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, April 25, 2016

The Super Sniffer

Hello all! I hope you are having a good week and enjoying the nice
spring weather.

So, one of the downfalls of working with universities...finals week.
It's almost worst than when I was in university. Almost. But besides
the pain of seeing so many of our friends stressed out,  it means
that almost no one can see us for the next week! So that has made
finding a bit difficult this week.

Something unique about the culture that I have noticed here is how much
English people love their dogs. It is not uncommon for two strangers
who are walking their dogs to stop and talk to each other, which is
very odd for a place where talking to strangers is weirder than a
weird thing. So what do Sister Chou and I do to adapt to this unique
culturally acceptable way of talking to strangers? We showed up at a
member's home and volunteered ourselves for service to 
walk her dog,
Freddie. This member has been too sick to walk her dog 
and she
really appreciated this service. So we headed out with 
Freddie to go to
the nearest park. It was a beautiful sunny day and 
Freddie was a great
missionary. We were able to have some great 
conversations. And it made
finding so much more fun!

A darling recent convert named Hua gave us a referral for a Chinese
family but she didn't tell us her name...or her house number, she
just gave us her street name. So we decided to tract the whole street
to find them.  We said a prayer that we would be able to find them.
After tracting a couple of doors with no success, we decided to walk
down the street for "Chinese clues," or "family clues." After walking
for less than a minute, Sister Chou suddenly turns, points to a house
and says: " I think that this is it." There was no obvious signs of a
family living there but we decided to give it a go. Before we could
even knock on the door, Sister Chou took a big sniff in the air and
said, "Yep, this is it, I can smell it." Haha, and sure enough it
did smell like Chinese food. And the woman who answered was Hua's
referral! After she and Sister Chou talked for nearly 20 min in
Chinese, she agreed we could come back, but she wants to be taught in
Chinese.  We will be seeing her again next week, but hopefully we will
be teaching in English so I can teach her too.

We had a great miracle with our dear friend Michelle. She has really
wanted to come to the church, so on Saturday we gave her a chapel
tour. She also owns a Chinese takeaway business, so we decided to
order some of her food as well. We had a really great tour! We focused
on 3 major points of the church: foyer, chapel, font. When we showed
her the chapel, we talked about what sacrament meeting is like. Then
we led her to the sacrament table where we told her the story of the
the last supper and the atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a very
moving moment for me to be talking about the atonement while standing
next to the sacrament table. The spirit was so strong, and Michelle
said she could "feel the power." :) It really made me reflect on the
importance of the sacrament.

Sister Chou gave me a Chinese name! It means calm, graceful wheat. :)
It is pronounced Mai Anna.

Love you all! Have a great week.

Sister McFarland

1. Walking Freddie
2. With Mae Mae. ( her name isn't really Mae Mae, but we call her
that. It means "little sister".
3. With Mae Mae's brother Xiao Hao.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Missionary's Netflix

Nee how! (Hello!) I hope you have all had a good week.

This week our finding approach has been like this:
Sister Chou teaches me how to say something in mandarin as we walk up
to a group of Chinese students.
Sister Chou: "Excuse me, but my friend here is trying to learn
Mandarin. Can she practice saying something to you?"
Sister McFarland: ( begins to sweat and laugh nervously as everyone
stares at me) *insert a poorly pronounced sentence in Mandarin*
Chinese students: (stare blankly)
Sister Chou: (whispers what I am trying to say to the Chinese students)
Chinese students:  ahh! (As they finally understand) and begging
speaking fluent Mandarin to Sister Chou.
A few minutes later, we exchange contact details and set up a return
appointment. Even though I can't speak Mandarin at all, they at least
appreciate that I tried! Its been quite interesting, but has yielded
good results.

Sister Chou celebrated her 21st birthday on Wednesday🎉 In the
morning, the elders gave us a lift in their car and let Sister Chou
sit in the front seat. We also went to a Chinese buffet for lunch. We
had a dinner appointment, and the members surprised Sister Chou by
having a "Happy Birthday" banner, and brownies with candles so we
could sing to her. But it was also Sister Chou's 3rd birthday in the
church, as she was baptised on her birthday 3 years ago! So amazing.

We had interviews with President and Sister Stevens this week. That is
something that I love, that we get to have 2 interviews, one with
the mission president and one with his wife. I love them both so much.
They just radiate Christlike love in everything that they do. I always
leave interviews on a spiritual high, more pumped for missionary work
than a pumped thing.

 I don't know if any of you have seen the new bible videos that the
church has made about the life of Jesus Christ, but they are so nice!
They are really well done. Sister Smith and I started watching them in
Southend and loved them so much that we would download them on our I
pads when we had wifi, and then watch them later that evening after
planning or during dinner. We call it "a missionary's Netflix" because
it's as close as we can get! 😂 Well Sister Chou and I are still
carrying that out and enjoying our "Netflix".
Something exciting happened in the England London mission this week,
is the whole mission got new phones! This new phone includes several
exciting features: including an indestructible case the size of a
brick, a sick fin to make it more aerodynamic, and even a camera.
Every missionary has been trying to get used to them and how they

I love being a missionary! I know the church is true and that God loves you!

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

Sister McFarland

Monday, April 11, 2016

Living on a Prayer

"Ooh! We're halfway there... Oooh! Living on a prayer! "
Hey folks! This week was monumental for me as I passed my 9 month
mark! I am now halfway through my mission. It feels very weird. I
remember when my trainer, Sister Top, had her 9 month mark and I
thought that day would never come for me. It seemed so far away. But
it came far too quickly! Time really does fly!

But despite being such a big moment for me and a crazy period of
mid-mission crisis, the week was exceptionally ordinary. I am getting
more used to Norwich ward. There is a large YSA here which is new to
me. It's completely different for me to be involved in institute,
family home evenings, and other YSA activities as a missionary. That
combined with the large university here makes me feel like I am back
at university again!

This week we met an amazing new friend named Jackie. She is a student
here from China. While she was on holidays in France, she visited an
old church there and felt so peaceful and calm. Now, she is really
interested in learning about religion and wants to feel that spirit
again! She even asked us: "What do I need to do?" We are so excited
to get to teach her more this week. She is so prepared!

My Chinese is still going good. I have added to my vocabulary "Where
are you from?" And "I am from America." Yesterday we visited a recent
convert who speaks little English. Sister Chou taught the lesson in
mandarin while I played with her children. Her son is so cute! He will
talk to sister Chou in Chinese, and to me in English. And sometimes he
speaks in a mixture of both, leaving us both very confused. After the
lesson she fed us some delicious Chinese food, and I will be forever
grateful for my father who taught me how to use chopsticks so I 
didn't embarrass myself too much.

I loved general conference last week, and finally got to see the Sundayafternoon session. I loved what elder Holland said about coming
back from conference on a spiritual high, but then having to face
tomorrow. We are so blessed to have modern technology that allows us
to re watch and read conference anytime we like, so we can keep that
wonderful spirit with us all the time. I would like to challenge all
of you to remember what things you felt at conference by continuing to
study the words of our inspired leaders.

My new address is:
40 Anchor road, NR3 1NR, Norwich, Norfolk, England

I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister McFarland

Beautiful Norwich

Monday, April 4, 2016

A New Area, A New LIfe

Hi everyone!

Last week I left Southend with a heavy heart. Sister Smith and I
packed our stuff all up, and wrote 3 lengthy pages of notes about
the area for the new sisters. We left the flat and headed off to
London for transfers. It was quite interesting trying to carry two
suitcases each through busy London, and through the underground
during rush hour. But I found out that if you look blonde and helpless
then someone will almost always help you carry your suitcases up the
After a three hour drive, I felt like I had come to a different world
of Norwich Norfolk! Norwich is so beautiful! It is a very old city.
There are lots of old buildings, cobblestone roads, and pieces of old
walls and castles from probably hundreds of years ago that no one has
bothered to take down. I love English towns! There is a big university
here full of Chinese students, who make up our whole teaching pool.
These kids have been taught their whole lives that there is no God,
and that they only can believe in science. Now they have a chance to
hear the gospel and they are so prepared. We teach so many Chinese
people that I have started to learn mandarin! Just some very basic
phrases like "How are you?" "The weather is good," " Book of Mormon,"
etc. It's quite interesting!
My new companion is sister Chou from Taiwan. I am still going strong
with having no companions from America! She has 2 transfers left on
her mission. In fact her 16 month mark is today!
Often in our lessons and finding situations, the investigator doesn't
understand a word or phrase, so then Sister Chou will explain it in
more detail in mandarin, and then they both go off in Chinese for a
while I stand there in confusion like a potato. After a while,
the conversation comes back to English and then I can pick up what
part of the lesson we are in.
General Conference was so amazing! I loved all the talks so much and I
felt the spirit so strongly. Sister Chou and I had to go on splits
because they had one room playing in English and one playing in
Chinese. I haven't gotten to listen to the Sunday afternoon session
yet because of the time difference, but I am excited to watch it! I
know that God speaks to his prophets, and that we will be blessed as
we follow their inspired council.

I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Sister McFarland