Monday, July 3, 2017

coming home

Here I go, mustering together all the ganas that I can to write one more letter! 

In the coming days I will see you all, and I will hug you and talk with you, and answer questions, and tell stories

And so, of all the things I want to leave with you all, I hope that some photos and my testimony will do for the last letter! 

I know that God lives. I know that he loves me. I know that he has a plan for me. I offer him my WHOLE soul. and I know that he can make more of me than I could ever make of myself. I also know that Jesus Christ lives. He lives! He lives who once was dead! The depth and power of that statement is eternal in its impact and significance. Because he lives, it means that the pathway has been opened. The chains have been loosened. We will all live again. Tell it out with Joyful voice! Eternal life is ours "on the conditions of repentance" Sure, we all aren't perfect. Far from an excuse, this is an oportunity. Because of Christ, and despite our imperfections, we can become CLEAN. God's kingdom will not be full of "perfect" people, it will be full of CLEAN people. Those who have "washed their garments in His blood"

The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I have felt it's power. In it's pages we find the Plan of Salvation, amoung other precious truths that had been lost. I am grateful for God's Perfect Plan! and I know that we are all part of it. 

Life is good in the Gospel. Not because there aren't any problems, but because we have the tools we need to feel joy in the storm, and to dance in the rain.

I am grateful for my mission. It is everything I needed and it has made me everything that I am.

I love you all. I can't wait to embrace you and to feel your love!

les Quiero con todo mi Corazon! 

nos vemos muy pronto! 

Que tengan la mejor semana del mundo!

SalΓΊ, Pues!

Elder Mcfarland

Monday, June 26, 2017

Single Digits

I've reached the point where it would be unwise to ignore it any longer. Unfortunately, I have to face the reality... I'm not going to Belize next change

haha, I mean, yeah, I could, but... I'm coming home. 

It's kind of sad, but actually I'm excited about it. 

It's the beginning of a new era. 

It's been my goal for a long time to leave everything on the table. To not have any regrets. And although I still have one week left to prove it. I feel content with the work that God has given me. My fingers pretty much have the muscle memory DOWN from typing it so much, but.

I love being a missionary. 

This week was a great one. Each day we left with the determination to bless someone's life, and, I have felt the guidance of the Spirit helping me day after day. We've had some rough days. for example,

Saturday: we had a FULL day planned with some KILLER appointments, including with the Cazares fam, who I told you about last week. the appointment with them was the first one after lunch. 1:00 pm. At 12:58 we showed up at their house, which is at the bottom of a HUGE hill. Turns out that she had to go to work on emergency call, so we had to put a return appointment for Sunday. The back up plan, nothing. As we headed over to our 2:00 plan(at the bottom of another hill) we saw the 2:00 plan drive past on their motorcycle, and we knew they weren't going to be home. it was now 1:20. By 2:30, each one of our plans for the day had either called us our by some other means told us that they weren't going to be available. We walked up a LOT of hills and it seemed like nothing was working out. 

But you know what,

I was happy.

I've noticed a pattern here in this area. 

It is a lot of LITERAL, PHYSICAL ups and downs. Hills, stairs, etc. But like I told E. Robles starting on day 1, I'm grateful for that, because, I have lost weight and gained some pretty sick calf muscles. The hills provide for STUNNING views. And the people here are amazing and loving. I am grateful for the physical ups and downs.

In addition, this change has had a lot of EMOTIONAL & SPIRITUAL ups and downs. But if you could see my spiritual calves... haha, I think I've lost some spiritual weight as well! Due to the perspective that I've gained now that I reach the summit of this Mission-Mountain, the views are STUNNING, and I am grateful to the Lord for all of his tender mercies. I know that he has been there for each up, and each down. 

I am grateful for the emotional, and even the spiritual, ups and downs. 

The good luck started Saturday night when we found a great little family to teach-the Rivas Contreras family, this older couple, that was receptive and I believe will progress and we took it running into SundaySunday we had an AMAZING lesson with the Bishop and his wife and the Cazares family, in which we made all the plans necessary for MARIA'S BAPTISM THIS WEEK. She is so determined in her decision, and I am very happy for her!

We found 2 more people to teach as well, E. Robles will have a pretty good teaching pool for next change with whoever his new comp is!

Spiritual up.

I've learned that the ups ALWAYS come after the downs.

I bear testimony that God loves us, and that his plan is perfect!

Love you all,

Have the greatest of weeks!

Elder McFarland

Photos from June 26, 2017

Elder Robles and I leaving the house to work on a rainy day :)El Porvenir, Layco

Caterpillar we found in our house one morning :)

Calle Mexico, San Fernando Colony, El Porvenir
The day that ALL our appointments fell through.
El Porvenir, Layco

Colonia Veracruz, one of the steepest hills in El Porvenir
(only like a quarter of the way down)

"La Casa Verde" with the Elders of Cuscatancingo(we are in the same city)
People claim these to be the best pupusas in El Porvenir :)
They were REALLY good

Family Night with The Caceres family, Maria and Sergio, and Bishop Turcios and his wife, in which Maria Caceres accepted her baptismal date for July 1st.

The residential area where we live: "Baltimore"

Elder Sweat and I, on our way to our last District Meeting!!!

Elder Robles and I, in route to last District Meeting.

The other 3/4 of the biggest hill in Veracruz :)

Right outside of our apartment in Baltimore

Monday, June 19, 2017

Some Stories

First off I'd like to make an official apology for not being very good in writing letters/stories these last couple of weeks.

Like always, I like to tell my stories centered on people.

Mariah Cazares: 

about 3 weeks ago during Elders Quorom, the Elders Quorom President did an activity. Instead of doing the normal Lesson, he divided up the Brothers in the class, and assigned them some families to go and visit, and we all left to go see why some people hadn't come to church!

I went with Bro. David Sandoval and Bro. Guillermo Vazquez to go and visit a young recent convert named Sergio Cazares. Sergio is 18, has been a member for almost a year, and is one of 2 convert baptisms in this area in the last year. Bro. Sandoval gave the reference to the missionaries, so he has a good friendship with the family.

We knocked on the door, and met Mariah. Mariah is Sergio's mother. She is a single mom, trying to raise her 2, 18 and 20 year old boys in a country that is CRITICAL for teenage young men. She is very level headed, and very intelligent. We taught a brief lesson with her, and Bro. Sandoval invited her to come to church the next week, She came!

After church I talked with her, and she told us she had talked with the bishop, and made a decision to come to church EVERY week to support her son as a new member! 

The hard part with her is that she works ALL day Monday to Friday, so only Saturdays and Sundays can we see her. 

But she came to church again yesterday, just as she had promised us, and Saturday and Sunday we were able to teach her 2 more lessons and invite her to be baptized. At first, she didn't know what to think, but then you could tell that she started to think more seriously about it. Sundayshe reassured us that she will PROBABLY be baptized, but she needs to talk i over more with her 2 sons. 

I know she will become a faithful member of the Lord's church.

Isaac Campos

During one of our first weeks together, E. Robles and I were out knocking doors. We really had a desire to find someone to teach who would receive us and come to church. We decided to pray in the street and ask God which door to knock on. 


Nothing. I am used to the answer not coming immediately, so we began to walk. We saw a door, and it "Kinda" felt right. We knocked.

No one answered. 

but then we noticed a small crossing by the house where we could get to the street behind that one, and we crossed over found a cute little house. We knocked. Out came Isaac, a young teenager. We talked to him and he let us in. 

We saw he had been sweeped up leaves and decided to help him finish. Afterward we taught him Lesson 1 and he agreed to come to church. He came. 

in the last 4 weeks he has been progressing up and down, and he's been to church twice, and yesterday we had a great lesson with him his mom, and the young mens president. I have a lot of faith that the whole family(which consists only of him and his Mom) will accept the church!

English Class

Every Thursday and Friday from 6-7 is English class. Bryan Barrera(super fun returned missionary about my same age!) is the teacher, and he does a really great job!

This last week we contacted a responsable, level headed father named Roberto Castillo. his son is in an English Immersion school, and he wants his son to Practice, so we invited him to the class, and they came! you know when you can just tell that a person will progress in the future? yeah, I know they will!

Elder Robles and I were a little sick this week, but we keep fighthing hard! it's a pleasure to be a missionary

I love you all so much!

Have an amazing week!

Elder McFarland

Monday, June 12, 2017

Learning at the feet of an Apostle!

This week was one for the books!

Tuesday we were blessed to receive a visit from Elder Dale G. Renlund! Several weeks ago President Adams asked me to direct the music, and so I had the privelege of sitting on the stand, only feet away from an Apostle of the Lord! We sang "Redeemer of Israel" and it was an incredible experience!

Wednesday I had my final interview with President Adams. It was very weird. Made me kinda hit reality a lee bit. My desires to work and serve are at an all time high, as I see that the time that I have is drawing shorter and shorter.

We have been trying to love and serve and work extra hard. God has been good to us and we are seeing miracles. 

Please pray for the Portillo family, they are a young family that have been learning a lot and progressing in the gospel! 

also the Campos family and the Cubillas family!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder McFarland

Monday, June 5, 2017

time crunch

wow time got away from me and I didn't write a weekly letter! We have been working harder than ever with Elder Robles and I have lots of stories to tell!

PΓ―cs and stories next week!

Love you all!

Elder McFarland

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Letter from President Adams

Dear Brother and Sister  McFarland, I thought you would enjoy these pictures of your fine son. How we love and appreciate the goodness of this young man. You've both clearly have raised a wonderful family. You should be proud. 

Sister Adams and I went to his area today and visited with he and his companion. I had a nice long visit along with your son, please know that he is doing well. He is extremely resilient, and mentally tough. I also give him a priesthood blessing and promised him that these next five weeks would be the best five weeks of this mission. You should have no concerns about elder McFarland.

With love.
Presidente Eric M. Adams
El Salvador San Salvador Oeste/Belize Mission

Monday, May 29, 2017

That Which Is to Come

Welcome to El Porvenir, Cuscatancingo!

I am here finishing the training of Elder Robles, his first trainer just finished the mission and now he will finish me off too!

Elder Robles was born in Puerto Rico, and at age 15 he moved to Florida. So pretty much he is an American that speaks perfect Spanish. He is 26 years old, a convert to the church, and he has a very strong testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel!

I think that God is just too good. He decided to bless me with a great companion and a great area for my last 6 weeks!

I also think that God wants me to lose weight! haha the entire area is like thisπŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ—»πŸ—»

Lots of super steep hills, and lots of ups and downs and ups and downs, etc.

The ward is a super energetic ward. every day from Tuesday to Saturday people are in the church, in seminary playing soccer, etc. Its super fun!

We have been looking for new people to teach. There was a kid that just got baptized last week, but now that he is a member we don't really have any investigators... So this week we have knocked a lot of doors, and God has been really good to us, opening doors and guiding us. We found a 14 year old kid named Isaac that came to church yesterday and stayed for the whole thing! We are hoping to teach his mother as well, the two of them live alone and I think for Isaac to have success in the church she is going to have to come too!
I have extreme desires to find and teach a family. This ward needs it. Animos are kinda low, and now more than ever this ward needs to come together and get the blessings of the Restored Gospel.

In short, we have a LOT of work to do, and I am PUMPED. STOKED. ENTHUSED. and probably about 500 more synonyms to work this change. 

I have felt the blessings of the Spirit this week very strongly, and can notice at least 3 different reasons why

1. Reading and focusing on the Book of Mormon. 
2. Charity and Obedience
3. Focusing on the Joy of Repentance

People have been responding really well and I am super excited. This is going to be a great change!

I love you all,

and I invite you to read the Book of Mormon :)

Have the greatest of weeks!

Elder McFarland

May 29th Photos

"La Cordinacion" Missionary Coordination Meeting with all five Miramonte missionaries, and Brother Joaquin, the Ward Mission Leader :)

The Majano Family,
 Veronica (Left-Member), Lorena( Right-Investigator, Wife of Kevin) and
Kevin (Not in picture, also a Member, Veronica's Brother)

Rodrigo-Elders Quorum President, Miramonte Ward

President Montano(Former Branch President of Zaragoza)
And his Family moved into Miramonte on the last Sunday I was there!

Cantarero Family
Miramonte Ward

Miguel Fuentes
Future Missionary, Miramonte Ward

Absalom(Javier) Menjivar
Returned Missionary, great friend
Miramonte Ward

Sister Lopez(Miguel Fuentes' Mother)
Miramonte Ward

Fernando Ramirez!
Awesome Deacon from Miramonte!

Saying goodbye to the Maldonados :(

Siliezar Family
They gave all 5 of us dinner every Sunday Night!

"Next time I come here it will be for the final dinner and testimonies!"
Last new missionary dinner at President's house while I was in the office.

Elders Merril and Tupou
Wish I could be in their place, starting the mission all over again!

Kinda a struggle to get this selfie, but all of us at the new's dinner!

Saying Goodbye to the Money Cave and E. Wright

Last time leaving the office!

Elders Mitchel and Gonzales, on their way home!

What a great companion! Elder Smith is going home! It's been one year since we were comps in Santa Elena, Belize!

Elder Johnson, on his way home!

Elder Robles(Middle) with his Father(Elder Taracena, Right)
 and Step Father(Me, Left;)

Elder Burris, on his way home!

Elder Ostler, what a great friend!

Elder Fernandez, a super cool Missionary from the Dominican Republic who I received when I was in the office, already had 6 months in the mission!

The new district(plus a few others) in our first district meeting in Layco Zone
from right to left:
Me+E. Robles(El Porvenir), H. Antillon+H. Zelaya(Atlacatl), E Cazares(Cuscatancingo), E. Quispe(Barbarena), H. Garcia+H. Ballesteros(Layco), Elder Sweat(Cuscatancingo), and E. Richardson(laying on table-Barbarena)

New Companion!!! Elder Robles

New House-Bedroom