Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rentrons Joyeux (5-21-2017)

Hey all,

I am going home! It was an amazing week.

The Paris temple consecration was incredible. A house of the lord in France, at long last. I know that it is His House. The power of the temple is real. I hope to go there one day to "get temple together" as President Brown says, with my future wife.

Vive la France, God bless America.

This work is all true, I know it is. And that makes all the difference. I am converted forever. A marvelous work and a wonder has happened inside me.

Je sais que Jesus Christ vit. Il m'a racheté de la mort. Je l'aime, parce qu'il m'aime aussi.

I love you all. I will see you soon.
Elder Ben MacArthur

Monday, May 22, 2017


Hey everyone, this week was awesome!

The B family continues to do well, we saw them twice last week and they came to church. And Oc, the member who was baptized in Côte d'Ivoire, stayed for all three hours and a Ward meal afterwards! She's going to participate in the cultural celebration on the 20th.

JY, in the same family, came and played soccer with us on Saturday and loved it! We read in the Book of Mormon with him afterwards, and gave him some white shirts and ties to wear at church, upon his request. I'm glad to see my old shirts stay useful.

A cool miracle: T, who I mentioned last week, mini-dropped us after that wonderful first RDV we had. He got mixed up with some evangelists who convinced him the Book of Mormon was made up. So he said he preferred to get the truth from the Bible. But our wonderful members stepped in and saved the day! Fr. D called him, and invited him over to dinner on Saturday before church on Sunday. The dinner went well, and the next morning, another member, Fr. B, invites T to church on the spot. T said he would be there!

And he came! Our members didn't just give up and do nothing, they went to work! T stayed for all three hours, and loved it, even stayed for the Ward meal as well! We are going to invite him to accept a baptismal date this next week, and he will accept it, no question.

Despite Satan's best plans, T is still on the right track.

Without our members, it would have been impossible.

These past few weeks have been hard for me. Elder Eberhard was kind enough to give me a blessing to help me not worry about going home, etc. I was filled with a sense of reassurance, that as I prayed always, kept reading the scriptures, and sought diligently, that all things would work together for my good. Things will work out. I know that.

I have loved my mission so much. I am so grateful to be here for the consecration of the temple! What a way to end my mission.

I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Dinner with TA and family

Last District Meeting

The last Mille Feuille

Lunch with W

Friday, May 12, 2017


Hey everyone!

This week has been a week of miracles. I only really have time to share four of them.

Miracle 1:  On our way to miracle 2, Elder Eberhard contacts a young woman. Who is she you may ask? A less active from Bergerac, who now lives here. She is now going to come to English class.

Miracle 2:  We got a referral from a bishop in the Ivory Coast (Fr. Cal) to teach his family, the Bo family. Here is the text: "merci de mettre tout en oeuvre pour leur conversion." Meaning, please get things started for their conversion. We go over, and they already want to be baptized. Already! They know the church very well, Fr. Cal is the brother of the family's mother, Ro. She is incredibly prepared. And her daughter who lived with Fr. Cal for a few years? Got baptized there. She's a member too! She hasn't gone to church since she's been back. And they all want to go. And they came on Sunday. They came and they loved it. The young girl who is a member, O, she is going to participate in the cultural celebration at the Paris temple dedication on the 20th! BOOM already integrated. All the YW love her. And Ro, at RS, told everyone she would get baptized. Ro's brother who came, J-Y, also accepted a baptismal date for June 24th. Incredible miracle. We've taught them
twice already, and a third time at church.

Miracle 3:  A wonderful member named Alexis Defranchi (go watch his I'm a Mormon video, it's great) introduced us to a friend of a friend. The referrals' name is T, and he might be more prepared than the Bo family. He has been seeking God for a year, but hasn't joined any church yet. First question he asks: "how do I know that the man who baptizes me has the authority of God to do so?" Wow. INCREDIBLE. He wants to be baptized. He even wanted to do a pre-baptism on the spot, to prepare himself. It was amazing to see his desire. T will be baptized soon, no doubt about it.

Miracle 4:  A man Elder Ramsey and I started seeing again, S. H., was recently reactivated. This man had many problems, not 6 months ago. Now, he has a recommend for the Paris Temple Consecration. What a miracle! He has completely turned his life around, turned it over to the Savior, and look at what happens when we do that. Amazing.

I love you all! I love being a missionary! It's a good thing that I can be a missionary forever, wherever I am. If we have a desire we are always called to the work, no matter our assignment to labor.

Love, Elder MacArthur

Dinner and Family Search with the J's. We got to listen to French Disney music on the way back. It was fantastic.

We are actually at a gym right here. We are going back next P-day.

Elder Smith. What a man. I love him too. Go England.

Family history! Finding names like crazy.

Sleepy :)

My old comp, Elliot Burri. What a stud. I just think this picture is so cute. I love this man with all my heart. I would take a bullet for him. Random picture but why not haha.

We found an ancestor ready for the temple with the G's in 1 minute, 4 seconds.

Dinner and Family Search with the J's. We got to listen to French Disney music on the way back. It was fantastic.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 1st, 2017

Hey everyone! This was a great week.

Monday: Plane

Tuesday: Exchange with assistants in Ecully! I was with Elders Bouaka and Underwood. It was super fun, I got to visit the Obs, Zs, Bs, and I saw Bas and Sr. Rop. It was a real treat to see all of them again before I go home. I love those elders so much. My first échange as a district leader was with Elder Underwood, way back when.

Wednesday: We helped the Mouts pour concrete for their pool. We did this the whole day almost! It was really fun, we mixed concrete and wheel barrowed it to the backyard.

The rest of the week was a blur, we got 4 amis (Ant, Cyn, Ru, and Wen) at church. We haven't seen An in a long time. Hopefully we see her this week.

Sorry I kinda have la flemme for writing. But I guess I'll see you all soon so it's ok right?

I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

In Lyon on exchange visiting Bas

Canned tomatoes, canned ravioli, and canned peas. Eating like kings. We need to buy food.

On exchange in Lyon with Elders Eberhard, Underwood, Bouaka, and ??

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 24th, 2017!

Hello everyone! This has been a good week.

Monday:  Pday In Lyon! We got to go to vieux Lyon, and I got to spend it with my last 3 comps, Elder Ramsey and Fiala and Eberhard. It was a great privilege. We went to family home evening...with brother M, his daughters, and Fab!!! It was the best night ever. I am so lucky to have been able to see them.

Tuesday:  MLC, very spiritual experience as always. We got to watch the video "Strength beyond my own" in French with video clips of the Paris temple! We are all very excited for the consecration here in our mission. President Brown challenged us all to polish ourselves for the next 5 weeks to be ready for the consecration. I will do my best to do this.

The rest of the week wasn't terribly interesting, I did have a cool exchange though! I was with Elder Encarnacion, who is normally in Angoulême. We did a lot of walking, so we got to talk a lot. He actually lost a close friend not too long ago, so it was really good for him to talk and have time to get his feelings out. We met an Australian member, and gave him a blessing in the forest. It was cool. We had nowhere else to go, but it was super great, he was very grateful for our visit. And Elder Encarnacion, he is a really cool guy! His parents had a band in the 90s called Moonpools and Caterpillars. Check them out if you want, I have never listened to them but I will when I get home! They are all very musical, and Elder Encarnacion was offered jobs writing music for tv commercials before his mission once he became discovered. Don't be surprised to see him on MTV someday. Actually, MTV isn't really music television isn't it? So never mind, I hope you never see him on MTV. Maybe the Voice. Or American Idol. I'm not sure if that still exists either.

On Saturday, we helped Eysines and Agen elders with their baptisms, both in our chapel. They were the two baptisms in our mission this week. So we went to all the baptisms mission-wide. 2 for 2. Pretty good. They weren't ours though haha.

On Sunday, Cy, Ru, and Mi came to church! They are all pretty new investigators. Mi, we haven't even taught her the restoration yet but she's come to church twice. We have high hopes for her!!

Something that I learned this week: Go to 3 Nephi 19. Look at the way the Lord prays. Do we pray like that? Verse 9: "And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them." Their prayers were sincere, because they had real desire, or real intent; another way to say it is "full purpose of heart." When the Lord prays, he thanked His Father first thing, always. He always prayed for others, his prayers no matter what were always for others. Even if we need to pray for strength, pray for help, pray for comfort, pray for faith, etc. we must have a desire to receive these heavenly gifts for the benefit of others. And the Nephites got this. Verse 24 describes the power behind their prayers: "...and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire." Are our prayers guided by the spirit? Have you ever noticed that a day full of hard work, desire, and positive attitude is so much easier to write about in a journal, or to tell Heavenly Father about than a day with no motivation and no desire? If we really do all that we do with desire, we won't need to wonder what to say or pray. It will be given to us, by the Spirit. If our desires are righteous, and we have the faith to act on them, we can never go wrong.

I love you all a lot. Have a good one :)
Elder MacArthur

Us (Ben & Elder Encarnacion) and Brother Chi

Elder Ramsey!

Cleaning the font for 2 baptisms on Saturday...none of which were ours haha. That kinda hurts in a prideful way, but it was great to see a baptism in Bordeaux!


FHE with V.M....true love

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017!

Hello everyone! This week was an amazing week!! I have so much to share.

Tuesday:  We taught A the plan of salvation and she loved it! She thought that after death, there was only heaven and hell, but when we taught her the truth, she exclaimed, "that's great because I always doubted that idea!" She's loving the Book of Mormon more and more. Bon, that is the only other thing I'm gonna share for Tuesday, because Tuesday night, the happiest moment of my life came.

I received a call from my old companion, Elder Ramsey, who's still in Lyon. He asked me straight off if I was sitting down. I sat down, and he preceded to tell me about a miracle, a wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles. When I was with Elder Burri, we started talking to a less-active member, named Brother M. He joined the church in his late teens, and served a mission in the Swiss Genève Mission. He returned home with Honor, and not too long afterwards was married, and was made a bishop. All was well. But a few years ago, things took a turn for the worse. He soon found himself divorced and inactive, and unable to use the priesthood. For a few years he lived in darkness.

I met him at a stake conference about 6 months ago. I introduced myself and asked him if he needed help. He was a little hesitant but said he would be moving soon, and he could use some help. For a few weeks, it didn't happen, but when Elder Ramsey came to Lyon, he finally fixed a RDV with us. And we started to spend lots of time with him, and we helped him most days of the week. At first we didn't try sharing spiritual thoughts, we didn't want to seem like "we are here just to reactivate you" but after a few times, he started asking us to pray over the food, and asked us to share a scripture with him. He started reading the scriptures a few times a week. Soon, he was reading each day. And he started coming to church. Soon, he was coming every week. He started working with his bishop to regain full fellowship in the church.

Elder Ramsey once challenged him to do something. His parents will come to France and pick him up in July, and Elder Ramsey challenged Brother M to come with him and his family to the temple in July. Excited, Brother M jumped up and said "let's do it!".

I digress, back to the story. Elder Ramsey calls me on Tuesday night and tells me that Brother M just had his priesthood blessings restored. He will be a home teacher. He will have a calling. He will be able to baptize his two 9 year old daughters who now have baptismal dates for May 6th. And he will be going to the temple with Elder Ramsey in July. When I heard this, I cried like a little child. I broke down and felt the most amazing joy, sweet above all that is sweet. I sat in silence on the phone with Elder Ramsey. We had no idea what to say. My journal says: "We thanked each other from the bottom of our souls, for loving Brother M enough to see a great change of heart. I am so grateful for Elder Ramsey's idea to buy a frame for a picture of the Swiss temple and give it to brother M. What a wonderful guy. What a man. Like President Brown counsels us, Elder Ramsey was more concerned about Brother M than our calendar. It didn't matter what the cost was, he was focused on people, on his purpose. Together, through us, the Lord loved Brother M back to activity and loved his daughters into the waters of baptism.

Tuesday night was the best moment of my life. I know that repentance is real. Forgiveness is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful gift. It is never too late to repent, it is never too late to be forgiven. My new favorite scripture expressed my feelings better than I can:

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;...
And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" ~DC 18

As I sobbed these words over the phone to Elder Ramsey, I heard him cry as well. We felt the spirit confirm to our hearts that this is true. It is all true. And that makes all the difference.

Well, after that, I don't know what else to share. Everything else from the week is almost insignificant by comparison. We did service a few times for members. Elder Eberhard is great! A prodigious pianist and French horn player. Really talented, good missionary, in his 14th transfer. Speaks great French. I love being with him!

I love you all. I know that God lives, that He changes hearts, He changes lives, He changes eternities. Because He loves us. I know that Christ lives, that He resurrected the third day. Let's love Him. Let's adore Him. Let's follow Him and walk with Him, always.
Elder MacArthur

On an exchange with Elder Hansen

View of Bordeaux from HLM

Forest walk on exchange

Working hard in the Lord's vineyard...maybe not the Lord's vineyard actually

Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017

Hello everyone!! This week was great!

Tuesday: It was a slow day to start but we passed a member in the evening to wish her a happy birthday, and we got to teach her non-member father. It was good that we passed by the whole family was parked and it was a lot of fun.

Wednesday: I went on exchange with Elder Seguine! It was lots of fun. We taught a potential amie named Cy! She is awesome. She understood The restoration very well. When we invited her to be baptized, she said that she would need to know if the Book of Mormon was true. Once we reassured her that she could know for herself, she accepted a date! It was really cool! Cy moved from Nigeria a few years ago, and she doesn't really have a church to go to. So she told us that she would be coming to ours from now on!

Thursday: We help the sisters move their investigator's couch to her apartment. She bought it on French Craigslist, and we carried it up the stairs, she was very appreciative. We ran back home, change, and took a bus to eat dinner with the Lan family. It was lots of fun! Their kids are the cutest things ever. We shared the Easter video with them, and they loved it. We invited them to share it on social media with their friends.

Friday: We got transfer calls. Elder Fiala is going to Ecully to serve with Elder Ramsey, my old companion! I was super excited for him. The missionary work there is on fire!! I will be serving with Elder Eberhard, and we are going to lead our zone to many baptisms this transfer. He is a man of great faith and I am excited to finish my mission at his side. Fr. Vis invited us to lunch after calls, and we had a nice steak. It was awesome. Unfortunately, lots of my photos from this week are on Elder Fialas iPad, so I might not have them for a few weeks. After lunch, we went and taught An with Fr. Vis. He served in the Provo mission, and he speaks English very very well, and is a very good teacher. It was an excellent lesson. The experiences his mother had as a single mother spoke to An, and she teared up. She could really feel the power behind our words. After that lesson, we went to give Sr. Baq a blessing. Then we had dinner with the Ven family. We had Pizza Hut (very good in France. Meh. Idk, I've been away from American pizza so long, at this point I have no idea) so on s'est régalé.

Saturday: We spent a whole day at a baptism in Lormont, on the other side of the river next to Bordeaux. We got the Lormont Chapel keys, met the Poitiers sisters at the gare, brought them to the Chapel, and helped them set up for their baptism. They don't have a font in their building, so sometimes they come to Bordeaux. Their ami Yac got baptized by their recent convert J. Yac forgot white underwear, so we went to Carrefour on an undies run. It was funny....
Us: what size are you?
Yac: I dont know...
Yac: yeah!
Us: *searching* there is no small, what about medium?
Yac: yeah!
Us:*holds up underwear, sizing him up* yeah looks about right.

So we walked out, Elder Fiala and I walking with this third man, and he's holding whitey tighties. It was a very queer experience, and I use that word in its real sense. Very very strange. We get back, the baptism goes forward, we bomb a musical number, by the end we are laughing because it's so terrible, everyone else laughed too so ca va. The baptiser had to try about 29 times. Yac got a bloody nose halfway through too. It was a nightmare. But he was finally baptized!

Sunday: We had a triumphal day at church! We had seven amis at Sacrament!! It was incredible. Ric, Cy, Ru (her friend), Wen, An (her friend), Ant and Mic. Nothing less than a miracle. We also had 7 less actives there. There was so many people at church, it was incredible. A good way to send Elder Fiala off. Then we took pictures, said goodbye, and had crepes with the Mo family. A wonderful day. And en plus: R (a young guy, not Rud's dad) came to church, and accepted a baptismal date for May 20th. He is so ready! He told us "God has sent you to me!" What a man. That is what it's all about. Him, Cy, An, and Ra have dates. When I got here, we weren't even teaching them. Miracles are real!

I love you all! May the Lord's choicest blessings be upon you all.
Elder MacArthur

Chinese buffet on transfer day

Fr Gen is hilarious

M with ice cream, pizza, and the tv. What an American!

Kids' chart for who showers first.  LOL

I call it "six weeks to sumo"

The Talence crew

Breaking out the glasses