Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 100: 3 Weeks!



Wow, my time is really winding down! For all of you wondering, no I am not tired and yes I am still going strong! At this point in my mission it is easy for some to just sleep because they are tired but I am not normal I guess. I am really proud of myself! Well tomorrow, I will be having my last zone conference which means that I will be bearing my final testimony to all the missionaries. I remember in my very first zone conference a guy named Elder Sebit was going home and while he was bearing his testimony I just thought to myself dang I am never going to be going home myself and boom here I am. I totally still remember that experience like it was yesterday!

Well i am sad to say that another one of my friends has returned home. Elder Hon hurt himself and needs surgery. I am so sad...

Well this week I went on exchange with Kasoa 1. I went with Elder Bingham into his area. We had such a great time and I really enjoyed his area and getting to meet new people and feel the Spirit from his members and investigators. It is truly a rewarding experience! A couple of funny things happened that day! (You all knew this was coming) Elder Bingham is a funny guy haha. I love him so much. So I was holding my shoes and I asked him if I could use a brush to get the dirt off my shoes.... He gives me a toothbrush.... I just held it in my hand and looked up at him and just died laughing haha. That truly made my day. Well any missionary here in Ghana will tell you that a fan ice guy is the best thing ever-- which is pretty much Ghana's version of the ice cream truck, lol. I felt like a child that day. Elder Bingham and I were getting ready to go out and we hear the guy coming. We both look at each other in the eyes and get up and run. I run to the kitchen and open this window and hiss as loud as I can (the sound used to call someone) and then Elder Bingham ran out to the porch and screamed  "Here, here!" hahaha. The worst part is..... we ran outside with our shirts untucked.... I had one shoe on. He was barefoot. My tie was loosened... He hadn't finished buttoning his shirt yet.... oh we are a mess. You know here in Ghana something as little as a 1 Cedi ice cream can do wonders! Other than those instances, we were pretty serious, when it comes to preaching the Gospel. I don't joke lol!

As much as I complain in my emails sometimes you would think that Ghana is a bad place haha. But there are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes that are tender mercies or blessings from the Lord. These people are truly wonderful! Sometimes I hate washing my clothes by hand, and most of the time I totally hate the sun. But there is always 1 thing that continues to never let me down- these wonderful people! I have been truly blessed to serve here!

This week was a very successful week for me and my awesome companion Elder Seninde. We had 7 new investigators again this week! But our Sacrament attendance was really poor. We only had 5 investigators. We could have done a better job getting them to church but anyways my companion and I are always achieving the standard of excellence and even sometimes going above and beyond the standard. So I can't really complain. Next Monday, I will be climbing a mountain for a district activity so i might be a little late, or might not come online at all because I'll be too tired. But everyone keep the prayers coming! All shall be well!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 99: Another Week Down...4 to Go!

Me and My Homie

Well, this week was a pretty interesting week to say the least. The sun was too hot and for the most part Ghana was not on my side. LOL


Well I had a little rough start to the week, but the week ended on a really good note haha. First of all, for a while now I have been having some stomach problems and for the longest time I have not been having solid poops haha. Sorry for those of you who are about to eat, who have eaten, and all those who are about to eat. I just like being honest.

Our Area

Our Chapel


The Baptismal Font

So let me tell you a little bit about this exchange with Elder Berthelsen.  This was probably one of the hottest days I have witnessed here in Ghana. These days,  the sun is beating us down here. Well, first of all on the way to his area we were getting off a trotro and an elderly man was getting on the trotro. We waited a little bit to allow him on the bus. As soon as he was on, I proceeded out and apparently people in the back were readjusting. So I folded the seat back down to get out and as I did that the seat caught hold of his pants and ripped them. But all I could do was give him a couple of Cedis to repair them once he got off. I felt so bad. Well if that wasn't bad enough?  Five minutes later we were entering another car and I shut the door on my foot. Man my ankle was hurting all week smh. I also drank Mountain Dew that day and it gave me a massive headache and I got a bad sunburn haha. Well I slept well that night anyway. I have truly been blessed! Me and Berthelsen were teaching a couple of his investigators named Porcia and Solomon and I have realized how far I have come as a teacher. These people could speak very little English but we were still able to teach them and help them understand about the Restoration of the Gospel! In the lesson as well it was kinda funny the baby was crying and making noise and Porcia just gives me her child who is about 14 months old and just told me "hold her." She shortly falls asleep. So at this point I am just sitting there with a sleeping baby in my hands while teaching a lesson. It was a pretty eventful day.

Breakfast

The sun is SO bright.

This pizza destroyed me.

Well we had some great success in our area this week. We found 7 new investigators and we are planning to have a couple of baptisms on the 4th of November. It will be my final week here in Ghana and I will be able to do the baptism. I am very excited!

Well, I don't know what else to talk about. Maybe I should come prepared next time! haha 

Love you all!

Mountain Dew and Exchanges

Root Beer

Monday, October 2, 2017

Week 98: 5 weeks!

Well, I have procrastinated this email yet again. But at least I have not procrastinated the day of my repentance haha! I am so grateful for the conference talks that I was able to listen to this week. I am also very grateful for the undeniable spirit that I felt constantly throughout all the sessions of General Conference. (Yes, I watched all) I am also very grateful for the faith our our members of the church here in Ghana. To witness of their love and the light of Christ in these wonderful people is something that is truly a gift to witness. I am so lucky to be a part of this beautiful work in this beautiful land! 

This week has truly been a test for me. Of course we had light issues this week and of course right now in all of Kasoa the water is finished. So we have been managing a little bit. I am trying so hard to be patient. I know that patience is a virtue. Throughout my mission, I have realized that the Sabbath Day is a very good day, It's not a burden. It is a day where you can kind of refresh yourself for the week. The conference really helped change my attitude about the week.

I'm sure everyone who viewed conference received their own personal revelation and the things I received I cannot deny. I know there is power and authority in this church and the authorities who addressed us this weekend are called of God and they are inspired. I love the Church and the Gospel. I thought it was interesting how many times throughout the conference they talked about how they have been given authority from God and they speak to us from God and not by their own power. Many times they talked about how Jesus Christ is the head of our church all of it was so powerful! I also understand some of the things that are going on in this world and I really enjoyed some thoughts that were shared about looking at people the way God sees them. I have learned a lot this conference and have been uplifted. 

I just pray that I can maintain a better attitude about things and realize that nothing I do is unbearable. I hope that anyone who reads this will send a little prayer my way! Thank you all for your support!

-Elder McFarland

P.S. You know, very soon I won't have that title and the day I have to remove this tag it will make me so sorrowful....

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 97: I Want to Finish in Peace, Not in Pieces


Wow, I'm really sad to say I am losing one of my best friends. Elder Skog has finished his mission successfully. I am so grateful I got to know him! Over a year ago, we were on exchange and we really couldn't imagine ourselves getting to this point in mission. I mean, we would always kinda joke about it. But we are actually here! He has helped me through many trials of my mission and he will always be in my heart! Shout out to him and the people who raised this fine young man!



Well, we got transfer news this past Saturday and me and my companion are remaining together for my final 6 weeks of my mission! Elder Berthelsen and Elder Bingham are both training and we will be receiving a new sister whose name is Sister Okeke. So this transfer we are losing almost half the district. But I know that this last transfer for me will be the best!



Well, I would say that this week not much happened. Literally, we have been chasing around our investigators, and we traveled to the doctor's office twice this week. So we have been doing so much traveling. That reminds me.  They told us to be at the area office by 8 am so they could take my companion to an appointment. So we woke up by 5 am and left by 5:30 am. When we got to the main road we were trying to call a Trotro to take us to circle so we could get another car. But out of nowhere a woman stops on the side of the road and gets our attention. She was a member from Kasoa 1st ward and she was on her way to work (the area office) and she said she would take us. Well idk what happened to me i was feeling fine until like 1 hour into the trip and then boom all of a sudden I just had some projectile vomiting that literally came out of nowhere... The thing is I didn't even eat anything that morning. I was so confused. But literally I threw up all over this woman's car. She was trying to be nice to missionaries and this was the blessing she got from the Lord.... I still haven't forgiven myself haha! She kept telling me in the car that she was a mom and these things are normal to her, but I am a man and i just threw up everywhere lol....I'm so done. 






On a more serious note, we had a baptism this week! I always love baptismal services. The Spirit is always so strong and for me. I am very lucky to be a part of this awesome work. I am grateful that I can see the lives of others change as I teach then the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. its so fascinating just to sit back and observe the faith of these wonderful and beautiful sons and daughters of God. I love everyone I come in contact with. These people are my second family! 




I gave a talk this Sunday about conversion. I think it is interesting to note something about conversion! Even Peter himself was not fully converted. After receiving a witness that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, he went and denied he knew Christ 3 times. Another example is that some of the 11 witnesses of the divinity and truth of the Book of Mormon ended up leaving the church later on after receiving the witness. and it is also important to note that conversion should change attitude and actions. For example, almost everyone in this world knows that smoking is bad for you, and even in Ghana here it has in big letters on the front of the packs that "SMOKING CAUSES CANCER." But does this stop people from doing it? Not at all. Then I gave a small list of things that will help us become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I thought that the talk went very well and I know that everyone benefited from my talk!


I made hamburgers and we had bacon, too!


Well as I begin my last transfer, let's pray that I don't fall sick or get hurt before I go home. I want to finish in peace not in pieces! Keep it 100 everyone until next week!

Much love,

Elder McFarland

Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 96: 7 Weeks (Yes, I'm Counting)

Squad

What's up Fam and Friends!


Well my time is running short and yet again I have procrastinated this big email!


Water filter--overdue for a change?


I guess the highlight of the week would be the fact that on Tuesday we were able to be instructed by our dear mission president and other leaders in this mission. So a little funny note before I go into the more serious stuff. On Monday night, me and my companion were talking and he asked me if I knew that they were picking people randomly to give role plays in front of everyone. I was like no I didn't know. Well long story short, he told me that they would pick me. He was totally just guessing. It turns out I was one of the 3 that they picked. I had to role play invitation to baptism. It was pretty interesting. I guess the main things we talked about in this conference was that we need to be using the Book of Mormon more in our teaching and stuff and that the work in this mission is the best it has been in years and we should keep it up. When success comes, the powerful influence of Satan comes as well and we discussed 3 way the missionary work can stop progressing.



1) Stop finding

2) Contention

3) Disobedience

Me and Elder Joos

Hon doing The Whip


This was kind of our theme for the day and we discussed these three points and how we can overcome them. It was just really powerful and I'm so grateful for the president I am working under!



Well when I'm rushed on time I have no clue what to say.... ummmm I'm alive.


Just pray for me that I don't die or fall sick because I'm so close to coming home. Sorry for the short email. My mind is all over the place this week. Love you all. Thank you for your prayers and your support!


Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 95: 8 Weeks! MRI!



I'm hoping that the subject of this week drew you to read this email haha! Well, for all of you wondering (if you even cared in the first place lol) NO I  did not get an MRI. But my companion had to go get one done. I went on exchange and then I come back to find that my companion hurt himself on the bike. Friday we didn't do too much working because he couldn't walk lol. But after our baptism on Saturday, we went straight to the mission doctor and Sister Blackwell told us that we needed to go and get an MRI so they can know what the issue is. But we got to Accra around 12 or 1-- I forget. But then they sent us to another place near the airport and we had to go get check out. Well long story short, we didn't get back to Kasoa until 7:30 and me and my companion both had not eaten anything all day. Traveling kinda sucks here in Ghana. Pretty much you get on a bus that is crowded with people and this car is stopping like every 5 minutes to drop people off and pick up new people along the way.... So yeah it took years to get there and years to get back. That day went by slower than the whole week combined.

French Toast

Well things are going smoothly for us besides my companion's issues. But we had a good district meeting this week. On Tuesday evening I planned to give an instruction on Christ-like attributes. I woke up on Wednesday said my prayers and something told me I didn't prepare the right topic and that I need to talk about the Holy Ghost! Well I prepared a little instruction and went along with the rest of the activities. When I stood up to teach I was impressed to sit back down and  have people share times the Holy Ghost has spoken to them and times they acted on these promptings and the outcome they had because of these things they acted upon. It was just a powerful experience for me and for everyone else involved!



Well, for the baptisms, we are expecting like 3 or 4 by the end of this month. We are having great success and our investigators are progressing. I'm just saying that when you are friends with your companion you tend to do a lot more work. I couldn't be any happier with everything that is happening!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 94: 9 More Weeks!!


Yo what's up guys! It's ya boi Macdaddy! I'm just enjoying my time here in Kasoa. All is well here!

We began reading the Book of Mormon as a mission. I was impressed by the story of Nephi and his brothers obtaining the Brass Plates from Laban and how many times that Nephi encouraged his brothers that they must be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord. Nephi knew the connection between obedience and obtaining blessings from God. That relationship is also true for us as missionaries as we fulfill our purpose of inviting all to come unto Christ.

We also learn that Laman and Lemuel murmured against their father "because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." You can find it in 1 Nephi 2:12. When we come to understand the dealings of our Heavenly Father we become more patient and long-suffering. Moroni 7:12-13 helps us understand this. 


12 All things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.


13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.





Also we understand something in 3 Nephi 11:29


29  He that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.


Laman and Lemuel "understood not the dealings of God" but were enticed by the devil to "contend with anger" against their brethren. Many times in missionary work we can be like Laman and Lemuel. We don't understand the will of God for us and we are quick to anger, this could be with our companions or others around us. Our mission president has many times said that the work is moving faster than it has ever moved since he came here. Satan will do all he can to stir up evil in the hearts of people and we need to be mindful of these things, not just as missionaries but members of the church.




I also thought about something else along the lines of these things. I know many times Laman and Lemuel were chastened by the lord and still had problems with the other righteous family members. It hurts a little when i think about how much the righteous in this world have to endure. They have to endure a numerous number of attacks that come in all forms, shapes and sizes, and they will not stop. This also reminded me of the instruction I gave this week about the continuous battle between good and evil and it will always seem like we will be outnumbered. But if we "put on the whole Armour of God"  look up D&C 27:15-18 We will be blessed with added strength and we will prevail. I mean if you think about it we have chosen good over evil before! That's why we are on earth now, so that alone can motivate us to come to earth and choose the right again haha!




Well my only request (and I don't ask for much, besides money lol) is that everyone who reads this can just say a little prayer for me and my companion, that the work will progress even more and we will see increased success! Thanks and love you all!