Monday, July 29, 2013

Another Incredible Week

Another incredible week! I'm loving everything about serving the Lord. There's no greater feeling. This past week started off great with a missionary orientation for all the new missionaries with President Omer. We talked about Obedience and being strictly obedient in everything you do. In John 14:15 Jesus says "if ye love me, keep my commandments." And it's really that simple, if we truly love Jesus Christ we will be obedient in all things. We won't be obedient because we get blessings, because we fear the punishment that may come, or anything like that. We will because we love our Savior enough to be obedient. It was a great meeting and President Omer is the man! I love him!

We were also able to meet with a lot of new people this past week. We have 4 families that are starting to progress so we are way excited about that and also a lot of people. Amazing things can happen through the power of the spirit. One of the members from the ward also introduced us to a family with a mom, 2 daughters, and a son. They were excited to meet us and we'll be meeting with them again this week. 

We also moved Kamagelo's baptism up to this Sunday so that his dad can be there. So please keep him in your prayers this week.

In my scripture study recently I have learned a lot. When Arron was teaching king Lamoni's father he says in chapter 22:18 "I will give away all my sins to know thee." That is exactly what we need to do. We need to be like the Anti-Nephi-Lehis and bury our sins away deep in the earth and never even think about bringing them back out. It doesn't matter how small the sin may be, it will always be holding us back and not allowing us to reach the full potential God has planned for us. We need to exercise the power of the atonement and be changing for the better always. We need to be like Captain Moroni. In chapter 48:17 it says that all Hell would shake if everyone were like unto Moroni. He was an amazing leader and always steadfast in the Lord. He knew where his power came from and he was constantly turning to the Lord to find out what he should do. He prepared his cities in preparation from the Lamanites just like how we need to be constantly preparing our spirits from the tempations and evils of the world. Reading your scriptures everyday, praying as often as possible, and going to the temple are so important. They are the things you can always do to strengthen and prepare yourself. 

I love you all so much! 

Elder Farnes

Monday, July 22, 2013

Trust in the Lord

This past week has been amazing! My companion and I have put our whole trust in the Lord and are seeing the blessings from it. Earlier this week we were riding our bikes up a hill when I got the prompting to go visit a specific house. We went and the wife invited us in without hesitation. We were able to meet with the husband also along with the whole family! I think they are the family we have been praying for. They loved everything we told them and we'll be going back for another visit. They have been prepared by the Lord. The husband, Iyanda, told us that he's had a lot of people come over before to try and teach him from other religions and we are the only ones he has invited back! We also found a couple other families to teach. There are some amazing people here in Birch Acres and the Lord is leading us to them. 

On Saturday we went and visited brother Andres who is one of our investigators. Everyone in his family has been baptized for a couple years except for him. He knows the church is true, but has been addicted to cigarettes for 23 years. While we were talking with him I felt like we should give him a blessing. He accepted and it was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. The spirit was SO strong. I know he will quit! We're going to set a date for baptism with him so he has a goal to work towards. Please put him in your prayers.

This past week I have learned so much from my study of the book of Mormon. I love it so much and it truly is the word of God. The most correct book on the earth. I've been reading in Mosiah and I love chapters 2-5. In chapter 2:6 it talks about how the people had their tents with the doors towards the temple. We need to make sure our homes always "face the temple" spiritually. The home is the most sacred place after the temple and can be one of the only escapes we have from the evil. I also loved Chapter 4 when it talked about service. I love the quote from Joseph Smith when he said "A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges throughout the whole world anxious to bless the whole human race." In verse 11 of chapter 4 it talks about how without God we are nothing, but with him we can do all things. I love that. God is always willing to help us and he is just waiting for the opportunity for us to let him into our lives. And lastly, I love what it says in the Bible dictionary under Faith. It reads "The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character, possessing in their fullness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation. I LOVE that. We need to be bold and always testify of Christ. Have faith in him and know that through him we can do all things. Christ Lives!!!! He is our savior, our redeemer, and our friend! 

I love you all!

Elder Farnes

Monday, July 15, 2013

Birch Acres Area, Week 2

Elder Farnes and Elder Nherera

This past week has been amazing!! I absolutely love being a missionary. I have my trainer now. His name is Elder Nherera. He's 21 and from Zimbabwe. He was a convert about 7 years ago and is a stud. We get along great and we teach really well together.
My companion and I are opening up a new mission. It's called Birch Acres and we're starting completely from scratch. We didn't even have an area book for the first few days. I love the area though. It's not too big so we ride bikes everywhere. The town is what the missionaries call "cheesy" because its half township and half town with a squatter camp. I love the township though. The people here are amazing and I love them so much. Since we're starting from scratch we have been tracting all day every day. It's a lot of fun and were starting to get some great investigators. Most people here have gates and dogs so to get in you tap the gate with a coin until people come out. You have to be persistent, but that's part of the fun. Tracting is a blast.
We have two guys already set for a baptismal date. One of them is named Kamagelo. He's a 13 year old kid who is just flat out the man. He's been going to church for 6 months and when we went to teach him he took notes and knew so much about the gospel. He is SO excited to get baptized and become an official member of the church. His baptismal date is on August 11. The other guy is named Phillip. He moved here from Ghana about 7 months ago and the Lord has definitely prepared him. He was so eager to learn and to start coming to church. His baptismal date is August 25th.We have a few more people this week we're hopefully going to commit to baptism and we're praying that we can find a family for us to start teaching.
President Omer really wants to establish the church in South Africa so in order to be baptized if you're older than 16 you have to come to church for 5 weeks before you can be baptized and if you're younger than 16 and you're going without you're parents you have to go for 6 months.
There is just a branch here in Birch Acres of about 40-50 people. They are extremely strong in the church and truly converted. They love having the missionaries here. We've already been fed 3 times and the food has been delicious. I'm the only white guy in the branch and one of the only white people in the city. It's awesome... I love it!
In John 14:6 it talks about how the only way to return to our heavenly father is through Jesus Christ. It's so true and I feel so blessed to be able to help people and to invite people to come unto Christ!!
I love you all so much!
Elder Farnes

President and Sister Omer

Friday, July 12, 2013

First P-day, Letter 1

I can't believe it's already been a week. My first week here has been amazing. I absolutely love it here. I love the MTC, I love the being a missionary, and I love this church!! The flight over here was great. I met up with 8 other elders at the salt lake airport and we split up on two different flights til we would all meet up in London. On the first flight to Dallas I sat next to a guy from Puerto Rico and by the time we were up in the air I had placed my first Book of Mormon and he was reading it. I gave him a few chapters to read and he read it for about half of the flight. In London we met up with other missionaries from California, Idaho, and Germany. In london we had a long layover, but I was able to place a 3 more book of mormons; one of them with Elder Tye.
Once we got to the MTC we were greeted by the MTC president and his wife and got to work. We have 24 missionaries here and the go up to the age of 26. I love the Elders from Africa. I've already have my greeting down in Zulu. They have the most amazing spirit and truly love the Lord. When they pray you can tell they know they are speaking with their Father in Heaven and know that he's listening to them. I've never prayed so much in my life... Prayer is the greatest thing. It keeps the spirit with you always and gets you ready to learn and be taught the things that you personally need.
We have been teaching "investigators" who are our Teachers and it has been so cool. Elder Mkhize and I teach so well together and the spirit has always been there when we've taught. I love the Holy Ghost and how it makes you feel. It really does tell you what to say... We are truly an instrument in the lord's hands. It gets me so excited for Tuesday when I get my companion and know which area I'll be serving in. I can't wait to bring others unto Christ.
On tuesday we were able to go to the temple. It was INCREDIBLE!! The temple was small and plain, yet beautiful and profound. The spirit was so strong. There were five of the Elders here where it was their first time going throught the temple and receiving their endowments. It was so cool to see their faces and to give them all a big hug when they came into the Celestial room. We are so blessed to have temples all around us.
I can't wait to be an instrument in the Lord's hand in the mission field of Joburg. To represent him and to stand in his place. I know that I must rely on the Lord and I can't wait to let him direct me where to go and to help me along the way. I know Christ lives. He is our Savior and it's only through him that we can do anything and return to live with him and our Father in Heaven. In John 15 verse 7 it talks about how we need to abide in Christ. And abide doesn't mean to stay with every once in a while, it means to Stay with him always and to always be standing firm in Christ! I love all of you!

Johannesburg MTC

Teacher at the MTC


Sister September

On their way to the SA Temple

It looks so Good!

Elder Farnes sisters put about 100 little notes hidden throughout
his suitcase.   It looks like he found one
 "Grep 'em til they're baptized" haha

Mirror Pic

President and Sister Reber with all of the
missionaries at the Johannesburg Temple

Pictures and Letters from Sister Reber SAMTC

Elder Farnes with Elder Tye-SLC Airport

After 39hrs, arriving at the Johannesburg airport

Hey guys. I'm here at the mtc and i'm safe. I placed all three of the Book of Mormons on the way over and some of the pass along cards. I can't wait to get out in the field. I have the coolest companion. He is from Durbin, South Africa. His name is Elder Mkhize. He's going to serve in Botswana and i've already learned a lot about South Africa from him. There are about 20 of us here and probably about half of us will serve here in South Africa. I will be in the MTC for 12 days and p-days are on thursdays. I love you guys. Hope you're all doing great!

-Elder Farnes
London Airport

Dear Family and friends of the missionaries in the SAMTC,

Your missionary arrived safely.  Three Elder's luggage didn't arrive, but
we are hoping it will come soon.  These are pictures of their arrival.  
We are so thankful that your missionary is here,
President and Sister Reber
Today was a beautiful, sunny day in South Africa.  The missionaries were able to go outside and
study.  Although it is winter, the weather has been very mild and enjoyable.

Sister Janet Reber
South Africa MTC
Every missionary in the MTC is in the MTC Choir.  We have the opportunity to perform for the three wards that meet across the parking lot from the MTC.  This will happen next Sunday.  In preparation, we have a 10 minute choir practice each night.  Yesterday, because we came back from the Temple in a timely manner, we had extra time and were able to start choir practice early.

We were singing "Put your shoulder to the wheel".  President Reber gave out solos on the verses.  We went around the whole group and EVERY missionary did a solo.  That is...except Elder Tye and Elder Farnes.  They politely, but firmly declined.  So we were singing the chorus and Sister September sang "Put your shoulder to the wheel...push along.  Elder Tye and Elder Farnes sing along."  It was so cute!  Everyone picked up on it and after a few choruses.....they gave in and each sang a solo part.  It was such a neat evening and brought everyone together in a different and wonderful way.  You would have loved it! I did my best to love it for you.

Thankful for your wonderful missionary,
Sister Reber
Here is the last photo I took of the missionaries holding their "Preach MY Gospel" books, from which they have learned so much.  They all were excited to go out into the field and put into practice the many things they have learned at the MTC.  

This was one of our BEST groups ever at the MTC!  It was the most 18 year olds we have ever had with 8 of the Elders being 18.  They were focused and loved each other and built each other up.  They worked hard and did things out of their comfort zone.  We love them and we miss them.  I wish I could follow them on their mission and continue to document their experiences.  But a new group arrived today and I will turn my focus to them.

God bless you,

Sister Janet Reber
South Africa MTC

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Called to Serve! Farewell, Setting Apart, Airport

I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord
"You are hereby called to labor in the Johannesburg, South Africa Mission"

South Africa!!!!!!!!!

Best Friends!

Jordan guessed it!  He got the $100 prize,
then gave the money to Skyler for his mission.

Taking it all in!

This is really happening
Best Grandparents ever!!!
Elder Farnes and Friends, called to serve all over the world

Gods Team!

"The future of this world has long been declared.  The final outcome between good and evil is already known.  There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard.  The only strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which teams jersey we want to wear."
Jeffrey Holland
June 8, 2013.
We had a wonderful experience at the Bountiful Temple with Skyler
Best day Ever!
Elder Farnes Farewell!
Skyler and Tim both did a great job!
Poly Crew



Cutest Grandmas I've ever seen!

Setting Apart

Amazing Grandparents!    So Blessed!

He's officially and Elder

Set apart as a full time missionary, by his Dad!

Trent paid a visit before Elder Farnes was off to Johannesburg

He's ready!

SLC Airport

Good Bye-Anna

Good Bye-Lexi

Good Bye-Jordan

Good Bye-Ashlyn

Walking to the security line

Good Bye-Mom

Good Bye-Dad

Watching Elder Farnes as he goes through the security line

Ahhh-Walking away was so hard!!!!!
God be with you til we meet again!