Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Merry Christmas from Batesville

Well, it was nice talkin' to ya yesterday! :) We had a pretty good week here! It was our only week this transfer where we didn't have exchanges or meetings outside of our area so we were here the whole time! And it felt nice. 
We have been focusing on member missionary work (as it should be) and we have felt a lot closer to our members as we have fasted and prayed for them. 
Christmas Day

One of the best things that has happened is Kaylee! She is an active youth in the branch and we have been wanting to get to know her better-she was actually one of the first people we met here but our schedules kept conflicting until the holiday break. Every Saturday morning we help with the free breakfast from the Methodist church and we asked her to come with us. She had to get up a lot earlier than we did due to living so far away and it was during her break! Such a trooper. :) We decided to take her to see a former investigator who the previous missionaries said we should try around this time again. We went and they were all outside and we had a great little lesson with them and the mom asked for a Book of Mormon! After service and teaching we made Rice Krispy trees Round 2. Kaylee has a few friends she was excited to give some treats to. This was all on Christmas Eve and later that night Kaylee drove back up to get us to bring us out to their house for a traditional "junk food and tamales" Christmas Eve dinner. It's been so great!
Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve with the Wahlquists

Another quick story from that afternoon: We were driving to try seeing an investigator and I saw a Hispanic lady outside raking her leaves, just down the street from us. I kind of looked at her and I said to myself "I don't really feel prompted to talk to her and we have this other semi-set appointment ...." As I drove down the road, I felt immediately sad and recognized it as the Spirit leaving so we turned back around as I asked for forgiveness in my heart and was thankful for the strength to follow the prompting. We pulled up, hopped out of the car and she wouldn't let us help but EVERYONE says no when you ask so I said "raking leaves is my favorite (it really is) please let me do it, just for five minutes!" (That part was definitely sarcastic) She agreed and I raked and raked and raked while Hermana Brown did everything to get them to even consider listening about the Book of Mormon. As we finished up all together raking, she invited us in for tamales on Christmas. We said of course and when we came for tamales they were the most delicious chicken tamales in banana leaves and fruit punch drink. They didn't really want anything to do with the gospel we were trying to share at the end but the seed is planted and we'll go back again later.

Shirts from the Wahlquists

We had a tender mercy this week with one of our investigators. She is a young mom and we had introduced the Book of Mormon and the Restoration to her but they just kept not reading until finally one day she said she read a few paragraphs in the introduction!! She said she had a few questions so we said a prayer and as soon as we finished she started reading through the introduction and asking all sorts of basic but awesome questions. She committed to reading the testimonies and she said "If I have any questions I'll write them down or something so I can ask you when you come back." MUSIC TO MY EARS!! :') We were like "YES DO THAT." When we went back again she hadn't written any down but had a few questions. She should be reading the Joseph Smith testimony this next time. It's so exciting when people start asking questions not in a threatening way but in a really curious search for truth!
When brother Wahlquists mom was sick one Christmas, she put the kids
and husband in charge of Christmas Eve dinner and said do what you
want... so junk food became the tradition! (Chips, guacamole, jello
salad, cheese rolls, lots of crackers, spring sausage, nuts,
chocolates, cookies, wassail, lemonade, the veggie tray and tamales
are added from sister W's family and the rice krispy tree is ours)

Probably the funniest thing that happened this week was just the junk food night with the Wahlquist's because we ate ourselves silly and it was awesome.

I spoke in church on Sunday on the birth of Christ. It was really cool to study the different prophecies and dig a little deeper into what that really meant for the world. I especially loved reading the account of the Nephites waiting so faithfully for the signs to come and facing persecution even after! But as we were sitting in the car after lunch today, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir came on singing "I Believe in Christ" and it was a testimony to me again of all the good that Christ did and the peace that I have because of His birth and because of my belief in Him. I wish I could express my thoughts better on this but it was just really peaceful! 
The District: Sisters Quick, Lloyd and Tarpenning, us, Elders
Contreras, Mayer, and 'Iongi

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! 
Hermana Macfarlane

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

WOOHOOO!!!!!! 

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Christmas. 


This week wasn't the most eventful as far as things I think you would want to hear about. We went on exchanges this week as well as had our Christmas zone conference! That was so great because the area 70 Elder Bahesti spoke to us (he is in the North Little Rock Stake) and he told us five ways to change the world in 2017:

1. Make your bed everyday
2. Teach repentance
3. Increase your faith
4. Baptize converts
5. "Get over being a sugar cookie" and endure to the end

He reminded us to not discount the work we are doing. It was also really sweet because he said he has known a lot of the mission presidents for a long time and has loved them all but he has never seen someone teach so powerfully as do the Wakolo's and that we should be thanking Heavenly Father for allowing us to serve with them. What a privilege! :)

We also had a fun music program, played minute to win it games, and they showed childhood pictures of all the missionaries and we had to guess who they were. I stumped 'em except for like two or three people.

This is the picture I sent them. It's Ashley in 1st Grade. She looks exactly the same to me! Haha


Well, on exchanges, I had Hna Thornton with me in Batesville and we found a cute young couple in English and a ton of Hispanics! It was so so fun and we have been going back to visit all these potential people. The members here are so awesome and they are willing to come teaching with us but most of our people are Hispanic, and only one person in the Branch speaks Spanish so we are working on increasing our English teaching pool as well as possibly teaching Spanish classes??? We'll see.


With the amazing Aileen Watts (whom I had the privilege of meeting today!!!). 

Hermana Brown continues to be the best. This week I was learning a lot about teaching with power and authority and not letting those who are so set in their ways try to teach us. We both set a goal this week to "be okay with still learning." We have set this expectation for ourselves as we are on our second to last transfer but it's okay that we are still learning to be better teachers and listeners and disciples of Christ. She is very patient with me as I learn and grow and we calm each other down. :)


Last night we had a cool experience. We had 45 minutes left until we had to come in and our plans had sort of changed for the evening-as they often do. We had a few people in mind we wanted to see but we said a prayer. As I prayed I felt that we should visit a couple we had seen a few weeks ago but hadn't been home every time we went over. It wasn't a strong impression but as we talked about it I think I knew the whole time that we needed to see them. Finally we decided we should just go and we did and it was awesome. She had read the plan of salvation pamphlet and looked at the scriptures in the back even! We read the first and last two paragraphs of the introduction of the Book of Mormon and invited them to be baptized ... they didn't exactly say no but it definitely wasn't yes. They wanted us to come back and explain more and teach more from the Book of Mormon. I was so thankful for that experience because it gave us a chance to testify of the Book of Mormon and of the authority and of the Savior one more time before we went in for the night.

I know Heavenly Father is aware of us and hears AND ANSWERS all of our prayers, even the silent ones. 

I love Christmas! 

Hermana Macfarlane



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Build it and They Will Come

This was last week when the Canady's and Sister Watts took us to pizza!

Hello hello! It's been another great and cold week here in Batesville!

Highlight of the week: driving to Memphis with President Wakolo. Also the Batesville branch Christmas dinner was fantastic.
Lowlight of the week: Hna Brown and I finally got sick ... We have both had great health for months and months and the weather just dropped down so we are on the list of the winter cold and cough.

I asked President Wakolo this week during our interviews what we should do to help the people here. He told the analogy of someone who wanted to build a sports arena, but it was in the middle of nowhere. He was mocked and everyone was questioning why he would do that because no one is there! He said if we build it, the people will come. It started off really slow and not many people came, but with time the stadium was one of the most popular places and the people did come. Our Branch here is really tiny, but we are "building" the Spanish and "building" the youth programs and focusing on families. It may be slow at first, but, the people will come! 

They have been doing sports night for a long time and there is just one youth girl and her parents (they are active) who come almost every week and a few less active youth boys who often come as well. This week we also had a recent convert and her daughter come, as well as the Elders' investigator! During our correlation meeting our branch mission leader said he had another family in mind that he would like to focus on inviting. It is small and going little by little but people will come and eventually they will make it here on Sundays, too. 

We are working on talking and teaching with everyone! President Wakolo had us practice giving out pass along cards during our interviews and connecting the "Light the World" to the First Vision. It's so cool how the restoration of the gospel is such a light, and the climax of it is all about light!

Alma 19:6 "Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness--yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God--

The Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ is the BRIGHTEST light! And it is accessible through the doctrine of Christ.

Batesville is great. Hermana Brown is the best. Christmas food rocks. Love you all!

Hermana Macfarlane

Sorry we took zero pictures ... this is my first time trying to make soup and it was gross because I got impatient and put way too much seasoning in it.

Monday, December 5, 2016

God Has a Perfect Plan

Not our cutest ...

Hello Familia! We had a great week! We are going to Memphis this afternoon so I haven't got much time.

Well, first of all, I tried eggnog today and unfortunately I LOVE THAT STUFF. Mmmm. So good.

We had a lot of little miracles and some big ones too. Our Hispanic investigator, Mayasmín, has been progressing little by little. We got to bring Dezeree (recent convert who speaks Spanish) to her first Spanish lesson as a member and she was so so awesome!!! It's always nice. Then when we were on exchanges, Hermana Olson and I visited Mayasmín again. We had been inviting her to pray about the things we've taught, she kept saying like yes I do pray but I believe all the churches have some truth but God only knows which one. Then as we talked about it and explained that she can ask God which one is true that He will answer her if she's sincere, somehow it just clicked. We will go back soon to see if she acted on that! She's very stubborn to her word so if she says she will, she will! (Shout out to Hna Olson who helped us figure out how to teach Mayasmín about prophets really simply.) Also it was cool as we were sitting in sacrament meeting, she walked in all by herself again! We had stopped by that morning to remind her about church but she wasn't there. It was awesome AND she didn't want translation for some reason so she just enjoyed the spirit. :)

Beautiful Batesville

One of my favorite things that happened was this week as we were exchanging back we met up with the Hermanas halfway and we all got some pizza. Sister Watts had brought the other sisters and brother and sister canady brought us. We waited for the other sisters to get here and we greeted them when we came. But the best part (and maybe it's just because it's brother Canady??) is that the pizza delivery guy pulled up at the same time and brother Canady assumed it was sister watts' husband so he went right up and introduced himself with a firm handshake and a thick southern accent "Hi! I'm Brother Canady, nice to meet you!" The poor pizza guy was so confused. Hahaha it's really funny I swear but also Brother Canady turned bright red in the restaurant when he finally (after 45 minutes) realized what he'd done!

I have been studying the Atonement chapters still and it is just amazing the spirit that I feel as I read account after account of Book of Mormon people testifying of the Savior. We had a lesson the other day that I have reflected a lot upon and I am just so thankful for the knowledge I have of the gospel and the plan of salvation. It's life changing!! We were getting to know this couple the English sisters had been teaching and they both sort of agreed that Joseph smith was a prophet and they love the church but have a hard time with some of the deep doctrine questions. (Mostly about afterlife things and becoming like God. But she didn't necessarily disagree it was just a very very different perspective ... sort of like that we all share our spirits I think.) We were obviously getting nowhere with anything as our testimonies were being shut down. I asked Heavenly Father to help us know what they need. The topic of temples came strongly and I was like "Nooo way. That will cause contention." But I just kept feeling it so we explained temples, only to be completely shut down again. She continued to say that we are the temples and "all we say about families in heaven just isn't true." But I felt the Spirit confirm as we testified of the power of the priesthood and that families are ordained of God.

I know that I don't know everything, and I don't expect to! But I know God has a perfect plan that we are all a part of. I'm so thankful to know that my family can be together forever! I'm also thankful to know that yes the people of the church are imperfect, but that the living Lord leads His living and perfect church.

The commandments are so important because they are our protection. Keep reading your scriptures and saying your prayers and going to church and keeping the Sabbath day holy!
I love you all. Stay warm. :)

Hermana Macfarlane



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brown and Mac meet Batesville

Gibson's Tree

Hi family! 

I just want to tell you how awesome Batesville is. We didn't know anyone or anything but the members have been so good to us. They are a really tiny branch of mostly elderly people. There is one youth girl and three primary girls and some boys who come to basketball night. The amazing thing is the potential for Spanish. President Wakolo felt inspired to really boost the Spanish throughout the mission and has targeted this area. There is one recent convert who speaks Spanish and we found one new investigator who speaks Spanish AND CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY YAY!!! She's so cute. Well anyway, here are some of the miracles:

Thanksgiving with the Thornton's, the Pace's sent us left overs, the Wahlquists (he used to teach at Lone Peak when it first opened) came and picked us up for leftovers, the Meadors made us leftovers, a less active fed us delicious BLTs and we helped decorate her tree, the Branch President and his wife gave us the cutest baby Christmas tree and their delicious chicken and broccoli dinner, a recent convert gave us a mini Christmas tree and homemade tamales, and we are currently with the relief society president who is letting us do laundry here because our dryer is broken. Those are just the temporal things! Oh, also we got to keep the Impact Sister car so that's fun.

On a more spiritual matter, we can feel the urgency for Spanish here. We have felt really good about it and we are seeing a lot of potential. The sisters before had thankfully kept records of a few potential people who speak Spanish that they couldn't ever communicate with. We tried one of them and she had moved but another lady lives there with her friend and their family. And they are the CUTEST little family! We have just been teaching her though. We haven't been able to teach her a whole lot of things but we invited her to church and she said she would come. We were supposed to get her a ride but she ended up just wanting to bring herself and she just met us there in a dress and everything! She was the only Hispanic person there so we had to translate for her but it went super well.

After church we were contacting one of the potential Spanish people and she was on the phone so we are going to try her tonight. BUT, there's a less active lady the Elders had been trying to contact for the whole week (whose husband speaks Spanish, and she's fluent) and she just happened to be pulling in right as we were leaving and she's like the nicest person in the world so we talked with her and exchanged numbers and I'm so excited to go back! Tender mercy.  And the less active lady who randomly invited us over for lunch today? Fluent in Spanish. Woot woot.  I don’t know how to explain it but we just feel really good about Batesville being Spanish and English and we are excited to tap into more of the potential.

Hermana Brown is still the best and I'm so grateful to be her companion again! We help each other out and it's all good. But mostly we have no idea what we are doing (still???) but God helps us out a lot. We love the new Christmas video - go watch it and do the little videos. IT WILL BE SO COOL. I LOVE LIGHT. I like it because I have been thinking about the restoration as a light and how we can be lights and how when temptation comes, light helps you overcome it. But Jesus Christ is the brightest and firmest light. I love that the video takes the fun Christmas spirit and reminds you that it's only because of the Savior.

Something one of the Sisters in Sherwood pointed out to me was that Christ's birth saved people. Yes, the things He would do, but when the Nephites were over in America waiting for the signs of his birth, their lives were on the line! Because Christ came at that exact moment, hundreds of Nephites were saved.

Also, this morning I thought a lot about Joseph and his faith. After he has the dream about Mary ... 

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

He just gets up and says, "Okay, I'll marry her!" He's a hidden hero to me.

Have a good December!

Much love,
Hermana Macfarlane

Stephanie's Tree

Friday, November 25, 2016

Batesville, Hermana Brown, Thanksgiving

I received these pictures on Thanksgiving. I don't know who the family is!

But I am so grateful for kind people who take care of missionaries on Thanksgiving!

Seeing HMac sitting at the piano got to me a little :)
Hi family! Sorry if it's a short email but we are short on time today! Sister Skordas and I were released as Impact Sisters, but we had a good run! She will be going to Little Rock and I am going to BATESVILLE with … wait for it ... HERMANA BROWN!!!!! Woohoo!! 😍😍😍 She's the best. We will be the Spanish STLs and we are opening up the area for Spanish. Well, it had a Spanish elder there to scope out the Spanish population but this will be the first for sisters there! We would appreciate any prayers as we seek out the prepared hearts in Batesville! :) I just talked to the elder that was there and he said it's super awesome.
Sister Fifield made us bears. So cute!
We went to Trenton and there was this bible referral we finally got a hold of and it was SO cool. It was late at night and we knocked on the door and this lady was so sick and humble and kind. She got so excited about the Book of Mormon and the plan of salvation because she had a lot of family pass away and was like "I've heard we won't recognize our family after we die. I'm just so confused because I don't really know." And we were like NO. YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THEM BECAUSE FAMILIES ARE ORDAINED OF GOD and she got really excited. Ahh the spirit was so sweet. At the end we asked about her husband and she said it's not her husband but they've been together for a lot of years and she was distraught about it and started whispering and said maybe we could help her. So great. It was fun because we left and the other set of sisters were outside talking to her not-husband!! Those sisters are super sweet and I love them. And we had yummy dinners there.

We went to Jacksonville after our zone conference (which rocked) and we had a cool lesson with a less active lady. We talked with her mom-who has a British southern accent-and then we talked with her and
long story short because I have to go, she was upset about not being able to live the law of chastity and I was like "how can I help her?" But the spirit said change it to "what does she need?' So I asked that in my head and the thought of temples came to mind. And it wa so awesome because she kind of needed temples but it just opened up an opportunity for sister Gummow to testify of the priesthood and her to share her concerns.
This is Sister Rasmussen who knows Kathy.

Much love, adios!
Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, November 14, 2016

HAGW

Hi mama! I'm so glad you sent me that email from Sister Jensen’s mom. We don't really get to see the fruits of our labors, so it meant a lot to Sister Skordas and me! We are in Bartlett this weekend because the Sister Training Leaders here baptized someone that Sister Skordas found when she served here! And we are going to Trenton this week. Do you remember when I had to do that random exchange a while ago with English Sisters? Well I'm going back to that place! It's a really awesome area so I'm excited.
Temple Selfie

I've learned so much about the Atonement lately. It's becoming less of a giant concept and more of a tangible, real usable thing. Our job as leaders in the mission (and as missionaries in general) is to connect people to Christ. Because Christ is literally the only way, the only sure source to connect to. I've learned that to connect others and myself to Christ is through the doctrine of Christ. (Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end.) It's cool to see when missionaries (myself included) testify more of the Savior than of each other or of President Wakolo, when they truly testify of the Savior's healing power and love for us and how willing He is to help us if we let him. I remembered your seminary class and how you said that you knew it was successful when the students weren't testifying of their love of you, but of Jesus Christ!
Danville District - the biggest district in the mission. And the most musical. 

On Tuesday during district meeting I was sort of in an internal funk and I guess it was showing because Sister Skordas leaned to me and said "look happier" or something. I was struggling through most of the meeting to get out of my own head and focus on others and not be sad about how inadequate I was feeling. It was really interesting because I gave myself a pep talk and said, “Okay Sister Macfarlane, you know this by now that you can choose to be a happy person, you don't have to wait until you study a lot of scriptures and say lots of prayers - you can be happy now!” And so I did! I was feeling bummed for being a serious person and not being one to have a lot of energy. But in that moment, I decided to be someone who others can rely on to have energy and happiness-and that moment changed the whole exchange. Somehow with the Savior, I changed immediately. It's funny how often that happens to me! I get caught up in my own head and have to remind myself that I always feel better when I just get out and work instead of moping about it! :)

This week we had dinner with the coolest returning to activity family in Maumelle and I felt very prompted to share one of my favorite scriptures, 1 Nephi 10:6 about being lost and fallen if we don't rely on the Redeemer. It was a new perspective with that verse I hadn't thought about before. But it started a conversation with this family (while the non-member daughter the mom was trying to drop hints to was sitting in the kitchen nearby) about relying on the Lord. They were talking about how they came to have a testimony of paying tithing. The dad said he didn't get the logic of paying to the church when he can't even pay his bills and then having to go ask the bishop for help anyway. He said the bishop just smiled and said, "that's the beauty of it!" Haha I loved that. Tithing is such a simple commandment that is SO HARD sometimes but God always gives us back in much more abundance than we gave. The wife testified that there is always some extra check or random cash on the door or even a morale boost or feeling of hope that comes when times get tight-if tithing was paid.
Floral Friday on Saturday
I was able to add my testimony to theirs that even though dad is sick, I know it's through your faith in paying tithing that I was able to serve a mission and that you have been able to stay afloat. I also know that it comes around in sort of a paradoxical way that my mission service is providing blessings for you and dad to have health to work and it just goes in this beautiful circle of blessings and obedience-all because God loves us and wants us to be happy!!!

Spanish Studies with the Hermanitas

I thought a lot this week about my own conversion-my own prayers and testimony of the Savior. I'm working on being more real and genuine when I pray and not rushing through at the end of the night. It takes patience and humility and a real desire to hear from God! But I felt the sweetest assurance the other day that he really is listening. Prayer is a real thing and I’m doing the right thing by testifying of it to others. I know God is listening to me and is so, so patient with me as I learn to communicate with Him and have that relationship I desire. I made a goal this morning to testify to someone (a non-member specifically) today of the Restored Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith and a living prophet on the earth AND that Jesus Christ is my Savior. There's probably someone in Cedar Hills who needs to know that, too.
Goobers

Accident
You asked about my 40-day fast! It's going well. I need to take it more seriously though. One of my things is to go to bed at 10:30 every night which has happened I think twice now ... so yeah, I'm working on it. But we have been good at listening to only spiritual music. I'm also trying to not be critical and to pray to see everyone through their mother's eyes/God's eyes and I have gotten glimpses of that. :)
Sister Forsyth has the best sleeping mask. ALSO I left my makeup bag and toothbrush in Russellville so I finger brushed and flossed until the Bartlett Sisters gave me a toothbrush.

Also I had a goal this week that when cookies are presented I am only allowed to eat one per day. I DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT COOKIE DOUGH THOUGH AND I INHALED THAT, but only ate one cookie after they were baked. :) yummmmm.
Hair Swap
 


Yesterday one of the members that sister Skordas is close with, Sister Hunt, gave us the best "thrown together" meal. (Granted we have been eating canned fruit, applesauce, granola bars, cereal and the occasional egg or rice bowl for the last 3 weeks.) And, I LEARNED HOW TO EAT CANDY CORN 😂 I'm so happy. I love candy corn. BUT if you put peanuts in it ... that's Heavenly. :) Who knew?

Well, we are being well taken care of and we know we have at least another week together before we find out our transfer fate. There is a new Spanish Hermana coming out so I could possibly train her or possibly stay as an Impact Sister or possibly any number of things because who knows! :)

HAGW (have a great week)

PS I realized I never thanked our home teachers for being SUCH good home teachers!! If you see them this week, let them know I'm grateful for their pure service and kind hearts (and freshly baked bread). :)

Another PS Thank you to mom and dad for being stellar examples of good home and visiting teachers too who are more than just message sharers but really always cared about the people you served. And Happy Birthday to dad this week!

Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, November 7, 2016

THIS IS KIND OF CRAZY

So this week I started a 40-day fast which is where you fast for 24 hours and ask Heavenly Father to help you know around 10 things you can change, basically to be more pure. I did one around this time last year and felt this week I needed to do one again. I have a list of things that poked at my spirit as I fasted such as being more humble, having a better attitude during prayer, really going to bed on time and listening to inspiring music. I'm also working on not being critical/judgmental, following promptings, and only writing one email home to the people I email instead of going back and forth during my hour of email time, and I will be done emailing by 4 pm! I started this last Friday and it will go until December 14! So here we go! 
 
Sisters Jensen, Esplin, Hna Macfarlane, Skordas
This last week was kind of crazy because I went with the Little Rock Hermanas for two days while Sister Skordas went to the Bryant sisters nearby, then after a meeting we had Wednesday morning I joined Sister Skordas in Bryant that evening. Then we had plans to be in the Searcy Zone but the sisters we wanted to see got bed bugs! And as you can imagine, if we were to get bed bugs we would literally sit at home and study all day. It would be horrible. So we didn't go. BUT, we did visit the sisters in Sherwood and it turned out to be really great! They are such fun sisters. Sister Jensen is one of the English sisters that came out with me so she will go home the transfer after mine. And Sister Esplin is a little angel and she just finished her training. We had some really great dinners and met some awesome members.


On our second day, I was with Sister Jensen and we had about an hour to try to see some people in an area. The first lady we planned to see was recovering from heart surgery but it turns out her daughter was super interested so we taught her a little bit and left. We were trying to find the address of the next person in that area but our eyes caught a group of friendly hoodlums outside, up to no good. So, obviously we went to talk with them. After getting to know them it ended up being Sister Jensen teaching one of the friends about the restoration and I taught the other two about the plan of salvation and then we joined together and invited them to study both! (This sounds really shady like we broke off or something. We were like 2 feet from each other but somehow we ended up having 2 totally separate lessons ....) They were the coolest of the hoodlums. (Hahaha funny story was one of the teenagers, Logan, was asking if the south fulfilled or changed any of the stereotypes. I said definitely not! And he said "Well we aren't all hillbillies and rednecks." But he definitely was a borderline redneck and it was hilarious.)

Ashley sent info about who all of these people are but I can't get it to open. So, here are some nice looking folks. 

Anyway we had a great day at church. There was a lady there who only speaks Spanish and I was able to talk to her and help her figure out her Hymnbook! Lots of the sisters in their ward speak Spanish but it was fun to talk with her.


ALSO, we got word from the Sherwood sisters last night that they had a lesson with Logan and Bethany (the plan of salvation people) and they totally loved it and were so excited to read!!!! 

(We are outside of McDonald's and it smells like Chinese food????)

This week at our meeting there were a few things that stood out. President Wakolo said "I have had some thoughts" and then gave a huge list of “proverbs” or something. It was so awesome. Just like, one-liners that blew my mind. The first one he said was "Disciples hear something for the first time and decide to change-immediately." YEAH. I can't remember the others but he is great. Sister Wakolo talked with us about personal prayer and did a "what-why-how" of prayer which reminded me I need to have a better attitude when praying. She really focused on the fact that what we say is not as important as how we feel. I've been focusing on really meaning what I say when I pray and thinking about the situations we are in and stuff. 

I studied Alma 7 this week for my chapter on the Atonement. It was really neat because I read it Sunday morning before going to church. I love that the people are generally good people. They are pretty righteous and he's grateful they are better than the people of Zarahemla. But he still teaches them about the Atonement and about repentance! I was studying this morning about our need to use the power and authority we have been given. Even if there are those who are righteous, we still need to keep Christ on our lips and let them know about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. The more we learn and understand the Atonement, the greater our desire is to share the gospel.

We talked about Elder Oaks' talk in conference about missionary work, that it's not like this separate program of the church but it is our duty and we should all have a mission plan for how we are going to share the gospel.
 
I look like a body builder ...
Have a gooood week!

Hermana Macfarlane





Sunday, November 6, 2016

I love being a missionary!

The hearts we "heart attacked" the Benitez's with - put in a frame! awww. And
Hermanas Brown and Hunt

Woohoo this was a fun week! We went to two areas.

It's been really fun. We went to the MEMPHIS HERMANAS YAYAYA and had the usual Monday night dinner with the Benitez family and it was so good to see them. The Hermanas are doing a fantastic job and they speak really good Spanish! I also got to see the Ramos who haven't been consistently going to church except for Jose. We taught them again and talked about why they weren't coming. We committed them to come again and asked them why they were coming. They all gave great answers like to feel the Spirit, to do what's right, to be closer to God, etc. But then we asked Jose and he said "to take the sacrament and to administer it!" AWWWWW :') so cute. I wanted to cry and he still wants to serve a mission and they are just the cutest family. I love Memphis.

Memphis

Mis Ramos

After Memphis we went to Southaven for just a day and they were also great. They are some of the ASL sisters and they are hilarious. They dressed up as each other for Halloween.

Southaven Sisters dressed up as each other.

We had MLC and interviews and again President Wakolo is amazing. He probably doesn't sleep or eat very often-in fact I know he doesn't! But he has the strongest spirit with him and is also really funny.

Then we went to Arkadelphia and it was really fun because I didn't ever know sister Duncan or Sister Fifield but they are super awesome. Also Sister Thomas was there too and it was cool to see her in her last transfer! I learned a lot from these three how to connect with members and just be happy and stuff. They're cute.
I didn't get our group picture, but this is Sister Thomas massaging my head. 

I love being a missionary and this week we are in Little Rock, Spanish! Have a good week, family.

Hermana Macfarlane