Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Hello everyone! Merry Christmas!

(Family) I sent you a Christmas package today.

This week was great!  Here is some of what happened [transcribed from photos of Ben's journal]:

Tuesday, 12-20-16:  Today was great!  We passed lots of less-actives.  As  we were passing a less-active, I. M. (a less-active and part-member family) called us and asked us for a blessing.  Her mom who is in the Nice ward had called us earlier.  We knew of her situation.  So we booked it all the way over to l’hopital de la Crois Rouge. Red Cross Hospital.  We gave her a blessing, and after the blessing she said that I had mentioned lots of things from her patriarchal blessing!  It was so cool to see the spirit working.  Now, we are finally going to be able to get in and meet her family, her nonmember kids!  We’ve been trying to see her.  The door finally opened!  After that, we went back up to Ecully for dinner at the H home.  It was really good, as usual.

Thursday, 12-22-16:  Really fun day.  For studies, I read in Mosiah about Alma the Younger and his conversion.  I only started the chapter, because there’s so much to think about.  I almost finished the life of the Savior, too.  I have 2 sections left, and when I’m done, I’ll give it to Elder Ramsay.  In the morning, we went by the assistant’s place to get their keys from a lady who found them.  We then went up to their place and spent a solid 2 hours cleaning.  We got their apartment really clean, as a Christmas present.  They are going to be shocked when they walk in and everything’s clean.  On our way back, we ran into R!!   She still doesn’t have a phone, and she wouldn’t give us her address, but she said that she had been in pain and seeing the doctor for her arms.  Once she’s better, she’ll come back.  We took a picture of her with all of us.  We then got a big bowl from the church and some baggies from Sister Brown.  Then we made a bunch of cookies.  Grenoble Elders Abrey and Masen came in for an exchange.  I was with Elder Abrey and it was really good.  We saw the S family and gave people cookies.

Friday, 12-24-16:  Another good day.  We had our District leader Training with Elder Smith and Abrey at the church.  I think it helped a lot, they seemed to enjoy it.  Then I went on exchange with Elder Laurens.  We passed lots of less-actives around Vieux Lyon, and we had dinner with D. M.  He lives in our sector, but he goes to Val de Saone ward.  He made us some African food, it was really good!   He’s only 20 years old, like me.  We asked him about his family and friends, and about our friend at foot on Saturday.  We want to invite them all to an activity at the church, to celebrate the Christmas season all together.  Lots of them, like D, are far away from family, and they could use a party and company during the holidays.  Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!  It’s gone by so quickly.  In one day, I’m going to be skyping my family!

Christmas here has been wonderful! I love you all!

Elder MacArthur

Kangaroo for Christmas Dinner

Elder Smith and a cute little girl!

Christmas with the M family!

Export from Oregon in Lyon, France!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016



I have no time to write. I love you all! The week was great. Maybe next time I'll send some pictures of my journal entries.

It is been a good week and we have seen a lot of people. We must've given something like five or six blessings, it was a busy week. It feels good to be able to serve people and help them out with their problems!

Oh! To my mom, for the light the world day when Jesus cared for his mother, here is a short list of things I love about you, Mom:
  • your willingness to serve
  • your positive attitude
  • your politeness
  • your sense of humor
  • your patience with me :)
  • and of course, the fact that you love me more than anyone else on earth does
I love you mom!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Love, Elder MacArthur

In response to a request for more information about the Georges family he wrote about last week (Self-reliance missionaries):  They help with the new church program for self-reliance. It started in Europe. It'll be in the states soon. It's a huge thing, all about getting people self reliant. I think they're both Californian, they lived in Hawaii for a while and then came up to Idaho.

In response to a request for more information about a nine year-old they are teaching:  Bas is the grandson of Sister R. We have been seeing him for a while but my letters are not always the most complete so maybe I haven't mentioned him. Also not until recently was he on track to get baptized this year.

E moved to Paris. He will be missed!

Brigham young in a French comic book

Zone conference with Elder and Sister Sabin!

Escargot with the Georges family!

Another trip to Fourviere

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Hey everyone! This week was great! Sorry I'm out of time. Quick rundown-

Monday- I picked up Elder Ramsey at the train station, and we unpacked and settled in until we got the trainers at the Institute at 7 o'clock. They stayed over at our place. Elder Ramsey is from Brea, Claifornia. He's 6'4", really nice, very relaxed, and a great worker. I've known him for a while here in France and I have always wanted to serve with him! I'm super excited to be with him here.

Tuesday- we drop off the trainers at the Institute, then we left for the airport. We picked up the blues with the Browns and the office elders and the assistants! It was real sweet to meet the blues. We got back, did shopping, and train the trainers at the Institute. Then we had master tacos for dinner!

Wednesday- we train the trainers another time after breakfast, just before they got their blues! We had lunch with them all, and then went to teach Bas, a nine year old who is getting baptized! We taught him the plan of salvation. We also got to pass another member and we had dinner with the B family.

Thursday- we had RCM, and then we had lunch with the O family! We love them so much. We closed out the night with dinner at the Geddes' house. They are the self-reliance missionaries. They are awesome! Their marriage story is the best story I've ever heard in my whole life. Elder Geddes flew to Hawaii with a suitcase and a trumpet and nothing else once he found out that his future wife was no longer engaged. He knew that she was attending BYU Hawaii but he didn't even know where it was. So he packed a bag, brought his trumpet, and took the first flight to Hawaii. He asked where the campus was, hitched a ride, and found an extra room open on campus. The next day, he found the music department and auditioned for a band. Within a day, he had a full tuition scholarship, got signed up for classes, and got housing. He became a student in 24 hours. Then he went and found Sister Geddes, who he had met and fallen in love with a few months earlier, and they got married not too long afterwards. He said that the moral of the story was, if something is right but seems crazy and impossible, just do it! He is amazing! He also plays guitar, piano, and is a master sculptor. We are going to visit cathedrals with him so that he can tell us what the stained glass windows mean in the cathedrals. They are the coolest couple in the world!! We are so lucky to have them in our Ward.

Friday- we saw P. A., a former member who is now 93. He wants to come back, and he is blind so we read him things. We gave him a blessing, and he cried. He was very touched. He is a sweet sweet man. We then passed a few people, did weekly planning, and the assistants picked us up for the fête des lumières! It's a party particular to Lyon. There are cool lights everywhere. It must have been crazier downtown, because we took a boat ride on the Saône, and we didn't see much. We got to ride on the boat with all the Lyon missionaries though, so that was super fun! It turned into everyone trying to photobomb each other. We slept over with the assistants afterwards! Always super fun :)

Saturday- we went to J's baptism! She is the investigator of the sisters. The service was really well done and very spiritual, there were a few nonmembers and many less actives at the service.
Afterwards, we passed a few families, invited them to the Christmas party, and then went ourselves. It was a great night, full of fun and bonding with members. And free food as usual.

Sunday- we did some genealogy before church, I got to send in some names that are ready to be taken to the temple! Elder Wade helped me find his thing that our stake President showed him. You can basically find names that are ready super easily. Church was good, Elder Ramsey loved getting to meet all the members and putting names to faces.

It was a great week! I love you all!!
Elder MacArthur

Chez la famille Geddes!

Christmas Party!

Our WML and his wife!
Fête des lumières

Trainers and elder Ramsey coordinating :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Transfer 13 (12-5-16)

Monday: We had President's p-day! It was super fun. Sister Brown ordered pizza, and we just played a lot. Some Elders and I played basketball with President. It's super fun to get chill with everyone in Lyon! Afterwards, we did emails and ate dinner at Sr. F's house. It was really good. I found a cool bull thing.

Tuesday: We had lunch with our mission nurse, sister Kemp. She is so sweet! We love her lots. She is kind of like my grandma here. I don't have any living grandparents anymore, and I miss them sometimes. So having Sr. Kemp is really cool. I had a Thai salad at lunch! It was good. Sr Kemp had the same thing. She took five times longer to eat it than I did haha. I also had crème brûlée for the first time in France. Meh.

After lunch we met a new ami named G! He is Albanian, and he is a referral from an old ami named E. G is E's uncle or something. G went to church a few times in Albania, and he liked it. We aren't completely sure why he's seeing us but we are happy to see him. He accepted a baptismal date for December 31st. On verra. From that, we went to our bishop's house and ate dinner! The bishop's wife and daughter are fun, it's always entertaining watching them interact. A lovely family. I didn't eat the goat cheese they gave me, and they asked why. I always get diarrhea from goat cheese. I have too many diarrhea stories from my mission...anyhow. I forgot how to say diarrhea, so I just said "caca pas bon" to say "bad poop" and Sr. P and L, her daughter, went nuts. They laughed and laughed and laughed. It was pretty funny. Sometimes I get away with stuff because I'm a missionary. From there we went to the assistants' apartment to have a sleepover. It was super fun as always. Elder Wade and I were able to have a really long conversation about the Atonement and remembering the Lord's sacrifice for us. It was actually one of the more spiritual experiences I've had on my mission.

Wednesday: Woke up, mangos, had some stölen (a German cake that elder Menzel's parents sent) which reminded me of my grandpa, interestingly enough. Good memories. Or maybe it was the sugar. Blagues. They drove us back to our place, where we studied. Then we went to Perrache to eat lunch with a cool priest named E Z. He's awesome. His friends were going to come too but they all cancelled. He is a fearless missionary already! The kebabs weren't too good but being with E was great. Afterwards, we went to the C's house to do a little service. We raked their lawn, and visited their friends, the B family, across the street. Elder Burri knows them well, and I got to know them as well. They are really nice! M (the grandpa) gave me a random book about William Faulkner because I sparcd him on his book. We shared the Christmas video #lighttheworld with them. They didn't care much, unfortunately, but they loved our visit. After, we went to the office for a coordination meeting with the Lyon zone leaders, the office elders, and the assistants. Then off to the family B's house for dinner. They were really sad to see Elder Burri go. I hope I have the same relationship he has with them by the time I leave!

Thursday was good, we had RCM and lunch with our DMP and his wife. They are the best! We saw a few friends of Elder Burri afterwards. We had Ward council and then we saw the S family.

Friday was good too. We got transfer calls! Elder Burri is returning home with honor, and I am staying in Ecully and receiving a good friend, Elder Ramsey! He's awesome. He's the coolest guy!! We were around each other in Bordeaux, and we were in the same zone again in Nice. I couldn't be more excited. After calls, we ate lunch with the L family. They are one of our favorites in the Ward. Then we helped Br. H's mom figure out her phone (she's old), then off to downtown to weekly plan. We got dinner at Chicken Chips, a new place in Lyon! It's like HFC in Bordeaux. It's super good. We shared with the office elders and the Porte des Alpes elders. Then we had a RDV with S and M, Fr. Z's friends we met at their thanksgiving party. They are awesome!! We had a perfect retab. The assistants came too and we had dinner all together. They are coming to church and they are reading the Book of Mormon! They are so cool. Unfortunately they are in another sector, so we'll have to pass them next RDV but we might see them at our church if he goes with the Z family. Their family is so full of love. They already live the gospel very well.

Saturday was good too. Not too much to share. We closed the night out with dinner with two sisters in the ward, Sr. S and B. It was lovely!

Sunday was normal as usual. Elders quorum was a bit crazy, so that was entertaining. Afterwards, we did the numbers with E Z, which was super fun. Then we translated some of the miracle into French and went home. Elder Burri packed, and we had pizza to celebrate the end. It's sad to see your companion go. Elder Burri has become my favorite companion, and I will miss him but I am excited for the future.

I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Lunch with the Z's!

Cleaning the church on Saturday!

The bold rooster

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bits & Pieces

I didn't write much, so I thought you'd appreciate the miracle from the last two weeks! The Christmas poem is pretty funny from last week!

This will give you a better idea of what's happening in our mission.
Love, Ben

Ben commenting on his mission president in a separate email:  I love having one on one time with President Brown. He teaches me so much. We played basketball today for President's p-day, I posted up on President a few times. He demolished me! He's pretty good.

Snippets from The Miracle (weekly mission newsletter):

Mot du Président Brown - WARP SPEED
Long before any of you were born, or even thought of (except for some of us senior missionaries), even before the original Star Wars, there was a great tv/movie series called, Star Trek. The Starship Enterprise Captain was Captain Kirk. His Scottish Engineer in the ship's Engine Room was named, you guessed it, "Scotty" (Soeur Brown loves to call me that,. . . I don't recommend that any of you try it ;). Every episode involved an adventure of discovery on the fringes of the universe, where no man had gone before. Fairly often, Captain Kirk and his crew would face monumental challenges that would stretch them, and their starship, to the limit. At times like these, on Captain Kirk's order, Scotty would boost the starship's engines to "Warp Speed". As fast as that was, sometimes warp speed was not enough to save the universe. That's when Captain Kirk would call on Scotty for still more engine power. I can still hear Scotty's reply in his thick Scottish accent, "Cap'm, I'm giveen yuh all she's GAUT!!!" But, with the universe at stake, Captain Kirk knew they must find more power, more power. So he'd urge Scotty on, and, somehow, some way, Scotty would succeed in coaxing the impossible out of the starship and her crew, restoring peace and prosperity to the galaxy.

Well, my beloved Elders and Sisters, as Sister Brown and I await the "Boarding Call" for our flight home from our Zone Conference Interview Tour, we marvel at the tremendous progress being made by each of you in each of your nine respective Zones. The improvement in working with members and focusing on forever families (especially part-member families) is dramatic. All hands are on-deck, and yer givin' her all she's got. But, to achieve 1,500 lessons in the presence of a member in time for Elder Sabin's visit; and much more importantly, in order to baptize every one of the 250 Children of Israel given us this year, Heavenly Father knows we need more. More Faith. More Determination. More Prayerful Planning. More Progressing Amis. More Engages. And so He's urging me on. Somehow, some way, we must coax those on both sides of the veil to join with us, in a cataclysmic Confluence of Heaven and Earth, to accomplish our divine mission.

We are well on our way! Let's pull out all the stops! Let's invoke the power of the Christofferson Blessing every morning in personal/companionship prayer. Let's conclude our preparations for Elder Sabin's visit by smashing the 1,500 L.P. Challenge. Then, Elder Sabin will surely inspire us to sprint down the home stretch to victory. En Avant, En Famille!
Love, President Brown

The Night Before Christmas (By Elder McKee & Elder Kahn)

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the ville,
All the Elders are sleeping, cuz its 10:30 still.
The stockings were hung by the desks with care,
In hopes that Soeur Brown soon would be there.

The Elders were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of 20 lessons danced in their heads.
hoping that home has sent presents to unwrap,
once they awake from their long winter's nap.

When out on the chemin there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
Away to the window They flew like a flash,
careful to hide cuz their PJs do clash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid day to the chaos below,
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a silver vivaro, and eight couples seen near.

When a little cute driver, pulled into town,
they knew in a moment it must be Sr. Brown.
More rapid than ever, shed put Elder Spoors to shame
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"On, Walker! on Austin! on, Metcalf and Mahaffeys,
Now, Klemasz now, Rigby! Where's the, Snows and Sweeneys?
Now Hurry up hurry up there's no time to stall!
Why isn't this as easy as Elder Wade shooting a ball!"

forgetting the door "Lequelle" they did yell,
"the 4th" came a voice, twas Elder Menzel.
So up the stairs all the floors they flew,
With a sac full of candies, new iPad cases too.

And then, in a twinkling, they heard through the door
BYU Cougars updates, Sr Brown was checking the score.
Just in that moment President got out of the van,
made his way up and confirmed Aix to be better than Cannes.

He was dressed all in red, from his head to his feet,
With a smile on his face, he's got a plan sweet.
Hes bringing us tools for the stone from the mountain,
And even thought for Soeur Brown, a diet coke fountain.

He then dropped his sack, "Elders, pay attention,
What I’m about to say is direct revelation.
We will keep the flame from the feu de joie embers,
But nows the time to work with part members!

Now off to the ward council members you go,
Be respectful to their priesthood keys though!
Preach my gospel says to be bold,
this is how we will bring 250 into the fold.

This is the last trip in the vineyard, you know Jacob 5,
We will bring as many to the Paris Temple, whether dead or alive!"
And then after testimony, he prepared to leave,
turned towards the door ready to head to Brive.

The Elders confused, felt that something was missing,
they chased him down and made sure he was listening.
Where are the toys? Their eyes bright and gleaming,
Now come on Elder Kahn, You know the real meaning!

Then they all piled into the Vivaro,
What a story that we can skype home tomorrow.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove off with Glee
"On y va Elders and Sisters, En Avant, En Famille!"

From an email received early Wednesday morning:  Had a pre-Thanksgiving lunch today with your missionary. What a pleasure to have them in our home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Hey everyone, we are still preparing for zone conference so this will be short.

I just had an interview with President Brown, and it was wonderful. He always makes me feel amazing. It's the spirit for sure. I love being a missionary. President told me of the potential he sees in me, and it's always a huge motivator to hear that. I always want to improve after talking with President. I love him so much!

I love you all too. I know that God leads this work. I know that a God loves each of you.
Love, Elder MacArthur
Me as Moses!

Visiting Fourviere.  Fourvière is a district of Lyon, France and also a hill immediately west of the old part of the town, rising abruptly from the river Saône. It is the site of the original Roman settlement of Lugdunum (43 BC). It is primarily known for the Catholic Basilica of Fourvière. Fourvière contains many other religious buildings including convents, monasteries and chapels. It is known in Lyon as "the hill that prays". It is now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site designated for the city of Lyon in 1998.

Weekly planning was rough. Photo cred to elder Burri.


[Just realized this was never published - sorry.]

Hello hello everyone! This week has been incredible!

In our mission, we are making a focus of teaching part-member families. Our zone is responding very well. They are working miracles!! It's been so gratifying to see all the texts, hype calls, reminders, follow-ups, challenges, trainings, preparations, etc. pay off. We are teaching lots of different part member families right now, with the sisters and the assistants. It's a lot of fun to alternate teaching people. The families feel a lot more integrated and cared over.

Our Saturday was incredible! We had 4 lessons in the presence, and every rendez-vous went perfectly. Our cool ami V. invited six people to sit in on our lesson, so we got to teach the restoration to six people! We only had one Book of Mormon to give out, but we're coming back. He committed to coming to church. He is very receptive to the message du Rétablissement. It's so cool!

Other cool things that happened this week: hmmm lots, really. Our sisters bring us food all the time! They are the best. Umm, oh yeah! This week we had MLC and zone training. We talked about leading the charge by working with part member families and respecting the keys of the bishops and branch Presidents as we coordinate our work with the Ward. It was cool, we played human chess to teach these principles at zone training!

Today, I looked up scriptures from my study journal about the nature of God. We are going to teach the friend of a member tonight and the sisters told us that he needed to understand the nature of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I went to Romans 8 and rediscovered one of the most beautiful passages ever written in the history of time:

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Have you ever read a scripture and came out with something that you were not expecting? That was me with this passage. I invite you all read it (yes it is long) and find something in it that touches you. I found my new favorite scripture!

I love you all. Have a good week!
Elder MacArthur

Elder Richmond and I! It was a sad goodbye. I love this man.

Elder Sauro and I! Not goodbye yet :)

Elder Sous-bois! My hand isn't actually that big.

Elder Wilkey and I! He's a gem.
Ben & Elder Burri

Ecully Zone!

Monday, November 7, 2016


Hello hello everyone!

I don't have much time again, but here's a little something.

We have recently started working with a less active named A. He's from the gal de Saône Ward, but he loves Elder Burri. We are helping him get back to church. He's super funny, loves making jokes, and absolutely loves the elders. He gives us food all the time too. He's a super loving guy who doesn't understand very well, but he's got a great heart. It was one of my old companions who baptized him in June of 2015! A loves telling stories about the old elders, it's always tons of fun. We read the Book of Mormon with him, and he came to stake conference last week, and promised to come to church this week.

We have also had the chance to work with Frere T. He came to church this Sunday! We are going to help Fr. M with a move as well. We will reactivate him and baptize his nonmember daughter!

We have lots of less actives that we are starting to see. President Brown told everyone in the mission to make part,member families a priority. So we will be working with members a lot a lot a lot.

I love you all! Have a good week :)
Elder MacArthur

District meeting!

Le prophète Walton!

Same tie!! W/ Paul adrien Bize

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Hello hello everyone!

I'm short on time. Here's the rundown.

We have a zone goal for 400 lessons in the presence of a member this transfer. We are really excited about this.

We have a new ami named Kevin! He is super awesome and will be baptized soon. He's baptist, from Detroit, owns his own gym and wants to open a southern BBQ food truck. He's awesome! He's super prepared. His arms are the size of oak trees, too. The sister missionaries in our Ward were totally checking him out and we totally made fun of them haha.

We had stake conference this weekend! We heard from a seventy,  Elder Tom Herland, and the Paris Temple President and his wife! They are super cool, from Grenoble.

I love you all!! Have a great week!
Love, Elder MacArthur

Checking out the tunnels in Lyon with the Val de Saône Elders and Sisters, the Confluence Elders, and the Ecully sisters!

Us and Prince Success. He is actually a real Nigerian prince. He's from Valence. He's awesome!

Monday, October 24, 2016


Hello hello everybody!! What happened:

Monday-pday chez le President Brown! Way fun. We played basketball, volleyball, had a great lunch made by Sister Brown. It was lots of fun. I got to talk to lots of zone members and get to know them better

Tuesday- M.T.! We found an Indian less active woman in the areabook. We went over with a member, and taught her. She has a long complicated story, but quickly, she has no testimony but loves Jesus Christ. We're going to help her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. After that, we had RCM, and then dinner with la famille H! They invited a family over too. A few weeks back, we helped this family move for the whole day. Now they have a Book of Mormon and are going to come to church. Members can do so much more missionary work than we can, honestly.

Wednesday - F from Toulouse! Super great contact. I met this dude on a bus, he was the nicest guy ever. I had been struggling a little with bus contacting for the past few weeks, and this contact helped me get back into it. We also taught a lady I had found 6 months ago with Elder Nadauld! Her name is Mme. G. She is older. We taught the retab, she agreed with everything, but was hesitant to read the Book of Mormon. Ugh. I don't know why people nod their heads and say "yes" to everything and then obviously don't understand what we just told them haha. Weird. Afterwards, we had a rdv with an old ami named S. He is not interested. I won't divulge more. Then we had a week one coordination meeting with the office elders, Lyon ZLs and the assistants. We worked out the schedule for the trainers coming in next week. That's always a fun meeting. After, we had dinner with the B family. Their family friend, R, was finally there! I got to meet him, he's really cool. If we start to teach him the lessons, he'll get baptized for sure.

Thursday - raclette with the L family! They are awesome. Fr L is hilarious and they have the cutest family. We went over to the institute and gave M (recent convert) a blessing, then back to the church to teach D! We taught the plan of salvation finally. It went well. Our member there,  Brother Tropel, was a help. The lesson still went well. To end the night, we ate dinner with Brother and Sister S, and sister A. They are all young people. And English speakers. It was fun! We talked about missionary work, and next dinner they'll have a friend over.

Friday - we were both sick, so we rested. We got transfer calls! We are both staying here in Ecully. So I might stay one after as well, because this is Elder Burri's last transfer. I'm happy to stay here, it's the best. Our zone is jumping up to 26 people too! We got two new equipes. We had dinner with G (recent convert) and A (our ami). It was great! We gave A a blessing as well, he was pretty sick. After that, we had a sleepover with the assistants, Lyon zone leaders, office elders, confluence Chinese equipe, and Val de Saône elders. It was to celebrate elder Landry and Leon 's last week in the mission. It was super funny!! Elder Landry told us the story about a girl who stalked him....and still is. Haha it was great.

Saturday - we all played soccer together with about 30 Africans! There were so many there. We found Jer, an old ami there too!! We lost his number, so we got it back, and now we're seeing him again next week. I contacted a guy in the bus who told me that our conversation made him want to start praying again! That felt good.

Sunday - Z zone lunch, beef Wellington. Soeur Z is the best cook ever. We said goodbye to Sister Burton and Elder Landry, went to church, had dinner, then came back to send in Ecully zone numbers. Since assistants are a duo again, we're going to help them translate the mission newsletter into French. So we started at 10 and finished at midnight. It was pretty fun actually, a good language study. It really helped them out, gave them an extra two hours of sleep.

I am eager for this next transfer in Ecully. It is insane to think it's my 13th transfer, only 5 left. I know this transfer will be full of miracles. We want to baptize someone so bad. Our amis D, I, S, J, and V are all preparing for baptism. If we teach them with members, they will be baptized for sure.
During my personal studies last week, I studied charity a lot. It really helped me to see what I was doing wrong and correct it.

This transfer, we lost Elders Landry, Battezzato, Walton, Shirley, Ramirez and Hekking. Those are all great elders, it stinks to not have them in the zone anymore. I'm so grateful to have been able to work with them and meet them this transfer. Elder Landry will be sorely missed in Ecully. But Elder Menzel is great! Everyone loves him. He makes a great addition to the Ward. We are excited to have him here with us!

For this upcoming transfer, I have set my personal goals:
1. "Love is the Key"
2. "Meekness and power"
3. "Unaffected by pride"

These are things my mission president has counseled me on. They are the best goals I could have. I'm excited to devote myself to these goals and become better each day. As I read the miracle, I saw the baptisms in Brive and Carcassonne! I was so happy! It has been forever since Carcassonne had a convert baptism. It's been a while for Brive, too. It's the best feeling, to see a baptism happen in your old ville. That gave me great joy today. I can't wait to see those great wards again.

We had an incredible miracle this last week. We fixed a rdv with a man in the area book, named V. He has seen the elders a few times, has a Book of Mormon chez lui in the Congo. We met with him and testified of the restoration. He himself has been critical of his church, and is very humble, open, and prepared. He agreed to another rdv and will come to church, because he doesn't like the spirit of the church where he goes! He is the kind of person that you look at and say, "He looks like a church member!" We have high hopes for him. he understands the restoration and promised to read he Book of Mormon.

Our zone is incredible this transfer! We have the finest missionaries in our zone. Elder Burri and I know that the zone is capable of great things this transfer. We have thought of things we can do to work harder and be better. We will have a weekly challenge for the whole zone to work towards, perhaps the challenge given in the miracle. With some concentration, motivation, and follow up, we will all be able to teach lots of lessons in the presence. Elder Burri and I thought that 400 lessons in the presence for our zone this transfer could be a good goal.  That is slightly above five lessons in the presence per equipe per week. We will do it! This will be a faith-building transfer for sure. We have to do so much better to get to 250 baptisms. It's going to be hard, but we will do it.

Advice I have:
"Love All," by David B. Haight. An excellent General conference talk!! Simply beautiful.

"Whether you think that you will succeed, or you think that you will fail, you are right." -Henry Ford
How sick is that quote?! Very true.

I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Our church made it onto the town map! (See right edge of map)

Elder Burri, me, Landry, Menzel, Wade, Sister Burton and Bright! The Ecully squad

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Transfer 12 (10-17-16)

Stuff that happened:
Monday-solid pday. Went to Primark, bought some cheap French white shirts. Got a kebab from the Mosaïque. Pretty satisfied with that!

Tuesday-rough day. We were boy feeling a little sick. We did some contacted and got slammed. Lunch. Then transfer recommendations.

Wednesday-just about everything fell through.

Thursday-district meeting! It was pretty fun.

Friday-very good day. Lots of stuff fell through, so we had a slow start. Our rdv with a potential, K, fell through. We did get to teach D, we read 1 Nephi 11 with him. Then we had dinner with Sister S and her boyfriend from another Lyon Ward. We had raclette! It was great. We shared a thought about reading scriptures together as a couple and they committed to do it! It'll do them a lot of good.

Saturday-we taught a new investigator, J. He was contacted 6 months ago and we taught him the retab! He's been looking for a church to join so that's great!!

Sunday-we had studies, ate with the Zinn family (it was sister Zinn's birthday, so we sang her happy birthday and brought her flowers that we bought on Saturday!) and had church. None of our investigators came to church, which stunk. It's been hard to get people to church recently. It's almost a little discouraging but on fait avec. After, we did numbers and the Val de Saône Elders slept over chez nous for pday with President Brown on today!

Lessons learned:
RCM! We had a great RCM with our Ward mission leader. It was the best RCM I have ever had. He did role plays with us, gave us teaching tips, French advice, great advice. I  learned how much we can prepare for a teaching appointment. We don't ever prepare nearly enough teaching. That was a good lesson to learn, not a moment too late. We can never prepare too much to seek the spirit on how to help our investigators.

(free) Advice I have: "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." 1 Peter 2:17  A scripture I really like! Super solid advice when you think about it.

Elder Burri with flowers for Sr. Zinn and a funny photobomb

My testimony I wrote as a gift. I share it with you as well :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Hello Hello everyone!

This past week was incredible. We saw so many miracles along the way! We had lots of stuff fall through this week, but with enough prayers of faith, miracles happened, and we were able to hit our goals. I really felt the power of faith this week.

At the moment, we have 9 amis! We have been using the area book to find new amis, and I'm dying to use the area book planner app. This will make area book stuff so much better. I can hardly wait!!

We had a great miracle happen on Sunday! On Saturday, our rdv with T fell through. We were frustrated, because we had a member planned as well. So we passed Sunday. Her husband, I, and his friend, S, were there. We taught them the restoration. The spirit guided us. They both accepted to be baptized. Incredible!! The Lord knew that S would be there on Sunday. So he simply didn't want us to see them on Saturday. That would have been counterproductive. The Lord knew what He was doing!! He put us there at the right time. No way could we have done this without Him. The Lord knows what He is doing. We had enough faith, and it paid dividends.

This reminds me of a poem I know called "The Race." It talks about being resilient in the face of adversity. One line says: "For winning is no more than this: to rise each time you fall." I really felt like that this week. We just kept on working and working and working no matter what, and we won the week. It was a great lesson for me.

Zone conference on Thursday was wonderful. Our discussion about policy, rules, safety, etc. did not touch me initially. But the spirit we all felt was undeniable. And I had an incredible experience during the assistants' presentation. When Elder Landry was testifying about how Joseph told the truth, that the Restoration was in fact a reality, the Spirit witnessed to me. It witnessed that what he was saying was true. That it was all true. Never before had I received such a compelling witness as that. I will forever be grateful for Elder Landry's testimony and example. He is a missionary at I respect very highly. He is an example of the Savior, through and through. He is a man. I have loved serving around him and getting to learn from his example. Giving him and extension wouldn't be a bad idea haha.

We now have 21 engages in our zone. This is incredible! Many of these people will be baptized and we will be much closer to our mission goal. I don't know if I have ever wanted something as bad as this in my whole life. What better goal could we have? My participation in achieving this will be the best success of my life. There has never been a better time to be in this mission.

Love, Elder MacArthur

Zone conference!

Exchange with Elder Raherimandimby!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Hello everyone! This week was great!

Monday: We went to a cathedral!

Tuesday: we had some things fall through, so we got normal studies. We saw M, a recent convert, with her boyfriend W. We helped her do missionary work!

Wednesday: we had a rdv with O. Another guy passed to us. He told us he wasn't going to act. That's life sometimes. We had a rdv with F, a less active. He was not acting either. Sigh. We visited the K family! We asked them about their friends and helped them set goals to invite them to hear the gospel. Then we did the same the with the B family, and we ate with them. Ecully is really turning into a model sector. We don't have much but the sisters have lots of stuff going on and the assistants do too. Hopefully we'll get real investigators who actually actively investigate, one day!

Thursday: district meeting, by Elder Raherimandimy from St. Etienne. Afterwards, we went to the office because we needed Books of Mormon. And I got a letter at the office, it was my old companion's wedding invitation! Crazy, even though I knew it was coming. Elder Nadauld is getting married in a week. Weird thought. Then we had RCM and CDP to end the night.

Friday: pretty hard day. Everything fell through, and our one rdv got delayed for next week because we helped in a service project for the assistants' potential amis. Who don't live in our sector, because we helped them move out. So that was alright. It was fun but not very helpful for us.

Saturday: General conference! So great. So great. We also found out, as we started to prepare for zone conference, that we are finally getting the area book iPad app. That will help so much.

Sunday: General conference and dinner at the Z's house! Really great time. They brought a friend that watched conference with the sisters!

Some good notes I took:
President Uchtdorf
-the more adept I get at technology, the more I take it for granted
- as we become more familiar with something, we lose our appreciation for it -in the church, we are given so much!
-think of yourself, your first testimony, and how sweet it was
- do we lose gratitude because our hearts are "past feeling?"
-our path is dotted with diamonds, but often, we perceive them as being ordinary pebbles -when I teach gospel principles, we must be grateful for the knowledge we have -the questions we ask have answers, answered by the gospel, the gospel found in Jesus Christ's church -the grand council in Heaven was a FAMILY COUNCIL -why am I here right now? Why was I born into a Mormon family?
-we trusted and had faith in Christ from the beginning (John 15:27) -all will be saved, but only those who accept and follow God's laws and ordinances will live with Him, where all will be made right -don't let anything cause you to miss out on a "much greater future"
-be grateful for his mercy and generosity -if I am not in awe with the plan of salvation, I need to study it again What shall we give in return for so much?
-God asks that we live up to the light that we have received
- Put our talents to work, multiply those 10 talents -understand clearly the plan of God to value and use life as I should

Elder Robert D Hales
-If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?
- we can't be following the "Law of Moses" in our own lives
- We need to "live the Higher Law as taught by Jesus Christ"
-the higher law starts in the Home
-the parents are the missionaries, the children are the investigators -we are all seeking to be converted -when an opportunity comes to teach about the gospel, DROP EVERYTHING AND TEACH -the spirit must lead any teaching I give -God's power to influence us righteously is his love for us
- we love him because he first loved us
-have faith to testify of what you know is true -Am I consecrating my life to do this on my mission?
-FHE and family councils are important, we will grow stronger together, and suffer less -when we raise our voice in anger, the spirit leaves our companionships -what can we do when people do not choose the right?
- we cannot pray away another's agency
- We must love like the father of the Prodigal Son -the choice to love and follow the lord must be their own -be a caregiver for the Lord, and let Him be your caregiver -as I love him more, I will suffer less

Two of the great talks we heard this conference. I invite all of you to read and reread the talks to get the revelation you need from them. Unless we get revelation from the talks, there is not much point to General Conference.

I love you all! Have a good one :)
Elder MacArthur

Cool napkins!

Elder Burri and Battezzato in masks haha

Monday, September 26, 2016


Hey everyone! This will be another short letter, sorry.

The week was great. We now have four investigators with a baptismal date! We are excited for them.

We had a great week filled with great people and great things.

We had MLC this week, it was all about faith! It was great.

We went to a Cathedral and it was cool.

I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Ben & Elder Burri

Meeting house in Lyon for Ecully Ward

Zone Training

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Hello hello everyone!

So this will be very short.

Lyon has been awesome. Everything is great. Elder Burri is awesome, the Ecully Ward is awesome, amis are awesome. We have almost 30 missionaries in the city of Lyon, that's really fun! Everyone here is great. Our DMP is awesome, everything is great. It's fun having 12 full time missionaries in your Ward! Lots of stuff gets done.

We're gonna golf now with lots of missionaries! So I don't have much time.


Love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Ben and Elder Bouaka

Some funny street art in Croix Rousse

Monday, September 12, 2016


Hello hello! This was a great week. What went down:

Monday-pday. Played soccer, napped a little, not much to report on.

Tuesday-service for Sister R, two tombez-vous, and English class. We had six people there this week! It's growing.

Wednesday-we saw E, and then we saw a lady who we passed to Bastia a while ago. She moved for a few months to Bastia, and now she is back in Nice. Her name is Mme. G, she's really nice. She's pretty sick and old, but she loves the Book of Mormon and wants to come to church. After that, we went to the Riquier neighborhood to visit the Ms, a less-active family we ran into last week. We talked about the temple, and they have a really desire to go again. They have been less-active for 10 years, but we think they can be reactivated. Right after talking to them, we bought some patisseries from a boulangerie right across from the Riquier train station. The lady working there was super croyante, and really interested in talking again. We'll be buying more pastries soon I guess! They were pretty bad honestly, but the lady is great so whatever. We went right to the church afterwards for RCM & ward council. We split the equipes, and I taught a Chinese amie with Elder Zhu. We watched the restoration video in Chinese. Really funny actually, watching American actors dubbed over in Chinese!

Thursday-we went to Cagnes-sir-Mer and saw Sr. B, a sister who is married to a non-member. It's been a while since she's been visited, and she really appreciated the visit. We talked about eternal marriage with her and her husband, K. He's not really interested but he was very respectful. After that, we went back up to the church to teach D with Frere C. D didn't read or pray, and just spent the whole time questioning the doctrine. Frere C answered questions really well, but D just isn't ready yet I think. Afterwards, we went to La Turbie, a small town right above Monaco. On the way there, we met two Americans from Arizona! They were really cool. They knew who we were, and they had lots of questions for us. At the end of the 45 minute bus ride, we gave them a Book of Mormon in English, and they were touched, even if they were not religious. We met Frere O in La Turbie, and he took us to his house in St. Martin-de-Peille, a super small village in the mountains. The Os have a beautiful home, and a swimming pool that looked really nice haha. They have a great view of the Italian border as well, they live only 10 km away from Italy. We had dinner and invited them to invite friends to our ward missionary activity on the 30th. We're gonna have a dance, last time it worked really well! The Os are Australian, but have lived all over, because Fr. O works for the UN. They don't speak French, so they are pretty quiet at church. But at home, in their own environment, they are super cool! It was great to get to know them and build a member-missionary relationship. Fr. O told us funny mission stories, and his oldest daughter loves Harry Potter and LOTR so we had some commonalities.

Friday-transfer calls. I'm leaving Nice. Big bummer, since Nice is the best sector in the mission. I don't care what anybody else says. But, I'm going to Lyon finally! I'll be in the Ecully ward, the Orange County of Lyon so to speak. I'll be with a good friend, Elder Burri. He served in Carcassonne so that's awesome! We'll be the leaders for the Ecully zone, the biggest zone in the mission. Having lots of missionaries close by will be super fun! At church, we'll have 12 full time missionaries in the ward, including the mission nurse, an office senior couple, and President and Sister Brown. So it's bound to be lots of fun! We played a prank on St Raph Friday morning as well! The Nice elders were in St. Raphael for transfer calls. Elder Zhu changed my phone's name to "E Assistant 1" on St Raph's phone, and I called them and impersonated the assistants. They freaked out when I gave them their fake transfer call! Then I called them a minute later and told them who it was, and they were relieved. They bought it hook, line and sinker. It was pretty funny, they got a good laugh out of it. It was Elder Sweet's first transfer call haha. After calls, we visited a sick member in a clinic, and packed, bought some stuff for the sisters apartment because Nice is getting sisters next transfer. A pretty crazy and busy day.

Saturday-we played basketball with two potentials, and Elder Sauro and I actually won! My hook shot was working well and we are a lot taller than the other guys so we scraped out a win haha. We showed them the church building and talked about religion and whatnot. We have another basketball appointment next week with them. We finished cleaning the other apartment, packing, saying goodbye, and for dinner, M took us out to eat at Don Carlo, a great pizza place. It's fantastic. It was fun eating pizza and hanging out with M, he's so cool. An ideal RM. we shared a message about patience and gratitude from Hebrews 12 with him. I'm gonna miss him a lot!

Sunday-the last day. Sigh. Church went well, despite us inviting everyone to church and nobody coming. I said goodbye to everyone, took lots of pictures, and we ate lunch with the ward. After some contacting, and putting in numbers, we had dinner at K's house one last time. It was super bitter-sweet. I'm gonna miss K so dang much. Maybe the best human being I have ever met. I seriously don't think he has a weakness. It's incredible. He gave me a goodbye gift, which was really touching. We shared a message about the priesthood and its power. He'll be receiving the Melchizedek priesthood in a few weeks after stake conference! I have never met a recent convert who is so converted. It's nuts. I finished packing, ready to leave at 7 the next morning. I'll go to Marseille, then Montpellier, then up to Lyon. An 8 hour trip.

What I learned:
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings." I read this somewhere in a talk this week, and I really appreciated the poem. I guess this is where that book comes from. Indeed, how often do we see people figuratively "blame the stars" and fail to ascertain the true source of failure. No selfish post hoc justification can resolve the problem. This goes along well with another quote I found this week: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." -Booker T. Washington. Here in Nice, we have worked hard but have faced great opposition. I know that it wasn't for nothing, that we were still successful in fulfilling our calling!

(free) Advice I have:
"And Peter Went Out and Wept Bitterly," by President Hinckley. A great talk about Peter's conversion and how it relates to us. "Put on the Whole Armor of God," by President Tanner, April 1979 Gen Conf. President Tanner speaks persuasively about the necessity of keeping the armor of God  on at all times! Really great talk.

Well, that's all for this beast-of-an-email. I love you all! Thanks for listening. God bless you.
Love, Elder MacArthur

Ben and his next companion Elder Burri in Ecully

Ben, former BYU basketball player Brandon Davies and Elder Suaro in Nice.  Brother Davis plays professionally for a team in Monaco.

Elder Suaro and Ben