Monday, August 29, 2016


Hey everyone! Sorry but this letter will be short. What went down:

Monday-pday, looked for a trumpet in pawn shops, no luck. Bought some cool jazz CDs, I'm pretty excited about those! Then we taught our new ami, J-M. He talks a lot, which is frustrating, but he has read up to Mormon in the BoM in a week. Not bad. I'm not sure about his comprehension but he's definitely making the effort! We talked about baptism, and he didn't like the idea of having a baptismal date. Ça viendra. Took the bus to Vauban, the basketball courts. I met a girl on the bus named P who knows one of our potential amies, N. I got her number and hopefully we'll see her Thursday! Sometimes it's hard getting a girl's number without her thinking that you're flirting. They often suspect that you want to see them for a different reason, that you're  up to something, which of course, as a missionary, you always are haha. We would love to talk more, but not just for the sake of talking haha. Got off the bus, and we went to play basketball with Frere T R, we met some of his friends and had a good time.

Tuesday-planned zone conference for next week. We called a lot of restaurants to see if they could cater for the conference. We ended up getting Sr. R to cater it! The fruits of helping someone build a wall I guess. Then we went to Colline du Chateau, a parc in Nice, to teach some lessons. We taught these two guys who were really funny. They're both from Brittany, but we had a great lesson nonetheless. Then we taught a couple not far away. No number though, which stinks. We left the hill, and went to go pick up a trumpet from a rental shop. Then we went up to the church, and ran into the nurse of an old couple in the ward! The couple, the Js, had already given her a Book of Mormon! So we taught the restoration to her. We'll try to visit the Js and see the nurse again. Then we practiced our musical number for zone conference. We decided to play Praise To The Man. It's a cool hymn, talks about loyalty and faithfulness (the conference theme), and Elder Sauro can play it on piano. I transposed the part into B flat, and we went through it a few times. I'll have to write my own arrangement of the trumpet part to make it interesting. After practice, we saw L,  and talked about prophets and why they are important. He was really interested to learn, and we had a great time. He said he would come to next sacrament meeting, so I consider the rdv a success.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday were great too.

Saturday was a day full of miracles. We had 4 lessons, which brought us to 20 for the week, for the second week in a row! We've been working extra hard and it has been paying off. At the end of the day, we contacted two girls by Old Nice. Turns out, they are from California and Oregon. They both go to University of Oregon, where I'm from! One of them knows half my BYU friends, and has investigated the church for a long time. They know one of my childhood friends as well who is at U of O. It was a crazy miracle! We invited them to church, but they didn't come. Hopefully we see them again! God does not work with coincidences, I really hope that our conversation with them helped them in some way.

It was a great week! Almost all our zone got 20 lessons too. We're ready for zone conference next week!

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

Street boarding with Elder Graff

Elder Hansen street boarding

P-day today, we went to St Jean Cap-Ferrat! Beautiful peninsula!  

Our U of O friends! 

Monday, August 22, 2016


Hello hello everyone! This week was great! Unfortunately, not much time to write. Quick recap:

Monday-had a super cool hike on the French-Italian border.

Tuesday-service chez Sister Ro, and we saw M. She refuses to come to church due to the members. Oh well. We'll need to stop teaching her for the moment.

Wednesday- Toulon district meeting, we taught F, Y, taught some good street lessons!

Thursday-our district meeting, street lessons, good day.

Friday-exchange with a blue, Elder Graff from Toulon!! We played soccer with some potential amis, street boarded and had a great lesson, taught S (K's aunt), more contacting, more street lessons.

Saturday-we saw S, E, Con with Cle at her house. They are great members. Then we weekly planned.

Sunday-church, RCM, taught S again, put in numbers, and went to the Tep's for dinner! I invited them to invite their friend, A, and he came! We taught him about the Book of Mormon afterwards, and fixed a rdv for Saturday. The food was great. Super awesome missionary family!

We got 20 lessons this week, which was the result of hard work, persistence, and smart contacting. We got 3 new amis, and we hope to see them progress. I learned that hard work is the best recipe for happiness as a missionary. It was a great week. My journal has a lot more details than this scanty email. Maybe when I come home you can read it haha.

I love you all! Sorry about the short email, or you're welcome, if you don't read this anyways!
Elder MacArthur

Saw this guy again! I'll be playing trumpet for next week's zone conference!

Monday, August 15, 2016


Hello everyone!
We don't have too much time today, we went on a hike by Italy! It was lots of fun. I'll just give a quick rundown, then a spiritual thought. What went down:

Monday-went to Lyon for MLC, we got MasterTacos with the Bordeaux zone leaders and sisters, the Aix and Montpellier zone leaders, and the Geneva sisters. It was lots of fun!

Tuesday- MLC, it was really fun! We talked about loyalty to the Lord and His Servants. President really cracked down on lots of disobedience and things that keep us back from doing our best. He shared the story of when Captain Moroni rent his coat and wrote the title of Liberty. He encouraged us to have our own "Captain Moroni moment" and bind Satan as if we were in the millennium. To do this, we went up to a mountain outside Lyon, called Mount Thou. We sang "High on the Mountain Top," and we had some alone time to try and receive revelation about how to bind Satan's influence in our zone. We came back, talked about policy, then the meeting ended. The office couldn't get us home on time that night, so we stayed the night in Lyon. We were going to go on an exchange with the Assistants, I was pumped to do some Lyon contacting with Elder Wade, a good friend.  But they had something come up, so we went with the Ecully zone leaders and the assistant's driver, Elder Sumter, to see J, a member in Lyon. He was pretty crazy and funny, and he gave us dinner too! It was lots of fun getting to see them and work with them.

Wednesday- we woke up, picked up supplies at the office, got the other pair of Nice keys from the assistants, and got on a train to Nice. We went right to RCM, then ward council, planned for zone training.

Thursday-zone training! We only had 9 people there, due to our trio, the Cannes sisters' absence, and the Corsica district being in Corsica. It went well though, we took the last hour to give everyone blessings, and we all had some personal reflection time as well. I got to give Elder Sweet, a blue, a blessing, it was a great experience. The spirit really put the words in my mouth! The spirit was strong throughout the meeting, we asked everyone to wear a suit in preparation for the meeting even though it's really hot. It really contributed to the focus of the meeting. After zone training, we did a little finding and went to K's. He's been stressing about his PhD final project, and he asked for a blessing. So I have my second blessing of the day, it was equally wonderful. K had tears in his eyes. I love that guy so much! Converts like that make me want to do more missionary work, the church needs more Ks for sure.

Friday- we went to Sr. R's house, a less-active, to do service by helping her and her husband to build a wall! It was good fun. She stuffed us afterwards. I've eaten so many green beans on my mission that I don't hate them anymore! We shared a lesson with her and R, a worker who helps them out. We gave him a Book of Mormon! I'm not sure if he can read, really, but hopefully he can. Then we taught K's aunt at Sr. A's house, it went really well! She's going back to New Caledonia in a few weeks, but she'll get baptized for sure. She stuffed us again after the lesson. Then we visited T's family, and then did home teaching with F and the P family. It was a really good day. I'm getting really fat, seriously.
Members feed us too much, sometimes.

Saturday-we finally saw A, our amie. She's been super busy with work. She still wants to get baptized, though. Hopefully she does not move to Paris. We talked about baptism, and she is still waiting for a call about work in Paris. We hope she stays! She knows she needs to be baptized, and she wants to be. If she stays, we'll baptize her for sure. Then we went out to see E in Villeneuve Loubet, a little town right on the coast. It's super beautiful! We ate food from his restaurant, and talked about his friends. We got a RDV fixed with him and a work friend! We came back and saw L, he's been struggling a little. Please pray for him. He's confused right now, we hope he comes back to church.

Sunday-normal Sunday. Nothing different.

Lessons I learned:
In 1 Nephi 3, Nephi shows us how to be loyal. After his brothers refuse to go back to get the plates after a first failed attempt, Nephi exhorts them: "Wherefore, let us be faithful." He continues in the next chapter, after having been beaten by his brothers: "Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord." After trying to strengthen their faith, he says "wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us," showing his perennial faith in Christ. Even as he walks towards Laban's house, he does not really have a plan. He lets himself be guided by the Spirit. When he finds Laban but shrinks from the thought of killing someone, the Spirit reminds him of his duty to be loyal: "...I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise...therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit." After meeting Zoram and admonishing him to come with them, Nephi sets the example again: "shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord?"

There were not many servants of the Lord more loyal than Nephi. Often we as missionaries cannot find the least smudge of moral fiber to even follow easy rules, like no beaches, curfew, iPad, etc. Nephi was told to cut off someone's head! When I look at his example of not wavering in his duty of loyalty, it makes me want to be better.

(free) Advice I have:
"These I Will Make My Leaders," by President Faust, October 1980 Gen Conf. A great talk on leadership. A little piece of advice I liked: "The leader himself, when directing, does not have to be bombastic and loud. Those who are called to lead in the ministry of the Master are not called to be chiefs or dictators. They are called to be good shepherds. They are to be constantly training others to take their place and become greater leaders than their teachers. A good leader expects much, inspires greatly, and sets on fire those he is called to lead."

I love you all! Have a great week. Jesus the Christ loves you. His Father does too.
~Elder MacArthur

Coast to the right: France. To the left: Italy.

Zone training!

Monday, August 8, 2016


Hey everyone! This week great being with Elder Sauro and Elder Zhu. We had lots of fun and good work.

What went down:
Monday was great! Elder Zhu and I went down to Marseille, gave Elder Raherimandimby his bags, then hung out with missionaries at the gare. We came up with Elder Sauro at 1:30, took the train back to Nice, and met the Ajaccio elders there. We did a shopping, Elder Thangaraj and I got matching t-shirts at H&M. Then we went to family home evening!

Tuesday, we all three taught a few lessons, finished emails, planned. Not much there. It's different being in a trio again!

Wednesday, we saw an old member named F! He's 78, comes to church every week. He has hands like a bear. He destroyed me in an arm wrestling match. To be fair, he could destroy almost all the missionaries in our mission. After that, we saw a new investigator named S! He's Spanish, and really cool. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. He asked really good questions! After him, we went back to St. André to see A. We did some porting before that, we set up a few RDVs to pass by tomorrow. Our lesson with A was great, we explained the temple and how that's our goal for him. He'll come to church this week, and he started to Book of Mormon! He seriously has big-time potential!

Thursday, we met with a new member who just moved to Nice from Spain! His name is Y, he's from the Ivory Coast. We talked about the temple and he really wants to go. He was baptized 6 months ago, he's super solid. The lesson was in Spanish, so I didn't understand much, but it seemed really good. Nowadays, being with Elder Sauro and Zhu, a lot of lessons are in Spanish or Potuguese or Chinese or Japanese, so I don't always understand haha. Then we saw DC and M.  D is finally going home! He bought us pizza! It was great. We talked about PMG chapter 8, about fixing goals. Hopefully he'll fix the goal to get married soon! After lunch, we helped some new members move in to their apartment, carried a washing machine and other things. Then we went porting a little in St. André.

Friday was alright, nothing special. We saw L, we talked about testimony, it was pretty good. He's been going back to his old church.

Saturday was good. We saw V, the investigator of Elder Zhu (the Nice 2 equipe). She's on track for baptism, she just needs to get married to her "husband/boyfriend" so we hope that goes quick. Then we saw E, and Elder Zhu was shocked to see such a dirty and gross apartment. He couldn't breathe, it was so gross. Now he has empathy for us each time we go over!

Sunday was pretty good, we had church which was really spiritual, it was fast and testimony meeting. Getting to translate the French to English helps me internalize and put into my own words the messages given at church. I have to pay really good attention!

What I learned:
I finished the Book of Mormon this week! My favorite part of this book is the end, I find great inspiration in the words of Mormon, Moroni 10:

8 And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.
9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;
10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
11 And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
12 And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;
13 And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;
14 And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;
15 And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;
16 And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.
17 And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as he will.
18 And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.

They come unto man, according as he will. It is up to us. These words remind me of others: "If it is up to be, it is up to me." How important it is to seek the gifts of the spirit. These gifts, acquired by the Spirit, will help us to become like the Savior.

(free) Advice I have:
"The Long Lines of the Lonely," by President Monson, April Gen Conf. This is such a good talk that expounds on the scripture in James 1:27. Read this talk! It will make you feel good. President Monson is such a wonderful man, he has a heart of gold. He shared this thought: "The leadership of this Church is mindful of the widow, the widower, the lonely. Can we be less concerned? Emerson counseled that rings and jewels are not gifts, but substitutes for gifts. The only real gift is a portion of oneself." So, Go visit the lonely, the dreary; Go comfort the weeping, the weary. Oh, scatter kind deeds on your way, And make the world brighter today.

Well, we're still à trois. We might be three for a while! We'll see how it goes. It's pretty fun! Thanks for listening, I love you all!
Elder MacArthur
Elder Tahiana and Ben (in his new French suit)

Cleaning out an old Souers apartment.  Lovely!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016


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

Monday: Haircut, shopping, I finally got a French suit. It's a pretty conservative one, not too flashy, but it's really nice, I like it. My old blue suit is getting pretty worn. To end the day, we visited the R family and talked about how they can do missionary work.

Tuesday was good. We did some area book work, had every rendezvous fall through, so we passed lots of people and contacted, gave out a few Books of Mormon, fixed three RDVs.

Wednesday was really nice. We started out the day by seeing M at the church, we watched a few Mormon messages in English to help him learn English. He's the nicest guy ever, I love being with him! Then we saw Brother B, a 78 year old man from Martinique who could destroy me in any physical competition. He is super strong.  He has hands like a bear. We asked him about the inter-regional plan, and he gave us a few referrals. I don't know what these people will be like, but I'm excited to meet them. Then we contacted at Garibaldi square, found a lady who was crying over her husband that she lost a year ago, and we taught the plan of salvation. She wasn't interested but at least it helped her a little. Then we tried to pass a few people, couldn't find one address, we ended up around the Nice Musical Conservatory where we met a group of eight aspiring opera singers from Juliard! One was from Portland, OR. We talked a little and whatnot. Then as we walked out, we saw another young lady we had met previously a few weeks ago. She only had time to say hello, but hopefully we can teach her soon. Then we went to the church to teach a guy Elder Sauro found, named F. He loves Greek philosophers, books, photography. He was really touched that we gave him the Book of Mormon for free, and he promised to read it. He said that he's busy but we'll try to see him next week. Upon leaving, he took the bus with us, and I asked him about his taste in photography. He showed me a calendar made with photos he took, but unfortunately they were...bad photos. They were not just bad, they were a little weird. I quickly handed it back to him haha. Getting back to the apartment, I found a package from my siblings! It was full of great stuff, with some very kind notes. It's always a sparc to get one of those. And Skippy Super Chunk might be my favorite food, so I was a happy kid.

Thursday was very unique! Two member RDVs, got fed very well at both. Then other plans fell through, and we tried to visit an old ami. I had the genius idea of taking a shortcut, which led to hiking up a hill, and trying to walk along the train tracks. That for sure would have gotten us killed. So we abandoned that plan and stupidly hiked up the hill for 30 minutes, getting very dusty and falling over a few times. When we finally reached the top, having had to hike through bushes and trees and climb and whatnot, I was so dirty that I looked like a hobo who put on missionary clothes. By far, one of the dumbest choices I have made on my mission. At least it was kinda fun. And the old ami? Wrong address. We did it all for nothing. Hahaha

Friday: TRANSFER CALLS. Elder Sauro and I will stay together, Elder Raherimandimby goes to St. Etienne, and we're getting Elder Tehiva, a cool Tahitian elder. We played soccer with some potentials, and we saw our amie M, finally. Long story short, because two women at church offended M over a piece of pie, she doesn't want to go to church anymore. I think she'll get over it, but for right now, it's
pretty disappointing.   After that, we went up above Nice to St. André, to visit an old ami, named A. He is super cool, we taught a great lesson zero, he's coming to church next week! He's a super cool guy.

Saturday was cool. No time to write about it.

Sunday was a little special, we taught a class to primary kids about the temple. It was so wonderful to watch their enthusiastic faces! I hope to become as enthusiastic as them one day.

What I learned:
I had a lot of learning moments this week, but something I learned came by way of a letter, with the following quote on it: "If you need to choose between being right and being kind, choose kind." I am not the best at this! But I'm getting better, my companions in Nice have helped me tremendously with this. As Mary, the sister of Martha, we should "choose the better part."

(free) Advice I have
"Reflections," a Mormon Message based on a talk by Elder James B. Martino. My favorite Mormon message. Much to the tune of the quote I shared, it talks about turning outwards, not inwards.

I love you all! Merci Merci Merci
Love, Elder MacArthur

With a Portugese family

International apartment

"Nice" views!