Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

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