Monday, April 25, 2016


Hello hello my friends. This week was the best week of my life! No kidding.

Events I experienced:
Tuesday was great! We had a zone finding day, and I got to hit the streets of Bordeaux with Elder Stutz, my old companion! It was marvelous. We passed a potential Amie that I found in Bordeaux a few transfers ago, and we set up a rendezvous!! It was great. We had a good time contacting around Bordeaux. We business contacted this guy who owned a music shop, he was super cool. I ended up buying a 1 euro Branford Marsalis CD. This guy was hating on his brother Wynton. Not cool. We had burritos for lunch, which is special because it is hard to find good burritos in France. They were huge. It was such a good time! Super blessed day.

Wednesday, we saw J-L and Soeur Coj! We ate dinner with the Coj family. It was delicious. That's about it.

Thursday, blitzed Brive! I was with Elder Little. We all went up to a little village an hour away to help the Phils with service. It took hardly any time at all. They are old and thought things would take longer, but it didn't. Oh well. So they insisted that we go check out this viewpoint, because lunch wasn't going to be ready for another hour anyway. So off we went. It was beautiful! You can see the Dordogne river going through a valley of hills. Then we came back and ate one of the best meals I have ever had. Blanquette with crudités and raspberries for dessert. It was incredible.

Friday, the zone leaders blitzed us. Me and Elder Boynton had a great day! We went to Voutezac and had lunch with J-L and his family!! His son N was with his wife K and their three boys, P, R, and M. Amazing. We had a little testimony meeting at the end, it was very spiritual and very touching. Then we went to Tulle to teach B, a Jehovah's Witness we met last week. As it turns out, he was not open at all. So that was interesting. Really fun, though!

Saturday! BAPTISM! J-L was baptized by his son. There was an incredible spirit there. J-L bore a great testimony at the end. I was so proud of him! I gave a talk on baptism and he loved it. After the baptism, we ate dinner with the papa All family. It was delicious! They played some gospel music in the background, sung by none other than Allan Jackson. It was alright I guess.

Sunday. Ironically, last night's dinner wasn't as great as we thought, because elder Storti gave it all back to our Swedish Food Poisoning Specialist, Pörs A. Lynn. ...Porcelain. Toilet bowl. Puke. Yeah it was a good joke. But we still made it to church, and I confirmed J-L a member of the church and gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost! It was a great experience that I shall never forget. After church, we came home and Elder Storti slept, I read the Book of Mormon and other useful things. Then I started feeling sick. Great. Hopefully I get better soon! But hey it doesn't matter, because J-L got baptized (twice) this week and that's a miracle. AMEN!

Lessons I learned:
A lot of stuff, but alas. No time to write them all. I learned that when you think life can't get any better, try your hardest...and it will! Yay!

(free) Advice I have:
"I Testify" by President Benson, October 1998 Gen Conf. Pure testimony from President Benson. Incredible talk. He goes through the whole retab and plan of salvation, practically. Incredible! A very useful talk for missionaries to strengthen the first two lessons.

I love you all! Thanks for reading :)
Elder MacArthur

Ben, J-L, his son who performed the baptism, and Elder Storti

Ben & Elder Storti with J-L and his son and family on baptism day

My DMP (ward mission leader) at the temple getting married all those years ago. He looks funny. Exactly like his young 13 year old son!

Dordogne River

Panorama of Dordogne River valley

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Hello the people. The week was swell.

Events I experienced:
Monday was pretty good. Nothing interesting to report. I'll have an interesting p-day eventually.

Tuesday! Tombez-vous the whole day. But we still got to have a good lesson with San! She's awesome. We were contacting afterwards, and the lady stopped us mid-sentence asking, "do you have pre-marital sex before marriage?" and of course we said "no" then she laughed and said "well that doesn't interest me" and walked off. Lots of people probably agree with her, but they usually aren't as bold about it haha. Right after, we contacted this guy who was uninterested in the end, but a Tahitian guy came up to us, he had been listening to us preaching! His parents are members of the church in Tahiti, and he's in the military in France. We got his number and set up a rendezvous for Saturday! His name is Jo, he's 7th day Adventist and he's super cool. Then an American family who's been here for a few weeks on vacation flagged us down as we were walking and invited us to have ice cream with them! They're cool. The ice cream was even cooler. Hahaha. I'm funny. We closed the day with a RDV w/ Nes. We watched "The Sabbath is a Delight" by President Nelson. It was a great time, I think it really helped. At least Nes knows how much we care about him, that we're his friends.

Wednesday, a blitz in Limoges! I was with Elder Swanson, it was a good time. We got to see Mon, a recent convert, and after that (and a meat pie chez lui) he took us to teach his friend Hap (great name), because she wants to start studying the Bible. A very typical request of Africans. But once they get the Book of Mormon they love reading it!

Thursday, district meeting! In Poitiers. I taught everyone about the Sabbath day and extending invitations to get our Amis to church as best we can. Not only inviting them, but preparing them and the ward to come to church and have a great experience. After the meeting, I had one of the best experiences of my mission. I have a baptismal interview to the Poitiers sisters' Amie, Am. She was found last transfer, and I remember hearing about when she was found, this it was really cool to put a face to the story. She was very well prepared and the interview was very touching. I imagined her changing herself as she met with the missionaries, all that she's gone through, and the feelings were indescribable. It was very fun, getting to do the interview. Just a big testimony meeting. I could feel my own testimony growing as I testified to her about baptism and the reality of what she was doing with her life. Best day ever!

Friday, we left from Limoges to Brive, got back, did some quick prep, and went to Tulle to do my legality. Luckily, it went well without problems. Only problem is, now I need to get my legality at Tulle. So if I leave next transfer (likely, since I have done 4 in Brive) I'll have to come all the way back here. Oh well. Free vacation as they say. After we got out of the prefecture, we passed lots of old Amis and less-actives. We found a TJ family to teach! We're coming back next Friday so we'll see where that goes. We got back to Brive and went directly to see the Ob family! The dad was there, so we took advantage of the opportunity to teach the Retab again. He loved it! And they're coming to church on Sunday, all 7! Baller. "Beeeeest daaaaay eeeveeeeeeer!" ~SpongeBob

Saturday. We got bodied. Two tombez-vous and delays. Weekly planning and baking stuff for birthdays and the ward meal tomorrow. I started a daily scripture text to send out to everyone, and we got a few old Amis to respond! Well worth it. Some members and less-actives expressed gratitude as well. It took lots of time because the phones here suck. Limited functions and just....not user friendly. Mais bon. A good day quand même.

Sunday was great, we went to Bordeaux after church for our zone p-day tomorrow. We had 7 Amis at church, but got dropped by our family of 7. Ouch. Really unfortunate, but that's all we can do. Ça va alors.

Monday was super fun! We went to Arcachon, to the Pilat Dunes, the tallest dunes in Europe. They were sick! Really beautiful and super fun. I didn't get burned either. There are sand cliffs you can jump off of and it's super fun.

Lessons I learned:
All we can do is all we can do. No more, no less. When bad things come, continue to do your best and don't worry about rest. President Benson put it his way: "The great test of life is obedience to God. The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord and then do it. The great commandment of life is to love the Lord." No more, no less.

(free) Advice I have:
ALL OF GENERAL CONFERENCE. SERIOUSLY. But more specifically, "Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You" by Jeffrey R Holland.  I love Jeffrey R. Holland. His talks are the best. But this talk is special. I'm not sure if I have ever heard a better talk in my whole life. If you read this talk and don't like it, "check yourself before you wreck yourself" as a wise man once said. All jokes aside, an exceptional talk. If you want a morale boost, look no further.

Love you all! Stay classy.
Elder MacArthur

Ben & Elder Storti with a cool American family on vacation in Brive

Elder Kimball and a double rainbow

Bordeaux Zone P-day at Pilat Dunes

Monday, April 11, 2016


Hello hello the people! This week was good. Repetitive but true. Always good weather where you are!

Events I experienced:
Monday was a great day. Nothing special, really. Moving on!

Tuesday. My mom's birthday and Elder Richmond's birthday! Happy birthday!

Wednesday! Exchange with Elder Thangaraj. Super fun! We did a lot of good stuff. He told me some of his story, getting active in the church again. What an inspiration. His companion Elder Walker is awesome too! Blitzing them was fun.

Thursday! Zone training. Role plays with the Book of Mormon. We had to find a scripture from the Book of Mormon to answer the ami's question. I'm grateful that I read it everyday, it helps so much to have scriptures at your disposal. I got to meet Elder Swanson and Elder Dunn in my district as well, and they're awesome. Elder Swanson would have been my best friend if he went to SEHS I swear.

Friday was incredible!! Exchange with Elder Richmond. I love that man. Our whole day fell through, but it was still a blast.

Reading Moroni 7 w/ Mil...
Mil: Why are there only ever men in the scriptures? Why does it always say "brethren"?
Me:......Because Mormon's talking to his brothers.
Mil: Oh, ok.
*Elder Richmond loses it*
Haha false doctrine! But I didn't really have a good answer for her, I'll have to tell her on Sunday haha. We went to see Nes, he's not doing too well. He just lacks motivation to go to church. I love him so much, it really hurts to see him like this. Patience man. Mosiah 23:21.

Saturday. More Mosiah 23:21
  • I realized my foot pain was an ongle de pied incarné. Ingrown toenail. It hurts. So I tried to take it easy on my foot. Which I hate doing. Grrr.
  • We saw San, and she's not doing well. The government told her this week that they're keeping her daughters for another year. It's completely unjust and preposterous. One of her other kids doesn't like church, and so she prefers to be with her kids rather than go to church on Sunday. It's pretty difficult.
  • Our RDV with J-L fell through, because it's the second time this week he's gotten stung by a bee. Why was he stung, you might ask? He was trying to save it from drowning. As admirable as that is... At least put gloves on!!! Once again, his various health problems might keep him from church. Frustrating. I'm thinking about making him sign a contract, promising to never try to save the life of another bug, ever again. Uggg.
I was very stressed and frustrated. Perplexed. Vexed. Still am, if you haven't noticed by my writing. But I prayed a lot, and eventually I felt better. Prayer works! "Anyone who esteems himself capable of navigating the emotional mires of life without celestial correspondence understands neither God nor His divine qualities, plan, and love- to say nothing of himself." Bonus points if you can figure out who said that. It might take some searching!

Sunday! Church. Lunch with J-L, Mil, Mama Brig, and Elo right after church. A good day.

Lessons I learned:
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" ~1 Peter 2:2 I laughed inside when I read this scripture. Sometimes the Bible has funny ways of saying things. This scripture makes sense. I suppose the translation is alright enough. But am I correct in saying that the imagery is a little unorthodox. Peter said "ye...are a peculiar people." You're right Peter, that is a little peculiar.

"As you consider the question of what kind of  person  you will become, you must understand the dynamic process of life. You not only can change but  you  do change all of the time. Sometimes people do not believe this. They excuse their failures and weaknesses by saying: "That's just the way I am." "I am just short tempered, impatient person." I  can't  get up in  the morning. That's just the way I am."  "That's my nature." Or, "I'm just shy. That's all. That's just who I am." "I am not really a spiritual person." To believe that weaknesses  and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the plan of salvation." Lawrence Corbridge lays it down! We can all change, we all should change, we all must change.

(free) Advice I have:
"To the Bishops of the Church" by President Hinckley, Oct. 1988 Gen Conf. President Hinckley says: "You have been called, ordained, and set apart as shepherds to the flock. You have been endowed with discernment, judgment, and love to bless their lives. In the process, you will bless your own."
Really good talk. Directly to bishops, yes, but just as applicable to us who are fortunate  to not be bishops!

I love you all! Thanks for the emails! Peace be unto you.
Love, Elder MacArthur

Zone training!

I finally got the was amazing

Me with R and A! R is adorable.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Hello hello! A good week this week!

Events I experienced:
Monday was solid. Because of Easter, we had to walk the hour to church and back for emails, so that was fun. We had a good FHE and dinner at Frere Vil's house, our ami J-L was able to come so that was cool. Frere Vil made burritos. Nothing like real burritos. If French people offer to make you burritos, say no. Just say no. I still get sick when eating chili due to a chili dog incident a few months ago, so that made things worse.

Tuesday was great! We saw Elo, and our amie San. Her boyfriend was there! The key? Fix RDVs a few hours before coming, and show up unannounced. We invited Ped to be baptized 3 times, he said "maybe, I'll think about it" all three times. We'll get him soon. They're coming to general conference, so that always helps! Hopefully they understand ok, they speak Portuguese better than French. Our RDV with M fell through (he was working) so we contacted, had dinner, then ported. Talked to a lady who was super paranoid, thought that Brive was the most dangerous place in the world. She was convinced her neighbors were spying on her so she whispered the whole time.

Wednesday! Incredible. We had nachos. Real nachos. Frere Ben made them with Fran, and it was amazing. And what's more, he gave us root beer. A&W root beer. Maybe y'all in the USA don't understand how amazing that is. In France, that's a big hairy deal. Finding that stuff is more rare than anything. I'm serious, actually. Not even joking here. Voilà. Then we taught Sar! Did we invite her to be baptized? Heck yes. Did she accept? Heck yes!! Awesome. Hopefully 2 baptisms this transfer. The retab went flawlessly, really natural and she didn't feel uncomfortable at all. Perfect. Then we contacted for a while, taught SD, and met Nes to read the BoM. We read Mosiah 5 and he loved it! Then the Stake President picked us up and we had dinner chez lui. Chicken curry. Fabulous. And he gave me the best present ever...Skippy Superchunk peanut butter. Again, maybe Americans are saying "psshhhh big deal," but in France, big deal. If you can even find it (good luck) you'll be paying an arm and 2 legs. President Brignard said "I don't like crunchy, so here ya go." His American relatives were just visiting, and thank goodness. They brought the Skippy for him, and now it is in my stomach. Ahh. So blessed. I almost fainted I was so happy.

Thursday was good. We contacted, passed old amis, potentials, you name it. Helped Elo do some genealogy, read the Book of Mormon with her and Mil. Then it started to rain hard. Got completely soaked. Went to M's house. Got called a false church. Had an amicable discussion, but realized that there was nothing more to discuss. We're dropping him, which is too bad, cuz he's a great guy! But he's not ready, he loves being Catholic. He's super practicing (really rare believe me) and can't believe that we don't pray to Mary. Oh well.Maybe later!

Friday...lessons learned. RDV with J-L fell through, so I consoled myself by buying a chorizo baguette. Get to the caisse to pay wallet. Freak out, take the bus, not on the bus, get back to the gare, not there, wait for other bus,'s there! Wedged between the seat and the wall next to the window. That could have been really tricky replacing things, being outside of the United States. Truly, there is a God, and He is a God of Miracles. Had I not prayed, I'm not sure I would have found it. Prayer saves many things: lives, relationships, shaky lessons, the outcome of golf shots, all other sports events, even wallets. Then we saw Nes, and afterwards gave a blessing to sister F. Then we got picked up by Frere Coj to teach his wife who's getting baptized in September. It went really well! We talked about the temple and gave her the Mon Parcours pamphlet to help her track her progress. Then she fed us. Well. Very well. Yum.

Saturday! A good day. Helped the Hubs with getting wood, taught San, and had general conference.

Sunday! Awesome. Cool note: my old mission president Blake Roney was called to be an area 70! Go P-Rones. And more general conference. Jean-Luc came! He loved it. He also gave us a lot of food. A lot. And he gave me magnetic foot insoles. For my shoes. More on that next week...

Lessons I learned:
Hebrews 11 explains faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (v. 1,6) A faithful disciple is the biggest joy of God's heart.

Alma 37:6 teaches "that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." Small prayers make all the difference. 5 minutes of the Book of Mormon each day can change our entire heart. A smile might just get you a date with that one girl-a ring might get you a wife. Ok maybe not just like that but you get the point. I have gotten many free pastries here just by complimenting more than anyone else that day. Delightification, baby. It works.

(free) Advice I have:
"Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon" by President Benson, Oct. 1988 Gen Conf. What it's all about for missionaries! A great talk that is even more relevant today. EVEN MORE RELEVANT. Seriously. Please read this talk and evaluate your personal efforts to flood the earth with this book.

Thanks for listening, all you that follow my life on a week to week basis. What commitment. Love you all! Have a good week!
Love, Elder MacArthur

General Conference!

???  Came with no description

Two rarities