Monday, October 26, 2015


Yo yo everyone! My week was fantastic.

Events I experienced:
On Monday, I fixed my watch! Got a new battery. Exciting stuff. We also had dinner with Frère G. Let's just say he's weird. Very nice man, but weird. We passed by his house on Sunday and we got invited back for dinner on the next day haha. We were thinking dinner would be as bad as he was weird (in which case we would surely die) but it was actually really good! Apparently Elder Stutz had enough faith in him haha! So even if someone is a little creepy, don't judge them! You never know what they're capable of. We SPARCed Frère G a lot, he was very happy to see us! It felt good making a member's day.

On Tuesday, we went porting (tracting) in Montlegun! It was fun, although nobody talked to us. The longest conversation we had was with a young woman who was in the middle of eating. She talked to us for maybe 30 seconds. 30 seconds too much. She was too interested in us. Waaaayyyy too interested. Anywho, after that, we met our ami F! Elder Stutz and F played Magic for a little bit (which I am not a fan of) and then F told us that he wasn't interested in converting. So we wasted our time a little bit. And I had to sit through an hour of Magic the Gathering. My soul died that day. Then we passed a less-active named B. He still thinks he's Catholic. We straight-up told him that he is not Catholic. That was a little frustrating haha.

Wednesday we did a lot of pass backs. We taught our ami Ph, his parents are against him getting baptized. He's 50, but he still feels like he needs to obey his parent's opinions. He doesn't want to make his parents angry, which is understandable.

Thursday was awesome! Zone training, where I got to see Elder Hansen and Elder Connell. Our zone's super cool. I started an exchange with Elder Spencer in Carcassonne, we saw Soeur M and J. Really good day, I love how Elder Spencer teaches. He's no Elder Perry, but he'll be a great zone leader. En plus, he played a Rhapsody in Blue rendition by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. I died and went to heaven. I have not heard Jazz in soooooo long. Uhhhh. It was so great.

Friday was great! We had RCM with Frère V. He gave us lots of food. It was fabulous. Then we weekly planned. Then we taught J with S! Then we had English Class! We learned body parts and clothing vocabulary last week, and his week we did role plays to implement the things we learned. We had people explain injuries to the doctor, and we had them buy clothes at the store! It was a lot of fun. Then we taught C! We talked a lot about French movies and books, it excited him a lot to talk about his favorites! We're making real progress with C, he called us to ask how he should get an interview with the bishop. He really wants to come back, and we're helping him with his mental block.

Sunday was awesome! We had 4 amis at church! 2 Bulgarians randomly showed up who haven't been in years! One of them might be a member but we're not sure, because he speaks Bulgarian. Really cool day!

Lessons I learned:
Before we can help someone, we need to be their friend. Why would someone want to listen to you if they didn't feel that you were their friend? I have noticed this week that being friends to those we serve is critically important, because love IS the key. It is the ONLY key.

"The standard of truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done” - Joseph Smith, quoted by Elder Oaks in "Joseph, the Man and the Prophet" from the April 1996 general conference. When we have God on our side, we cannot fail; His truth will go forth no matter what!

(free) Advice I have:
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. - James 1:27. This scripture has become one of my favorites. When we do what Jesus would do, we are doing what is always worth doing, and there can be nothing as important as lifting up the feeble knees, visiting the sick, the afflicted, the sorrowful, the lonely, and sharing the love of Christ with them. Making them feel loved, making them smile, acting out of Christlike love. There can be nothing as worthwhile, nothing more needed in this world than that!

Yes yes yes that was my week. I love you all! Thank you so much for your support!
Love, Elder MacArthur

Monday, October 19, 2015


Bonjour everyone! Another superb week for me!

Events I experienced:
Tuesday was awesome. We did a weekly planning kind of thing, I taught Elder Stutz about the 'ville. We waited in our apartment for a long time, because the guy who was supposed to come fix out heater never showed up and we didn't want to leave right before he got here. So we were a bit stuck. We did get to pass a few people, and see S. Cool day! We're getting along super well, I'm really excited for this transfer!

Elder Stutz is from Idaho Falls, he's going to BYU after the mission, he's in his 10th transfer, has a girl back home! Total nerd, and he's legit. He loves LOTR so yeah I couldn't be happier. We be quotin' on a daily. Oh man it's the best.

Wednesday! We saw our ami R! We engaged her for baptism! She's so prepared. Soooo prepared. We taught her the plan of salvation, and it went really well. After that, we saw the F-m family. They are awesome. Then we did porting. It was a good day.

Thursday was pretty awesome again. We saw our ami Abd with his daughter R and we shared Matt. 6:19-21 (my ponderize scripture!!) which they loved. We're not sure how to progress with them, we'll invite them to church and go from there. Then we saw J, to see if she was still mad with us. But she apologized! She said she missed us a lot, haha. Of course. The McRib is back!

Friday! Ce n'est pas le karaté, mais un cas raté! Haha we had ward council; us and Frère V were joking around the whole time. We had beaucoup de fun, V made some pretty fun puns.

Saturday was good! We finally found the bus transportation office! Yay! And, 3 lessons en plus! I got to wear my big trench coat. It was sweet. I felt like a detective or something.

Sunday was awesome too! We did some cool pass backs and saw an old ami A. She's super cool.

Lessons I learned:
"Pray about and ponder the scriptures. The scriptures open the window to revelation." - Preach My Gospel, p. 95. So true! So simple but so true. The scriptures are the best places to search for personal revelation through the Holy Ghost.

Full-time missionaries are to help the ward implement their missionary plan. We are the slaves. We are not in charge! The members, together as a ward, are responsible for the missionary vision. The full-time missionaries are to help the ward execute the plan, as best we can. Often, missionaries feel that they are in charge of the work. It is the Lord's work, and He has given the responsibility to create plans to the wards. The full-time missionaries must be the "slaves," not the masterminds! I think that many members of the church have a hard time understanding this.

(free) Advice I have:
"When something is over and done with, when it has been repented of as fully as it can be repented of, when life has moved on as it should and a lot of other wonderfully good things have happened since then, it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died trying to heal. Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change and improve. Is that faith? Yes! Is that hope? Yes! Is that charity? Yes! Above all, it is charity, the pure love of Christ." - Jeffrey R. Holland, "Remember Lot's Wife".  AHHHHH HE IS PERFECTLY TRUE

"Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has treat things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the 'high priest of good things to come.'" - Jeffrey R. Holland, "Remember Lot's Wife". Read this talk, if you have not yet. Do it.

I love you all! God bless!
Love, Elder MacArthur

Me and Elder Stutz in our ward mission leader's clothes

Monday, October 12, 2015


Bonjour everybody! I had a KILLER week! So here it is.

Events I experienced:

Monday! Pday! Haircut!

Tuesday! An exchange with my district leader, Elder Bryce. Super awesome guy! Love him to death.

Wednesday! Two hour layover in Narbonne. Pizza. Mmm. Porting. Lots of it. Street lessons! Pretty good stuff.

Thursday! Elder Hansen's legality in Beziers! Then we home taught the T family with Bishop Jacas. And bible prophecies! 2 Kings 19:30; Luke 10:2; 2 Néphi 33:10; D&C 75:24; Moses 5:31. We decided that I would be staying, and receiving an old missionary.

Friday! TRANSFER CALLS. I am staying to do a 4th transfer in Carcassonne. I will have served at least a fourth of my mission in Carc by the time I leave haha. I am receiving Elder Stutz, who is coming from Vitrolles. He is awesome, I have met him before!

Saturday! We had a good-bye lunch with Frere V and S! Asian buffet! Mm. Then we cleaned the chapel. We have cleaning assignments. Oh well. Service! Yay! Then we contacted and packed. Well, I didn't pack. Ohhhh yeah, and our only steady ami J yelled at us a bunch today and dropped us, the 3rd or 4 time for me. So yeah. Even if she does want to see us again, I'm not sure she's willing to change, so I'm not sure if we'll even be able to see her. It's rough. I was pretty down today, with Elder Hansen leaving and Josette dropping us and everything. I always get über nostalgic when comps leave. Which has been every transfer call so far for me!

Sunday! Cried. A good amount. Had a sister moment haha. Ok, had LOTS of sister moments. I really grew to love Elder Hansen. It's hard to say goodbye, but he's still in the zone, so I'll see him at least! Yeah. Crazy. 3 transfers over. By the end of the next one, I'll be 1/4th done!! WHAT. I still feel like a bleu haha.

Monday, new comp! Elder Stutz! Super cool! So excited! He loves LOTR so I'm in love.

Lessons I learned:
I got pretty down this week, with everything that's been going on. I had such high hopes for Carcassonne when I arrived, and 4.5 months later, sometimes I feel like we have nothing going for us. Sometimes I forget all the wonderful miracles I have seen, all the blessings that the Lord has given me. No, maybe we don't have many progressing investigators, maybe I have not baptized anyone yet, but the Lord has blessed me a TON. When we forget Him, we forget the whole purpose! I started to feel sorry for myself, I started to feel sad. But happiness is a choice, and it's a lot easier choice when we remember Him and count our blessings. So please. Count your blessings! Be grateful, and most of all, be happy! That's what the Lord wants for us, we are that we "might have joy."

From my boy Jeffrey R: "Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles.
Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?

"You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?

“When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions.” (“Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 14–15). I cried as I read this out loud in a rendezvous this week. Sobbing like a baby. Incredible stuff. When we are rejected, we are standing with the Savior! What more can I say?

Püppenhaus: doll house in German. Hahahahaha!

(free) Advice I have:
"You are here on earth for a divine purpose. It is not to be endlessly entertained or to be constantly in full pursuit of pleasure. You are here to be tried, to prove yourself so that you can receive the additional blessings God has for you. The tempering effect of patience is required. Some blessings will be delivered here in this life; others will come beyond the veil. The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not.

"When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you." -Richard G. Scott  This is so true! I can't explain this any better than it has already been explained.

"On the example of the Savior himself and his call to his Apostles, and with the need for peace and comfort ringing in our ears, I ask you to be a healer, be a helper, be someone who joins in the work of Christ in lifting burdens, in making the load lighter, in making things better. As children, when we had a bump or a bruise, didn’t we say to Mom or Dad, “Make it better”? Well, lots of people on your right hand and on your left are carrying bumps and bruises that they hope will be healed and made whole. Someone you know is carrying a spiritual or physical or emotional burden of some sort, or some other affliction drawn from life’s catalog of a thousand kinds of sorrow. In the spirit of Christ’s first invitation to his twelve Apostles, jump into this work. Help people. Heal old wounds and try to make things better." -Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Uchtdorf talked about how we over-complicate our discipleship in this last general conference. If we go around "doing good," the Lord will be with us, because we will be walking in the footsteps of Jesus.

I love you all! Really! So much. Onward and upward!

Love, Elder MacArthur

Elder Hansen & Ben

Ben & Elder Stutz!

Monday, October 5, 2015


Bonjour everybody! I had a great week this week! It was legendary.

Events I experienced:
Monday was awesome. We had p-day as usual. And then our water heater broke! And our carbon monoxide detector went off! So we called the water heater fixer uppers, and they came, said it was busted, and it was leaking CO when turned on. So they turned it off, and they will replace it asap. So for the next week or so, cold showers! No hot water! I empathize with missionaries who had to serve whilst living in less-than-elegant circumstances. Then we went to the church for FHE! Only 2 people showed, S and a less-active named St!! WHO I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONTACT FOR NEARLY 4 MONTHS! We sent out the FHE text as usual, and I guess he finally decided to come this time! He is really cool, very African. Very believing, very philosophical. Direct quote from him: "God eats love, he cooks it, it is His happy meal." Hahaha such a cool guy. We invited him to come to general conference and he accepted! He told us the Spirit had been telling him to FHE today! He also said it told him not to go to church since May, so we have our work cut out for us there, but still! COOL!

Tuesday was sweet! We did some service for the B family, and had lunch with their neighbor Mar. It was lots of fun! We shared the parable of the Good Samaritan. Elder Hansen mentioned that his brother is getting married this weekend, and Frère B just said, "he's losing his soul, then..." And I mentioned my sister is getting married soon, so I asked, "is my sister losing her soul too?" And Frère B responded, "no, she gains one!" Haha we laughed a lot at that. Sister B was less amused hahaha. After that, we taught an ami named Fra at the church. He's very very nice, but I'm not sure he gets the point of our discussions. We've talked about baptism, the temple, and the purpose of our life on Earth with Fra, but we need to emphasize our purpose as missionaries again I suppose. After that, we had some sweet contacting, gave out BEAUCOUP de pass-along cards, and had dinner with the bishop's family. They are really cool and cook VERY well so it's always a good time chez la famille Jacas.

Wednesday was district meeting! I was pretty sad because I have a real possibility of leaving after this transfer, so it might be the last time I see lots of those missionaries in a while! After district meeting, we had a finding activity here in Carcassonne! We got lots of numbers and rendezvous fixed, it was an awesome miracle! After that, me and Elder Shaw started an exchange. We taught a new ami, Phi, and we did a lot of contacting! It was an awesome day. (I cried as we sung Angels We Have Heard On High at the end of DM. Our mission song is the best, it's even better in French. Elder Perry, my favorite missionary I've ever met, was standing next to me and he wasn't singing! I looked over to find out why, and it was because he was crying too. Ahh the spirit was so strong, we were all having a sister moment haha.)

Thursday was awesome too! We had 3 lessons, and gave more service so that's always fun! We also went to S's birthday party which was really fun. Pizza always helps. I love Elder Shaw, so it was really fun to get to do a long exchange!

Friday was tranquille. We did lots of boring stuff kinda, like area book stuff, our weekly missionary/ Ward mission leader meeting, cleaning out old phone contacts because our phone memory is filling up, weekly planning, iPad audits, comp inventory. We did get to have English class and a rendezvous with Phi, so that was awesome! It feels like we did nothing, but we really did haha. Any day without contacting or porting feels like we did nothing haha.

Saturday! We had a lesson! But not really! Our ami was way drunk! So we left! And then General Conference! It was awesome! So awesome! All good talks! So cool! We are so fortunate to have living prophets who speak to us!

Sunday was awesome as well. We studied, had meals, had a lesson with our potential ami Abd's family, and watched general conference. Abd is super nice! We keep on forgetting to ask him his last name haha, so he only name I have for him is his prénom. He's Muslim, so our views differ a little, but he's really open and super nice. We're still trying to work with him and get him interested in taking the lessons, but he likes the Bible so we share Bible stories with him. We just met his family today, his wife and daughter are very nice too! His daughter is a little too nice. And she is coming to English class now. Soooooo we'll see how that goes. On a happier note, general conference was awesome! SO AWESOME! I highly recommend it.

Lessons I learned:

Notes from President Uchdorf's first talk!
-sometimes as spiritual patients of the Savior, we are not very patient
-often we ignore reliable truth and seek to do it our way
-how do we know if we are on the right spiritual path? ask questions!
-is my experience in the Church blessing me? If so, why deviate from what we know to be true?!
Why does the Church work for some, but not for others? Do we:
-over-complicate our complicate our discipleship?
-we need to focus on the weightier matters "Living the Gospel does not need to be complicated!"
-focus on the fundamentals, and "the gospel will work better for you"
-start where you are, God will work with you regardless of what state you are in!
-look at your life through Heaven's eyes! "Exaltation is our goal, discipleship is our journey."
-by simple means, we can be taken from where we are now to the Celestial kingdom
-we can make the gospel of Jesus Christ work for us!

(free) Advice I have:
"No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. He is an unchangeable being; the same yesterday, the same today, and He will be the same throughout the eternal ages to come. We have found that God. We have made Him our friend, by obeying His Gospel; and He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments.” -George Q. Cannon

Luke 4: 61-62
And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Once we have covenanted to follow Jesus and build His kingdom, we cannot look back! We cannot leave this work unfinished! The Kingdom of God, or nothing.

Thanks everybody! I love you all! The Church is true and Jesus Christ is at the head of it.
Love, Elder MacArthur

Elder Hansen, St & Ben at church

Elder Hansen & Ben watch General Conference

Ben & Zone Leaders Elders Perry & Shaw

District Meeting in Carcassonne

Ben post-haircut