Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week 97: Definitely "The BEST TWO YEARS!"

THE BEST TWO YEARS

     How can someone even begin to recount all the wonderful experiences and good times that happen in the course of two years? Better yet, a missionary's two years? Words cannot describe the teachings I've learned and the feelings I've felt while being a full-time advocate, minister, and representative of the Lord, Jesus Christ. By no means did I do a perfect job, nor did I baptize 100 people, but the changes that I've seen have been extraordinary. The changes not only in other people, but in myself as well. I have really seen what it takes and the dedication that must be put forth in order to be a true disciple of the Savior. The promise that is found in Matt 10:39 and echoed throughout the scriptures is true in my life as I have lived as a missionary for these last two years.
     I remember that I was so focused on myself as I started my mission. Sure, I wanted to help others, and I knew that the gospel could help them, but I was in it for myself. On the outside I'm sure I was talking only about those whom I'd serve, but on the inside I was more focused on myself. I would be able to learn Spanish; I would become so much closer to the Lord; I would become a scriptorian; I, I, I... It wasn't until the MTC that I finally realized that my mission should never be for myself, but it should only be for the Lord. I had to be wiling to do whatever was necessary to be fully able to act as an instrument in the hands of God to bring to pass the advancement of His kingdom. I had to decide to serve the Lord because of my love for Him, not for the glory of man, nor for any personal progression. The Lord would make me into the person He wants me to become, rather than the person I think I want to become.
     President Kendrick always talked about our purpose as missionaries. He said that our purpose is to bring others to Christ, thus, to be succinct, we "Find, Teach, and Baptize." Later on, the mission was compelled to slightly change the vision statement, in regards to a world-wide missionary broadcast, to "Find, Teach Repentance, and Baptize Converts." Along with this phrase he often stated that missionaries who come out on their missions to personally grow, don't grow and they don't baptize. The Lord has an everlasting promise that he will bless us with everything that we need and will help us become who we must become as we first seek His kingdom. Throughout my mission I feel that I have learned more and more how to apply that concept and how to more fully dedicate my life to the furthering of God's kingdom here on the earth.
     Before he left the mission, President Kendrick asked me if my mission has changed me for 24 months, or for the rest of my life. Right away I feel confident in responding that it has changed me for the rest of my life, but it isn't that easy. Change is a process, not an event. Change takes time, dedication, and disciple. We cannot expect to change and never again need to put in an effort to continue changing, or maintain the change we have seen. It takes an unyielding will, and trust in the Lord to continue to become the individual He wants us to be. I have experienced many mighty changes within my heart, but that doesn't mean anything if I fail to continue forward, firm in the faith, and work more on coming closer to the Savior. It has taken two years to get me to this point, but it could be as quick as two months to put me back to where I was. I will not waste the change the Lord has allowed me to experience. I will do that which the Lord asks of me and I will seek Him, and not myself.
     I will forever be grateful for the people I have met, the experiences I have had, and the conversion I have seen. I know that the Church is true and that the Lord does love us enough to send us a Prophet to lead us and guide us. I know that He speaks to us by His Holy Spirit, and that we can always speak to Him through prayer. He is ever watching, and always looking to bless us. He sends us tender mercies, and also allows us to pass through difficult times, and it is all for our benefit. The Lord does not do anything but that which will help Him accomplish His purpose, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of all men." I know that God is in the details of our lives to help us make righteous decisions, and to be happy and feel His love. These things I know to be true are simple, and they are just true. The Spirit has borne witness to me time and time again that these things are true.
     The Lord wants us to be happy, and He wants us to feel His love. The only requisite is that we follow His plan, and don't go off calling our own plays. I know the Lord loves each and everyone of us, and that He has a perfect plan for each of us individually. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and He paid the price for our sins so that we will not have to. He is the Perfect Teacher, the Master, the Lamb of God, and our Savior. "His name [is called] Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." I am grateful I have had these two years, the best two years, to serve Him, who I love. I will forever more continue to do the same.

- Elder Brian J. Farley

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 96: So Far It's Been a Good Run!

Hi Mom!

I think next week I am going to email one email to you just about how I've seen my mission and the things that I've learned. I will be packing here and there throughout this week, so I'll probably have about an hour to email next p-day. So far it's been a good run, but I still got a week more of running here! I don't know what my feelings are. Probably nervous most of all... haha. But I know all will go well. No regrets, so I will be sure to have none this last week!

This week went well. I describe J as an "in the moment" kind of person. In the moment of being taught, she really loves it and wants to change, but shortly thereafter she forgets what she has to do because she get caught up in the moment with something else. I think a lot of the people we work with are that way. They are really willing to have us teach them, but not willing (or they forget) to do whats necessary when we aren't there. However, we did find someone who seems to be really promising. We were contacting a lady at the bus stop, and then another guy in an electric wheelchair pulls up and asks, "Are you guys the Mormons?"
               "Yes, we are."
               "Cool, my mom and sister were just talking about you guys. They'd like for you to come and visit them. They live in this building, number 203."
He didn't have to tell me twice! We biked right on over there and went and talked to his mom. Her name is M. She has met with missionaries in the past, but is now a lot more open to them. She accepted the restoration, is reading the Book of Mormon, and came to church yesterday! We even set a baptismal date with her already! haha. She could potentially be baptized a day before I go home, but I am guessing she will be baptized the 16th of July (my 2 year mark!). We shall see what happens. So far she is pretty golden though! This week we also picked up like 10 other new investigators! haha. I don't know why these past few weeks were so slow, but this week was super busy and successful! I am glad for all of that. I hope I can leave E.C with a lot going on in his area. Speaking of him, I didn't break the news to him in the temple. I got a call from PK about my exit interview, and then I had to tell him. But I still stuck with my plan for the most part! I gave him the list of scriptures and told him to study it for personal study. When we began comp study and talked about what we learned, he told me that he thinks I was trying to say "I'm a missionary, but I'm giving up my responsibilities to you. I'm dying soon, and I'm going home to my friends and family." Amazing what you can communicate with the scriptures ;) haha. But then he said it doesn't make sense because I am leaving in November. I told him the truth and he was good after that. A little surprised, but he handled it well. The Temple was really good. I will still get one more before I go, so that will be exciting!



PK and SK leave on the 30th I believe. PK didn't want to make a big deal about leaving and distract the mission, so he just went to all the ZTMs and bore his testimony along with SK. He is a really professional kind of guy. We are going to be having a zone review with PT and is wife this Friday... That will be super weird! But I will sustain him. I mean, he's going to be my mission president for such a long time, so I have to, right?;) haha.

Thanks for continually supporting me in my mission, Mom! I hope this week goes great! I'll send an email and answer any last minute questions you have next week, but other than that, I'll see you in about 10 days! Love you!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 95: No Regrets!

Hi Mom!

This week, sadly, was another slow week. We couldn't get any lesson set with J, nor with the man the YSA sisters gave us. I feel like a lot of things are just falling through. We are going to have a more concentrated effort on the members though. I feel like we can get something moving forward if we work with the members. I just don't want to leave EC hanging without anyone solid. But he is a really solid kid, and I'm sure he is going to have a lot of success throughout it all. I think we just need to think outside the box a little more so as to find more people. I think English classes would be a good idea, but that would take a little time to start off.

We did run into a recovering addict last week who said that we could teach him this last Sunday, and we did. He's an interesting guy, but his gf seems to have some good potential. She lives in El Cajon though, so the missionaries down there should hopefully see some success with her. Other than that it's been a lot of flaky people.

It has been hot the past couple days, and we've been tracting through it as well! haha. We are carrying around a lot of water, so we are doing fine. I still haven't told him that I am leaving this transfer, but I have the best idea for bringing it up! So we are going to the temple this Friday and I told him I am going to teach him some "deep doctrine" there. So I have found a whole bunch of scriptures that talk about 'finishing' or 'returning home' and I am going to see if he can connect the pieces! haha. If he can't I'm just going to tell him. I an really surprised that he hasn't found out yet! haha. It still doesn't feel real. But I guess that's a good thing! haha.

I'm really not sure who E.C's step-dad would be, but he better be hardworking! I am going to give him a little pep talk before I leave to help him keep working hard and not become lazy before I go. He is a really good kid though, so I don't worry too much. Probably the coolest thing that happened this week was when a member got really excited to do missionary work and asked for some pamphlets to hand out. He said he's going to hand out them all and find someone here in Escondido for us to teach! That was really cool! It makes me want to work more through members and inspire them to do the work!

I think that's about it on my side of the world. I am so grateful for you, dad and the rest of the family! Thanks for all you do for me! I love you! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 94: 3 Full Weeks to Go!

Hi Mom!

I'm amazed you didn't talk to me about the earthquake that happened here! haha. It was a 5.2 apparently. But we just slept right through it. haha. But this week went well. Still no investigators at sacrament meeting though. J. said she would, but didn't. Every lesson we have with her is really great and it seems that she is doing really well, but then she doesn't let it change her completely I guess... But we are still working with her. We also got a referral from the YSA sisters of a dude who was supposed to be really solid, but he only wanted us to meet with him on Sundays... and not even for 5 minutes any other day. No se, but he may be solid, who knows. Elder Castillo is doing well though. He is a good child and is still working hard. He is getting things down though. I still haven't told him that I'm leaving this transfer. I kinda don't know how he hasn't found out yet! haha. Either I'll let him find out on his own, or I'll tell him week 6 haha. Overall, we are doing really well together and we are expecting some miracles together right around the corner!

Other than that, it sounds like there are a lot of things going on as always! Things here are pretty much the same over here. Just going to go strong until the end! Thanks for sending out the box! I got the cookies :) Everyone else enjoys them too. Thanks for all that you do for me, Mom! I love you! See you in a few;)

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 93: One Month From Today!

Hi Mom!

So, yeah, that is a pretty trunky email title, but I'm basically immune to trunkiness. haha. But so far E.C doesn't know about any past assignments or that it's my last transfer. I like it better that way :) There have been a lot of people who have said things that would have made me question things if I were in his shoes, but so far I think he thinks I go home in November haha. I will probably tell him how old I am in a couple weeks. He and I are doing well together though! He is a hard worker and helps me stay focused as well. Now that he is more acquainted with the area, I am going to hand off more of the teaching opportunities to him. He is really quiet when it comes to teaching, and I'm just used to my companions coming in and adding their thoughts to the conversation so I just keep talking without thinking about it. So I am going to do better about letting him in on the lessons and also have him lead out. I think Sean and I have had so great of missions because of how you and dad raised us. So I am super grateful for you and dad for that!

That SD card had the Christmas video stuff on it? Weird. It should have had videos from the beginning of me and E.S being together. Oh well. I will be sending another SD card home right before the end, so look for that one in a few weeks :)

Sounds like things at home, with Sean, and the rest of the family are going well. It will be good to see everyone again, but I'm still not going to think about that for a little bit! ;)

And the APs right now are Elder Phillips and Elder Glover. Elder Arellano is in Temecula. So half of the same.

Things this week were a little slow. I feel like a lot of our investigators have kind of been piling out on us. We have met a lot of cool people recently, so hopefully we will be seeing some success here soon! People just need to be elect and keep commitments! haha. Sorry that this is so short, but I think thats about it for the week. Not too eventful. But things are going well, and I am sure we will be seeing some good results here pretty soon! Thanks for all your love and support, Mom! I am so grateful to have you in my life! I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 92: Start Strong, Finish Stronger!

Spanish Conference 
Hi Mom!

So to start off this email I need to tell you that I'll be a little short on time these next 5 weeks while emailing because I am now enrolled in an online course that's been made for missionaries on their last transfer. It is meant to help them set goals and make plans to continue living the gospel after their missions and how to continue to develop good habits and attributes. It's called My Plan and it takes about 30min each p-day. But, regardless, I will try to fill you in on everything that's happened!

So this week was kinda slow, and it seemed to fly by at the same time. Elder (ninja turtle) Castillo is a good kid. He is very well prepared for his mission and already has a good skill set. He has to learn Spanish though because he never learned it back at home, and he is a little tired from all the running, biking and planning ;) haha. I told him it will probably get worse until like week 3 or so, then it'll improve. haha. He has a great attitude about everything though and I feel like he will be a really successful missionary! PK already told him we only have 6 weeks together, but I dont think he told him that this is my last transfer. So he isn't freaking out that he'll have to run the area after 5 more weeks. So thats all good. He doesn't know, as far as I know, about my past assignments either which is good as well. So overall, he is a great "Issac" for an old "Abraham." ;)

This week went well though. We picked up a lot of new people and then kept half of them as new investigators. They just drop us as if we never taught them. We are still working with J. and we are now teaching her sister as well! I feel like there are so many elect people in Esco, and I just wonder where they are! haha. I really want to see another person I teach get baptized before the end and what not. That'd be sweet :)

There were a few long days with meetings and what not, but they were good. The trainer meeting went overtime and then right after that was the Spanish Conference. We got home right in time for dinner and then only had like 3 hour of proselyting the whole day... But everyday we are out working hard! On Sunday we biked probably around 30 miles! haha. E.C. is keeping up pretty well though! I really hope to see some more success soon!


It's exciting to hear about everything going on at home! I hope everything continues to go according to schedule! That's about it for me here! Thanks for all you do for me! I love you and hope you have a great week! :)

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 91: A Greenie, FINALLY!

Hey Mom!

It sounds like there have been a lot of exciting things going on at home! I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well and that everyone is safe and happy too!

So this week kinda felt like a blur... But from what I remember, it went pretty well. So first off, the zone has a goal of 12 baptisms for this quarter of the year (April-June). The quarter is basically made up of 2 transfers, so we are about halfway right now. But, our zone already have 11 baptism! WHOOO! Last night there were 5 baptisms at once! Crazy stuff! And E.S and I set a baptismal date too! Her name is J. Her mom, and grandpa are less-active members and but don't really have a reason to be less-active. She told us she really likes the meaning of repentance and that she wants to improve and come closer to God. She's only 15, so we are going to need to find her a ride, or re-activate the rest of the family as well. So that is one good thing that happened. We have a lot of other people who are really close to have a date. There is one lady who the sisters met who was given a Book of Mormon and really wants us to stop by and teach her more, as well as another lady who the sisters actually taught and set a date with, but came to find out that she is in our area. The sisters just really want to help us out, I guess! haha. We have a lot of good leads and opportunities to start teaching a lot of people. Little Elder Castillo will be happy ;)

So back in like January I remember seeing Elder Castillo come up on the missionary roster online. I thought to myself "Finally! There's a Spanish Elder finally coming in!... But that's not for a while, that'll be my last transfer... I'll just half-train him my last transfer." and now look what's happening! haha. I feel like I was partly joking with myself, but it turns out that that's the actual plan! I am super stoked! I probably don't know much more about him than you do. He is Hispanic, from Florida, best friends with Elder Rudd, doesn't really speak Spanish... what else? I will definitely know a lot more about him next week! But I am making preparations to start him off the very best, and to build the very best of habits now, so he'll be a stud when I'm gone! He's going to be the best Spanish missionary!

Other than all of that, we are going to be eating dinner with one of our investigators tomorrow. She is the Colombian woman, S. We told her that we see all of our teaching to lead toward baptism, and she's fine with that! She does need to learn a lot before that though. I still think she doesn't believe in the Resurrection yet, but we are working with her haha.

Zone Conference was good. It was a good one to end on. It was a training mainly to help remind everyone about the helpful tools we can use when teaching and what teaching skills we can practice. Then President talked about the importance of being cheerful, and how it's our moral obligation to be happy. It's a cool concept. Then he talked about the mission goal. It was really good overall.

I can't really think of much else that's going on right now. I know that we will be seeing a lot more things going on now that we have more potential investigators now! I still need to write down a list of everything I want to teach little Rafael (thats his middle name haha). But that's about it on my end! I love you and hope your week goes great! One transfer left...😬

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

ps. Yes, emailing will be on Tuesday next week.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Week 90: Last Week for E.S. & a Baptism, too!

Hi Mom!

This week was really good! It started out pretty slow, but it picked up pretty well after A's baptism. I guess God doesn't want us to have too many elect people at one time or something haha. But the baptism went well! Like most other baptisms, it was hectic and crazy beforehand and ended up going well. To start off, our ward mission leader told us that we had to make the programs, so that was our first task. Unfortunately, we were not informed of that until the night before the baptism. So we asked the ZLs if they could give us a ride to the Stake Center so we could use the Family History Center to make some programs. The plan was to get picked up at 2, finish the program and be back home by 3, go out and work for a bit, then get picked up and taken to the baptism at 5 so we could fill the font and what not. The ZL's didn't get there until 3:45 and we took a little longer to make the programs, so we ended up getting to the church at 5:10. Then we had to clean the font because someone walked through it with muddy boots. We started filling the font at like 5:20 and, to make it worse, there was no hot water. So, even though it was going to start late and be cold, we were still hoping for the best! We asked A. to get there at 5:30, so we decided to text her and ask if she was close at like 5:32. She texted back telling us that she wouldn't be able to make it. Right as we asked her why not, we saw her walking up with her stroller. She just wanted to give us a little scare! haha. E. S. told me afterward that he was thinking "I knew it was too good to be true!" when she texted that haha. But regardless of everything, the baptism went well. A. is super solid! Turns out that she's only 22, only a couple weeks older than Sean!

But, now that A. is baptized, we have to start finding some more people. Just yesterday we met a Colombian woman who told us that she'd come to church and who seems pretty solid, as well as a woman who just arrived from Mexico where her husband was killed and she was left with almost nothing, and a whole family that seem like they have good potential! Crazy stuff happening here in Esco!

E. S. said that "He's too old for that kind of stuff" talking about being trunky and what not. haha. He is honestly doing really well! He is acting as though he really does have 2 years left! haha. I think it's really easy to be trunky when you dont have much going on, so I figure the best way to combat trunkiness in working hard and having a lot of things going on! :)

But thats about it for me. I'm glad to hear that you have been keeping busy and having a good time traveling. Thanks for everything you do for me! I love you and I hope you have a fantastic week! :)

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 89: Cinco de Mayo & Mother's Day Skype



Hey Mom!

It was really good to see you and the family yesterday! I feel like there have been quite a few changes since last time, but nothing too crazy. Like I said yesterday, it just feels weird. I dont even know what feels weird, but it does. Maybe it just doesnt feel like I am getting near the end. But I'm not going to worry about it. haha.

Nothing much to report on aside from what I already told you, but I will give you a little bit of Cinco de Mayo deep doctrine ;)

So E.S. and his family are like deep doctrine masters, and he's let me in on some. Cinco de Mayo is in memory of a battle between the French and Mexican armies in Puebla, Mexico in 1862. So in Alma 16:1 we read that there was a "cry of war" in "the fifth day of the second month..." Then we go to 3 Nephi 8:5 and it talks about the destruction that commenced at the death of Christ. But it says in the "first month..." So Christ was crucified in April (month 4), so that means the Nephite calendar was off by 3 months. Alma 16:1 says the war was the 2nd month and the 5th day, so if we add 3 months to that date it becomes the 5th of May. Whoooaaa! Mind blown! This is one of the few specific dates mentioned in the Book of Mormon, so it's pretty interesting. It's more like a little Easter egg that was put in. haha. Anyway, that's the bit of Cinco de Mayo deep doctrine for you ;)

Well, other than that, I think thats it. Thanks for all you do for me, Mom! Love you!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Week 88: si Dios quiere

New Mexico '505' Green Chili
Hi Mom!

This week was pretty good. A came to church a little late this Sunday, but she came! E didn't come, but we stopped by to teach A the Word of Wisdom and he showed up there at the end. We got his number and are going to be setting up a time to meet with him. A is so solid! She's been taught all the commandments and is totally willing to keep them all! She still walks to church even if we offer her rides... I am thinking she probably doesn't feel super comfortable accepting rides yet, but that's ok. There was an activity on Saturday at a park about a mile and a half from where we live, and A said she'd go "si Dios quiere" which basically means "if God wants it to happen." Which, for most people here means they won't go, but for A it probably means that she'd actually pray about it and see if God wants it to happen! haha. We were heading to lunch with a member, and we saw her on the other side of the street walking to the activity. We just thought that she'd not really want us to help her considering she usually doesn't want rides to church, but she had us cross the street and take her diaper bag. She told us she'd get there in like 45 min. We went and ate lunch really quick and then started off to the park, and we found her not too far ahead at a fast food joint. She said that she missed the bus and thought it was too late to go now, but, miraculously enough, the bishops wife and kids were eating at the table behind her and were able to give her a ride! Another cool little miracle right there! :) But we are still working here and there with some of our other investigators. I feel like we will be able to move forward with E here pretty soon. We'll see who's ready next to make an amazing commitment with God!

Your week sounds like it was intense! I guess an exciting week can be fun in a way! haha.

E.S. is doing well. He just keeps saying that he has 2 years left. haha. We say things like "We can all go have a Star Wars movie marathon!... Well, in 2 years when I finish my mission!" He is doing really well with keeping himself focused and on top of everything. I think its weird that he leaves in 3 weeks! He's the least trunky companion that I've had who are on their last transfer. So things are going well! I hope to be that focused when I am on my last transfer... In a little less than 2 years ;) haha.
P-Day Activity
So I almost forgot, but I asked about skyping and got a place. They told us the hermanans will be over there at 4:00 to do it (which is super late and I don't know why they chose that time), but I asked if we could do it earlier. The member said yes, but we will need to set the specific time. 2:00 will work fine. But yeah... All will be well for Sunday!

That's about all that I've got. Thanks for everything you do for me, Mom! I love you, and hope that this next week is another fun one! :)

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 87: Time Does Fly!

Hi Mom!

Yeah, last week was a bit crazy and a little stressful, but this week wasnt too bad at all! It was actually really good, aside from our investigators not showing up again... E.W was in Carlsbad before coming here. I think we will probably stay together for one more, then I hope I get to stay and train for my last transfer! I'm going to have to tell my buddies to put in a good word for me to PK ;) haha. If I stay with E.W for next transfer, I am just going to email PK about how much I want to train ;) haha. If I don't, it's no biggie, but it'd be sweet to have the opportunity!

Time does fly though. I have that picture of all 4 of us in front of the Provo Temple before Sean's mission and I cant believe it was almost 3 and 1/2 years ago! I feel like it was just like 1 year ago haha. I still, in a way, feel like I have a lot of time left... From what I've heard from other departing missionaries, thats the feeling you have up until you leave the mission. But then some have told me that they feel like their time is up after their exit interview... I hope it lasts for me up until I see Sean. The mission is challenging in many different ways but, in the end, all you remember are the good times.

I liked all the pictures you sent, they're good ones!

I will send you a couple pictures of the hair cut. It looks a TON better now. I was super embarrassed and kinda upset on how it looked at first, but now its fine.

We did hear about the bombing! Crazy! We gathered it was a greenie, the mission president and his aps, right? It may be just speculation on our part. Freakin' crazy people... WWIII is right around the corner it seems... That'd be crazy!

I have a whole bunch of talks I downloaded a while ago, and I thin a few of them were from Elder Holland, and I may have that one! I will listen to it for sure!

No worries on the pants! I am doing just fine! haha. I will keep an eye out for the packages that are coming though! Thanks! :)

This past week I've felt like Lehi speaking to his sons about Christ's Atonement and using agency correctly in 2 Nephi 2. There are so many people out there who do not choose Eternal Life through Christ. They may say they've been "saved" but being saved is not an event, but a process just like conversion. If we do not choose everyday too serve the Lord, then we are ultimately choosing captivity and death, as it says in the scriptures. I mentioned this to dad, but there are too many people who are too busy and too tired for God. They allow other things, or other 'gods', to be higher priorities than the things of God, and God Himself. We are ultimately our own judges, and I fear that there will be many people at the last day who realize they have wronged themselves by wronging God. They will find their momentary pleasures or wants to be of no worth, and they will regret the lives they lived and what they have lost for not choosing God first. I am making an extra effort now to build habits now that will help me to choose God first from now onward. And I am going to try even harder to help those around me make correct decisions that will lead them to the straight and narrow path that leads to Everlasting Life.

Thanks for all your support that you've been giving me, Mom! I love you and hope you have a great week!

Love,
--
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 86: Working Hard with E. Stewart

Some of the Crew!
Hi Mom!

It's crazy that 2 years ago I opened my mission call... Back when I had a nice-looking chin... #mexicanfood haha. But time is sure going by quick. I feel that in the moment things seem to go slow, but then each P-day I look back and it seems like it went by super quick. I just want to do my best on staying focused and not leaving anything on the table. Elder Stewart is doing really good considering he only have 5 weeks left! He just tells everyone that he has "less than 2 years left" haha. He is a really funny guy! We get along really good, and we are working well together. He's a really good missionary. It will be weird when he leaves...

This week went well, aside from the fact that no investigators were at church again. I thing we are just going to have to drop more investigators to show the Lord we are willing to do anything to find the elect. I feel the biggest misunderstanding that people have out here is that of "every church is true because it talks about God." We try our best to correct this false doctrine, but a lot of people just aren't able to understand that there is one true church and proper authority. We taught a guy yesterday and it seemed like he was really understanding the apostasy and then the restoration, but then he went back to telling us about how all churches are God's church... In English work it was more about getting people to be humble and actually changing their lifestyle, but often times in Spanish it's about teaching so they understand.

We have one investigator on date for the 14 of May. Her name is A. She is really cool! We tracted inter her last week, had a lesson, and invited he to church. She said she'd go, but didn't show. She was pregnant when we met her, and it turns out she didn't show because she had her baby that day! She didn't come this week either because she is still recovering, but she is really smart and is willing to take steps toward baptism! Yay!

We also had a mini-missionary with us for one day on Saturday. He was one of the youth from the Encinitas Spanish branch! He was so little when I first met him, and now he is a senior in High School! We had a good day, and he was able to learn a lot too!

Not too much is happening aside from that. Hopefully we can find really solid investigators here pretty soon! Thanks for all that you do for me, Mom! I love you and hope all goes well for you and the family this week!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley


Hey Dad,

This week was good! Elder Stewart and I are getting along really well! The area is doing well, and we are seeing a lot of success too! We are teaching a woman named A who has a date for the 14th of May. She seems pretty promising! We have been doing a lot of tracting because it is actually effective here! That's how we found A. Other than her, our investigators have been kinda slacking. I feel like I just want to drop everyone who doesn't keep commitments to show God that I really want to have success. I don't want to just bike around Esco and get nothing done for the next 3 months or so. I want to have a ton of success, and I know it's possible! So we are expecting great things here!
Today, actually, E.S and I are fasting to try to find more ways we can consecrate our last weeks here in the mission, so as to find more success. I am becoming more and more willing to do the most I can each week. I feel kinda bad that it's taken me so long to give up all the little distractions and what not, but I know it'll bring the most fulfillment. There are a lot of things that I know I can improve on, and that will help me become a better person for now and forever onward. Having E.S here with me is a big help too! He knows how to work hard, and is very obedient!
I feel like no matter how close the end is, it wont feel real until it actually happens.
Not too much else has been going on. I feel like my weeks aren't super eventful like they were when I was an assistant, but its ok haha.
I am so grateful for you and what you do for me, Dad. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today, nor as happy as I am without your love and support. Families are definitely well thought out in heaven, because ours was made just right! I love you, Dad! I hope your week goes great!

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 85: Two Transfers to GO!


Elder Green back for a visit!!
Hi Mom!

Well, it turns out that I am actually going to be getting a new comp. Elder Winterhalter is going to be transferred to Murrieta and I will be with Elder Stewart! (see Dad's email for more details.) Elder Stewart is really cool though. He is 26 years old and is from Colorado. He's one of the best Spanish speakers in the mission too! He served in this ward about a year ago and he loved it, so we will have fun! :) Save the Cinco de Mayo ties to be our twinning ties ;) haha. That's all I know about transfers though because I no longer have any privileges... haha.

The area is doing well! We have been picking up more people with good potential! Oddly enough, tracting is quite successful! We have found a lot of pretty solid people by doing it! There are so many Mexicans who have either taken the lessons before, or know other members, or are just willing to hear us out. Many times we just get people who think it doesn't matter what religion you are, that its "the same God, so it doesn't matter." But they are kinda missing the point of the message... The elect are out there, so we just need to find them. Elder Stewart is known for tracting, so we'll have fun.


Sounds like Sean had a fun time coming home. Your month of May will be pretty crazy! This month is almost over already! Not really, but it feels like it. The days go by slow, and the weeks go by pretty quick, but the months seem to fly by. To quote President Kendrick "Life is paradoxical, get used to it." haha. I don't really want to think about home, but it'll be here before I know it... I am just going to keep working my hardest and have a good time in the moment!

Not much else happening than that. Thanks! I did get the ties and the pants! Thanks so much! More snacks too! :)

Things are going good! I am happy and I know there is going to be a lot of success here in the area pretty soon! Thanks, as always, for all you do for me, Mom! I love you and hope this week goes great for you!

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 84: Last General Conference as a Missionary. 92 Days Remaining


Morning Hike
Hey Mom!

This week went really well! I loved conference! There were so many things that I learned, and new insights I received! It is amazing how the Lord speaks through his servants directly to us. No matter where we are in life, or what our trial or challenge is, the Lord knows us and councils us for what we need.

I especially liked Elder Holland's talk! I love how he started. "Brothers and sisters, do you have any idea?..." And we are all like "Oh man. Whats he going to say?"
Him, "Do you have any notion or inkling whatsoever?..."
Us, "Of what, Elder Holland? What? I'm sorry, dont throw down on me too hard!"
Him, "Of how much we love you?"
Us, "Awe, thanks :')"
He is so great. I know that he and the other Apostles and the Prophet truly do speak with God. It's so amazing to have that guidance in our lives.

But later he says, "Now, I do see a couple of problems."
And we think "Haha, now here comes the throw down we've been waiting for!"
Him, "One is the fact that I am the only person standing between you..."
Us, "And who? Between us and who, Elder Holland??"
Him, "...and the ice cream you always have ready at the end of General Conference. I feel the weight of that burden."
I'm sitting there thinking, "haha, ok. He must be buttering us up for something..."
Him, "The other potential problem is captured in this photo that I saw recently on the internet."
Oh man... Here it comes! I wonder what it is??
Dinosaur meme. Elder Holland was just trolling everyone for the first few minutes of his talk ;) haha. But then he continued and delivered a powerful talk about hope and improvement and about the love of God for each of us.

This week for me was a really good one. Things are moving forward with our investigators, and we are seeming to have more and more success. Finding seems to always be the problem, but we are doing alright. We are starting to show some of the Church films to our investigators, because it captures their attention, allows us to help them understand the concepts of the gospel, plus it builds their desire to act! We hope to see some more success from it soon.

Everything has been going well though. I have a little bit of a fear that I am going to be transferred this time... I hope not, but I dont know. My hope is that we stay together for one more and then I get the greenie my last transfer. But I guess I will see God's plan for me unfold even more this next week. The Apes havent let me in on any secrets yet, but I've told them multiple times that they need to do whatever it takes to get me that greenie! haha.

Thanks for the update with everything thats been happening and for supporting me so well out here! I will be able to check later today if the packages came in. I did get the Easter package last week though! Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful week, Mom! Love you!

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 83: Easter

EF2 & E. E.
Hi Mom!

Yeah, last week was a bit crazy and a little stressful, but this week wasnt too bad at all! It was actually really good, aside from our investigators not showing up again... Elder Winterhalter was in Carlsbad before coming here. I think we will probably stay together for one more, then I hope I get to stay and train for my last transfer! I'm going to have to tell my buddies to put in a good word for me to PK ;) haha. If I stay with E.W for next transfer, I am just going to email PK about how much I want to train ;) haha. If I don't, it's no biggie, but it'd be sweet to have the opportunity!

Time does fly though. I have that picture of all 4 of us in front of the Provo Temple before Sean's mission and I cant believe it was almost 3 and 1/2 years ago! I feel like it was just like 1 year ago haha. I still, in a way, feel like I have a lot of time left... From what I've heard from other departing missionaries, thats the feeling you have up until you leave the mission. But then some have told me that they feel like their time is up after their exit interview... I hope it lasts for me up until I see Sean. The mission is challenging in many different ways but, in the end, all you remember are the good times.

I liked all the pictures you sent, they're good ones!

I will send you a couple pictures of the hair cut. It looks a TON better now. I was super embarrassed and kinda upset on how it looked at first, but now its fine.

We did hear about the bombing! Crazy! We gathered it was a greenie, the mission president and his aps, right? It may be just speculation on our part. Freakin' crazy people... WWIII is right around the corner it seems... That'd be crazy!

I have a whole bunch of talks I downloaded a while ago, and I thin a few of them were from Elder Holland, and I may have that one! I will listen to it for sure!

No worries on the pants! I am doing just fine! haha. I will keep an eye out for the packages that are coming though! Thanks! :)

This past week I've felt like Lehi speaking to his sons about Christ's Atonement and using agency correctly in 2 Nephi 2. There are so many people out there who do not choose Eternal Life through Christ. They may say they've been "saved" but being saved is not an event, but a process just like conversion. If we do not choose everyday too serve the Lord, then we are ultimately choosing captivity and death, as it says in the scriptures. I mentioned this to dad, but there are too many people who are too busy and too tired for God. They allow other things, or other 'gods', to be higher priorities than the things of God, and God Himself. We are ultimately our own judges, and I fear that there will be many people at the last day who realize they have wronged themselves by wronging God. They will find their momentary pleasures or wants to be of no worth, and they will regret the lives they lived and what they have lost for not choosing God first. I am making an extra effort now to build habits now that will help me to choose God first from now onward. And I am going to try even harder to help those around me make correct decisions that will lead them to the straight and narrow path that leads to Everlasting Life.

Thanks for all your support that you've been giving me, Mom! I love you and hope you have a great week!

Love,
--
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 82: Bad Haircut...

Hi Mom,

Gosh, things have been crazy recently! So this last Friday morning we got a call from the APs and they told us that Elder Ellsworth is getting emergency transferred! So he left me with all that he could remember to tell me and left that night! My new companion is Elder Winterhalter! So far things are going good. He  likes to work hard, both in missionary work and physically! So I'm sure we will get along fine. I joked with Elder Ellsworth that they will just transfer me to Carlsbad with him and we will spend another transfer together! haha. The thing is, is they wont leave me and Elder Winterhalter together until we go home. (they came out together from MTC)They will either transfer one of us next transfer or the one after that... I kind of hope I stay. I don't want to have to pack up again, and I know this area has a lot of potential! All I can really do is speculate though. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

Other than that, none of our investigators came to church again... It is a little frustrating when you think someone is really elect and wants to change their life, but dont decide to take action. We are going to re-set expectations with everyone. I so badly want to help these people to come closer to Christ, but it is so easy to get caught up in the things of the world. We have quite a few lessons set up and we should be seeing some results here pretty soon, so we shall see.

Today has been hectic as well! We decided to cut our own hair, and it didnt go so well for me... It was supposed to be short on the side and somewhat longer on the top, but it ended up being really short on the side, still pretty short getting towards the top, and short on top... Never again. I would rather spend the money and get it cut at a barber shop! Then my bike tire was flat and we weren't sure it'd get me all the way to the library... But now we're good haha. We should be getting a ride from VC the rest of P-day, so that'll help.

I am glad things are going well at home! Life is always exciting and things are always changing. I hope things dont get too crazy for you and dad! haha. It is really good to hear from you and dad every week though. I am glad I have you two to support me and help me do my best. I really do appreciate all that you do for me!

Thats about it for me! I hope you have a great week! I love you!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 81: Jubilee

Hi Mom!

So this week went pretty good! We had a Zone Review with PK. He had all the missionaries serving in Esco and San Marcos come to the Felicita building and he talked about how ancient Israel used to have a Jubilee every 50 years, where all debts were forgiven and everyone started off with a clean slate. He wanted to incorporate the same thing with everyone in the mission. If there was disobedience or contention between someone, it was to end and we were to start off right. I really liked the idea and I think it will be really good for a lot of the missionaries in the mission! It was funny because he was throwing down pretty good and he said "I am not 'calling you to repentance', but I am inviting you to repent." He is really good about lovingly inviting people to repent. haha. So this "Jubilee" will last until GC and we will evaluate after that I suppose.

We kinda picked up a new family the other day. There was a daughter of an old lady in our ward who we taught a week or so ago and we got to do a little bit of service for them! She and her husband are moving out for a bit while their apartment gets renovated, and we helped the husband move a few things. After we helped they jokingly asked us how much they owe us, but they told us that they want to feed us dinner someday! So we are going to set something up and start teaching them!

On a sad note, everyone we are teaching didnt show up to church yesterday... Sometimes I dont like other peoples' agency... So we are going to go teach them the importance of church attendance and get them to come!

Back in Santa Fe Hills we were teaching a guy named N.S. He told us that he was going to be baptized in March (this was in July), but he stopped going to church and never responded to the missionaries. But the past few weeks he's been going to church and has had the missionaries over to teach him a lot, and he got baptized last Saturday! I got to go back and see Elder Ellis and Elder Mardesich too! N
's wife was telling everyone that Elder Ellis and I were the boldest of the missionaries who taught him and that we were the ones to get him to commit! haha. I was happy to hear that we did a good enough job with him! He is super solid though! The bishop already issued a call to him and everything! I could see him as a bishop 10 years down the road :)

The ward is doing good. I think I want you and Dad to come here for the first Sunday. Yay Spanish;) There are a lot of really good people here, and a lot of LA people. We are guessing Elder Ellsworth will get transfered. But for me to get a greenie I am going to have to be given Elder Stewart, who dies with Elder Ellsworth, and then get the greenie the next transfer when he comes in. For all that to happen, there'd be a huge mix up at transfers with all the Spanish Elders... I dont know... Maybe I will have no seed... ;( It'll be good whatever happens.

Thats about all that happened this past week. Thanks for being great, Mom! You're the best! I love you and hope this next week goes great!

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 80: DL and RS President.



A Few of the Escondido Elders
Hi Mom,

This last week went by a lot faster than last week. I think since I am getting the area down a bit better and know more of the members and what not, things are going by faster! We are still biking though. We don't walk because its super ineffective! We see a lot of the English missionaries walking... They must not have much work going on. This week has been really good though. There's been a lot of rain the past couple days! I really hope it stays overcast and cool so we don't die in the heat ;) haha. But I do have another cold... so maybe I should be wishing this cold weather would go away...

So the "V" family is all down to be baptized except for the most important person; the dad. He is just hesitant in changing his whole life. Honestly, it isn't changing much... He already comes to church. He'd just be committing to it. I feel that commitment scares a lot of people... Especially the people here for some reason. But we and some of the members are working on them. They'll get baptized, but its just a matter of when. "F" is doing super! He is solid, just waiting on his wife.

Elder Ellsworth has been in Esco for 6 months already, and has served here in the past. It may be somewhere close to a year, but he's had a lot of different areas here. I'm pretty sure I told you that I am a DL. Elder Romney is a DL as well, but since we are both Relief Society presidents (AKA we only have sisters in our districts and therefore cannot go on exchanges with anyone in our districts) we get to go on exchanges with each other! The Hermanas in my district are Hermanas Kasen and Adkins, and Hermanas Andrade and Shakespear. They're all pretty cool, so I don't have much trouble haha.

YSA sounds like it's still going good. It will be interesting to go to YSA when I am home. I have very little experience with it since I've never served in YSA and never went before the mish. I hope you and Dad are enjoying all of the YSA stuff! haha

The mission tour plan sounds good! It will be a blasty blast!

It's kinda funny to me how often people I know, like friends and family, are going through or staying in some part of the mission for vacation! I hope Sean has a great time is OC and that he doesn't accidentally drive through all the main streets of Escondido and find me! haha.



I don't have much else to  report on my end. Thanks for all that you do, Mom! I appreciate you and love you! Have a great week!

Love,
--
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 79: Back in Esco!

Hi Mom!

So now that I'm back using public libraries, I don't have a lot of time!!! haha. But I'll make it work!

Escondido is great! No hills, decent weather, and tons of fun! We have a family of 6 all ready to go basically! We are going to be meeting with them tomorrow to set a baptismal date! They've been going to church for the past 2 months, so they're super solid! :) We also have another super solid investigator who is waiting for his wife and kids to move from Mexico before he decides to be baptized! They'll be moving in near the end of March though. Aside from that, there is no shortage of people who are willing to be taught, and we already have quite a few investigators and potential investigators! I love this area already!

But it was a bit weird the first few days in... I had a similar feeling that I had when I entered the MTC. Like a feeling that I lost a lot of stuff... I don't know how to explain it, but I feel good now! haha. So in a way I guess you could say I am missing my past assignment a bit, but I love where I'm at now!

E. Phillips and E. Arellano called me a couple times, but that's it. They are doing fine now!

As far as pants go, none are destroyed yet, but it'd be good to have another pair of darker pants out here, thanks! :) We will definitely be looking out for some packages soon! :)

There are quite a few members who remember me from a year ago, and a lot who don't, but I think a lot of them will get to know me well by the end of my time here. I am most likely, like 95% likely, to end my mission here. That's fine though because I like it here! haha

Mission life is probably less busy, but we still do a lot, and its just different. More missionary work, less administrative work. I like it:) and yes, I am a Relief Society president. Me, E.E, and two sets of hermanas. It's good though because I get to go on exchanges with E. Romney in VC!! :) There are so many perks to this area!

That's it for here! Thanks for the update with things at home! I love you and hope you have a great week! :)

Love,


Elder Brian Farley

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 78: Last Week as an Assistant...headed to El Norte!!

Hi Mom!

So Sister Lee must have heard wrong because I'm not going to Temecula. I'm going to Escondido with Elder Ellsworth! It's a full-time bike area, and is flat as flat can be. So that's a little sad... But it sounds like there are a lot of good things going on in that area. I will be the El Norte Ward, the ward I served in about a year ago (except I was in the San Marcos part of the ward). So I already know a few of the members, and I think I will really like the ward! I am a little sad to leave this area and my assignment, but it will be good regardless! Elder Ellsworth is a transfer older than me and is one of two of the oldest missionaries in the mission! His Spanish is REALLY good too! So I hope to be able to learn a lot really quick! He is from Georgia. I don't know what else you'd want to know about him... I don't know much else. He's a cool guy though!

I'm sure this email will come to you as a surprise since you've been thinking for the past day or so that I was going to T-mec! haha. Escondido will be just as hot.

This past week was pretty good. We had Zone Training Meetings on Tuesday through Thursday and transfer planning all throughout the week. For the most part, transfers went pretty smooth this time around! I hope that Elders Arellano and Phillips will be able to take on tougher transfers now that I'm leaving... But I guess they can always call me up! haha. We had a crazy day yesterday! We biked sooooooo much! San Elijo Hills has some BIG hills! We had a devotional last night at a members home who literally lives at the highest point of our area. And she wanted as many BofMs there as we could bring. We already decided to bike, so that meant we were going to carry them. I carried 10 copies in a bag and biked all the way to the members house! Granted, it was probably only like 10 extra pounds, that can take a toll on you if your go far with them! Anyway, I will send a picture of it to show you what it was like. Other than that, the devotional went well. It was about converts and their conversion stories. We also had stake conference were a lot of really good messages and testimonies were shared.
This MUST be the "Balance" he is talking about! ?? 

One important lesson I learned this week was about the importance of balance in our lives. To be able to balance our lives is a tough skill to develop, but it is one that will bless us a ton and help us find joy in this life. The Lord expects us to work, spend time with family, enjoy our hobbies, getting an education, offer service, and whatever else more, along with living a Christ-centered life and fulfilling our obligations to Him. We cannot expect to receive everything we need temporally by simply fulfilling our Church assignments or by having great spirituality, but by working to find the balance and living a well-balanced life that is in accordance to the laws of God. Finding the balance in my life is something I am trying to learn now, so that I will be able to progress the best I can forever after this short time on my mission.

This next transfer will be a good one! 7 weeks of hard working, healthy eating, Spirit following, elect finding fun ;) I love you and hope your week goes great!!

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 77: Busy Week!

Hi Dad!

This week was really stressful, but really good at the same time! With all the meetings we had, we hardly had time to do missionary work, but we ended it off with a great day of biking! Nothing really happened at Edson, but we were able to watch a church broadcast for the Western States on Sunday. It was really good! Elder Hamula from the 70 conducted, Elder Grow (who came to visit our mission) spoke, Sister Oscarson spoke, and Elder Renlund spoke too! They were all really good talks! They all seemed to be focused on us living in the last days, and how we have to stand out as examples of good, rather than sinking into the crowd. There were other good topics that were focused on as well, like revelation in the Church and how to simply answer questions about the Church. Elder Hamula said something interesting as well. To paraphrase, he said "The mistakes of men, yet the perfection of the doctrine in the Church testify that the Church is ran by God." Rather than looking at the mistakes that perhaps Church leaders have made or things someone has said as a way to disprove the truthfulness of the Church, it is a way we can know even more surly that the Church is true! So cool! :)
 I'm not sure but I will either be going to Escondido, or Carlsbad. At least those are my guesses. I will be happy with either. It is really weird to be able to plan out the rest of my mission. But I know all will be well if I simply do my very best! Its a bit bittersweet that I will be transferred this next week... I feel like I am planning my own funeral in a way! haha. But I know Elder Arellano and Elder Phillips will keep me updated with whats happening ;) They are good guys!

Not much else to report on though. Thanks for all your support, Dad! I keep reflecting on how blessed I am to have you and mom in my life! I love you and hope this next week is great!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley


Hi Mom!

It sounds like you had an action-packed week! That's good to hear! This week was killer for us! 3 Zone Conferences in a row followed by an MLC... Lets just say we didn't get a lot of sleep... I've only pulled 2 all-nighters (Yes only 2, as if one isn't much either) The first was my last day in the MTC and was done because we had to wake up at 1:30 anyway, and the other was when all my efforts on making a Christmas video were failing and I had to stay up all night to finish it to show the mission the next day. I have a testimony that the Lord will strengthen you and consecrate your efforts when you do your very best, because that's what happened to us! Everyone loved our trainings and said it was exactly what the mission needs! So I am grateful to the Lord for not allowing us to fail! haha. That was the only really stressful part of it all. Zone conference was easy. We only had one training and we did it over again for each Zone Conference. I am glad that it is all over though. I ended with a bang! ;) haha. I will still get the chance to do trainings the rest of my mission, but not for the whole mission.
A miracle that happened this week actually happened in my last ward, Vista 3rd. There was an active non-member of a part-member family in the ward. He had been going to church with his family for years and, for whatever reason, didn't want to be baptized! He had a calling in the scouts and could do that because you don't need to be set apart for that. Basically, he was the most dry Mormon anyone could ever meet. Recently the Stake president asked him to serve in the Stake YM Presidency and he said yes, and thus said yes to being baptized!! He was baptized yesterday morning, and the elders didn't even know the baptism or any of this was happening up until an hour before the baptism! So that was a really cool miracle!

No much else has happened this week. All is well, and I will let you know for sure where I am going next week! I love you and hope your next week goes well!

Love,
Elder Brian Farley


Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 76: We Ended Up with 2 Cakes!

Hola Madre!

Sounds like life at home is going good! I can't believe all the people that are getting married! Life moves on, I guess! But thats all good to hear! Pretty soon Sean will be next! haha ;) It's also good to hear that all my missionary friends are doing well!

This week was good! We had a solid lesson with some new investigators, S & C. They were just really nice and let us right in! We talked to them about what we do as missionaries (essentially to help people get baptized), then we answered some of her questions about women in the church, and then we shared with them why we are on our missions and how we know it's the right thing to do. C asked us what we mean by knowing it's true. We shared with them the Restoration and invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. They asked for some time to think about it, but we will find out what they decided today! So we shall see!

Other than that, we were invited to eat dinner at the Blue and Gold banquet. They had a cake auction for the scouts and one member offered to buy us whatever cake we wanted, and another member gave us $50 dollars to bid with! haha. So we ended up with 2 cakes, plus another member gave us each a slice of cake from the one they bought! The members are really nice in this ward!

Not much happened at Edson, but a member brought her non-member friend to church yesterday, and we are going to see if that's going to go anywhere.

This next week is going to go by super fast though! Tomorrow through Thursday we will be having Zone conferences, on Friday we have MLC, and on Saturday we will start Transfer Planning! So we may or may not know by next week where I am going. It'll be good whatever happens though. It's really weird how time just keeps going on... I feel like the rest of my mission is going to go by super quick... I will just keep doing my very best though! :)

Thanks for all that you do for me, Mom! I am so grateful your love and support! I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 75: Traveling Week

Mom!

How is it February already??? Ahhhh!! Time is going by way to quickly! I feel like this transfer just started, and now its half way!

This week went really well though! No baptisms, but there was a lot of good that happened! I got to "tour" the rest of my potential areas this last week ;) haha. I would be happy going to any of them! Going back to VC would be really cool, but I think I'd run out of things to do after like 2-3 weeks! haha. So maybe not there. Perhaps the same would happen if I went back to Del Mar. It was really cool to revisit my previous areas and also the areas I've never been to! There was a lot of learning that took place, for me and for the missionaries I was with! It was really fun seeing the Rushs again! They're great! Their daughter asked me about the pants at church yesterday, but I completely forgot to bring them... But bringing them to Mens Warehouse would work too.

The ties you got us are sweet! We all really like them! Thanks! I'll send you a picture soon of us three wearing them!

So this past week I started in Oceanside, then went to Carlsbad. There wasn't really much that happened there of much significance, but it was a good couple exchanges! After that, I went to Del Mar with my brother, Elder Romney (because we were both trained by Elder Smith). It was super weird to be in the same apartment as I was as a greenie! The exchange went well, and I feel like Elder Romney will continue to do really well! After that, I went to Escondido and then to VC. Esco was fun! Then up in VC I got to see a lot of members and RCs:)

I got to see the "J" family who will be getting sealed this December or so (and I'm going to want to go to that;). Their 9 yr old daughter, "J", who got baptized when I was there, saw me, started running towards me, leaped in the are and gave me a big hug! haha. It was cute that she was so happy to see me! I sent a picture of her and elder Rodriguez (both of which were caught off guard haha) I didnt get to see the "J" parents, but it was all good nonetheless. After that I was able to visit "A" and have a lesson with her! She is doing really well! After that, we went to a baptism that the VC sisters had.

All the traveling was really good, except for the fact that I was really sick throughout the whole thing!!! Well, not really, but yesterday I was reeeeaallly sick! Sean and I have telepathy with sickness I guess! It's just a cold, but I felt like I was really dragging yesterday! I am doing better now though.

Other than that, not much has happened. We didnt have any baptisms at Edson. The companies with us now are all leaving and we are finally getting a new one next week. We set a whole bunch of dates for the San Diego missionaries, so they should have quite a few baptisms there pretty soon!

It sounds like all is well at home. Thats good to know! Thanks for all that you do for me, Mom! I love you and hope you have a great week! :)

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 74: One Busy Week!

Hi Mom!

So this week went really well! A lot happened!

First, to answer your questions:
"R" is doing good, aside from her and "C" being really sick. But they'll be fine! I also did get the Priesthood LOA in the package! Thanks for that! :) President hasn't said for sure if I'm going to be transferred of not, but I am pretty sure I will. The number of missionaries would be really off set if I stayed. I hope to train as well, but as of now, the only Spanish greenie will not be here until my last transfer. I'm pretty sure PK is giving me dibs on the first Spn greenie. Last week we had a lot of errands to run and we got to emailing a little late. Plus we only have 2 computers here at the office, and there are three of us...

So as for my week, I was able to travel to 4 different Spn companionships! I first went with Elders Clark and Schow in Temecula. Up there we didnt really have any lessons, but we got to meet this Arabic guy named "W". We asked him what religion he was, and he said Christian. Then we asked if we could stop by and share a message about Christ with him, and he said "No, you come to my restaurant!" He then gave us flyers and a business card and asked "When will you come??"
Me "Ummmm... I dont know..."
Him "I want to know so I be there when you come!"
Me "Ok... What about tomorrow?"
Him "Ok! I see you tomorrow! What time?"
Me "How about noon?"
Him "Ok, thank you my friend!"
We also talked to him about where he was from and how long he's been in the states. He said he is from Jerusalem and is here essentially for religious freedom and because the people are "no good" up there. But he did offer us the keys to his house in Jerusalem if we were ever up there! haha. So we went to lunch there, and he gave us a warm welcome, gave us free drinks, and a free appetizer! The food was a little pricey, but he gave us a good deal. He also told us that anyone in the church could come and he'd give them free drinks! haha. We told him that we'd invite the ward to go. We also invited him to church and he said that he would send his daughter because he would have to be at his restaurant. Anyway, he was a good guy! Kebab House off of Rancho California in Temecula ;)

The next day was in Murrieta with Elders Garcia and Stewart. That was a regular day, except we biked a ton! It was great!

The next day I went to Fallbrook with Elders Murdock and Sedgwick. Elder Murdock is still doing good. He and Elder Sedgwick are working hard and seeing some good results! The branch they are in almost got shut down, but they've increased the attendance by like 200%+ We had a good time and I was able to practice my Spanish a lot with them!

Lastly, I went with Elders Wockenfuss and Brown in Vista. They are both good elders. We worked hard, and while they were at dinner, I was able to attend the baptism of "S", who was a kid of a part-member family I taught in the Vista 3rd ward. That went really well and was worth missing dinner! ;) Bu the end of the night we had contacted around 115 people! (To put it into perspective, most missionaries contact somewhere between 20-25 people a day!;) It was a good day!

Its really weird that I get to see all the areas I will potentially be going to! haha

At Edson Range we had 3 more baptisms! 2 of them were recruits I taught, and one was taught by elder Phillips. All three of them were super elect! At Edson they dont like for the baptisms to take a long tome, so they only wanted one person to baptize all of them, and I was the one who got to do that! :) We dont really have anyone else on board to be baptized down there because they will all be moving on to MCRD in San Diego, but hopefully there will be more coming up soon!

I got the camera you sent! Thanks! I dont know what happened to my other camera... It just stopped working. But this one is really good! I will send out my SD card soon! Sorry it's taken forever!

Not much else happened other than all of that! This next week I will get to go on exchanges to Carlsbad, them Del Mar, then Esco, and end up in Valley Center! I'm super excited! :)

Thanks for all that you do for me, Mom! I am really enjoying all thats going on here! I love you and hope this next week goes great for you!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 73: Another Baptism

EF2 and EH2
Dear Mom and Dad,
I dont have very much time, so this is in response to both of your emails.

Since there were only 3 sisters who left this past transfer, we didnt go to the Temple or any of that this time... It kinda stinks, but it's ok. I will still have like 2 more Temple trips. So how the traveling stuff will work is I am going this week and next week to all the Spanish Elders in the mission, but will be in our area on Sunday and Monday for church (Edson Range too) and p-day. The next 2 weeks will be normal and E. A and E. P will alternate going to the English missionaries. Then we will all be together to plan for a few meetings near the end of the transfer. It is really cool that I have the chance to help the recruits come closer to the Savior. even this past Sunday I set 2 baptismal date there! We will be having 3 baptisms next week there, and hopefully another 3 the following week! Things are going really good there! We had a training meeting with all the missionaries who teach the recruits, and I was able to meet up with Elder Hansen! {Elder Hansen's older brother Tim served as AP with Sean in DCNorth. Brian and this E.Hansen met from the two San Diego missions to coordinate the military base baptisms and teaching between the two missions} He's a great kid! (My camera is still messed up, even with a new battery, so I didnt get a picture, but he did and is going to send it to me.) I felt like we got grilled a bit because we didn't really know what we were doing, but we are going to be a ton more efficient in the coming weeks! Still no Spanish greenies coming in... Oh no!!!! ;) haha. It'll work out.

We had R's baptism this last Friday and that was really good! There was like no one there because she wanted it to be low-key. But she really enjoyed it! Not much is happening in our ward now, but we are hoping to find more people here pretty soon! The members are so close to inviting! We just need to boost their moral! But things for the most part are going well!



I'm glad to hear that you two are settling in to your calling well! I know that you both are the perfect people to help out the YSAs in the stake. You have helped me and Sean out so much in our lives, and I'm sure we'd be down much darker paths without you! It'll be really cool during the summer to be there with you both!

Sean is keeping me very updated! He sounds like he is having a good time! I want to say I am excited to see him and hang out with him again, but I am still going to focus and live in the here and now, plus enjoy where I am now!

I feel like I am doing pretty well with staying focused, regardless of anything anyone says. I really want to do my best these last 6 months and work my hardest. I think being out in the mission field will help me with that. But at the same time I am going to miss being an assistant! haha. But In know that the Lord is behind every change.

I did get the 18 months package! Thanks! Did Sean write "If you were a sister, you'd be home!"? haha. I feel like that's something he'd write. I actually got that package last pday and just opened it then... so I've been enjoying it for a week now;) haha

Thanks for all that you do for me! :) I am so grateful that I have you as my parents! I couldnt ask for anyone better! I love and miss you both! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder Brian Farley

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 72: Amazed that its 2016!

Hey Mom,

I am amazed that its 2016 as well! Time flies! I feel like I say that a lot... Dad told me a bit about the new calling, but he didnt mention you still arent released from your 5th ward calling! Crazy! But I'm sure that'll change soon. It sounds like the rest of your week went well though!

Our week was really awesome! To start things off, we woke up one morning to a text message from one of our investigators who said she wants to set a baptismal date! That was "C's" daughter, "R". They both came to church last week and are excited to be baptized!  They both have great testimonies of the gospel and are great people!

As well, on Sunday we had a baptism at Edson! It was recruit "A"! He was the one we picked up last week. Last week I taught him without setting a firm baptismal date, all he said was he'd be willing to shoot for it. Then I realized that he's only going to one more week to be baptized at Edson (obviously he cant be baptized at MCRD in SD... haha ;) So I asked him if he'd be willing to shoot for next week, and he said yes! So I talked to him yesterday and asked if he felt good about today, and he said he did! I then realized that he hasnt had an interview and has only been taught the Restoration!!! Uh-oh! So I told Elder Arellano that he needs to do the interview, plus teach him what he needs to be willing to do as well. So E.A taught him about all the commandments during the interview, he was willing to live by them and he passed the interview! So everything was ready! I then asked him who he'd like to perform the baptism and confirmation, but he didnt really know any of the member recruits. So I was able to baptize him, and E.A was able to confirm him! It was a great experience!

We felt like we were dropping the ball in regards to our assignment at Edson, so we had a little meeting with the other elders and one of the senior couples there, and found many ways to be more organized. So our goal for Edson is to have a baptism there every week for this next year! Last year, Edson and MCRD had a total of 54 baptisms, so that means we are going to almost double the baptisms between the two of us! We already have a baptism scheduled for next week! So a lot of good has been happening lately!

We are still working on the referrals from the members in the ward, so we will see what happens there.

So next week is transfers, and we are already doing some transfer planning, so I'll let you in on a little secret, but you have to promise not to tell anyone, ok? So... I am staying. haha. But we are probably going to be in a trio next transfer. We arent sure yet, but I'll let you know next week. Because there wont be any transfer meetings anymore, we are going to have to tell everyone where they are going on Saturday now.

Anyway, thats about it for me! I hope all goes well for you this next week! Love you!

Love,

Elder Brian Farley