Monday, November 30, 2015


Hello everyone! I had a stressful yet rewarding week this week. Here it is!

Events I experienced:
Monday was awesome! Hung out in the Toulouse gare, met my new companion Elder Brill. His comp, Elder Kimble, is switching with me, he's going to Carcassonne. We got back to Brive, dropped off my stuff, then went to FHE at our DMP's house. It went really well, we taught out progressing ami Nes!

Tuesday, we engaged our ami Nes to be baptized! He has almost no soucis, the only problem is that he might move to Tulle, a village 40 minutes away from Brive. Still in our sector, but it would be less convenient. He already respects the word of wisdom, and lots of other commandments! He came to church last week and he loved it, I really hope he's ready. We're seeing him about 5 times a week, since he doesn't work, so I bet he'll be ready by the end. He recognizes the spirit very well, he's super super cool. To describe him: a buff guy from Cameroon, kinda short, very happy. Very smart too!

Wednesday, we taught Nes again. We also saw Mil, a recent convert. And Ward council. That's about it, other than our preparations to move on Thursday.

Thursday! We moved. That's it. Our apartment is super nice!! Well, problems are kinda big in the bathroom, but....yeah. No electricity or gas yet, so we're bumming it out in the old one until we get heat. We also found out that our engagé, Nes, has to move to Figeac, an hour away. If we can't get him to church, we can't baptize him...we are sad about that.

Friday, more of the same. We continued to move in, set things up, clean. Nothing super there. We got more texts from this one perverted investigator (long since dropped) who keeps texting us filth. Haha we need to get the office to block his number...

Saturday was more of the same.

Sunday was fun, we had dinner with the C family! Their shy 14 year old daughter "was staring at me the entire time with gooogly eyes and a weird smile," according to Elder Brill haha. I'll make sure to talk to her less the next time. Yeah now that I think about it she blushed every time I talked to her. Hmmmmm dang it better stay away.

Lessons I learned:
The success we have is always a group effort. I might have just walked into a baptism here, it will not be because of my efforts alone! I have everyone to thank for all my success I ever have in life. As Abraham Lincoln said, "All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother." This is very true! All of our efforts are collective, because nobody lives in a vacuum.

Abraham 3:25 says: "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." I really like this scripture! It teaches us the importance of obedience even in trying times.

Also, my ponderize scripture for this upcoming week: Mark 10:27 says "And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." I'm trying to make this my motto for this next week, having faith and relying on Him to get me though, because I'm going to need it! I have neglected His help recently, and I have suffered the consequences. Sad to say, but true. Don't ever think you can skip the fundamentals, get lazy, and rely on yourself. Nothing more stupid was ever done by anyone anywhere.

(free) Advice I have:
My angel mother suggested this talk to me: "Live in Thanksgiving Daily," by Joseph B. Wirthlin from the Sept. 2001 Ensign! It is an excellent talk.

Thanks! I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Me, dressed for bed! No heat hahahha

Me and Nes at a Chinese buffet,Tan Phat!

Me and Elder Brill!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Bonjour everyone! I had a wonderful week. It was my last week in Carcassonne. It was sad to leave, but I am already loving Brive-la-Gaillarde! Here's what the last week in Carca was like.

Events I experienced:
Monday was awesome! We made a pie for a less active named San, we took it over to her house to congratulate her and her boyfriend Jer on their engagement. Elder Stutz got a haircut! That's about it.

Tuesday was good. We gave service at the Bo's! We helped Frere Bo move his food storage up into the attic. There were spiders. Uggggg. Then we helped their neighbor, Mar, fix her mother's bed that broke. After that, we saw J and read the Book of Mormon together! It went very well. Then we saw an old ami named Ric. He is an old English guy, and he's really cool! It's fun to be able to teach in English haha. He talked a lot about Creationism and Darwinism, it got pretty tangential but we brought it back and invited him to read his Book of Mormon!

On Wednesday, we had a rendezvous with J, with Frère V. It went well, we shared the parable of the laborers. She is starting to understand how despite our different circumstances, life is very very very fair! It's really a good deal for all of us. Then, we bought a cactus for J, because I might be leaving this week. Transfers in 2 days. Then we had a rendezvous with a man who was, to quote Harry Potter, "nutty as squirrel poo." I won't even mention any details, not worth it. Nice guy though!

Thursday, we saw T and B Hy. Tony is a Protestant preacher. We didn't know this going in...rather, we didn't realize what that meant. It was interesting. In the end, he didn't want to pray about the Book of Mormon. So we left! As we left, we told him we were going to teach his friend Ric, and that stung him a bit I think.

Friday, we got transfer calls! Elder Stutz is staying, and I am going to Brive-la-Gaillarde! Another small town, in the Bordeaux stake! I'll be serving with Elder Brill. I also got bised by J and Oc. Oc is 18. Hahaha oh well, she wasn't flirting at least. Elder Stutz told me my face was a melange of petrified, horrified, and grief-stricken.

Saturday was awesome! We said some goodbyes, and taught J and then Da at his music shop! Me and Elder Stutz had an exchange review, it was really awesome. I've learned a lot this transfer!

Sunday was great. Church, goodbyes, then dinner with the Jac family. And we taught 20 lessons this week! Super good way to leave Carcassonne, on top!

Lessons I learned:
My ponderize scripture for this week was Matthew 6:33. It says: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Heavenly Father will take care of everything else if we seek to do His will first.

(free) Advice I have:
Learn from the situations you experience every day! We are always put in situations that will give us the best learning opportunities possible. We always have things to learn, no matter what! Taking time to reflect and observe the world around us will help us learn what we haven't seen before. We are here to learn, so let's not waste any time learning as much as we can. The glory of God is intelligence!

I have been so blessed to spend 4 transfers in Carcassonne! And now I'm ready to leave and help my brothers and sisters at Brive. I have been told that Brive has a great ward. I'm very excited for all the new experiences and challenges that await me.

Thanks for all your love and support! You're all awesome!
Love, Elder MacArthur

Monday, November 16, 2015


Bonjour everyone! I had an interesting but wonderful week. Here's what happened:

Events I experienced:
Monday was a little painful. I wore some French shoes that I picked out of a dead pile, and they...are not comfy. Also, I shipped a package back to the US and it was expensive. That hurt most of all. But other than that it was a wonderful p-day. (And apparently the stuff broke. Great.)

Tuesday was great! We had 3 lessons, 2 new Amis, and we gave out a book of Mormon! We helped these people with their genealogy, and I had an interesting conversation with the wife of the man doing the family history stuff. She talked to me about contraception for some reason haha. She said her husband came from a family of 10 kids and I got the explanation as to why..."Back then, there was no radio, no tv, no movies, Internet. You got up early, went to bed early, and...voilà!" Good to know, lady.

Wednesday was awesome! We had district meeting, and then Elder Hoopes had an exchange in Carcassonne. We talked the whole day in a Sean Connery voice haha. It was glorious! All we had to do was a bunch of passes but it was still really awesome and fun!

Friday was great. We had a great lesson with our ami Seb, he's really awesome. Unfortunately, he told us today that he didn't want to join a church, but he said he would come to church next week. Hopefully the spirit works on him and he changes his mind! We spent a good bit of time searching for halal candy for a Muslim friend. Apparently he eats chocolate though, so we ended up buying him some chocolate. Not sure if regular chocolate is strictly halal, but anywho, as we stopped by an epicerie, we found a guy who knew our ward mission leader! And his friend used to have a Book of Mormon but lost it when he moved from Montpellier. So we were able to give him a book and our card! It was a cool miracle.

Saturday started off on a blue note. Due to a terrorist attack in Paris, we were told we were to stay in the entire day! A little later, we received clearance to leave. But the areas in the south-east of France (us, apparently) have a 6:00 curfew, same as the Marseille Elders. So that's gonna be weird, having to go home once the sun sets.

Sunday! It was awesome. I gave a talk on agency, it went pretty well. I also got major compliments on my pink cravate. It is a belle cravate I must say.  We had a rendezvous with our ami Iri! It went well, she got a little caught up on 2 Néphi 2, but we helped her understand the Book of Mormon a lot better. We also asked some youths for directions, and ended up giving a street lesson! It was pretty cool.

Lessons I learned:
My ponderize scripture for this week comes from Moroni 8:16 and 21: "Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear...I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me." My first mission president's wife, Sister Roney, talked a lot about having "holy boldness." These scriptures exemplify that attitude. I love the axiom "perfect love casteth out all fear," it is so true! Nothing but the pure love of Jesus Christ can expel fear of man and the wiles of the devil.

Embrasser and embraser. The first verb means to kiss. The second means to set on fire. Be careful! Haha that's just a fun little tidbit for ya.

(free) Advice I have:
"Let the scriptures be your guide, and you will never find yourself traveling the road to nowhere." ~Thomas S. Monson. Very simple yet profound advice from President Monson!

"Pray like it all depends on the Lord, and work like it all depends on you!" ~ Gordon B. Hinckley More wonderful advice from a former prophet. Whenever I pray more, I can see that my work as a missionary improves. It is the same for all of us!

"Some Things We Have Learned Together" by Elder and Sister Holland. An incredible talk. Perfect for people who are either married or about to be married, or thinking about getting married. Watch/listen/read that talk. I have the audio and it is incredible. Top 5 talks ever given, à mon avis.

Please pray for the people in Paris. It means the world to them, all the support they are getting. If anyone needs prayers, it is all those affected by these revolting attacks.

Thanks so much! I love you all. I appreciate all of your prayers, and I encourage you to get on your knees and pray for our French brothers and sisters. Thanks much and God bless!
Love, Elder MacArthur

Toooooo dark. Yuk.

The only kisses I'm ever getting on the mission!

At Le Chinois Gourmand with Frere V and S!

The temple pathway brochure! We are the first mission to use these, according to our mission President. They come out in French soon!

Monday, November 9, 2015


Hey everyone! This week was one of the busiest weeks ever. Also one of the best! Here's what I was blessed with:

Events I experienced:
Monday was pretty legit. We gave Frère Mic a blessing, then went to the castle! It was raining, and not many tourists there, very tranquille. We went to a boulangerie after and got mille feuilles and baguettes. The guy who owns the shop loves us, and he gave us 2 free croissants! What a bro. Then we got on a train to go to Marseille for our zone conference in Aix en Provence!

Tuesday we had zone conference! It was really great. Best day ever! Some notes:
  • There are so many people sustaining us! For every soldier on the battle field, there are hundreds of people supporting them. The heavenly hosts are on our side, they are pulling for us, and Jesus is pulling with us!
  • The baptisms we are blessed with are EVERYONE'S baptisms.
  • Taking Aim at Prayerful Planning -poor planning precedes a blowup -prayerful planning precedes perfection -our back-up plans are our tackles that protect our blindsides, so that tombez-vous (rendezvous that fell through) don't wreck us!
  • Have specific plans, back-ups, and use the planner so the next day is as focused as possible -plan business contacts, role play them, go in with a plan!
Wednesday was incredible! I went on an exchange with Elder Shaw. Our exchange was awesome! We got to see a less active named Soeur Font, and a progressing ami named Au. I have seen him twice before, and the difference is stunning! He is changing so much, I was really happy to see him doing so well. We taught him at a members house, the L family. They are really cool people!! We had a lot of time to contact on the trams and stuff, I was blessed to be able to talk to a lot of people. Elder Shaw is a wonderful missionary, and we had so much fun and did so many great things! It's always a great time in Montpellier.

Thursday was really cool. We gave away 2 Books of Mormon! Both were given through business contacting. We went to contact a clothing store, but the lady we talked to last time didn't remember us, so we left. Right as we left the store, we saw a lady on the road, we contacted her, and we taught a street lesson right there! We gave her a BoM, and we set up a RV for Sunday after Stake Conference in Toulouse. Later in the day, we contacted SOS Music, we know D (the shop owner) pretty well. We finally got him asking about what we do, and one thing led to another, and we gave him a Book of Mormon too! He didn't want to fix a RV for us to teach him/explain the book, but we'll get him next time haha.

Friday was an adventure day! We went to Limoux, a town full of unusual people. We saw a lot of weird stuff. We had a rendezvous with a less-active member named S. He's really cool, our lesson went really well. We invited him to stake conference, and hopefully we'll see him there!

Saturday was really fun. We did studies, then made a lot of area book calls, then got on a train to Toulouse! We had stake conference, then went to the Concorde Elder's apartment for the night. We had a bunch of pasta and candy and talked a lot, it was a great time. It was a little cramped with 10 missionaries, but at made it all the more fun! En plus, I picked up some sweet stuff! 3 pairs of proselyting shoes, and some basketball shoes! And a belt. And socks (mine are...suffering). And a scarf. And an exchange bag. And a few ties. Dead piles are the best.

Sunday was awesome! We had Stake Conference in Toulouse, it was awesome! Lots of jeune filles and jeune garçons. It was cool to see a lot of people my age, besides missionaries haha. When we got back, we had a lesson with a new ami, Iri! She read 1st Néphi (the book) in 3 days. She is incredible. She accepted everything we said, and she is really excited to meet with us encore next week! Iris was baptized Catholic in a while ago, she comes from Taiwan where there is little religion. She looooves Mary, so it might be hard to address the fact that we don't worship her haha. We have high hopes for her!

Lessons I learned:
"Therefore, fear not, little aflock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail." ~D&C 6:34 I really love this scripture! It is so succinct. It is so true! When we are on the old ship Zion, as Elder Ballard has taught us, we cannot fail (as long as we stay in the ship!)

Soeur Povar, my first mission nurse, taught me this a while ago:
To be happy, you need...
Something to do: Moroni 9:6
Something to hope for: Moroni 7:41
Someone to love: Moroni 10:32
It is not always a guarantee that one can find this in day-to-day life, but we can always find this in giving service. We love the Lord and those we serve as we give service. We hope for a better world, we hope for their happiness as we serve. And here is always plenty to do, plenty of service that is needed in this world. As a missionary, there is never a lack of these things. No wonder missionaries are so happy!

(free) Advice I have:
Advice from James E. Faust, in his talk "Acting for Ourselves and Not Being Acted Upon," in the October 1995 General Conference: "Many of you worry about your future. I think every conscientious young man does. But you do not realize what opportunities lie ahead of you. After a lifetime of dealing with human affairs, I am persuaded that your future will be beyond your dreams if you observe the following:
1) Do not live on the edge.
2) Avoid not only evil, but even the appearance of evil.
3) Follow the counsel of Lehi to act for yourselves and not be acted upon.
4) Seek first the kingdom of God and receive the great promise that all else will be added upon you.
5) Follow the counsel of Church leaders."

James E. Faust is a great example for all of us, and I love his advice here. Actively seeking the kingdom of God by obedience to the Prophet's council will ensure our future!

Awesome. Perfect love casteth out all fear. Remember that. AWESOME!

I love you all, thanks for all the support! Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder MacArthur

Zone Conference in Aix-enProvance

Ben with "dead pile" coat & scarf

Ben with Elder Duffy & previous companion Elder Hansen

Ben with Elders Stutz, Barnes & Richmond

Ben & some of the Transfer 109 crew

Ben with Elder Stutz and two of his former companions

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Hey everyone! Short letter this week. But it was awesome!! Here's what happened :)

Events I experienced:
Monday! Super super awesome! We had dinner at Frère G's house again! He made a cassoulet. It was delicious. Unfortunately we found out that his rabbit had died the day before.  He had the rabbit for 10 years but had never even named it!  But yeah. Great time!

Wednesday! District meeting! Exchange with Elder Thompson from Idaho Falls. Total hipster. Would fit in great in Eugene haha.

Thursday was awesome! We met with a Jehovah's Witness. Really cool guy! But refused to read the Book of Mormon, so we left. Kept it amicable.

Saturday! Happy Halloween. Did we trick or treat? No. Did we tract, and get candy nonetheless? YES. We did some sweet business contacting at a candy store. This girl named Oc working there was super nice. We invited her to church, gave her our card, and we're totally going back to get her a BoM or something.

Sunday was cool. We got to do beaucoup de bonnes choses. Everyone at church commented on my zit, as they did the Sunday before. French people don't care about that kind of thing, whereas in the states that would be rude. It's pretty funny haha. We had dinner with the Mar family. Super cool Tahitians. It was the best. So much food. And they are all legit. Coolest people ever! I was dumb and forgot to take a picture though. Rats.

Lessons I learned:
"And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence." ~ D&C 4:5,6  Super good scriptures, my ponderize scripture this week. These scriptures are the ingredients for a happy life. Use them liberally.

(free) Advice I have:
Eat some Halloween candy. Do something cool. Hope for a better world.

Hey, speaking of that, Ether 12:4 says: "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

I love you all! Stay classy.
Love, Elder MacArthur

New word of the week: Garth. Noun. Put all the food in a container. Apply heat.


More Garth

Hector Berlioz on an old 10 Franc note!