and correlation meeting. But we also started our fast to begin the 40 day fast! It was really cool. So, we start the day before with a 24 hour fast to know what to fast from for 40 days, we pick something and work really hard and pray really hard to make not doing it a habit! I'm grateful for the opportunity we have to fast for strength. The Lord recognizes our progress and is happy when we sacrifice something hard for the greater good. Fasting and prayer brings blessings!! :)

Thursday: Specialized!! I was so nervous because I had no idea what would really go down at the specialized training. (For mom who may not know, we have District meeting, zone meeting, and specialized training, and transfers that rotate every week. Then there's the special ones with like multi-zone meetings or mission meetings that rarely happen. District is just with your district, which for us is Elder Holden, Elder Foster, the Brooksby's, and us! Zone meeting is with the whole zone and the Sister Training Leaders and Zone leaders instruct us on whatever they feel inspired. We also give an accounting of our weekly and monthly progress. Specialized is with the whole zone again and it is lead by the APs. They give a little bit of instruction, the zone leaders give a little and then president Wakolo gives a lot. Then we all go out to the area we are in and proselyte! And we eat lunch. It's great.) We got there and received some of the AP's instruction, they taught us how to introduce the Book of Mormon using the pictures at the front. It was pretty fun actually. We did a few role plays and I learned that I need to look happier when I talk about things that make me happy!! Then  President Wakolo taught us about the Plan of Salvation. He gave some good insights about how it all works together. Basically, we need the Gospel of Jesus Christ so much. In order for us to progress in this life AND in the afterlife, we need to have faith, repent, be baptized, have the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. He talked about needing to repent and then be baptized. And we can apply that to sacrament. We don't take the sacrament and then repent later, we repent, and then take the sacrament so we can be clean. Also, again, we need the people on the other side of the veil and they need us. Temple work is SO important! We need the blessings and the help and they need the ordinances. Go to the temple!!

We then went like 3 minutes away from the church in Russellville and did some tracting. Everyone splits up and changes companions. I went with Sister Lewis who is one of our STL's and she is really fun to teach with! We prayed to find a family, and the first house we knocked on was a wife with 2 sons who just moved in and are LOOKING FOR A CHURCH. She was really excited about the Book of Mormon. So cool. Second house, senile old lady who could hardly breathe because getting up to answer the door was exhausting. They'll go back and check on her when she's not half asleep. Then we went to the next door and met this lady who is starting to lose it but she was so nice! She told us the story of her husband's death twice, which was so so sad actually. But we were able to teach her some good principles. She didn't want to hear about the proper authority to be baptized, but they are going to take her a large print Book of Mormon this week. SO specialized was really cool! It was a good fun missionary time. Being with other missionaries is always uplifting and I'm grateful for their examples of faith and happiness and being so friendly and firm in the gospel. This is a good mission! When we got back, we all gave a report of how our blitz went, and my favorite part was of course President Wakolo. He came back like an hour late and when we gave the reports he literally said "bashing is fun!!" Haha that's like the number one thing they don't like us to do because it's contentious and doesn't get anywhere. But I guess when you're bold and loving and smart like President Wakolo, it's fun? Haha he's super great! I guess he's really persistent. Everyone that tells stories of teaching with him says that he doesn't ever back down from people. He pushes them to read and to be baptized and to pray and all that. It's pretty cool. WWPWD (What would President Wakolo do?)

Friday: We organized the study room. Holy Hannah. After many transfers, this room has been DECLUTTERED!! If only you knew. If only you could see. Mom, you would be so proud of me. (Poetic, I know.) It's so nice! We never wanted to go in there. But we somehow made the bikes fit in the closet and totally rearranged everything, so now we have desks! I would usually study on the couch or at the table. It's way better in there. Also, there's this cool tapestry but Sipple and Ponce hate it! They don't like the halo around Jesus or the cute baby lambs. So, I got the desk that faces it because I like it a lot! I had a small realization that day about Jesus. I love that He has so many names because it means He does so much! Maybe that is an obvious observation, but the only name that can fully capture Him is "I Am." He just is! I'm so thankful for my Savior and Redeemer who loves me and knows me. I really liked somewhere that we talked about judgement day, I can't seem to remember when! We talked though about judgement day being done by a friend. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are our friends and they are the only ones worthy of that judicial seat. I'm so so grateful for their love.

Also we had the branch movie night! President Hall put on Ephraim's Rescue. One of my favorite quotes was "As I communicate with the lord, the lord communicates with me." We need to turn to Him so that our hearts are in the right place to hear His counsel! food for thought.

Saturday: MISSIONARY WORK!! We had a goal this week to find 15 new investigators. It's a pretty lofty goal. So, we started out at 1:30 after our studies and stuff. We walked a ton and found 7 new investigators! A few families. So cute. Three Spanish families and one mostly English that also speak Spanish. Cutest kids here in Danville!! The people are really so kind. After a long day of tracting and stuff, we went to the church for our Saturday nigh sports night! We usually go to the race track but we didn't have enough miles. So, we showed up, 10 minutes later the elders did too, and that was it. So we just playe phase 10 for the evening and Katie came and we called it a good night! It was actually really good to get to know the Elders a little bit better because we never get to talk to anyone and they are our district leaders, so it's good to get to know the people we work with. I'm so grateful for the priesthood! It's comforting to know that I have been called and sustained by those with the authority to call and sustain missionaries for the Lord's work.
Sunday: I played again in church today! It actually really calms me down. I get to play prelude music before sacrament and it is a great stress relief. I'm thankful for the talent I have to be able to (sometimes barely) play the hymns and invite the spirit. I'm grateful for music and that the spirit can always be there with hymns! Someone said that angels always sing with missionaries! I think that angels always sing hymns in general. Anyway, after church, we were able to go out and do some more finding. We went to a few houses around where we live and then we walked over to a neighborhood that we have wanted to try for a while. Unfortunately, we didn't reach our goal of 15. BUT I think it's really cool that we did set that goal because if we hadn't, I don't think we would have worked as hard to get even the 7. But we set a high goal and the Lord helped us with what was possible. It was a fun week! But Sunday, either they didn't answer or they were sick or about to leave. (Actually all valid excuses. The sick lady was so pale and the leaving people actually did leave a few minutes later.) We stopped and talked to some kids that were playing outside and they were really cute and nice, but their mom came out and said a few words to us and went inside. So we left, and as we left one of the little girls said "BYE FRIENDS!!" Haha so cute! And when we were just talking to the kids before, one of the little boys was like "well we have time right now. My family is just inside" he kept trying to get us to come in but his mom didn't want that. We will probably go back sometime. The gospel is true!! Then, we finished our studies.

Again, I am so grateful for the gospel. The people here are so humble and willing to accept God into their lives. I'm so grateful to know that this is the true church and to have my faith being set in Christ. I am also really working on allowing myself to be molded. We were all reminded of being the potter's clay in conference, and for me this is such a crucial time to do so! I pray that I can get over my pride and be molded into what I need to be while still being me. Does that make sense? I love you all. Please keep praying for us here in Danville! And all the missionaries everywhere!! Your prayers are felt and needed.

Nos vemos!

Hermana Macfarlane

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Attitude 100%

Hello! I have a cough still as of Tuesday. My keyboard is really loud as my companions are trying to sleep, but, we got locked out of our car today! It was pretty funny. The police guy came and struggled to get us in but he did. The car was running. We don't know really what happened ... But it was a good day! We had a good dinner and a good time. 

Wednesday: I had my first zone meeting today! It was actually really good. Elders Z and H are very nice and encouraging. We talked about the goals we have and stuff, and along with us all reading the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, we are trying to remember to use the Book of Mormon more frequently in our lessons. Christ is the center of the doctrine, and the Book of Mormon testifies of it, so we need to be sure all of the members, investigators, recent converts, etc., understand the role the Book of Mormon can have in their lives. It was really good. We then got a little bit rebuked by the spirit on planning and counting too many people as investigators when they wouldn't even consider themselves as investigators. Then we role played, which I was dreading because I don't like role plays but it was actually kind of fun and we felt the Spirit. We talked about using members more in lessons and for finding people (if you ever have the chance out there in Utah, please reach out to the missionaries and inactive members. Help them bring people to church wherever and whenever you can. Feed them, love them, be uplifted by them, and help them bring others to Christ! It brings blessings to the members, the ward/branch, the missionaries, the new investigator, etc. :)) We also talked about having faith in Christ and in ourselves and having a good attitude. He asked us how Christ would react if He were to review our attitude about the mission right now ... and for the most part for me it was pretty good, but I still have a lot of work to do! This is supposed to be fun and exciting, not dreadful. I need to be more excited and have a better attitude. It was a good zone meeting. It was good to see and meet more people! I liked seeing the different companionships and stuff. For lunch we went to Umami's where they do the whole grill stuff in front of you and then serve it to you and then you eat it and it's sooooo good. It was only like $10 and the guy was really funny and entertaining. The rice. Oh my. I love food. The three of us and also Sister Brooksby were wearing dark green and black so we got a picture. :)

The Brooksby's drove us home and we stopped at Walmart for gas. Let me just pause a moment and tell you how grateful I am for the Walmart corporation. Yes, they have their faults, and not always the best quality, BUT in comparison to the Family Dollar, Walgreens ($$$$) and CVS's that we go to, Walmart is a dream. It's heavenly. Anyway, we ran in to use the bathroom while Elder Brooksby filled up the car. Sister Sipple asked if we could buy her a pack of gum while we were there (she stayed in the car). So as we went to the self-checkout, there was a worker there named P. As we walked up to the register, she smiled and I knew she was staring at my name tag. So I walked slowly and let her read it and she said "You know, you ought to give me one of those books one of these days" (we carry around a copy of the Book of Mormon and Bible everywhere we go). Ponce and I got a big grin and said "You can have this one if you want!" Alas, it was in Spanish. So we checked out and told her we would bring her an English one soon and asked how she knew about it in the first place. Something about her nephew giving her one but she had to leave it with him. Ponce and I ran out to the car and found an English copy and ran it back in to her and she said she would start reading it and we are going to go back to check on her this week. SO COOL. 

B... We have a Book of Mormon class held at the church on Wednesdays but the only person who comes other than the missionaries is B! He's a member, and is going through the temple next week!! He's probably like 60 years old I think and he has a thick southern accent and he is so funny and just old and stuff. This week when we were at class, he sat down by me and said "I won't bite" but I thought he said "you won't die" so I made some lame joke about dying and everyone got really uncomfortable and I didn't find out what he said until after the class was over. Anyway, we had a good class and read two chapters in first Nephi, I can't remember which ones seeing as it is now Monday and I am not going to try hard enough to go back and look for the chapter. But, it was cool to hear everyone's insights on being obedient and stuff. At about the end of the class, B turns to us and says something like "You know, when my son (or grandson?) went on his mission, he and some of the Elders became good friends with the Sisters and we need to be careful because they committed matrimony." COMMITTED MATRIMONY. That was the funniest phrasing I think I have ever heard before! We were dying. And the Elders got really uncomfortable too. Then we kept talking blah blah blah and prayed and as we left I shook his hand and he said (really fast in his deep southern old man accent) "You know you are just about as pretty as a speckled pumpkin on a red wagon." B is my favorite member as of
that night. Haha he is so funny!

Thursday: We started teaching R, she is older and has grown up Baptist and now I think she goes to a Presbyterian church but I'm not sure. She has read the Book of Mormon and come to church 3 or 4 times but she is afraid to accept the church because she has grown up her whole life with anti-Mormon doctrine being thrown at her. And she says she knows that but just can't accept that Joseph Smith wasn't lying or making stuff up. She has been going back and forth for a few months now I think and she is really very kind and has a good heart but it's hard for her to overcome traditions. Finally I said that in order for me to know the truth, I had to try it out. If I want to know what the prophets are telling is true or worth it, I need to try it out with the intent that it is true. If I am half hearted or don't have a good attitude about it, that won't get me anywhere. But with a good attitude and lots of prayer, I can test out the word and grow and find answers. She agreed and I told her that she needs to take a step of faith and just try out the church. She said she would, but then wouldn't agree to actually come to church. I pray for her heart to be softened! We also had lunch right after with a member and she took us to a place that I can't remember the name of but we ate really good enchiladas and I made best friends with her adorable 3 year old son. She is so kind! We love her and her family. I remembered that R said something cool. We couldn't find the reference to the scripture but she remembered a verse from the Bible when Paul is talking about things that aren't firm won't last. She was saying that if the church wasn't true, it wouldn't still be standing. It's so true. It reminded me about the Conference talk that Elder Holland gave about the Book of Mormon a few years ago saying that there is so much more to it than the fact that people have given up so many things, but that Joseph Smith gave up his life in every way possible. No man would do that for something he made up for praise, he just wouldn't. As I've been reading the Book of Mormon, it's amazing how much I can still learn from 1 Nephi! The doctrine doesn't change every time, it's just what I get out of it that changes. Especially in Spanish!
Thursday was good.

Friday: Oh. Okay. The T's! They are members, they live in somewhere that I can't remember the name of. They are this cute elderly couple that feed us every Friday but somehow they can get at least one person who is not a member to the lunches every week! It's so amazing. They made us great chili stuff, and we had a long discussion with a friend of theirs about the purpose of the priesthood and why we need one true church vs. a bunch of partially true churches. My testimony about organized religion has really grown actually, I'm thankful for the leadership we have. I would feel really lost if I didn't have the leaders of the church to turn to for guidance. Sister T is the best missionary! Brother T couldn't talk much, I think he's just soft spoken but I also think his health isn't doing too well. He is really the nicest guy though! He remembers everyone's names. Apparently he has an amazing memory and really takes the time to know people which is something really cool and hard when you meet new people everyday. Sister T though is this tiny beautiful old lady that has these fat chickens. I've never seen such beautiful hens and rooster. They are HUGE. They are so fat and very dark red. Anyway, she grabbed a handful of chips and went outside and called for them and these three massive hens come booking it up the hill! I laughed so hard! It was so so funny! Good times at the T's.

We met with E again, I hope he is prepared for his baptism this Sunday! Many many prayers would be so appreciated. He accepts the gospel and doesn't have any problems, yet. I just have this fear that something will come up and he will freak out and leave or something. But, it's all in God's timing and God's hands!! It will all work out!

Saturday: We visited R again and talked more about faith and read the first chapter and the introduction. So, we have been challenged to read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year, we started on the first of October. We are supposed to mark all of the times the Savior is mentioned in anyway. So R was frustrated that the Book of Mormon is all about bloodshed and war and angry things, and if it's another testament if Christ then why isn't He even in it? I told her about this challenge that we have and how it mentions His name on every page. Actually, I think there was one page so far that doesn't, but for the most part at least one mention of Christ is on every page. She was a little taken aback, and I said, "Yes His physical body is only there for part of the book, but his hand is mentioned throughout" (something like that,  I'm not good with words when I'm put on the spot). She thought about it for a little bit and I encouraged her to read it again, noticing or underlining whenever the Lord or the Savior or Redeemer or anything like that is mentioned. We read Chapter one, and in the first 6 verses, Christ is mentioned 5 times. It truly is another testament of Jesus Christ!! We don't need to see Him or even have Him physically on the earth today in order to feel His love and His presence in our lives. I know that I have felt the Spirit testify to me, and now I can testify to others of the Savior and His true church. This is awesome stuff.  

Oh man we went to this Thai restaurant, I prefer Indian, but that's not an option here. THEY HAD THE BEST SOUP OH MY HEAVENS. It's called hot & spicy and I'm surprised I had never had it before! The other stuff was average but that soup. I still think about it everyday. 

I almost forgot the best part of Saturday! (other than proclaiming the gospel, of course.) We went to the race track! It's this old dirty track that these really old and really dirty cars race on! It's incredibly loud and dusty and way more fun than I thought it would be! Sometimes they spin off the track or they start on fire. Ha. Not funny. But, I love it. Suzy if you're reading this you know what I mean by loving the destruction right? (Please say yes.) It was really fun. At the end they brought out the school buses! Hahaha it was so funny. You know when you watch the Olympics and everyone is running really fast and being really impressive and what not, and then you go for a short run and you think you're doing really well but you're just not? Yeah, well, that was these school buses. I think that's how they feel, sort of like Sister T's chickens!! But wait. What if...
I... like....... NASCAR.....
let's not talk about it.

Sunday: I got to play the piano for sacrament and relief society! The opening song was a weird one, so it didn't go too well. Oops. But the rest was fine. I think it's really fun. Also it's no pressure to play the organ because they don't even have one!! Super great. I did another thing that wasn't as fun and that was teach gospel principles. Eek. I wasn't super nervous because I was like "yeah I'm super prepared and this will be fun!" I got through everything I had prepared by 11:33. So we basically read the book for the next 27 minutes. I don't know what I would do without sweet sweet Sister Sipple!! She has this ability to talk and talk and talk and talk about
nonsense but make it sound important and still bear her testimony about it! I would give her this look and she would start talking about whatever was sort of pertinent. So funny. She's great. The class members (one member, one inactive member, and two investigators, and 4 missionaries) were really nice, but no one would respond when I would ask a question. So I had to answer my own questions and it was kind of boring. But we talked about obedience and all that good stuff. It was actually a good reminder for me because I went over some of the commandments that were given in general conference. My favorite,"please esmile."

And that was my week!! I really have been enjoying missionary work. Teaching is fun now! I don't teach in Spanish very often though because the Hispanic people don't usually even open their doors or they are really at work all the time which seems realistic in this area. But I am so grateful for the prayers! I have felt strengthened
when I try to do something and remember that there are people praying for me and all the missionaries! So thank you. 

Something that I have been trying to work on is the sacrament. For the past few months I have felt a little bit rebuked at my attitude about the sacrament! I thought I was doing it right, but I keep feeling like I am not quite there yet. Not that I was doing anything wrong, I just need to take it more seriously. So I really appreciated all the different talks that mentioned sacrament during General Conference. Especially Elder Vinas who talked about the fact that yes, it is bad to not be on time, we need to repent before taking the sacrament and
ponder the Savior during, examine yourself and your week before the sacrament, be reverent, keeping the Sabbath holy, be willing to do God's will, and stay the whole time at church. Good reminders.

I love this church! It is really the true church and I'm thankful for the experiences that I'm having that are forcing me to solidify my testimony. Thank you parents for teaching me how! Love you all. I love the gospel and my great companions!!!

Hermana Macfarlane

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Chicken or Pig?

Okay, I just want the whole world to know how much I love you mom!! You're the best. Thanks for everything you do for me and our family and everyone!!! I hate that I can't adequately thank you for the notes and packages and spending time and money on me and helping me and praying for me. I can only send this lame email. But I love you. And the whole family!

Sunday: Sipple had to translate because Ponce had to speak so that was stressful! But so funny. Ponce spoke on this analogy that a member gave us a while ago. The chicken or the pig. Which would you rather be? Chickens: the chicken is willing to give up their egg for the benefit of others. (Me for my yummy yummy breakfast.) it's very nice and it's a lot of hard work, BUT it's only a part of itself. Pigs: when a pig dies, it gives its all. It devotes it's whole self to the greater good. (Yes I know chickens die and give themselves too but that's not the analogy.)

In your conversion, are you giving just a small part of you and calling it good or are you willing to give it your all and sacrifice your life for the gospel? For me, it depends on the day. I'm doing my best to be fully converted!

Monday: I had my first FHE! It was with the B family. They played this game with us where we had a thing of jelly beans and there were two flavors per color, one is gross and one is good. Someone from your team spins and everyone has to take a bean and hope for the best! The team that swallows the most beans wins. Let me tell ya, the barf jellybean was the worst day of my whole life. Oh, my heavens, I started gagging! But, the point was something like life isn't always as sweet as you think but you have to have a good outlook on life or something. It was fun. It was like a quarter Spanish and 3/4 English. Then we walked home.

Tuesday: Taught my first lesson today! We taught L, a friend of the N family who are recent converts. She lives with them and is stubborn but it's good because she's not about blind faith. I was able to bear my testimony and share a few insights about prophets and such. Really cool.

Wednesday: I sleep a lot okay? It's hilarious. I'll be praying - at any time of day - and fall asleep. Studies? Not a chance. It's so bad. I am such a 9 hour sleeper and this 7 1/2 hours isn't quite cutting it. Also I just fall asleep easy with old age. Anyway, this day I was totally justified. I got a runny nose and cough and felt sick. I tried to study and felt no direction. I kept waking up to my mouth wide open, snoring (ME. SNORING. Weird, right? You have to know that Ashley is the world's quietest sleeper. Like, you wonder if she's alive.) and my neck was kinked. Sipple had a good laugh. I woke up and they looked at me and told me I
could go lay in bed. Of course I wasn't about to argue with my inspired trainers, so I hopped in bed and took a 2 1/2 hour nap. Good stuff.

I'm still sick. Bleh. I got a blessing from the elders though! Unfortunately I wasn't blessed with health, but that as I work through sickness, my family will be blessed, and also I need to follow to example of my trainers. Yay! No pressure. Haha It's all good. The elders are really nice. We have the tiniest district. It's us three, the district leaders, and the senior missionary couple. District meetings are weird but hilarious to watch the dynamics. Book of Mormon class was supposed to happen but it didn't because no one came.

Thursday: slept through studies again. Whoops. E!! He's our new investigator and our first lesson that we set a date for baptism, the 18th! I'm so pumped. He's very sweet. He has a lot of challenges in his life but he's smart and loves to learn and loves his family. He gave this analogy of us driving on a road and the headlights are like Christ. We were able to apply prophets to being a GPS and all that. It was cool. Mom, I thought you would like that. It's fun to think of different things and how they apply to the analogy! He was proud of his connections too. If you have a spare prayer, please add him to it. He's going to need help to make it to the 18th! And he needs help with his family and such. Prayer is so powerful. We then had dinner with the T's and it was so freaking good. mmhmmm.

Friday: FIRST DAY STAYING AWAKE THROUGH STUDIES. We were asked to read the Book of Mormon by 12/31 and I'm doing it in Spanish! It's actually pretty fun. I'm learning a lot even from first Nephi and the Spanish is hard but I can understand most of it. I think because I know the story so I know what to look for. We are supposed to mark every mention of Christ, all names and pronouns and stuff. And mark whenever he says something, mark his attributes, and doctrines and principles. It's pretty cool. It truly is a testament of Christ and His power and love and guidance. It's so amazing. I love it!! This was the day I spent 2 hours writing my long email but it's gone. Oops.

Saturday: Doctor. We went to Russellville and got some meds from the urgent care doctor. I'm hoping it'll get better!! Conference was so good and we got lunch from the amazing and crazy sister K.

Sunday: We watched the rest of conference and it was so good! I got asked to teach on obedience next Sunday. Ha. Cool. It was a good day! The Spirit taught us good stuff and poor President Monson. He was so sweet. And motab was great as usual. What did you learn?? Our companionship scripture for ponderizing is John 3:16. Good good stuff. :) I learned I need to be bold, take the sacrament more seriously, be obedient, love everyone, and testify more!! 

Today we are just chillin. :) doing laundry.

I know the Book of Mormon is true and it's a testament of Christ. It testifies with the Bible of Christ's life and I'm thankful for it. I know the Atonement can help us align to God's will. I'm so thankful for my testimony and that I can continue to grow and learn despite challenges! I love you all. Please esmile. (That's our favorite quote from conference.) I didn't read over this so sorry if there's something weird or whatever. Love y'all!

Hermana Macfarlane

And this little tidbit from Hermana Sipple makes me very happy.
Baby Mac is freaking killing it!! She's so attentive and kind. She adds such a wonderful spirit to the lesson, she truly is an elect missionary. You can see her eagerness to get to know the people, it makes me so happy. I know Danville is blessed to have her. She's here for a reason, I can see it just in her attitude.