Friday, December 23, 2016



Nice to meet you! 

My name is Elder McFarland.

Here´s a little something about me.

 But first, a story. This week we had Christmas multizones, one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday. Tuesday was the half of the mission where I am right now, and Wednesday was Sonsonate, Las Delicias, and that half! (Belize was last week when President went up there!) Tuesday was really fun! As Secretaries, we have a lot more responsibility in these multi Zones then normal. We have to make sure everything runs smoothly and that every last little thing is thought through and executed. But in spite of all of the stress, I felt the Spirit strongly as President Adams was teaching. There has been a really big change in the culture of the mission ever since me and me group showed up. Slowly and surely the work is hastening! We are focusing on not just working harder, but smarter, and trying to be better people and better missionaries! It´s a new day!!!

Then Wednesday we only went because I had to give a presentation of some changes that are going to be happening in how we pay the rent. Long story short, because of some laws and circumstances here in Central America, we will no longer pay for any houses online, but instead we will pay the missionaries and they will be in charge of paying the landlord. 

But I guess the point of me saying that was to explain why we went on Wednesday, but after I was done with my little spiel in the morning President told  us we could go so we left! We got on a bus that went to the Terminal to go back to San Salvador and it passed right through the center of Sonsonate! It was surreal! I was in that city for 6 months and I know it so well! So even though we didn´t go through my old area it was still like going home! It was weird because I KNEW everything. I knew which buses to take, where to go and everything. But at the same time it was like I was going there for the first time. It amazes me everything that can happen in 17 months. I´m not by far the same person who stepped off the bus there in Sonsonate way back when. I knew so much more this time about the mission, about El Salvador, about life and people and things! It really made me reflect and think about how much I have changed! I miss Las Delicias so much! If I could have my wish I would finish the mission there, training. 

Anyways, Las Delicias baggy moment over. Tuesday and Wednesday were kinda long days, but they were so much fun!

As for our area things are going really well. We are still trying to work with the members like crazy and things are starting to work out. We have received several references this week and people are starting to progress!

Claudia Maldonado got back from Panama this week, which is nice becuase we hadn´t seen her after she pretty much bombed us with the news that she wants to get baptized. She is going through a LOT of changes in her life right now, and needs lots of prayers. She lost her job and is kinda in shock. More than that, now she is trying to be more spiritual, which is new for her, and she is still a little hesistant and stuff. She needs the Gospel so much right now! Please pray for her and us in being able to handle the situation well!

Two days ago we met a guy named Armando. He started talking to us in a broken English, and it was evident that he was a little drunk and depressed. We started talking to him and he told us his story. one week ago his wife died suddenly of a heart attack. Two months ago his elderly mother passed away and now he is left alone in a big house. As we started to testify of Eternal Families he asked us "do you think I´ll ever see my wife again?" When we told him he would, he started to cry. We went back yesterday and started to teach him. He needs a lot of help right now because he needs to stop drinking and smoking and get his life back on it´s feet. I feel so terrible for him! He needs the Gospel so much. i pray that I can have the ability to help him and that he can make the decisions necessary to get through!

I´ve been thinking alot about the song "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" (If I remember right that´s one of your favorite Christmas songs Mom, Right?) here are some words

I heard the bells on Christmas day,
Their old familiar carols play.
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head.
"There is no peace on earth!" I said.
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does he sleep (peace on earth, peace on earth)
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men!

Thinking about Claudia and Armando, it would be easy to say "There is no Peace on Earth!" and feel overwhelmed by the hate and pain that is all around us. 

But I´ve noticed something. Quite frankly, life is hard. It sucks sometimes. But that doesn´t mean that we have to be beaten down by it! Yes, life is hard! It´s supposed to be that way! How else would we learn and grow and become more like our Heavenly Father! The fact that life is hard does not have to limit us. WE CAN DO HARD THINGS! We just have to rely on Christ and His Atonement, and LIVE HIS GOSPEL. Don´t let "Life is Hard" take away the Peace that we can feel, "Not as the World Giveth" but as only Christ can give.

That´s why we celebrate Christmas! New beginnings. New Hope. Today is a new day and we can be something better! 

So like I promised. Here´s something you should know about me. 

I´ve changed alot, it´s true. I´m not the same man I was in Las Delicias. Because of my trials and experiences, I know so much more than I used to. I understand things on a level that I never thought possible. 

And I´m happy :)

Have the Merriest of Christmases everybody!

Elder David O. McFarland 

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