Monday, April 18, 2016

HOLA AMIGOS



I think my brain will explode there's so much to say about this week.
 
Taught Institute
So, Tuesday was crazy and awesome because we biked over to the Roque's for lunch and Hna Roque needed to go do something so we then needed someone to come teaching with us. She suggested we call Hermana Leal, so we did and she was ready to go right then! So we biked ourselves home (ain't never biked so fast) and had fun with Hna Leal! Then we came back and jumped right into the car with Sister Warrendorf who went to go visit a less active member with us (which, I will spare you the details but was so awesome and inspired for her to be there). Then we came back, ran to the bathroom, and hopped in the car with Scarlett! No one was home that we wanted to see with her. She ran us back to the apartment to grab a book we forgot to grab for institute, then dropped us off at the church.


We took a minute to prepare for class (my section was on Hosea and Joel, Sister Brown did Amos and Obadiah). HOLY COW THE OLD TESTAMENT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND SOMETIMES. But it's okay because we had all the institute manuals and seminary manuals and much praying on our side so it went okay. Scarlett was the only "student" we had there so we talked and talked and talked about all sorts of doctrine and the cool parables (about God and His relationship with the Israelites. It's cool. You should read it.) Then we went straight to dinner with Erika and went home and went to bed. (After planning of course.)
Rosemary and olive oil bread with rotisserie chicken salad, cranberry juice, and pie.
Sooooo full.

Cried because I can't handle onions ...

... so I cut them with my eyes closed.
There was one day that we needed to make a decision between a few options of things we could do (ha literally everyday is like this but this one was a stop and make a decision because we only had an hour kind of day). We said a prayer in our hearts as we were driving and I felt like we needed to see one of our investigators we haven't been able to get a hold of for a while. Long story short, it was so great! We talked a lot about faith and Hermana Brown shared some cool insights and scriptures. We talked about why the scriptures are so much more important than just any other story. Very cool.

Spent two hours putting this picture collage together with Marci.
Okay sorry this is short (or, you're welcome?) but this morning I was studying again about faith and I LOVE Hebrews 11:1-especially the footnote b with the JST. It's cool. BUT THEN I read Matthew Chapter 9 and was thinking about what faith is. Jesus Christ performed so many miracles and I think there are three main things that make it possible

1. Faith - the faith of the sick person or person being asked to act.

2. Action - faith requires action. The ruler/father of the sick daughter had to act on his faith and humble himself to ask Christ to come heal his daughter.

3. Love/compassion - Christ had to have such a deep and abiding love to make it possible. The pure love of Christ (or charity) is powerful!

I love you all. Russellville is the best. But actually the Book of Mormon is the best because it testifies of Jesus Christ and through Jesus Christ is how we can be together forever with our families!
Beautiful morning drive to zone conference

Love,
Hermana Macfarlane

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Three flat bike tires and the good people of Russellville


Hermana Brown trying to change the tube with a butter knife. It didn't work.

HIIIIII

This week the Davis' made us peanut butter bars and awesome salad and it was so good.

We also got three flat tires. Because of that we had to walk to one of our return appointments (who were not home). BUT we were able to talk to these two Hispanic guys and it was so fun because they gave us help with our grammar and we invited them to church. They unfortunately didn't have a car because they were just vacationing here so they didn't come to church but we felt like it was so good that we were able to stop and talk with them. I really like bike/walk week because it makes us be out and about with the people and it makes it a lot easier to talk to everyone! :)

Before Sister Brown got a bike, we walked on a very hot day to an investigator who lived pretty far from our house. As we were walking back, I felt like we needed to call a member to give us a ride. I kept thinking of Sister Watts, an awesome missionary member, but she had just returned home from a work trip and she is a busy teacher. So, I called a different member but she couldn't and then she suggested that we call Sister Watts. I decided it was spiritually guided and called her up. She is the best and just left her work like 10 minutes after we called and came to get us. We were planning on teaching Robert, but he wasn't home. BUT his sweet mother, whom we had met before, was home and we talked with her for a wile about following Christ and how important it is to remember his sacrifice. She wouldn't accept a copy of the Book of Mormon but Sister Watts had an Ensign in her car that she gave to Robert's mom. We haven't gone back to visit her yet but it was so cool! We may not even teach Robert's mom again but I'm grateful that everything worked out the way it did and we were able to share even just a portion of our testimonies with her.

We have been trying to work really hard with the members this week, and continuing next week, both Spanish Branch and English Ward. RUSSELLVILLE MEMBERS ARE SO COOL: Sister Bowler came to give us a ride from North Little Rock, the Thompson's helped us get new tire tubes, Sister Coonts took us to the grocery store today so we didn't have to ride in the rain, the Espinoza's just went to the temple this last week, Fern let us borrow her awesome atlas timeline of the Old Testament to help with the institute class we are teaching this week, Katie and Autumn fed us and laughed with us, Hermana Roque helped us learn/pronounce Spanish and provided a very loving and mothering spirit with some young investigators, Sister Hilton fed us twice this week, and many of the members in English and Spanish bore beautiful and humble testimonies this fast Sunday. I wish I could write down everything they do for us and for the work but it's impossible! I'm just grateful to serve here with such good people!
Map thing from Fern. It's so cool.

These next few months we are focusing on Chapters 6 and 10 of Preach My Gospel, which are attributes of Christ and teaching skills. We are also challenged to read the New Testament by the end of June (lol I'm so behind!!!). And we are focusing a lot on explaining scriptures in a way that we testify of the scriptures, not finding scriptures that testify of us, does that make sense? It's cool. I love the scriptures. :)

I have been focusing a lot this week about what it means to be a Child of God. I love love love Elder Hallstrom's talk about this from conference. Our first identity should be as a Child of God, not as an occupation or hobby or something else. I have been trying my best to be 100% sincere when I tell people God loves them. I have always known it but sometimes I don't think about it as much as I should. And, I need to think about it for myself too. I have found that it is easier to repent and change when I remember that God loves me. Instead of thinking "ahh I need to be better," I think "It's okay because God still loves me!" Repentance should be a joy! :) I am so grateful for the covenants and promises we can make with God because He loves us. And because He loves us He sent us His Son to overcome sin and death. I'm thankful for this knowledge, and especially for the scriptures which testify of these things.

Somehow, I have yet to have a rainy walk week here in Russellville. It always rains the week before and the week after! It's great! :)

Also, Hermana Brown took a nap today (while I deep cleaned the kitchen... Ooooh it was soooo nice :) :) :)) and I couldn't wake her up because se was OUT. I tried shaking her and calling her name. I turned the lights on, I moved the trash around, I run up and down the stairs, and then finally it hit me. I needed to ring the doorbell. I knew it would make her mad, but I didn't know how else to wake her up! I took a deep breath and pushed the button. I have never seen someone so so so confused as she was! I wish I had filmed it!! Haha she was pretty mad at me for a minute there and then she realized how funny it actually was, and quickly got over it. Our doorbell is SO LOUD, btw.

Have a great week! Listen/watch conference again! I listened to the "Be Thou Humble" talk this morning, which was really great. Also the "Healing Ointment of the Atonement." Also great.

Have a great week!

Hermana Macfarlane
Long line of antique cars that are fun to look at.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Russellville Welcomes Hermana Brown!

Hermanas Hudson, Ponce, Reed, Macfarlane, Brown
Oh man okay so k left my keyboard at the apartment and we are at the church but the elders forgot to unlock the computers so I'm left to typing on my giant iPad thing and my fingers are tired already holy cow my hands are tiny.
Made a sign. It lasted like an hour.

7 1/2 months later and WE ARE FINALLY TOGETHER. Hermana Brown is from Huntsville Utah, she comes from a huge family, and she's the best. We met for the first time in the airport in Atlanta and had the privilege of being companions for a day in the mission home (she came from the Mexico MTC). We are both relatively quiet in groups but we talk non-stop when we are together. We like peanut butter. We are very much still learning Spanish. We love dogs. We have a goal to be more fluent than Hermana Ponce by the end of this transfer (we have three more weeks). And we aren't morning people. I'm so excited to be her companion! I have already seen how her testimony has and will bless many people here in Russellville.

Last day, stuck at a train crossing

I'm also really grateful for the chance I had to be companions with Herman a reed for 3 1/2 weeks! She helped me have confidence in speaking Spanish and talking with everyone and though it is really tough to go home early, especially from an injury, she handled it with courage and faith and I'm grateful for her example! I will miss her!! But it is the Lord's will and as Hermana brown says, the Lord's time is perfect.


A few highlights from this week were:

Exchanges not only with sister Nelson but Hermana Ponce too!! They came to me here in Russellville while Hermana Reed went to Conway with Sister Mendicino. I was amazed by Hermana Ponce and sister nelson's wisdom, kindness, willingness, and most of all their love. I am seriously so blessed to be serving under their care! (Sister Mendicino is awesome too. I love her. I just haven't gotten to go on exchanges with her yet so I don't know her as well. But I definitely feel loved by her as well.) We had a really fun few lessons, one was with a guy who I had seen outside earlier in the week and gave a card and felt impressed to go knock on his door again. We were with brother Carnathan so it worked out. We all sat out on his porch  and talked about the purpose of life and how to overcome sadness from loved ones dying. Beautiful testimonies were shared and my testimony was strengthened as they all shared experiences and tender mercies of Christ in their lives.Then later that evening we went to see another investigator who has no Christian background. SO FUN to teach someone that God is merciful and has made a plan for us when we sin so that we can, through Christ, come back to Him. It was way too fun and Hermana Ponce even got a few kisses from her little boy! Hahaha very nice.

Farewell breakfast

After a tearful goodbye to Hermana Reed, the four of us went to lunch to an awesome Greek restaurant. I think I like Greek food is at least in my top five now! It was so awesome. It was so fun to talk with Hermana Ponce and Hermana Hudson again. They are hilarious and I love them a lot. We are looking forward to having exchanges again this transfer. :) :) they're cool.
Awesome last breakfast with cute Sam and Hermana Reed

GENERAL CONFERENCE IS SO COOL. Isn't it amazing that we get to listen to the prophet?! And the apostles and other leaders?! MAN it's so cool. I especially loved the way they all were very genuine. Even the person conducting would say "we are all going to sing..." with seriousness and excitement! I loved the hymns and I learned that songs are like prayers and need to be sung as such!

Packing up at the end of exchanges


Hilarious no hair picture
I also LOVED the focus on the love of God. Like Elder Holland said, the first great commandment is to love God and the first truth of heaven is that He loves us. It was so powerful! I have been studying "I am a child of God" and what that hymn means REALLY for me. I know in my mind and I believe in my heart that God loves me, and I love Him. He doesn't forget us. He sent us here and gave us homes and families for our happiness, preparation, and learning.
District Role Play

I love missionary work and I'm so happy to be serving here in Russellville!! :)

Much love,
Hermana Macfarlane


Baby calf the day before it died


Learning how to make chocolate gravy!
 Blowing the train whistle for the last time:

video


 The baby calf:

video


 Michael Buble's "I'm Coming Home" came on the night before Reed left:

video