Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Monday, March 24, 2014

Elder Salter, Elder Trotter, Elder Detton, Nick and Elder Cheuk

Fun adventures with his companion, Elder Detton, and other missionaries from the District!
It's the most wonderful time of the year! MARCH MADNESS!! The only down side to this fantastic time is that I don't get to watch it! I'm hoping I can get permission from the mission AP's (Assistants to the President) to watch it with investigators as a "bonding time" but I don't foresee that happening. However, regardless of not being able to watch the games, I made a bracket! Keep in mind I have absolutely zero knowledge of what happened this season so I'm going off mostly dumb luck. But I say Florida is taking it all! I'm hoping for the best :)
I have some semi-good news for you this week! So, last week Tyler, our recent convert, moved away with him mom and little brother to "hide" from the world. Well, we found Tyler's mother yesterday at Narooma Club and had the opportunity to talk with her about the situation. Turns out Tyler's mom would love to have us still come over and teach Tyler and have Tyler in the church. The reason this is only semi-good news is because she also said that the reason Tyler hasn't been to church the last few weeks is because of his father, who is one of our progressing investigators along with his soon-to-be wife. Apparently he doesn't want Tyler to go to church. BUT, according to him, he would LOVE Tyler to continue going to church with them, they've loved everything about church so far so why wouldn't they want that to continue! BUT, Ray also hasn't been to church for the past 2 weeks and doesn't respond to any texts or calls we send... What the heck? So yeah, it's good news because we found him, but now we've gotta figure out this problem!
Tuesday was an adventurous morning! We went over to the Kamer's house and cleaned out their storage area underneath their house. They had found 2 mice the night before so we were being careful while cleaning. Then when we were almost finished clearing out the storage area and having everything out in their yard, we found the mice! Three more mice were scurrying around and they sent their dog, Brick, after them. Now keep in mind, I have never seen this dog do anything remotely manly. It was super confused at first because we just threw him in the room and were all yelling his name to go in different directions. I was in the room with Brother Kamer trying to get this sweet, loving dog to kill the stupid mice. Finally Brick saw the mice and went into attack mode! That was the funniest thing ever! Brick took them all down quick, then we finished them with a shovel... enough said :) Anyways, that was a pretty exciting service project!
This weekend we had the Ulladulla and Nowra Elders down in our flat. There were 7 of us in our one flat! We were tightly packed... luckily, Elder Detton and I had our beds so we didn't feel too cramped, but everyone else did! We gave them a fan though, so at least they weren't dying of heat too :) The reason they were down in Narooma was because we had DTM (district training meeting), which is what happens every other friday. After DTM, we had a district P-Day. We went to Australia Rock and Potato Point! Australia Rock is just a cool place for pictures and seeing sea lions, but Potato Point is where the kangaroos and wallabies are! There were heaps of wallabies all over the place and one big kangaroo seems to watch over them all. Elder Detton and I went there last week or the week before also, but this time we came prepared. We brought food to feed them! We were out of bread and couldn't find anything else to really feed them, so we fed them pizza flavored crackers, called Shapes. Apparently wallabies LOVE them because they kept eating them! I got heaps of great pictures too! I got to feed and pet live, wild wallabies! :D It was so cool!
That night we had dinner at the Beard's home, which is Islandview Beach Resort. We had some of the best meatloaf I've ever tasted in my life! (no offense mom ;) ) We then had a nice chat around a camp fire telling everyone why we decided to serve a mission. There were 9 missionaries there and both Brother and Sister Beard are returned missionaries, so there was lots to tell and very different stories coming from everyone! It was really cool! It really got me thinking about all the great experiences I've had and being able to relate to others around me. I loved it.
Tuesday morning Elder Detton and I went and had lunch at the Moruya markets. If you happen to ever be down in this area of Australia, go there and get the pizza! We had this pizza that was super good! Even to American pizza standards! It's the first and only pizza I've had in this country that comes anywhere close to pizza back home!
At church yesterday, Sister Beard asked us to go into primary and act as witnesses that saw Jesus Christ Resurrected. I was Thomas (one of the 12 apostles), Elder Detton was Joseph Smith, Sister Peate was a Nephite woman, and Sister Beard was Mary Magdalene. It was fun because we got to dress up and pretend like we were them and share our story. It was really cool. It was cool to learn a little bit more about these people.
That's all for this week! I hope you all have a great week, I love you all! Remember that God loves you! :) He's always there to help! All you've gotta do is ask!
Elder Macfarlane

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

G'day from down under! :)
So this week started out in Wollongong with the Chinese Elders! But guess what!? One of the Elders is from Minnesota! :D His name is Elder Quass. I was so excited! I had met him before at EFY so I kind of knew him before too! I was so excited! :D
The next day, Tuesday, we had Zone Conference where our mission president (the man in charge of all the missionaries in the Sydney South Mission), President Lew, spoke to us. Nothing too exciting or new. Just fun to see all the missionaries and I was able to reunite with my last companion Elder Coats so that was fun! :) That night we stayed in Nowra. I don't know if I've told you before but they have a super nice flat! It's got two bathrooms! That alone makes it great! But on top of that it's brand new and super clean looking!
Wednesday, we drove home for 2.5 hours then visited the Kamers. And guess what... PAPA'S HOME! Brother Kamer is finally back home after being gone for work for the past month. Which also means we are able to visit the Kamers more often because now we're allowed in the house again. As missionaries, we aren't allowed in a house unless there is a responsible male adult in the house also, for obvious reasons. So yeah, that's exciting :) Sister Kamer's parents are also in town this week so it's just a big family reunion! :) We ended the night playing basketball in town with the local boys, as always :)
Thursday was a great day. Simply because we saw a bazillion kangaroos! It was so fun! Apparently if you bring food you can feed them too, so we're going to definitely be going that way later this week or next week to feed them! It's at a place called Potato Point and they are all over the place! Got some pretty good pictures too :)
Quick shout out to Elias Kamer who got baptized this weekend! He got to be baptized by his father and it was a really cool thing to see and be a witness of.
Last night we came upon a problem. This boy that I recently baptized, about a month ago, has gone missing. Not in the sense of he's been stolen or he's run away or anything, but him, his mom, and brother all moved away and the grandma says they don't want anything to do with the church anymore... I'm not really sure what to think right now, I feel like if they would've told us they weren't interested that would've been a much simpler answer, but I guess we'll have to see! I think there are some family issues going on right now, hopefully we can do something to help!
Today I would like to share a scripture, John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." I love that verse because it is short, sweet, but can be really deep and meaningful! The reason that we should be following the commandments that God has given us isn't to impress our parents, isn't to impress our friends, not even to just simply be a good example. We should be following the commandments of God because we love Him. If we truly love Him, we should be willing to do what he asks of us. What's great about that is when we do the things he asks us to do, we get blessed! So why don't we? Because Satan is a cunning man. Don't allow Satan to steer your life in a direction you don't want it to go! Be in charge of your life and make good choices that your Heavenly Father would be proud of! If/when you screw up, don't give up, repent for what you've done and keep pressing forward! God loves you and wants you happy! He'll always be there for you! :)
I love you all and wish you the best this week!
Elder Macfarlane

Monday, March 10, 2014

Oh my goodness gracious.... Tim Tam Slams are hands down one of the greatest things in the country! I have probably gained 10 pounds this week just from that fantastic chocolate sensation! Basically you bite off each end of a Tim Tam and drink milk through it as if it were a straw, then eat the Tim Tam.. Holy mother of pearl that is great! If you ever get the chance to have Tim Tams... have a Tim Tam Slam!
We got the chance to play basketball a few times this week, which is always fun! We played Monday night with just 5 of us and one of the guys there, Tyrone, videoed a one on one game between me and Jesse, the leader of the basketball gang in Narooma. I'm gonna try to get a hold of it and send it home so you all can see it! Wednesday we played a regular 5 on 5 game which was nice and much needed because I got super stressed this week. Finally on Friday, we were in Dapto for zone training (I'll talk about that later) and were invited to play in a 3 on 3 tourney that night with a bunch of Chinese investigators in Wollongong. So obviously we said yes! It was basically street ball; night time, car lights shining, sketchy nets, and people playing in the most random clothing! It was fun though and I had a few good dunks so that felt good!
Tuesday we cleaned our flat for almost the whole day! I cleaned the car for a solid two hours and had the air on full blast the entire time! What I didn't think about was what that would result in... a dead battery. That night we were leaving for youth night and the car won't start! I made a few quick calls (you know, since I know everyone) and we got some help! Vern was nice enough to come over and jump our car for us and we still got to youth night only 10 minutes late!
Speaking of youth night, that was so much fun! We made camp fires and had to cook a sausage (hot dog) over the fire and boil water for hot chocolate! We were given one match to start our fire and if we needed an extra, we would owe 5 pushups, then six, then seven, etc. We had to use 3 matches because our first one broke on the box and second one just failed. But it was all good and super fun!
I saw Vern for the last time on Thursday because he's leaving to work up in Darwin for the next 6 months. We left Thursday to go up to Nowra to spend the night for Zone Training Friday morning in Dapto. The Nowra Elders have a new flat that is super nice! So anyway, Friday was Zone Training and it went well. They just talked about how we can better work with members in missionary work. But after we went and played footie for 2 or 3 hours! It was awesome! I think I'm finally getting the hang of rugby! It has become one of my favorite sports to play now!
The next morning, Saturday, we drove home from Nowra and had our flat inspected by a senior missionary couple, Elder and Sister Haynes. They were in our flat for just over 2.5 hours cleaning, fixing lights, and making a list of new supplies that we need.
Yesterday was Sunday and we had church. But this wasn't like a typical church meeting, we had 12 people at church! This weekend we had a district temple day so everyone was up in Sydney! Out of the 12 people there, we had 6 missionaries! Of those 6 missionaries, 4 of them were senior couple missionaries! I was the second youngest person at church! The youngest was my companion, Elder Detton! After church I met Vern's kid, Franko, who had been living in Vanuatu for the last 2 years. He seems pretty cool. Hopefully we'll start seeing him at church!
That all I've got for you this week! Stay strong and keep on keeping on! :D Love you all!
Elder Macfarlane

Monday, March 3, 2014

Well this week has been a simple one, nothing too exciting. BUT I did go wallaby hunting :) Wallabies, for those of you who don't know what they are, are basically mini kangaroos. But yeah we went to Mystery Bay and were literally chasing them all over the place! I've got some good pics and videos too :) Plus we saw a huge kangaroo just chillin' on the side of the road, staring at us! I, of course, tried catching that one as well. Unfortunately all of my attempts to catch the beasts... were hopeless and unsuccessful. But good news! I'm here for another 19 months and 6 days which means I have time to try again! :)
This week we had District Training Meeting with a new District Leader, Elder Cheuk (Chook). He's this Chinese guy who is a freaking athlete! But yeah, the training went well and reviewed a lot of good topics.
Elder Detton and I taught a lesson this week to some great people, Ray and Lisa. The lesson was on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter how many times I hear or give that lesson, it always makes me so happy. I am so blessed to have the gospel in my life and I thank God everyday for it and for the many blessings that he gives me. Realize what God has given you in your life, be thankful for what you have, and don't whine about the things you don't have.
I love you all! Have a great week!