Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Goodbye CCM

So now that I'm finally leaving the CCM I suppose it's only fair that you hear in painstakingly sufficient detail what it's like to be here.

Every day is the same except Sunay and Tuesday so we'll just pretend it's a Thursday.

My companion´s alarm goes off at about 6:25. After a blessed 5 minute snooze I climb off the top bunk and say my morning prayers. I groggily gather up all my stuff and head to the bathroom. Depending on how early everyone else is up, I usually have to wait about 5 minutes for a shower(there are about 30 of us on our floor that have to use the 12 or so showers.)

After I finish getting ready my companion and I get to our classroom at about 7:30. The first four weeks we had only 30 minutes of personal study, with another hour right before bed, but these last two weeks we´ve had a full hour in the morning and none at night.

The food here is amazing. But it can be strange at times. Breakfast is usually the strangest of the meals, with some variation of sausage, fried bananas, beans, burritos, nacho cheese, and mixed peppers; occasionally we'll have pancakes.

Then we head to our class. Our first teacher is Hermana Cuque. She teaches us until about 2 o clock. She´s really fun, but her english isn't always the best, so sometimes I get to translate for the rest of the class:) With her we teach América, who is a mother of 4 kids who is very receptive of the Gospel. She was supposed to get baptised last week, but she backed out last minute and, turns out, all of a sudden
has a bunch of doubts. We are really focusing on works with her and trying to get her to realize what the spirit is asking her to do.

When we're not teaching her we are either in class, or teaching another district in role plays, or working on the infamous TALL language system. 

Sports. Every day besides Sunday since we've been here we've had time to go out to our little enclosed, netted, concrete play yard and play either basketball or volleyball. My districts really good. We can´t keep score, so its always just a blast and it doesn't matter how good or bad of a day you have, you just have fun.

Last Pday my district got 4 and 2 (I was on the team that got second!) in the MTC basketball championship.(which was sanctioned by President, so he let us keep score just that once) It was a ton of fun, but I definitely understand why we  dont keep score, it just gets too competitive.

Well, we had sports in the middle of the day for the first four weeks, so I got some pretty good sun those weeks, but these last two weeks we've had night sports, which are different, but WAY cooler because the sun isn´t there.

In the afternoons, we have Hermano Bajan.

Hermano Bajan is my hero.

He has only been back from his mission 6 months (probably actually 7 now that we've been here so long...) He always pushes us so hard, but makes it so much fun. He seems so much older than us, but he is only about 5 months older than one of the Elders in my district. It just goes to show you how much a mission can change you, and make you so
mature. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Grammar is awful(But i still love it). I've literally beaten TALL. I finished all the grammar and I´ve done several hundred words since I've been here. Every time we learn grammar in class, the likelihood that I learned it a couple of years ago is extremely high. I try my best to help everyone else in the district understand, I feel like its one of the reasons that I'm still here right now. Needless to say I´m very excited for the field.

With Hermano Bajan we have taught Pablo, Max, and Pedro. Pablo died. Max got baptized. And Pedro is a blind man, so I guess you could say that We've had some pretty amazing teaching experiences with him. the funny thing is how all three of our investigators look like they could be quadruplets with Hermano Bajan...

I love teaching. you really do feel the love of God when you do it right. It has become one of my favorite things to do. ¡¡¡I can not wait to teach real people!!!

Lunch and dinner are so great. They have some pretty amazing food here. It would take me too long to explain it, but you should probably be jealous. At lunch we get some ice cream. I like the ice cream.

The days literally race by. It only takes about 3 seconds to get from Personal Study to sports at night, I swear. I´ve only been out here like 5 minutes... Right?

No. I´ve learned far to much here. From my teachers, from my district, from my Latino friends, and, most importantly and abundantly, from my Lord. My testimony has been strengthened, and my ability to share it in Spanish has increased tenfold, if not more.

I know that the Atonement is real. Healthy people don´t go to the Hospital to be saved. Sick people do: people with injuries, some life threatening, some not, but all seeking to be succored. Jesus Christ´s Atonement is not for perfect people. Those who are whole need no physician. We are all hurt spiritually, and we all need to be succored by Christ's Infinite and Everlasting Atonement.

We can all be healed through His Love.

We can all be strenghthened through his grace.

Yo  SÉ que eso es verdadero. Estoy seguro que todos de nosotros pueden regresar a vivir con Dios si seguimos Su Hijo, y hacemos las cosas que Él nos ha preguntado.

I know that He loves you. YOU. You, me, and every other person on this Earth. I think If we understood that better we wouldn´t be so hard on ourselves. He WANTS you to turn to Him. He WANTS you to believe. He will help you overcome ANYTHING, but we have to ask him. The promise is ASK, and ye shall receive. WE HAVE TO ASK.

Please ask Him.

A week from today I will be in the mission field.

I can´t wait.

Nos vemos.

Elder McFarland

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

This Week

The days here blend together.

Didn't I just write home yesterday?

Ok, No time to waste.
In my time here as a missionary I've learned a lot of things.

First, there is nothing we can personally say that will bring
conversion to the heart of another person. The only thing we alone
could ever do is convince them logically.

Second, if we have the spirit, God will tell them through our words that he is there and that He loves them. conversion comes only through Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Its a pattern that I've noticed here.
Without God, we are nothing.
With God, we are everything.

The most powerful being in the entire universe, even God, will can be on our side. Is on our side. Will forever be on our side. With Him I can do anything. He needs me to.

I have started to feel that Spirit of Power here in the CCM. I have felt the Spirit testify to me and my Investigators here in the CCM that he is there. I have felt him guide me to become a pure tool in his work belt.

God's plan for us is perfect. PERFECT. If we know the plan, we can follow it. If we follow it, we can one day return to live with our Heavenly Father.

wow, there is so much I want to say, but as I said at the beginning. There is nothing I can personally say that will be of any worth. So i pray that the Spirit will be with me. God loves you. So much. He wants you to return to live in His
presence. He, the all powerful God. PLEADS with you to come unto Christ and partake of the power of his Salvation. There is no other way that we can find joy.

So if there is something you want in your life, something you need in your life, something you need to change in your life, someone you want to be in this life, or any other worthy and fervent concern you have...Turn to Jesus Christ. Please don't wait another day. Stop reading this email and Say a prayer to your loving Heavenly Father. Only He can provide you with what you are looking for. you will never find it in the world.
And He will answer you.

And then, once you know that it is true, please act on it. Please act on that testimony of faith and repent and let God make you whole. I know that through your faith it will happen.
and I KNOW this because he has done it for me. I have felt the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost in my life, and I know it can be present in yours. God would say this to you himself, but instead he sends his missionaries to deliver the message.

He sent me.
I love you all, and I can't wait until I see you again.
Hasta vernos con el Rey.

Elder David Oscar McFarland

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vessels of the Lord

It seems as though the days blend together here. Not because they're boring, but because they are all the same. Because of that, I hope you'll forgive me for not giving too many details about what I did this week. I want to focus this week on what I learned.

But first, one story. We were teaching one of our "investigators" named America, who is really close to baptism. She had some questions about church (she went last Sunday!!) and I was struggling to answer her question, but she didn't seem to understand. My poor companion
wasn´t feeling all the way good, and so he couldn't quite understand the Spanish. I thought for a second that the lesson was going to be a failure. But me and a companion had said a lot of prayers that day, and I had asked God to help us teach with his power and authority, so I couldn´t give up. Finally, I turned to the scriptures. I mean, duh. Why did I try to answer her questions by myself when God always gives the best answers. One of the scriptures I had studied that very morning came into my mind. And as soon as she read it she understood. It reminded me who was really in charge. Sometimes, the best thing to say is nothing, and let God do the talking. That was a great lesson I learned this week.

I figured it out. I figured out what my job is out here. I mean. MY job. Specifically me as a missionary. It happened on Sunday when President Cox was giving us a devotional.
Do you remember the talk from General Conference about hearing the music? If not, look it up right now. It talks about how sometimes we do all of the right dance steps in the
church, but we fail to hear the music of God´s Spirit and Love. If we want to become truly converted, we need to hear the music. Well, President's wife was talking about that talk for a while, and I felt a very strong impression from the Spirit of the Lord.

I am out here to channel the music.

Literally and Spiritually, God needs me as an INSTRUMENT in his hands. He needs me, not to play my own music out here, but to play HIS. He needs me to find his lost, struggling sheep, and pick them up. To raise them up so high that they can bask in the sunlight of his perfect love. To act as a pure vessel to bring His Spirit to the people of El Salvador and Belize.

Once I understood that, I knew I could do anything. ANYTHING that God needed me to. I've been studying and praying trying to, literally and spiritually, become IN TUNE with the Spirit. The references to God's love as music are many, but subtle in the church. I want to serve him
with ALL my heart, might, mind,and strength. Well, a huge part of me is music. It just is. It's been my greatest struggle and my greatest blessing out here. But I know that I can put aside my own music for AT LEAST 2 years so that I can learn how to play God´s. I´m kinda a beginner at that. But I've learned to play enough instruments that I know you have to start somewhere. Do re mi, 1 2 3, "Vi una columna de
luz." God put us here to learn, so why don't we DO it already.

I sang Be Still My Soul, as a solo by request of Hermana Cox, for a devotional on Sunday. It was the first, hopefully of many, time that I got to act as a literal instrument of the Lord. My district sang a musical number too during sacrament meeting. I also have to organize a musical number for a devotional for a 70 tonight. I think God's trying very blatantly to tell me that he has a work for me here. I pray that I will be enough. I know that God's grace will sustain me when I´m not.

Hymn number... dang I can't remember them in English anymore, its been like 3 weeks... 113?... I feel my Savior´s love: Tal como el Sol, es el amor del Salvador. Su Luz penetra nubes de dolor.

This is my testimony this week. That we can, and that we WILL be warmed, nourished, supplied, fed, helped, healed, forgiven, sanctified, consoled, guided, pled for, lead, taught, and SAVED by the Savior and his Infinite Sacrifice.

yo sé que soy un hijo de Dios. sé que mediante Su amor, puedo hacer
cualquier cosa que necesito. sé que esta iglesia es verdadera.

I know that My Redeemer lives.

I know that He loves me.

I know that He loves YOU.

Nos Vemos

Elder David Oscar McFarland

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The raging fury

This week was a sick week. Not for me, luckily I was fine, but for
about 50 elders and sisters this week, it was a sick week. They called
it the Double Headed Dragon (dont think about that too hard or youll
get it...) but I liked to call it the raging fury, becasue it seemed a
little less harsh. As District Leader I felt a huge desire to help all
6 or so Elders in my District that got sick. All I could do for them
though was be positive and show love to them. We thought it was food
poisoning at first, but it spread like wildfire. Wednesday was a weird
day, It felt more like we were in a hospital than the CCM. My
companion was one of the ones that got sick, so I was on ´´exchanges´´
with Elder Harris for that whole day. By Friday everyone was better.
It was weird.

It just goes to show how much Satan hates us here. He HATES it when we
do good... That motivates me to do even better. Nothing can stop the
work of God. It is an unstoppable stone rolling down the hill. It will
fill the whole earth. Im lucky to be a part of it.

We have a lot of classes here at the CCM, so there aren´t too many
stories of contacting or other things. But there are a lot of small
things that are hilarious.

Like our teachers for example. Hermana Cuque and Hermano Bajan. They
are So great. They push us so hard. We've already memorized more of
the required scriptures than most of the missionaries that have been
here two weeks longer than us. I don´t say that to brag, just to show
how much our teachers push us.

We´ve taught 3 investigators(our teachers) so far. Pablo, Max, and
América. We were teaching Pablo the first couple weeks, and every
night Hermano Bajan would tell us that he was going on a date, and
then he would leave. We then would go teach Pablo...

Haha but then one day Hermano Bajan just frankly told us that Pablo
had died. Died. My first investigator. Haha it was awesome. So now we
have two new investigators(Max and América)

My main problem in lessons is that I talk too much. I just care so
dang bad for these investigators that I want them to understand. My
companion didn´t take as much Spanish as me in school, so sometimes
its a little too easy for me to just... Talk. We are getting so much
better though. His Spanish is improving super fast and we are learning
to teach with power and authority.

Have you ever heard a Hispanic Donald Duck? Pato Donald they call him,
and one of my friends that just left today(a Latino) named Elder Cubas
does the PERFECT impressonation of him. Its hilarious.

What I have learned this week, and what I am still striving for with
all my might, is how to give everything to God. As a missionary, you
have to give your all, 24/7, because thats all you got. 2 years. Every
single second, every single lesson, every single day has eternal
effects. ETERNAL effects. If it takes a family 3 more generations to
join the church becasue I didnt do all that I could, how would I feel?
Not good. On the flipside though, if I gave EVERYTHING to God these
two years, and didnt get a single baptism, I would feel proud. Proud
because I did EVERY SINGLE LAST THING I COULD. Thats the kind of
missionary I want to be. I dont want to be David McFarland the
missionary. I want to be ELDER David McFarland, the missionary. The
only difference between the two is that David McFarland only has his
own strength. Elder David McFarland can have the complete power and
authority of God.

Thats the kind of missionary Im trying my best to be.

But it doesn´t only apply to missionary work. If you do something,
ANYTHING, just by yourself. Its just your strength versus the world.
But align your will with Gods and... Just think of what the word
Omnipotence means.

That is my testimony this week. Don´t try to do it alone. Use Christ´s
Atonement to Empower you to do miracles. Miracles.

Yo sé que Dios me ama. yo sé, que Jesucristo murió por mi, por usted,
y por todo el mundo. Y por eso, todos de nosotros podemos ser salvados
en el reino de Dios. Podemos vencer cualquier cosa que vida nos da. Yo
sé estas cosas. Dios es Nuestro Padre Celsetial. Mediante Él, podemos
hacer todo.

This is my testimony, this is who I am

I hope I can share that with the world

Waz good

Elder David McFarland

from left to right it goes Elder Maxwell, me, Kreutzer, Lawrence, Harris, Hartwell 

(now bottom row) Gardner, Garfield, Gee, Hallman, Abilez, Ostler