About me

I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. These are my adventures while serving in the England London mission.

email me at adriana {dot} mcfarland {at} myldsmail {dot} net

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sick and Afflicted: a reprise

The damp cold and dirty germy busses of Southend are finally getting
to me. I had just shaken off a head cold when I got sick again, but
this time it feels like I have been repeatedly kicked in the chest by
a kangaroo. I have been coughing up my lungs and being in the cold
wind feels like I'm trying to breathe out of a plastic tube.
Thankfully today is Pday and we are going to relax and take it easy
today so we can attack this next week with enthusiasm.

One day Sister Smith and I were walking down the street when we saw a
full length mirror on the side of the road with a sign that said
"free". We talked it over and decided we needed a mirror, so we picked
it up and carried it home. It was very heavy, and we got some really
weird looks as we tried to pull it onto the bus to get it home. But it
was totally worth it.

Most English people have no sense of USA geography. One man thought he
was being very clever and decided to tell me, not ask me, where I was
from based on my accent. He said , "Your from the east, north coast,
probably around Washington state." It was really hard not to laugh out
loud, but I still answered that he was close, but I was from the
opposite side of the country from Utah. As many people have no idea
where Utah is, I usually have to describe it as being "close" to

On Tuesday we came home to our flat and realized that none of our
sockets were working. We had heat and electricity but that was it.
With horror we realized all of our food in the fridge was going bad,
and that we were completely out of money so we couldn't buy anymore
food. We had no dinner appointments for the week, and for the first
time in my life I wondered what I would eat the next day. We called
some members to see if they could help us out. Brother Barron came to
save the day by showing us how to flip the switch on the circuit
breaker. Haha we felt so stupid that the solution was so simple,
although we did lose quite a bit of food. The next day we were able to
get reimbursed for some things and had enough to buy stuff. Whew! What
a relief! :)

We had a lesson with a man named Ed who we met on the street. He
seemed really flakey, especially because he wasn't willing to give us
his phone number. But we decided to go to our appointment anyways. I
was pretty sure that he wasn't going to come, but Sister Smith wanted
to wait a little longer. We decided to give him 5 more minutes. At the
end of that 5 minutes he actually came! A whole 25 minutes late, but
he came and had a great lesson with him.

Sunday the bishop approached me and told me that the speaker
hadn't shown up, and asked if I could help out. I felt terrified about
giving a talk with such short notice. But this lovely sister had
emailed her talk to the bishop and all I had to do was read it out to
the congregation. I think it was by far one of the weirdest things I
have done in a sacrament meeting.

I love you all and hope you have a stupendous week!

Sister McFarland

Monday, February 22, 2016

Childhood Dreams Fulfilled!

Sadly, transfer calls came, and Sister Matthews is leaving! I will be
staying here, but we have 3 new missionaries, as the elders in our
area are getting whitewashed. ( which means both missionaries
transferred and 2 new ones came in). It's going to be a bit crazy as
we all try to figure out the area together! I don't seem to get to
stay with my companions for very long, as I am starting my 6th
transfer with my 5th companion.  Maybe I'm too crazy?

Earlier in the week before Sister Matthews left we had a crazy
experience. We were heading home on the bus when we suddenly realized
we were at our stop. We quickly jumped up and got off, but as soon as
the bus started rolling away, we realized that Sister Matthews had
left her iPad on the bus! We knew that the  final destination
was the train station about half a mile away, so we took off to chase
this thing down. ( Luckily Sister Matthews knee has been feeling much
better). We chased the bus for ages, and finally caught up with it at
the station. I ran and jumped onto the bus while gasping:"Excuse me
sir! My friend left her iPad!" To which the bus driver held up the
iPad without saying a word. He did compliment us on our running
though. I came off that bus holding the iPad like a trophy in the air.
We were exhausted but it was so worth it!

Ladies and gentlemen, this week my childhood dreams were finally
fulfilled. We were sadly heading to kings cross, St. Pancras train
station for transfers. We were really sad and just trying not to think
about it. When we got to the meeting spot early, we decided to have
one last hoorah together and go and see platform 9 3/4! Yep, I'm
definitely a nerd but I could not have been more excited.

My new companion is Sister Smith from Sussex England! She actually has
been called to serve in Arizona, but is serving here while she waits
for her visa. We have no idea how long this will be. She has already served
3 months of her mission here in England. So maybe now I will finally
be able to pick up on the accent! I tell her all about America and she
tells me all about England.

We had an amazing miracle this week with a new investigator named Su.
She is from China and is Christian. She has gone to a lot of different
christian churches and feels like they all have something missing. She
is so lovely, and accepted a date for March 20! We are so excited for
her. Then she ran upstairs to see if her 15 year old daughter and 6
year old son would like to come to church with her Sunday. They both
said they would like to, and all three of them came to church and
enjoyed it. :)

One of our investigators Gerry has been doing really well, but is
still struggling with some things. He feels like he needs until April
10 to be baptized. It is such a long time away, especially because we
have been teaching him since January. The zone leaders and even the
assistants to the president called to ask why his date was so far
back. I felt terrible about it, and thought I might have made a
mistake to put him so far back. After I stayed up all night worrying
about it, we decided to discuss it again with Gerry. We talked about
taking a 'leap of faith' and testified that he was ready and could be
baptized by March.  But then it suddenly dawned on me that I could not
expect him to take a leap of faith without taking one myself. I felt
very strongly that what he needed was time, and so we decided to give
him that. I felt so much better after just handing the situation over
to the Lord and letting Him take control. I do however, still have
full confidence that he can be ready by March. We will see!
I love you all and hope you have a magical week!


Sister McFarland

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jilted at the Font

Hello all! And Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all had a great one.
So as you may have guessed from the title of this email, our baptism
didn't happen on Sunday. We tried to call our investigator on Saturday
to see how he was doing and he wouldn't answer the phone. We were
super stressed but had to wait until Sunday to see what would happen.
It was weird getting ready for church and not really knowing whether
or not we would be having a baptism. We went to church early to make
the programs, but we weren't even sure if Aldrin was still coming. But
he never showed up to church and wasn't answering his phone. So we
cancelled the baptism and had to tell the ward that it wasn't
happening anymore. We were so upset! We did eventually get a hold of
him, and he had some last minute concerns about baptism. We were so
disappointed! He was so close to making this important step in his
life, and it was so hard to see him choose not to.

Serving in London, I get to experience so many different cultures.
There are people from all over the world! We go from teaching someone
from Scotland, to someone from the Philippines, or India, or Poland,
or basically any other country you can imagine all in one day. It is
so fun to pick up things from all of these cultures. I'm not only
learning the English culture, but cultures from all around the world!

We had dinner with a family from the Philippines. They are so lovely!
It was their daughter's birthday, so there was a lot of extended family
there as well, all speaking fluent Tagalog and Sister Matthews and I
had no idea what to do. But they fed us so much food! Sister Pardo
kept telling me every time my bowl was empty "Sister! Eat more!" When
we left, by skirt was way too tight and I wasn't even sure what I had
been eating. But it was really good.

I can't believe that it is transfers again! These past 6 weeks have
just flown by. But we were shocked to find out that Sister Matthews is
leaving to Thetford! I will be here with Sister Smith. I don't seem to
get to stay with my companions for very long. I'm just starting my
sixth transfer with my fifth companion. I will miss Sister Matthews so
much! She is so amazing and such a great example to me. From being
goofy and wrestling each other and having many ups and downs we have
had a great transfer. The elders in the ward are both leaving, so we
will have 2 new elders here. One is elder Isaksen who I served with in
my first area in Ashford! I am nervous about taking over the area
after just 6 weeks, again, especially because we will have 3 new
missionaries here. But I know that it will work out!
I love you all, thank you so much for your love and support!

Sister McFarland

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fasting Works!

Hello! I hope you have all had a good week. We had a really cool
miracle this week. We decided to fast with an investigator to help him
overcome his smoking. We went out to eat together to start our fast
and he took us to this fancy Italian restaurant that gave us so much
food my skirt was uncomfortably tight. Unfortunately, take out boxes
aren't really a thing here so I couldn't enjoy my leftovers later. But
we started our fast together. The next day at church he told us that
he doesn't even have cravings to smoke anymore! We are so excited for
him. He is scheduled to be baptized next Sunday. This has really
strengthened my testimony of fasting. I know that God hears and
answers our prayers!
 We had another cool experience this week when we went to stop by a
less active. When we got there she was really overwhelmed and stressed
out; she had a lot to do and her little baby girl wasn't helping. I
wished we could have helped her with the baby, but we did help her
clean up the house and shared an inspirational message. I really felt
that we were guided to her to help her out that day.

 Something I am really learning on my mission is the importance of
being bold. We were teaching someone who just likes to argue anti
Mormon stuff, and during the lesson I was so frustrated that he wasn't
listening to us at all. I decided that being a 'cute, nice, sister'
wasn't good enough. I finally just slammed my hand down and said (a
bit too angrily) "We have already answered that question a million
times and we are so frustrated that we have to answer it again! For
the last time, not everything you read on the internet is true!" I
also said some other very bold things and bore testimony of Joseph
Smith and the Book of Mormon. It was a bit scary, but we are seeing
him again next week.

I hope you all have a great week!
Sister McFarland
Romford zone meeting

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sick and Afflicted

 Hello all! I hope you had a good week. This week was really good for
us! Missionaries who serve close to London get to spend one Pday a
transfer in London, so last week we spent our day in London! First we
went to Sky Gardens, which is a really tall building  and from the top
floor is the best view of London. Then we visited Harrods, which is
one of the most expensive store in the world. I'm pretty sure it's
what Lehi saw when he saw the great and spacious building. Before
going home we visited Big Ben. While there, we met two tourists from
Utah who are Mormon! Haha it was great to talk with them.

We have been teaching this really great guy named Gerry. The other day
he came for his lesson and I thought he looked very different. I was
trying to figure out if he had gotten a haircut or something, when he
started to tell us that ever since he has started praying, that he has
felt so happy! It was amazing! He said he still had his old problems,
but since hearing about the gospel, he looks at them in a new way. And
it is so true. The gospel doesn't take away our problems, but it sure
gives us a way to handle them! Gerry came to church yesterday and
loved it. During sacrament meeting, the brother who was conducting
said a welcome to all who may be visiting, which is quite normal. Then
he said " There is a nice looking guy sitting there with the sisters,
so everyone go say hi to him after church. (Then to Gerry) What is
your name? Just shout it out." So Gerry shouted out his name to the
congregation. I was mortified, especially because Gerry had just told
us he wanted to blend into the meeting. Oh well. But I was very
grateful that the ward was so welcoming to new people we brought to

We had an appointment with a potential we met last week named Earnest.
When we got to his house, the member who came with us recognised the
house and said she had come teaching here before. When we went in,
Earnest's brother was there and got excited when he saw us.  " Do you
remember me?" He asked us. Uh, no. We had never seen him before. But
he used to be taught by the sister missionaries! And sure enough, he
started pulling out a Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and even a Gospel
Principle Manual. He was mad that the sisters hadn't come back. So we
will be seeing him again next week! He seems like a really great guy.

Every Wednesday at the church we have a sports night where we play
football and volleyball at the chapel with members, investigators, and
less actives. During last Wednesday's game, I started to get a really
bad headache. It got worse and worse until it was a migraine. When we
got home, I not only had a migraine but felt really nauseous. I ended
up throwing up during the middle of call ins with our district leader.
Sister Matthews is so kind and motherly, and she really took good care
of me. But miracles can happen, and after a good night sleep I was
feeling much better, although I felt a bit sick the next day. And a
small tender mercy was that I got to go to bed early.  The next day
though we were walking to an appointment when sister Matthews knee
suddenly started hurting. It has gotten progressively worse, and is
very painful for her to walk on. It does give us some great
opportunities to reenact the scene from Lord of the Rings where Sam
carries Frodo up the mountain, because anywhere we walk its with her arm
around my shoulders and limping. She called Sister Stevens and we will
hopefully be seeing a doctor soon.

Sometimes when it is very cold and rainy, I would imagine what it
would be like to stay in the flat and not go out, until yesterday when
that became reality. Sister Matthews had to rest her leg, so we stayed
in for part of the day. It didn't take long before I started to go
crazy. We did as much as we could from the flat, making phone calls,
writing thank you cards for members, and organizing and calling people
from the area book. Our flat has also never been cleaner.
Sorry for such a long email, but I just have so much I want to tell
you about! I hope you all have a great week.
Sister McFarland