Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Edwards made this for Nick-wish I could take the credit ;)

 Our missionary is HOME!!!!

Even though it was a sacrifice for Nick to leave for 2 years....
the whole family was affected...especially his mom!
It was hard, but I would NOT have traded it for anything else.
We all learned a great deal from this experience and we will
forever be changed for the better. Thank you for serving Nick!

 His Samoan and English name tags

Our ward is happy he is back too!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Elder Johnson and Elder Boswell waiting for the plane
President and Sister Back
Starting the 16 hour trip home with Boswell
Elder Duran
Elder Carter
Elder Bell, Elder Price, Elder, Elder McArthur
Elder Larsen
Airport times!! Ready to finish their missions!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Driving to the Opera House with Bourne, Leataua, Masima, and Boswell
Harbor Bridge!

The Opera House
Elder Boswell

First time eating Baskin Robbins... and it's in Sydney! 
(with Boswell, Laitinen, and Duran)
All the missionaries going home October 2015

 I am 6 people in from the left

Elder Larsen and Elder Wang
Traditional Opera House visit before the missionaries fly home

Monday, September 28, 2015

Well, this is it. My final letter home as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It has been great getting to serve these people of Australia. I have a mixture of feelings; joy, sadness, pride and excitement. But overall, I have a nice feeling of contentment. I am sad I won't be able to be here to see the progress of those I have worked with and gained friendships with over the past two weeks, but I am happy with what I did while here. I am grateful for the trust and love that our Lord Jesus Christ places in us to go out and teach our brothers and sisters the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The impact of serving a mission has been incredible on my life. I have gained a foundation of a testimony on the doctrines of the church and of Jesus Christ. I understand that a testimony is not a place to reach, but it is a lifelong process of faith and repentance. I feel as though, because of my mission, I will be able to return home and face old challenges/weaknesses with new power and strength. I hope that one day, my three little brothers will be able to follow my footsteps and choose to serve our Lord also.

I love you all heaps!! Have a great week and I'll see you all soon! :)
Elder Macfarlane

 Golfing on P-day (second to last p-day)
 Saying goodbye to the Faleta's
A bit too intense for dunking competitions with Elder Harvey! Ha ha!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This week was another great one! It's starting to kick in that I'm actually finishing....and I don't know how I feel about it. I'm excited to see my family (especially my mum), but other than that I feel like I'd rather keep being a missionary. Living in a foreign country, devoting your life to serving others, and meeting new people everyday is such a great way to live! Missionary work is wonderful and being a missionary is the best! I'll try to hold off on stories these last two weeks so I'll have things to talk about when I get home!! But here's some pictures! :)

 Two weeks! 
Elder Bourne, Elder Macfarlane, Elder Carter and Elder Boswell
 Green Valley missionaries
Elder Macfarlane, Sister Atkinson, Sister Salts, Elder Harvey
 The four missionaries dying in Liverpool Zone
(Missionary lingo for "Going home")
 Our Tongan speaking sisters, Sister Rollins and Sister Sofaele
 Elder Togia and Elder Macfarlane
 Liverpool Zone elders
 Elder Carter, Elder Macfarlane,
Elder Faimasasa and Elder Togia
Finding people to teach on the train, with Elder Harvey

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I've made a decision that I will never by "trunky" until transfer day. However, I am also extremely excited to go home. I've been thinking about this a lot recently, for obvious reasons, and I've decided that that is a good thing. It's good to be excited to go home, I have a family who loves me, friends awaiting my return, work lined up, school is in the process of getting lined up, and ultimately I will be returning from serving a full time mission with heaps of new friends and stories to tell. How can I not be excited? The difference between being excited to go home and "trunky" is that I will not allow that excitement to take my mind off of what's truly important at this time. I am absolutely excited to go home, but I've also got much to do these last 3 weeks before I can throw in the towel and say I'm done. There are people I'm sure I'm still meant to find. There are lessons I still need to teach, but most importantly, there are still souls to save (including my own). The Lord's work will never be done, and I am blessed to be able to be a part of it.

Love you all!
Elder Macfarlane

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I am really, really enjoying this last transfer. This past week we taught more lessons than I've ever taught in a week! That shows how determined we are to seeing success my last few weeks! We have sooooo sooooo soooo soooo many people incredibly close to being baptized and I just want to be able to see at least one more make that commitment and take a step of faith before I go home. I really care about these people and LOVE seeing them progress. I think that's the one thing I've learned throughout my mission more than anything else, is to love those around you. When you devote your life to helping others, your life becomes 10X more meaningful and it is a much happier way to live!

Although I only have 4 weeks until I lose m privilege to be a full-time missionary, I hope I can always devote my life to serving others.

Mosiah 2:17 "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."

Love you all!
Elder Macfarlane

Elder Macfarlane and Elder Harvey

Sunday, September 6, 2015

G-day everyone! This week I received my final companion for my final transfer, Elder Harvey. Elder Harvey is the man! He's 22 years old and from Aukland, New Zealand! He has a mad accent. I'm hoping to be able to acquire a bit of it before I go home because I feel like I have my boring old American accent still!! We'll let you be the judge of that when I get home in 5 weeks! :) Elder Harvey is fresh from the New Zealand MTC (Missionary training center) and is ready to work! I love being able to have a fired up missionary my final transfer! We work hard and get along great! Our personalities match perfectly and both pretty chill. AND he played basketball for the national New Zealand boys squad a few years back. Lucky for us, we live right next to a basktball court and play every morning at 6:30 for morning exercise! He's helping me get back into shape and I love it!

Update on investigators this week is pretty good news. We currently have two that we focus on more than anything, Alvin and Jeremiah, and they are doing great! They have both committed to baptism and love the gospel of Jesus Christ! The only thing we're still working on, is marriage. Alvin is living with his partner Rangi and Jeremiah is living with his partner Layla and neither are married. But both have an incredibly strong testimony and it's great to see their continual progress!

That's about it for the week, can't wait to see you all soon! I'm super excited and extremely sad at the same time....I love being a servant of the Lord and living life where all I do is help others all day, every day. But I'm excited to see my family and friends as well.

Love you all! Don't forget to pray! Everyday, everyday, everyday!
Elder Macfarlane
 Awesome and Naughty socks
 Nick and his new companion
(With his extended family that came to visit him ONE last time)
Liverpool Zone

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yesterday I had a crazy moment... I ATE A DUCK EMBRIO!! It's called balout (or something like that), pronounced Vall-oo, and I'm still feeling like I am going to die! I've ate some pretty crazy things over the past two years, but I think this one was the scariest to eat thus far. It was with one of the members of the bishopric, the Tran family. They are Vietnamese and love giving missionaries scary things to eat! And me being me, I eat whatever is put in front of me. So now I can say I've eaten a duck embrio.... YUCK!

Looks like I'm staying in Green Valley my last 6 weeks! But my companion, Elder Carter, is getting transferred into the Samoan ward for his last 6 weeks! I'm so jealous of him! It should be heaps of fun for him! I am training a new missionary for my last transfer. He will be coming strait from the MTC. I will find out who my final companion will be on Wednesday. I have mixed feelings about it all. I'm a bit nervous, a bit excited, a bit worried, but more than anything, I feel ready. I've got six weeks left in the mission so this is the time I should be able to work the hardest and see the most miracles. Hopefully I'll be able to help this new Elder start out on the right foot with some great experiences! But honestly, I think I know exactly why I am a trainer, it's not because I'm anything special, it's not because I am any more dedicated or any more expertise at this, I believe the entire reason that I was given this calling, along with remaining District Leader, is so that I stay focussed and endure to the end! I feel as though the mission is like a race track, and I'm at the final 10 metres until the end. I've been running hard for the first 90 metres and giving it the best I had, but none of that matters now. If I stop running with 10 metres to go, I will lose the race, I will not return home with a smile on my face. The Lord could see the beginning stages of "Trunky" starting to show and He wasn't going to have that! So he gave me the last thing I was expecting, a brand new missionary!

Last time I had the opportunity to train was almost a year and a half ago, with Elder Detton. It will be fun reviewing the basic principles of missionary work and being able to be reminded of the importance of the fundamentals of missionary work. I will certainly have more information on this next week.

Love you all,
Elder Macfarlane

 District breakfast
 The Green Valley District representing 8 different countries (America, Finland, Tonga, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Albania and Croatia) and 5 American states (Utah, Idaho, Minnesota, Hawaii and Montanta)
Zone Pday at the park

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We've been seeing heaps and heaps of success these past few weeks! We're teaching a bunch of different people who are making great changes in their life! Alvin, the same one I've been teaching for about 7 months now, has been taught all but one lesson and is super close to baptism. Another investigator that we're teacing, Jeremiah, is in a similar boat, but we have another 3 or 4 lessons to teach. He is also super close to baptism. There is one common thing holding back these two young men along with so many others that I've taught over the past two years, the Law of Chastity. The Law of Chastity is a commandment that is often thought of as extrememly important, but extremely difficult for many to follow. The Law of Chastity prohibits sexual relations of any kind before marriage. We are told by our Savior, Jesus Christ, and many of his apostles and prophets that we must keep sacred that power that our Heavenly FAther has given us and we are only to use that gift within the bonds of marriage. These two young adults (Alvin 19 and Jeremiah 21) both have partners whom they live with and now both have a child. As a result of their young age and lack of education, they are struggling financially to support their family, as well as many other difficulties going on around them. The reason I share this is because they are both aware of the negative effects of not following the Law of Chastity. Having a child is an incredible and surreal experience, I'm sure but it is also a scared one. It all starts with allowing yourself to slip "just a little" or "just this once" and from there you fall down, dow, down until you can't stop. Because of time I'll have to cut this short, but just know this. You must stand strong in following the commandments of God, especially the Law of Chastity. Keep yourself clean and make decisions that you can look back on in 10-20 years and be proud of the decisions you made. I'm so thankful to have been raised in a church and by parents that have helped me and guided me to make good decisions, and though I'm not perfect, I am continually improving myself in all aspects of God's commandments.
I love you all! Have a great week! T-minus 50 days until I'm home!! :)
Elder Macfarlane!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Last night we had a recent convert fireside in Mortdale that I was able to attend. It was good to see so many familiar faces and great friends since I served in Mortdale for three months and served within the stake for a total of nine months. One of my recent converts who just got baptized about a month ago spoke! He's a 13 year old Samoan boy living here with his foster family and he's amazing. He has an incredible testimony for such a young boy and gave a wonderful talk last night. Plus I got a nice "shout-out" from him and another one of the speakers, Bovey, whom I taught about a year ago while in Mortdale.
I can't help but admitting I felt a little prideful as my name was announced not once, but twice from two different speakers and my name was the only one mentioned during the whole meeting of about 10 speakers.
Overcoming my prideful self is one thing I am stilling working on...
One thing I've learned is how truly imperfect I am, and how much stress I must give my Father in Heaven as I try to go out and serve, but make heaps of mistakes along the way. Having said that, I have also learned how loving and forgiving our Father in Heaven is. Because of our brother, Savior, and friend, Jesus Christ provided a way that we can be forgiven of our many sins and shortcomings through repentance and a truly changed heart. Our God, Heavenly Father, does not expect anyting more than the best, so as long as we are sincerely trying to do that, God will be smiling down on us.
Keep pushing forward with faith in Christ. He is always watching over us and will never give us anything we can't handle. Trust Him!
Love you all!
Elder Macfarlane

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hello hello!

This week has been hectic! I've been transferred out of the Samoan ward and into the English ward, but still covering the same boundaries. I am in Green Valley ward, which is great because there's still heaps of islanders that I can speak to in their native language. 

It's been difficult because I'm entering a ward that had three of it's four missionaries finish their mission last week so they were very "trunky," or in other wards, lazy and ready to go home. So my new companion, Elder Carter, and I have began working from almost nothing besides a few names on a piece of paper that the previous missionaries said "could have potential." 

My companion, Elder Carter, is from Morgan, Utah. He's a bit taller than me, but not as twiggy as I. He goes home the same day as I do so we both are currently pushing each other to not get trunky and keep working hard. He's a very fun companion to be with and we are able to smash the area, but still have a great time in the process.

I'm not sure if I have already told you this or not, but I am District Leader again. My district is quite large for a district as well. An average district typically will have 8 missionaries in it, but I have 13 in mine. The name of our district is "District Win" because we will smash the areas that we cover and become the best district in the mission by helping save mobs of souls! :)  

We are currently doing a mission-wide "competition," but they say it's not a competition, but it totally is. We are seeing what districts can find the most potential investigators and most new investigators in the mission and the top five to ten districts get their names on the weekly email from our mission president. This past week, my name (since I'm the district leader) made it on the email as being the 5th best district in the mission in potentials and 9th best in overall potentials and new investigators. It's not about being the best, it's about saving souls, but I can't help feeling a bit proud of my district when we work hard and see success as a result.

Love you all, have a great week!!
Elder Macfarlane

Elder Harry and Elder Macfarlane
 Elder Harry finished his mission and went back to his tiny island of Vanuatu

 First day in Green Valley was cleaning out his flat
 (20 bags total after all of the cleanup)

This picture was done with spray paint and it's huge