Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Ways Are Not Always The Lord's Ways

Hola! Hola!

Great to hear about the Sharks! It’d be way cool if they can keep it going. Also great to hear about your temple trip. We were going to take a trip to the temple with Hermano Luna and our investigators last Saturday but we changed it to this Saturday.

My week was good, but remember how I told you guys I was kind of sick? Well yeah I was sick for a few days after that. In the bathroom a lot ha-ha, sorry Kiersten, too much information but yeah pretty rough I dropped a few more pounds. I called Hermana Thurgood and there’s been a few other missionaries with the same thing and a few of them starting eating lots of bananas and yogurt, so she recommended I try that, so for the last few days I’ve been eating several bananas each day and a yogurt in the morning and at night. So far it’s helped, so hopefully it continues because it was starting to interrupt our proselyting, which was rough. Maybe I have a worm ha-ha, just kidding, I don’t think I do.

It was a good week. We went to Las Flores, which is a small city about 200 km from where we are at. We went on a bus for like 2.5 hours and worked there with the Elders for a day.

We were hoping for 4 or 5 baptisms at the end of the month, but it’s looking like we`ll end up having 1 for now. Gisela didn’t come to church yesterday because it was raining and her young daughter was sick, and the investigators need to attend church 3 time to get baptized. She has already attended church 2 times, but her 8 year old son, Facundo, only went once. So technically Gisela could still get baptized before I leave but not Facundo, but we are thinking it’s best if they get baptized together and not to rush Gisela, but they’ll definitely get baptized soon after I leave.

Dany didn’t come to church but he already has attended church 3 times. If all goes well, we`ll finish teaching him this week and Friday or Saturday he`ll have his baptismal interview so we can announce the baptism Sunday at church and then my last week he`ll get baptized.

Graciela was the only one that came to church yesterday, and little by little, she’s progressing. She’s come twice now but her son, Nahuel, didn’t come to church and still has never come. Graciela is a little stubborn, and I think a little afraid to make a commitment, but she’s coming along. It’s been baby steps along the way but she’s progressed a ton since we started teaching her. When I went on the intercambio with Elder Pribyl last transfer, we couldn’t even get her to go to church on Easter. Since then, she’s gone to a baptism, two ward FHEs, twice to church, and this Saturday is going to go to the temple with us.

In the end, it looks like I won’t see all of them get baptized before I leave but if there’s one thing I’ve learn in the mission, that I’ve repeated to you guys, is that our ways are not always the Lords ways. I’ve learned that over and over and over again. Interesting enough my patriarchal blessing says that I will experience success in the mission but not so much in the number of baptisms but rather in helping many come unto to the Lord. At the end of last transfer, I thought staying in El Jaguel would be better and actually would have preferred in that moment to stay. Now I realize why I didn’t. Now I’m beginning to realize why the Lord sent me back to 9 de Abril. Maybe I won’t see the full fruit of it all, but as President Thurgood said, there was still work for me to do here in 9 de Abril. Work that hadn’t even began when I was here the first time with Elder Almeida. It is amazing to see the Lord’s hand in our lives. It’s humbling to see how perfectly things start to fall in place and start to make sense. It’s exciting when we start to see as He sees and think as He thinks.

Some questions from last week that I didn’t answer. Don’t worry mom I still have about $80 or $90 that I’ve kept as emergency money, so if my debit card doesn’t work, I’ll have that.

I know I am receiving personal revelation when...? Well to be honest, many times I don’t know I’m receiving or have received personal revelation in the moment. My experience in the mission has been that I act. Sometimes thoughts to do something or share something will come to my head and many times it’s not until after that I learn or have confirmed to me that that thought or action was inspired. Sometimes I never end up knowing if a certain thing was just my own thoughts or the Spirit, but Elder Bednar has said it doesn’t matter if it was our own thoughts or the Spirit. If it incites us to do good, we know it’s from God. Perhaps what I experience many times is best explained in a talk by Elder Bednar.

¨In the spring of 1829, Oliver Cowdery was a schoolteacher in Palmyra, New York. As he learned about Joseph Smith and the work of translating the Book of Mormon, Oliver felt impressed to offer his assistance to the young prophet. Consequently, he traveled to Harmony, Pennsylvania, and became Joseph’s scribe. The timing of his arrival and the help he provided were vital to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. The Savior subsequently revealed to Oliver that as often as he had prayed for guidance, he had received direction from the Spirit of the Lord. “If it had not been so,” the Lord declared, “thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time. Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth” (D&C 6:14–15). Thus, Oliver received a revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith informing him that he had been receiving revelation. Apparently Oliver had not recognized how and when he had been receiving direction from God and needed this instruction to increase his understanding about the spirit of revelation. In essence, Oliver had been walking in the light as the sun was rising on a cloudy morning.¨ here is the talk

Anyways, I guess that’s how I often feel and my experience many times. Of course sometimes the prompting is very obvious and clear but the majority of experiences have been like what Elder Bednar described.

About classes and housing mom, it all looks fine to me. Maybe I’ll decide to make some changes with classes after I get home, but if it isn’t possible, I’m fine with it how it is. Nothing too urgent that it can’t wait a few weeks :)

About talking in El Camino Ward, I’m not sure by when you need to know. I would love to and am interested. As we’ve already talked, it is somewhat complicated with the timing but I would enjoy it. A kind of one time opportunity. It might be kind of hard giving back to back talks and in different languages on top of that ha-ha. I’d just have to prepare well beforehand. As of right now, I’d like to. Maybe you guys can talk and see if it`ll work out. If there’s still time, maybe I can think a little bit more today and let you know next week.

I hope you guys have a great week!!

Elder McFarland

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