Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

These past two weeks have been.. exciting. Lots of changes and new things happening! The first big news change is I have a stomach ulcer... what!? Yes, you read that correctly. I had to go to the hospital this past week (which is why I didn't get to write last week) and I found out I have the beginning stages of a stomach ulcer. Yeah, NO FUN! It has made it pretty difficult to visit people and give service when I need to eat pretty much all day or else I get crazy cramps in my stomach. I'll be getting a procedure this week to see what's going on. But no need to be worried, I know the Lord will keep me safe. Something good will come from this in the end.
Now for some more uplifting, happier news! Transfers came and went this past weekend and I'm staying in Bankstown for 6 more weeks! But my companion has moved. My new companion is Elder Vaelua, he is from Samoa and he is the man! I'll try to send some pictures soon so you can see what he actually looks like. The other two Elders in our flat, Elder Willis and Elder Semu, also stayed so we get to all keep working hard together! I'm excited for this transfer with Elder Vaelua. We're going to experience heaps of miracles, I know it! :)
Speaking of miracles, we were asked by our beloved zone leaders to record 17 miracles (referencing the movie "17 Miracles") that we get to experience and/or be apart of during the month of July. WOW! That was such a cool thing for me. I never realized how many miracles actually occur in my life every day, all you've gotta do is look for them! I would highly recommend trying this! Maybe do it for a shorter period of time or something but trust me, it's a miracle in itself!
One thing that was interesting about this week was actually at church sunday. I was asked to teach the last hour of church in "Elders Quorum." That is the class for basically all the men 19 years old and up. I have no worries teaching lessons or public speaking so I said, "yeah, no problem. I'd love to!" Then the man told me the topic I was to teach about... Eternal Marriage. What? Out of all the men in the class, they chose the missionary who is the least experienced in this subject? Plus I'm not even supposed to be thinking about marriage right now, I'm a missionary for goodness sake. But I accepted the invitation regardless and taught the class. It went really well and surprisingly smoothly. We talked a lot about how families can be together forever and how life doesn't end at death. I am so grateful for the knowledge that our church has on this subject. Knowing that I will see my family again after I die. I love this gospel :)
Last night we had a lesson at our bishop's home. Just so everyone is aware. A bishop is the man who is "in charge" of the members in a certain area. For those of you reading this that know me decently well, my dad was the bishop in Andover for the last few years and was recently released from that calling. If you have further questions about what a bishop is or what they do, email me and ask :) Anyways, back to the story! Our bishop, Bishop Tufuga, is the man! We had dinner at his house last Sunday and he invited his two brothers and one sister to visit with us so we can get to know them and possibly teach them about our church. Then last night he invited us over again and one of his brothers, his sister, and his mother was there, all interested in learning about the church. I'm so excited to teach them more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be able to witness the change that will take place in their life as they come to the knowledge of the truth! I love seeing the gospel bless families and bring them closer together! I love being a missionary! :)
I hope everyone has a fantastic week with heaps of miracles! Love you heaps!
Elder Macfarlane

Monday, August 4, 2014

This week has been slow, but is starting to pick up again. I've been sick with the flu, which is no fun, so we had to take a couple sick days to sleep and recover, but now I'm back and ready to go! Feeling much better :) This week my companion and I went on trade-offs with the zone leaders, Elder Larson and Elder Tai. I went with Elder Tai and worked in our area teaching people and contacting referrals. It was a great day and a great experience to learn and work with someone new.
This weekend was definitely the highlight of my week. Adel got baptized! Adel is one of the most humble men I've ever met in my life and I'm so proud of the decision he's made to come closer to his Saviour and be baptised. It was also a really special day because although none of his family are members of the church, they were all there to support and love him. That's one great family! The next day, Sunday, Adel was asked to speak in a Recent Convert Fireside (kind of like a devotional) and he did wonderfully! He bore an extremely powerful testimony and I was so proud of him! Also at the Fireside, I was asked to sing in it with four other young men. It was me, Elder Willis, the Aguso brothers and Sam, who were all from the Samoan ward, except for me. I was the only white guy up there and I got a lot of comments on it afterwards because they are all big samoan men, and I'm this little white American.. It was pretty funny :) I'll send a picture next week of the group!
One last comment before I let you go. While at the Fireside there were many great and inspiring talks and testimonies given. I would like to share one thing that I really like that was said there. The man was talking about the importance of following the Savior and doing what's right. He said, "Two people can do anything when God is one of them." I just love that! When we turn to the Lord and have Him on our side, anything is possible!
I love you all! Talk to ya next week!
Elder Macfarlane

 This is what "refreshments" mean after a baptism..islander style!

This is Nick's!