Monday, May 25, 2015

District Leader

Monday, May 25, 2015


So this week was pretty busy. Wednesday was the district meeting. I spent quite a bit of time planning a lesson but then at the last minute, on Wednesday morning, I wasn't finished yet and felt I should do something else so I ended up basing the lesson off of D&C 133:15 and used the first part to talk about doing more contacts; that we need to remember to talk to everyone and not be in a rush to always get to appointments. The second part was about our hearts. Where are our hearts? In the mission or in the past? Also, our investigators have to learn to not look back on the life they are leaving behind but look to their new life of following Christ. It ended up being alright I think. We also set goals as a district. The district meetings are every Tuesday and an hour to an hour and a half long. I can assign stuff, but this week I didn't and I don't think I will for tomorrow. Thursday was a meeting for District Leaders and they talked about various things - like what it means to be a District Leader, our responsibilities and all that. It was really good. Then Friday was a meeting for trainers and new missionaries and we had to go again. That was really good too. Then Saturday, in the morning, I had to do two baptismal interviews in one of the areas in my district - a 14 yr old and 16 yr old. I was nervous but the meeting Thursday helped and I think it went well. Also, as District Leader I have to call my district every Thursday and Sunday night to see how they are doing, how the work is going and all that. So this week was pretty busy. I haven't had any down or free time at all, in the morning or night, but it's good.

The area is pretty big. There used to be 4 Elders here and now it's just us, but I can see why it used to be 4. Saturday and yesterday it started getting colder and a little colder in the pension but not too bad. The area is, not to scare you Mom, haha, the most dangerous of my three areas. Really it's not all that dangerous but we have to return to the pension around 8 if we can. My companion's last companion got robbed twice, haha so maybe I`ll have some new stories. I still haven't met all that many members. I greeted some on Sunday but didn't really get a chance to really talk or get to know any.

We have three baptismal dates. Two of them are Jesus and Maria. They are 20 and 19 years old and have a 8 month old baby. Jesus has been coming to church for a decent amount of time now but it was Maria's first Sunday. They both had a baptismal date for the 31st of May but they aren't living the law of chastity. So this week we taught it and they said they had the desire to get married so hopefully this week we can help them start that process. If they can get married in time, their new date is for June 20th. This morning we had a service project at the house of Jesus to clear his backyard. We have an appointment with the other baptismal date, Daysi, tonight. She's the girlfriend of a less active.

My companion doesn't speak English.  He's the only member of his family. His parents are separated, if I remember right. He was studying three years in genierĂ­a de finanzas, finance engineering in English. Not sure if that exists in the states, haha. I think it`d just be finance. He knew the Church from a coworker. She always talked to him about the Gospel and I think by the time he actually decided to meet with the missionaries she had already left for the mission. She's now returned and I think engaged so ya fue that. He's cool though. We've been getting along good and he doesn't seem like a new missionary.

I`ll have to think because right now I cant think of anything really I want or need. Perhaps a pair of shoes. The size kind of always depends on the shoe, but I think 10.5 but other than that I`ll have to think about it. Thanks for everything. I love you and miss you guys!

Elder McFarland

Monday, May 18, 2015

I Got Transferred - Goodbye Tolosa, Hello Parque Baron

May 18, 2015

So I got transferred today and I'm going to be in the Mission Buenos Aires......South!! I am now in Parque Baron in the Banfield Zone, so I'll be staying in the Buenos Aires South Mission which I'm pretty happy about.  One, because now if Elder Pribyl really is going to be in South too we could end up in the same zone or something and two, because now I'll finish with President Thurgood. I was also assigned to be a District Leader and to finish the training of Elder Ventura, but I'll get back to that later on.

So the last week with Elder Garache was good. President told us that if we had an investigator with us we could attend the transmission of the cultural event (Cordoba Temple Cultural Celebration) Saturday night and earlier last week we met and taught an old investigator, Juana. Her main problem is that she believes all the churches are true and that she's been baptized and doesn't need to be again, but she came with us Saturday night and we watched the cultural event. It was great because she lived in her youth for quite some time in Cordoba so afterwards she said it reminded her of her childhood and she said she really enjoyed it. So hopefully it`ll help her progress. The cultural event was good.  Elder Christensen (who served as a missionary in Cordoba) and President Uchtdorf came for the event and dedication of the temple. The dedication was a really great experience.  Yeah we had to bring a white handkerchief for the Hosanna shout. President Uchtdorf, the temple coordinator or something, and her husband, and then the Temple President, I think, all gave talks and they were really good.  I especially enjoyed President Uchtdorf's. Elder Christensen directed the session and he`s fluent so he didn't need a translator and all the people here praise him for his Spanish.

So my new companion is Elder Ventura and he's from Bolivia. He`s 23, a convert of about a year and a half, I think, and was introduced to the church by a friend. So he only has one transfer here and I`ll finish his training. Although I can already tell I'm not going to be doing much training with him. He appears to already be a very good Elder that came prepared for the mission. Obviously I still don't know him really at all but so far we get along great. He's really cool, really excited and happy to be in the field, really focused on the mission and just wants to work. So really, honestly, it doesn't feel like I'm training or anything, it's just like I have a new companion. To be honest, I still feel young in the mission even though I'm almost at a year and I don't feel like I know all that much. We were in the bus coming back after the cultural event Saturday night when the Assistants called me to tell me I would be finishing his training and I`d be District Leader. I hung up and just thought ¨What am I going to do...¨,ha-ha. I still have no idea what I'm doing. I've been praying a lot since then for help so that I can complete my calling as a Trainer and District Leader. I'm not worried about the leadership position in itself or the responsibility or anything like that. My two biggest worries are my Spanish and teaching every week for the district meeting. My Spanish honestly is not good for someone that has been out a year. It's not where it should be and so that's been something that's continued to frustrate me. So I kind of worry about being a leader and training when my Spanish isn't that good. And then also the teaching because naturally I'm just not a good teacher and I have no idea what or how I'm going to teach every week to my district. Also, like I said, I just don't feel like I know really that much but I suppose it will be a good opportunity to learn to trust in the Lord and the atonement. It's also really humbling and I think it`ll help me be even more humble before the Lord as I learn to rely on Him even more so. My district is 6 Elders, woohoo no Hermanas!! That I know of so far. I don't know anyone in my district but I'm not sure still. Also good news and bad news about my new apartment. The good is that it's big!  It used to be 4 Elders in the area but now it’s just us two. The pension is definitely the biggest I've had, and it's relatively nice but the bad news is that because it's big and a lack of insulation, it gets pretty cold apparently... so I'm kind of worried how that will go in the mornings, ha-ha.

That's great that you guys (Merrill & Kathy) got to go up to Utah to help Grandma and Grandpa and see family members and places. Thanks for the pictures. I miss and love you guys!

Elder McFarland

Tolosa Bishop and family.

Family Dolder, who was the Hermana that arranged our lunches and 
where I Skyped for Mother's Day.

Family Krasnoselsky.  In the photo is Franco, our Ward Mission Leader and
Elder Krasnoselsky, who is the Area Seventy.