Monday, February 22, 2016

Bear Hugs, Plumbs and Service

Amber's Teddy Bear

This week's fun things were that we had exchanges and zone conference! I went with Sister Nelson to Conway. It was fun because Sister Nelson is from American Fork and we had some mutual friends and some friends of friends and what not. She is awesome! It was weird going on exchanges with English, though. They have been trying to have Spanish Sister Training Leaders but it is hard because we are all spread out, so we are just under the English sisters for our zone. Conway was fun because they have two wards that are both really strong! We visited some people and tried to teach everyone but it was one of those days where we only were able to see two or three people for some reason.

Sister Nelson who is actually really pretty but looks like a crazy person in this picture.

BUT the Relief Society had an activity in the evening that was really fun. It was all about "when life gives you lemons..." the lemons being adversity or trials or whatever. We made home made lemon scrub and talked about the different cleaning powers of lemons. Also we somehow (I can't remember how) connected lemons to journaling. I think something about writing it all out when you have a hard time or something. I really liked what the lady said because I often am stressed out because I want to write all the good things that happen, all the bad things, all the fun, spiritual, boring, funny, etc., etc., but I just don't have time! She read 1 Nephi 6:3 "And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God." Nephi probably had a bunch of stuff he could have written, but he knew only to write the things of God, the things of most importance, and now we have that awesome record! It helped me feel really calm about trying to write down all of my experiences. Some things are okay to just be left in my head! (Sister Nelson and I talked about different ways of journaling. She is a big journal person but not in the same way I am. I have one journal that I write in every night. She has like a calendar that she writes a sentence about everyday, and a journal for tender mercies, one for like funny jokes, one for questions, one for just random stuff that needs to be written, one for lists, etc. It's cool because it doesn't matter how you keep your record, as long as you keep one!

Valentine's Day mustaches
We also talked about that fun thing where you just take a few minutes and write whatever comes out and you're not allowed to use the backspace button and it's fun to see what is in your brain.) Then we talked about like actually what to do when times get hard. There are a few different types of "lemons"-natural course of life, self-inflicted, caused by others, a growing/learning experience from God-and not all are solved the same way! Of course, if we are reading scriptures, praying daily, and going to church these lemons become much more soluble (I don't actually know if that's the right word to use there but it sounds right??). But also God expects us to use all of the resources we have, including General Conference talks, the Bishop, counseling, etc. Then we had all sorts of yummy lemon flavored treats and it was awesome. :)

Zone conference was way awesome, but you probably don't care about the detailed summary. At the beginning, President Wakolo said "don't deny the revelation you receive" which was cool because I often question if something is truly revelation or if I am just being distracted or whatever. President Wakolo is awesome. Then he ever so lovingly invited us to repent! The assistants instructed on the Holy Ghost and invited us to help our investigators recognize the Holy Ghost much earlier on in the teaching process. When they can recognize it they can receive answers much quicker.

Valentine Tatoos
I had a really neat experience these past few days. There is a less-active member from the Spanish branch who we try to see often, but she is NEVER home. We were driving to visit some other investigators and she happened to be home so of course we stopped. She had been cleaning out her house because there was a leak in the apartments and everyone's stuff got all messed up. Eventually we left and as we were getting in the car, she stopped us and asked if we knew anyone who needed food and started handing us boxes of cereal and some juice! She said she had too many boxes (they were honey bunches of oats with almonds :)) and wanted to give them to someone. It was so cool because here was this lady who has a young family, obviously they were not very well off and she was giving of her extra food because she knew someone else could benefit from it, even though she could have saved it for herself. Yesterday we went to a poor place in town and left a few of the boxes on people's doorsteps that we thought would need a little extra cereal for their family. Hermana Moore and I talked about it and we felt SO GOOD. I was shocked as I realized that if I were to have all of these extra boxes of cereal, I would just think "Sweet! More food storage!" I would not have been so quick to give it to others. I was impressed by her good example and I pray that she will receive blessings from being so willing to help others. I hope to follow her example more often and be quick to give. To give food, money, time, service, listening, etc.

Me being hilarious and doing my college/missionary girl face
Something I learned from President Wakolo is that whenever Christ says "Come, follow me" it's not "hey it would be a good idea if you did stuff kind of like I do or whatever" haha nope! It's very direct, it's a commandment to follow Him and be more like Him especially by giving of ourselves and all that we have back to the Lord by using our talents abilities and means to bless those around us. (There are so many scriptures that I love about service, charity, love, etc. But these are some of my favorites: (Mosiah 4:19) "For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" (Alma 34:28-29)"And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need--I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith. Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.")

Family History Activity
Fun story: I was on exchanges with Sister Nelson this week and she has had quite the unique mission. A lot of her companions have been sick and she has too, she has had the opportunity to work in the mission office and she stayed in the mission home for a few days for various reasons. I asked her what it was like to stay in the mission home - I think it would be pretty intimidating because you would do studies and eat and stuff with the Wakolo's! And she said it was a P-day so that would be scary because like, what on earth do you do for p-day by yourself or whatever. Anyway she said she was super nervous to go stay there for a few days but that first night, a Sunday night, she was there for their weekly family devotional where they just discuss what happened at church and the stuff they learn. So she was sitting in the living room with Sister Wakolo and Jasmine (their daughter who is Emma's age) and for some reason it was really cold so they had a bunch of blankets. Sister Wakolo was starting to get a little bit frustrated as they were waiting for President to be finished with whatever he was doing and join them for family devotional. She called out "President??" trying to figure out where he was. He came around the corner shoveling in in a fork-full of brownies straight out of  the pan, "What?" Hahaha she said after that her nerves were totally calmed. The Wakolo's are spiritual giants but also just normal people who shovel brownies into their mouths after a hard day! She also said that Sister Wakolo then said "well aren't you going to offer some to everyone else?" he quickly repented and offered a bite to Sister Nelson and his family. The Wakolo's are so goofy and funny and I love them! At the zone conference, Sister Wakolo came and ate lunch with Hermana Moore and I and she shared some really neat experiences with her family and the temple and I am just so grateful to be under their
care! :)

I feel like I never talk about the people we are working with/teaching and that's because I never know what to say! I don't want to say something confidential but I don't want to NOT say something! And it's hard to adequately write down spiritual experiences sometimes. But here's just a few of the people we are teaching right now.

Bobby and Erika: They are the dream team I love them so much! Brother Plumb (watch out because this will make you want to do missionary work) was at Kroger and he recognized Bobby and the spirit prompted him to go talk to him. He had the courage to and he ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and reading over it with them the next few days! He called us and we set up a time for us all to go over to their house and teach the Restoration lesson, and they both accepted a date for baptism. When I was on exchanges, Sister Moore and Sister Mendicino taught them a little bit more again. Then we went over the next day to read with them and they read the first two chapters with us. THEN we went to the Plumbs house and it turns out they had read like ten chapters that night after we left, and we taught the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome!!
Brother Plumb, the awesome member missionary (and very distant relative).

The Spirit was so strong and it testified to me again of the truthfulness of the things we teach. Erika told us she was thinking about not coming for some reason but she just pushed the feelings aside and came and asked a bunch of questions and we helped her answer them and she felt so much better after and told us she was grateful that she came and listened. We went over to their house the next day and just listened to the story of how they met each other and all their funny relationship stories. I wish I could wrap them up and bring them home with me they are so funny! Bobby is a super chill guy who loves running and has his head on straight. Erika is also super chill (haha I feel like I'm in 10th grade when I say chill) and she loves to sing all sorts of stuff and she loves the Bible and she likes doing hair and make-up and being really funny. Anyway we have another lesson with them tonight and it's just so fun!

And we have Breanna who is preparing for baptism! She is the sweetest little girl. Her parents are starting to come back to church and we have loved getting to know them. They also have two other little kids that just melt my heart, haha! But they are learning so much and Breanna is sweet and shy but man she knows her stuff! She will be baptized soon. :)

Making a glitter banner for Amber's girls
There is a Hispanic family we have been teaching, one of their names is Margarita and I'm 100% unsure what her husband's name is so yeah IDK but they are really sweet. We have been teaching them for a little while now. It's funny because we will go with a lesson prepared and during the whole thing they seem uninterested and very firm in their ways, but every time they ask us to come back within like 3 days. So we do! Haha they are really sweet and they have a son who is very kind and helps us when our Spanish is not so great.

Vanessa is a girlfriend of one of the members who is preparing to leave for a mission - so that's really fun! She is so stinkin cute. We have been getting to be pretty good friends with them, they are so fun! She said she was interested in learning more about our church (especially since that's what her boyfriend will be doing for the next two years.) So we taught her the Restoration. It was a really hard lesson because we didn't have time to study that morning because of church (really though, treasuring up is a big deal) and it was a little bit scattered but it all came together at the end with the help of the Holy Ghost and a God who is very loving! She was excited to start reading the Book of Mormon and pray and to learn about the Plan of Salvation next time.

There are a lot more people but now I am starting to think this email needs to come to an end at some point! I love Russellville and the members, investigators, and EVERYONE here!! :) Really, it's awesome. And I am sad because we think Hermana Moore will be leaving this next transfer so I need to learn all that I can from her before she goes! But the people here are great and the gospel is great. My testimony of prayer continues to be strengthened as I pray for help for me and those around me and I see the miracles-small and large-that happen every day! Even the smallest change of heart can result in the biggest miracles.

The Bible and the Book of Mormon together hold the fullness of the gospel and I am so grateful for this knowledge that I have. I am only 19 years old and for some reason God has called me here to share the small but strong testimony I have of His gospel and I am so grateful to be serving here in Arkansas.

Much love,
Hermana Macfarlane

(Also yesterday at dinner we were talking about accents and whatever and I actually think I can't really hear the accent very well anymore unless it's really strong or I really listen for it. But the y'all thing is real, and yes I say y'all and yes I'll probably be that annoying missionary who comes back saying y'all thinking I "can't break the habit" but really it's just a convenient way to say less words and get the point across. They do give directions using landmarks and say "hang a left after the big tree" and stuff. They also say "I made" for grades instead of "I got." (Example: "I made a 90%/I made an "A"/I didn't make a "B") It's actually really funny. I still can't get over how often it is acceptable to drive on people's grass and how people don't really use their front doors and people say have a bless'd day and bless his heart. I LOVE ARKANSAS.)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Puppies, Lambs, and The Plan

Baby Lamb
P-day while they clean our carpets
Holy cow! This week was crazy and awesome.

We had district meeting with Elder Hughes this week! He mentioned something that I really like, that I'm not sure why I haven't been doing before. He said that when he teaches he likes to take a minute to really express how big of a deal the Restoration is. If it is true, that changes so much! It was fun this week to explain and testify to people of how amazing it is that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father truly appeared to Joseph Smith to restore the church back on the earth. I wouldn't have it any other way!
ALLERGIES (this was a mild day)
I had a dream last night that I was home and felt like I needed to serve another mission, so I submitted my papers and got called to the Tonga mission where the Other Side of Heaven movie takes place. (Is that even where it takes place??) And then I felt guilty because I submitted papers without the approval of the bishop and I suddenly felt like I shouldn't go so I decided to talk to the bishop about it and see what he thought. So, maybe that was a round about confirmation that I need to be serving here in Arkansas, not Tonga. Hahaha! Phew.
Umamis with Daniella

Oh man, so much happened this week and I have no idea how to write it all down. BUT, one thing that was so awesome is we have been teaching a young girl who is pretty shy and doesn't like to pray aloud but we read seven verses in the Book of Mormon and she ASKED US if she could pray! And then she said another prayer after dinner! She just needed to know she could do it by herself and it's still a good prayer. It's amazing what things happen when we read the Book of Mormon and follow the Spirit! :)
Brother Plumb is a member here and he randomly texted us with an awesome referral. (Members doing missionary work is THE BEST.) He has a friend who he gave a Book of Mormon to and explained a little bit about it and Moroni's challenge at the end. So we stopped by there with him the other night and it was so cool. We got to know them a little bit and ended up setting a date with the friend and girlfriend! Again, this guy had never prayed aloud before but for some reason the Spirit really touched him and he prayed with us. (His girlfriend was incredibly pleased with this because she is very religious and was excited to hear him pray.)

Our Spanish Zone Leaders are very inspired. We had a conference call (because all the Spanish missionaries are too spread out to have zone meetings, so we just attend English and have a conference c all for Spanish) and at the end they invited us to set three dates for baptism before going inside Sunday night-the call was Friday night. We were super excited because we had plans to do a lot of tracting Saturday and the goal is usually to set a baptism date in the first lesson, so we were like YEAH THIS WILL BE THE BEST. So Saturday we found a bunch of awesome areas with a lot of Spanish speaking people but we didn't set a date with a single person that day! (But we did have a Spanish Valentine's Day fiesta so it's okay.)
So, Sunday, we decided to stop by a new investigators house who isn't home very often but we had done service for her earlier in the week and she was really open and we made friends very quickly. We stopped by and she happened to be home!! (It's a miracle really.) And she said she was busy, we promised only ten minutes and we taught the Restoration to her. It was such an awesome lesson because I really am not very good at Spanish but words were coming to my mind so quickly and I was teaching her things I didn't think I knew how to teach! Same with Hermana Moore! 
The lady started crying and told us that we don't understand how complicated her life is and that she couldn't accept a baptismal date because she doesn't like to think about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon or really the stories in the Bible very much because she needs simplicity in her life. We told her that no, we don't know exactly what is going on to make her life so complicated but that God does and He sent us to her house for a reason and she happened to be there at the right time two times in a row and He wants her to find peace through His restored gospel. The spirit touched her heart and she accepted a baptismal date with a smile. She sort of made it seem like "I don't know why I am saying yes but I can't say no." haha I love the power of the Holy Ghost!
I had to speak in Spanish branch yesterday! It was so cool because we had gotten a call from this random guy who said hi to us at Dollar General and he said he wanted to come to church! (That never happens) So we were waiting for him and Presidente Hernandez came up to me and asked me to speak for five minutes ... Lol. Scary. But I was calm and I prayed and I remember someone saying one time that if you have nothing to say, talk about the Atonement. And another time someone said to talk about the doctrine of Christ. So I did that! I talked about the doctrine of Christ and how we are now in the "endure to the end" stage which is like going back and doing the first four steps (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost). Then, I remembered how you always said get three main points, so I did! I said that there are three things we can to do help us do these first four steps and ultimately endure to the end-Go to church (take the sacrament), read scriptures as a family and personally, and pray as a family and personally! It was not the best talk I have given, but I must say that I am so grateful for the Spirit that guided me because I had scriptures and a few short experiences and it came out clear (at least in my head. Haha sometimes I think I'm speaking a totally different language) and I bore my testimony and sat down. I wasn't even that nervous! I love the Holy Ghost.

As we were doing some finding/tracting this weekend it was not all a bust! We were able to find some really awesome potential investigators in Spanish, all because of referrals. The most fun was this cute young couple who we knocked on the door and she just let us right in! We taught probably the most unorganized and scattered lesson about the Restoration we have ever done but they were like way into it and wanted us to come back again. We had prayed all last week to find a humble young couple who are ready for the gospel in Spanish. And there we have it! God listens to our prayers. They were so sweet and asked a few questions and opened up a little bit to our crazy mas o menos Spanish lesson. It was funny because after the lesson, Hermana Moore and I both felt fine about it. We knew we should have prepared more for the lesson and been more direct with the commitments we set but we somehow still felt good about just meeting them! And we found a few other families similarly. People who were humble and open to listening and being honest.
Freddos because we had a hard day

This week we were sad to hear about the death of Sadie Wells, a missionary in Pennsylvania. She was a friend of Hermana Moore who died in a car accident. It was heart wrenching to think of her family and her companion and other missionaries in the car. Hermana Moore said she was an amazing person who radiated happiness! But sometimes God needs missionaries elsewhere and He trusts that we will use the knowledge of the Plan of Happiness and the Savior and His Atonement to find solace. We reflected a lot on this, the reason for Heavenly Father taking people especially so young. Of course we know that He is exceptionally watchful over His missionaries, and if we have faith in Him and this plan, we find peace. 
I was thinking about the Plan of Salvation a lot this week for this reason and because a lot of our investigators need the lesson. I love 1 Nephi 10:6 "Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer." As we face challenges and overcome concerns, we should rely on the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Only through Him can we find lasting joy and peace. The worldly pleasures are nothing in comparison to the, as Lehi says, "exceedingly great joy" that comes from the fruits of repentance and using the Atonement everyday in our lives.

I am again so grateful to be serving here. I am so blessed to have this knowledge of the Plan of Happiness, the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His doctrine. I am so grateful for my family and for my testimony and for the opportunity I have to share the things I know to be true with those I love in Arkansas!

Mucho love,
Hermana Macfarlane

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spanish City

Hot Chocolate and Free Wifi for P-day

Not sure where the subject line came from but here you go! 
Hola familia y amigos!


This week has been fun because Hermana Barrera doesn't have any girls and she loves doing hair so we went to her house and she did our hair twice this week! It is so fun. It's the best language study ever really.

Hermana Barrera

We visited cute Miss Thelma again, that's always a sure highlight of the week. Especially because she always remembers the "Mac" part of my name, but she (like most people here) cannot remember the "farlane" part. There's always some version of "Macbellin" or "Macduffel" or something like that!

The Eastman family is so awesome. We went to their house for dinner on Tuesday and Sister Eastman made this amazing chicken broccoli cheese cracker thing and I had to use some serious self control to not eat the whole pan. They are such a fun family!! Fun fact is that Brother Eastman has a direct line to Sacagawea (my iPad says that spelled right but IDK) so we talked about that and all our different heritages. Lately we have been inviting all of the families that we go to visit to fast and pray for a specific missionary opportunity or for someone they can bring to their home for a dinner/FHE/activity/etc. This Sunday was fast Sunday so we are praying to see some awesome miracles from this! The Eastman's (and really all the other families) are so on board and this ward is the best.

Super bowl (Hna Moore, Sister Smith, Sister Bass, me looking like a
crazy person, Sam, Sydney)

Game watchers

Then we ate with them again on Sunday after church! We were signed up to eat with the Smith's but we ended up having Super Bowl munchies together with the Smith's and the Eastman's and a bunch of other families in the ward! Hermana Moore and I just hung out in the kitchen with Sam, Joe, Syndey, Sister Smith, and Sister Bass and some other sisters so that we wouldn't watch the game but we could still eat! And let me tell you about some of the delicious foods we ate (this is more for my sake so I can remember to make them all when I get home): 
- grapes with whipped cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar and nuts  
- Parmesan chicken cupcakes (it's like breaded stuff with chicken parm in the middle and marinara on top. So good) 
- Classic BBQ weenies - ritz dipped in cream cheese, cheddar cheese, green onions, and bacon dip
- sourdough bread with cucumbers and the sweet green herb seasoning stuff that I can't remember 
- cheese dip- peppers with cheese and bacon
- bean dip- cheese ball (my fave)
- Sam's brownies
- cake- ritz with peanut butter dipped in frosting
- a second (and third. And fourth.) serving of the grape stuff 
- strawberry cake- dipped Rice Krispies 
- muddy buddies with pretzels 
- brownies with marshmallows on them 
- more grape whipped cream stuff 
and probably some other stuff but I can't remember! :) It was a great way to end Fast Sunday. :)
Saturday was fun because Aari got baptized! I don't remember if I have even written about Aari before. She is the CUTEST. Her parents are long-time members and she has been adopted by them and recently turned 8 so we helped teach her the lessons so she would be ready for baptism! It was so much fun. We taught about 2 lessons every week for the last little bit. I really enjoyed teaching Aari and being in the Seay's home. They have a very sweet spirit and are so loving. We were nervous for her baptism because it was also the ward temple day! Most of the people that know Aari were planning on being at the temple that day. But it turned out so awesome! They ended up having about 40-45 people there that morning with still a big group that went to the temple. Sister McArthur gave a really good talk on baptism and what that means and why it is so important to follow this example of Jesus Christ. She used the 4th article of faith to explain the steps. Then she did the whiteboard trick and explained that at baptism, we are clean from all the marks or sins we made during our life. But once we are clean, it is possible to be dirty again, which is why we have the Atonement. She did great. Then after the baptism Sister Eastman gave a great talk about the Holy Ghost and how we need that guidance but especially the comfort when times are hard. I love the ladies in this ward! They are great examples to me. And I'm so thankful for Aari and her decision to follow Jesus Christ. It is something that is so simple that an 8 year old understands it but so profound that it will make a huge impact on her life the more she learns about it.

After her baptism we had a few minutes to do some regular missionary work and then we went to Amber's baby shower!! It was so fun and cute. We helped cut out a banner (I have never seen such effort put into a baby shower before) and they had hand painted cute little pictures and signs and all sorts of cute baby stuff. Most importantly they had tacos and cheesy potatoes and cake. And we got to see Genevieve and Eric again! :) (also Desiree, Sam, Cindy, etc. etc. :))

We had one of the best zone meetings I have had yet on my mission. The leaders were awesome but mostly the Spirit was so strong there and I learned a lot! (I had to do the Accountability to the Doctrine on Lesson 3 and President and Sister Wakolo were there... Scary haha.) We learned about making studies more meaningful and things we can do to bring the Spirit, and especially being worthy to have the Spirit and receive revelation for our investigators during those study hours. And when the zone leaders asked President Wakolo what he does to feel the Spirit during the day (we were talking about trying to keep the Spirit with us not just in studies but in the car and everywhere we go) he said that he doesn't listen to any kind of music, ever. NOT EVEN MOTAB. Haha! All of our faces were probably hilarious! Naturally we didn't listen to music for like three or four days after that. And we decided that we will just be slower to turn on music and be prayerful about it, too. It has actually been really nice to be able to ponder and meditate on the lesson or on my own thoughts as we drive.  But sometimes the music does help us focus our thoughts and actions on the Savior and brings the Spirit when we feel distracted. :) I love the Wakolo's! They are very inspired and have the strongest sweetest spirits. It is a pleasure serving with them here.
Bing a dorky baker with cupcakes
The cute Spanish branch is the best. They are wanting to learn more hymns and practice singing in tempo so we had a mini choir practice to sing our songs for the next day. I love the Spanish hymns they are so much more fun, haha! On Sunday I had to go to the English ward at the beginning (we do splits for sacrament meeting because they're at the same time) so Hermana Moore took one for the team and lead the branch in a new song, without piano. Apparently everyone started singing the wrong song and just kept going so that's hilarious.

We have been wanting to (as always) continue finding new people to teach. Hermana Moore had the idea to try to contact a former potential investigator. We were nervous because it was a spur of the moment thing and she lives pretty far out from us so it could either be awesome or a waste of miles to drive all the way out there. We decided it was a prompting that we needed to follow so we drove out there and she wasn't home! We waited out in her drive way for a little bit trying to figure out why we had been prompted to go to this area. I got the feeling that we needed to knock a few of the surrounding houses, so we did, and no one was home. I kept saying to myself "this is the last one and then we will go" and then we would knock the door and I would feel like we needed to keep knocking and knocking! It gets exhausting when no one is home or if they are they really really do not want to listen to you. But for some reason the whole time we both felt really good about being in that area! At the end we felt prompted to give a pass along card to some construction workers (yes it was very awkward to walk onto a construction site and give a Christmas pass along card. But the Lord works in mysterious ways!) and then as we went back to our car, we met a guy who lives by himself and is all boater, snowboarder, fisher, partier, etc. kind of dude and we shared with him a little bit about what we believe and we decided to send the elders there later. It was so interesting as we were leaving we both felt very good about the hour we spent there. No one really accepted anything or was interested in progressing, but we both felt good about just having been there and left little cards in doors and stuff.
Eutaw?? Utah??

I am grateful for the testimony I have gained this week of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am grateful for the sacrifice of Joseph Smith and those who were in the early church made and the ancestors that I have who accepted the church early on so that I could be here and be so blessed. Hermana Moore and I have had to testify a lot of Christ being the head of one true church. He loves us all very individually and I am just very grateful for the safety and security that is found in this church lead by righteous Priesthood holders being guided by Jesus Christ himself. I know that because of His pure love and the love of Heavenly Father, I can be with my family forever. I can be happy now and in the eternities! I am so grateful to be serving here and for the opportunity I have to share my testimony with those around me here in Arkansas!

 I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support! :)

 Hermana Macfarlane

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sum it up with Testimony

Hello and here is my weekly email. :)

So everyday we have to sync our iPads and I just realized this week I have missed out on 5 1/2 months of "sinking" jokes.

This was such a good week! I don't have a lot to write about but also I say that every week and I think I win for the longest missionary weekly emails so here we go:
Beautiful bike week.
  BIKE WEEK. We lucked out so, so much on bike week - holy cow. It has been a balmy 50-70 degrees everyday! EVERYDAY. :) It was a pleasure riding around to our appointments in light jackets and water bottles. I always love bike week because it makes us be out with the people, but then I'm like "wait this is really hard" because the people are never outside because it's too cold or too hot, BUT NOT THIS WEEK.
Everyone and their dog (really though) was outside!

And, our zone leaders have this zone battle thing going on between the districts and this week the challenge was to hand out as many pass-along cards as we could to new people. So it was so fun to be walking/riding around talking to all the people of Russellville.As we were riding these two guys were like "HEY - NICE BIKES." Usually we are pretty cautious of men so we just said thanks and kept riding but they kept asking us questions so we went to talk to them and it turns out they were super awesome and one of them had gotten help from elders before! We explained a lot about missionary work and about church and stuff. I like when people are basically begging us to teach them stuff. It rocks.

We also talked to an atheist who said he's not atheist. He kept saying he was really smart so somehow that made him credible.

Always trains.

PATTY! Patty is the best ever. We found her street contacting and it turns out her mom was a member and she had her copy of the Book of Mormon! That was miracle #1 with her. Then the next time we went to teach her she was already on chapter 10 of 1 Nephi (miracle #2)! She was able to come to church with us the next week (miracle #3), and she is now reading in 2 Nephi, the gospel principles book, the relief society book and she is loving it! The Lord prepared her so well, this was not our doing! Haha - she is awesome.
Cute Kiddos
 The English ward had a chili cook off and we had five investigators come! The ward is so amazing with helping the investigators feel welcome. And they make good chili. And cinnamon rolls. And pie. :) :) :)With the Spanish branch we made jabon. (Soap. In this case, laundry soap.) They are learning different auto-sufficiency things and it's pretty fun. We had really good sugar cookies too so that was a plus.

I am slowly understanding more and more, I love these Hermanas. :)

Lunch with Jo, Sam, us, and Katie! (Notice the fruit bowl. It was overflowing
when we brought it and it was totally empty when we left.)
Yesterday Katie invited Sam, Joe, and us to her house for amazing burgers! IT WAS THE BURGER I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR MY WHOLE MISSION I AM SO HAPPY. :) And we (yes, Hermana Moore and I believe it or not) made a fruit salad! We were excited because we made it really big so we could eat it during the week ... but we ate the whole thing. And cake. Katie is the best and I love her and her friendship! She is so willing to serve and love others. And Sam and Joe are awesome, too. They are the first to jump up and help us with whatever missionary (or other) stuff we need.

A new lady at the rest home remembered our names from like three weeks ago! She is the first person on my mission to remember my name! I love the ladies there, they are so sweet. And they love to talk about scriptures and pray with us. It brightens my day! Sorry this email is kind of lame. But honestly this was a really good week.
Hermana Barrera loves to do hair. We helped them clean the church this
week and they braided our hear and fed us amazing breakfast burritos
with homemade salsa and oatmeal. :) :) :)

I learned this week that testimony is so important. Not only does it bring the Spirit to testify but it boldly and clearly sums up whatever was taught or learned. It's like saying "If there's one thing I want you to remember, one thing I want you to know I know it's ... (bear testimony) ...." It is simple and profound. So, for this week, I want you to know that I know prayer is powerful. "Because He is our Father and we are His children, He will answer our prayers." (PMG chapter 3, lesson 4.) Heavenly Father is so mindful of us and will always answer our prayers. Whether it be a plead for comfort, asking for forgiveness, a little more energy, a softened heart of a friend, whatever, Heavenly Father hears our prayers and will answer us according to His will and timing. His timing is always the best timing. Because He loves us, He sent us Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of Him we can find peace, we can ask for comfort, we can be freed from our sins and find joy in repenting every day. I know Heavenly Father loves me and that Jesus Christ came to earth and set the perfect example for happiness. I know this is the Lord's work and He will not let us fail if we are faithful! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thank you for your prayers. I love you! Please pray that our investigators and less-active members will be able to come to church and feel the Spirit there. That is the most important step for most of them right now. :) Keep going to church and reading your scriptures and praying!

Hermana Macfarlane