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, May 30, 2016

Referrals Galore

Hey all!

We had many miracles this week! Sister Cardoso and I had some time
before we needed to go to a dinner appointment. We both felt strongly
that we needed to go back to an area that we were in earlier and knock
on some doors. We went, but no one was interested. We then started
walking towards our appointment when we came across a young mother
walking with her son. Sister Cardoso and I felt strongly that we needed to
stop her so we did. We had a great conversation with Gisele and she was
really interested! I had noticed throughout the conversation she had a slight
accent, so I asked her where she was from, and she is from Brazil! The next
several minutes were of solid Portuguese. With all of my companions, we
always find at least one person from their home country, or someone who
speaks their same language. Always! The Lord truly leads prepared
people to us. :) I never seem to find Americans here though.

On Sunday, I was really stressed because I needed to play the piano,
give a talk, teach gospel principles and take care of our three new
friends at church. We work really hard in this ward! But again, we had
a tender mercy when a visitor from another ward was with us. He
plays the piano very well, and he was willing to play for the meeting!
It made giving my talk easier because I wasn't so stressed, and all of
our friends had a lovely time at church.

We have been teaching our friend Finbar, and he is so prepared.  He is
currently preparing for baptism in June! It was so amazing that we
found him, because every time we meet with him, he introduces us to a
new friend, and then that friend introduces us to another friend, and
so on. I have never had so many referrals in my life! And they seem to
just be coming out of nowhere. We don't even ask for them, they just
bring them to our lesson. Finbar has introduced us to a whole new
teaching pool through his good example to his friends. This week was truly
full of miracles!

I love this work,and I love this gospel. The church is true, the book
is blue, and we go out two by two. 🇬🇧

Love, Sister McFarland

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bringing it Back to the Basics

When I was a senior in high school, I took an advanced team
conditioning class. It was hard work, but I really felt myself
becoming a lot stronger and more physically fit. One day, coach
Buhrley announced that we would be lifting with only pvc pipes that
day, just a hollow piece of plastic that weighed absolutely nothing.
He told us that it was for us to focus again on the basic form of
lifting, so that when we would lift with real weights, we would have
the correct form that would ensure our safety and optimum results.
So, I know your thinking: what does this have to do with missionary work?
My analogy is this: that often in life, and especially the gospel, we
can get too caught up in the technicalities and complications of life,
making things harder and more complicated than they need to be. So
it's always good to bring things again to the basics and focus on
what's most important.
I had a really great opportunity to experience that this week. On
Tuesday we had a special training in Canterbury with President and
Sister Stevens, the assistants to the president, and the sister
training leaders. All the trainings were on the restoration of the
gospel and the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong, as it always
is with President and Sister Stevens, and I loved it so much.
After this week, I have become almost obsessed with studying the Book
of Mormon. I got myself a new hard copy of the Book of Mormon to
study, mark, and use in lessons. I feel like every spare minute I
have, either on the train, during lunch, or before bed, I just want to
read it! For those of you who know me well, you know that studying is
often difficult for me, but I am thankful for the blessings of the
Book of Mormon and how much its spirit has affected my life.
We had exchanges this week with our sister training leaders: Sister
Rank and Sister Epicoco. I have served around sister Rank for my
entire mission, except for that transfer I was in Norwich. And sister
Epicoco was my sister training leader when I was in Ashford at the
very beginning of my mission. We had a lot of fun, and as always,
learned a lot.
Now, I know this email is very spiritual, so before I finish I would
like to share our weirdest experience from this week.
We went to go teach a referral named Luke, who has just moved to our
area from Canterbury. When we met him at the train station, he brought
his friend: Finbar, to the lesson as well. Perfect. During the lesson
however, Luke seemed very distracted, and would constantly interrupt
us or start talking to someone else passing by, which was super
annoying. Suddenly though, he jumped up, told us he would be right
back, and just left for ten minutes. We continued to teach Finbar, who
was actually very interested, when Luke comes back, snarfing down a
sandwich like he has never eaten before. (Don't forget, we were
teaching him in the middle of the library, where sandwich snarfing is
not really acceptable.) We continued to teach Finbar, and just did our
best to ignore Luke as much as possible. He suddenly jumped up, again,
and announced (very loudly) that he had to go help his friend,and ran
out of the library dramatically. Despite all these distractions, we
were able to finish our lesson with Finbar, where he accepted a
baptismal date! So even amidst the crazy distractions of life, we can
still have spiritual experiences. Okay, I know that wasn't a super
crazy story, but here in Sittingbourne, it's the craziest we are going
to get.
Love you all, and I hope that you have a great week full of sunshine
and happiness.
Sister McFarland

1. Learning CPR at a relief society activity,
2. Exchanges with Sister Rank and Sister Epicoco.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Biking in Skirts: a sequel

Hello all!

Last Wednesday, Sister Chou and I left Norwich early in the morning
and took the train to London to meet our new companions. It definitely
felt weird to be leaving Norwich so soon, I only feel like it was
yesterday that I arrived in that city. But after a 2 1/2 hour train
drive we met our new companions in the Euston train station. I love
transfers because we all meet in the middle of a massive train
station, where there is an overwhelming amount of black name tags,
luggage, and happy reunions between old mission friends. In all of
this, I was able to find my new companion Sister Cardoso from Brazil!
She is so great, and I could tell we would get along well. Because I
am her follow up trainer, I needed to go to the new trainers meeting
in Hyde park. So we left Euston train station and faced our first
challenge together: the underground.

See, the problem with training is that you are expected to know what's
going on, and how to do important things like get to the mission home.
When in fact I had never had to make it there by myself before, I had
always been with another missionary who understood the underground
better than I did.  I tried to pretend like I knew what I was doing,
but we ended up getting hopelessly lost in the middle of London. We
eventually found the right train and made it to the mission home 25
minutes late for the trainers meeting. I was absolutely mortified to
have to walk into the meeting so late in the middle of the training
the assistants to the president were giving, soaking wet from the
rain, and red faced and sweaty from running there with all my luggage.
I walked to the back of the room and sat down to listen to the last  5
minutes of the training. So basically I still have no idea how to
train. I guess I'll just have to figure it out as we go! Then after a
quick lunch we were back in the tube and on our way to Gillingham.
Luckily we made it there without getting lost. 😀

Gillingham is a great area. And yes, it is a biking area. But we don't
use the bikes nearly as much as we did in Ashford. Often we will walk
so we can talk to more people on the way, and our area is so big that
to get to the other side we need to take a train! But I didn't realize
how much I missed being on a bike until we rode the other day. Man, it
felt so good! Especially in the nice may weather.

One sure way to win the Gillingham 2 ward's heart  is to be able to
play the piano. Not a single person here can play the piano. Not one!
Before I came, the accompaniment was someone playing the music on
their gospel library app and holding it up to the microphone. So when
I came and the ward found out I could play, I received a new calling
to be the ward pianist. I messed up some of the hymns, which was
embarrassing, but it was better than nothing! Part of our area vision
is to find a new ward pianist.

While biking in the lovely sunshine, we got a phone call from our
sister training leader, Sister Rank, who used to serve in this area.
She told us that she had been thinking a lot about her time here, and
was thinking about a village in our area named Borden. She said that
she felt like she was always meant to find someone there, but never
had the opportunity to spend much time in that area. She asked us to
go see who we could find there! So off we went to find this golden
person. After tracting for nearly an hour, we had our miracle. The
woman who answered the door was an investigator named Jen, who Sister
Cardoso had met in the park the week before. They had been trying to
get a hold of her ever since, but with no luck. We had no idea where
she lived, so to suddenly knock on her door out of all the people here
was a huge miracle. Jen assured us that she hadn't been ignoring us,
she just had had a crazy week and didn't find time to reply. We set up
a return appointment and will be seeing her again next week! So
amazing! She is so prepared.

Hope y'all have a great week.
Please pray for me that I will be able to play hymns with no time to
practice. 😂
Sister McFarland

1. Sister Cardoso and I
2. Sometimes when we go finding we find a dinosaur. Don't ask, I have no idea.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

An Unexpected Journey

Hey everyone! I hope you have all had a great week. I would like to
start by saying Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing mums out there!
I am so thankful for my amazing mom and everything she has done to
support and encourage me. She is the best mother a girl could ask for.
I am also so thankful for all my grandmothers, aunts,  sisters,
cousins and friends who are great examples to me of faithful disciples and
diligent mothers. So, thank you!  ❤

Was it only last week that I wrote about having all 4 seasons in a
day? Because this week summer came all at once. I went from wearing a
coat and thick tights everyday to short sleeve shirts nearly
overnight. There have been blue skies and sunshine nearly everyday
this week. I'm loving it! It was so nice that Sister Chou and I 
planned outside on the grass while having a picnic at sister Blackham's

Well, moves calls last night were surprising and unexpected, although
I've learned to never be surprised by transfers anymore. It turns out
that I will be leaving Norwich! I am returning to Kent to be in
Canterbury zone again, serving in Gillingham! Which is not very far
from my birthplace Ashford. I am going to be follow-up training Sister
Cardoso from Brazil. I'm sad that I have to leave Norwich after only
being here a short time! But I'm excited for this new adventure.

Saturnday night we had a mission wide conference call where we
received some exciting news: Elder Dallin H. Oaks will be coming to
visit our mission on June 7😀 I am so excited! I can't wait!

But for a side of spiritual: I would like to share my favourite
scripture from this past transfer in Moroni 8:16 "I speak with
boldness, having authority from God, and I fear not what man can do;
for a perfect love casteth out all fear." I love this scripture
because it reminds me that we have authority from God, and must speak
with boldness, and that a perfect love, the Love of Jesus Christ, can
cast out all my fear.

We have a busy day ahead of us to get everything ready! I will let you
know about my new area and new companion in next week's episode.

I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Sister McFarland

Monday, May 2, 2016

4 Seasons, One Day

Hello everyone! 
Recently we have been working with a little 8 year old girl named Betty. Her parents are less active, but said she could be baptised if she had all of the missionary discussions. Her granddad is a strong member and we have been teaching her at his home. Yesterday she was baptised by her grandad. It was a great day and she was so excited. I am always amazed at the faith of children. No wonder that Christ said to "behold your little ones." Sister Chou and I sang a musical item at the baptism, which was terrifying, but we did alright. 

The past several weeks I have been doing what is called a 40 day fast. How it works was last fast Sunday, I fasted for things that I could do to improve my self as a missionary, then in the spirit of the fast wrote down 10 things that kind of "poked" my spirit. I then wrote them down and committed to do my best to "fast" from the things on my list. I have really seen how much this has improved myself and made me be a more consecrated missionary. One of the things that I felt I should write was to not complain about the weather. I somehow knew that as I wrote that down that God would put me to the test with some difficult weather to face, but it actually hasn't been that bad! (And I'm being serious, it actually has been really nice.) Please note that the following experience is not a complaint, but merely an observation on the oddities about experiencing all 4 seasons in a day. :) 

One morning at 6:29 Sister Chou and I woke up to a wonderful surprise... When I got out of bed and looked out the window, I couldn't believe it, but there was snow on the ground! We decided to celebrate by having an April Christmas party. We jammed out to Christmas music all morning and had so much fun. But it was short lived, as by the time we left the flat in the morning, all the snow had melted and the sun was coming out. 

This was once shared  by Henry B. Eyring. A couple of months ago my companion shared this with me and I thought it was so beautiful that I just wanted to cry. (A mission has made me so much more emotional than ever before.) But I just loved it so much and wanted to share it all with you. 

The Fellowship of the Unashamed
"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast! I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colourless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labour with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, and my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear! I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up of the cause of Christ. I just go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till I know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognising me, my banner will be clear. "
2 Nephi 7:7

Sister McFarland 

1. Betty's baptism
2. A lesson on the Godhead in both English and Chinese.
3. Snow!