Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Years!

Monday, December 29, 2014

HAPPY 31st ANNIVERSAY MOM AND DAD!!! Yes of course I remembered, even without your reminders haha, Wow, 31 years thats a long time haha. I hope you guys have some time today to enjoy it and celebrate it and if not than perhaps after all the chaos because you guys deserve it. Thank you for being great parents and I`m grateful for the example your marriage has given me. So Happy Anniversary! I wish I could give you guys a gift!

Yes, Skyping was awesome and yeah it was definitely harder than I thought it`d be saying goodbye. But it was really great seeing everyone's faces and hearing your voices. It makes it a lot more real and hard being away but I know the time will past and you`ll be there when i get done. So for now I have to keep working hard. To be honest I was worried how the first couple days after Skyping would be and while the first couple hours were hard, the first couple days after weren't so bad. Of course it was still hard and I missed you guys but luckily we got right back to work and had some good lessons. Not to mention it is difficult being gone for Scotts wedding. Really hard actually. It's hard to miss such a special occasion but I know we will all be blessed for it. and I`ll have the rest of my life to be with you guys and to hang out. It also helps to remind myself that even though I'm missing out on Scott's wedding, I'm here doing work so that others might have that same opportunity - to go to the temple and be sealed as a family.

We are working with two less active families right now and one of them came to church yesterday. It helped me get refocused and back on track. It's kind of hard though because these couple of weeks with the holidays, we can't do as much work so it`ll be nice, to be honest, once it's over with and I can get lost in the work again.

Also Happy New Years!! You`ll have to let me know what you guys did and how everything went with the wedding and the receptions and New Years. I'm not sure exactly what we`re doing yet. We might go to one of the Elders apartments again or we might just stay in our apartment for the night. On Thursday (New Years Day), once we can leave the apartment we are going to the Berrondos for pancakes and going to play a game of basketball so that should be fun.

Yeah not much to tell you since we just talked haha. We haven't been able to contact that lady again since the first visit so we`ll see what happens.

We found a new investigator - the niece of one of the members and I think she`s ready and prepared to be baptized.  We have an appointment with her this week.

I miss you and love you lots! Tell everyone hello and congratulations to Scott and Erika!! Tell me all about this week in your email! 


Elder McFarland

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Week

Monday, December 22, 2014

Crazy to think it's Christmas this week! One, because it doesn't feel like Christmas here at all haha. There are some decorations here in some places and some people have trees but Argentina just doesn't have the same Christmas spirit as the states and not to mention it's super hot right now.  Like you just can't have Christmas during the summer. Also because I remember just last Christmas when the Elders came over to our house to Skype their families. It's weird to think that now I'm in their shoes and will be Skyping you guys and in the home of a family.  So we are planning to go over to the Berrondos at 3:00 p.m. Argentina time so 10:00 a.m. your time to Skype. So yeah be ready around 10:00 a.m. your time for my call.

You`ll have to tell me about the insulin pump on Christmas because I still don't really get it haha.

That's super awesome that you are responsible for the missionary work in the stake!! It's cool that you`ll still be serving and working with the missionaries so we can have similar experiences. That's great that you had your first lesson Mom (with the young women), are you enjoying it so far?

Yeah not much news right now on the mission change because President Thurgood knows just as much as us so I guess more information will come with time. Crazy to think there's a possibility of me and Elder Pribyl ending up in the same mission especially because he could end up in Buenos Aires South Mission too.

Yes I got the letter with the General Conference Ensign and the birthday wishes from Facebook along with more stickers and the missinoary stuff which is really cool thank you!!

This last week we had a zone conference and combined with two other stakes. It was like any other zone conference in the beginning, the Assistants and President taught us and then afterwards each zone had some time to do something. We did our skit.  Another zone did a skit too and the other zone did a video of their testimonies. It was still spiritual but also some fun and Christmas in it too.

On Saturday we had a cool experience. Elder Killian and I prayed about some streets we should tract and do contacts on and on the first street after about 7 or 8 houses a woman let us in and we taught her and we have an appointment with her on Tuesday. We really need new investigators and we prayed that we could find one this week and we did. I have faith she`ll progress but we`ll see what happens. Either way it was cool and strengthened my faith because from a list of about 20 streets we both individually prayed and selected 5 and from those 3 of ours matched and it was on the first street we met this lady. We`ll see what happens though.

Today we had our zone activity and just played soccer and dodge ball.

It`s hard being away, especially during the holidays and for Scott and Erika's wedding but then I think of why I`m here. During this Christmas  I'm learning a lot more on the true meaning of Christmas. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."   Jesus Christ is the Gift. He was the first gift of Christmas and the best gift we can receive in our lives. During this time at Christmas we should remember why we celebrate it in the first place. - why there are gifts and Christmas trees to begin with. It all begin with our Savior, Jesus Christ who was born in the most humble of conditions--in a manger. Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who before he came to the earth lived as a God with our Father in Heaven, who created the earth.  The King of Kings and he came to earth not in some grand entrance with glory but in the must humblest of ways, born as a baby in a manger to a virgin and a carpenter. He is the best being to have ever lived. He lived a perfect life and he gave us the perfect example. In the end He completed the Fathers will and died for us. He rose from the dead and through that all might be resurrected. The other part of His gift, is conditional on our acceptance though. We must accept the conditions of the atonement and keep them. Through His sacrifice, we can be forgiven of our sins, guilt can become peace, sadness can become happiness, we can become clean and start over, everyday. We can have faith and hope in a better future, a hope and knowledge that through His sacrifice we can change. Through his sacrifice, he knows exactly how we feel and because of that he knows exactly how to help us and what we need. If we just turn to Him and accept Him and His atoning sacrifice in our lives we can have joy and peace in our life right now and for eternity. I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior, the Redeemer of all mankind, He is the captain of our salvation, and He lives! May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas and may we try to be more like Him and follow His example for it is the only way to true and everlasting happiness. I love you and miss you all! I cant wait to Skype in a few days!. 


Elder McFarland

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Character of Christ & Beware of Pride

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hola Familia! 

Well this week has been interesting, but good. It started out somewhat disappointing because one of our investigators smoked one of the milk cigarettes last Sunday so we had to delay the baptism.  Since then, she`s smoked one more, but still only the milk cigarettes, which are super nasty, so we are hoping that she continues to slowly smoke less and less until she quits completely. We are not sure exactly when she will get baptized and if I'll be here but she will.

It also sounds like Nancy and Sergio and the kids moving out was a good thing because now they live in the ward boundaries where the kids have a cousin that is a member. At least the first Sunday, apparently the cousin brought the kids to church.

Manuel and Claudia hopefully could be baptized by the end of the year. Claudia is pregnant and so I got confused about what they were talking about but it sounds like they are both waiting for their tornos now (which to be honest I don't even know what that means haha) but they are optimistic for the end of the year or soon after. They still haven't had to leave but it looks like they will finally be forced to move before the end of the year.

Really sad news about a recent convert. We stopped by the other day to invite her to the ward Christmas party and she was just saying these really weird things and she wouldn't let us come in. It was obvious something had changed.  Her mom came out and said that she has stopped taking some medication and so she hasn't been herself lately.  It was really, really sad.

But some good news! I'm not sure if  I've mentioned it but we've gotten Pelu (the woman that lives with Blaz) involved in the lessons. When we talked about marriage with Blaz, he talked to Pelu about it and then one day we talked to both of them about it and now they are working to find the divorce papers for Blaz from a past relationship so they can get married. Since then we've taught lesson one, and she has come to church once with Blaz and they both came to the ward Christmas party! So hopefully she can progress and they can find his papers! 

Friday night we had the ward Christmas party.  The first little bit we played soccer with the kids and then after that they  had chairs set up in the cultural hall pointed toward the stage and food in the back.   People ate a little food and talked and at the end the ward choir sang. It was fun and a good time for all the ward members to get together.

Saturday we had a huge storm here too although it didn't last long. We went to go visit a less active family that we are starting to work with. The father is a member and the mother and kids aren't. Right as we got there it started raining and then we went inside and it started hailing.  The hail was big, like the size of a quarter. So, we just stayed inside to wait it out and their roof is like tin and so it was super loud and crazy haha. Finally it stopped hailing so we left but by then all of the streets were flooded, even the streets near our apartment which never flood. We found out when we got back to the apartment that we left our balcony door open and with the wind some water ended up inside haha although nothing too bad.  Because of that storm and the flooding, many people didn't come to church yesterday. 

Tomorrow we will have a combined zone activity with two other zones. It should be really good. Each zone has time to do something and we are doing our little play which is about a boy who finds out the true meaning of Christmas haha.  It's kind of lame but it's cool.

We found out that effective July 1, 2015 there will be a Buenos Aires East Mission!! Apparently they are taking some of the zones from La Plata and La Costa from our mission and so whoever is serving in those zones at the time will change missions. So, depending where I am at that time I could potentially change missions and mission presidents. They are also taking some zones from Buenos Aires West so there's a small, small chance me and Elder Pribyl could end up in the same mission! Really interesting to see how it all works out.

Christmas... so right now for Christmas Eve most of the Elders from our zone are going over to Tomas Flores apartment (Elder Ramos and Elder Pavons pension) and staying the night there and in the morning we are going over to the chapel and playing soccer and hanging out until about noon. (Don't worry it's been approved by the Assistants to the President).  Afterwards, we don't know what our schedule is exactly. We talked to Berrondos yesterday and they said that it is fine to Skype at their home but we didn't arrange exact times.  It's a 5 hour difference so I don't know what is early for you guys?

I've been thinking a lot this week, especially with my 6 months mark coming up and I`ve realized a change is needed. I`ve realized for the past 6 months and recently I've turned inward, worshipping the self and the natural man. I was rereading the talk I heard in the MTC "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar
I also read "Beware of Pride" by President Benson
and I've realized I've been completely turned inward.  I`ve realized that I've been prideful. President Benson said that pride is the great vice and is manifested in many ways. Many of us are sinning in ignorance because we misunderstand pride and how God sees it. I've realized in certain aspects I've tried to pit my will against God's and have not completely turned myself over to him freely and give him my will and heart. I also realized I've been a little prideful from the bottom looking up in the sense of being envious and jealous - jealous of others talents and abilities and their Spanish. I`ve been completely selfish and developing an attitude of ¨how everything effects me¨ -  how my investigators that are not progressing effects me; how the actions of others effect me; how my companion effects me. I`ve been preoccupied on worrying about my blessings being fulfilled instead of just turning outward in love and service and letting the rest come. All I've been thinking about is myself. In reality, the mission is not about me at all.  Elder Bednar said to get over ourselves. I need to quit worshipping the self and turn to God for it is the only source of lasting joy and happiness. As we repent, we are turning outwards; turning or rather returning to God. I`ve realized I must yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit; to put off the prideful, natural man and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord and become as a child - submissive, meek, and humble. I need to stop worrying about myself and lose myself in the service of others. That is something I've realized this week. I need to  share that so that those that read this will take a moment to reflect. Read the talk by Elder Benson and see if you`ve become prideful, even in the slightest bit. Pride is the great vice. It is why the Nephites fell and were destroyed. It affects everyone at various times and in various degrees. We must ask ourselves if we`ve become prideful or strayed off the path in even the slightest and if so make the needed corrections. I`m extremely grateful I still have 18 months because the honest truth is if I had to go home right now for medical reasons or whatever, I wouldn't be pleased with my mission. Not that I've been bad, but not nearly what I can or need to be doing. I have 18 months to recognize my weaknesses and faults and work on them.  But more importantly, to start truly turning outward in love and compassion. Not to say I will be the missionary right now that I will be at the end of my mission but there is two ways to live life - 1) you can decide what you want, what you want to be and deliberately work for that or 2) you can go through life being carried by the current of life, becoming whatever the current makes of you and takes you, whatever is the norms of the world. Living this way, you will never reach the fullness of your potential. Perhaps the message I want to get across is that we must begin with the end in mind, no matter what that is - the mission, life, whatever. We must have a vision of what we want, who we want to be and what we want to accomplish and deliberately work towards that. I've realized if I'm not careful, 6 more months will pass by and then 6 more and then 6 more and before I know it I'll be home and I'll look back with regret and ask myself why my mission didn't turn out like I wanted it to or like it could have been. 

That is  exciting to hear about your new callings though, Dad on the High Council and Mom as the YW advisor!! You will have to keep my updated on how that goes and everything those callings entail. I hope all is well and I love you! Don't  forget to let me know when I should arrange to Skype!

Elder McFarland

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mirta Has A Baptismal Date - December 20th!

Monday, December 8, 2014

This week was alright. Apparently Arminda doesn't want to come to church anymore. To be honest I'm not really sure why. We went and she talked about how her family talked to her and they don't like the church or something and so she says she's just going to worship in her house. We tried to explain it to her but at least at that moment it didn't help. Manuel and Claudia didn't come to church again but we saw them yesterday walking and we scheduled an appointment with them. Good news though Mirta has a baptismal date for December 20!

Saturday we went to the stake center to practice a sketch we`re doing for the combined zone activity and they had a bunch of Aaronic priesthood holders there doing a mini mission activity, so we went out with a group and sang a couple songs on the street which was pretty cool.

The robbery was dumb. We were like five houses from our apartment and two guys on a motorcycle turned the corner and pulled up in front of us. One got off and told us to give him our phone and money. I had my shorts becasue we were just getting back from an intercambio. It was dumb. He didn't have anything and we should have just kept walking to our apartment.

Also apparently now there is no more plan piloto. From now on, in all of South America, the only thing we are reporting are the confirmations and sacrament meeting attendance. It places a lot more trust in the missionaries.

Hope you guys are doing well. Love and miss you.

LoveElder McFarland

Monday, December 1, 2014

Elder McFarland Was Robbed!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

So I`m not getting transferred! I`m staying in Quilmes 3 with Elder Killian for 6 more weeks. Weird to think I'll be in my first area for 1/4th of my mission by the time I leave. They call us the Friday or Saturday before transfers and give us all the information; where we are going, if we are leaving and who are companion is. So, they have our new apartment but I think we`ll be staying in our current one for 2-3 more weeks until the paperwork gets finalized. Starting to learn that getting things done in Argentina is a very slow and inefficient process. No one in our district got changed either which I think is kind of rare for a district to stay the same for two transfers but it's pretty cool.

Sergio, Nancy and the kids are saying with Sergio's mom, so as of right now it's just Mirta in her house. Not really sure what's going to happen. Not sure if we`ll see Nancy anymore but it`ll be interesting. Very sad though. Nancy and Mirta and even Sergio a couple times, started coming back to church and I thought we`d see progress but I'm not sure now.

We heard a trick to get people to quick smoking from a member that did it on his mission so we tried it.  You soak the cigarettes in milk for a day and then wait until they dry and have them smoke it. Apparently after the first 2 they can't smoke any more because it just makes them sick and they want to throw up.  You can make it worse by having them drink the milk. So we made the cigarettes.

Manuel and Claudia haven't come to church in about a month and while I was on an intercambio they told Elder Killian they aren't going to come to church until they have all the papers to get married and then baptized and right now it seems to be a money issue.

We have two new investigators, Oswaldo and Ludi, that were a reference from a member.  We had an appointment with them on Thanksgiving night but we just ended up moving a huge pile of dirt that they had to move, but we have another appointment tomorrow. They have to get married first but I have faith they´ll get baptized.

For Thanksgiving, since we didn't have dinner, so we treated ourselves and went to a little BBQ place and bought some lunch so that was good haha.

I'm glad you guys got to go to Utah. It sounds like Thanksgiving was a lot of  fun!! Crazy that the wedding is less than a month away! It's hard being away right now during the holidays but I know I`ll get to be there in two years and for now I get to serve my brothers and sisters in Argentina!

It's also really cool right now. The church just recently launched an intitiative for Christmas ´´He is the Gift´´ or ´´El es la Dadiva´´ in Spanish There's a YouTube video and on December 7 for the whole day it will be the first video that shows up on YouTube!!  I think there's a sign in Times Square too. There's a whole website It looks really cool. They`re asking us to ask at least ten people a day if they`ve seen the video and report how many contacts and baptisms we receive because of it. So if you haven't already, check it out and share it on Facebook and with your friends!

That was my week. Today we just hung out in the apartment. It was pretty boring haha. We`re going to go try to stop by Rubens tonight because we haven't been able to meet with him in some time.  Thank you for everything! I miss and love you guys!!

 P.S. Elder Killian and I got robbed Thursday :)

Elder McFarland

From Mom - When Elder McFarland's older brother Scott was on his mission he would send us an email and occasionally add a P.S.  P.S. - I had a gun pulled on me.  P.S. - I got bit by a dog.  P.S. - I crashed on my bike.  So, Elder McFarland thought he would be funny and follow in his brother's footsteps.  So Merrill & I immediately replied to the email wanting more information.

Hahah. Yeah that's why I said that. After it happened, I knew I had to write it like Scott haha.

Only our cellphone, which actually really sucks, 7 pesos which is nothing, and my addidas shorts. So it wasn't too bad at all.  The dude didn't even have anything either. Sucks about my shorts but it's not a big deal at all.  I'm just glad he didn't take my whole bag.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2014

Haha. Woahh that's weird about all the changes in the stake. Crazy that Bishop Sinkovic got released and then called again in the Lawrence Station Ward and Bishop Gelhbach!?! That's awesome!! haha It`ll be weird to call him Bishop though. How`s Mitchell doing?! Tell him I say hello!

So luckily there's a member that's in charge of finding new apartments for the mission so he pretty much did it for us and this last week we went to one he picked out. It's way bigger and nicer than the one we have now.  The Elders from the office have to check it out tomorrow to approve it and then it should be a done deal. Not sure when we`ll move it but I'm expecting to be transferred so I`ll probably only be in the new apartment for a couple days at most. We had interviews with President Thurgood last week.  It was good and he hinted that I'd probably be transferred. He said it's hard right now because its about 60% North Americans and 40% Latinos so it's hard sometimes to get the American/Latin split but he said he wouldn't be surprised if it happened soon.  Also the zone leaders gave the recommendation that I leave and get a Latin companion so I think I'll leave but I wont find out for sure until Friday or Saturday.

Work is slowing down a little bit here. We have quite a few investigators but none for the moment making immediate progress for various reasons. Nancy and Mierta came to church again but Manuel and Claudia didn't. We`ve been trying to visit them but he works and she was gone this week a lot at the hospital for her pregnancy and baby. Blaz is as we call it here a "miembro seco". He does everything and is pretty much a member but not baptized. He comes every week and participates but for a few reason can't be baptized right now. We weren't able to meet with Ruben this week again which really sucks. Also the ward temple trip got canceled this week so that was a bummer. We`re having a special zone conference in December and it looks like a couple zones will be grouped together so the whole mission won't get together. Right now my zone is scheduled for the 18th of December.

That's scary to hear about Scott though I'm glad he`s alright and it wasn't worse. (Scott was re-lighting the pilot light on his heater and it blew up in his face and his hair and beard caught on fire, but fortunately escaped with minimal injuries.) That's great that you guys are going up to Utah to see them! haha Yeah I would have remembered Mom. (I asked him if he would have remembered Thanksgiving if I hadn't mentioned it.) We were going to try and get someone to feed us dinner but for now we have an appointment with a potential investigator. Yeah we get a copy (General Conference issue of the Church Ensign magazine ) in Spanish. Dogs aren't a problem.  Some bark and will kind of come at you but worst case you pretend to pick up a rock and they run away. So I'm sorry Mom but I don't expect I'll use the dog dazer haha.

Tell everyone I say hello and love them! Love you and miss you lots! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Elder McFarland

Monday, November 17, 2014

Visit from Elder Nelson

Monday, November 17, 2014

So yes we got to hear from Elder Nelson on Thursday! Elder Zaballos of the Seventy was his companion and both their wives were there too. It was just our mission and the 85 missionaries from the Buenos Aires CCM (Mission Training Center). We had the privilege of meeting Elder Nelson and I was so nervous haha. I shook his hand and he called me by name and asked how it was going! But I was too nervous and I think I just mumbled something in response haha. It was such an honor and privilege to here him speak though. He gave a good talk and told us that the bishop, ward mission leader, and family history leader need to be our best friends. His wife gave a great talk about having the eyes of our understanding opened and learning new things in the scriptures and learning more of our assignments and commitments we made in the pre-mortal life. Definitely an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. I'm pretty sure a future apostle is in my mission right now because at the end Elder Nelson said that when he looks at us he sees the future leaders and maybe one day one of us will sit in his seat. So I'm calling it. It was super neat though.  He ended up talking in English so he had an interpreter but Elder Zaballos and his wife spoke in Spanish but I was able to understand enough to get the general idea of what they were saying haha. Pretty cool though, one of the interpreters served a mission in France but his mission president assigned him to learn English and promised him if he did then one day he`d use it to communicate with leaders of the church. Prophecy fulfilled. 

Today we had our zone activity for p-day so we played soccer and watched the Puss and Boots movie.

This past week was kind of slow. To be honest I feel like we`ve gotten a little lazy and just haven't been working as hard as we can or as hard as we have been. Transfers are in two weeks and I love Elder Killian and Quilmes 3 but I`m kind of ready for a change so I kind of hope I get transferred but we`ll see what happens. I'd be okay with either I suppose. Also the contract for our pension isn't getting renewed so as of right now we will be homeless by the end of the month. We need to find a place to live haha which sucks because now we will have to spend time we could be working to take time looking for an apartment and moving everything.

Sergio and Nancy came to church yesterday though! Ruben didn't come and he worked last week so we couldn't meet with him but for now I'm not too worried about him. There are gospel principles that we still need to teach him, but Blaz is a boss and keeps coming to church. We found a new family from a reference that could have some potential and we`ll find out more this week when we visit them again. The ward mission leader has a goal of 4 baptisms before the end of the year so we`re going to work hard and try to make that happen. 

Interesting and to be honest disappointing to hear about the ward boundary changes. (Merrill & I are no longer in the Santa Clara Ward where we have been for the last 29 years.) I don't like it but good thing I'll  never really have to be in the Lawrence Station Ward haha. 

I did get the birthday letters and envelopes you sent. (Finally!  Remember, we can't send packages.) THANK YOU!!! Thank you so much. Thanks for the pictures! It's so nice to have pictures of the family haha and thank you for the general conference and priesthood session talks and for the cards and letters! I loved both cards haha. The cartoons and the plan of salvation card were really good. I finally have the names of the people who sent me letters from a couple months ago haha. A while back Patricia Wilker and the Nelsons sent me a card, and then a card from Dawn Clark came but it was three separate cards signed by a bunch of people so I think it was from the Relief Society.  This time Brother Cate sent me 2 postcards and Janis Vogel, the Tkach family and Patricia Wilker sent me cards so if you could thank all of them for me and tell them I greatly appreciate it!!!

I'm sorry if I missed anything. I love you and miss you guys a lot! Thanks again for the birthday cards and everything.  It really helped a lot. Love you!

Elder McFarland

Monday, November 10, 2014

Intercambios (exchanges) With A Latin That Doesn't Speak English

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hola Hola!
So we found out that it's Elder Nelson (of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles)  that is coming to speak to us on Thursday!! It should be pretty awesome! Except he speaks Spanish so we`ll see how much I`ll be able to understand haha.
Flip, I forgot to write down who wrote me letters. I promise I`ll do it next week. I won't get mail again until this Thursday when Elder Nelson comes or not until the 20th when we have interviews with President Thurgood again. Also before I forget can you guys send me some pictures!! I seriously have no photos of the family with me haha.  (Friends and family, feel free to send him pictures.)
Elder Killian is the District Leader so we do exchanges like every week which is pretty cool because it makes the week go by faster and I get to know more missionaries. Elder Ramos is still in the District but he is training. His hijo (the brand new missionary that he is training) is Elder Pavon who is 26 and is from Paraguay and he`s a stud. I would seriously believe it if someone told me that he had been out for18 months. I wouldn't be surprised if he`s AP (Assistant to the President) one day. I did intercambios (exchanges) with him this week and it's the first time I've been with a Latin that doesn't speak English haha, so I was worried at first at how it would go but it ended up being really good. So apparently President Thurgood met with a Seventy and they`re making one last push for the plan piloto before it finishes in December, I think. So we are now only reporting confirmations and MACAs (which are less actives with an assignment).
We are going to try to teach Blaz the law of chastity and the importance of marriage.   We will see if he can make some changes in his life because he is awesome.  We also found out that this whole time Manuel and Claudia have been working on the papers for Manuel's citizenship because he`s from Paraguay and it' s easier if he has citizenship to get married.  They should have that within 10-15 days and then after that it`ll be a month or so for the marriage papers or something like that so still a month and a half, more or less, until they get baptized.  We`re going to  talk to Nelida this week and see if she's really interested in being taught.  Arminda is still doing awesome. Saturday we helped put in a cement floor for her new house and Sunday she was confirmed! Oh we have a new fecha! I don't know if you remember Ruben! He is the guy that showed up to church on my first Sunday? So, we finally met with him this week and he`s a stud and we set a baptismal date for December 6th but we might try to move it up to November 29th. Either way, we`re really excited for him.  He came to church yesterday and we have another appointment on Friday with him. Also, we stopped by a less active family.  Well they`re only inactive because they have to work on Sundays but they said their son and niece want to be baptized and they`re 9 and 11 so they`re technically  investigators.  We are going to teach them and hopefully they will get baptized this transfer! Every time we go over to the Esquivel family's home, they reschedule appoitnments and they haven't come to church so they may not be interested. 
These next two weeks are going to be busy though. Intercambios with the Zone Leaders and Elder Nelson speaking to us this week.  Then the week after, we have interviews with President Thurgood and our ward is going to the temple so I think we are going to bring some investigators! A lot to look forward to. This transfer is already halfway through and I have a feeling the next three weeks are going to go by fast.
I miss you and love you guys!

Elder McFarland

Additional short emails answering some of our questions.

So today we had our district activity and just went to this shopping center thing that's in a Walmart in Avellaneda and had Subway and played some pool. I think next week is our zone activity and we`re going to go bowling at the same place. I dont sleep bad but not great. Should I be worried if I don't remember the last time I slept through the night? lol.

I shined my shoes for the first time since I got here last night haha. They were bad.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Baptism on Elder McFarland's Birthday!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014


This week was pretty crazy! On Tuesday, a huge storm hit and it rained like CRAZY!!!! There was also a ton of thunder and lightning. It seemed like the end of the world or something.  It was nuts.  In 12 hours it rained more than it had the past month. On Wednesday, a bunch of the streets in our area were flooded and me and Elder Killian were walking down the streets with water up to our mid thighs!! I felt like a true missionary haha. Unfortunately it affected a lot of people, especially in the villas and their houses were flooded. Natalia's got flooded but none of of other investigators. The weather has been crazy. For the better part of the last 5 days its been raining non stop, but I love it.

This week we taught the Esquivel family which we found two weeks ago. We went with the Bishop and taught them the restoration and have another appointment this week. I think they`ll all get baptized one day but I think the only one that could get baptized while I'm still here is the youngest daughter who's 16.

It was a busy week again but it was worth it because yesterday we had Arminda's baptism, finally!!

Probably the best gift a missionary could receive on his mission, a baptism. And it was made even more special because I had the privilege of baptizing her!! It was really special and I could tell how much it meant to her. The entire time I just felt an overwhelming sense of peace. It wasn't like yay for me, I got a baptism or even that I got a baptism on my birthday because really this mission isn't about me at all. It's about serving my Father in Heaven and my brothers and sisters here in Argentina. You can't do that more than preforming the ordinance of baptism whereby a child of God makes a covenant with our Father in Heaven. To have the opportunity to be a part of such a special moment for Arminda and to serve others on my birthday was really cool.  It was also cool because Blaz, Nancy and Mierta all came to church and all stayed for the baptism!!!

Afterwards we had lunch and a cake with the Berrondo family which was fun but really it didn't feel like my birthday.


To be honest, it just felt like a normal day in the mission because yesterday wasn't about me or my birthday at all but it was Arminda`s day. Some people knew it was my birthday and wished me happy birthday. I won't get mail until we have interviews with the president on the 20th or on the 13th because apparently an apostle is coming out to talk to the mission!!! Unfortunately I plugged in my camera and it died so I won't be able to send pictures until next week.

One thing I was thinking of this week was in 1 Nephi 15:26-27 and Nephi says that Lehi`s mind was swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water. In his dream Lehi was aware of the river. He knew it was there and knew of the dangers of it but he didn't give any more attention to it than was needed. Instead he focused on more important parts of the dream, The righteous and the good parts of it. Likewise, we need to be focused on spiritual things that will uplift us and bring us closer to Christ. We need to be aware of the adversary. We need to know that he is real and that temptation is there. But, we shouldn't give  more thought and attention to the adversary and the things of the world than is needed. Becoming preoccupied with how filthy the water is or with the things of the world and the adversary is not necessary nor worthwhile. Let our minds be like Lehi; be swallowed up in other things. Things of the Lord. Things worth our time that will uplift us and help us continue on the path back to our Heavenly Father.

I love you all. Thank you for your emails and the birthday wishes. Thank you for everything. I miss you guys a lot! Love you!

Elder McFarland

Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Birthday (November 2)

Monday, October 27, 2014


Thank you for the birthday wishes! GIANTSS!! (This is before the World Series win.)

I knew you wouldnt let down mom. You definitely should be working for the CIA. (I found his new companion's mom and sister on Facebook.)  That's really cool that you and his mom have a few things in common. (We both are converts and joined the Church fairly soon after graduating from high school and Elders McFarland and Killian are both the youngest boys in the family.) Elder Killian is a cool dude.

We had a lot of work this week. We found a new family Tuesday and taught them lesson 2 and tonight we are going to teach lesson 1 so we`ll see what happens! We`re excited. We also taught a lady that Elder Durham and I had talked to a few times on the street but never got a chance to actually teach her. She has a baptismal date for the 16th but she`s going to have to make some changes in her life first. Blaz came to church, only for one hour but at least he came. He was sick earlier in the week though so we weren't able to teach him. Nancy and Sergio didn't come but Mierta did! Also Arminda unfortunately wasn't able to get baptized this week. There were some concerns and then Bishop never got a chance to talk to her and get to know her so he wanted to postpone it. It was kind of a weird situation but Bishop talked to her yesterday and we feel like she's ready so I`m almost sure she should get baptized this weekend! It`d be kind of  cool if it was Sunday on my birthday! (Make sure to read the blog post for November 3rd.) 

Tuesday, Elder Killian said that was the most lessons he`s had in a day in months.  Then at the end of the week he said it's been his best week on his mission in terms of the work so that made me feel really good. I`m obviously new and have only had one other companion and I've been in the same area so I have nothing else to base my work off of but after hearing that I felt a lot better about the work Elder Durham and I did the last two transfers. We didn't meet our goals but we worked hard and left a lot of work for Elder Killian and I to continue.  Elder Killian is awesome and is loving the area and the members and the members love him so I think it's going to be a really good transfer with a lot of work.

Elders McFarland and Durham with
Hermano Rivero, the Elders Quorum President and
Jose Luis, the Ward Mission Leader

Thanks again for the birthday wishes! We`re going over to the Berrondos for lunch and then I'm not sure what we`ll do after that but I`ll let you know how it is! I miss you and love you guys!

Elder McFarland

Monday, October 20, 2014

A New Companion - Elder Killian

Monday, October 20, 2014


So yes today was transfers and as we expected Elder Durham left and he´s now in Burzaco, in the Adrogue zone, which is where we did tramites and it's super nice there. But unlike I thought, my new companion is another American! haha. His name is Elder Killian, and he's from Las Vegas.  He has been in the mission for 18 months! Sorry Mom, we don't have any pictures together yet, but I´ll make sure to send one next week! Although knowing you, you´ll know everything about him by then haha. (Yes I accept the challenge.)  To be honest, I'm a little bummed because it was going to be hard having a Latin companion, but it would have helped my Spanish a lot. So, my Spanish won't progress as fast as it would have, but at the same time I suppose it´ll be nice having another American companion and so far he seems really cool. It really suprised me though.  I don't know how often, if ever really, a North American goes his first three transfers in the field without a Latin companion. Most of the missionaries, or at least the ones getting transferred, met at the Stake Center in Banfield for the transfer meeting.  It was pretty good, but to be honest, it made me a little trunkie (homesick) haha. It's definitely going to be weird the first couple of days with a new companion after being with Elder Durham for almost 3 months. Thank Elder Durham's Mom for me, for raising such a great son because he was an awesome trainer and friend to me and she should be proud of him and the missionary he is! (Elder Durham's Mom & I are Facebook friends). We probably could have done more but, I feel like we did a lot and worked hard the past two transfers. Now me and Elder Killian should have a lot of work to continue.

Jorge and Gladys read the Book of Mormon but still don't come to church. Nothing has changed with Manuel and Claudia, but Sunday was El Dia de Madre (Mother's Day) here so we had lunch with them which was actually a lot of fun. Feliz Dia de Madre Mom! Arminda was set to get baptized but we talked to the Bishop and because it was El Dia de Madre he thought it´d be better to do it this next Sunday so more people can come. So it sucks for Elder Durham but he might come back for it.

So, this Saturday, Arminda will be getting baptized.

Nancy, Sergio and Mierta came to church yesterday!!!
Also in the picture is Gimena, who is a member of the Ward.

We dropped the hammer pretty hard on Saturday but with love and I don't know if it was that or because it was Elder Durham's last Sunday or both but they finally came! The first time they´ve come (besides Mierta) since I´ve arrived, so that was encouraging and made us pretty happy but now we need to help make sure they keep coming! We weren't able to meet with Blaz this week and he didn't come to church but we´re going to visit him tomorrow so hopefully he will keep progressing. So Elder Killian and I have a lot to do with our current investigators and visiting the less actives!

That's great that Kiersten (Elder McFarland's sister) was able to come home (from Idaho) for a couple days and go with you to Erika's bridal shower.  Weird to think you guys are planning for Scott (Elder McFarland's oldest brother) & Erika's wedding and reception! I'm getting more sad thinking that I'll miss it, but it's okay.  I'm just excited for them!
GIANTS (going to the World Series)!! That's so sick!!
I love and miss you guys!!


Elder McFarland
Julia & Goyo who have been baptized for about a year now with
Hermano LaRosa who is a relatively new convert as well.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Last Week With Elder Durham

Monday, October 13, 2014


Haha.  That's sick the Sharks beat the Kings (opening night, in LA)!!!

The weather here is slowly starting to get warmer. I'm definitely not looking forward to summer. lolz We never cook. Well this past week we actually made empanadas!! They were actually pretty good too!! Other than that, we never cook. I`m so tired of eggs because I eat three hard boiled eggs every morning and then at night we don't really have dinner.  We used to make pizzas but we got tired of that haha.

This week we did inter cambios (exchanges) with the Zone Leaders.  Elder Davis went with me and we stayed in Quilmes 3. Then Friday it rained all day and Elder Durham's feet where wet all day so he got sick and then I got sick but we`re feeling better today.

Manuel and Claudia still have no idea about they`re marriage papers but they`re still going strong. Manuel got a new job that pays a lot better. They have to move out of their place by the 20th but I think they have a place to move into. We taught Jorge and Gladys about the Sabbath Day being holy but they run a fruit stand and they say it has to be open on Sunday.  It's hard.  I understand where they`re coming from with their fruit stand, but they just need to have faith and trust in God to not have it open on Sundays and to come to church. Blaz is a boss.  He came to church again yesterday and is in the process of making some changes in his life. Arminda should be gettting baptized this Saturday! We have a couple more lessons with her covering the commandments and then it's just the baptismal interview! We do have some investigators that aren't progressing in the Gospel and I'm really lost as to what to do with them.

This week we`re going to be busy visiting our investigators and then just a lot of people so Elder Durham can say goodbye. Transfers are next Monday and  he`s been here for 6 months so there's almost no way he`ll stay. I'm really nervous about my new companion.  He will most definitely be a Latin companion so this next transfer is probably going to be hard, but it`ll be good for my Spanish.

 I love you guys and miss you!

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference

Monday, October 6, 2014

Tuesday we had interviews with the President Thurgood. He alternates between doing interviews and Zone Conferences for each transfer. The next Zone Conference he`s going to do something special or something for Christmas so we are going to have interviews again in 6 weeks. I got some mail that had been sent (mail goes to the Mission Office, not to his apartment). I forgot to write down who wrote me and I don't remember all of them off the top of my head so I`ll have to have you thank them for me next week.

This week we set a baptismal date for Blaz and Arminda for the 18th of October. I think Blaz's baptism will have to get set back but Arminda is definitely ready. She came to all four sessions of General Conference with us. We're still teaching Jorge and Gladys and we have to get them to come to church. Still not really sure what's going to happen with Manuel and Claudia, and if we`ll be able to baptize them before the end of the transfer. Mierta and Nancy.. well we had an awesome lesson with them Thursday. We talked about their love for Jesus Christ and asked if they loved Jesus Christ enough to make some changes in their life. The spirit was super strong and they committed to it but.. they weren't able to do it. So we went Friday and recommitted them but then we couldn't get a hold of them by phone and with everything going on we haven't had a chance to visit with them. So I think there are going to continue to be some roadblocks. But we have 6 people that should be baptized in the next month or so, so we have a lot of work to do teaching them and preparing them for their baptisms.

We went to the Stake Center in Avellaneda to watch General Conference. We were able to watch it in English in a different room with other missionaries from the United States so that was really nice. We weren't able to watch the Priesthood session which was disappointing, but man General Conference was absolutely amazing! To be honest I think it was the first General Conference I've sat down and watched all four sessions live and man have I been missing out. I don't know if it's because it's the first time I've watched all four sessions or if it's because I'm on my Mission but I thought this General Conference was one of the best. Probably a little of both. haha. I loved it. I had 3 rather specific questions/concerns before watching it and they were all answered. I think it's also the first time I`ve done that but I can truly bear witness now and testify of the power to receive personal revelation during General Conference. I`ve never been more spiritually uplifted and edified in my life. It was like talk after talk answered my questions or just brought me peace and comfort or taught me something new. I`ve tried to think of a favorite talk but I just can`t do it. haha. I think the best I can do is maybe narrow it down to my top 5. I`d probably have to say my top 5 talks were:

Elder Lynn G. Robbins - Which Way Do You Face?
I think my favorite part was where he talked about knowing which way we face and how we must not fear man.

Presidnet Dieter F. Uchtdof  - Receiving a Testimony of Light & Truth

Elder Jorg Klebingat - Approaching the Throne of God With Confidence
His talk was sick! He just threw it down and dropped the hammer sentence after sentence. haha. It was awesome.

Elder Richard G. Scott - Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority
The talk is about 4 tools to help us use the atonement to make us more happy (Prayer, Scripture Study, Family Home Evening & Temple Attendance)

Elder Carlos A. Godoy - The Lord Has a Plan for Us!

I`m bummed I left my notebook in the apartment and I can't remember a lot off the top of my head right now so I`ll have to write more about it next week but needless to say I enjoyed conference a lot. Absolutely loved it and I was super sad when it was over. I can't wait 6 months until the next one. That's so awesome to see all of you guys together for it and that you saw Sister Maria Pribyl (his friend Elder Victor Pribyl's Mom). I'm not going to lie, the pictures made me a little homesick but it's okay. I hope you guys enjoyed it.

It was cool to hear all about the sports updates haha.

Today we went to the Stake Center and played soccer and had a little BBQ so that was pretty fun.

I love you guys and miss you!!

Love Elder McFarland

Monday, September 29, 2014

New Investigators and I Gave A Talk In Sacrament Meeting.

September 29, 2014 This week was pretty good! We have quite a few new investigators. We met with our neighbor, Blaz, and his wife Saturday morning and just kind of got to know them and their background and beliefs but didn't really teach them much yet, but yesterday he came to church again and his wife is going to come next week! Last week we met a couple, Gladys and Jorge, from Bolivia, that have a fruit stand. They were taught a couple times by missionaries in Bolivia. I think her sister actually got married in the temple. We taught Gladys this week and set a baptismal date for the 10th but she didn't come to church so the baptismal date will have to get moved back at least a week, but we´re pretty excited! Also, last week while we were going to Manuel and Claudia's we actually ran into Mercidades and he was working outside at a ladies house. We talked to him and met the lady he was working for and set up an appointment to talk to the woman, Arminda. So, Thursday we taught Arminda and I´ve never heard someone talk so much in my life haha. We could barely get a word in, but she is super awesome. She read from the Book of Mormon, came to church, and went to a Relief Society activity on Saturday, so next time we teach her we´re going to set a baptismal date with her! So, we have 5 new investigators! Mierta and Nancy's daughter came to church too so that was really encouraging! Still not sure what's up with Manuel and Claudia and their marriage. Yesterday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting about the work of salvation and I kind of dropped the hammer on the ward haha. I asked how many came to the capilla abierta and then those that did how many brought a friend. I asked how many did their home teaching or visiting teaching. I wasn't too harsh and it was out of love. Honestly, this ward is awesome. It's really a great ward but I was a little blunt with them because I know we have the potential to be so much better and do so much more. This ward could easily have 150 people there every week. I said the number isn't important, but to say we have more people in our church is important because each number signifies a child of God. It signifies more people coming unto Christ and participating in the atonement, and it signifies we are participating in the work of salvation. Hopefully Elder Durham and I can lead by example and really get the work moving in this ward. Tomorrow we have interviews with President Thurgood so I'm kind of nervous for that haha. I love you guys and I miss you. Love Elder McFarland

Monday, September 22, 2014

Daniel Gets Baptized

Hola Familia! 

This week was pretty crazy! It was super busy. Saturday we had the capilla abierta (open house) and then Sunday we had ward conference and the two baptisms, so this week we were super busy preparing for that and inviting people.
Wednesday we had Elder Ramos and Elder Beers come to our area. 
We had fliers  for the capilla abierta and ward conference and invited over 100 people! It was pretty sick haha. Then our Ward Mission Leader gave us a list of families he wanted us to visit and invite so we spent much of the week contacting them and inviting them.
Saturday we had the capilla abierta and we were pretty excited. A few of the people we invited said they were coming and when we asked if we could come by to teach them they said we can just talk Saturday so we were pretty confident we were going to have a lot of people and the members were all supposed to bring one friend. So, Saturday morning comes and we set everything up. Each group had a room set up to explain their program, like the Relief Society, Young Woman, Primary, etc. and Elder Durham and I had a room set up and we were going to teach the people the restoration. We had a pretty cool set up on the chalk board showing the pattern of dispensations and apostasy and the need for the restoration because of the grand apostasy, but literally no one came.
None of the people we invited came. We had Manuel and Claudia there and a couple recent converts but that was it. There were some members but really the only the ones that had an assignment. So for a moment we were discouraged but Elder Durham and I felt good because we felt like we`d really done our part. We spent a good portion of the week inviting people and stopping by less actives.  We asked the members to invite people and literally only one girl brought a friend. So the capilla abierta was more or less kind of a let down. We did have some members and recent converts come in and have us teach them so we did actually get some good practice in teaching the first lesson so now I feel a lot more confident in teaching the first lesson at least haha.
Saturday night we called everyone and invited them to the ward conference because we really wanted to meet our goal of 150 people and we actually have Priesthood first, then Sunday School, and then Sacrament Meeting which is probably good because it gave people more time to get there and we had the two baptisms and Valentin's family. So guess how many people came? 152 PEOPLE!!! WHATSUPPPPP!!! We were so flippin excited and content. It was just  a huge relief and weight lifted off our shoulders and one of the people we actually invited came! He actually lives next to our apartment and he said he felt really good and to stop by whenever we wanted to teach him. So we`ll see what happens! Manuel and Claudia came and a couple of the less actives. We did it!
So right after ward conference we did the baptisms and I baptized someone for the first time!!! For some reason Daniel asked me to baptize him even though I haven't been able to communicate much haha.  I was so nervous but it was such an awesome experience. I honestly can't even describe it. To have that opportunity to baptize him was such an honor and privilege. Words just cant describe the feeling and how strong I felt the Spirit and the joy of it all. Yesterday was just pure joy. Definitely an experience I will remember forever.
After I baptized Daniel and Valentin was baptized by his uncle. Then afterwards both were confirmed and Elder Durham confirmed Daniel. It was just an awesome day. I just pray that those two boys remember yesterday and how they felt. I love those two boys and I`m definitely going to keep in touch with them.
So that was my week. Doesn't get much better than that.  Life's pretty good right now. Nothing more important than the work I`m doing right now. It's the most important work I`ll do until I have my own children some day. Thank you Mom & Dad for teaching me and raising me in the gospel. Thank you for being such good examples to me. I miss you and I love you so much!


Elder McFarland 



Monday, September 15, 2014

Sick Again

Monday, September 15, 2014


Let's see this week was kind of rough again. It's kind of funny that you talked about missionaries getting sick a lot and to stay healthy because Elder Durham and I got sick again this week. Since like Friday we've been sick. It came out of no where, well not really since everyone around us has been sick so I think we just caught it, but Thursday night we both started feeling not that great and then Friday we woke up with sore throats and a headache. Elder Durham had a fever and we were just super weak so the past couple days we haven't really been able to work.

Earlier in the week though we met with Valentine and Daniel. We finished our lessons with Valentine and tonight we`re going to meet with him to go over the interview with the Bishop so he knows what to expect. His family actually wants to do it on Sunday so I think we're going to do it after church. We have two more lessons with Daniel and then he`ll get interviewed by our District Leader and then I believe he's still going to be baptized Saturday but it might change to Sunday and do both together. I think Valentine will be a ward baptism since his mother is a member and she's been present at almost every lesson. They have a super awesome family. I think Daniel will be a mission baptism because his mother isn't a member and I don't think she's interested but she's supportive of him. He has two older brothers that were baptized and all three go to church together. 

We met with Mierta, Sergio and Nancy twice this week and Mierta said she wasn't ready for baptism which is a little frustrating because she is! She believes in the Book of Mormon as the word of God that Joseph Smith was a prophet and in Jesus Christ but I think she's just a little nervous and afraid and she's really busy at work and she said she wants to wait until it calms down. I think we`re going to try to keep working on her and encourage her to get baptized this transfer because she's ready. Sergio and Nancy didn't come to church again. Not quite sure what to do with Sergio and Nancy. 

Mercidades is just hard to catch and so we haven't met with him in a couple of weeks but we`ll continue to pass by every once in a while. Carolina and Nestor were two other contacts but it's the same with them. They`re just never home and they are hard to contact. 

Good news with Manuel and Claudia. I have no idea how the marriage papers and all
that works down here but apparently Claudia is going today to take out paperwork or do something and after that it should be a few weeks from this next Friday that they can get married. So if all goes well they should be able to be baptized the Saturday before transfers.  Elder Durham will almost for sure leave then so we`re really hoping it works out.

I`m excited for this week though. This Saturday we are having a capilla abierta, so like an open house, at the chapel and we`re trying to get all the members to invite a friend. Then tomorrow we are having a tormento blanco,I think it's called, but the other two companionships from our District are coming to our area and we`re just going to tear it up and invite people like crazy to it. Then we have ward conference this next Sunday, and our goal is 150 people so we`re going to be working like crazy this week and hopefully going on splits a couple times to visit more people, So we have a lot of work ahead of us. Elder Durham and I have a goal of 6 baptisms this transfer and with Daniel, Valentine, Manuel and Claudia we pretty much have 4 for sure and then hopefully Mierta and then the 6th we aren't sure yet but we know the Lord will provide if we our faithful and work hard to
meet our goal and we were thinking like how awesome is our goal. Our goal is to bring others to Christ. It isn't to score 30 points in a game or get a 4.0 or whatever. It's bringing people to Christ. It doesn't get much better than that. 

So I have some homework for you guys. I was studying in 1 Nephi 8, Lehi's vision of the tree of life, when I was sick and there are three groups of people that Lehi sees. The first group commences on the path but then falls away and never grabs a hold of the iron rod. The second group grabs a hold of the iron rod and holds on and partakes of the fruit but then becomes ashamed because of the people in the great and spacious building and falls away. The third group partakes of the fruit and don't heed to the people and don't fall away. While I was studying I wondered what the difference between the second and third group was because both held on to the iron rod and partook of the fruit but why did the second group fall away? Yes, they became ashamed but why? Why did they heed to the temptation and scoffing when the third group that also held onto the iron rod didn't. It was something I never considered and maybe you already know but it's something I learned this week and I want to know what you guys think or maybe you have a different answer or perspective and then next week I`ll share what I learned. 

Thank you for the pictures they were nice. The stadium looks awesome!. I thought about 9/11 for sure this week. Thanks Mom for putting those pictures on my Facebook! Any news on the Sharks? Thanks for everything! I hope you guys are doing well. I miss you and love you!

Elder McFarland

Monday, September 8, 2014

1 Down, 15 To Go (Transfers)

Monday, September 8, 2014

This week was pretty crazy!  Tuesday we did intercambios (exchanges) again, but this time Elder Ramos (the District Leader) came to my area. However, he got sick so we stayed inside all of Tuesday.  Wednesday morning we went out before we switched back.  Friday we went to Adrogue (the Mission Office is in Adrogue) for my tramite (process - part of his training) so that took up half the day and then this week we had Stake Conference. President Thurgood spoke and Elder Resek, of the Seventy, spoke as well. It was pretty cool.  We got a bus for our Ward to take everyone to the Stake Center in Avellaneda. 

This week we taught the two 8 year old boys a couple times. The baptismal date is actually set for the 20th not the 13th. It's been super fun teaching them.  They’re different but both a lot of fun, and we've been playing little games and things with them to teach the lessons. Manuel and Claudia haven’t found a place to live but they haven’t had to leave yet apparently and they came to Stake Conference.  Sergio and Nancy and Mierta didn’t come, but Mierta I think will be baptized on the 27th but we´re going to  call her today because she said she was going to pray about it again.  Last week because of the intercambios (exchanges) and tramite (training) and Stake Conference we didn't talk to as many people as we wanted so we´re going to do our best again this week to do that, and to try to find new investigators.  Transfers were today and Elder Southwick and one other Elder in my District got transferred.  Crazy, 1 of 16 transfers in the field is over. Elder Durham and I set goals for this transfer and I´m really excited. It's going to be a good transfer, I know it.

Answering Questions:
We occasionally have correlation meeting.  Yeah, I only wash garments.  Most of the time we have sisters in the ward that wash everything else. I hang the clothes on the balcony haha. Regarding training, there’s just a 12 semanas (week) packet that we do with things to study and videos to watch.  Its nothing super official like we have to report on, but we´re halfway through that.  Siestas aren’t too big here so it doesn't really affect our work.

I´ll talk to you next week, expect to hear good things because this week is going to be our best! I love you guys and miss you.

Elder McFarland

Monday, September 1, 2014

Birthday Party for Elder Durham & A Bowling Zone Activity (with pictures)

Hola! I can´t believe its p-day again! These last two weeks have been picking up and I think after a couple more weeks, time is just going to start flying by. Last Monday we had a Zone activity and went bowling,  so that was a lot of fun.
Elders Southwick, Ramos Durham & McFarland.

Zone Activity on August 25, 2014 - Bowling
This week was good but hopefully this next week is even better. Last Thursday I got sick and lets just say the double dragon is real... I think I ate something bad but luckily after my experience with the double dragon I felt better haha but we still spent the day in the apartment.

Saturday we were supposed to go on splits with four members from the ward but none of them showed up.. so we had 8 lessons that fell through.

We were still excited for Sunday though because we invited a lot of people to church and we had a bunch of less actives and investigators that said they´d come. But we get to church and there was 1 of our less actives and that was it. Before church, Elder Durham & I made a bet on the sacrament meeting attendance and I said 101 and Elder Durham said 95. We were super disappointed because it looked like there was like 70 people there at most. We were like, what the heck happened. Our strong investigator family didn´t even show up. It was super discouraging and we got kind of down.

We had lunch at the Berrondos (Mom, the lady and her family that added you on Facebook) and then we tried stopping by our strong investigator's home and they weren't there. Then we went back to the apartment for language study and 12 Weeks training. Elder Durham went to go lay down and I went to go do laundry (in the apartment).  I go out to the balcony and someone started whistling at me and I looked down and it was the same investigator family as last week walking by again!! We went down and talked to them and they've been looking for a new place to live since they´re supposed to be out of the place they´re renting today so they were making a last minute effort to find a place so that's why they weren't at church or at home when we went by. Then we go back up and we call to find out what the sacrament meeting attendance was and somehow it was 94!! There's literally no way it was that many. There's no way there was more than 80 people there but somehow it was 94 which was the highest it's been since I´ve been here. We just felt so blessed and it gave us a little boost knowing there was still a lot of people at church. Just think if we had everyone that was supposed to be there we would have had like at least 120 people, if not more. So between seeing our strong investigator family and then hearing what the sacrament meeting attendance was, we started feeling a lot better. The tender mercies of the Lord are real. We didn´t have a bad week but we just didn´t have as much success as we´d thought.  We worked hard and I know that seeing our investigator family walking by and the attendance was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. I feel like He was saying that He was pleased with what we did.

We met with one of the 8 year old boys and right now we have a baptismal date for him set for September 13 and the other boy we are supposed to meet with later tonight!

We committed ourselves to work even harder this week and we´re going to start talking to literally everyone we can. We need new investigators and we haven't been talking to as many as we can so this week we´re really going to focus on that. So we´re pretty pumped for this week. I really think we´re going to  see some miracles and have a lot of success.

(His response to questions we've asked)  I´m doing good. I dont think I´ve really put any weight on yet but I'm pretty sure I´m going to put on some weight during the next two years haha.  Lunch is the main meal. Breakfast is just usually some fruit or something but we´re going to start trying to have more of a real breakfast and then the same with dinner. We sometimes get fed for dinner if we are at an appointment but most of the time it's just eating whatever is at the apartment which isn't much haha.  I got a Lighting McQueen pillow! haha. It still takes me a little while to fall asleep but it's all good.  I´m not certain exactly what's allowed for music but it sounds like it's pretty relaxed. You can even have Disney but  I don't know exactly what isn't and is allowed but there might not be a definite line.  The only thing I´ve had to spend my own money on is an Argentina jersey I bought.   I had $100 in cash that I got exchanged with a member who gives us 10 pesos for evey dollar so it was pretty sweet. Kayci emailed me saying she got called to Buenos Aires South -.- I knew not to believe her, but I fell for it haha but then she told me she got called to Chile Santiago East!

A couple weeks ago (August 15th) we had a birthay party for Elder Durham at the Berrondos. We got into a food fight while cooking.  They are a  super awesome family. We have lunch there every Sunday.

Hermano & Hermana Berrondo .  He has a wig on.  That's not his actual hair, haha.

Food fight!

Elders McFarland & Durham with the Berrondo kids.

 Happy 22nd Birthday Elder Durham.