Monday, April 4, 2016

General Conference

Hola, Hola!

So yeah this week was great with the consejo de liderazgo and then finishing off the week with conference. I feel the same as you Dad, when you were on your mission. Conference has taken on a whole new meaning and importance in my life being in the mission. Before the mission I listened, but to be honest didn’t pay much attention and got practically nothing out of it. Actually I remember one of the conferences at BYU, I played Apples to Apples with some of the guys as we had conference on in the background and then I posted the picture to Instagram. How silly and foolish I feel now for doing both of those things. I have come to absolutely love General Conference in the mission. I remember my first General Conference was such a powerful and spiritual experience. I felt so energized and strengthened and I have felt that way ever since. I have some comments about General Conference so I’ll come back to it.

This week was a good week but a little slower week in terms of the week. The meetings this week took out substantial time to proselyte. Obviously in the end, the time lost was worth it with the instruction I received in the consejo de liderazgo and General Conference. We had intercambios this week and found another potential family but we`ll have to see if we can teach them again this week. We were unable to teach Jose, Marilina and his mom, Dora this week. A family friend of theirs had an ACV this week and later passed away. She was 28 I believe and left a husband and a few children. So we weren’t able to enter and teach them this week and they were dealing with that and going to the hospital, but we were able to talk twice to Jose on his doorstep and testified to him the reality of the plan of salvation and that although there will always be pain and sadness when a loved one dies, we can find comfort, hope, and peace in the Lord’s atonement and His resurrection. We hope to be able to find them and teach them this week so we can teach them all the plan of salvation. We also were unable to find and teach Dani and Juan because they weren’t home when we passed by and neither of them have phones, but hopefully this week we`ll find them while they are home.

Last week we watched Monsters University for the district activity and today is the zone activity and we were going to play capture the flag but it rained last night and it has been off and on today so I think we`ll end up watching another movie. This week we`ll also have two intercambios.

So we watched conference in the stake center in Monte Grande and watched it in English with some other Elders. I went into conference with really four questions and not surprisingly I felt I received an answer or some guidance and counsel for all four of them. While I do not like talking about it or thinking about it, the reality is I’m coming to the end of my mission and one thing that has been on my mind from time to time and maybe you could call a worry is the transition back to ¨normal life¨. How can I make the transition from mission life to going back home while maintaining my spiritual progress and continuing my discipleship?  I felt I received a lot of answers and counsel to that question, one of which is that the temple was talked about a lot this conference. I find it interesting that last conference, if I remember right, there was a heavy theme about our Sabbath day worship and making it a delight in all levels of the church. Now this conference, there was a strong emphasis on the temples. I had felt pretty strongly beforehand a desire to work in the temple when I get back home. That desire grew when I heard about Scott’s desire to work in the San Diego temple and hearing so much about temples in the conference confirmed my decision and desire to work in the temple while I’m at BYU, especially for the summer semester when I first get back. So I’ll have to look into that when I get home and see if it’s a possibility. Also with respect to my transition, I loved Sister Durham’s talk about kicking off the weight of the world. I think it was directed at parents helping their youth, if I remember right, but I took it for me as the key to making the transition. I will be kicking anything out of my life that seems to be drowning out the quiet whisperings of the Spirit. Elder Stevenson talked about three ways to find the keys. For me it was 1, continue with my missionary service at home: 2, attend the temple (or work there like I mentioned); 3, go forward with faith by continuing the fundamentals of discipleship, daily scripture study and prayer. Next, Elder Ballard talked about family counsels and getting rid of the distractions of electronic devices in those moments. So another goal is to put away my phone or electric devices when I’m with family and to find moderation in the use of it and have family counsels and counsels with my roommates. From Elder Waddle, I thought of who am I listening to? After the mission, will I be listening to the prophets and leaders of the church, in essence will I be listening to Christ, or will I begin to listen to the great and spacious building? Always having that question in mind with help with the transition as many things will start to compete for my attention. Lastly, I absolutely loved Elder Hollands talk and you guys agreed. I felt it helped me a lot with my worry about the transition as well as being able to finish the mission strong. So that was some of my thoughts. I haven’t gotten a chance to go over my notes and really meditate over them and gather my thoughts so maybe next week or later on I’ll share more.

With respect to my itinerary, yes I have it. Well I don’t have it, but Hermana Mitchell showed it to me a week or two ago when I went back to the office one day to help. I wasn’t very happy to see it to be honest ha-ha. But yes I know and I thought about telling you but I decided not to because, well you guys know, I don’t want to talk about it much. Sorry, don’t get mad ha-ha, but yes, unless it’s changed since I saw it I`ll get home Tuesday (May 31st) around noon. Ok, no more ha-ha.

About visas, I was able to get a new precaria so I’ll be legal until like June 13th I believe. So I’ll leave legally and coming back shouldn’t be a problem at all.

Thanks for everything! I’m happy to hear you guys enjoyed conference and got a lot out of it and took small plates ha-ha. I tried to be better about that this conference and not take notes of just what was said but the promptings and feelings that came to my heart and mind as I watched. That photo at the SAP Center is awesome ha-ha. I hope everyone is doing well. Love you!!

Elder McFarland

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