Saturday, July 5, 2014

Week 3 - Happy 5th of July

Hola! This week was good! The days are long but the week goes by fast, or faster than the first week at least haha.
Sunday night we had a devotional by Stephen B. Allen. He was one of the guys in charge of the Church's old "Homefront" videos. He showed a bunch of those clips and then added some to it. It was very uplifting and encouraging. He told us when "everything says you can't, believe in the part that says you can." "Its not who you aren't, it's who you are and being yourself is great" I'm a missionary but it's important to remember to be myself and have a personality out in the field. "Don't focus so much on tomorrow that you miss what's going on today". This one was really good for me because sometimes I get caught up thinking about the future, whether that's next p-day, being in Argentina, or even coming home and it's important to think about what I have to do at the moment and focus on that.
After the devotional we watched a MTC devotional talk that was given some time ago by Elder Bednar called "Character of Christ". Unfortunately from what I've heard I don't know if you guys will be able to find it and watch it anywhere, I don't think its on or anything like that. You should try to find it because it was honestly life changing. There was so much in that talk that I might not be able to include it all. In short, he talked about learning of Christ, not about him. The character of Christ is turning outward in love, compassion, service, while the natural man in us would turn inward. The natural man turns inward and we NEVER find the Savior doing that. He gave several examples of this such as after His confrontation with the adversary and in the midst of affliction Christ turned outward and sent angels to support John in love and compassion (Matthew 4:2-11).  He gave a couple more examples, but then challenged us to go search the scriptures and find our own and learn of Him. He related to missionaries by saying, "What does this mean to me?" The mission isn't about me.  He told us to just get over ourselves.  Turn outward in love, compassion, and service, and journey from testimony to conversion is turning outward. A testimony will never be enough.  If you are converted unto the Lord you will NEVER fall away. He said the greatest convert on your mission ought to be you, but it won't happen if that's what you're trying to do. Through grace and the atonement we can put off the natural man and become like Christ. If you lose yourself in others and obtain the character of Christ, you will find yourself. (I couldn't find a video of the MTC devotional, but here is the link to the text of a BYU-Idaho devotional with the same name -
Tuesday night's devotional was by Lowell M. Snow and his main focus was we need to make a choice to choose Him and to make that an effort once and for all.  If we decide once and for all, we will always follow and trust the will of the Lord, and we won't have to make the decision if we will choose Him every time. Devotionals here are pretty much the greatest thing. They bring the spirit so strong and it's a moral and spiritual boost. 

Tuesday we had our first TRC. TRC is going to meet and teach members that are themselves. It's not like before where our teachers pretended to be investigators and we taught them. Instead they were members being themselves, but our purpose is the same. Our purpose, as missionaries, is to invite others to come unto Christ and that includes everyone: members, investigators, less active, other missionaries, etc. We met with two different people for 20 minutes each. The first one we didn't even really talk about the gospel but just talked about our lives. The second one we talked more about the gospel and Elder Bradham and I bore our testimonies and it's the strongest I have felt the Spirit while I've been teaching. It was awesome. I'm excited for the next TRC on Tuesday.  The first two TRCs are in person and then the last two weeks they are over Skype. We continue to teach our teachers as investigators. We started over with Hermana Johnson and now she's Daniela. We had our second lesson a couple days ago and it went really well.  We finished the first lesson covering the Restoration and afterwards she gave us feedback and said we did really well so that was encouraging.

So one of the Districts in our Zone left last Monday so there was just two Districts with 14 people today. Wednesday we got two more Districts with 15 Elders and 3 Hermanas. One of the Districts is an intermediate class but they are still here for the full 6 weeks I guess they just move faster. I've only gotten to talk to some of the Elders in one of the Districts but so far they seem pretty cool. They are all 18 and just graduated high school though haha.
The 4th of July was a pretty good day. In the morning we had classes up until 7:30, when we had a program. There were some musical numbers and then a speaker. Afterwards we watched 17 Miracles, which is a movie about the hand cart companies. That was intense, it was really good and it gave me a greater appreciate and love for them and the sacrifices they made. Then we went outside to eat ice cream and we watched the Stadium of Fire fireworks from Wyview.  I did get the package, thank you soo much!! It really helped. We put up the American flags in our classrooms haha. And the patriarchal blessing and priesthood line of authority were really nice. I think they fit in my scriptures and I'll have to check on the Spanish.
The temple is closed for the next two weeks so today we slept in until like 9 haha oops... It sucks we miss out on going to the temple for two weeks though, especially since I don't know how often I'll get to go while I'm in Argentina. 

The first day we got here we got a card that says we are missionaries just in case the police ask or something and on it it said when I was leaving for Argentina and then my release date, so I got like 23 months to go! haha.
The Book of Mormon studying is going well, I actually can't remember where I am off the top of my head, but I'm somewhere in Mosiah.  
The MTC is getting a lot better. To be honest, sometimes it's really repetitive because everyday is the same.  I'll definitely be ready to leave in 3 weeks but I won't be ready to be thrown into Argentina haha. But it's been great.  I know I'll look back and cherish the time here and the people I've met. I've been blessed with a great District and great teachers.
Tell everyone back home I love them.

Elder McFarland

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