Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This week was a good one! I have one quick random comment and then I'll move on to interesting things. I ate sugarcane for the first time in my life! It was really good, and apparently it's not bad for you. I was pretty excited :)
We got the opportunity last Tuesday to go to the temple in Sydney! It was a great time and I was so uplifted after that experience. As members of the church, the temple is a great blessing we have in our lives, if you haven't gone recently, GO! :)
We also had interviews with the Mission President this week. It was my first interview with the President face to face, all my other interviews have been over the phone. This one wasn't too different, it was a little more intimidating though since I had to look at him in the eyes instead of just listen to his voice. But it was good nonetheless :)
Basically the remainder of the week was all in preparation for the three baptisms this weekend! Three people were baptized and it was great! Our investigator, Mereana, was one of them who were baptized. My companion, Elder Bourne, got the opportunity to baptize her, through the priesthood (authority to act in God's name). Then the next day at church I got the opportunity to Confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and give her the holy ghost, again through the power of the priesthood. It was a wonderful opportunity for her and I was so happy for her and for her family's support. Mereana made her first covenants with Heavenly Father and I can tell she is going to be an incredible member of the church.
Love you all and talk to ya next week!
Elder Macfarlane

Oh and I forgot to add one more thing to the blog!
I also got stuck in an elevator this week! We were on our way to the Samoan's flat, and the elevator died while we were in there! Me and three big Samoans in one elevator... oh man! Luckily we had donuts to last us the first five minutes, and then we made some videos, then just sang music. It was an interesting experience and we ended up missing dinner because of it.. but it was grrrreat! :) haha
Okay I think that's all :)

Nick and his companion, Elder Bourne

Nick made an "H" for a gift for Father's Day...HERO!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Well hello there!
I'll start off with my not-so-spiritual story, then I'll move on to the things that actually matter as a missionary. First of all, I'd like to start off with a fun fact of the day for you.Today is my 250th day as a missionary!! :D That's really all I have to say about that so I'll just move on now... So this past week we had our P-Day (Preparation Day aka "day off") at the beach! We started off the P-Day with a BBQ lunch which Elder Willis, from American Samoa, provided. It was SO GOOD! After eating, we played Ultimate Frisbee, threw a football, and played rugby in the sand for pretty much the rest of the day. That was sooooo much fun! I also got burried in the sand by some of the little girls there that are from the Samoan ward. It was a great day and the weather was wonderful!
This week we focused a lot on Less-Actives and on getting referrals of people to teach, so this upcoming week should be very busy and very productive because we received 4 referrals last week and we've only contacted one so far. So that is next on my list of things to do, find those referrals and give them the opportunity to come closer to Christ.
Spiritually speaking, the highlight of this past week was having Mereana come to church! I was so happy to see her there. Watching her come closer to Jesus Christ has been an incredible experience and this Saturday I get to watch her make her first covenant with the Lord and enter into the waters of baptism and receiving the gift of the holy ghost! My companion, Elder Bourne, will be baptising Mereana and I will confirm her the next day (Sunday). It's going to be a wonderful day for her! She is also making great friendships in the ward with the YSA (Young Single Adults ages 18-29) and it's really made me realize how important having good examples in the church is. If we, as church members, aren't doing the things we are supposed to be doing, why would anyone join the church and come closer to Christ. A church centered on Jesus Christ should probably have members who center their life on Jesus Christ. Do the things that you are supposed to be doing, when you are supposed to be doing them, and you will have no problem with this :)
I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Macfarlane

The little Tuatagaloa girls came with the missionaries for zone Pday
Sister Taupau, Taupau, Seve, and Elder Hansen
Elder Tai, Elder Samuela, Elder , Sister Seve, and Sister Tuatagaloa (auntie)
Zone Pday at Crunulla Beach
Elder Bourne

Elder Bourne at Temple trip
Elders Bourne, Samuela, Hansen, Tai, and Harry

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This week has been a good one! We taught a few great lessons with Mereana, who is getting baptized in two weeks, and it's been fun to see her progress! I had to interview two people for baptism this week, Schneider and Rina. Both were baptized Saturday. It was a great service and a great day for them, but it was ALL in Samoan! haha man I've gotta learn more of that language! It was interesting to be at a baptismal service, not understanding what's all going on. It was still really good though :)
One last thing is that we're moving again! We're going back to our original flat that I was in 2 months ago. We're moving back in with the Samoans. Probably today or tomorrow. But before that, we have zone pday today and we're going to the beach! Lots of rugby, volleyball, and BBQ today! It's gonna be great! :)
That's all for today! Love and miss you all!
Elder Macfarlane

Monday, June 2, 2014

G'day mates! I hope America is treating everyone well! :) Australia is going great! Last week for P-day, we played volleyball in Prairiewood with about 20 other missionaries! It was super fun and I got to see some good old friends! :) This week I've made a big step in life... I can now cut hair! The Elders here all agreed that we didn't want to spend money on getting haircuts, but none of us knew how to cut hair well. Sooooo I decided to buy a set of hair clippers and started cutting their hair. I figured it out pretty quick, cutting guys' hair isn't too difficult. Plus I live with with a full Samoan, half Samoan half Mauri (New Zealand), and one from Hong Kong, plus myself. So I have cut pretty much every type of hair... I'm pretty much a pro now. I figured that's a good skill to have for the rest of my life too so why not? :)
One of the most exciting things that has happened this week is that one of investigators, Mereana, is getting baptized! She has been taught almost everything she needs to know before baptism and she is super excited to continue learning. She's getting baptized June 21st and I can't wait! She is an incredible example to me of someone who truly loves God. She doesn't just believe the church is true because we tell her, she believes because she followed the challenge in Moroni 10:4-5 in the Book of Mormon and found out for herself, through prayer. I am so proud of her and hope to be here in Bankstown a long time so I can see her continue to progress in the gospel and continually become more Christ-like.
Yesterday was a great day! Church was fantastic, very uplifting! Plus we had a YSA (Young Single Adult) fireside and it was amazing! The topic was missionary work and how to be a good example to those around you. Bishop Tufuga asked all us missionaries in the ward to talk for about a minute on some of the blessings we've seen from serving a mission. I talked for probably 5 minutes about all the incredible blessings I've seen and been apart of during these last 8 months. The spirit was so strong that night, I started crying multiple times... It was just so good! Also they asked the missionaries in the ward to sing "The Spirit of God" and we did really well! We have two sister missionaries in the ward and one played piano while the other played violin and 6 elders sang. It was really good :)
I would like to end this letter with my testimony of this wonderful church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know this is the true church of God. I am so grateful to be able to have this in my life and to have the opportunity right now to share it with the world! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I strive everyday to become more like him. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. I have been able to see the change it can make it people's lives, always for the better. I challenge all of you to read the Book of Mormon and when you do I can promise you, if you pray with real intent to know if it's true, you will get a good, burning feeling inside and will know it is true. I love the Book of Mormon and reading it everyday has helped me become such a better person!
I love you all very much! Have a great week!
Elder Macfarlane