Monday, December 30, 2013

1st Christmas on the Mission!

Elder Farley, Elder Gomez and Elder Bodda
Hey Mom!

What a great week!  I couldn't have imagined a better Christmas away from home.  Brother Weitzner of course treated us well and the King family also made Christmas very special and fun!  I was so stoked to be able to Skype and see all of the family.  It has been wonderful to get pictures of you all over email and of course through Facebook but actually getting to interact via Skype was really special.  I am very glad President Cook is allowing us to Skype home now for Christmas and hopefully Mother's Day.  The only thing I wish we could have had this Christmas was snow.  Being down in the southern part of the mission we are in a lower elevation and close to the ocean so it is actually warmer than the areas closer to DC and the surrounding areas.  So a lot of people got snow but we just got rain. And then it was in the 70's last week so that was lame. ha ha But besides that it was great.

The work in the area has been going back and forth.  Elder Gomez felt inspired to just start calling all the members we have no clue about.  Because what could calling hurt if we never see them anyway!  So far we have been making progress so hopefully we will be able to get a few families back to church and excited for the 9am church schedule of 2014! Woohoo! ha ha We also have had a couple opportunities where we have run into our investigators Curtis and Chelsea.  They are really great people.  Chelsea is finished with 1st Nephi I think already and Curtis is in 1st Nephi right now.  She seems a lot more interested while Curtis seems a little more skeptical and more interested in investigating to start up his own church or something.   But we are going to continue to pray that his mind and heart will be softened along with hers so that we will be able them to both find their own answer to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Gospel.  The really cool thing is that they are always over at the home of the Douglas's home to work on their business that they are starting up.  

Something sort of sad that has been hard for us is that the P. family has not been to church for a while.  They have had some family situations that seem to be holding them back each Sunday even when they commit to coming.  So pray for them that they will get back on track and come to church.  I know they have testimonies, they are just letting Satan get in their way of the things that are most important in their life.  

I am very excited for the new year.  2013 went by so fast, and I know 2014 will be a great year for sharing the Gospel.  The Lexington Park ward is getting excited for the new year's Ward Mission Plan which is: Pray, Share, and Invite.  It is so simple!  I love it.  All in all it is to have courage and faith in what you know is true.  Do not be afraid to pray for those who you care about and pray specifically for them to have open hearts to the Gospel.  Share:  Never hesitate to share what you believe or what something means to you, especially when that something is the Gospel which has brought you so many blessing.  Invite: Reach out to others and invite them to church, FHE, Dinner, Dessert, Movie Night or really anything!  Just show that you love them and want to become better friends.  It seems really simple, but I know it is going to work.  If we all just are friendly and Christ-like people will enjoy our company and want to know why we are so cheerful and friendly.  I love this Gospel!  We all need to unite as members and help our brothers and sisters come back to our Heavenly Father and we can do it by taking simple steps!  It can start any way... Invite, Share or Pray in no specific order.  It just takes that first step.

Keep sharing the Gospel and working hard to unite the ward and love the people around you.  Love you and Miss you!

Love your son,

Elder Sean Farley

P.S.  Merry Christmas Everyone!  Thank you to everyone who has sent out Christmas letters and packages!  Thanks to Mom, Dad and Brian.  Grandma and Grandpa. Summer, Jonny and the Kids.  Rachel.  The Lacey Family. The Marcums. And the Tanners!  Thanks so much everyone you all are great! :)  Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Love you! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two days until Christmas!

Hey Mom!  

Dang... Two days until Christmas! I am so excited.  I think you put those Whoppers on the top of my stocking on purpose.  I want to look so bad.  But I am even more excited to Skype you all!!! It is going to be the BEST!  Also, for Christmas we get to watch a movie.  It is sort of like a mission tradition.  We get to watch Monster's University, and I have never been so stoked to watch a kid's movie in my life.  So Christmas should be pretty fun. 

Sounds like all is well at home! Is it going to snow there?  It has been warm here so it looks like NO for us :(  Oh, well.  We will pretend. 

This week at church was the ward Christmas program.  All four missionaries were in the choir and it was really great for the North elders because their investigators came on the best Sunday of the year!  Everyone was full of the Christmas spirit and one of their investigators has Thor hair.  But seriously, I thought a small Thor walked into church, it was awesome!  Also, at church we wore bow-ties to support the young men in the ward that all made a decision to wear them this one Sunday.  Even the Bishop supported them.  Needless to say, it was the coolest day of church ever.   

Later Sunday evening we went over to visit a couple who a recent convert had brought to church the week before.  They were both super receptive.  They had some different religious ideas, but they are super open.  When we asked what they knew about our church they said that they only knew what our recent convert had told them and also what South Park said- Haha!! But it all worked out!  We had a blast teaching them and they are very kind.  They are really just looking for the truth and where they can feel God's presence the most.  We hope that they will continue to come to church as we teach them so that they will feel the Spirit of the Lord multiple times in their lives!  Sharing the Restoration with them was so powerful.  They seemed very curious and are willing to read and pray about the Book of Mormon with open hearts.  So that was an awesome miracle to see!!

R. is still super stubborn.  But we realized this past week that he really does know that the church is true.  He just has been atheist for so long he is too prideful to change.  We talked to him about waking up after death in the Spirit World and he just said that if that does happen then he will do all he can to fix what mistakes that he has made to get to the top.  It makes me really mad, but I wouldn't dare fight the guy... apparently he was Golden Gloves back in the day! I don't remember where but this guy is a champ! haha.  So work will continue on there... hopefully the Spirit will guide us to help us know what to say or share that will help him.

I am so excited for this holiday season!  I love this Gospel so much and the truth that it brings.  Sometimes I think people make things too complicated though.  The great thing about Christmas is that we can all, no matter what race, age, or Christians we are, we all can come together as one and remember the life of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ.  I love Him so much and I am eternally grateful for His sacrifice that has allowed me to become better each day.  And more importantly, allowed me the opportunity to return to live with Him, Heavenly Father, and my family again- forever.  

I wish you all a happy and safe Chirstmas!  I will see you on Wednesday!  Can't wait to see all your smiling faces!! :D  Keep sharing the gospel and looking for opportunities to serve!  Love you!!

Love your son, 

Elder Sean ("Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color") Farley


Monday, December 16, 2013

Festival of Lights - Washington D.C. Temple

Dear Mom,

Thanks for the email!  It is good to hear that everything is going great for the most part.  Except for people being sick... Hopefully everyone gets better for Christmas!  Being sick on Christmas is the worst!  
Anyway, things here are going great!  We have been decorating different homes in the ward and I am really starting to like it! So when I am home for Christmas in 2 years I will put up all the lights :)  The ward is also doing a Christmas program next week that all four missionaries are a part of... it's just the choir but we are having a fun time at the practices.  We also have gone to see the Festival of Lights twice this year with our Recent Convert, Robert and a second time with our ward!  The ride up the second time was awesome!  It was all four Elders in the ward and Sister M.  She is an older lady who carries all her stuff with her and can talk A LOT!  She is really nice though and she talked the whole way up!  We got to see the Mormon Choir of DC perform and they did an awesome job! 

It is pretty cool to have the split of the area because we can focus more on the people in our own areas.  We are really trying to focus on the less actives and part member families to strengthen them and bring them closer to the Savior.  The President(of the Mission, not Obama.) is really stressing working with the members.  I LOVE the members here.  I have grown to love this area and I am really happy President Cooke is keeping the missionaries in their areas for longer because it makes working with the ward so much easier when they know you and are comfortable with you.  Elder Gomez and I are having a blast working in the area.  It will be interesting to see if he gets his visa this transfer or if he will stay another.  I guess time will tell.  

Can you believe it is almost Christmas time?  Adam Morrow is home too!  So weird!  I feel like he just gave his farewell.  And Tyler is out for a year already!! Wow!  Time flies by when your having fun!  I really am excited for Christmas out here, even though I will miss you all so much.  But getting to Skype you will make it a very merry Christmas :)  I am so excited to be serving in the greatest mission in the Universe and more importantly, to be serving my Master and my Savior, Jesus the Christ.  It is such a wonderful time of the year that we get to spend focusing even more on our Lord.  I love Christmas.  Not just because of the presents and the lights and all the rest that goes into it... but because I get to share about my very best friend who died for all of us so that we can live again.  

I wish you a merry Christmas and hope during the Holiday seasons we can all be more Christ-like and look for opportunities to share the Gospel and help out those who are in need.  Keep on sharing the "good news" and being a light for the whole world to see! 

Love your boy,

Elder Sean Farley

Monday, December 9, 2013

Keep spreading the good news and bringing people closer to Christ!

Hey Momma!

First off... (for the last time..)  FOOTBALL!  SCORPS WIN STATE!  That was the greatest news ever!  I was freaking out.  It is the coolest thing in the world. I am so happy for the whole team, bet even more I am happy for my brother.  Elder Gomez was saying yesterday something like, "Now that your Brother won State he can rub in in your face... that's what I did to my older Brother."  He wanted to see if I was jealous or something.  But no way. Brian is so awesome.  In his email to me,  instead of praising himself and the team, he praises the players we have played before him.  The teams that have built up to this game-to this Championship.  I am more happy for Brian than anyone else in the world could be for their little brother.  And I am even more happy that he is a great man of God.  I know he will be such an amazing missionary.  I love our family so much!  I am so thankful, and I cannot say it enough!

Besides the awesome news of FHS winning the State Championship, another amazing thing happened here is Southern Maryland.  Robert got Baptized!  Wohoo!  It was such an amazing experience.  After he came up out of the water and they shut the font doors he just stood there.  He look petrified at first, so I asked him how he felt. He said, "I feel like a new person... I feel amazing!"  The whole baptismal service went great!  Elder Gomez and I gave talks and the fellow-shipping family gave the opening and closing prayer. And yesterday (Sunday) he was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints :)  and he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost!  He also received the Aaronic Priesthood and he had me ordain him.  (So could you send out a copy of my lineage to give to him.  So this week was amazing!   AS for teaching people we are still teaching the 88 year old eternigator and atheist Rocky... he is amazing though.  I love that guy to death.  Now if only we could get him to READ AND PRAY SINCERELY.  But I have faith in him!  I know he feels the spirit!  

Besides that, we are working to find new people to teach.  It is a little different not having the WHOLE ward boundaries, so now we are working a little differently to find and teach new people.  But I know the Lord will help us! 

To everyone:  I love you all!   Keep spreading the good news and bringing people closer to Christ!  Plus its Christmas time!  So lets all catch that Christmas spirit and pray, share, and invite people to come closer to the Lord. :)
Merry Almost Christmas!
Elder Farley and Bishop's son

Love your missionary,

Elder Farley

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving in Maryland

Elder Farley and Elder Gomez - Turkey Bowl 2013

I cannot believe it!  Scorpions going to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!  My mind is blown!  I am so excited for Brian and the team!  Its a good thing I wasn't in that game because I would have chop blocked the crap out of the guy that hurt Bri.  He would have been DONE!  But Brian is a stud and I know he will do okay no matter what.  I will keep praying for him and the team so hat they can play their best this upcoming week!  Lets win it SCORPS!  

Anyway,  this week has been super great!  Four missionaries down here in Lexington Park and we all had Thanksgiving at Brother Weitzner's home.  It was super good!  Of course it wasn't like Thanksgiving with the family but Bro. W made an amazing feast!  So I was well fed and had an amazing time!  As for the work, it has been pretty tough in the district since Lexington Park and Patuxent both split and now have 4 missionaries each.   So we are busy organizing and meeting members and trying to get the new maps up.  But everything should get finished this week and the work here should explode!  Our ward is starting to get really stoked and are making amazing ward mission plans and goals for 2014!  I want to stay here forever!  I love this ward.  And I love the people in this area!  Robert is good to go for baptism after his interview yesterday and will be getting baptized this Saturday at 10:00am!  I am so excited for him.  He is making such an amazing change in his life.  I love the Gospel so much!  I love seeing how people can change and their lives can become so much better because of how much closer they grow towards Christ.  I know that this Gospel is the ONLY way we can find true, lasting happiness.  The world provides what many think and find to be "fun."  But it is only temporary happiness... only through the Savior Jesus Christ and His perfect Gospel. 

I am super excited for Christmas and the Holidays.  At least during this time of the year people are more welcoming and perhaps even some of the less-actives will be willing to have us over. Then we can help them feel loved and welcomed and realize that this gospel is really what they need to come back to and be a part of. So we are going all over to members homes to strengthen them and get them excited about missionary work!  Because it is not all that frightening.  All it takes is the courage to invite someone.  Just an invite.  It could be to come over for dinner, to come to a ward activity, or even to go see a movie with people that share the same standards as you.  So everyone can do it!  EVERYONE!  I love missionary work!  Keep on spreading the good word and enjoying this Christmas season where we get to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 

Happy Holidays everyone!! I love you all and I hope everyone is going great! :)


Elder Farley