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.