Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Monday, April 14, 2014

We moved again! Last Monday I moved to a brand new area, Bankstown, which is real close to Sydney. And now, on Saturday, we moved down the street. Elder To'angutu is my new companion and he's the bomb! He's from New Zealand and more recently Brisbane, Australia. I now also have a second companion, so now we are a companionship of three. His name is Elder Hubbard, he's from Arkansas. Hubbard and I are the only two white kids in our district! I love it :) haha I am starting to learn how to speak Tongan now too because the ward that I'm in in technically English speaking, but they all speak Tongan a lot! Plus everyone I live with can speak Tongan to at least some degree, except me!
Last Saturday, we switched housing with two other Elders because we weren't living with people in our district originally. Elder T and I were living with two Samoan Elders, Elder Willis and Elder Vaele, but now we live with the Zone Leaders, Elder Samuela and Elder Makiele. Elder Makiele is from Tonga and Elder Samuela is from Australia somewhere, I'm not sure where.They are both super cool too. Samuela is going to play football for BYU when he goes home. I set a goal to gain 5kg over the next two transfers. We're working out every morning and night, also I'm eating SO MUCH Tongan food it's crazy! I hope I can keep gaining weight. I've been stuck the last few months at 76-77kg (which is somewhere around 165lbs) so hopefully I can get through this plateau and move forward! ;)
This past week has been hectic, meeting so many new people and making so many new friends. We've been fed every night by members, either going to their house or them dropping off food, and it's been great! One of my favourite families so far is the Manakafua's. They've fed us three times in the last four days! They have like a bazillion kids too so it's super fun to eat, play games, and have spiritual conversations with all of them! They are truely a great example to me. They do not have a lot of money and by no means should they be feeding us as much as they do, but they do it because they know we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and they are blessed for doing what they do. Brother Manakafua was telling us about whenever he feeds the missionaries he, without exception, somehow gets repaid for what he gives us. He is an incredible man and has so much love for us missionaries and for his family. If everyone on earth was as loving and charitable as this man, the world would be God's paradise.
This last weekend, we got to listen to General Conference. General Conference, for those of you who don't know, it's pretty much the coolest spiritual gift ever! We have an entire weekend of talks being given by the prophet and apostles of the Lord. There is 10 hours of total speakers, in two hour segments. It's a great learning opportunity. They speak on various topics such as family history, love one another, priesthood power, agency, faith, and stories of Christ. I would like to share with you a quick thought one one of the talks that were given during the priesthood session,Saturday night. The talk was given by Randall L. Ridd, a member of the Young men's general presidency. He talked a lot about choices. Agency is a word we use often when talking about choices. Agency is the ability to choose right from wrong. We are given this agency by our loving Heavenly Father. We need to be using this gift wisely at all times. We need to be making the kinds of choices that would make Christ and Heavenly Father proud. "What would Jesus do" is a very good way to think about it if you take it seriously. When Jesus lived on the Earth, he loved everyone, he was charitable to all, he gave everything he had to make others happy. He was a proactive person. He went out of his way to make sure he always chose the right. If we are not proactive in our desires, the world will do it for us. There is so much temptation and sin in the world that if we aren't constantly doing what we should and being proactive in our choices, we will make poor choices and have regrets. Agency is our power to become something great.
Another thought that I really liked was also from Randall L. Ridd. Think about your cell phone for a minute. You wouldn't think of going a day without charging your phone and having it with us throughout the day. The same goes for our spirituality. We need to be reading the scriptures and praying daily and going to church each week to "recharge" ourselves. Go to church, do the things you are supposed to be doing, go to your meetings, read scriptures, and pray, and you will see and feel the blessings that come from it. I know that this church is true. I have no doubt about it. I have seen it change the lives of many and I am so thankful for it! Have a great week and be the answer to someones prayer!

I love you all heaps!
Elder Macfarlane 

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