Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

Monday, June 29, 2015

This week was great! I don't know if you remember me talking about the Mekaio's, but Sister Mekaio got baptized about a month ago in Ingleburn 2nd ward and yesterday her daughter, Felicity, got baptized! They are now a happy family who have all been baptzed (except for the 6 year old twins, Darren and Danovon) into the Lord's true church and they are loving life. Brother Mekaio said to us this past week that they are aiming to go to the temple exactly one year from the day Sister Mekaio was baptized to be sealed to one another and do you know what that means?! We might be back in Australia when they get sealed! :0 How cool would that be?! The highlight of the week was with one of our investigators, Alvin. He is one of my favorite people to visit, because he's making heaps of changes in his life and he's seeing the blessings and even miracles that are coming from it. These past couple weeks have been really tough for him, unable to find a job, small fights among the family, and finally getting separated from his partner. He was having major depression, as one would expect given the circumstances, but this week was another story. Alvin realized that he had a choice to make, he could either take this challenge that he's been given and cry about it OR he could prove to himself, his family and God that he would grow from this experience and turn even closer to God. As part of this change of heart, he has been reading the Book of Mormon amazingly quickly, in just a week and a half he's almost finished with 2 Nephi and he's loving it. Alvin is able to understand what he reads and says that he feels very good and very comforted as he studies the scriptures. He has been seeing and feeling many spiritual experiences, but not only that he's seen miracles in his physical life. He found a steady job since we last met and is working hard to make it permanent. He's loving church and loving the blessings that are coming, even among so many trials from him trying his best to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. With only two weeks left in the transfer, we're working extra hard to keep things moving forward and hopefully see a few more people prepare to make covenants with their Father in heaven.
Love you!
Elder Macfarlane

Monday, June 22, 2015

We are teaching heaps of great people right now. They are almost all keeping commitments and trying to improve their relationship with their Savior, Jesus Christ. It's been fantastic serving in Liverpool 2nd and Ingleburn 2nd, both Samoan wards, because they are incredibly spiritual people. Everything they do is truly represented by the scripture that says something to the affect of; put the Lord first and everything else will work out. We are teaching a young boy who is only 13 years old, named Lopa. He is the foster child of one of our members in Ingleburn and he is incredibly knowledgable about the scriptures and loves to learn more. We've been visiting him for the past 1.5 months and this past week he accepted the invitation to be baptized at the end of July! He's super excited and he truly loves everything about the church. "It just feels right" was his response when I asked him why he had the desire to be baptized. I love it! Such a great kid and truly prepared by our Father in heaven. This week we will be focusing on finding people to teach by asking referrals from members and contacting former investigators. I know that we'll be able to find many whom the Lord has prepared as we exercise our faith and push forward everyday!
Have a great week this week!
Elder Macfarlane

Monday, June 15, 2015

This week I only have time for one highlight, but it's a pretty great one. To pick just one, I will have to choose one of our visits with our members after church yesterday. We decided to visit the Lalomanu family after church and turns out that was a great decision. I hadn't eaten breakfast before church that day so I was feeling like I was about to implode. We walk into their house and I'm instantly hit by the beautiful auroma of food! We walk strait to the kitchen where they have a very large table packed with food, to the very edge. This is quite normal in the Samoan culture when missionaries are invited over. Picture a large table packed with plates and bowls of food, to such a point that it looks like a 5 year old set it up, with plates almost falling off the edges of the table and hardly space for your cup. We say grace and I instantly go for the chicken. Moving along a bit, I devoured so much chicken in that time that at the end I had half my plate packed with chicken bones. I was certainly full, there was no chance I could fit anything else in. Then they brought it out, my weakness...watermelon. After accepting mental defeat, I continued eating and eating so much so that I now had my half filled chicken bone plate, now accompanied with a half plate mountain of watermelon greens....what a day, definitely a highlight ;)
Hope everyone has a great week this week! Don't overlook the small blessings that God gives us, like watermelon!
Love you all!
Elder Macfarlane

Friday, June 5, 2015

This past weekend was great! Fofoga got baptized! Fofoga is the wife of a recently less-active member, Junior, who has came back to church in the past two months. They have 3 kids and their oldest, Felicity, is turning 8 this month and excited to be baptized as well! It's been great getting to know that family and helping them make commitments to increase their faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, and help get their lives back on track with the Lord's standards.
Later that night we had a "Church History in the Island of Samoa" fireside and it was incredible! I got to find out so much about the samoan history and the church history that correlates with it. The Samoan people are truly incredible people and extremely blessed by God. Ou te fiafia tagata faasamoa!
We also made it through another transfer! I've been here for just under 6 months and I'm staying here another 6 weeks! What's great about that is I'm happy about that! In other areas I've been in, it's tough to stay focused and keep the fire going to work hard in an area when you've been there a super long time. But not here! There is still so much to do and so little time to do it! I'm loving life and I'm proud to be a missionary for God's one true church on earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Elder Macfarlane

 Fofoga's baptism

 Elder Kinikini that served in the Andover ward in 2009

Found in the church parking lot