Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 103: OK, I Lied...This is the Last Email!

Well guys, I am in the mission office right now enjoying food and air conditioning. Oh and I took a hot shower so I am feeling good. I will see all of you guys soon! 

Save some Taco Bell for me! 

See you all soon. Peace out!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 102: Final Missionary Email

Well, first of all, I would like to say what a wonderful experience I have had to be here in Ghana. I am so grateful for these wonderful people. This experience has truly been real and I have grown so much. Truly this experience I have had in Ghana has shaped me to who I am. I am not perfect in any way but being in Ghana has truly helped me to know how fortunate I really am. Mission is the best 2 years of my life. I will never forget it.

This week. I have reflected back on some of my experiences. When I first came on mission (and I just laugh because honestly), I had no idea what Ghana would be like. I wrote stuff like how I saw animals mating and it was literally the first time I experienced that. I wrote things like: I saw a man in a bra and I also wrote down about how I even ate bones for the first time, not knowing that on my mission I would end up eating more weird things like snails and lizards and stuff like that haha. I also recall writing about my first Fast Sunday here in Ghana. Wow, that was really tough for me because you are walking under the sun all day with no food or water. The Lord really qualifies those who He calls. He has given me the strength to overcome all these hard things.

During my mission, I have had many powerful experiences and witnesses from the Spirit of the Lord. I have also seen miracles of faith and especially the miracles of prayer. I have seen many miracles that the gospel brings in people's life. I know with all sincerity of my heart that this church is true. I am so grateful for this knowledge of the gospel. How lucky are we to have this gospel!

This week I was so privileged thanks to my parents, to go and travel to some of my old areas and even as I am typing this I am in an old area. Going back to the eastern region was so humbling to me. The people there are so amazing. I remember how hard it was to be there but also how much I learned about myself. Shout out to Ghana for giving me these best 2 years. This will always be my second home!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 101: Last Zone Conference and Final 2 Weeks!

I  would say that this week was a very good week. I am so grateful for this week and the Spirit that has been felt this week. Well I have to be honest with everyone. It honestly doesn't even feel like I will ever leave. I am just doing my own thing here, and the same thing I have been doing. Tuesday was a little emotional for me because it was my last zone conference. Of course, I was the only one to give a testimony because I am not near any of my MTC group. Anyway it was just hard for me to believe that it was my time to stand up before many other missionaries and bear my last testimony with them. This zone conference was actually very inspiring to me and this one has probably influenced me the most. We really focused on Christ-like attributes and a talk called "The Challenge to Become." It is a very powerful talk.

So a little funny story-- Me and my companion were out knocking on doors and we came to this one house who were watching soccer inside. They didn't want to stop watching to come out and they knew we were outside. In this instance, I thought of something funny. I looked at my companion and I pointed to the ECG box (where you control the light). Usually they are on the outside of the houses. I saw a big red switch on the box and I knew that it can turn the power off. This guy just starts laughing and we both continue with our efforts. But maybe I just found a better way of contacting people? Shutting off their power and talking to them when they come out? I think yes! haha. I am totally joking!

Another interesting thing happened-- So somehow the time on our phone was 20 minutes behind. On Sunday me and my companion thought we were good on time, until we put on our watches and figured out that we are actually running late for church. We just ran out the door and prayed and then began to run to church. We were walking down the road and all of a sudden a car stops right in front of us. It was somebody who I have never seen before. But he stopped and told us to get in. When we sat down in the car he asked us if we were going to church and we replied that we were going. Honestly, I thought this was a member at first. But he dropped us at our ward building and kept driving. I was so confused. I looked at my companion and he said that he stopped him. If it weren't for this man, we would have not been able to partake of the sacrament. So I am grateful for the small things the Lord does for us. Oh and BTW my companion "accidentally" left a pamphlet inside with our names and number so we hope for a call haha.

It is looking really promising with our investigator named James who is preparing to be baptized on the 4th of November. I feel really good about baptizing him because he knows so much about the church and we have been able to help him strengthen his faith so much. He will for sure be a strong member of this church. 

Well so today was a little interesting so we went to go climb a mountain and we expected it to be a little bit bushy. So we prepared by bringing a couple of cutlasses. We get like 30 minutes in and we had some complications and had to come back down. We were all pretty bummed out but it was fun to be together and enjoy each other's company. I was still able to get some cool shots and videos!

This week went very well and despite Tuesday being full of meetings it didn't stop us from doing the work that we are suppose to be doing. I pray that I may be able to have another great week and that I will be an effective servant until the end! Peace out!

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.


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