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


Monday, August 12, 2013



Great great week! Yesterday we were able to have Kamagelo's baptism. The spirit there was so strong. I was able to baptise him and was also able to speak on the Holy Ghost. It reminded me of when I baptised Jordan and the amazing spirit that was there. I'm so grateful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost that we can have in our lives. The baptism took place in a pool, but the venue doesn't matter. What matters is the priesthood authority that the baptism is done under. Kamagelo's mom was able to come to church and to the baptism. She loved it all and after we were able to set up an appointment for us to come and start teaching her as well. The spirit was able to touch her and I think she will want to follow the example of her son and in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.

We were able to also have zone conference this past week. President Omer is powerful. I love listening to him speak. We talked about how we are going to start working as closely as possible with leaders of our branches and wards. We are going to start meeting with some more less active members and members as well as our investigators each week so that we can really establish the church here in South Africa. He also gave us some new standards of excellence and I'm so excited to implement this plan. We met with the Branch President yesterday and I know that we can really strengthen the church this way.

This past week I was able to finish the Book of Mormon again. I know it's true with all my heart!!! I love testifying of it and how I know that it can bless people's lives. It can truly help you through any difficulty you may face in life. One of the scriptures from Matthew that I really loved was in Matthew 14:24-31. As long as he kept his eyes on Christ and had faith he was able to walk on the water, but the second he took time to look around at the world around him he started to sink. Immediately though, as he looked unto Christ, he was able to help him out of the water. We need to always keep our eyes and hearts focused on what's important in life! 

I love you!!

Elder Farnes

Monday, August 5, 2013

Great Week!

Another Great week! This past week I've had some incredible
experiences. We have been teaching a lot of great people and We found
a family that has been powerful to teach. We met them through tracting
and the Day, Brother Kimberley, told us to come back another time. We
did and had a great lesson with him and his daughter the following
day. They invited us to come back saturday night so that we could
teach them when the wife was home as well. We taught the whole family
about the Restoration and the wife seemed really interested. The
spirit was strong in the room. The wife is the one in the family that
goes to church every week so we really tried to get her involved and
she had some great input. We then introduced the Book of Mormon and
they all committed to read and pray about it. I know that the Book of
Mormon will get her and the rest of the family. You can't read it and
pray about it without knowing it's true!! We then went to the Gunene
Family to teach them. We got there and the family was all sad because
their nephew had just died. We taught them a little about the Plan of
Salvation, but just focused on how we KNOW they will be able to see
him again and how they can have their family together forever. It was
a such a spiritual moment as we closed in prayer and expressed what we
know to be true. We weren't able to have Kamagelo's baptism yesterday,
but we will be having it this week. We didn't have a font and I think
this week will be doing at a pool. Brother Andres son turned eight
recently and asked me the other day if I would baptise him also. So we
will be having both of theirs this sunday.

This last week in my scripture study I was able to read through third
Nephi and loved reading about Christ coming and visiting the people in
the Americas. I just kept thinking about how incredible of an
experience that will be. To be able to be in the prescence of the
Savior, to feel of his love, and to see his smiling face. It's going
to be "like nothing else." Words won't be able to describe the great
JOY that we will feel.

Yesterday in our investigator class we taught the principle of Eternal
families. I was talking about the importance of temples and how we can
be sealed as families for eternity. As I was explaining it I shared
our experience with Jordan and how we were able to be sealed to him. I
got emotional and realized how truly grateful I am for that. I am
beyond grateful that every person in our family will be together
forever! It's one of the greatest blessings in my life that I know
that we have been sealed for eternity!

I love you all forever and a day!

Elder Farnes