Monday, December 30, 2013

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Great CHRISTmas


This past week has been amazing. I had one of the best Christmas' so far! It was great to truly just think about the Savior and come closer to him; to be completely away from all the things of the world! I am so grateful for the knowledge and relationship I have with Christ and for the opportunity I have to come closer to him each and every day!
 
We were able to see some new investigators this past week and were able to find some great ones. We met with two sisters named Pumi and Vuyi. We were able to teach them about the Restoration of the Gospel and by the end of the lesson they told us that if they found out that these things were true that they would do anything to become a member of the TRUE church and would leave everything behind. It was a powerful lesson and I am excited to continue seeing them. They even came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed. Thuto and Senzo are also doing great and should both make it to be baptised on the 12th of January... No better way to start of the new year!
 
The Cocroaches and bugs are back at it again haha! We kill about 25 each night and when we come into the flat there are about 50-100 each night! We have started to deep clean our flat so hopefully we can get rid of them.
 
In my "letters from home" this past week I really loved a scripture in Timothy. It is 1 Timothy 6:11-12 and it talks about how we need to "Fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on Eternal life." And in 2 Nephi 2:4 it talks about how Eternal life or Salvation is free, but we need to seize it. The price has been paid for each of us and all we need to do is take matters into our hands and decide what kind of a life that we want and desire! I can't wait to set my New Year Resolutions with this in mind!
 
Obedience is the Price!
I love you all so much!
 
Elder Farnes

Mabopane!


Everything is going great! This past week has been a really good week. I am loving Mabopane! We are continuing to work with our part member families and our investigators are progressing very well. Some people have left for Christmas, but when they get back everything should be amazing!

Some interesting news though.. So because of the car accident in Rabie Ridge people have been changed around a lot. So now I am follow up training Elder Teerlink. He is a cool guy from Nevada. I still am in Mabopane so I am grateful that I have most of the area down.

In my scripture study I was studying a lot on the Holy Ghost still. In 2 Nephi 33:1 it talks about how the Holy Ghost goes "unto" but not "into" the hearts of the people. The people we are teaching still need to be prepared and desire to feel it for them to have that experience and have it really change them and start the conversion process. It taught me a lot about how important it is to find the people that are prepared. We need to be led by the spirit to find them. In 1 Nephi 4:6 it talks about how he was led by the spirit not knowing beforehand the things that he should do when he was going to get the plates. He had faith and used the "Ready, Fire, Aim" approach, completely relying on the spirit. In D&C 79:2-3 and 111:2-3,8,11 it talks about how people are prepared. It is up to us to find those people by being worthy and listening to the promptings from the spirit!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be working side by side with Christ at this time of the year! I love you all so much and hope you have a Merry CHRISTmas!!

Elder Farnes

Monday, December 16, 2013

New Area and District Leader


This past week has been great. I got my new comp and my new companion. My new companion is sweet. His name is Elder Wambua and he is from Kenya. He has so much faith and is an extremely hard worker... We are going to have tons of fun together! I have already learned how to make some kenyan food. My new area is AWESOME as well! It's called Mabopane... We are over 3 different townships so our area is huge. To drive from one end to the other takes about half an hour. From what I have learned this area has a ton of potential, but the missionary here before me was "dead" so they didn't get any work done. So we have been working like crazy and are already seeing the results. We are working close with the members as well which is great. We have quite a few return missionaries so they love working with us. I am so excited to be here.. I know I am going to love it! The people in my district are way cool as well.. the other missionaries are from Madagascar and the Netherlands.
 
Yesterday was a really cool experience with the baptism of Sister Petunia. I don't know her too well, but she is an incredible lady. She is 35 and has been investigating the church for about 10 years. Her mom and dad are members and one of her children is as well. She has been through a lot in her life and when she received the answer that this church was the one for her she hasn't looked back. She has such a powerful testimony and you could tell how excited she was to be baptised.
 
I have been studying a lot about the Holy Ghost lately. We all have the opportunity to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and especially as being a set apart missionary we need it in our lives to accomplish this great work. We need to be working side by side with the Lord to do all that we have been called and sent here on earth to do. We have been called to speak by the Holy Ghost and not from our own understanding... The Holy Ghost is the Ultimate teacher that will lead people to gaining a testimony and becoming converted. (D&C 50:13-14 and D&C 43:15-16) And as we speak by the Spirit we will teach with Power and Authority from God. (Alma 17:2-3 and Mark 1:22)
 
I love you all so much! Remember the reason for the season!
 
Elder Farnes

Monday, December 9, 2013

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District Leader and Transfers


This past week has been great. I found out Saturday night that I will be leaving to a new area tomorrow. I have also been called to be a District Leader. I am really excited for it. There is a meeting for the new ones tonight. I know I will definitely need to rely on the Lord to be the best one I can be. 

It has been sad saying goodbye to some of the people here in Birch Acres, but I am so excited to get to a new area and get to work.

On Sunday I was also able to baptise Andres son Gontse. He was so excited to be baptised. He was so happy and even started crying during his confirmation. He is such a stud. It was an honor to be apart of his baptism.

Recently, I have really been trying to relate everything I read to my life and especially to missionary work. I have been starting from 1 Nephi again and I think it is so interesting how Nephi and Laman and Lemuel had the very same experiences, yet the outcomes of the people are very different. They all left with their father, went back to get the plates, and all even made it to the Promised land. But Nephi turned out to be an incredible servant of the Lord, while Laman and Lemuel rebelled and were wicked. It was all about what they became from their experiences. I have noticed it is the same with missionaries. There are a lot of people that come out and go home and don't become anything from the experiences they have and on the other hand there are those that learn a lot and become true disciples of Christ.

Also I really liked the story with Nephi breaking his bow in the wilderness. (1 Nephi 16:18-25) Nephi wasn't doing anything wrong. He had been keeping the commandments and living a great life when this trial came upon him. It wasn't that Nephi was punished for anything that this had to happen, but the Lord saw that there was an opportunity for him to grow. When the Lord feels that we are prepared to grow he will often send us trials that will stretch us and test us to our limits. (Proverbs 3:11-12) We need to accept these challenges with a humble heart and overcome them with the Lord's help. 

"The only way to prepare for the future is to be totally present now!" 
Lets take advantage of the present!

I love you all so much!

Elder Farnes

Zone Conference



"Latter-Day Saints"


This past week has flown by. My testimony of the power and influence the Book of Mormon can have in someone's life has been confirmed again and again. 

This past week Elder Deichman and I were walking up the street when a man pulled over in a car and yelled "Latter-Day Saints!" We went over to him and invited us to come and meet with him and his cousin that night. He said he had been reading a lot about the church.

We went over that night and had a powerful discussion with them on what they knew and just getting to know them better. He told us of how a few months ago he really wanted to know about Jesus Christ and was looking for a book that would help him. He came across the Book of Mormon online and downloaded it onto his phone. He was hesistant about reading it but prayed and had the feeling that he should. He started reading from the Introduction page and said that he couldn't stop reading. He would read during lunch at work and right when he got home til he went to sleep. He told us of how much he loved reading about the Vineyard in Jacob and how he couldn't stop crying when he read about Christ coming and visiting the people in the Americas and how Christ even started weeping. He also told us from what he read how he knew his baptism wasn't done correctly and how he knew the true way to do it know. He is as golden as they come.

We went back a few days later and taught him about the Restoration. At the end of the lesson he talked about how strong the feelings inside him were and how it felt like he was "Coming Home." He came to church on Sunday and he loved it as well. He wants to be baptised and I am sure he will become a powerful member of the church. We found out he actually lives in another area so we will have to pass him on to the Elders there but we will continue to teach his cousin. 

This past week I had also finished the Book of Mormon again. It is definitely the most correct book ever written. In Mormon 8:35 it talks about how he saw our day while he was writing and abridging the book. He only left in the parts that he knew we would need in our day, and that is why it is so important that we "liken the scriptures unto ourselves" 1 Nephi 19:23. We need to constantly be asking ourselves why those certain stories and scriptures were the ones that were kept. They are and always will be for our benefit and will always keep us on the straight and narrow. I am so grateful for the power of the Book of Mormon. I know it is true with all my heart.

I love you all so much!

Elder Farnes

Emmanuels Baptism



Busy Week


This past week has been great.We have been super busy so it has gone by SO fast. A lot of amazing things are happenning here in Birch Acres.

Yesterday we were able to have Emmanuel's Baptism. It was so cool to see how excited he was. He got dressed up for church a lot nicer than he normally does and was so happy. He had been looking forward to this day for a while. After he was baptised he said he felt so good that he didn't want to get out of the water.

Mpho is doing good as well, he wasn't able to make it to church yesterday to be confirmed but I don't have any worries about him. We had a chat with him and it turns out that his family has told him that they don't support him with what he is doing. We had a long talk with him about everything and he told us that he knows what is true and he will never stray from the path he is on.He said he still wants to serve a mission and that he knows his family will come around one day. It got me thinking a lot about what I would do if I was in the same situation and as I we were talking I shared how much I had been thinking about that and shared how I KNEW that even if my family wasn't members or didn't support me that I would still be on my mission. I know this Church is true and nothing will ever change that. As I was saying that the spirit bore strong testimony to me of the truthfullness of it all and I got a little emotional. It was a great experience.

This past week we also had zone conference. We talked a lot about the Godhead and how important it is that our Investigators clearly understand the attribrutes and each of their roles in their own personal lives. It is the First Article of Faith and it will help a lot as we are trying to establish the church here in South Africa. We also talked about asking inspired questions and Elder Deichman and I was asked on the spot to do a role play for everyone with President Omer on the topic of asking inspired questions after we had taught him about the Restoration that would lead to a baptismal committment. I love being able to do that and it was a great experience.We are really focusing on asking inspired questions and can already see the improvements.

I have also focusing a lot on trying to develop Charity. I have been reading a lot about it in Corinthians and am trying to apply it to my life.Charity is one of the most important things we can try to develop. We have been serving every chance we can get and it has helped so much. We have even gotten a few new investigators from it. Overall a great great week!
I love you all  so much!

Elder Farnes

Monday, November 18, 2013

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Elder Farnes with his first 2 companions


Driving on the other side of the road


Looks like a lot of walking

Ummm........we did send him with a rain jacket?

So excited to go to the temp


Great week! Baptism of Mpho and Temple


This past week has been amazing. We had a great week of teaching with our investigators and hopefully we found a new solid investigator yesterday. She is named Olga and just stopped us on the street yesterday and said that she really wanted to meet with us after we explained to her a little bit about the Restoration of the Gospel.

We were able to go to the temple on Friday which was amazing!!!!! I had missed the temple so much and it felt so good to go through. The spirit there was so strong. The new video is incredible. I just love the temple so much! 

Mpho's Baptism went great as well yesterday. He was so excited. He has been counting down the days and he had the biggest smile on his face the entire day. After his baptism he bore a powerful testimony about how he knows that this is just the start of his journey and he can't wait to see what the future holds in store for him. He said he thinks he wants to start preparing to serve a mission! 

Emmanuel had his interview on Thursday, but needed a second interview from President Omer for some reasons. President Omer came yesterday to our church and had the interview after sacrament meeting. Emmanuel passed so he will be getting baptised this week! He is so ready! It has been amazing to see the changes he has made in his life. He has completely changed his life around and is a totally new person. The power of the gospel is incredible.

Yesterday I was also able to give a talk during sacrament. I was asked to speak on Repentance. In Moses 6:57 it talks about how we need to repent and teach others to repent. It says how no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. I loved being able to talk about Repentance and the Atonement. It is such a great gift that we have been given and we need to take full advantage of it. We truly should use it everyday of our lives so that we can always have the spirit with us and come closer to Christ.

I love you all SO much!

Elder Farnes

Blessing


This past week has been incredible. Mpho has passed his interview so he will be getting baptised this week which is so great. He is so prepared and even talking about maybe serving a mission. The guy that interviewed him told me that he answered every question like a missionary. Emmanuel will also be having his interview this week. He is changing so much and it is so cool to see. He really is trying his very hardest to change his life to follow Jesus Christ. They both want us to see them a lot so we see each of them 3 or 4 times a week. Themba couldn't make it to church again this week, but his wife still came. They have both received answers and they want to be baptised.

This week we went over to Mpho's house and he was just distraught. He explained to us that his mom was probably going to lose her job and that he was feeling all the burden placed on his shoulders and didn't know quite what he was going to do with everything. He asked if I could give him a blessing and it was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had. I truly felt God's love for him as I was able to give him the blessing as the spirit directed. It was so spiritual. Mpho and I were both crying during it. God's love for each of us is so great. We really can't comprehend how great it is.

I came across come really cool scriptures this past week on the importance of scripture study. The first two are found in Alma 13:20 and Alma 41:1. It talks about the gift that the scriptures are to us in our life and how if we wrest them that is when we will start to go astray and it will be to our destruction. In D&C 18:3-5 it gives a commandment to rely upon the things which are written in the scriptures and if we do the gates of hell shall not prevail against us. The scriptures are so important and can help us out so much in our lives. 

I love you so much!

Elder Farnes

Elder Bednar


This week has been one of the greatest so far on mission. We had a great week with all of our investigators. Mpho and Emmanuel are progressing so well. Mpho came to church with the shirt and tie I got him and he looked like a missionary. They are both continuing to love everything. They even went to a missionary fireside last night. Themba and his wife both came to church as well. His brother, who is the return missionary, bore his testimony to them and it was powerful. They both really enjoyed church and are going on the stake temple walk on November 16th. It was a great sunday and week.

On Thursday we had the privilege of hearing from Elder Bednar. It was one of the most spiritual moments in my life. He didn't just lecture us, he told us that we were going to counsel together and that is exactly what we did. We counseled while we asked question and he asked us questions and we let the TRUE teacher, the Holy Ghost, take control of the meeting. We talked a lot about how as missionaries we need to "get out of the way" and let the Holy Ghost take control as we are teaching investigators. We do that by Observing, Listening, Discerning, and then talking. We have really been trying to use this and I can already tell a difference.

At the end of the meeting Elder Bednar closed with his testimony. He started it by telling us that because we are about to hear this that we will now be held to a new level of accountability. Once he began, my eyes became fixed on him, I couldn't take them off and it seemed like everything else disappeared. Everything else around him became white and I could just see him glowing. It was so powerful.

I know that Elder Bednar has been called by God. That he really is a special witness of our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful that we are led today by President Monson, a true Prophet of God, under the direction of Jesus Christ. 

"The Kingdom of God or Nothing" - President John Taylor

I love you all!

Elder Farnes

Monday, October 28, 2013

Incredible Week


This past week has been incredible! Our investigators are improving so well. We have some really solid people and I love them so much and they are just the best!

Mpho has continued to be amazing! He is one of the most powerful people I have ever met. He continues to just bear his testimony of how much he loves this gospel and how much he is changing. He is truly becoming converted. It is one of the coolest things to be apart of.

This past week I read an amazing talk from Elder Bednar on becoming Converted unto the Lord. In this talk he tells us about both Testimony and Conversion. A testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation. It is the starting point of our conversion; it should not be our destination. In Luke 22:31-32 It is Christ talking to Peter and tells him that WHEN he is converted, he should strengthen his brethren. I think it's very interesting that Peter had walked with Christ and spent all this time with him and still had to be converted. Imagine now how much time and effort our own conversion will take. It is a lifelong process. True conversion brings a change in our beliefs, heart, and life to conform to the will of God. It's an offering of yourself. (omni 1:26) In Helman, Samuel the lamanite gives us the five basic elements of Conversion. Helamen 15:7-8. I pray that day by day we may do the things to become truly converted unto the Lord.

I love you so much!

Elder Farnes

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rainy Season

This past week has been great! We have been meeting with some amazing people. Kanesa is progressing along very well and Mpho is so powerful. He bore his testimony on Thursday about how he has changed and will continue to change to align his life with the will of God and to follow Jesus Christ! Hearing him say all that was probably one of the best moments on my mission so far. 

It is officially the rainy season now here. It is pouring, but we are enjoying it and having a blast in the rain. haha. The first day we got caught without umbrellas and rain jackets (sorry mom) but from then we have always been prepared. We found out yesterday that when it rains pretty much nobody comes to church. We almost had less than half of our already small church full. We were able to get a Ward Mission Leader yesterday which was great though. He is a sweet guy. His name is Brother Bongane and he served a mission in Durbin.

This past week in my study I loved a talk I read from Elder Bednar. It's called Ask In Faith. In it he tells us how we can make our prayers more meaningful. In James 1:6 it talks about how we need to ask in faith, nothing wavering. Asking in faith means not only to express, but to do. When Joseph Smith had the First Vision he asked "Which church should he join?" His question was not just what he needed to know, but also on what was to be done. Meaningful prayers requires both holy communication and consecrated work. "We need to press forward and persevere in the consecrated work of prayer after we say "Amen." by acting upon the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father." -Elder Bednar. I know that as we Ask in Faith our prayers WILL become more meaningful and we WILL come closer to our Father in Heaven.

I love you all!

Elder Farnes

Great Week


This past week has been great. Elder Deichman and I are continuing to
work as hard as we can. We are teaching some great people and they are
progressing well. Mpho is powerful and continuing to progress very
well and our families are starting to come along.

It seems like our branch is starting to get the missionary spirit. We
are supposed to get a ward mission leader and some ward missionaries
this week which will be great! And a lot of the members came up to us
asking how they can help and telling us when they can come out. We
will be having some people from the branch come with us to see our
families this week so I think that will help out a ton. It will
definitely help them to feel more comfortable and motivated to come to
church once they have a friend that goes!

This past week in my study I loved what it says in Romans 13:14. It
says to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ." I love how it says we need to
put him on us. Just like we put on the armour of God found in
Ephesians we need to be daily putting on Jesus Christ. We need to
always act and behave in such a way that those who see us will see
that we are representatives of Him. Christ lives, and he is at the
head of this great work! I am so grateful for the ability I have to
grow closer and closer to him each day!

I love you so  much!

Elder Farnes

Monday, October 7, 2013

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New Companion

This past week has been a great one. I got my new companion who I am training. His name is Elder Deichman and he is from Elkridge, Utah. He is a way cool guy. We have been getting along great. We are completely relying on the Lord, being strictly obedient, and working our tails off. Whenever we get a chance, even if it's just 15 minutes, we hurry and go do some tracting/contacting. 

This last week we were able to put the whole Mohlapo family on date. We had a powerful lesson with them. The dad was so excited about it all. He said they will "definitely" be ready in November. And before we could even bring up that we wanted to see them twice a week he brought it up! It was powerful. We also tracted into a sweet guy named Mpho. He is pumped about everything, progressing very well, and loved church on Sunday. 

Conference was also amazing this past week. What a great opportunity and blessing we have to be able to hear from our Prophet and his Apostles. To receive inspired instruction and to be able to have the truthfulness of our church confirmed to us. Now what we have to do is apply the teachings into our lifes. To take what we have learned and to become greater disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Some of my favorite talks were from President Uchtdorf. He talked about how the people of the church don't require anything from us, but the Lord requires us to consecrate all. And he invited all to "Come, Join With Us." In the Priesthood session he gave another great talk, this time talking about how we need to "Rise Up." He said we do not make ourselves champions by being perfect, we do it by making mistakes and rising up from them. By learning and becoming better from them. He also said how we need to make the Lord's goals our goals! Priorities were also stressed with Elder Oaks talk. We need to make sure our ultimate and highest priorities need to be God's.

I love you so much!

Elder Farnes

Monday, September 30, 2013

Training!


This past week has been great! We are teaching a lot of amazing people who are really starting to progress. It is amazing to see the Lord's hand in this work. We are teaching about 5 father led families which has been really good; we are trying to see each of our progressing investigators a couple of times a week.

On Saturday night I received a call from President Omer! I will be staying here in Birch Acres and I will be TRAINING!! I am so excited. I have a training meeting that I will be going to later today and tomorrow I will go and pick up my new comp. I can't wait. We are going to hit the ground running and completely rely on the Lord. 

Yesterday we had the first ever branch conference here in Birch Acres. It was a great day for the Branch. We learned that the branch has only had two baptisms this whole past year. The theme was on missionary work and I hope it got the members excited to do everything they can so that we can start the process to turn this branch into a ward. 

The scripture I really liked that I used with the Makwela family is in Phillipians 3:13-14. It talks about how we need to sacrifice all and press forward towards Christ. We need to leave behind things of the world or things holding us back from completely following our Lord and straightway follow him. In our lives we need to have the faith to leave behinds things that may be good for the things that are great! 

I love you all so much! 

Elder Farnes

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ups and Downs

This past week has had its up and downs. It was a hard week. We got bounced more than usual. I still am loving everything though, we need to go through the rough times in order to fully appreciate the great times. It wasn't always easy for Christ, so why should it be for us. We were teaching Zanela who was supposed be getting baptised this next week and learned that she is not legally married. I guess that is a big problem here in South Africa. Gladys was still going to get baptised, but the day we were supposed to have her interview she called and said we couldn't come because her brother who is Zanela's husband was getting way mad about them getting baptised and things weren't well at their house. Saturday night as we were checking on all of our investigators for church on Sunday we passed Zanela's and saw her in the corner store. We went and asked how she was doing and she just started crying saying how much she wanted to come to church, but she can't because of her husband. She then went on to tell us some other things that are going on in her life that are horrible. I felt so sad for her and wish that there was more I could do to help her.

We were also able to see our father led families and they are doing great. They are all progressing and moving along well. Moses and his wife came to church yesterday and loved it. We will be seeing them again tonight.

We were also able to have lunch with and teach an Area Seventy yesterday. He is such a great guy. We went to a members house for lunch and he was sitting inside already with his family. I thought maybe we were getting introduced to a new family to teach, but after a few minutes I realized who he was. haha.

In our district meeting this last week we talked about Consecration. And how we need to consecrate or sacrifice ourselves to the Lord. We need to be willing to give all of ourselves to him. And in reality it's not really "ours" to give him. All that we can truly give him is our Desires, Hearts, Thoughts, and our Eyes. The scripture in Mosiah 2:21 really tells us how even if we do everything we possibly can it can never be enough to repay for the Christ has done for us. Every morning we need to consecrate ourselves to the Lord.

I love you!

Elder Farnes

Monday, September 16, 2013

Great Week!

This past week has been great! We have been continuing to meet with the Makwela family, Bobo and his mom, and Moses and his wife and they are progressing along very well! We also have started teaching the Muglapo family. They are so cool! They have a son that is 16 and he is a stud! We went there for the second time and the mom was telling us about how the son was talking about how he wants to go on a mission one day when he is old enough.

Yesterday we were also able to have our stake conference! It was so cool to see all the members come together and meet in one building. The spirit was so strong and you could tell that these people are firm in the faith.There were some great speakers, I especially loved listening to President Omer. He is such a powerful man. When he speaks the spirit just radiates throughout the whole room! He talked about the power of conversion and how through that conversion process it can cause you to change your life around forever! 

This past week in my scripture study I read an amazing chapter in the Bible. It is Acts 20:19 through the End. In this chapter Paul is speaking to his disciples for the last time. He talks about and teaches them exactly how he served Christ and how we need to serve Christ. He teaches us how we can become more and more of a disciple of Christ. Everything we do in life it should be for Christ. We need to be continually in the service of our Lord and Savior! 

I Love you all!

Elder Farnes



This past week I had a powerful experience with the makwela family that I wanted to share with you! We came and started teaching them about the priesthood and how that power can be used to bless the lives of their family even more as their dad can be able to hold that power. We then took that to talk about baptism and in order for it to be done correctly it needs to be done like how Jesus Christ was baptised and by that priesthood authority. They are deeply religious methodists and the Mom even speaks to everyone at the church every once in a while. But, the mom was able to really understand what we were saying! She started questioning if her baptism was done correctly and how it really was done! She then asked if she was to be baptised the correct way again if she would have to join our church? She is under the impression that every church is a good church! My comp kind of turned to me because he didn't want to answer and right before I Spoke something inside me said "This is the true Church! You are inviting her and her family to be able to have Salvation and life together forever as a family! Be bold!" I then boldly stated how while there are a lot of good churches out there, there is only one true church! And that is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! I told her that she would have to join but I knew it would bless her life! I then bore my testimony about how I knew that all these things were true! When I was done she seemed to really understand it and seemed to be thinking really hard about it. She knows the Book of Mormon is true and she knows Joseph Smith was a prophet! She said she would pray about being baptised into our church, but that ever since we had been coming she felt that her life was going to change! I know she will get her answer! Please pray for her and her family as we are going to meet with them again wednesday night! The spirit was so strong during that lesson! While we were riding our bikes down the hill my comp and I started yelling "Hurrah for Israel" I love being a missionary! It was an experience I will remember forever!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Powerful Week!


This past week has been powerful. We have had some incredible spiritual experiences and the Lord is definitely working with us here in Birch Acres. On Wednesday night we went to go meet with the Makwela family. (The one that I talked about in my last email who's aunt gave a powerful testimony to them in sacrament meeting.) When we arrived we were told that the Mother and Father were both really sick. We taught the kids for a little bit and then went to go check on the parents. While we were talking to them the mom told us she wanted a blessing from us. We were able to give both the Mom and Dad Priesthood blessings and the spirit was SO strong! They are both completely healthy now and know that it was because of the blessings. Yesterday Zanela (One of the Zim sisters) couldn't come to church because her daughter was sick also.We were also able to give her a blessing and once again the spirit was overwhelmingly powerful. I'm so grateful to be able to hold the priesthood and to be able to exercise its power worthily. The Priesthood power from God is so real!
Thursday night we met with Bhobo and his mom. They came to church for the first time last Sunday and loved it. They were even at church half an hour early. When we met with them the Mom showed up with KFC for us. She served us and her sons chicken and french fries while she just had a tiny bowl of mashed potatoes. When we teach them we don't turn on the lights and you can tell they are barely getting by financially. KFC is pretty expensive here and you could tell it was a big sacrifice for her to do this for us. She was so happy to give us it though. It was such a humbling experience and I KNOW the Lord will bless her in her life.
On Saturday we were on our way to an investigator when a man came out of his house and stopped us. He asked us "Why we haven't ever visited his house?" We quickly told him we could meet with him right now if he was available. We went into his house and had a great lesson with him. At the end of the lesson he told us he wanted us to come back the next day. We met with him yesterday and it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever been apart of. He started off by asking some inspired questions to us about which is the right way to get baptized and then asked how you can tell which Christian church is really the right one! We taught him the Restoration and I felt the spirit so strongly as I was able to share with him about Joseph Smith and the First Vision. He loved it all. He kept on saying how much sense this makes and at the end he said that he thinks this is the truth and the right way for him. He wanted us to come back again tonight, but we want to meet with his whole family so we will be seeing them Thursday night. The Lord has definitely prepared Moses for the gospel.
The scripture I would like to share is found in Helamen 10:4-5. Nephi was such a powerful missionary and I love the way it talks about the way he did his missionary work. It says he declared the gospel with Unwearyness, without fear, without seeking his own life or his personal desires, while seeking to do the will of God, and while keeping all the commandments. This is the way I am trying to commit myself to the Work of Salvation. It hit me so strongly and I want to make sure I am always dedicating myself to the Lord with Unwearyness!
I Love you all so much!
Elder Farnes

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Birthday Week


Great great week! This past week we have continued to teach some really powerful people! They are progressing along so well! The Lord is continually preparing them and helping them to feel the confirming witness from the spirit in their lives! Yesterday we had 14 investigators come to church! It was one of the best presents I could have gotten for my birthday. The chapel was almost full. I can't wait for the day when I have to stand all during sacrament. All of the investigators that came loved it! September and October should be busy months for us! I am so excited for it. The work is going amazing here and I am loving every second of serving!
We are teaching a way powerful family that came to church for the first time yesterday! When we met with them for the first time they knew about us because their aunt is in our branch, but they said they wouldn't come to church! They told us their entire extended family has kind of always given their aunt a hard time for joining because she is the only one that has changed churches! We have been teaching them for about three weeks now and they are starting to love it! At church yesterday though, the Aunt went up to bare her testimony. She started off by saying how happy she was and how only the missionaries knew why! She then got very emotional and the spirit was so strong as she looked directly over to her family that was investigating and told them how she knows that this is the ONLY true church on the earth today and how she knows that the Book of Mormon is true! After church they all said they LOVED it! It was a powerful and testimony building experience! I love the Makwela family and I want them so badly to continue to progress; and I know that with the Lord they will!

My scripture this week is D&C 88:67. It talks about keeping our eye single to the glory of God, and how our bodies shall be filled with light if we do! We must always stay focused on the true meaning of this life. This life is the time for us to prepare to meet God! And the best way to do that is through making sure our lives are always staying aligned with his will! We must keep our eye focused on God at all times and in all places!
 
I love you all so much!
Elder Farnes

Monday, August 26, 2013

Loving Every Second!


Another great week here in South Africa. I am loving every second of it! Time is just flying by. Our teaching pool here in Birch Acres is finally to where we want it to be. Almost everyone we are teaching now is a powerful person or family that the spirit is always felt strongly with when we visit them. I'm so grateful that the Lord has prepared these people and has led us to them. It is only through him that this work is possible. Seeing people change through him and wanting to become better is amazing. This church and this gospel can truly have the biggest impact on everyone's life! It can change ANYONE!

Yesterday we were able to have the baptism of Millicent. It was such a cool experience. The branch was very supportive again and the spirit was so strong. I have never seen Millicent so happy! She wouldn't stop smiling and you could tell she was taking in every moment of it! I'm so grateful she has made the first step to returning to live with her Father in Heaven.

This past week in my study I was able to read an incredible talk by Elder Oaks called "The Challenge to Become" In his talk he emphasized how in life it is not enough to have a testimony of the church or to be convinced that it is true. We MUST be fully converted! Being converted doesn't come easy, it is a process, and every day we can and should be doing something whereby our conversion is growing stronger and stronger. To testify is to know and declare, while, to be converted requires us to do and become! We need to always strengthen our conversion. It also made me think about this with my investigators. It is not enough for them to just have a testimony. If they just have a testimony they will get baptized and then fall away in the next few months. They NEED to be converted for them to stay in the church. It is my prayer that my investigators will become truly converted so that one day if I were to return in 20 years I would find them strong and active in the church. There are a couple of scriptures that we can use to test how far we really our converted. The first is Mosiah 5:2 - we can test our conversion by if we desire to sin no more and if we look at sin with abhorrence. Also, 1 Corinthians 2:16 - If we are seeing things in life as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ would, if we are becoming more like them. We need to make sure that we are in the world, but not of the world. The standard for us as members of this church puts us out of the world. There is no time for our standards to be low.

I'm so grateful to be apart of this marvelous work. The work of Salvation! I love you all so much!

Elder Farnes 





Monday, August 19, 2013

Incredible Week


This past week had been incredible. We have been able to meet and teach a lot of solid people and church yesterday was great. Yesterday at church Kamagelo was able to receive the Holy Ghost and get the Aaronic Priesthood. It was so cool to see how happy he was. We were also able to get 12 of our investigators to church yesterday. The chapel we meet in isn't very big so we almost filled it all up. There were only a few seats open which was great to see. I wanted to stand up and shout for joy! I was so happy about the people we had come and the people we have progressing. Also, at church, there were three sisters that are probably in their 20's that just showed up for the first time. They had just felt the need to come try this church today and they said they loved it. We are planning on meeting with them Wednesday. It is amazing to see how the Lord's hand is in the work and how he is helping Birch Acres to grow. It is truly all because of him.

This last week also I was able to try some new food. There was a guy on the side of the road selling chicken feet, gizzard, and neck so I decided I might as well try it. haha. It actually wasn't too bad, but I don't know if I will be having it again.

In John 3:16 it says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son" This past week I was able to read a talk that gave this scripture so much more meaning to me. The talk was on the Atonement of Christ, but rather than seeing it from Christ's view, it was on God's view of it. It talked about how Abraham and Isaac can be seen as an example of some of what God must have felt like. Isaac was Abraham's most precious thing he had and yet, he was told that he needed to offer him as a sacrifice. He must have felt so much sorrow and anguish, but he was still willing to submit his will to the God's. Just like Abraham, God, had to give up his Son, but in the end he would not be able to save his son, like how Isaac was able to be saved. In the talk it describes what God must have been feeling when Christ was suffering for all the sins of the world. It says "In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer, and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his son." I can't imagine what God must have felt like during those moments of time, but I am so grateful that he allowed that to happen so that we can once again live with him and Christ. The only way he must have been able to let his Son die was because of the love he has for each and everyone of us. We can never repay Christ or God for what they have done for us, but we must try our best. 

I love you so much!

Elder Farnes
Eating a chicken claw

Service