Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Hello everyone! Today is my 22 month mark. Crazy! This week was full of miracles.

Tuesday - We had an exchange with the assistants, I was with Elder Menzel and Elder Wade (for the last time). It'll be sad to see him go in 2 weeks! Our exchange was great. Elder Menzel and I passed some amis and talked to a few people in the street while elder Wade helped President with interviews, then we picked him up after interviews and ate lunch at sister B's house! It was great, she's the sweetest member in the Ecully ward. After that, as we walked back to the car, we saw two guys playing basketball, and we decided to go play with them. We rolled up and they said "you want to play us? En costard?! (In dress clothes) so we played, and we wrecked them. Well, I'm not that good, and neither is Elder Menzel. But we won handily. Afterwards, we told them who we were and what we do, and they were down to see us again, to play and to hear what we have to say. It was super cool. We took the car to an outer ville to visit an older sister who never gets missionary visits, Soeur Bar. She was very appreciative, and we gave her the first blessing she's had in a long time. It was a great exchange! Like old times.

We had an interesting debate going on Tuesday night: if a rock is in a pool, completely submerged in water, is it wet? We said yes, they said no (Elder Underwood agreed with us too). Our argument was based on common sense, and by definition, something is wet if it is covered by moisture. They said it isn't wet until it comes out of the water, because down in the water, where everything is wet, nothing is really wet because there is no contrast of dry/wet. It was pretty amusing to duke it out and hear their side.

Wednesday - We took an early flight back to Bordeaux and saw some people. We helped sister Baq with her garden and shared a message with the family. H, her husband, is not a member. He is starting to like us!

Thursday - We had district meeting, which was very uplifting. For lunch, we had a cereal party!

Friday - We weekly planned, and tried to drop in on members, to no avail. We did find a lady named A who seems interested. We ate dinner with the family Cat! They have 3 boys, Z, B, and M. Z plays the trumpet, so that sparcd me. Dinner was really great. They are a good missionary family.

Saturday - We passed by and had a lesson with A. She accepted a baptismal date! She met the elders in Italy, so she already knew our message a little. The lesson went very well, and she committed to skipping her Pentecostal church and coming to ours in Sunday!

Sunday - A came to church with her three children! It was great, Sr. Ler brought her to church. We sat with her, and she liked it! We are seeing her next Tuesday. After church, we went to La Teste and taught an old ami, W, and his wife, J. They are so ready!! But they are scared of knowing the truth, because that would mean they would have to repent and change. It was a sad feeling to see how ready they were, and how un-ready they felt. We tried our best to encourage them and engage them to pray to know the truth about the Book of Mormon, but they said they wouldn't for now. They will move back to Singapore soon, and they promised to go to church there, where it is in English. They speak zero French, so I understand where they're coming from. We came back (and Frere Gen drove us there and back, what a great guy) and had dinner with the Mous. We had crepes!

Today we went to Arcachon and saw the sand dunes! It was super fun.

Super great week. Have faith in miracles.

Other good news- Fab from my old sector of Ecully got baptized! Elder Ramsey baptized him, and President Brown confirmed him a member, and Brother Z gave him the Aaronic priesthood. That made my day hearing that. I will be forever grateful that one day, we decided to go to another ward's baptism and sit next to a stranger named Fab B. He was ready from day one. When we listen to the spirit, miracles happen. When we find through members, we find prepared people. So, members, please invite your friends into the gospel life you live! You never know what will happen.

I love you all!
Elder MacArthur

District meeting in Bordeaux

Ben buried in the sand dunes

Sand dunes



Monday, March 20, 2017


Hey everyone! This was a week full of miracles.

Monday - Went and tried to see some castles, they were all private residences though. Why put a private house on a public map if it's not open to the public? But it was fun. We took some cool pics. Elder Fiala fell on his butt and got wet. We laughed. Good times!

Tuesday - Slow day. Helped a less active understand that reincarnation is a false doctrine, that was fun.

Wednesday - Exchange with Elder Smith! I'm still in his zone haha. We went to meet a less-active from his sector in Angoulême that moved to Bordeaux. She's got nonmember kids and a husband! We taught her friend Flo the retab, and fixed à RDV. They both live in Eysines sector, so we passed a part-member family and an ami family to Eysines. But they needed it so it's chill. Our exchange was great. I learned some new British terms, like "spot me a tenner!" Fun times.

Thursday - We pass a less active. He's not there, it turns out. But his nonmember uncle (Lou) is! RDV fixed Friday We went to La Teste, and the Lac family gave us kebabs and we went to Arcachon together. They showed us fancy villas that cost 8 million euros. It was a really nice part of town. They are coming back to church, and we got some great bonding time in. We showed them a temple video and they loved it. We came back and had a drop in with a member, the T Cs. They live in an old Protestant church! It's a cool house. Their less active sister happened to be there, so we showed the aforementioned temple video. Good stuff!

Saturday - We saw Lou. He accepted a baptismal date. But his parole schedule doesn't allow him to get to church on time on Sunday....we will need a miracle. So please pray for him! We went to pass Rud. He wasn't there. We needed a miracle. What did we do? We had dinner at HFC. We came back, having faith that he would be there. Who was there? Rud. We had a great lesson! He understands our message but he just hasn't made it a priority yet. That will come.

Sunday - Good church, had a Ward meal afterwards. I talked with a few youth, and got them talking about their friends. They have a few friends who came to baptisms and such but never were taught. So we will follow up next week on them. Very effective.

I love you all! Just today, we had a cool miracle. We made contact with a less active named C. Her last name is from New Caledonia, and I can't write it. Her husband, R, is not a member. We invited him to be baptized in order to be married in the temple and he accepted! Crazy miracle: He knows an Elder Aaron Green, who is from my home ward in Oregon. So that sparc'd him up! Such a small world. They loved that elder, we talked a while about him. It's not a coincidence Elder Fiala and I are here. We are here to baptize R. With his rugby schedule and them living far away, it will be hard, but it will happen.

Elder MacArthur

Elder Fiala's Waterloo

La confluence

The Lac family in Arcachon

2 pairs left

R & C with Ben

Monday, March 13, 2017


Hey everyone, this week was a great week!

Monday - We had lunch with the sisters before catching our plane to Lyon for MLC.

Tuesday - MLC, it was very inspiring. We were motivated by President Brown and the zone leaders were rebuked for not baptizing. It was rough, but it was needed. After MLC, we took a plane home, that was very delayed due to strikes in Bordeaux.

Wednesday - Things fell through, so we went to La Teste (by the coast) to pass a less-active family, les Lac. The mother spoke to us, and said she'd come to church. In the evening, we had FHE, and lots of people showed up!

Thursday - We had district meeting, which was focused on increasing our faith. It was very inspiring and I really appreciated the things that Elder Hansen had to say. After district meeting, we had a pasta that made us sick, and it was really sunny and hot and I did not feel good at all. But I fought through it and despite the opposition we had a great day. That day was the hardest I've ever had on my mission, I just felt not good enough and discouraged, but it passed. Even after an inspiring  event, we come down to earth so to speak, and it takes all you have to get back up. In the evening, we taught English class and had 2 amis there! It was a great success.

Friday - Weekly planning, RCM, we passed the Mou family in the morning. We asked who we could see in the neighborhood and they just told us that nobody was Christian, or interested. Kinda hard to respond with something after that but we tried a little, and sure enough, they were right. We tried to see Rud but he wasn't home. We called the Cat family to wish M a happy 6th birthday, and they were all super sparcd that we called.

Saturday - Samedi sportif, we played basketball with two Chinese amis, Ning and Ya xin, not sure on the spelling. They were pretty good! We got to give them a tour of the chapel, and they seem to appreciate it. We show them the baptismal font and they were curious, they do not know anything about Jesus Christ. After a few round it was falling through, we went out and passed some people on our ward list. We stumbled across a Tahitian association for Tahitians living in France, they were dancing and singing and it was pretty cool. We contacted a woman named Wen who was crying. We asked her why she was crying, and she told us that she had failed her driving permit test and that she would not be able to work without a license to drive. Getting a drivers license and France is pretty hard, and we felt bad that we couldn't do much for her. But we testified of God's love, and of faith in His Son. She gave us her number so we hope to see her this next week! We ended the day with dinner at the Vem's. They are really cool, they gave us Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Yum.

Sunday - We had church, and the Lac family came! Yay! We went over to T, A, and W's house after church to follow up on their missionary work. They are three RMs who are super good friends, I knew T when I was in Brive, I ate Christmas dinner with him a year and a half ago! It's cool to be in his ward.

If you get a chance, listen to "Healing Water" on the 2017 youth album. I really like this song. If you speak French, listen to it on the French cd when it comes out, en plus I know the girl who sings it! It's a great song that talks about the purification of the spirit when we repent. I love the idea of being as clean as earth right after rain. It's a wonderful song that teaches us correct principles. I know that we can change, thanks to Jesus Christ's atonement. We can become someone better. We can be free of sin, we can bind Satan, we can be clean.

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



Mission Leadership Conference in Lyon

Catching the plane from Bordeaux to Lyon

Monday, March 6, 2017


Hey everyone! This has been a great week.

The Talence Ward is pretty big by French standards, we have three wards in Bordeaux which is also excellent. There are many many less actives on the list, and many part member families. We are looking forward to working with these families as much as possible, because this is how we will get people prepared for the temple, en famille. Elder Fiala, my new companion, is great! He's from Virginia, his family recently moved to Iowa. He has 9 brothers and sisters, a big family and they are all crazy beautiful people. If you marry a Fiala, your kids will be beautiful, remember that. He's pretty tall too, he plays volleyball and back in the day he could dunk. He's in his sixth transfer, and his second leading the Bordeaux zone. He's a fireball missionary who reminds me what I should be doing and keeps me focused on my purpose. I'm very glad to be with him, I will learn lots these last few months.

We have a few part member family amis, and an engagé named Ru. We actually found an ami family, it's a cool story with a funny ending. We were looking for a less active, and we knocked a door, and it wasn't the less active, it was a Romanian family of 8. They let us in and accepted to hear our message of the restoration. They were really interested, and they wanted a Book of Mormon in Romanian. Super cute family, very very nice. As we extended a baptismal invitation that they declined (for now), the wife started to feed her baby..."au naturel." Elder Fiala and I were very surprised and had a good laugh about it later.

We have had lots of funny stuff to laugh about this week, I have some videos but all too long to send by email.

Any who, we come back two days later and give them Romanian Books of Mormon, and the wife Mir tells us that she wants to introduce us to her Romanian friends. Referrals, sweet!! So we go over with a member named Fr. Bou, and what happened next was the wildest thing I've ever experienced on my mission. We go into this house, everyone is speaking que Romanian, and they open the door to the living room. It was pretty dark, a fire was going, and maybe 30 people were packed into a tiny room, all praying in a non-conventional and certainly non-Christian way. It was very very weird, and it immediately became clear to us that it wasn't a Christian friendly place, or certainly not a Mormon missionary friendly place. So we got out of there. I looked behind me at Elder Fiala who was dumbstruck, and Fr. Bou was nodding his head, he was groovin'. The guy totally wanted to stay and teach them, it was really funny that he thought nothing of the situation. Haha it was so unexpected. We went back to teach the Maz family, and it became clear that they didn't want to change religions. So, that's that.

Moral of the story? There are dozens, but one I found important:  Even the miracle amis we have as missionaries usually aren't as good as member referrals. We thought this family were the next 6 baptisms in the Ward! We were excited about them. But even one of the coolest miracles from solely our own efforts turned into a weird story that will stay in the areabook. Member amis are way better. It's the best way to do missionary work if you want prepared people. So I am excited to work with the members here and teach their friends. We finally got a Ward list on PDF, we are working on getting it on Excel so we can update it as we visit and pass people. We are getting a list of the part member families so that we can coordinate visits and work together, equally yoked, to complete these soon-to-be eternal families.

In my personal study this week, I have been reading in the war chapters in the Book of Mormon. When I came to Bordeaux, President Brown gave me a charge to spark up Elder Fiala and get him going full-speed in no time. I want to seek the Lord's direction on how to do that, and I have learned a lot through the examples of men like Moroni, who got involved and through his personal righteousness was able to influence thousands of Nephites for the better. He got the Nephite army going full-speed very very quickly. He got people involved, he sought the prophet's direction, and he was strong yet incredibly merciful. I think that's what a true man does. A true man isn't cruel, isn't bloodthirsty, isn't vulgar, isn't boastful or malicious. A true man is a man of Christ. He has compassion, is loving, is fair, is just, he is merciful, he is loyal, and he is obedient to God. How often do we try to become men and women of Christ through other means? In John, Christ taught us that His love will be with us as we obey him and walk in his ways. He gave us commandments that our joy might be full, and he promised us joy: happy are ye if he do them." And loving the Savior makes us happy not just because we have love in our heart, but because we are blessed with the spiritual gift of joy as we willingly obey the Lord. These are just my thoughts but I hope that you find something with which you concur.

I love being a missionary in France. It is a wonderful country that has grown dear to me. Soon, there will be a house of God here. The power of God will be made manifest as sacred ordinances are done to seal families forever for the first time in French history. I feel as Ammon, who said that never before in the history of the world had men had reason to rejoice as he did (Alma 26). I know that what I am doing matters. It is all real. Jesus is the Christ, and that makes all the difference. It is all real. What a message! This is why we have missionaries, to share this message of joy. So please, share the gospel with your friends. Ask God what He needs you to do to bless their lives, and do it. Don't shy away. Don't coward. Be not afraid, only believe, doubt not and fear not. People need this message and those of us with the gospel knowledge are under obligation by promises we made before God, angels, and witnesses to testify. We shall testify, because we have been with Christ from the beginning.

I love you all, and I love my savior. Have a wonderful week full of miracles. Que le Dieu Tout-Puissant vous garde, mes chers amis.
Elder MacArthur

Elder Fiala and the Talence Ward DMP (Ward Mission Leader) on a service project

A girl at KFC gave us her number...she wasn't interested in the gospel

Place de la Victoire

Riding the turtle