Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"Roads?...Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads" ---Last Email from Elder Sean Farley!!!

Three Amigos...Elder Tavana, Elder Warnes and Elder Farley

Seriously, what the heck just happened?  I'm going to be hugging you, dad and the family in two days.  My emotions are so mixed up and confused at the moment, this email is guaranteed to be a little odd. Ha-ha

This last week has been really great.  I've been able to see so many wonderful people these last few days.  It's hard for me to realize I won't be seeing them in a few days.  Saying goodbye to the mission is going to be one of the hardest things for me to do, but it will be overpowered with the joy of seeing my beautiful family again.  

Transfers are in sight and I'll be joining part of my MTC crew in the big transfer in the sky... "There's not enough road to get up to 88 Doc."  "Where we're going, we don't need roads!" Ha-ha. What is going to be the hardest part; saying goodbye to the Cookes.  They have really all become brothers and sisters to me, and Pres and Sister Cooke like parents, in a sense. Elder Warnes will be staying in the area and receiving.... Who knows!  But I'm sure he will do fine.  I think he is a little nervous, but he is such a good kid.  It has been such a blessing from Heavenly Father to allow me to train again, especially to finish my mission out this way.  

My heart hurts for Jonny and his family.  What a hard loss.  And to hear that Alex Morrow passed away as well was so sad.  I will be praying for both families.  It is really hard in life when things like that happen.  I have seen a lot of things out here on the mission that have forced me to take a step back and look at things in a eternal perspective.  Being mortals here on earth is such a limiting thing in many ways.  Our minds are so focused on this moment, and this mortal experience that we often don't see the full plan.  I know Heavenly Father loves all of His children.  He wants us all to return to Him and to be eternally happy.  Life is hard, there is no question in that.  However, I am extremely grateful for the knowledge of the gospel that brings so much peace and comfort in our lives.  My love goes out to both families for their losses.

I really don't know what else to say... I can't put these two years into just one email. I do know that what I have shared for two years in the absolute truth.  The Lord, Jesus Christ has restored His church through a prophet, and continues to lead it through Thomas Monson.  The Book of Mormon is scripture from God, written by prophets who lived in the ancient Americas. God loves and knows us perfectly.  He cares about us has always been in our lives.  There is a reason for us to be here on earth; we came to experience mortality, overcome trials, keep Gods commandments and live our lives to the fullest.  As we do so, I know we can return to our Heavenly Father because of our Savior's Sacrifice.  His Atonement has made it possible for all of mankind to repent and be cleansed through Him.  We ALL can become better, day by day.  I know that I have changed and most importantly, I've grown closer to the Lord, Jesus Christ.  

I hope to continue to share my testimony with others even after this mission!  I love this gospel and know it's for everyone!  

Can't wait to see you mom! Be healthy, happy, and safe!


Elder Sean Farley

Hey Dad!

Sorry about not emailing you last week :( it was surprisingly busy.  It's great to hear from you though!  I can't believe I get to see you so soon!  I don't even know what to say.  It hasn't been what I expected, but I know it was what God wanted me to experience.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for me.  Thank you Dad for all your support, both temporally and spiritually!  I owe so much to you and mom, and I am beyond stoked to share all about my mission win you two.  

This week has been great.  Just starting to pack today.  Should be able to fit everything just fine.  Visiting everyone and especially enjoying this last little bit with the Cookes, some of my missionary brothers and the Blewetts.  It will be hard to say goodbye to this mission family, but it's time to come home.  Don't really know what all will happen when I'm back, but it will be okay.  It will be fun to see the family and old friends!  I feel like I just left on a really long EFY.  It seemed so short, but it's been a while.

It's super sad to hear about Jonnys dad and Alex Morrow.  What a weird thing to happen.  I feel terrible for his son, wife and family.

Thanks for all you do and have done for me Dad.  I can't express myself right now.  I'm sad for this to be over, but you're right... It's a start to my next step in life.  And we still get to see Brian continue on in his mission journey 

Love and miss you Dad.  Can't wait to give you a hug!

Love your son,

Elder Sean Farley & his 'boy" Elder Warnes! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

10 Days to go!

Specialized Training
Hey Mom!

Oh my gosh!  We just got out of the city and I don't have tons of time to write,
but I will try to write all I can!

This week went great!  I mean, how can a visit from a President Eyring be
anything but amazing!!  It was honestly one of the most powerful experiences
I've ever had.  He spoke to us about how we can most effectively teach when we
are working with investigators, and really anyone we meet.  He talked about the
spirit of discernment and how we should pray constantly in lessons for this
ability.  Since the Lord knows everyone perfectly and knows each persons
thoughts and hearts, He can help us know the needs and concerns of those we
teach.  He even explained that he too uses this even when speaking to us.  He
then stopped and said that he was looking into our eyes and asking the Lord to
help him know something about a few of us, so that he might know what to say to
help us.  It was amazing.  Words can't explain the feeling that the a Spirit of
God brought to that meeting.

This week was great for other reasons as well: We were able to meet up with the
Bible study group this week, and there were even more people this week!  We are
continuing to sit back a little and not scare everyone who is seasoned in the
group.  However, the ring leader of the group, Rusty, asked us a few questions
in which he agreed with us.  One was on the topic of the importance of Agency in
this life, and the other was the topic of multiple heavens.  I was able to teach
about the Celestial kingdom and two lower kingdoms and to share how we can get
there.  The best part was that he agreed with what we shared!  These people
really have a desire to come closer to Christ and I feel that over time we might
have an opportunity to share the restored gospel with them!
Thanks for the Gift Cards!!

On Sunday I was able to speak to the Kentlands Ward.  It was an fun to be able
to speak a second time there and share about missionary work.  It wasn't
recorded, but don't worry...  I'll just give the same one to everyone at church
when I come home :'D hahaha! Just kidding!

This week we will have interviews, departing dinner w/interviews and the Why I
Believe!  What a great last week.  I am so confused at how time seemed to fly
by.  It doesn't seem even close to two years that have passed since I've last
seen you.  But it has been... And it has been two years well spent.  I'm glad I
have one more chance to email you before I return home, and I'm sure I will
share my feelings about my service to everyone.

It sounds like things are going well at home.  It will be such a blessing to be
able to talk with you in person and share all the wonderful things that we have
both experienced in the last couple years of our lives.  What a blessing it is
to know that we have been learning and growing in this life, and most
importantly the Gospel of our Savior.  I hope you have a wonderful week and I
will see you soon!  Love and miss you!

Love your son,

Elder Sean Farley

Monday, January 5, 2015

Departing Temple Trip

Departing Temple Trip Elder Thornton, Elder Bodda, Elder Farley & Elder Warnes

Hi Mom!

What a week it's been!  We had zone conference and departing temple trip all in the same week!  It was quite the experience being able to visit the temple and sit with the other 6 departing missionaries this transfer(3 being MTC buddies: Hansen, Peterson, Owens) and listening to the 1st councilor of the temple presidency speak to us.  President and Sister Cooke were also present for the meeting before the session.  He talked to us a lot about just beginning our missionary work and how serving a mission was like a warm up for the rest of our lives.  It was a really neat experience and then of course the whole day at the temple was so peaceful and uplifting.  Zone Conference went well.  It was mainly about becoming fully converted and being a purified missionary.

It has been fun being with Elder Warnes.  He is adjusting well to the mission and seems to be learning a lot.  This week we have been tracting quite a bit and he is beginning to speak up more and use different approaches when asking people if we can share our message.  "That's my boy!"
NYE with the Chinese speaking Elders

Okay, so I sort of already told Dad this but, we get to hear from President Eyring of the First Presidency on Saturday!  The Eyrings (current VC President) are leaving on the 17th and there will be new Visitor's Center President and wife, so I guess big bro Henry B. is coming to town to welcome them home! Idk! It's cool either way.

This week we will also be having the 2nd round of specialized training, which is for the 1st transfer trainees and their trainers.  That is where Elder Warnes will be getting his iPad.  That will be a nice change.  I'll then be able to better teach him to plan and teach with the iPad in our missionary work.

We have done a good amount of tracting this week and found a lot of potential investigators!  Hopefully they will we willing to listen to our message when we visit them again. We had a pretty sweet miracle this week where we stopped by a members house before checking on a potential that we tracked out two weeks prior.  The members let us in and we shared a New Years message with them.  As we were leaving we explained that we were going across the street to go visit their neighbor and see if they were willing to let us in.  He then explained that a couple weeks ago he had talked to his neighbor, who had many questions about the church, and gave him a Book of Mormon! So it must have been around the same time we stopped by.  Anyway, the brother said we could have the lessons at his house is his neighbor, M. would be interested or if he still had questions. So, we went over and knocked the door- M. answered but was busy and couldn't meet with us.  However, he was willing to make an appointment for this upcoming Wednesday and even agreed to meet at our members home!  Boom!  Awesome miracle!  Hopefully that will go well and we will have more investigators through member referrals.  We also have that bible study, which should be fun!  Sister Mayer was very excited on Sunday to hear we were coming back and even went over to bishop to explain how it all came to be.

Speaking of Sunday... It was Fast & Testimony Meeting so I was thinking about getting up, since it was my last one as a missionary(dang... mind blown!).  Time passed and a lot of people went, including Elder Warnes, but I didn't want to get up, just to get up.  The testimony meeting went great and there were about 3-4 shout outs to Elder Tavanā and a few to us as well.  I sat there thinking... "Well, if God really wanted me to get up and talk, He would have had me speak or something." Well, as we believe, God knows not only our actions but our thoughts too!  Brother Bond, one of the councilors to the Bishop, came down after sacrament to ask us both to give talks next Sunday!  Haha! Heavenly Father has a sense of humor for sure.

I am really happy to hear about the good week you had, being able to see the other Farley's and go to the ABQ temple!  It will be so great to go to the temple with you all again!  I hope you have a great week momma and enjoy this new year!  I can't believe it's 2015 already!  Time flies.  I miss you and love you.  Keep staying healthy, happy and safe!

Love your son,

Elder Sean Farley

Monday, December 29, 2014

It Won't be Over Until the Lord Says it's Over!

Hey mom!

Wow, it feels weird emailing already because I just saw you!  I'm not complaining though- it's great! :)  I had such a fun time being able to Skype on Christmas!  It was really neat being able to see Brian/Elder Farley on the other computer screen and to have the chance to chat for a while.  He looks and sounds like he is doing well.  But SERIOUSLY?! First mission Christmas with Shane, Jeremy and Aunt Sharon?!  Definitely the coolest mission Christmas ever.  I can't wait to see the Parsons again!  It was fun talking to the fam back home too!  Looks like GM&GP are well!  It was good to hear Uncle Vaughn and GP crack on' jokes like always!  Caiside was funny :) and I guess I'll just have to say hi to Ryker at home since he was all angry!! Haha

Christmas in the mission was pretty fun! Unfortunately we didn't have time to go see the Kings, but we did get to watch How To Train Your Dragon 2 all together in the amphitheater of the VC.  That was a pretty good one.  We also had lunch together as a mission and had a talent show.  We did the Haka for our talent and we had our faces painted from a Tongan sister who also participated.  I wore a skirt from a Tahitian sister. Tavana, Ah Ching, Wood and I lead the group.  We even had President Cooke get up there to do it with us!  It seemed to get a pretty good response from the rest of the missionaries.

This last Saturday was a hard one, saying goodbye to Tavana and Malugin.  I really grew close to them both out here and I hope to be able to always keep in contact with them.  It's okay though because Tavana, Bodda and I all have March b-days so we are going to see Bodda in Vegas! Haha reunion!! Malugin can come too, even though his birthday is in January.  It is different being in a two man companionship without Tavana, but I am having a great time with Elder Warnes!  We are working hard and trying to get some new investigators this week!  You know what that means!! Tracting!! Hopefully those that we are meeting with now will also be willing to accept our commitments and progress.  And next week Bible Study will be back on so we will have some opportunity there :)

Can you believe it is already 2015!?  Honestly, it's kind of scary how fast time went.  And I feel silly saying that because everyone says the same thing when they get towards the end.  I am grateful for all the things I have learned and for all the success I've seen.  I'm even sort of thankful for the trials and hardships, because I know they are preparing me for the future and have helped me trust more in the Lord.  There is still so much work to do, and I know it won't be done until the Lord says it's over.  I plan to keep working hard to the end and looking for each opportunity to be a light and share my testimony with others.  I love reading the Book of Mormon and seeing how faithful and diligent the prophets were who testifies of Christ and called their brothers and sisters to repent and find peace in the gospel.  They hard hardships and losses, but they always seemed to put their whole hearts into God's work and aligned their will with His.  I know I have not been perfect at that, but I hope to always strive for that kind of discipleship.  This is the gospel with brings eternal life through Christ.  I know that there is a prophet who is the mouthpiece of God, who directs up in ways of righteousness. A path that, if we follow, will lead us back safely to the loving arms of our Savior and Father in Heaven.

I am so thankful for you and our family.  Thank you for all the support and love you have given me as I have been out here on the east coast.  I don't think I could ever begin to explain all the wonderful things you, dad, our family and friends have done to help me stay strong and find peace and joy as I've served our God.  I love and miss you.  Hope you enjoy this week and the start to the New Year. 2015!!! It's going to be a good one!

Love your son,

Elder Farley

PS can't wait for the comp ties! :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Time in DC North is AWESOME!!

Roommates!!....What?! Your apartment has a FIREPLACE!!! Really now. 
Hey Momma!

It's been a really fun and weird week!  We went to a few Festival of Lights performances, including the Bell Choir and Sandra Turley, who is a member of our ward.  There were 54 non-members who went because she was singing! Pretty awesome, right?  So the events there have been good and tomorrow we are actually working at the VC, probably in the parking lot directing traffic with lightsabers.  Haha well... Not really but they are like the light up sticks that people direct airplanes in with.  So that will be fun!  And this will all be after we have our district meeting/Christmas party.  Which will include pin the nose on Rudolf, a white elephant exchange, and an ugly sweater competition!  I'll try to take some pictures so you can see :)

This past week we had a member invite us to a bible study and where she has friends from her work come over and read the Old and New Testament together.  We went over and read the story of Christ's birth with them all and bore our testimonies about our Savior.  So now we have a constant get-together with 4 new investigators!  We are hoping to get more members in there to fellowship next month too!

Today's Pday adventure was down in the Capitol area that borders the river to Virginia.  Brother Weitzner took us, the APs, and Elder Peterson down there to the National Harbor to ride on a inclosed ferris wheel!  It was pretty awesome!  Scary, but awesome.  After that we are at Potbelly's and went our separate ways.  The APs wanted to go through 'Costia to get some clothes from Forman Mills!  Haha so ghetto, but it was fun!

This week will be interesting because Tavanā is leaving and we have a packed day tomorrow with District Meeting and the Visitors Center.  Then Wesnesday is packed with seeing members, then it's Thursday... Christmas.  Friday we have some appointments and we are going to the VC again, then Saturday Tavanā goes home.  It's going to be busy, busy!

Lava Lava from Momma Tavana

Anyway, not a ton of time to write this week- but I will see you in a few days! :D Love and miss you all!  Have a great week and have an amazing Christmas <3

Love your son,

Elder Sean Farley

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Festival of Lights is Pretty Great!!

Hey Mom!

Training is going great!  I am having a lot of fun and working hard with Elder Tavanā and Elder Warnes.   We have done quite a bit of tracting, visiting members and even picking up a new investigator!  I am very happy that I will be training for this last transfer and it's sort of fun to be DL again since I was only one for two transfers.  I have so many fun ideas for the district meetings and a really good group of elders and sisters.  There is a total of 13 of us- pretty good size!
That is super crazy about Elder Webb and the missionary he had stay an extra transfer... I'm pretty sure President and Sister Cooke both know that you would fly out and pick me up yourself, so I think I am in the clear.  Oh! Speaking of the Cookes, they got the package and LOVE the gifts.  :) So whatever you got them, it was a good choice!

I am beyond excited to be able to Skype and see you all AND Brian!  He sounds like he is doing well, and from the pictures it looks that way too.  And he is going to be 19!  I still feel like I am that age! I'll have to send him out a little package for his b-day/Christmas.  Probably some nice ties :)

The Festival of Lights has been pretty great!  The last two nights we have gone taking a less active family the first night and active members the 2nd night for Jenny Oaks Baker.  There are always great shows so we are going to try to get as many less actives and investigators to the VC as much as we possibly can before the Festival ends.

Elder Warnes is a really good kid.  He is willing to listen and speak up in lessons(with a little bit of urging), as well as learning a lot about the members and becoming good friends with those he has met so far.  He will do a good job when Tavanā and I leave the area.  We picked up a new investigator this last week named D. who we met while tracting.  He seems to be divorced, but has two kids; one is in the Air Force and the other goes to HS, planning to go into the Marine Corps. He asked how long we would take to share our message, so I told him that it wouldn't be more than 15 minutes.  We went in and talked a little about who we were and what the Book of Mormon is and where it comes from.  He recently lost his job and is struggling to find a new one.  He was willing to take a Book of Mormon and read part of Alma 7 that we left with him.  Hopefully we will be able to see him on Wednesday and share a full first lesson with him, inviting him to be baptized.  So that was a cool miracle this last week, and hopefully we pick up more newbs this week to teach!

I am pretty stoked for our Christmas picture with our trio and our roommates!  It should hopefully be taken this week so it should make it for next P day.  Speaking of our P day, we went with the APs all the way down to Lexington Park in the van with the Chinese.  We went all the way down to Point Lookout for the last time.  It was overcast and chilly, but we had a fun time and took some great pictures!  It has been such a wonderful experience out here so far with all the wonderful friends I've gained since I've left home.  I know that we will all keep in contact and watch out for each other, just like any brother would do.

I guess that's the whole point of this life for us as members.  We all have been placed in certain places here in this life at different times all for specific reasons.  I think there are a lot of people who think that life is just chance.  I know that from time to time I've felt that there are a lot of things that are left up to chance, but since I've been on my mission I truly believe that all things are under God's direction and set for a certain purpose.  I know that those of us here on earth once accepted a plan in a life before this to come to earth, experience joy and pain, trials and successes, and to accept the Gospel of Christ and repent to live with our Father in Heaven again.  I know that those who have the truth of our Savior's gospel must share it with our brothers and sisters who came to earth without the blessings of the gospel.  I can't remember life before this, but I'm sure that I was given a calling to be part of such a great family who would raise me in the gospel so that I might, along with my family, share the gospel with all those who have not yet found it!   Let's not forget why we are here, what we must do, and where we all should strive to go after this mortal existence.  I know that this is the true church of the Lord, Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful for you, Mom, and for all of our family.  I can't wait to see you all so soon over Skype.  It's almost Christmas :) what a perfect time to think of our relationship we each have with our Savior.

Love and miss you all!

Love your son,

Elder Sean Farley

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's a Boy! Training My Last Transfer! Finishing Strong

Hey Mom!

It's great to hear you and Dad had a safe and fun trip! It sounds like it was awesome! Especially the ride on the helicopter!  That's intense!  I love that there was a double rainbow!! "all the way across the sky...." Haha :)  the pictures from Dukes were fun to get- hope you got a burger for me there.

Brian sounds like he is having a good time in CA.  I am really glad he has some roommates!  That will be so much fun for him.  And WHAT?! CHRISTMAS WITH THE PARSONS?! That's not fair! Haha so cool... I'm jealous.  So pretty much for Skyping this year I can do it whenever.  We have pretty solid wifi at our place so we will probably just do it here.  Once Brian finds out a time, just let me know and I will plan on it.  Do we want to have the full hour together or like a half hour overlap so he can have some time by himself to talk to you all? It might get a little hectic with everyone for the full hour.  I'm down for whatever though :)

The Festival of Lights is officially up an running.  We will have one shift at the end of the month on the 28th, but that means Tavanā will be gone :/ He is leaving on the 27th- just two days after CHRISTMAS!! Crazy right?   We had the "stay or go" call-out last night and both Tavanā and I are staying!  Also, I got a call on Wednesday night to meet at the VC Friday morning for the trainers meeting.  Yep, your boy Sean is training again! I will have a son who will stay in the mission... Hopefully! Haha Our roommate, Elder Liang is also training and Elder Ng will leave us.  5 man apartment for about 2 1/2 weeks! Should be fun :) Sean's first "greenie" was a visa waiter for Brazil

This week we went over to the Blewett's and went out into the woods and cut down a tree!! Well... It wasn't really the woods... More like a just took the APs truck, parked it on the side of the road and went out with a hacksaw and cut a tree down!  It's not a real Christmas tree, but it smells kinda like one and has a nice look to it.  The Blewett's are going to help us make tree stand for it and give us some decorations(lights).  We have a fire place and already have stockings up that we found in the closet from last year.  I know you need a Christmas picture so I will try to send one. When I get my boy we are going to take an awkward family photo together with Tavanā and the Chinese elders! It's going to be legendary!

Things here are going well.  We hope to find more people to teach, especially with a newbie on the way.  We had a really cool contact with a referral that we received this week.  He was very open to hearing more from us, but he is moving!  So we are trying to get him to meet with the missionaries in NC!  We have had some success with a few Less Active families as well.   Overall we are really stoked for this new kid and the opportunity we both have to finish it out strong here in the WDCN Mission!

I am so grateful for this wonderful season of Christmas!  Not only because of the presents, people being slightly nicer when we go tracting, or the hope of a snow fall- but because of the focus we have on the true Gift of the season.  Our Savior's birth.  The life of the only perfect person to ever walk this earth.  The One who made it possible for us to find forgiveness and peace in the chaotic world!  I am so thankful to know of His gift, which is the Atonement, that has blessed my life so much, along with many of the lives of those I have encountered with.  I am so happy to know He lives and loves me.  I know He loves us all and that he IS the reason for the season!

Love and miss you!  Can't wait to Skype you in a couple weeks!!

Love your boy,

Elder Sean Farley