Experiences I had:
Monday: La Cité and the crazy lady who thought she could read people's minds through vibrations. She was insane. She told elder Garside that he didn't have peace in his life, and we were standing there like "ummm excuse me?" She said "I can feel that you're always searching for more answers and you aren't content with the knowledge God has given you!" She turned to me and said "but HE is content! He isn't searching for anything! He has peace!" Yeah so we politely disagreed, left her a pass-along card and left. We also saw the castle! Very very cool. Part of the architecture is Roman, because at/near its genesis, the castle was controlled by the Roman Empire, and many reparations were done Roman Style. I took a lot of cool pictures. It's the castle that Beauty and the Beast was modeled after so yeah it's pretty cool.
Wednesday brought an insane miracle.
Thursday was district meeting! Fun stuff. That's about it.
Friday, transfer calls! I am staying in Carcassonne and Elder Garside is going to Bordeaux to be a ZL. Haha I have made a lot of ZL jokes, pretending that he's really prideful about it even though he isn't. I've heard Bordeaux is the most beautiful ville in France so he's lucky! Frère V. made us a great lunch as always for our ward missionary council meeting and piled us up with leftovers and extra food to take home. We actually had to throw away some curry because our fridge was so full. He might be crazy but he has a heart of gold.
Saturday was just depressing as I realized I am gonna miss Elder Garside a lot. We saw O. and A. and J. as well. O. is an ami from Britain who is really, really nice and has mega potential. He lives with his girlfriend M. and their 5 year old son J. A very very nice family! A. said we could set up a RDV for this next week so hopefully she doesn't drop us again! She has mega potential too.
Sunday we talked with a less-active named Soeur M. and our ami J. Soeur M. talked about how they found the "13th crystal skull" in Carcassonne, like the thing from the last Indiana Jones movie, as if it was real. She's a little crazy. Our ami J. was just as funny, she remarked at my very short haircut (because I was too cheap to pay for a real one and I know nothing about haircutting) by saying, "You had longer hair! You looked better with longer hair." She meant it well but even so hahaha! She also told me and Elder Garside "It's good that the missionaries are so handsome, it would be hard to talk to weird ugly people all the time." Haha always a good time with J.
Today we went to Montpellier where I met my new companion, Elder Bleak (pronounced 'Blake') which was a relief because he is "SO SICK" as Elder Garside described him. He was born in Utah, moved to Boston a few years ago, loves sailing, speaks Chinese, French and English, and is just basically a saint. I definitely look forward to this next transfer!
p.s. Shout out to Elder "Uncle Zach" Taylor on his call to serve in the Paris mission! I have some great friends in that mission plus it's France so I am very excited for him!
Things I remarked:
A strong wall, overtime, will erode and become weak despite originally being strong. The castle in Carcassonne has lasted this long because it has been fortified, rebuilt, strengthened and fortified again. We need to rebuild our spiritual defenses constantly to stay safe!
Fear is a lack of faith. No faith without hope. I worry about J., about being in charge of Carcassonne, etc. But there is always hope. So I must have faith that everyting will be okay.
Faithful hard work won't fix all problems, but it will fix many of them. Elder Bleak and I won't be able to fix all the problems in Carcassonne and baptize everybody, but with enough faithful hard work we will see miracles and we will accomplish much with the Lord's help. Your life won't be perfect because of your personal efforts but it can get pretty close.
Relationships are forever. Love everyone in his life, love everyone you meet, because you will know them for an eternity. I try to love everyone I meet because our friendship will last forever. Also, why not love everybody? Doesn't that sound like the best thing ever, to love EVERYBODY?! Hard for sure, but awesome!
Lessons I learned:
Actively living the gospel and pressing forward prevents us from growing complacent. If we are content to be where we are, we are not experiencing growth!
Focus is really hard, but it is the most important factor to success. Focus is the battery that drives our progress forward! Without that focused effort, we won't get very far.
"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." -Elder Holland
Don't worry about everything. Worry about doing your best, and let the Lord help you with the rest. Worry about doing all that you can, and the rest will work itself out.
(free) Advice I have:
"Receive the Holy Ghost" by David A. Bednar
"An High Priest of Good Things To Come" by Jeffrey R. Holland
"Fill your minds with truth. Fill your hearts with love. Fill your lives with service." -Thomas S. Monson
I love you all! The gospel is great. Fantastic! Perfect, really. Thanks for all your support and encouragement! À plus et bonne chance!
Love, Elder MacArthur
Comments made by Ben in response to Kathy: The Longs! I miss the Longs. they should have stayed in Eugene. Yeah it's hot. We don't carry water, it would get warm way too quickly. But we survive. And of course I'm cheerful, this is the best mission in the world!!! And as a missionary, if you're anything less than cheerful it doesn't work :) Thanks for constantly boosting my ego haha. I'm alright, but there are much better missionaries out here than me.
|Fireworks on Bastille Day with La Cite Carcassonne in the background|
|More Bastille Day celebration|
|Me as I said goodbye to my père :(|
|New companion Elder Bleak!|
|Upper gare Carcassonne|