Tuesday, February 21, 2017

One last story!

I just want to tell this story really quick:

Spanish Street

Yesterday, we were leaving to bike to try and visit a less active member and we weren't sure if we were going to make it there in time to see her before our next appointment. We were crossing the freeway exit and right as we were crossing, a member and her husband pulled up to get off the freeway. I saw this little arm stick out the window to wave and I was like "heeyy!!!!!!" They pulled over and said, "We're going to the Mexican restaurant down the street, come meet us over there!" So, we biked our tails off and met them over there at the restaurant I have always wanted to try (and dad needs to come try it too, he will love it). Anyway they fed us dinner really quick and then somehow got our huge bikes on top of their car and dropped us off at our appointment! That was the first miracle.

The road we bike, with no shoulder.

Las Hermanas

Then we went to see this cute family. A few weeks ago we were at Walmart and "we needed to know which tortillas to buy" when really we didn't care but wanted a non-threatening way to talk to this lady. So she gives us her best suggestion, we invite her to English class, and all is well. That week she AND her husband come to English class for their date night! Hermana Keller asked them if we could stop by and share spiritual stuff with them and they said yes. So, we set an appointment and it fell through. So, we decided to try them last Wednesday and we had a great lesson with their family and a member. We went back for our appointment last night and we went in, all the kids LINED UP to give us hugs, we sat down and all 7 of them (parents and 5 kids) sat at the table perfectly attentive and they all had restoration pamphlets in hand and we taught them the story of the Restoration and about God's love and invited them to be baptized, and they all (except for the youngest who is like 4 or 5) said they want to. The mom especially kept expressing she feels like she really needs to do that, it was so sweet. Then we invited them to church and the kids got so excited. The parents were less excited about 3 hours and so I was like well, if you can't make it the whole three hours at least come for the last hour which is the most important, sacrament meeting. (They do it last here.) And the kids were all like NO WAY WE ARE COMING TO ALL OF IT hahaha those kids are the cutest. Please pray for them to be able to come to church and still want to get baptized and read the Book of Mormon.

After we had that lesson, we were off on our bikes to go with the Benitez to make some pupusas! They picked us up, we went over, made some delicious pupusas, ate the delicious pupusas, and came home. It was a beautiful day!!
video


I know the church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is the head of this church. I know that by living the principles of the gospel, it makes it possible to go through difficult challenges. The Atonement is real, the Savior loves us all and is so willing to help us if we let Him.

I love you all, thank you for everything! See you soon!


"And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory..." Alma 22:14













Hermana Benitez
 





Tuesday, February 7, 2017

HOLA AND ADIOS

This week we were really grateful for the car, correlation meeting, our sweet neighbor who came to church, and lots and lots of tamales that we are enjoying! For some reason these last two weeks, we have gotten like 3 or 4 bags of tamales with like 4 in each bag. They are delicious.
Getting food at the Mercadito


We had some really cool experiences with the Book of Mormon this week. I realized as I have strengthened my testimony of it and asked Heavenly Father to help us, it's a lot easier to share the Book of Mormon with people wherever we go! I used to be more timid and assume people just weren't ready to listen or they needed more background before they could accept it. But I've found that if we start with our common ground, especially common belief in Jesus Christ and families, it opens a lot of doors and actually builds a stronger base for us to then teach more restored truths.
Sister Hyer (I don't know the first thing about Sister Hyer. But she sent this picture, so here it is.)

There are a lot of things I've learned throughout my mission, but something that stuck out a lot this week was that the priesthood is part of the Plan of Salvation. We were watching the Mormon Message; I think it's called “Sanctify Yourselves” or something. It's when a newly ordained Melchizedek priesthood holder gives a blessing to someone who got struck by lightning. I was thinking about the priesthood blessings I've gotten as well as the ordinances and order that happen because of the priesthood, and it clicked to me that God knew there would be people getting struck by lightning, and sister missionaries needing counsel, so He provided the way and the power for those things to happen the way he needs them to. Does that make sense? There are a lot of other things the priesthood power does (especially having a prophet and having the Book of Mormon) but this stuck out to me!

I know the gospel blesses lives. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the access to the Atonement, and humility is the key! I'm in the Isaiah chapters in the Book of Mormon and, as much as I understand, it's been really cool to see the expectations God has for his children and still the love. More than anything I have felt the Spirit! My favorite phrase is "for all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still."

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE SUPPORT YOU HAVE GIVEN ME. I am so excited for this last week, we are going to work really hard (on bikes!) and everyone is going to come to church. woot woot.

Have a great week, give me your last words of advice.
Read your scriptures and say your prayers.
Thank you for your prayers in my behalf and all the missionaries!

Nos vemos!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mission Conference, Exchanges and MORE SLEEP

This week, Sister Macfarlane didn’t have time to write a weekly update/blog entry. So, I’ve taken snippets from our email correspondence instead. My comments are in blue. –Helen

The mission gathered ALL together for the first time since Sister Macfarlane has been there. Usually they meet together on either side of the Mississippi River, with the Little Rock side and the Memphis side. Elder Neil L. Anderson came to speak with them and they all met together in Memphis.
Todos
The conference with Elder Andersen was SO SO good. He is just the most humble man; seriously, he has the sweetest spirit. We were also taught by Elder Klebingat of the Seventy. He called us all to repentance and it was cool. He said if there is anything you haven't laid on the altar, decide to put it there right now, and he gave us a minute to do it. Super awesome. He's a powerhouse. And he's German so, that's cool. Then Bishop Waddell spoke to us and it was a little less intense. His theme was serving vs being on a mission. It was really good-like think about why you are here. Also, we talked about the doctrine of Christ and asked some questions to help us teach it better. Then Elder Andersen spoke and the thing I took away from it was he said "don't you think you ought to have 10-20 scriptures memorized? Maybe 10 from the New Testament and 10 from the Book of Mormon?" So, I'm working on getting my 20. :) He just kept smiling and was so genuine and pleasant when we shook his hand.
Claudia came to English Class this week!

I asked Sister Macfarlane if there was anything specific she has missed from home. I was thinking of things I could have ready for her when she returns. Here's what she said.

Something I've missed? Probably always having a cold glass of water to steal from you. I'm still suffering to fill up my OWN cup like multiple times a day. It’s getting old. ;) Well really, I think I miss being able to play the piano all the time and singing a lot or something. And Iris ... well sometimes I miss her but most of the time it's just nice to be dog-free. I miss having family prayer and scripture study and staying up late with you and Emma, listening to your problems and telling you mine! :) I sort of miss dad praying for hours and him standing up with red marks on his face. Haha, it's cute. I miss Andrew being a punk and showing us his new music, that's fun. Something I'm worried about is that the things that you all like a lot about me are probably different. I know there are things that won't ever change but like I don't feel like blasting music around the house and staying up late watching gory movies or something. Ya know? I know it'll all be okay and I'm grateful because I think you will all be incredibly supportive of me, you've been so so so good so far, I don't know why it would change now! :)
Skype call with Hermanas and English Sisters we exchanged with.

Las Hermanas
Exchanges with the English Sisters

First time we have been together

And last minute, she asked that I post this:

I just want to share that I love the Book of Mormon! Also something that we learned during our meeting was Elder Klebingat... no idea how to spell his name (I looked it up and fixed it here)... but he asked us to read Acts 5:1-12 and if there is anything that is keeping us from being honest with God, we need to give it up! I know it's hard sometimes to give up certain small or big things. He invited us to put it on the altar and offer our will to God and he would make us stronger. It is really only through Jesus Christ that it is even possible. We give up our will, but we have to turn to the Lord for help to make it through.

I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and that Heavenly Father gives us the tools we need to be happy.

Love you all so much!

Hermana Macfarlane

Getting ready for bed because SCHEDULE CHANGE WOOHOO