Getting to know my Roots: I was in a members house this week named Benjamin Machuka. This young man is getting ready to go on a mission. He has his mission call to the Argentina Buenos Aires North mission and he leaves on January 27th. Before he goes he has started to do a lot of family history work. He wanted me to log on to my family search history profile so that he could look and my genealogy tree. Anyone who is familiar with this website will know that every person has a family tree where they can log on and see who all of their ancestors are up to how far you can go. Some can find stories of family members up to the fourteen hundreds and some go a little farther back. Those of you who don't know the website you can log on to (familysearchhistory.org). So I was going through my family search history on my dads side and I got back to the 1800´s and I found out that I come from the Fish family, then I kept going back. 1700´s, then 1400 AD, then 1000 Ad, then it just kept going and I got to 23 BC and at this time Benjamin Machuka and my companion couldn't believe that I could go that far and then I found more roots and I kept going back to: 200 BC, then 500 BC, then 1000 BC, and it was crazy and that day I just got to know my roots and the best part was that on the website I found a family line that went from Andrew Lamont Jessop to... you guessed it ADAM!!! It was pretty mind blowing and it made me really excited for family history work.
Mission Farewells!!: In the ward I am serving in there are 4 future missionaries. One goes on January 15th named Rodrigo, one goes on January 27th which is Benjamin, one goes on January 29th which is Victor, and the last, but not least goes on February 11th which is named Samuel. There are also about 40 returned missionaries in this ward of the 100 active members which really strengthens the ward tremendously. The first of the future missionaries that leaves is Rodrigo. He gave his farewell talk and it was pretty espiritual. It is amazing how the work just keeps going with or without you, but the mission doesn't end after 2 years or 18 months of service. IT is a lifetime calling. I wasn't called to be a missionary for 2 years only to go home and forget everything I have learned and go back to what I was. My service as a missionary for my Lord and Savior will be one for life and I am grateful for that.
Zone Conference: President Agazzani threw a zone conference this week, which is like a conference where a bunch of missionaries get together and learn from the President. He finishes his mission in June and he will probably have only one conference left. He assigned my companion and I to do a part of the conference. We talked about the importance of bringing the conversion directly to the importance of Jesus Christ when we talk to people. Always talk about him so that we can have the spirit when we talk and help people come unto him and be perfected in him by His Atonement. We also taught the importance of teaching our investigators with the repentance steps so that they can truly repent of their sins and know how to come unto Christ through baptism. They also taught of how we should use the Book of Mormon always, always always to respond to doubts and help others feel the spirit. We also learned how to iron clothes, make beds, and be clean haha. I guess in the mission we learn a little bit of everything right.
Investigators: We are finding some really good people recently. We have Richard, Griselda, Eduardo, Carlos, Francisco, Vader, and Ilse. I don't have time to tell you about all of them, but I will let you know how they progress.
I absolutely love it here. I read a quote by Elder Bruce R. Mc Conkie that said, "We have to convince that Lord that we are willing to pay the price for anything that we want and in that way he will help us fulfill our earthly purpose". That isn't the exact quote but something like it. We have had some difficulties here in the missionary work, but as I have striven to come unto Christ and live how he has taught us, I have felt spiritually lifted and fortified. I have told him that I am willing to pay and I have been extremely blessed for it. I know that he lives and that he loves me. I know that the Atonement cleans, purifies, and wipes away sins. I have felt it daily. They say that the best convert in the mission is yourself and I have really tried to let the Lord mold me into the person that he needs me to be. the mission goes by fast and any return missionary can testify of that. I still have time left to help people come unto Christ and invite them to follow him. I am happy, joyful, filled with love, and I hope that you all enjoy my letters.
Thank you for all the support and love.
Elder McFarland and I