Monday, June 27, 2016


This week has been a great one. Lots of new stuff, all very interesting.

This week, I went on an exchange with Elder Zhu. It was a little different because he doesn't talk much, but we had a lot of good things to do. We gave two Books of Mormon to a lady named C. who wanted one for herself and her daughter-in-law. We taught her the Restoration, and she expressed interest in seeing us again this week to talk about the book. She is very curious, and loves learning about religions. Hopefully we can see her soon and get some new amis! Elder Zhu loves Nice, and despite his limited French, he does his best to contact people (especially the Chinese people!) everywhere.

Our teaching pool has yet to increase. Out of all the new amis Elder Nadauld and I found, we haven't even gotten one to start progressing! Sometimes agency is annoying haha. We are still seeing our amid M., and she is doing as well as ever! Yesterday at church, the word of wisdom was taught, and she loved it! She has yet to learn a doctrine of the church that she doesn't love. She always says "c'est tellement beau" or "c'est magnificque, ca!" or (my favorite) "c'est ce que je pense aussi!" She's awesome! While she remains a little apprehensive about accepting a baptismal date, she asked us how a baptism works and she got really excited. She'll be baptized soon, I can tell! We read in the Book of Mormon this week with her, because she wasn't ready on her own. She was taking an I'll-read-when-I-want-to approach. After reading about Nephi's trip back to Jerusalem to procure the brass plates, she said that she had more envie to read on her own! Every little problem that presents itself seems to crumble away. The Lord's hand is clearly in it.

This week was lots of fun, we got to play basketball with Elder Nadauld's family who were in town visiting the mission, we played with L. and got to teach him as well. We had lots of cool things, but alas I have not much time to write them. Not even an hundredth part, actually.

This week, I set out on my transfer goals to act on the advice my mission president gave me. I worked on the Christlike attribute of humility. I read somewhere that humility isn't thinking less of yourself, it's thinking less about yourself. I really tried to work on that this week by serving the elders in the apartment. I'm not sure how successful I was, but I am increasingly aware of my lack of humility, at least! It can hide no more haha. This will help me with my personal goals for this transfer:

  • Study the Savior to become an example of someone changed by Him (Daily reading in Book of Mormon, The Life of the Savior, Jesus the Christ)
  • Humbly seek His will, then humbly do it (work with Elder Sauro to know what the Lord wants us to do)
  • Just plain never be frightened (increase my faith in the Savior and His Atonement, let that faith drive my work) 
This week, we shared a conference talk with a less-active, M. It's by Bishop Waddell, titled "A Pattern for Peace" from the last general conference. He said something that touched me: "In our search for peace amidst the daily challenges of life, we’ve been given a simple pattern to keep our thoughts focused on the Savior, who said: 'Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me. I am Jesus Christ.' Learn, listen, and walk--three steps with a promise." I realized that these are my goals for the transfer! Learn, listen, and walk. That got me really excited, I know that these goals were given to me in part by President Brown's inspired counsel and certainly the Lord. I'm confident that they will help me - maybe more than any other goals I've ever set! I am very happy in Nice.

I get to go to Lyon today. Then Bordeaux. Then Brive on Wednesday for legality! I love Brive so much!! This is going to be such a good transfer. I'm in the best mission in the world, in the best city ever. And my companion is an angel. Elder Sauro's strengths are very often my weaknesses. The correlation is so reoccurring it's uncanny. I know it's no coincidence that we are together. I know I'll drive him crazy, but it'll be very good for me haha! This I know. He's got lots of good ideas, he likes changing things, and it's already benefiting us. I'm excited to work with him and to get to love him.

Thanks for listening! I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

Ben and Elder Naudald (who is visiting Nice with his family before flying home)

Ben, Elder Sauro and the Marseille elders

Ben, their investigator M., and Elder Sauro

Monday, June 20, 2016


Hello hello esteemed friends. 9 transfers down! I'm hitting double digits. Scary stuff. 8 left!

Monday: Soccer

Tuesday: Rendezvous with a lady who wants to be a Buddhist monk. We had no idea going into the rdv. It was interesting. She now has a Book of Mormon and every pamphlet we had. Will she come to church? Maybe. She's really nice though. Maybe too nice. She said we are all perfect. That is the most mistaken-yet-kind-nonetheless-false compliment I have ever received.

Wednesday: District meeting in Toulon! We ate Steak-n-Shake afterwards. Expensive but good. A true yolo moment.

Thursday: District meeting in Nice! Then we taught a recent convert, L. Then we had dinner at the Tep's. They are a cool Tahitian family. They stuffed us with food. It was incredible. I gained literally gained a kilo.

Friday: Transfer calls! Elder Nadauld is getting transferred to Springville, he'll be getting a new and ever-lasting companion pretty soon. Elder Lutu is off to Geneva to drive the zone leaders around. Elder Raherimandimby stays and gets Elder Zhu, an awesome Chinese guy from mainland China. He's legit, and really good at basketball! I'm staying and getting Elder Sauro, a guy from Montreal. He was in Talence (Bordeaux) but their zone got shut down, so he's coming over here. He's really quiet, pretty reserved, very polite and hard-working. Has a Quebec accent, so lots of people don't understand him in English or French. He speaks English (very well, minus the accent) as a second language. I'm excited to get him!

Saturday: Ward picnic in a really beautiful parc ("Castel des deux Rois" for those who want Google maps pics, I forgot to take some) and then lots of packing and cleaning.

Sunday: Church, I officially took over translation of Sacrament meeting. I'd much rather translate from English to French. Going from French to English is hard, especially when the members speak quickly. Good language exercise though! Then we dropped off Elder Nadauld at the airport so he could fly solo to Lyon. I went back with D (an RM on an internship) to his place to use his computer to do numbers. We listened to MoTab, drank root beer, and had a jolly old time. He's awesome! Then we walked back to the gare where the other Elders were teaching a member's friend. (Note to members: invite your friends to meet the missionaries/do stuff with them. It leads really easily to them getting taught. We need more of this! If you're tired of the missionaries finding, teaching, and baptizing weird people, give us your friends :) Then we went back and finished packing and cleaning. What a week!

I am so excited for this new transfer. This last transfer has been a wonderful experience. Elder Nadauld has taught me so much. I've learned as much as I can. His influence on me will be long-lasting. I thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity to learn from such a strong missionary. I hope I have learned what I need to from him. I really do. I feel much more capable and comfortable about continuing on without him than I did at the start of the transfer!

Our zone is going to be even better next transfer! Elders Bouaka, Thangaraj and Moss in Ajaccio will level things out a lot. Elder Thangaraj in particular will enjoy having Elder moss there. Elders Underwood, Wilkey, and Ramsey are going to get along so well and work really hard! Elders Steadman and Loveland will continue to learn together. Elder Loosle is very excited to get Elder Hansen! They'll be a good equipe. Soeur McKeon will enjoy Soeur Vandroux, they're both pretty similar and should work well. Elder Arne seems excited for Elder Berger. Elder Zhu is awesome and will work soooo well with Elder Raherimandimby. I'm super excited for Elder Sauro, he's a really nice guy who is extremely capable and will teach me a lot! What a zone! It'll be a great time. We'll be able to accomplish much together, having been experienced at binding Satan.

As I set out to bind Satan this transfer, I thought I would end up like Nephi in 6 weeks, no problem. I thought this was some unknown art/power that I had never tried! I soon realized that it's another way to say "living the gospel of Jesus Christ." Binding Satan is enduring to the end, starting with faith and repeating the whole process. I realized how much I need to improve upon this simple yet difficult doctrine. I often got frustrated and failed to see the little steps I had taken, because I was looking for great bounds. But looking back, I realize that I did more than I thought, but not through my efforts alone. Not at all! My companion, the members, my mission leaders, and Heavenly Father pushed me and helped me when I couldn't do it alone. Much of the frustration I felt was because I was annoyed with my lack of progress. But negative feelings are never helpful. I realized that much of my frustration was actually pride, because I thought I knew better than Elder Nadauld when he corrected me, or because I didn't seek God's help. It took me a while to figure these things out, but I did improve, I promise! Not as much as I would have liked, but the gospel is the gospel of a million chances, so I'll keep trying haha. I'm grateful for this challenge, and for Elder Christofferson who inspired us to claim these blessings. I wouldn't have done it on my own volition alone.

This transfer has been full of learning. Sometimes, I would think that, because I wasn't seeing the progress I expected, I thought I was failing to learn from Elder Nadauld, or that he was failing to teach me. He's not perfect, by any means. But the more I continued to watch him, the more I started to see the good side and less of the bad. It took me the whole transfer to really appreciate him and figure out what he was teaching me. He really just taught me one thing: love the Lord, love your family, love your friends (love everybody). Love is the key. He taught me this by doing lots of different things, but I think the lesson was always the same. He loved his mission with all his heart, might, mind, and strength. I hope to follow this example.

I love you all!
Love, Elder MacArthur

Playing soccer
Goofing around
Steak-n-shake after district meeting in Toulon

Monday, June 13, 2016


Hello everyone! I got a new iPad on Saturday, so I haven't had much time to write stuff.

Monday: Fun soccer pday, as usual.

Tuesday: Finding. 4 new Amis!

Wednesday: Exchange with Elder Aburst from Antibes. Really fun lesson with M. She loves everything.

Thursday: Nice home run derby. The St. Raphael freres blitz us and we grind it to the bone the whole day, we get 8 amis in our equipe and 17 in our district! Incredible. It rained really hard and we got soaked, but we met lots of cool prepared people.

Friday: We finished up transfer recommendations,then we went to Lyon for an exchange with the assistants! I was with Elder Huntsman and Menzel. We played lots of sports and got 5 new amis from it! That night, all 5 of us went to President & Sister Brown's house for dinner! We celebrated Elder Huntsman's birthday on Saturday, plus the Browns love Elder Nadauld, so they couldn't not invite us over I guess. It was delicious!! They had been marinating steak and chicken for 2 days straight. Yum. Afterwards, we played HORSE with President. He's pretty good! Also, I got "The Life of the Savior," a book written by my old mission president that compiles the gospels and modern scripture to give the story of Christ's life. It's an amazing book, there were extras in the basement from when he left.

Saturday, we played soccer with a bunch of African guys who were really good. It was super entertaining. Then we came back down to Nice. Lots of drunk English Euro Cup fans coming to Nice by train, talking smack about the U.S. and every other country. Pretty funny,actually!

Sunday! Normal day. Great day. A BYU study abroad group came to church, about 25 freshman girls all tried to talk our heads off. I tried to stay away haha, but we had to translate for all the English speakers. It was a good language exercise. Two of them are coming into our mission in August. I met an old BYU friend, Carson, who came on the trip! I met him in a French class in January 2015. It was fun to see him again! We ended the day with dinner at K's, as usual.

It was an amazing week! I loved it.

I love you!
Elder MacArthur

Dinner with the Browns!

Happy birthday to Elder "Une Semaine"

Monday, June 6, 2016



Well, the week was a week.

The only thing I'll mention is an interview I had with President Brown this morning. It was great! He gave me the perfect advice. He told me a little story: One time President Packer gave a fireside when President Brown was young. He said, concerning the Brethren, "we're just plain never frightened." President Brown talked to me about fearless leadership and what we can do to execute the Lord's vision for the mission fearlessly. He also talked to me about pride, and how I need to be unaffected by Satan's attempts to trick me into being prideful. It was a great interview.

Well, that's about it. Love you all! I'll send pictures next week hopefully :)

Elder MacArthur

[As you can probably tell Ben is a little down this week.  Saturday they were contacting in a public square when someone stole his satchel including wallet, iPad and camera.  All is replaceable except for pictures on the SIM card in the camera.  He woke us Saturday by calling to ask us to cancel his credit and debit cards.  Of course we are thankful the call was not about a more serious problem e.g. hospitalization!]