Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Hello hello! This week was one of the best!! EVER!

Events I experienced:
Monday was awesome! We had a little trouble getting to Bordeaux, because our train was cancelled. But we got there alright in the end. We stayed in the Talence equipe's apartment, all 24 of us! It was crammed haha, but super fun!

Tuesday: We then got up (well, never really went to bed) and arrived at the chapel at 3 am. Then we had an 8 hour bus ride to Lyon! That was pretty fun, I got to visit with a lot of missionaries and cool stuff. Got a few hours of sleep. Then we arrived in Lyon, took mission photos at the Confluence museum, and visited! I got to see all of my former comps, Elders Garside, Bleak, Hansen, and Stutz! It was the best day ever, having all of those Elders that I love with me! They're all doing super well, which is awesome. We then checked into our hotel, and went to a park for a break-the-fast lunch of domino's pizza. We had a little time after lunch to play games, and I got to play a little soccer which was always nice! Then we went to the Aquarium, which has an auditorium that we rented out. We had more games, our version of the 12 days of Christmas, an address from President Brown, and we got to watch THE LION KING!!! Super fun. That movie is incredible haha. We had dinner delivered by MasterTaco of Confluence. French tacos are like American burritos but a little different. So delicious. We also got gift bags of candy, a new mission music CD for 2016 plus an additional CD recorded by some returned missionaries of the France Lyon mission (provided by the recently-returned mission President Roney, who is currently in charge of organizing the new Provo temple open-house!) and a cool key chain with President Brown's slogan on the back: "Begin with the end in mind!" Such a good day. It felt weird to be in pday clothes the whole day but I'm not complaining haha.

Wednesday was so awesome too!! We had conference part 2 at the Ecully chapel in Lyon. We heard from our entire mission presidency. And we had a sweet lunch and got to talk to everyone! I was able to get a picture with all my comps, it was pretty sweet. And a picture with my group, transfer 109! So fun. It's so wonderful seeing everybody in one place. We also sung our arrangement of Silent Night! It went pretty well. Then we took a bus back to Bordeaux and stayed the night in the Talence Elders' apartment encore.

Thursday was great! We made cookies for the Cal family and everyone else haha. Then we ported a lot! Then we had Christmas Eve dinner at the Cal's house. We had raclette! It's basically potatoes, cheese, and meat. It was delicious. We shared a message about giving gifts to the Savior, by serving and loving our fellowmen.

Friday was ok. Haha it was Christmas, of course it was awesome! We are at the All's house. We had foie gras, castrated chicken, and some other French things. Cheese! Some dang good cheese, too. We also got to watch Mulan!! I was so happy. Then we got to Skype with our families! A very, very fun day. The best part was the introspective evaluation I gave myself. I thought about Christ's birth, and about how I am doing, what I am doing each day to give the gifts He would have me give. I cassé'd myself a good amount. I received some much-needed pieces of advice, and it really helped me to re-double my efforts and be better. That was really the best part about Christmas, getting a chance to seriously evaluate myself and resolve to be better- not next year, next week, tomorrow- but right now. Because I already promised Him I would give my best!

Saturday was pretty good! We had weekly planning, a rendezvous with Nes, and a mangez-vous chez Frere Vil. Mil made dinner, and it was a bit of a fiasco, but it still tasted good so whatever.

Sunday was awesome! I got to give a talk, which I actually love doing now. En plus, I got to reuse a talk which always feels good. It went very well. I added a story from my first transfer that the members loved. We had choir practice and Ward council after church, and got home at 14:50. Church starts at 9:30. Haha it was a long day!

Lessons I learned:
This week I ponderized John 15:27, which reads: "And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." Bearing witness, something we promise to do when we are baptized! Always a good things to do. Dare to be a Mormon, dare to stand alone. Dare to have a purpose firm, dare to make it known! He has always been with us and always will be with us as we testify of His eternal truths.

John 3:16, Mosiah 2:17, 2 Néphi 19:6, Acts 10:38. These scriptures describe what gifts we have been given by God, and what His Gift has done for us. We can show our appreciation for these divine gifts by doing good, by following in the footsteps of the Savior. As we serve our fellowmen, we are serving God. His teachings are meant to help us reach exaltation, because they turn us into someone who loves everyone unconditionally. They turn us into disciples of Christ, even celestial citizens. May we let the Savior wash us, may we not resist as Peter once did, but let us declare, just as the same son of Simon did: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!

(free) Advice I have:
"Don't Drop the Ball" by President Hinckley, October 1994 General Conference. A great talk about living up to "Our Great Potential," as President Kimball has taught (April 1977 Gen Conf).

"There will always be a shortage of police if there is a shortage of effective parents!" ~ Neal  A. Maxwell. Hahaha this is a classic Elder Maxwell universal truth! How important is good parenting! Just like in the mission field. Good trainers usually produce good missionaries. Our training forms us, and excellent parents usually form excellent future parents.

Well there ya go. It was awesome. I love you all! Joyeux Noël and Bonnes Fêtes! Bisous.
Love, Elder MacArthur

Sleeping on the bus from Bordeaux to Lyon

Ben and all his mission companions to date

Transfer 109 Crew

Christmas Eve dinner with the Cal family

Christmas dinner with the All family

Monday, December 21, 2015


Hello everyone!! Merry Christmas. I had a wonderful week this week. It was full of the Christmas spirit and sharing the gospel and just about everything you could really want.

Events I experienced:
Monday was pretty good. We had Skype interviews with President Brown! He is an amazing man, and I always feel really inspired after talking to him.

Tuesday, I had an exchange with Elder Underwood! He's a pretty cool guy, and we have a lot of things in common. We had a pretty productive day, even if I was sick for most of it. Hoping that I don't ruin Christmas for Elder Brill haha! I'm feeling better so we'll see how things go. Today, as we taught a recent convert, a drunk guy harassed us in the park. Mil was kinda freaked out, but we were protected in the end. I really felt the Lord's protection during that rendezvous. I know that He cares about us all very deeply.

Wednesday was district meeting in a really French town called Perigueux. It was awesome! That's all I have to say.

Thursday was super cool. We saw Nes, and unfortunately he isn't doing well. He's living on the street now, he doesn't want to live in Figeac where the gov told him to go so malheureusement he's homeless. I hope he can get his papers to work soon. I pray for him a lot, and the stress of trying to help him find solutions is killer. But I'm getting better at managing it I promise!

On Friday, I had an exchange with Elder Price, one of the Bordeaux zone leaders. He's a super cool guy from Layton, Utah. He has 3 sisters poor guy haha. He's got a beautiful family haha. We were able to have a great exchange and stay productive during the evening.  We passed some less-actives and old amis with Frère Hub. We got to have lots of good discussion and we really had an awesome time serving in Brive together. Elder Price is one of the coolest missionaries I've met! Super relaxed and laid back; he really helped me learn to be less stressed.

Saturday was good. Not much to report

Sunday was cool. Nes came to church when he told us last night that he wasn't coming! He's homeless right now, and that's really hard. But at Ward council, THEY REALLY ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING GREAT! Haha miracles DO happen. He's being housed by members of the Ward until he can find shelter. It was a true testimony builder to me that this is the true church of Christ on the earth. I was really touched by the way compassionate service was rendered at the drop of a hat. I love the Ward so much for what they are doing.

Lessons I learned:
Last week, I ponderized Luke 9:62. It reads: "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." During this Noel season, we have more opportunity than ever to spread the gospel light. No looking back, "no empty chairs" as my mission president says. Especially during this wonderful season, we can't slow down. Every member a missionary. We must have a sense of urgency, as Elder Holland said to our mission 20 years ago. I'm so grateful that the Christmas season lets us work harder and better and faster and stronger than any other time of the year!

This week I ponderized Luke 22:32. It says: "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." I really took his scripture to heart this week. This is the Lord speaking to Peter, and it applies perfectly to all of us. This helps motivate me to strengthen the feeble knees, to lift up those that are down. That's what the Savior did His whole life. He "wore out [His life]" in the service of others, as D&C 123:23 exhorts us to do.

During studies, I read John 13:17 which teaches us: "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." If we know the commandments, we will be happy if we live them! Just as Lehi was promised prosperity in the land as long as he lived the commandments, it's all about what we do.

(free) Advice I have:
"Worship through Music" by Dallin H. Oaks In this 1994 general conference talk, Elder Oaks talks about how music is an indispensable part of our worship. He reminds us how music can invite the spirit, often more effectively than words can. A really good talk for any music lovers out there!

We-we-we-wel-wel well that's all, folks. Have an awesome Noël! Love you all!
Elder MacArthur

District meeting in Perigueux

Funny rugby statue in Brive

Monday, December 14, 2015


Bonjour everybody!! This week was chouette! It happened like this:

Events I experienced:
Monday! We did groceries, chilled, then emails and had FHE with a recent convert named Mil at our DMP's house. Swell day. Our DMP talked about how everything in supermarkets is bad for you and that the food companies feed us poison so that we need to buy the pharmaceutical companies' medicine. It's all a big conspiracy, man! A fairly socialist vegetarian. Gotta love him!

On Tuesday I had an exchange with Elder Berry, my district leader. He's super cool! One of my favorite missionaries I've met. We had an awesome day, we taught Nes and Elo. Elo accepted to be baptized on January 9th! So excited! She's wanted to be baptized for a long time but hadn't gone to church, but now that's she's coming it'll happen for sure. We finished the day with teaching a recent convert Mil at the Brig home. Frère Brig is the Bordeaux Stake President, and he's really good at teaching. Plus we got delicious dinner so that always helps haha.

On Wednesday, we taught Elo and Nes again. We taught Nes the law of chastity, which went flawlessly. He agrees 100%. Which is really nice, because France isn't the best at, shall we say, keeping that commandment. I don't want to be negative, but the tabacs (the little convenience stores), they have naked photos sometimes and I HATE it. It is the worst!! But I digress. We did have a cool mangez-vous with the Drem family, we showed them the Christmas video. And we had all-organic food. It's like I never left Eugene haha!

Thursday, we taught Nes with Frère Drem, and we saw the O'Muls at the church. They are Irish, and very very funny. They talk forever. And kinda rant. But I love it. Frère O'Mul did have some gems though. I have come to the conclusion that 99% of words are funnier when spoken in an Irish accent.

Friday was a great day! We saw Elo and Nes, business as usual. We did some porting, got rejected. Got the finger waggle. I hate the finger waggle. Oh well haha! We had lots of good street conversations and were able to give out some cards for And we got patisseries for dinner. Haha no parents no rules!! For dinner at least.

Saturday was great! We got to give service at the Hub's house. We helped move his sister, who is in a mental hospital. It was pretty gross to be honest, but it was humbling to see how good we have it in comparison with others. I'm truly grateful for our apartment and our life of luxury, we are truly blessed in our mission.

Sunday was good! We taught the law of chastity in amis class, and during sainte-cène Elder Brill gave a talk on unity. It was a war between him and all the toddlers running around. I'm not sure who won. Little kids are noisy, as I found out. I have come to the conclusion, as a result of said events, that the law of chastity is a good thing. We gave a blessing after church to a recent-convert named An. She's super cool!! I love her so much. Then we went to ward choir practice! It was super great. I love Ward choir! They needed a bass so I decided to join and let me say that was a good decision. The members love me for it. Afterwards, we went up to the hospital to teach Nes. He was down in the dumps so we had a feel-good lesson, and tried to cheer him up. Then we gave the sacrament to Frère Cal and had dinner with their family as usual! Such a good day :)

Lessons I learned:
One of Frère O'Mul's gems really made me think. He said that "Evil flourishes where good people do nothing." I really liked that! A lot. Now maybe "none is good, save one, that is, God," but if we follow Him, we are doing our best. Being people who follow Him who is good, we must be "anxiously engaged in a good cause," because the world depends on it. Today determines tomorrow, and decisions determine destiny, as President Monson teaches. Our seeds we sow today will determine our harvest tomorrow.

(free) Advice I have:
"That Thy Confidence Wax Strong" by Bishop Richard C. Edgley This talk is all about having confidence, where to find it, and how to go forth and work with confidence in all that we do! I suggest this especially for my dad, seeing as he has been called to be the bishop of my hometown Ward. I hope this talk helps :)

Thanks so much!! I love you all. Remember the reason for the season #onelove

Love, Elder MacArthur

Ben and the Brig family with recent convert Mil

Brive La Gaillard panoramic view

"Creepy Trees" in Brive

Our apartment

Our apartment - again

Monday, December 7, 2015


Hello everyone! This week was splendiferous. Here's a taste

Events I experienced:
On Monday, we did emails, bought stuff for our new apartment, and had FHE at our DMP's house, Frère Vill. That's about it. Productive day haha.

Tuesday we weekly planned, and had a rendezvous with Nes. We talked about the commandments, and it went very well! He expressed his strong desire to be baptized and follow the Lord, he is a great man. I'm so very thankful for him and his efforts to follow Christ. He believes that the Book of Mormon is true, and he reads each day!

On Wednesday, we visited JC Chal, a less-active who lives 2.5 hours away, at the very edge of our sector, at the border between us and Clermont-Ferrand. He is incredibly kind, and has a strong faith. He isn't doing well mentally, but he is so righteous. We got a ride from Frère Vill. That man is a saint. Dropping 6 hours out of his day for us! He is so cool. I wish every member was as helpful as Frère Vill. On the drive back, I talked to him the entire time about his family, my family, the gospel, music, career choices, and everything else imaginable. Super cool bonding time!

On Thursday, we had zone training in the Bordeaux chapel (the first building constructed by the church in France!) Our zone is pretty legit I must say. It was a great great time! We got our Christmas pass-along cards, the temple brochures in French, and we came up with ideas on how to make the Mille Membres en Decembre (1000 members in December) work. Since we have a 5:30 curfew, it's hard to do missionary work as usual. Satan thinks he's scored a victory. But the Lord has inspired President Brown to challenge us to use this opportunity to our advantage by teaching with members! We can be outside the apartments after 5:30 if we are with a member, so this is a great way to expand our member teaching pool! Just as the Fall seemed to be a victory for Satan, with God's help, we can use it to our advantage and make it a good thing. We can show Satan that terrorist attacks in Paris can only make our mission better!

Friday was a weird day. We taught Nes, it went well, got a new ami named Je, gave him a Book of Mormon, had a cool mangez-vous with a less-active and Nes. As we called Nes to confirm a rendezvous for tomorrow, he told us he was in a psychiatric hospital, because of all the stress he's enduring with his lodging situation and everything. So the day ended on a sour note, and we're really concerned for him. He's tough, I know he'll get through though!

On Sunday, we shared the new Noel video with everyone! We ate with the Cal family again on Sunday. It was a good day. We also visited Nes in the hospital, he's doing well. He hopes to be discharged on Thursday. We had 3 amis at church today, it was pretty awesome!

Lessons I learned:
President Brown called us during dinner on Sunday and we were eating, and I looked at the phone and it said "E Pres Brown" and so naturally I almost had a crise cardiaque. Turns out he was just calling to make sure we had heat in our apartment. What a nice guy. Haha I almost died. Elder Brill laughed a lot, it was a good moment. I think I'm still shivering. Lesson learned: don't freak out when your mission president calls you. It might be fine! Just kidding, it might be because he's sending you home. Ya never know.

(free) Advice I have:
"The Shield of Faith" by President Packer, from the April 1995 general conference. An excerpt: "The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father." The perfect Christmas gift to give, the gift of the Gospel!

As Jeffrey R. Holland has taught about Satan, "...But apparently his effort to stop the work will be reasonably well served if he can just bind the tongue of the faithful...I am looking tonight for men young and old who care enough about this battle between good and evil to sign on and speak up." We do not have the right to bind our tongues, to not speak up about the gospel. Our brothers and sisters are in need of access to Christ's atonement, and we are the ones who can help them! This Christmas season, please speak up. Please share the reason for the season. What will happen if you share the gift? The Savior tells us what will happen: "Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven."

I encourage everyone to share the church Christmas videos with somebody! The Christmas videos, "He is the Gift" and "A Savior is Born" are great ways to share the gospel and give the gifts that He would have us give His children. There is no better way to thank Heavenly Father for His divine gift He gave us, His Son.

Hey I love you all! Thanks for the words of support and your prayers.
Love, Elder MacArthur

Zone training

The moving elders! They took our dresser away and gave it to Fribourg. It took a while.

Gospel Principles! I got bodied hard by Frère B haha