Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last Week as AP...Headed Back into the Trenches!

Folded 400+ by myself....It was ROUGH!
Hey Momma!

1st things FIRST!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!  I hope you had a good day :) how does it feel to be "33 years old"!?

You are so great mom!  I hope you know that you are loved by all of your kids so much! Thank you for always be so helpful and doing everything for us!  Your service you do for us has been an amazing example of Christ-like love to me!  :) keep on sharing your wonderful testimony and charity with others!

It sounds like things are going pretty well back home, besides hearing that Farmington lost both Aztec and PV :/  but it is good to hear the Iluminada and Horace wrote you!  I need to write her back.  It's makes me so happy to hear how well they are doing!

Things here are going great as well!  It's crazy to think how fast this transfer has gone by.  Elder Malugin and I have already been together for almost 3 months, and it's only felt like 3 weeks!  The Transfer is right around the corner and we have lots to do! It's funny how the craziest week is also the most fun. It will be great to see all the new kids come in again and be able to do some training for them.

We had a HUGE "Why I Believe" this Sunday, which is mainly for all the Recent Converts of the church.  The event is held at the Washington DC Temple Visitors' Center every 3rd Sunday of the month and recently it has been so big because President has made a huge emphasis on the importance of the meeting.  This last one featured the Castows, who were the pastor and preacher couple from two different churches that are LDS now.  They were taught by AJ and were in the Deseret news- remember that?  Anyway, they were AMAZING speakers and they really brought the Spirit.  Not to mention that there was standing room only in the HUGE auditorium.  Needless to say, it was an amazing night!  I can't wait for us all to come back out here to visit the mission!  It will be so fun to show you around!

Oh, and we also got to go down the Lexington Park to help President train in both LPs and Patuxents Ward Councils!  It was great to be down there again!  It was about this time last year when I was called to be District Leader and to train Elder Gomez! Haha the good old days...

Tomorrow is the temple trip since they were not able to take a group our size on the normal Wednesday departing temple day.  Following our trip we will have out mission picture!  We are doing it early this year so that it will be ready well before the Christmas season.  It is getting a little chillier here and the leaves are changing and falling.  We went out before p-day ended and ran some routes on the football field near the Cooke's home(the high school were Joe and Elizabeth go).  It was fun to run down the field and to switch off as receiver and QB with Elder Malugin.  He is a really good athlete and I imagine he will try out for Basketball or Football when he goes home.

I guess it must just be the season or the Spirit or something, but I am just having a great time out here! Haha I am pretty excited for another transfer and all the great things that come along with it!  I most likely will be leaving to go back in the field- I guess we will find out! I will be sad to leave but I know I will have a wonderful time in the field if it does happen.

Well- that's about it for what's going on mom.  Again, I hope you had an amazing birthday!  I love you so much and I am so happy that you and Dad are so engaged with the gospel and missionary work!  Keep on studying hard and always share your testimony... It is such a power tool :)  the gospel is true, and as long as we do out best to share it, Heavenly Father will help with the rest!  Be healthy, happy and safe!

Love your boy,

Sean, aka "EF1"

Monday, October 13, 2014

2014 AUSA Convention

AP Life...Always Driving!

I am super happy to hear the trip was a success and that you made it home safely!  Thank goodness there weren't any crying kids haha... Whenever Elder Malugin and I hear kids crying or yelling we are always like, "SHUT THAT BABY UP!" Haha it's just a joke and no one hears us, but we are semi-serious. :)

Dang, all the castles and sights of Germany sound sweet!  I am excited for the pictures.  I remember some of the stuff when we went back when Brian and I were little.  The Autobahn sounds sick!! Well... Besides the photo cop! Wtheck?!  That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard!  Dad was saying how you could go 90 and people would be cruising past you! That's so sweet!! You go 65 mph on the Beltway here and you can get a $100 ticket!  

Too bad about Brian's situation.  Getting called about leaving and then... PSYCH! You are staying! Haha the madness of transfers... I understand.  He will learn a lot having two transfer with Elder What'shisface.  I have learned SO much from each one of my companions, even when we might have not gotten along 100% of the time.  EF2 is a stud and I know he will be fine :) after his mission I will take him with me to order all my food at the Mexican food restaurants!... I miss Si Seniors! Haha

It is sad that I will probably only have two more weeks with Elder Malugin- I think I will be going back out in the field.  Which is GREAT!  But I will also miss the craziness of the AP life and the fun I have had being comps with E. Vladimir Malugin, the Russian. 

We had quite the week we interviews, iPad checks, and pre-preparing for Transfers... The preparing really will start this week.  There is a okay sized group coming out, but not even close to the last couple of groups.  It's really fun to see all the new missionaries come in :) it is also really crazy seeing how young the mission is.  Not only in age but in "mission age" haha.  Everyone I knew is gone and now we are the older guys. 

Today we went to this AUSA convention in the city!  President Cooke took us since you have to be escorted by someone in the Army (or Military I guess).  It was so awesome! :) It was like Dad's giant dental conventions but for without the dental chairs and tooth brushes, and more tanks, helicopters and guns! Haha we had a great time with President as he led us around the city and even made it like a mini tour.  He knows the city pretty well- especially the Georgetown area.  Seriously a once in a lifetime chance to spend with a full Pday with your Mission President!  After that we went to a Ethiopian restaurant for a late lunch.  It was super funny because I had eaten with Ethiopian members before in college park and they eat with this sponge-like tortilla bread instead of using eating utensils. When they brought the food President just sort of looked at the lady like, "where is my fork and knife?" So I sort of showed them how to eat it and they caught on fast... But MAN does that stuff fill you up!!! My stomach is still expanding!  The trip overall was amazing.  It was so fun to have President show us his favorite parts of the city along with when and where he had been at certain times in his career.

Here in the mission the elders and sisters are really working hard on their 20 lessons a week, along with focusing on key indicators and keeping great records.  With our iPad checks with the ZLs we check the content of the iPads while the Zone leaders review their day planner and area book.  That way everyone is being accountable and obedient :D

The mission is the best.  Life is the best!!  I just love seeing the little miracles that Heavenly Father puts in our paths each day.  The world distracts us so much... And I think what it distracts us from, more than anything, is the little blessings that keep us going.  I hope that all of us can look for the little things that The Lord blesses us with.  It's the little miracles that keep us going so that we make it to see the big miracles!  I meet people everywhere I go that open up a conversation for me to share the gospel.  Even if it is just a little bit... I have an opportunity to help them draw closer to Christ. We all have those opportunities.  The question is: do we take them?  God gives them to us... The rest is up to us!  

I love this gospel and I KNOW it is true.  How else could an organization leave its proselyting up to a bunch of kids and see success from it?  It must be true ;) haha I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us infinitely and know us perfectly.  I know that we all have a Savior who died so that we would have the chance to repent and become better- even allowing us the opportunity to live with our Heavenly Parents and earthly families again.  I love you all so much and I am so happy you are safe.  Keep up the great missionary work- and keep reading PMG!

Love your son,

Elder Sean Farley

Thanks for the packy mom :) that tie is awesome, and you know my weakness: Carmel Apple suckers!  Love you both so much!

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference was Amazing!!

Hey Mom!

It is great to hear from you and Dad in Germany!  Sounds like it is a really fun trip.  I am sad that Dad wasn't able to meet people from his mission, but it is super cool that he is able to visit old areas show you where he served.  I am inspired to try harder at keeping a journal.  I was doing really good at the beginning of my mission; writing 2+ pages a day for about 6 months!  I have slacked off on that goal a little, but there is always repentance, right? :) 

It is also good to hear you were able to watch conference on your iPad.  Isn't it so great that we live in a time where we can watch Conference LIVE on a handheld device?!  Seriously, what a blessing! General Conference was so amazing this go around- like it is each six months.  I love how the talks are always simple teachings of the Gospel that are understandable for everyone.  Just like how the Book of Mormon prophets would speak "plainly" to their people, the prophets and apostles today also speak to all our understanding and in a way that we can still be astonished and touched by the Spirit of God.  I enjoyed many of the talks and I am excited to re-watch and listen to them over this upcoming 6 months.  There are many things I can repent for and change in my life, even in the little ways, so that I can grow closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I love how Richard G. Scott spoke about praying to Heavenly Father.  How God wants to hear everything from us!  He loves us so much that He wants us to always allow Him to be with us throughout our whole day.  But Father in Heaven will not force us to do so, so we must use our agency wisely turn to Him.  I also thought it was intense when he said that daily scripture study is more important than homework, sports, and even SLEEP!!!! haha He is a boss. 

Well, things are going great here in the Best Mission in the History of Life!  Last night we had a FHE at the Cooke's home/mission home for the French program.  They had some couples come over and even the Ward Mission Leader for a lesson, game and treat!  It turned out well and it actually the first ever French FHE.  In the past it has been only English and Spanish.  Now Chinese and French have been included! 

This week Elder Malugin and I will be giving a training to the Zone Leaders about how to work with iPad issues and how to set them up for the new missionaries in the field.  This way the missionaries will go through their zone leaders for any apple device issues (not us, anymore) and they will be trained and ready to go!  That will help us out a LOT actually... so we are stoked.  

-Oh and my toe is a lot better and I got the bandage off... it looks kind of crazy, but it feels a TON better :) stupid ingrown toenails! 

We have a lot more time this week for exchanges now that Zone Conferences are over!  We will have interviews throughout the week for various zones, excluding the Visitor Center sisters since President interviewed most of them already.  I am super excited to be out and about with President to go see the missionaries and to also go out and teach with them.  Elder Malugin and I might also be doing a multiple day exchange with some elders, so that will be great!!  

Being an Assistant has really been a tough, but wonderful experience for me.  I have had two amazing companions and have been with an outstanding mission president.  This will mostly likely be my last before I go back into the field again.  It will be good to be "normal" again for my two last transfers, but I am sure going to miss being with Elder Malugin the Cooke Family.  Good thing the transfer still has a little over 3 weeks!! :D Going to make them last!!

This week is going to be great :)  Each day I hope to "try a little harder to be a little better."  I know that as we look back on where we are in life, no matter what point of our lives we are in, and we can improve!  I am excited for these next six months leading up to NEXT General Conference... and I plan on being a better person then, than I am now.  :)  I love and miss you Mom and Dad!  Enjoy the trip in Germany and be safe!! Keep up the great missionary work, and even look for some German folk to introduce to the gospel over there!  

Love your Washingtonian son,

Elder Sean Farley