Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Monday, January 27, 2014

Well this week was a relatively uneventful week. We visited church members, gave spiritual thoughts to them, gave a little service, and that's about it. I must say though, I was super excited on Wednesday. I have made it to a whole new level in life, I can now solve one side of a Rubik's Cube! Yep, I'm pretty proud of myself (:
Elder Detton and I helped this guy named Vern set up his yard sale and he rewarded us with a bunch of foreign coins and currency! If you know me really well, you'd know that I am amazed with foreign money! I have a collection back home and he gave me coins from places all over the world! Plus the currency was from South Africa, Nigeria, and the Philippians! I was pretty excited.
Saturday night we went to Kathy and Wayne's race and it was sweet! There were heaps of people there and it was fun to support a great member of the church and her fantastic husband! Kathy got 4th and Wayne got 1st! It was so cool!
I experienced something new yesterday at church. For the first time in 19 years of going to church, a stray dog ran into sacrament meeting right in the middle of Mel's talk! Keep in mind, we're not meeting in a great huge chapel, we're in a small room that fits about 30 people comfortably. Everyone started laughing, it was pretty great! :) Yesterday was also Australia Day! It was my first time being apart of that! Pretty exciting stuff.
I've been thinking a lot about fathers this past week and the influence they have on their sons (also applies for mothers and their daughters). I've been thinking about this because I'm in an area where the church is very small and is generally focused on the family. I was thinking about how much of a role model my father is to me, how I look up to him. I see the good, as well as the not so good, yet I still follow his every footstep, I still want to be like him one day. That's when I was thinking, the ultimate goal of a father is to have his son one day stand on top of his shoulders. My goal was to simply reach my father's level and be as good as him. A father wants so much more, he wants me to be the best I can be, reach my full potential. Similarly, our Heavenly Father wants us to reach our full potential. He see's the good, as well as the not so good, in us. Yet he'll love us unconditionally until the end and help us reach our highest potential, perfection. The only way we can become perfect is through Jesus Christ, through the Atonement that he performed for us. I am so thankful for all that my Heavenly Father, as well as my earthly father, for the great example they are to me and I hope one day I can please them both and reach my highest potential.
Love you all,
Elder Macfarlane 
South Coast District

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

21 January 2014

Elder Nicholas Kendall Macfarlane Australia Sydney South MissionP.O. Box 456Mortdale, 2223NSW, Australia

Dear Elder Macfarlane:

Thank you for accepting the call to serve as a Trainer. You are a dedicated and loving person and an excellent example to other missionaries. Your great leadership skills are very much appreciated here in the mission.

The responsibility of training a new missionary is one of the greatest opportunities of leadership a missionary can have and certainly the most trusted. It is a very special assignment and will have far reaching effects on the new missionary and the Australian Sydney South Mission. Only the most stable and able missionaries are called to train. Your companion is Elder Allen Michael Detton from Illinois, USA.  You will be serving in the South Coast Zone.

You are a wonderful example of the teachings of the gospel, and a wonderful representative of your home. Thank you for serving with us in the Australia Sydney South Mission.

Love you,


Sunday, January 19, 2014

These last few weeks have brought a lot of new changes! Well not really, just the fact that I no longer have Elder Coats as my companion!!! Transfers were this last week which brings the possibility of one or both of us getting moved to a new area and Elder Coats got chosen to move on. I'm luckily still in Narooma and I'm training a new missionary from Illinois. His name is Elder Detton. He served in Salt Lake for his first 6 weeks while waiting for his VISA and now I'm finishing up his training (training lasts for 12 weeks).
While waiting for Elder Detton to fly in, I was temporarily assigned to serve in Liverpool for a few days. The second day in Liverpool was P-day so basically it was our "day-off." That was hands down the best P-day of my mission! We started off the day waking up early and going to the park to play footie (Rugby) and it was super fun! We went to AMF around lunch time and went bowling, played laser-tag, and dominated pool. Not only did we do all that fun stuff, but there was probably about 15 missionaries there all hanging out together! That doesn't happen down in Narooma! Elder Detton and I are the only two LDS missionaries within 2 hours of Narooma! It was a great time (:
Now we're back in Narooma and it's been a pretty good first week working together. I had to get certified by the AP's (Assistant to the President) so I could legally drive. It's been quite the adventure driving on the opposite side of the road, on the opposite side of the car! I've learned pretty quick and now I'm used to it, it was just an interesting first day or two! Elder Detton is bonding with members and I think they like him, he's a pretty outgoing kid so that helps. He's got big shoes to fill from Elder Coats but I think he'll do great. That's really all we've done so far this week, just introduced Elder Detton to the new members and showed him around beautiful Narooma. This week we're gonna really try to find people to teach! We'll see what happens I guess (:
While out on my mission I've learned a lot of things. I've learned how to take care of myself, I've learned how to manage my time so I don't sit around wasting day light everyday, I've learned how to better study and understand the scriptures, but I think that one of the most important things I've learned is how to have Christ-like love. When I say "Christ-like love" what comes to mind? The love the Christ has for us because we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father? Or maybe the love that He has in the sense of performing the Atonement for us and allowing us, imperfect people, to be forgiven of our sins and have the opportunity to live with him again? Well both of those things are great and I am so thankful for both of those things, but what I'm talking about is a little different. To have the Christ-like love that I'm talking about, I need to be able to love everyone no matter what. It doesn't matter if they are hardcore alcoholics, have the worst potty mouth I've ever heard, or even if they absolutely hate me, I will be able to see past that and love them the same way Christ does. Obviously I'm not perfect at doing that, but I have become much better at it and I've really been able to see a change in myself and my attitude. I challenge all who is reading this to do what you can to make that change in your life. Learn to forgive others for what they've done in the past and love them for the wonderful child of God that both you and they are. I can promise you that when you do this, you will become a much happier person and be able to have a much happier life.
I love you all very much and I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've been able to have serving the Lord in Australia. I miss you all and can't wait to come home in 20.5 months and reunite with friends and family. But know this, I wouldn't be doing this, I wouldn't be away from family and friends, with no connection but emails once a week, on the other side of the world, if I didn't know that this church was true. God lives, Jesus Christ came to this earth and Atoned for our sins so we could repent and be forgiven of those sins and have the opportunity to live with Him again. Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and wants the best for us. Have faith in Him and allow yourself to come closer to Christ. You will see the blessings that come into your life when you do. It just takes a simple leap of faith.
I love you all!
Elder Macfarlane

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Elder Macfarlane, a new convert-Kathy and Elder Coats!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Greetings from down under! Happy New Year! 
I hope everyone had a great time these last few weeks of holiday seasons! My New Years celebrations were short and not extremely exciting. Elder Coats and I stayed up to welcome in the New Year and the Kamers called us to wish us a Happy New Years and that was the extent of our celebrations. We also threw a ball back and forth for an hour or so waiting for midnight to come. I have made some New Years resolutions, two physical, and three spiritual. Physical goals: Work out (running/jogging, weights, basketball, etc.) at least 4 days a week, Reach 82Kg. Spiritual goals: Read and study the entire Book of Mormon, Old Testament, and Doctrine & Covenants. All of this is going to be accomplished by the end of 2014. I know I can do it if I stay dedicated and focused!
This week was a fun one! I tried oyster stew for the first time today... I'm not gonna lie, I was worried! Tim made it for us and I'm not a huge fan of sea food but I went for it anyway.. And it was FANTASTIC! I was shocked when I ate it. It tasted more like milk and butter than anything else. I'm just mind blowing myself with all of these new foods I'm eating! Also while eating the oyster stew, Tim gave us advice on marriage for a solid hour. It was interesting for a while but then he started telling me that I was probably going to be married within a year of when I get back from my mission, statistically, and I got freaked out! I'm not ready to get married, I'm 19 years old for goodness sake! He thought it was the funniest thing in the world too!
I had a proud Macfarlane moment yesterday too. I taught the Kamers how to play Garbage and how to play Golf (two card games). I think they liked it too.
I wish everyone a great week this week and I'll talk to you next week!
Love you all!
Elder Macfarlane