Monday, June 29, 2015


Bonjour tout le monde!

Experiences I had:
I went on an exchange with elder Olsen on Tuesday, we went to Montpelier! A big town, very beautiful and generally awesome. We had a really cool lesson with a part member family, Frère C. (Peruvian) is less-active but has shared the gospel with his wife M. (Czech) and their children because they have started asking questions! awesome stuff.

Elder Garside and I did service this week for Frère N., a man in the ward who needed to remove a lot of bricks from his yard. So remove them we did! It was a lot of fun, we had help from Frère V. who, at 82, has more energy than I do.

J., our ami with a July 18 baptism date, knows a song I grew up singing whilst roaming the cavernous halls of Charlemagne elementary. "Lundi matin, le roi, la reine et le p'tit prince sont venus chez moi pour me serrer la pince, mais comme j'étais parti, le petit prince a dit, 'puisque c'est comme ca nous reviendrons mardi'." A great song! That was fun to sing with her. And she's just really awesome too, so tant mieux pour moi!

We taught a friend named P. of a member named S., who is a great member missionary. I gave him a Livre de Mormon, my first personally-placed LDM! Good feeling.

President Monson in a 1975 October Gen Conf address gave an off-the-cuff talk to a little girl in the balcony of the tabernacle in Salt Lake City, because the Holy Ghost told him to. In 2007, President Monson shared that in 1993, he sealed that same girl (now grown-up) in a temple of God. How cool is that! I thought a lot about prophets this week and how amazing their lives must be.

Last thing. the young adults program in France is called Jeunes Adultes, or JA, pronounced "jeeeee-ah." the first time I heard this I thought they were talking about Jihad. So that confused me.

Things I remarked:
Miracles exist! if we want to see miracles in our lives and in the lives of others, we need to have faith that they can happen, That they WILL happen if we pray for them and live worthy to receive them.

Also, we are so blessed. People living in the good 'ole USA are so blessed. we have so many wonderful physical blessings and Latter-day Saints have been given an exorbitant amount of spiritual blessings on top of that. It's 103° F right now. I have never been more grateful for things like short sleeves, ice, the wind, and shade.

Lastly, the power of prayer is real. Honest, consistent prayer that moves us to live righteously and act as Jesus would changes lives. I know this because I have seen it at work in Carcassonne. I have seen it in my own life as well. If you think prayer can't help you, you are so wrong! Try it out, and I promise, with honesty and consistency it will change your very nature.

Lessons I learned:
We need to be 100 percent committed, 100 percent of the time. If we want to be happy we need to do our best work in every facet of our lives. Use all of the faculties you have been blessed with to do as much as you conceivably can. Chiefly, this includes a constant effort to become better people every day, every hour, every minute. Is it hard? Yes. Is it worth it, even imperative? YES.

(free) Advice I have:
"Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; It is not hopeless; It is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of the Almighty God, and it is to change the world." - Jeffrey R. Holland

The gospel of Jesus Christ gives the maximum who, what, where, when, why, and how to our lives. We should make copious efforts to give that to everybody!

à plus! je vous aime beaucoup.
Love, Elder MacArthur

Only 1 picture from the camera this week. Again last p-day we had zero time for la cité (the cool castle), But today is the plan! This is of the center street in Carcassonne.

Somer Joe this is for you. Apparently crêpe parties are a thing in France.

Monday, June 22, 2015

6-15 à 6-21

Bonjour à tous!!

Things I experienced:
I saw a pub (advertisement) for a jazz festival in a town called Sete in July with Roy Hargrove, Snarky Puppy and Avishai Cohen. That was cool because I love jazz and all of those artists specifically. I do miss music quite a bit. While in a grocery store called Monoprix, I heard a Get Lucky remake over the radio and I usually am not a fan of remixes especially to great songs. But this one I actually liked! I thought of my cousin David Bradford as it played haha.

While we were at a member's house, their little girl named Sarah gave me a fleur and said "for your mom"! So cute!!

We walked home one day and saw an old lady and stopped to share our umbrellas with her. As we walked, some people nearby saw us and had big smiles as they observed our small act of kindness. Random people on the street in France seldom smile, so it's always a big victory to get  strangers to smile at you.

As missionaries, one of the things we do a lot of is "contacting." We go to people on the street and share messages of Jesus Christ and testify of His gospel and His love for us. One of our methods for finding people to teach is Project Elijah, something our mission president, President Roney, was inspired to bring to the mission. (He and his family leave on July 1st, so sad! We love the Roneys.) We talk about the family and ask people about their family history. People love family history in France so it's a great way to meet people. I'm grateful that my mom set such a good example for me and my family of the importance of family history work. Thanks for doing that, Mom. I'm sorry I never put enough effort into family history but I promise to be better from now on.

Our zone conference in Aix-en-Provence was fabulous. It was our last time seeing the Roneys.  There were about 80 missionaries there, out of the 200 in the mission. We heard messages from President and Sister Roney, Sister Povar our mission nurse, and the Assistants to the President, Elders Nadauld and Higham. They are amazing missionaries. We sang our mission hymn for what might be the last time. It's verses 1 2 and 5 of "Angels we have heard on high," in French of course, and it's always a great feeling to sing that alongside lots of other fellow elders and sisters. Zone conference was a great inspiration, motivation, and a great opportunity to talk with other missionaries and see friends.

Our dirigeant missionaire de paroisse, or DMP, is the "ward mission leader" who works a lot with us missionaries to set up appointments with amis de l'eglise (investigators), teach lessons with us, and feed us! Our DMP is Frère Vital, a former chef and a karate master! He loves being called Jackie Chan. He owns a karate dojo and he is super great, basically. Plus he makes super good nems, or eggrolls. He is always willing to serve us and we love him so much.

Mon collegue, Elder Garside, told me a story I must share. He and his companion were teaching this young Romanian woman one time...and she confessed her love for him. She said she wanted him to be the father of her child, she wanted to wait to marry him after his was really awkward. And she totally ignored his companion Elder Lichte the entire time as well! That story made me laugh for a good 30 minutes.

Things I remarked:
There was a music festival in Carcassonne yesterday. In a big town square, loud speakers, and we saw 6 people there. You know it's bad when the DJs are the only ones dancing. I can't ever escape "Turn Down For What," not even in France.

Another note: Chocolate is really cheap in France. You can get lots of it for very little money. I bought five bars for 1€ 30 centimes and it was super tasty. So yeah. Be jealous.

Lessons I learned:
Wickedness never was happiness. (Alma 41:10) We might think that doing the wrong thing will make us happy, but it never will. Also: "They do not love that do not show their love." -Shakespeare. Very true. And finally: Being like the Savior, not matter how difficult, will always be worth it. We will always win when we try to be like Jesus. It's simple to understand, hard to accomplish, but this is always true.

(Free) Advice I have:
"God is the Gardner" by Hugh B. Brown and "Safety for the Soul" by Jeffrey R. Holland These two talks are amazing and have taught me lots and lots and lots. Highest recommendations possible on these talks.

"Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."
-Elder Holland

I love all of you! Remember that no matter what, God loves you all too. Thanks for listening and emailing me! À la prochaine!

Elder MacArthur
For Mom

Ben and Elder Garside with DMP "Frere Jackie Chan"

Sweet ride

Mission inspirational materials

More mission inspirational materials

Monday, June 15, 2015


Hello everybody!

It is my first preparation day here in Carcassonne. I was in Lyon for q few days for training, and now I am here in my first area. Carcassonne is amazing! The ward here is small but they try.

My French is slower than I would like but I can understand everybody just fine! I wish I had given more French discussions in the MTC though.

We walk a lot here, sometimes biking I've heard.

We have a zone conference from Wednesday to Friday this week so that should be fun. It will be the last conference for President and Sister Roney, unfortunately. But I'm still excited for it! It will be held in Aix-en-Provence, towards the east I believe. I am about an hour south-east of Toulouse here in Carcassonne.

I'm lucky to have a great father in Elder Garside. (for missionaries, their father is their trainer) we speak a lot of French and we have 5 progressing amis de l'eglise (investigators) with lots of other amis and LARCS (less-actives and recent converts) we hope to have 4 new engages (I can't find accents on this computer) between our amis J, A, and the P family.  Elder Garside is a great trainer and a very good French speaker.

AND ALL THE FRENCH PEOPLE CALL ME GENERAL MACARTHUR WHAT THE HECK. They all do the dorky salute and call me le general.

"The View from the Afternoon".  The name of one of my favorite songs and also a caption for one of the many apartment views we have. Our place is very nice. Our apt is huge by the way. A dinner room, kitchen, bathroom, our bedroom, and another room with a couch and closet space. I have a walk-in closet all to myself! Lots of pantry space, most importantly. Windows and the shutters open and close with the push of a button. We have a small balcony! So blessed.

So it turns out missionaries from USA going out of USA don't keep the iPads nor do they buy them. For right now, we use them for free and return them after the mission. That might change. Mine is brand new since the missionaries just got them so that's lucky.

Since pics are worth 1000 words, I'll save some time and send these:

Here are my teachers from the MTC, Brother Gardner and Sister Jensen, both on the far right of each rows.

This is a bathroom in Charles de Gaule aeroport in Paris. A really nice bathroom.

Here is my travel group to Lyon!

Greeted at Lyon airport by President & Sister Roney

Here is a selfie I took in Lyon while we were contacting! We gave them a liver de Mormon and the number for local missionaries and they said they would read and pray about it! So cool!

Pain au chocolat for breakfast. Mmmmmm

Cool Lyonnaise art!

Apartment view & kitchen

Sorry the emails are so piecemeal. If that’s a word anymore. For p-day we're going to this huge castle in Carcassonne, I'll have to send pictures next week but it looks incredible. Go Google "castle carcassonne france". It's very, very cool.

Monday, June 8, 2015

MTC Week 2

Okay so much to write again but here we go!

Saturday: We learned how to begin teaching, techniques to start conversations and lessons. Elder Kautai's mother passed away. Please pray for him. He is incredibly strong and he remains happy, somehow. He amazes me. And Jaya sent me cupcakes! Shout out to her for being the best ever.

Sunday: Church! Elder Langi came out of the bathroom with tp hanging from his [rear] so that was a laugh. I know Elder Teh (in my branch) and Brother Kopischke (a teacher) whose dads are members of the seventy! Very cool. We had a devotional from Janice Kapp Perry, who wrote most of the primary songs we love! Her husband sneak-attacked her during her address by stealing a smooch and the whole audience roared with applause. 3 minute standing ovation! Maybe more! All her husband did was fist-pump and smile after that! Very funny. I also watched the "Character of Christ," an MTC devotional given 3 years ago by Elder Bednar. Life-changing. Please watch it. That is my one point of advice for this week. It should be compulsory for everyone, honestly.

Monday: I met Chris Shakespeare's brother whilst waiting for Elder Kautai at his dentist appointment in American Fork! Very cool. We taught our first real investigator, S. She is a very strong Christian woman who has grown to love the Book of Mormon since we have been visiting with her. Even Elder L. surprised us all when he bore his testimony during the lesson and cried! It showed me that he really does love this gospel even if he doesn't obey the rules. I need to be better at loving him I think. Our missionary purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. Our purpose > Bringing the spirit > companionship unity > LOVE > turning outwards > Effort > priorities. I am glad my priorities are in the right place here.

Tuesday: our other investigators Brenda and Adam (Sister Jensen and Brother Gardner) accepted to be baptized! Very good experiences there.

Wednesday: One new elder, and for me, my new companion Elder Xiong! He is an awesome missionary and I am happy to be with him. We also met the 4 new sisters in our branch. Sisters Jones and Lin did an excellent job at greeting them, they are both way better missionaries than I am and I'm grateful for their example. Another great lesson with S. Very rewarding and spiritual. Her faith is growing and I love her very much for that.

Thursday: In-field training at the MTC. 8-5:30 classes! Long day but very informative, I learned so much and I hope it sticks. Another lesson with S, she told us in response to our questions that if she learns more and can believe our message is the truth, through the Holy Spirit, then she will certainly join the church! And she finally prayed with us so we are very excited.

Today is Friday and the day has just started so that's all that happened! Well not really but that's all I have time to write about! Only 3 more days, then I am in Lyon. I met some elders going to Lyon and they all seem awesome so maybe we'll be future comps! 

Okay love you all!

Elder MacArthur

At the MTC looking toward the Provo temple.

Left to right, top row: Sisters Chua, Lam, Unga, Siva, Saili, Lin, Jones, Elder Moncayp
Bottom row: Elders Sainteran, Ela, Masima, Kautai, me, and Elder Lau

At the Provo temple

Elder Lau,Ben & Elder Nguwa

Ben & Elders Nguwa, Massima & Lau

Ben & Elder Xiong (companion for week 2)

Hermana Nicholls, Ben & Jaya Farrer

MTC dorm room