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