Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 14 Concordia Nebel

Hola a todos!

This week was a GREAT week! For the first time in quite a while now, we were able to dedicate the whole week just to missionary work: finding, teaching, and baptizing. And we received so many blessings this week! We found seven new investigators, and 4 of them accepted baptismal dates! What great blessings. Nebel is progressing well. Also, Maira, who the hermanas are now teaching, is going to get married the 4th of October and is going to get baptized on the 7th of October!! I am so excited for her!! She is awesome. We ran into her the other day, and she told us how excited she was to get married, and then said, but really, I'm way more excited to get baptized than I am to get married. :) She has been wanting to get baptized ever since Elder Frey and I started to teach her, and now it is going to happen! Joys of missionary work. :) Franco Arriola (16 year old member) continues to help us in incredible ways. This kid is going to be a mission president some day, seriously. We had 6 lessons with him this last week, and he scheduled all six of them for us! And during the lessons, he taught half of the doctrines himself, and he was the one who invited them to read, pray, and go to church, and he even set baptismal dates! We didn't have to do much as missionaries. We only had to show up, teach, and testify. That is missionary work at its best. We didn't even have time to be in the streets some days because we had so many lessons already set up for us, and all we had to do was go and teach. If every member did missionary work like Franco, like it says in the Book of Mormon, the very powers of hell would be shaken. I hope that one day I can be a member missionary like Franco.

I had a couple of experiences this last week that have made me think a lot about the Spirit. I came to realize that during my mission, I have come to recognize and follow the Spirit with much greater frequency, and that has definitely been one of the most fulfilling and joyful blessings of my mission. I have received a greater testimony that the Spirit is always there. We only have to listen. Sometimes, the things we are prompted to do don't make any sense, but if we follow them, the blessings and miracles that come are real. We find ourselves saying things that we never could have known that we needed to say, finding people we might never have found, and helping people in ways that they need to be helped that we had no idea even needed help. I hope we can all find the Spirit a little more in our lives, and listen to its soft but powerful promptings. I know that when we do, we become true instruments in the hands of God to bring about His great work.

Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Eating lunch at Hermana Vasquez' house

Lunch in a conference in Santa Fe!  Presidente surprised us all by taking us to a restaurant for the first time. :)

Me next to my companion, Elder Streuling.

Divisions in Federal!

Divisions with the asistentes Elder Oldham and Elder Carlassara

Divisions with Universidad!

Worldwide Service activity, we painted all of the waste bins on the riverside avenue in Concordia.  It was lots of fun, and all the members in Concordia participated.


There is a huge, beautiful park about 10 blocks from our apartment called San Carlos.  It is breathtaking.  Me and Elder Streuling often go running there in the mornings.  The pictures don't do it justice, but it is a great way to start the day.







Morning run in the park

Me and my companion, Elder Streuling.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 13 Concordia Nebel

Hola!

I have pretty much no time today, but it was a great week, me and my new companion, Elder Streuling, have been getting settled in, as well as helping the two new hermanas in our area get to know the members, the area, and their investigators (there were hermanas here before, but they left and we haven't had them basically since I got here). Elder Streuling is awesome, he is from Austin, Texas, he was a big football player before the mission (safety), his dad went to Orem High, and we finish the mission together, so it is possible that we will finish together here in Nebel. I would not complain at all. :)

I just want to testify that repentance works, and that when we manifest a change of heart to our Father in Heaven through our sincere repentance, including our actions, thoughts, and desires, he accepts the offering we give, and through the grace of Christ, we are forgiven. What a miracle, and what a blessing that we can be forgiven of our sins. May we all repent a little more often and a little more sincerely, allowing the power of Jesus Christ to infuse our lives.

Elder Meyers


Me and my new companion Elder Streuling

Eating lunch at Hermana Vasquez' house

Ariel Vasquez, me and Elder Frey

After church (before Elder Frey was transferred)

Me and Elder Frey getting a ride (before he was transferred)


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Week 12 Concordia Nebel

Hola a todos!

Well, this last week was definitely better than the week before. We still have a couple of odds and ends to tie up, but overall we should be all settled and done by the end of this week. In other news, we were surprised to find out that Elder Frey was being transferred! He went to La Paz, and Elder Streuling from Austin, Texas is my new companion. Elder Frey was pretty sad to go, he didn't want to leave Concordia, and I was pretty sad, too, because we got a long really well, and we only had two transfers together, but that's ok. Elder Streuling is cool, and we are excited to work together!

This last week we had a really cool experience. So Franco Arriola, one of the youth in our branch (16 yrs old), is awesome, and is probably the most dedicated young man I have ever met to member missionary work. He is always sharing the gospel with someone, and often follows up with us and asks what he can do to help. So this last Sunday, he and his family were giving us a ride to the church where we were going to have a lesson with an investigator, and as we rounded a corner, we saw two teenage boys outside a house. Franco told us that one of them, Fxxx, was a friend of his from elementary school, but that he hadn't talked to him in years because they had gone to different schools afterwards. He told us that he was a great kid, and that we could go visit him, and to let him know if we were going to go. So on Wednesday Elder Frey and I went and knocked on his door and contacted Fxxx. We introduced ourselves, and then got to know him a little. We set up an appointment for Friday, and told Franco that we had an appointment. Franco told us that he wanted to go with us, so he went with us. He also started messaging Fxxx before the visit to get back in contact with him. We went, and had an awesome lesson with Fxxx about the Restoration, throughout which Franco was constantly bearing testimony and backing up what we were teaching. It was a powerful lesson, and Fxxx, who had only met us two days before, and hadn't talked to Franco in years until about two days before, eagerly agreed to read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and think about when he could be baptized! It was incredible. Yet another testimony for me of the power of member missionary work. I only think, if every member were to help baptize just one person in an entire year and then help that person remain active in the church, our branch would be a stake in a matter of about 5 years. How incredible is that? The church in 5 years would grow in membership from 16 million to 512 million in just 5 years. Member missionary work is surely the way the Lord intends to hasten His work.

Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Eating a delicious pineapple


Me and Elder Frey after church

Our district after church

Transfers in the terminal

Bye Elder Frey!



Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 11 Concordia Nebel

Hola!

This week.... was the worst. Jaja it seemed like nothing could go right. So this week we had to move apartments, but it was the Great Move of Concordia because we had to move three missionary apartments in a matter of days. Basically, the contracts took longer than they should have, we were all packed up and then the move got suspended to the next day, then nobody had a truck to move the stuff, then there was no power in the new apartments, and then the gas broke, and then right in the middle of all of it we had to go to Santa Fe for divisions with the assistants, and then we didn't have any tools to put our beds back together so we were sleeping on the ground, and then about a hundred other things. Jaja it was a week. But it's ok, because Elder Frey and I just look back now and say, boy, are we glad that that week is over. I don't think I've had such a long week since the beginning of my mission. The worst part was that we ended up with about zero time for proselyting, so we weren't able to visit any of our investigators this last week, and that was probably the most frustrating part. I decided that I never want to move again in my life. :)

Luckily, Sunday was amazing, truly a day of rest. As Elder Wirthlin taught, even though some days and weeks are long and difficult, Sunday will come. We had an amazing regional conference with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, presided over by Elder Rasband. The speakers were Elder Jose A. Teixeira, the South America South Area President, Elder Eduardo Gavarret, a native of Uruguay, Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Elder Craig C. Christensen, and Elder Ronald A. Rasband. They spoke of the importance of always exercising our faith in the Lord and strengthening our foundations as we study of the Book of Mormon and live the law of the harvest, sowing that which we wish to reap. Elder Christensen and Elder Rasband talked a lot about the importance of member missionary work, how this work is the work of all those who have made covenants to stand as witnesses of God and to take upon them the name of Christ. Elder Rasband said that one of the reasons we don't share the gospel is simply because we don't pray for it, because we are afraid that our prayers will be answered and that we will be required to do something that we are not qualified or ready to do. He said that we should trust in God, that He will qualify those who He calls, and that we should pray with faith for those opportunities, and then open our mouths when that moment comes, and it will be filled.

This last week was definitely a test of my diligence. There were so many times Elder Frey and I were frustrated and wanted to give up and not do anything, because we were so tired of the endless problems and delays. But as I was listening to Come, Come Ye Saints, the first and second verses really struck me:

Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear; but with joy wend your way. Though hard to you this journey may appear, grace shall be as your day. ’Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from us to drive; do this, and joy your hearts will swell— All is well! All is well! 
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard? ’Tis not so; all is right. Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight? Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake; and soon we’ll have this tale to tell— All is well! All is well!

Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight? But all will be well; our God will never forsake us. May we each find renewed faith in this promise and take fresh courage, not fearing toil nor labor, finding joy in the journey in service to our God.

Have a great week!
Elder Meyers

Elder Frey being a gaucho (Cowboy Entre Rios style)

Taking apart our beds

All packed

We had to use a tie down rope from the mission truck to lower our wardrobe down because it was too big to carry down the stairs.



Moving!

New apartment full of stuff


Our beds on the ground :)

Elder Frey

Planning with the assistants in divisions

Before heading out to work with Elder Gomez and Elder Oldham

Saying goodbye to Elder Gomez!  He goes home in a week. :(  Can't believe how fast time flies, seems like yesterday we were in Nogoya together.

Elder Gomez and me

We got a little Mexican food to finish off the week on a better note. :)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 10 Concordia Nebel B

Buenos días, como andan todos?

We had a great week this week, we found some great new families, and have been working with the members in our branch much more extensively, and it is really bearing fruit. As we have invited the members to consider a friend or acquiantance with whom they could share the gospel, they have responded wonderfully. We have been testifying to the members as we visit their homes that they know people who are right now being prepared by our Heavenly Father to receive the Restored Gospel, and that if they pray and follow the Spirit, they will know what to do. Something interesting that we have been mentioning to the members is a quote from Clayton M Christensen that Elder Oaks shared in his talk last October, where he said,"over the past twenty years, we have observed no correlation between the depth of a relationship and the probability that a person will be interested in learning about the gospel." It helps us understand the intrinsic value of the gospel message, and is another testimony to me that the gospel is true because it is true, not because we are good friends or because it's a great social club, or because we know a lot of people there, but simply because it is true, and people will recognize it when they hear it, whether they are your mother, or you just met them 30 seconds ago. :)

We have a new investigator, Mxxx, who is AWESOME! She is the daughter in law of a member in our branch (well, not technically, because they aren't married, but basically). Some elders were teaching her before, but her parents are evangelical pastors and basically threw the elders out of the house. She now lives with her boyfriend, Exxx, who is the son of Hna. Vazquez, and they have a little wooden house where we go and teach them. This week we left Mxxx the invitation to read the Book of Mormon on Thursday, and on Friday (the next day) we went back to follow up, and she had already read the introduction and the first four chapters! What's more, she retained everything, and retold us the story with detail, down to the names of the sons of Lehi and the details of Lehi's vision! We were blown away. She is ready to be baptized already, but she and Exxx need to get married. She is all for it, but Exxx is a little worried about it, but he knows they need to get married. We are hoping we can help them get married so that Mxx can be baptized! She also went to church on Sunday! She is awesome.

Well, I'm out of time, but I just want you all to know that I love this gospel, and I love being a missionary! The church is true, and the Lord's work is the greatest work of all. In it, we achieve the greatest achievements and experience the greatest joy. What a great blessing it is that the Lord allows us to take such an important and pivotal role in His work, no matter where we are! Jesus is the Christ, He is our Savior, and He will come again. May we all prepare our brothers and sisters for His Second Coming!

Elder Meyers

El Libro de Mormon... that's Uruguay on the other side of the river

Last transfer, while we were in the bus terminal, we randomly ran into this girl from California who was doing some tourism.  She knew the missionaries because she has some family that are members, and the missionaries go to her house sometimes.  It was so weird to talk in English.

Bus terminal last transfer

Awesome cake from our Zone Conference

Cool picture one morning this week



Our mission prep class!  They are so awesome.

Mission prep class




We had a service project this last week with the young men.  We were going to paint some outside walls of an elementary school, but this crazy storm came out of nowhere, and we couldn't paint because we knew rain was coming, so we pruned the bushes and cleaned up all the garbage instead, and we will paint some other time.

Service project