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

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