Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Adios Gato

We made pancakes and ate them. :) and we played games and taught the gospel to Danville investigators and less active members!
We were so cold!

This day we saw our lovely friends D and A! They were so cute. They loved the Plan of Salvation doctrine and to ask questions, especially about the Word of Wisdom. It was really something cool to be able to testify so plainly about the reasons for the Word of Wisdom, but especially for me to be able to say "God created our bodies and He loves us very much, so He knows how to best take care of the bodies and He has given us these commandments" or something along those lines. I really have been gaining a strong testimony of the commandments! God doesn't do anything for Himself. Even when Jesus says "Come follow me" or other things like "I am your rock" or something, it's not for His pride! It's for us! He knows that we need to have a sure and sturdy foundation on something that will bring us happiness. If we are relying on the wisdom of men or the crutch of drugs/alcohol/etc., we are sure to fail. Actually if I may go on a small tangent, Sister Moore and I talked about this today. There are a few different reasons that the Lord has called 18/19 year old youth to go preach and teach his word. The main thing we talked about is so that we can rely on the Lord, so that we can succeed. Does that make sense? Like, if we had years and years of knowledge and experience, we would be less moldable. We are babies as far as knowledge of the scriptures and histories go. But as we rely on the Lord and do our part, that is how we see success in the people we are teaching. We have to be naive enough to NEED the Lord. 2 Nephi 9:29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. 

Drill #1

We were wet and cold.

Also we had a small tornado watch that was funny because it was crazy windy and rainy all morning but as soon as they texted us to go back inside, the weather calmed down. Better safe than sorry! After the drill we went to eat at the B's house and saw her new puppy, Lois Lane, again. I just think it's so funny and cute that her dog's name is Lois-so it's totally blog worthy! :)

Tuesday was a good day.

Drill #2

Well Sister Moore and I only have so much music, okay? For the majority of the day we listened to "Glorious" by our good friend David Archuleta. It really never gets old. 

We spent the day visiting some less-active families and trying to get ahold of people. A lot of people are so busy this time of year! The holidays are a crazy season, but the work will go forth boldly and nobly - even during the holidays! :) It's a good time to be alive. We also had some people come to the Book of Mormon study class! It was good, we talked about Isaiah a little. It's still confusing, even as a missionary. Haha! When you do figure it out, though, it makes sense and it's like eating a delicious thick chocolate brownie and then eating another and another. It was cool to remember that Isaiah was to Nephi as Joseph Smith is to us, kind of (as far as simplicity in understanding). Don't skip over Isaiah! His writings wouldn't be in the scriptures MORE THAN ONCE if they weren't important! Even if you don't understand it, read it. :)

We had our Zone Meeting/Specialized!! It was great, we had some pretty good instruction. I really loved what Sister Wakolo had to say. She mentioned having two circles, one is control and one is concerns. As missionaries, we should strive to focus and worry more about things in the control circle so our concern circle will shrink. The concerns will never go away. We will always (for most people) feel a sense of worry for our family, we will always have to worry about miles and allotted money and all those things, but as we focus on the things we can control-and thereby CHANGE or IMPROVE-our concern circle will shrink and our faith in Christ will grow. Again it's kind of like I said for Monday, as we focus on the things we can improve and do so while relying on the the Lord, we will be happier! (***family***You should try this. Make a list of your major things you can control; food intake, going to church, obedience to the law, keeping the commandments, exercise, happiness/emotions, clothing, following the spirit, etc. and make a list of concerns that are not in your control; like mean people, the crazy dog, kids' choices, weather, etc. pray and think about ways you can rely on the Lord to make your concern circle smaller and to ask for help with the control list.) I also learned at the meeting that I need to be happier when I share the message of the Restoration and the Plan of Happiness, I need to be better at asking inspired questions, and I need to work on giving more specific and direct blessings to people who promise to keep commandments/commitments. Also I need to testify more. :)

For blitz (if you don't remember, blitz is what they do at specialized where they mix up all the people in the zone and go out tracting in the area to help the area grow a little better) we were all assigned less-active families. Being in the Spanish group, it was me and Hna. Lewis, and Hna. Moore with Hna. Ponce. It was so fun! Unfortunately, we were unable to find the place but it's all okay because God had a different plan! We drove around for a while and decided that because we couldn't find it, we would pick and street and start knocking.
First house we went to, there was a family of at least 6 who were all together and so so super open about learning more and having faith and they promised they would read and pray together. It was really cool and we felt the spirit really strongly! I like blitz. I like the Lord's plans. When we got back, there was this heavenly meal of Hawaiian haystacks!!!! :) Muy rico. And we also were instructed for a few minutes by President Wakolo (before the blitz we had the Zone leaders and both sets of Sister Training Leaders who gave great instruction too). He taught us about being disciples of Christ. We are called as full-time missionaries and, at least the hope is, that we leave as
disciples of Christ. He talked a lot about obedience and fearing God more than man or other missionaries! Pretty cool. :)

So usually on Friday's we will go to lunch at the T's house. Sadly they had to cancel on us again but it was all actually totally fine because we had an earthquake drill! We went to our emergency contact's home and just hung out for a while. After, we headed to Ola. As we were trying to keep ourselves alive with all of the crazy dogs and trying to contact some people in the apartments, this kind man told us that the people we wanted to see weren't home. He was just sitting out on his stairs, basically asking to learn about the restoration. :) He is a very humble and very faithful man who asked for a Book of Mormon. After introducing it and talking a little, we went on our way. As we drove away, we saw him start to read it!! Maybe some prayers for this man. Afterwards, we went to the C' home and had some yummy homemade chili that was great and we taught the kids a little bit about the love of God, especially of Jesus Christ and baptism. :)


GAME NIGHT!!! We had a really fun game night with the Brooksby's, the K family, and the one and only Katie Shelton!!!!!! (I ❤️❤️❤️ Katie. She is so awesome. She does a lot for the missionaries and I am so grateful for her and her testimony and incredibly sweet spirit. She's truly one of a kind!!!) The K's brought some Mormon word game. It's that game where the words are all weird and you have to say them quickly to understand the words. Know what I'm sayin? So it was that but Mormon version! So fun! :) and we played some "Liar" and checkers and ate some yummy yummy pumpkin pie! Also Sister Moore lost her wallet as we went to the store to buy some card games. We didn't even know it was gone until she wanted to buy a salad from Subway! (Yes I am so so so grateful for the Subway gift card.) Anyway, we went to the Dollar General and asked the ladies there and one of them said she knew who had it! So we met the lady at some parking lot and she found it and it was great. I am so grateful for the good hearts of the Danville people. Small towns 👍

There are no words. But, lemme try these.: 
We were able to see a few of our less-active members we are working with at the church today! It was SUPER great to see some of them! Some of them I rarely get to see. Anyway, the talks were really great (on gratitude and stuff) but my lesson, oh man I was SO SO nervous!  I was freezing in that room, BUT we had a good discussion and a few comments and we were even out of time before finishing everything. My testimony of preparation has grown a lot! I was asked to teach about the gathering of Israel, which, if you know me as well as my sweet mother does, you know this subject blows my mind to pieces - there are just so many little details! I was so nervous all week for it because it's for gospel essentials which is really the missionaries and a few investigators and a few recent converts!! I couldn't figure out why the Lord would have these people learn about such a deep and confusing topic. So, I prayed... A lot. And only through the Spirit was I able to have my own questions (like, 3 or 4 years worth) answered and I was able to understand which aspects the new people needed to know. 

And, okay. Here it is.
This whole week our car has been smelling like straight up cat pee (sorry for the language but seriously, so so gross) and we were like "what in the world!?  We don't have any rotting food" and these things. But, today as Sister Moore was leaving our apartment, a small cat comes tumbling out from under the car. EW OH MY HEAVENS I CANNOT GET THIS IMAGE OUT OF MY HEAD. It was moving and then -okay sorry it's so gory- blood came squirting out and now there's blood on the car and all over the parking lot. Sorry. Okay. The gross part is over. We called people for help because there was no way we were going over to move the cat, nor were we about do drive back over it!! What if it were alive?!?! Anyway, yeah it was totally dead and this nice neighbor guy came up and put Gato in a bag and tossed him. So, we gave the guy some of our cookies. It was so sad!!! I was sick to my stomach and Sister Moore was repulsed. Adios gato. (I have been making hilarious cat jokes all night though, on the bright side..)

The Church is true. So so true. The prophets are real and they really speak from God. I refer you to a talk from I think President Benson from a BYU devotional called the 14 fundamentals of following the prophet (or something.) It's so so good. AAAAnd there you have it! That was my

Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, November 16, 2015

Keep the Sabbath and Send Me a Game I Can WIN

Since this is the ONLY PICTURE I GOT I'm making it Extra Large


Ha, yeah, I "tried" to keep my weekly emails updated this week but I actually didn't do anything about it all week... sorry. :) It's been really busy, I guess that's a good thing!! We are working hard here in Danville. And now my ipad is about to die and I need to be able to use it to teach the word this evening! So, here is a brief rundown of what I can remember for this week.

Sorry I am really trying to remember! We did have a really awesome lesson with a new investigator, P. He is very honest and sincere! It was fun to teach with him and the Brooksby's. His mom is a less-active member and she is working on coming back and getting back into the habit of church, prayer, and scripture reading. We also had a really awesome dinner with the T's! We love them a lot! We also had a really awesome district meeting! Elder Allred is our new district leader and he gave us a lot of good pump up let's do this stuff that made us all really emotional too. Good stuff.

We had a good Book of Mormon class in the evening and taught a lot during the day! Sorry. Can't remember....

Thursday:  We spent the day in Ola (not pronounced hola, more like oluhhh) and talked to a few less-active members. We also got almost attacked by this really cute dog. Ah. It was so stinkin' cute but whenever we  turn around the dog is like "HEY. HEY HEY HEY GRR" and it freaks out at us and then all the dogs in the hood come over and start barking at us too and then we just get back in the car. But we met this really hilarious couple from those apartments who like Mormons and we gave them Books of Mormons. :)

We had a really fun dinner with (oh hey mom will you send me Uno? we play card games and I am losing them all and I need to win something!! :)) Sister B who is the sweetest lady! She made us noodles and we got to see her cute new puppy! Her name is Lois Lane hahaha.
Lois Lane

We had a really good day! We drove around and visited a lot of people and had a fun sports night.

Losing at cards and showing me that she likes her new boots.
Okay Sunday was really awesome. In the morning President Hall talked to us about teaching and setting good examples for learning in the home. So this week we are going to go around and try to help people with family night and all that stuff. He also really stressed keeping the Sabbath Day holy. The Stake President talked about how the world has gone from "the Holy Sabbath" to "the Sabbath" to "Sunday" to "the weekend." We are losing sight of the meaning of the Sabbath. Make the decision to keep the Sabbath holy and there are so many incredible blessings. One day! 1/7! You can do it!

I am so sorry for the lame lame lame email this week. I love you all! Thank you for your prayers. Things are going really well and I am loving being out here. I have gained a testimony of baptism, the true modern-day prophet, Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and the power of prayer.

Les quiero!
Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, November 9, 2015

Buenos Dias Hermana Moore

New Companion! Hermana Moore

Well hello.
I've been teased twice about starting things with "Hola hola!" so... yeah. Hi.

We made a goal to hand out all of the Books of Mormon that we have in stock in the apartment by the time the transfer is over. It's about one everyday! Which is harder than it should be. There is a lot of talk about helping Danville really burst with the gospel and become a ward and eventually a stake, this is one way we can help. The Book of Mormon is so central to conversion, you have to read it and pray to know!! We also knocked on this door on our way home and the cutest toothless old man came to the door (it was about 8:30 pm) and we aren't sure if he said "I've been saved by Assembly of God" or "I'm satisfied with my religion." Both are reasonable options I suppose! Either way, he was not interested! I love Danville. :)

Also I had this funny dream that I had to accompany this pop singer who was a mix of I think Queen Latifa and Lady Gaga? Maybe a little bit of Gladys Knight? (sp?) She tried to show me how to accompany her on this cool song but the accompaniment was only supposed to be like these 4 or 5 notes but somehow she  made it sound very much not like only 5 notes. So, I tried it. Very unsure about my talents, she told me it was not good enough. I knew this would be the case because I knew I could only read sheet music, I'm no good at making stuff up on the spot and playing by ear. She then called over a friend of mine (Alex) and she apparently played it well enough that she accompanied her for the performance. Later, I ran into Beyonce/Rihanna person and I tried to explain why I didn't accompany her, but they were less than amused. I didn't really care though because I had just met Beyonce and she now knew that I play the piano! So... yeah. Sorry not sure what that has to do with missionary work but there ya go. Someone get me Queen Latifa/Lady Gaga/Gladys Knight/Beyonce/Rihanna's phone number!!!

Tuesday was a day of rejoicing! We hadn't gotten any kind of a transfer call. Until about 9:20 am (ironically as Hermana Ponce and I are talking about how excited we are to be together this transfer) we get a call from one of the Assistants to the President. He asked her to pack her bags and be ready to go to the transfer meeting and to leave her bags here in Danville. It was crazy! We had small panic attacks about me being here in Danville without her and her going to Russellville and possibly being a Sister Training Leader. We calmed down and started packing. We went over to see Maria Everastico that morning at about 10 am. She is SO SO nice. I was like 85% lost though because I was worried about having to be here without H. Ponce and then I would try to focus on her Spanish but she talks really fast and uses a lot of verbs that I'm not really familiar with and then I would get really distracted thinking about how I didn't know those verbs and what I would say if I did know what she was saying then I would get lost again and have to try to figure out what she was saying then I would get distracted thinking about how she makes really good tamales and I would love to eat some of her tamales then I would remember that we were teaching a daughter of God and I needed to listen more intently and pray for the gift of tongues/interpretation of tongues then I would remember that I hadn't studied Spanish very well the past few days so I would feel unworthy of the gift of tongues all while she was apparently bearing an awesome testimony about how the Book of Mormon has all the answers she has had to her questions. Wow, right, I know. Such is the mind of a stressed out newbie missionary! All is well, though. I repented and now I'm determined to understand her better next time I go!!! :)

We got up early to get everything ready to go to transfers and head out with the Brooksby's. We talked to them a lot about their earlier years and it was fun to get to know them better! Once we got to the transfer meeting and the transfers were being announced, we found out that Sister Ponce had been assigned to be a Sister Training Leader for the Spanish speaking sisters! She would be leaving to Russellville with Hermana Lewis, and Hermana Moore would be coming to Danville with me! We had a good zone "pump-up" for English and for Spanish (also I finally saw Elder Geddes! Picture coming soon. Tell his mom hello from us!!) and we went on our way! We got some lunch and got to know our new distrct leader and new elder. We are now a District of 7!! The Brooksby's, Hermana Moore and me, and Elder Allred (district leader), Elder Foster (just a regular missionary guy), and Elder Speck (new missionary). It's pretty exciting! They are all awesome and I am excited to get to know them and work with them. We had to get all of Hermana Ponce's bags to her and get Hermana Moore's bags down to us, and we had a great evening!
Hermanas Brooksby and Ponce

Family! (Tester is sort of a step, step-mom, Hudson, me, Ponce-mom, and Madden! We left a spot for Sipple)
SPANISH ZONE on the Arkansas side
Finally ran into Elder Geddes (from our Stake in Cedar Hills). Hello to Momma Geddes!

New Companionships

We headed into Dardanelle for most of the day. We saw the N family and tried to see some of our other investigators down there. There is one lady, D, that was a referral from the Elders and we finally got a hold of her! She was on the pone but she is really really nice and said that we could come back "cualquiere tarde!" We went with the Brooksby's to see A G! She is a really nice less-active member who makes REALLY REALLY REALLY good chili!! She does it all from scratch and only uses a small small amount of beans :) :) :) :) :) :) :) it was even a little spicy and great. It was so fun! We helped the Brooksby's teach her a little bit and I really pray that she will start coming back to church. She is very kind and knows the church is true!

Brooksby's got pulled over!
What kind of cop drives a hot rod?

Sadly we had to miss lunch with the T's because Sister Moore isn't feeling too great! So we started our weekly planning and then headed to the Bs for FHE! They are so so cute, I love them.We got there and they gave us some tamales which were super spicy and goooood and then we talked a little bit. Their grandma, A G, is someone we are trying to keep active in the church and she is super nice too. She likes to make everyone talk in Spanish so that I can learn! It's seriously a blessing. They are the most patient with my Spanish (I think it's because they are nice but also because they know a lot of English so they can decipher what I'm trying to say, usually) they got this book out and quizzed us on colors and animal names (none of which I remember) and they were so funny. We taught the Restoration, which they already knew like the back of their hand, and then we played Restoration bingo! I won. 3 times. hahaha. :)  IT'S FINE THOUGH BECAUSE I LITERALLY NEVER WON BINGO MY WHOLE LIFE AND I DIDN'T EVEN CHEAT THIS TIME. :) Also I was so grateful because I know I had the spirit with me helping me to understand them and for them to understand me. I could not have made it through that night with only my knowledge! I have to rely so much on the spirit to tell me what they are saying and to help me know what the best thing to say is. It's very real, the gift of tongues. Even though I kind of freak out sometimes when people talk really fast, I know that I am trying to learn Spanish and do my best, so the spirit can be there to help me every step of the way! I am very grateful for my call to serve Spanish speaking. In this area we get to teach both Spanish and English. It's really fun because that's seriously everyone in Danville. I have yet to meet someone that doesn't speak either Spanish or English, we have a lot of work to do!!

Eating brie cheese. :) :)
We headed into Dardanelle again! The Brooksby's are amazing. They drove us over there and went teaching with us, and we went with them. We would not be able to see half the people we do without them! It's very nice. Anyway, we went to the N's first. We are teaching Z right now! She is 9 years old, preparing for baptism. Her parents recently got baptized this summer and they have Z the 9 year old and A, who is 8. We are trying to help them all understand baptism as much as we can! It's really fun. Z and A have the sweetest spirits! They are incredibly smart and loving and hilarious little kids. I love them a lot! And their parents have done a great job at teaching them, especially the Bible! Holy cow they know so much. They are a very special family!!

Then we went to see R. She is an older lady who is really very spiritual and faithful. Last time we were with her, I played the piano for her. We actually got to teach her a little bit more. We talked a lot about how this is the true church. She said she believes that there isn't one true or perfect church, because the people are imperfect. We asked what she thinks would make a perfect church, and she said it would be if the people are perfect or something. It was really cool for me to testify to her that this is the true and perfect church because it is head by Jesus Christ. The organization is perfect and the gospel is perfect because it is run by someone who is perfect, not by man. Yes, the people who minister and preside in the church are imperfect, but, isn't that why we need it?? If we could all be perfect, we wouldn't need a church! But, we are given a perfect gospel and a perfect example, and we can follow that example and doctrine to return to our Heavenly Father and have eternal happiness-now and forever! I really do love this church and I know that it is the only correct church. There are so many very good good people in this world that aren't members of this church (yet) but are faithful and doing righteous things. There are more people like R! She understands that the church is true, and I believe she has the faith necessary to do what is right. Though I have guesses, I don't know for sure what is holding her, and so many others, back. But I do know with faith in Christ, they-and we-will be so much better once the Atonement is used consistently in our lives. She is such a special lady, and we all love her very much. I am excited for the day she uses the faith she has and enters into the waters of baptism!

We stopped by D and A's and talked with them briefly. They are so awesome! They are pretty cool young people who are very faithful and want to have a happy righteous home in which they raise their children. I pray that will happen for them too! We shared 2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. They loved the idea that we do all things relating to Christ so that we may raise our children righteously as well! I love this verse too. It explains  the church very well. We do all things in Christ's name, rejoicing in Him, so that our families may be secured and understand where to go to repent of their sins, so that we may all be together again in heaven. Please pray that they will accept the gospel into their home! They need it and they are ready. :)

She knew her momma would love this.

Yayayay Sundays!! Sundays are like uber stressful but also really great because it's SUNDAY! Hahaha we had a great branch council meeting, we talked a lot about the area of Danville growing and growing and growing! It is not quite growing as rapidly as it should but it is definitely getting there! It was mentioned that Danville issort of bubbling and bubbling with the gospel and will eventually pop! Pretty soon I suppose. Presdient Hall said there are enough people in our Branch boundaries to fill 5 stakes-"We have not done enough until we have reached at least 5 stakes!" And even then, the work and the gospel will continue onward until every person has had a chance to hear and accept the gospel! There is much work to be done!! The Danville branch slowly but surely growing, and could possibly become a ward within the next few years. Again, please pray for the Danville branch and area! We are working hard and the members and leaders are as well.

We had a regular day at church. Sister Moore had to translate some talks about veterans and war and such. High five, amirite?! She did well, I believe. Her Spanish is really quite good, so I hope she was able to communicate everything clearly! We had a great gospel principles class on temples and family history, and a great relief society lesson on preparedness! We have really awesome teachers and leaders here. They are very smart! After the block we had R's baptism! He is the newest member of the Danville branch! Sister T gave a great talk about baptism and taking it into your heart and remembering how you have been washed clean, and then keeping that covenant every week with sacrament. He was baptized, shared a great testimony, and Elder Allred talked about feeling the Holy Ghost and how he will be able to have the great feelings of the Holy Ghost at any time if he remains worthy. It is really such a cool blessing that we sort of take for granted, I think I am grateful for my understanding thus far of the Holy Ghost and the role he plays in our lives and in our conversion, but only if we let him! I liked the verse he shared about the good feelings of the Holy Ghost:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The Holy Ghost is all good feelings! I have been talking a lot about the Holy Ghost lately in emails and also in my life here in general! I really love it and I need it! Always! I am not a great teacher, I need the spirit to teach for me. And I need the spirit of confirmation and for those feelings of joy, peace, love, faith, temperance, etc. It is such a good and important gift!

I am so grateful to be here as a missionary serving in the Danville area! It is truly a blessing. Please keep these people in your prayers and remember to pray for the missionaries too! We have a mission goal of 100 baptisms this month. We need your prayers. :)

Much love,
Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Power of God

Beautiful foggy fall morning in Danville
FHE at the B's. After a good P-day of cleaning and laundry we headed over to the B's. They are always so sweet and I love going over there. They are very patient with my Spanish!! We talked about the power of God. It was really cool because their little neighbor friend, Niki, came over and was SO sweet and loves everything, haha. Anyway, we read in 1 Nephi about Lehi talking to God and the bush burning and T, their daughter, loves that it shows the power of God! So Hermana B was super awesome and she asked N how she has seen the power of God in her life and she talked about being protected. Then Hermana B talked about having all that they need and not too much more, God knows their needs and provides for them when they are faithful. It was SUCH a sweet testimony. Then they asked me how I had seen the power of God in my life and been protected, and I thought of dad. He's been driving over an hour to work for what, more than 12 years now right? And he drives early in the morning and late at night. Because he is doing his very best to provide for our family, and because of our faithful and consistent prayers, he has been able to stay safe through all of this. It's amazing that he has returned home safely every single night. I am so grateful for the power of God in those little things that make the biggest difference. Then for some reason we tried to see how many licks to the center of a tootsie pop and it  was about 654 if I remember correctly. :)

1 I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. 
2 Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. 
3 And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge. 
4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.
5 Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people. 
6 And it came to pass as he prayed unto the Lord, there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did quake and tremble exceedingly. 
7 And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen. 
8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God. 
9 And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day. 
10 And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament. 
11 And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read. (Elder Foster gave a cool insight on this that he learned from someone. Lehi was given a book and was asked to read it, sort of like how we are  asked and we ask those who we come in contact with to read a book.... and then he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. HOW COOL.)
12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. 

How have you seen the power of God in your life this week?

We had our last district meeting with elder Holden! It was weird without Sister Sipple, but we still learned a lot. We talked about introducing a scripture, reading it, and applying it. All the steps are important, especially involving them in the process instead of just telling them how it could feel and all that. Good stuff. Then we role played that with each other. Ya know, role plays are really weird. They're super awkward and it always feels pointless, but in reality, after it's over, I always feel more comfortable with teaching! I feel like I could teach that topic to a real person sometime. I'm grateful for that!

Joint Districts - Russelville and Danville

And the commencement of my first real walk week... 

Loving the new coat.
Unfortunately, we happened to lose our phone on Tuesday. We left it at Taco Bell and the elders got a call and went to pick it up! We had kind of panicked because we needed to contact the sisters about our exchanges and be able to make plans for the next day. (Oh yeah, mom I had my first exchanges! It's where the Sister Training Leaders take 24 hours and switch companions with you! They do it every week for the sisters in their zone, but ours are Spanish STL's so they do it for all of the Hermanas in the mission.) The B's were kind and let us use their phone and contact everyone we needed to. So, Wednesday morning at about 7:45 am we got a knock on the door. We still didn't have our phone, so Sister B had to come over and let us know that there was a change in the exchanges and I was supposed to up to Russellville now instead of staying in Danville. So, I packed up my things and Hermana Ponce unpacked. We checked the mail and got our plans together, finished studying, and met the sisters in Dardanelle.

Hermana Moore and I headed back to Russellville and started our day! (We tried to contact someone in Dardanelle, and then Hermana Moore got a massive wasp in her hair.) We grabbed some lunch and got to work! Mostly trying to contact referrals and stuff and checking on people. We had one lesson with a Spanish speaking investigator, and a member from the branch came teaching as well. I think we talked about the history of the Book of Mormon? I tried my best to say stuff in Spanish! Hahaha. We were also able to teach some kids who have just been baptized. She said it was really cool to see their progression since baptism. I noticed how smart they were and sister Moore said she feels like it's because they have the gift of the Holy Ghost now. I know the Holy Ghost teaches us and brings things to our minds, even to young rowdy boys! Very good, very cool. We need knowledge before baptism so we can take it seriously and know what we are promising to do (one reason why we don't baptize babies) but also we don't need to konw EVERYTHING. We just need sufficient knowledge to make a promise to God (age of accountability=8y.o.) and to gain a simple testimony of the Restoration and God's love and commandments. Once we are baptized, we can use the Holy Ghost to learn and grow so much more! We will always be in a constant state of learning and growing. It's pretty cool that we are able to find out so much over time and that thoughts and questions come as you take the time to ponder on the things you DO know. God will give you the tools and answers you need in that moment, no more, no less. Just what you need.

I really love the gift of the Holy Ghost. It has blessed my life so much! Sorry I'm sort of ranting on this, but when I was baptized at 8 I didn't really understand it fully. I was just happy and whatever. I didn't doubt the church's reality, but I wasn't digging in deep to learn everything. But, I knew enough. Since then, I have been able to learn more about that covenant that I made and renew it every week at church through the Sacrament. What a blessing! I'm so grateful that I can repent and change, and that the Holy Ghost can be my constant companion-to guide, to warn, to comfort, to bring knowledge to my mind, etc.- if I do the things I know I am supposed to do. :) I'm really grateful for the blessings of the gospel in my life and that I have seen in myself and others the blessings of righteous living. :)

Sister Moore taught me a lot about spending time wisely and always having a plan. It's good to have back up plans too because most of the time, things fall through. That's just missionary work! But we have back up plans and back up plans for those back up plans. We make it work and with the Lord's help, we go where we are needed. We were able to go to mutual that night too, it was fun to see all the youth together! And we had a Spanish correlation meeting as well.

We had to re-adjust, at at least I did. We got back at about 1:30 or so and had some lunch, did the rest of 12 week studies, and went to Dardanelle with the Brooksbys. We wanted to go see D and A while they taught R, but D and A weren't home so we just went to R's with the B's. She showed us some of her old jewelry, and as we walked through her house, Sister Ponce and I noticed an old song book. We looked through it and both felt like I should ask her if I could play a few of the songs. (R is quite a talented little pianist.) It was a really cool old songbook from the '70s... 1974 I believe. It had triangle and square and circle notes?? (If anyone knows what that means, shoot me an email and please explain it to me! I think it has something to do wit solfedge??? She said it makes it easier to transpose on the spot.) I played a few of the songs and she came over and started singing to them. She taught me this thing called.... uh... I forgot. Something like double bounce bass or something. I don't really know how to explain it but it was cool! She had a good time teaching me and I had a good time playing. Then I asked her if I could show her a favorite hymn of mine and I pulled out hymn 96, Dearest Children God is Near You. I explained that it was written by my great-great-great(-great?) grandfather, John Menzies Macfarlane in the early days of the church. She was pleased to see that and I played it. She said it was so beautiful, especially thetext! So the 5 of us sang  the first verse all together. I of course turned to hymn #212, Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains, and explained that J.M. Macfarlane wrote the music and the text to that one too. We played and sang that one as well! It  was such a neat experience for me because I was able to use something that is so important to me to share a very non-threatening message about the gospel and God's love/Christ's birth. I know J.M.Mac was smiling down and singing along with us!! The Spirit was very strong there. Sister B leaned in to me and said, "You come from a great heritage!" I am truly blessed. Everyone's background can help someone else. In a lot of cases, it's the missionaries that are recent converts or missionaries who have overcome incredibly tough challenges that really help and change people's lives. I am grateful for my pioneer ancestors who did so much so that I can be here today, serving in Danville, Arkansas. Their sacrifice has blessed and will bless so many!

Pet Piggie. No biggie.

We had our weekly lunch with the T's. They just have the sweetest feeling in their home! They live out on this massive chunk of land with 3 chickens, 4 cats, and a new puppy!!!!! They just named him lo-lo or something. He's a tiny black lab mixed wit a few other things and he should be smaller than Iris.
The new puppy

HALLOWEEN!!!! Happy Halloween!! This is a very funny holiday for missionaries. We happened to have a baptism! U is someone that the Elders have been working with for just a little bit, and he had a very nice baptism. I played the hymns (hymn #96 being one of them...:)) Elder Holden gave a talk, Elder Foster baptized him, and President Hall gave another talk about the Holy Ghost at the end. Also, Elder B conducted and said good stuff too.

These are my notes from that talk: (it was actually great for what I had been thinking about and helping with someone we are teaching.) Pres. Hall-be in a place where you can be receptive of the Spirit. (He was a drummer and his dad used to tell him that when he would go into these loud crazy places, the Spirit waits at the door. He doesn't want to go in there. He may go in for a little bit, get bored, and come back out.) "do diligence" (real estate: research the property in much depth) ponder (what sounds right, feels good) take it to Heavenly Father in prayer, focus on feelings. You have to ponder and work on it, and then be willing to act on it. "What the missionaries are teaching sounds good, so, is this what is right? <- ask God. The Spirit is: Love joy peace gentleness long suffering faith subtle, silent, peaceful. One of the greatest gifts we can receive (other than immortality and the atonement/life of the savior). Uriah bore a very humble and awesome testimony of the things he learned and of the help of our Savior when overcoming trials.

With Branch President and Sister Hall

After the baptism we set up our doors for not trick-or-treat, not trunk-or-treat, but door-r-treat! (???) We  suspected the weather to be bad-it wasn't- so we moved it to the inside. It was actually really fun! We had a missionary door in the foyer with tons of candy and face painting. The B's came and had a door, the T's I think had a door, the Hall's, S & L, and the Brooksby's. And I think there were others but I can't remember!! It was so fun. We had a medium crowd, pretty slow most of the night but people stayed and lingered for a while. Oh my heavens, the face painting. I will let the pictures tell the stories. I dressed up as "Sister Ponce when she gets out of the shower" and she was a minion. So cute. :) We had a good safe night.

We had a really great testimony meeting! I was able to bear my testimony on prayer. It was nothing extravagant, Ponce and I have been talking a lot about prayer and I felt like I needed to share my testimony of the things I have learned. I know that prayer works! It's cool because it's such a simple doctrine that is so easy to do and brings the greatest miracles and blessings. We talked a lot about praying to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. Not the other way around or any other combination. We are talking to our Heavenly Father and we need Jesus Christ to be our advocate and we do all things in His name. I am so grateful for this! It's really special that at any time of day or night we can kneel in prayer, stand in prayer, sit in prayer, even a prayer in our hearts directed to God, even just our thoughts sometimes! Heavenly Father knows the thoughts and intentions of our hearts and will answer our prayers, always. If you ask in faith and if it is God's will, it will be granted. I know that's how I have been protected and blessed is through the prayers and faith of my family and friends! And I'm grateful for prayer and the spirit that it brings into a lesson. It's such a special way of communication.

We had 2 investigators come to church! Zippy (the Nix's daughter, she's a young lad and waiting to be baptized). And Elton and 2/3 of is children. We were SO grateful to see him at church! Again, I know he was able to come and feel the Spirit there because of prayers and his desire to act on the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

Sister T taught an awesome relief society lesson. She talked about testimonies. Something I really liked was when we were talking about bearing and solidifying your testimony, someone said that it's not only others who are hearing it but yourself too. You learn and grow from the Holy Ghost testifying even of what you said! Share your testimony with others and yourself! Say it out loud so others can hear and be touched and yourself as well. It's so important to share the things we know. Sister T shared how when she was having the missionary lessons, the Elders would say so firmly what they knew, and it made her want to know how and why they knew those things. So she bore a very powerful testimony and the spirit was so strong. And I know that testimony blesses lives.

After church we went to see S B who is a little bit sick. She is so funny, we love visiting her! She has a really hilarious personality and lights up when you ask about her life. Sweet sweet S.

About 2 weeks ago we were knocking the doors around our area and we found J. She has two (CUTE CUTE CUTE) babies. One is a new baby and one is about 2. He is so adorable. We taught her the Restoration last time and this time we talked about the Book of Mormon. We explained where it came from and she was excited that it's another record of Christ's teachings. She said she would pray this week to find out if it is true!! And last time we invited her to be baptized, she said she had already been baptized but then this time I felt like we needed to ask her again and I did AND SHE SAID YES!!! We set a goal and I pray that she will know the truth and be baptized by the proper priesthood authority! So exciting. She's such a kind lady! She is very open.

After J's we stopped by to see M E. She's hispanic and makes the BEST tamales! She gives some to the Brooksby's and then they give us some. They are so so good. She's so kind. Anyway, she hasn't been coming to church and we usually can't get ahold of her but lately we have been able to at least say hello when we knock on her door. But this time she actually let us in! She is seriously so kind. Oh my gosh she is so sweet and, like they all are, patient with my Spanish haha. We shared a scripture (2 Nephi 31:20-21) and she loved that a lot.
Overall it has been a great week! Sorry that I ramble on about things, I just get really excited!! :)

I love you all! Please pray for the Danville area to grow and progress in the gospel of Jesus Christ and that we can help move things along. This is such an amazing and special place. The members, the missionaries, our neighbors, everyone is so kind and I really love it here!

Sister Ponce and I are making more goals to learn Spanish. (well, she's not. I am. :)) I know that with the Lord's help I can fulfill my calling and teach those that speak Spanish and English! I'm super excited!

Much love,

Hermana Macfarlane