Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week four or whateva

Time flies so fast.

I'm gunna write a couple of short letters this week because we are having troubles with power outages here at the stake center in Sonsonate and I'm worried if I type a long letter I'll lose it.

This week we had a surprise baptism! I'm gunna write about it in the third letter though to build suspense. This letter is gunna be some specific cool things for each of my
family members about El Salvador, but I hope you all know that you are important even if I only am telling my family stuff!

Lets start from the bottom:


All the little niƱos here have one favorite past time: flying
kites. They have this vicious little game where everyone tries to break the string to everyone else's kites (only while the two of them are flying them) by wrapping their kite string around the other in the air. Whoever wins ends up with two kites instead of one.

Hannah: There are so many animals here. Mainly dogs though. They wander the streets, live in the garbage, live in people's houses, they are just everywhere. and there is every type and age of dog just kinda living there life with all the people. Its kinda sad sometimes... I think of you and your love for all the animals every time I see one. Also they have kittens and turtles just wandering around in the member's houses.

Tyler: The SalvadoreƱos have the weirdest Spanish, am I right? there's can be h's or they just don't say them. I consider myself pretty much fluent in spanish but not until you tell me what the word puchica means. Also you're willing to challenge my claim to fluency, and only when you approve will I consider myself fully fluent.

Jessie: the people here are really really bad at matching pitch. The women usually sing about a tritone above the men, but it can move anywhere from a third to a sixth. lower is usually better. also the pianist in our ward only plays one note in the base hand, and usually the fifth of the key....

Dad: In Spanish there is a grammatically correct distinction between anybody and nanybody. Nuff said

Mom: Our investigator Juana reminds me a lot of you. not that she looks like you or even talks in the same language, i dunno, something about her always makes me think of how much I love my mom. Every time we talk to a mother I think of you, and when they talk about their missionaries... I feel like I'm making you proud:)

 Sometimes I'm pretty sure I hear gunshots, but my companion always assures me that it is a firework. I'm not always convinced

Also, to Cardon and everyone else that ever made fun of me for it...

I can roll my r's

Love you all

Elder McFarland

Week 4 part 2

So I lied about the three emails, I'm just going to send two.

So here's the promised story about our surprise baptism.

So there is this kid named William.

Two sets of missionaries ago he was about to be baptized.(he's ten) but when he got in the water he got really scared and backed out. We've been teaching him for the whole time we've been here but everytime the day gets close he gets scared again and won't say a word to us.

On Friday I went on exchanges with the assistants to the president for one hour and I was with Elder Coates, and we were going to go and teach William. The plan was to commit him to baptism the 10th of this month. Well, that was the plan until I started talking to Elder Coates. He taught me that with people like William the only problem is fear, and so waiting will just make it worse. We challenged him to be baptized
the very next day (Saturday) He was kind a hesitant but Elder Coates was positive and firm. He didn't take no for an answer, and said that we would come pick him up the next day. His abuela, while she gave her permission, was kinda negative and doubted he would actually go through with it. you could tell he was a bit afraid of her, and not just the water and the people.

So we were praying for a miracle. We went by his house the next day but he was at his aunt's house three houses away. his aunt is a member! So we got to talk to him without his super negative grandma and we told him we were going to take him to be baptized right then!! he got excited but was still hesitant. We promised to give him a tie. He came
with us!

Next came the hardest part, talking to his abuela. She fully gave her permission but only if "he wanted to" so she asked him in a way that was kinda making him doubt, but he said yes to her!!! he overcame his fear.

We went to the chapel and baptized him with just us and the bishop present(cuz he fears crowds too)

Also the sisters in our district had a baptism for a family of 3 that day, I had the privilege of baptizing 2 of them

It was a day of miracles.

Lots of times, we think that miracles are when we move mountains or calm stormy seas. True, those miracles are possible, and they even happen when they are necessary for the salvation of men. But, the more miraculous miracles happen inside of a person. With the same faith used to move literal mountains, mountains of doubt and fear are lifted
and dispelled from our lives. With the same power of God that parted the Red Sea, torrents of sin and anguish that wash over our sin bound should are calmed by the Savior's ever outstretched hand with the calming commandment "Peace, Be Still." Miracles happen in our day. They
happen EVERY day. They happen through faith and the power of God here on the earth.

I believe in miracles.

I invite you to believe also, and by your faith you will see them.

I love you all

Elder McFarland

These are some photos of the volcano and our house(kidding mom that is 
just a little hut thing we found. Also the baptism and the El Sal Temple (we just were visiting nearby, we still haven't gotten to go through it yet).

Monday, September 21, 2015



Being a missionary is fun.

Being a missionary is hard work.

Being a missionary is the best thing in the world.

I like being a missionary

I can't believe I'm already halfway through the transfer. My first transfer. But I don't think anything eventful happened this week so....


Ana Julia was baptized this week!  It has been amazing to see the change in her life. When the other missionaries found her, she was sick, she had no family that would come and visit her, and she didn't have any money or job. When we started teaching her it wasn't much better. The first Sunday she showed up to church for the ward after us. We didn't know about her, so we were suprised. It was her first
time coming to church, and she loved it. As we kept teaching her, you could tell that she believed, and even bore her testimony to a few friends that were there with her during a couple of her lessons. There is a new light in her life. Saturday was her baptism, and I got to baptize her! well, my companion helped too because she is old, sick, and a little bigger so she couldn't bend her legs or back really, so I
said the baptismal prayer and the two of us helped her be immersed in the water.

This week I've worked a lot on having charity.

It says in 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 that no matter how great you are: if you have prophecies, faith to move mountains, give all you have to the poor, and are pretty much perfect, if you don't have charity you are nothing. So... Its pretty important to have charity. you have to love people. Love them enough to give all that you are, just as Christ gave even his life, to serving others and helping them be happy. Just think about it. There are 7 billion people on the earth. Only about 15
million have the fullness of the Gospel, even less are active members of the church, and I don't know of a single person on the earth that doesn't have hard days, weeks, months, or years. People need help. People need to know God loves them. We need to go out and help people receive the fullness of Joy that Jesus Christ offers. I'm trying to do all I can out here every day to make people a little bit happier.

And in the process I am made happy.

Everyone, I don't care who we are talking about, has a really hard time sometimes. As a human family, we live in a broken world. We have broken bones, hearts, homes, marriages, spirits, jobs, testimonies. We have addictions and sin, we have to endure the consequences of the actions of ourselves and others.


The Atonement of Jesus Christ conquered all of the hardships we will ever encounter. All of them. he suffered so that we don't have to if we turn to him. and he asks US, to be his hands and help people come unto him.

Thinking about that helps me to love other people. It's still hard to love everyone, but I'm getting better. I have faith that through Christ I can make it to that goal.

I hope you have a good week this week. I hope you are happy. I hope that if you're not, you try to make someone else happy this week. I promise you'll be happy too if you do.

I love you all

Elder David McFarland

pics 1: Me after landing in Guatemala with (left to right) Elders Ostler, Harris, Anderson, and Kreutzer. You all at the airport, and the CCM when we were leaving.

Pics 2. Guatemala from bus, El sal temple, and the AP's house after waking up first morning in El Sal

Pics 3 More from AP's house, with elders (l to r) Hallman, Garfield, Harris, Cope, and me. And Sabrina Savage.

Pics 4 me and my MTC companion after getting our trainers. a house of our investigator and this chair I took a picture of, and our backyardcourtyard thing.

Pics 5 our street and my comp

Pics 6 more of our street and me up by where Elder Rojas told me the story I shared last week.


Pics 7 Greenie package, cool tree at a church building in our zone we went to last p day, and a cool area that I know will be filled with houses and members someday (maybe not till during the millenium)

 Pics 8 my broken watch and the baptsim of Ana Julia

Monday, September 14, 2015

Que chivo, va!

This week was really fast.

I always knew, and people always told me, but I never really believed,
that the mission would go by fast. The first week was really long, but
after last week it has started to pick up fast!

We have a Baptism this Saturday!!! An old lady that the old
missionaries taught that started coming to church only recently. She
has a really hard life. Her kids pretty much abandoned her and her
health sucks and she`s like 70 so its hard for her to work. That`s
what I love about being a missionary. that we are here, sent
specifically to help people. Telling them that God loves them and that
he has a plan for them. there`s nothing better. Please pray for her.

Also pray for Juana and Natalie. Juana is a lady that the old
missionaries found that we pretty much started all the teaching from.
Natali is her 9 year old daughter. Juana lives with a less active
member, but they aren`t married, but she has been really receptive and
has already come to church like 6 times(including those with the other
missionaries) Our goal is next Saturday for her baptism.

El Salvador is pretty crazy. There are gangs, and slangs, and
occasionally I hear bangs(but they`re usually fireworks because their
independence day is tomorrow) i love it here though. Im learning how
to hold out decent conversations that aren`t lessons, and my spanish
is sufficient for almost all understanding and talking purposes. I get
tired though after a long time of it and then my spanish starts to

ok so the story I promised last week.
we were standing out here in the boonies of our semi suburbian area
when my companion turned to me and said(in spanish and I`m translating
of course


Here walked Alma. Here walked Amulek. Here walked Ammon, Aaron, Omner,
and Himni. Here walked Captain Moroni, Here walked Helaman.

And now.

Here walk us.

Doing the same work they did: The Work of God.`

These people are literal descendents of Lehi, and I`m here as a
fulfilment of the promise God made that a remnant of the Laminites
would receive the fullness of the Gospel.

Thats my job

I am a literal representative of Jesus Christ among these people. God
sends me to specific people so I can say a specific message to them. I
feel that. I am humbled by that. I know this isn`t my work. It`s His.

God wants us all to return to Him, and in that effort, we need to have
a sense of urgency. Lots of people here go to lots of different
churches because they are `nice` or because they are `good` We know
that the Gospel is far more crucial than that. It is ESSENTIAL in our
ETERNAL SALVATION. we need to remember that. This is life eternal, we
need to be careful.

God is good. In preach my gospel it says(more or less I cant remeber
the exact wording) that prayer takes work, and that if we put in the
work, we receive so many blessings.

Put in the work

TALK to your Heavenly Father

He will help you

I promise that

Have a great week

stay chivo(Salvadorenean word for cool)

Elder McFarland

Monday, September 7, 2015

Las Delicias, Sonsonate, El Salvador

This is the story of the time I failed to leave a country:

So here's what happened.

We got on the bus a week ago Tuesday to come to El Sal.

I don't know what you all know about Guatemala right now, but long story short we drove about an hour and a half and then had to turn around because of some protests and demonstrations.

We thought we would have to go back to the CCM
It worried me, I didn't WANT to go back.

But then we drove around in circles in Guatemala for about half an hour, and after a long time of not knowing what was going on we stopped at the airport, and we met a church travel agent guy from Guatemala, and he bought all 25 of us tickets and payed for our baggage. The church has resources.

Anyways we waited for 6 hours in the airport and then took a half an hour flight to El Sal, where we met the AP`s and went to a church. Each of us got dinner and about a 1 minute interview with the president because we were so late, we stayed with all 20 of the Elders that came with us and a bunch that were leaving, so it was a full house. me and 3 other Elders spread out two mattresses on the floor
and slept there. Que raro...

Anyways the next day we got our companions. My papi`s name is Elder Rojas. He`s been here for 20 months, and he`ll probably die as my companion. fun. he is a killer missionary, and I`m going to learn a lot from him. I already have.

So I understand about 85 percent of the Spanish, but sometimes there are people that I just don't understand a single word they say. It's the young men. They mumble and use slang and I don`t get a word of it.

I have a cool story, but I want to wait till I can send a picture for the full effect. You'll all just have to imagine how cool it is. till then. HA, sorry, but you`ll hear the story next week.

I`ve learned a lot about life this week. I live in a dangerous
country, surrounded by people that I only recently can understand, the food can be dangerous, the sun cooks us always, but.... I'm happy. I'm so very happy. When I`m obediently working in God's work, all those things don't matter. I pray hard, I work hard, and I have faith God will help me.

Sorry, but I don`t have tons of time to write this week, but pictures and more stories will come next week, I promise:)

I love you all, pray this week that you can find someone to serve and teach the gospel. I promise those people are out there, but you need to find them and love them.

Have such a great week, I promise if I didn`t respond to your email that i read it, I just only have limited time to type.

Love the Lord

Love your neighbor

Love yourself

All three are necessary,

Be good, Do good.

Elder McFarland