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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 9 Concordia Nebel

Hola a todos!

We had a great week this week! We've been working overtime, it seems, but it's a very rewarding experience. Quite a few days this week we had to cut our lunch and studies time short because we had lots of appointments and people to visit, and it feels so great to work hard and find new people. The youth here in Nebel are doing an amazing job, they are inviting their friends to church, activities, seminary, everything. We started teaching some new investigators that are friends of some of the young men this week, and it is a great experience to have their friends there to help them along the journey. We also started a Mission Preparation class this week at the request of the youth, and we had youth from multiple branches come to participate. They are really stepping up to the plate and getting involved in missionary work, and the results are easy to see. When the members are involved, the work moves so much faster.

We also had zone conference this week, which is always a great experience to be with Presidente Perez and learn from him. Our focus in the mission right now is how we can find new investigators, especially through the members. As it says in Preach My Gospel, "Remember this: Church members—including those who are active, less active, prospective elders, and recent converts—are your best resources for finding people to teach, baptize, and confirm." President Hinckley said: "The process of bringing new people into the Church is not the responsibility alone of the missionaries. They succeed best when members become the source from which new investigators are found." We have seen the the truth of these principles being put into action, and it has fortified my testimony even more of the importance of member missionary work. That is truly the way the Lord intended missionary work to function: members finding, befriending, and supporting their brothers and sisters that have not yet heard the gospel, with the missionaries teaching essential gospel principles. It is together that this work begins to accelerate. It is the literal fulfillment of prophecy: "The Lord is fulfilling His promise that His gospel shall be as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands which would roll forth and fill the whole earth, as Daniel saw in vision (see Daniel 2:31–45; D&C 65:2). A great miracle is taking place right before our eyes." -President Hinckley

I know that this is the work of God, and that "the standard of truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing... the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done." May we all be a part of this great work, the fulfillment of prophecy in this the dispensation of the fulness of times!

Elder Meyers

We visited the Rxxx family this week (an older couple that is investigating the church, they are like our grandparents), and Hna. Rxxx was very concerned that I didn't have a jacket on, even though it wasn't super cold, so she lent me a jacket of her husbands to wear home.  It was pretty stylin. :D

Planning with Elder Frey
         Zone Conference in Concordia
Cake at Zone Conference
Zone Conference

We bought a pineapple!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 8 Concordia Nebel B

Hola amigos y familia!

Another crazy week. It seems like all of the missionaries in Concordia are moving all at once, and since Concordia is the city farthest away from Santa Fe, it's hard for the office to come here often, so Elder Carrion has been asking me to help him out with legal papers and payments and things like that since I was a little familiar with all of the proceedings jaja. Never can escape the office. So unfortunately, we lost some time this week taking care of administrative matters. We've noticed in the past couple of weeks that all kinds of things have been popping up, with sickness, meetings, administrative tasks, etc., that have been taking up a lot of our time. It seems like Satan is doing his very best to stop the work here in Concordia. This last week I was reading a talk that my Dad sent me, and in it he quoted Elder Richard G. Scott, where he said, "Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people. It is distraction. He would have good people fill life with 'good things' so there is no room for the essential ones." As we've tried to keep ourselves conscious of that, even though we've been short on time, we've done our best not to become distracted and lose focus, but to stay firm in our purpose and use all of the time that we've had left to the maximum. We found some great new investigators this week, and we also were able to help a young couple that was sealed in the temple, but went inactive for a while, come back to church this week and bless their newborn baby! That was definitely a highlight of the week. They are a special family, and we hope they will continue to attend and return to the gospel they know is true. Truly missionary work is a joyful experience.

This last week I studied a little bit about just that: Joy. As we know, Men are, that they might have joy. We exist to have joy! So the great question is, how do we find that joy? In the Topical Guide, if we look under the "Joy" heading, we find a great list of references that guide us to prophetic and scriptural direction as to how to obtain joy in this life. As I studied the list, I found an interesting correlation: the large majority of the scriptures that talked about joy had to do with preaching the gospel to others. There are many things that bring us joy in the gospel, but it struck me that there are very few things that bring more joy than sharing that gospel with others. After all, that is the ultimate joy of God's existence, sharing the gospel with His children. It isn't in Him living the gospel by Himself in a perfect world that He has created, but rather Him reaching out to imperfect and sometimes very lost children and helping them to correct their course and turn towards the Everlasting Light, His Son, Jesus Christ. I have come to gain a testimony of the completeness of the joy that comes as we follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who followed the perfect example of His Father, in sharing and preaching the gospel with every one of His children that we can. I testify that the preaching of the gospel is a sacred, elevated, and joyful work, and we participate in the great work of salvation every time we testify of truth, every time we serve our fellow man, every time we search for ancestors, every time we participate in vicarious ordinances in the temple, every time we share the gospel. May we all more fully participate in the great work of our God, the work of salvation!

Elder Meyers

"For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

Cleaning the baptismal font

Picture in the mirror

Welcome sign for the baptism

Olga! :)

Me and Elder Frey with Olga!

Me, Elder Frey, Olga, and her son Pte Nunez after the baptism!

Saw Elder Clement again!

Saw Elder Mitchell again!

Divisiones with Elder Lowrance

Purple tie for Fast Sunday!

Elder Frey with groceries on pday (we decided to buy everything we needed for six weeks all at once)

We found Tropicana orange juice...

Campbells Soup...

And Pyrex.  Made in the USA :)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 7 Concordia Nebel B

Hola a todos!

A crazy week, but a great one. Olga got baptized! It was a wonderful experience. Her son is the branch president of the other branch that meets in our building, and it was so easy to see the joy on his face during the baptismal service that his mother was going to enter the waters of baptism and become of member of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, entering the gateway to the path that leads to eternal life and eternal families. It was a day to remember, and we are so happy for her. We did almost nothing to prepare her, she was already prepared. We only had the privilege of teaching her the missionary lessons and helping her organize her baptism. It was a great blessing. And this next week, she is headed to the temple in Buenos Aires to do baptisms! We are so excited for her. :)

Besides that, we spent a lot of time traveling this last week to Santa Fe for a leadership conference. It was an uplifiting and very spiritual experience, as it always is, but they were long trips back and forth. :) But I am more firmly convinced every time that Presidente Perez is set apart and inspired. He is following the will of God, and it shows and can be felt in the Spirit that permeates when he teaches. I love him.

We've been talking a lot about the Spirit lately in our mission, and it is coming to be one of my very favorite topics. The other day, Elder Frey and I watched the biography of President Monson, On the Lord's Errand, which I've watched several times during my mission, and every time I watch it, I am so impressed and inspired by President Monson's complete commitment to follow the impressions of the Spirit. If you haven't seen it, or if you have, I would encourage you to watch it. I'm pretty sure it's less than an hour, but it is so worth the watch. I have learned so many things from President Monson's example. He is another one of my heroes. :)

I hope you all have a great week, and I love you all!

Elder Meyers

Presidente Perez

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Week 6 Concordia Nebel B

Hola a todos!

Another great week! Unfortunately we weren't able to work as much as we wanted, because Elder Frey began to have bronchitis symptoms, and the doctor told us he couldn't leave the apartment for four days, so that complicated things a little, but in spite of that, we were still able to get things done making phone calls, and me doing divisions to go to important appointments. Oxxx continues to progress. She accepts everything so easily, and is ready to give up coffee and tea and pay tithing without hesitation. Her daughter is progressing, too! As we were teaching the two of them about a week ago, as we were finishing the lesson, I just had the strongest impression that we needed to go the next time with Hna Arriola, a sister from our ward and the RS president. So we set a time and invited her to go with us. That following appointment was so powerful. As we got there, we found out that Hna. Arriola and Oxxx (the daughter) had known each other for many, many years, and that Hna Arriola had always been a huge example of faith for her. As we went through the lesson, Hna. Arriola basically taught everything specifically to the needs of Oxxx that she knew about and that there was no way we could have known about. We saw her change so much during the lesson as Hna. Arriola talked to her, and it was like her countenance completely lit up and she opened much more to the gospel. She is now reading the Book of Mormon, and will attend the baptism of her mother on Saturday, as well as church on Sunday! What an incredible change. Truly miracles can happen when we follow the promptings of the Spirit.

I have little time left, but we also had zone conference this past week, which was excellent! We learned a lot about consecration, and how we become consecrated when we align our will with God's will. But the way to learn God's will for us is through the Spirit, so we have to live our lives so that we can have the Spirit. Four things that Preach My Gospel teaches us that we need to do to have the Spirit are pray with faith, repent, keep the commandments, and work. Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like faith, repentance, baptism, and endure to the end. I love the doctrine of Christ. :)

Have a great week everyone, and seek for the Spirit!

Elder Meyers
Zone Conference in Concordia

Zone conference with Elder Soto and Elder Contreras

Zone conference with Elder Frey, Leo (a young man from Nebel) and Hno. Reyna, our ward mission leader and cook for the zone conference lunch :)

Making torta frita (with dulce de good)

Torta frita

Cleaning our apartment on one of Elder Frey's sick days! :)

In honor of Pioneer day, yesterday morning before we got ready we put on Tabernacle Choir songs about pioneers and did our best to dress up as pioneers jaja

And then missionary style :)

My notes from zone conference on the consecration process involving the Spirit (sorry, it's in Spanish)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 5 Concordia Nebel B

Hola familia y amigos!

We had a great week! The biggest news is that we received an AWESOME referral from the branch president, Presidente Nuñez, of the Concordia branch, the other branch that meets in our church building. It was his mom! Last Sunday he introduced us to her at church (he had already taken her two times to church with him, and she loved it). We set up an appointment with her, and went to our first appointment with our branch mission leader. It was an amazing lesson! She is so ready for the gospel. About a month ago her husband died after a little more than 50 years of marriage. It's been a little hard for her, and she absolutely loved learning about the plan of salvation. We taught her the first three lessons this week and she loved it all. Her husband didn't believe in God, and told her that it was just something that people made up in their heads. She said that she has always believed in God, but that besides his lack of belief in God, he was an amazing person, unselfish, always serving. She hadn't ever been baptized before because of her husband, but now she is ready. We set a baptismal date for her for the 29th of July, and she is super excited! She is telling everyone that she is going to be baptized the 29th. :) We are so happy for her and for her family. We also started teaching her daughter, Pte. Nuñez' only sister. She has a lot of great questions about the plan of salvation, and we hope that we can help her resolve her questions.

Axxx continues to progress, slowly but surely. He is still looking for an answer. He loves everything we are teaching him, but still hasn't felt like he has received an answer. However, as he talks with us, he talk more and more every time as if God really exists. In the beginning it was all theoretical, but slowly it seems he is accepting it. We are praying that he will be touched by the Spirit and recognize his Heavenly Father speaking to him.

Besides that, we spent the week teaching, finding, and doing service. We moved some more people back to their homes (from the flooding). There's a recent convert here named Hno. Cáceres, he and his wife were baptized a little less than a year ago, they're about 60 years old, and he was a truck driver his whole life, and still has a huge truck with a big bed that we used to move everything. He joked with us that when we get to Utah we can start our own moving business because we're such experts now on moving furniture, fridges, and washing machines (why are they so heavy??).

Just to tell a little bit about the Cáceres couple, they are my heroes. I have never seen such strong converts to the gospel in all my life. They do not seem at all to have been baptized less than a year ago. Like another hermano from the branch said, they lived their whole lives ready to be baptized. They never miss a Sunday, they serve others all the time, the go out and visit less actives and recent converts, they take people to church, they help plan activities, and more. And it's easy to see why when you look at their family. Their children and grandchildren (that we've met) all respect and love them so much. It's easy to tell that they raised their children in as close to a gospel-centered home as you can get without the gospel. In a few months they are headed to the temple to be sealed!! I am so excited for them. They are my heroes.

This week I gave a talk about the importance of member missionary work. I would invite everyone to go back and read Elder Oaks talk from last October about sharing the Restored Gospel. It is full of wonderful advice and counsel. I focused especially on the importance of the doctrine of Christ, or, in other words, Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. It says in Preach My Gospel, "The gospel of Jesus Christ defines both your message and your purpose; that is, it provides both the 'what' and the 'why' of missionary work." If we truly understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, we understand what it is that we need to share with the world, as well as why we even do missionary work. We all know that "there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ...whereby man can be saved." (2 Nephi 25:20) So, if only through faith and repentance on the Lord Jesus Christ we can accomplish the very purpose we came to this earth to accomplish, we should do all in our power to help our brothers and sisters to return to the home they left with such great faith and hope. It is our greatest responsibility, our greatest privilege, and our greatest joy. May we each do all that we can to help our fellow man to come to know his Savior, Jesus Christ, Lord of All and Redeemer of the world.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Meyers

Me and Elder Frey with Elder Bragg (of  the Seventy) and his wife!

After divisions with Elder Chaname!  Awesome missionary, born in Peru and lives in Buenos Aires.

Me and Elder Chaname

Our branch mission leader, Hno Reyna is a returned missionary from Mexico and has a Mexican restaurant called La Catrina.  His food is really good.  These are some pictures of his restaurant (we eat lunch with him there every Tuesday).  I love that in his counter with a bunch of Mexican cultural pictures, he snuck in a picture of President and Sister Hinckley in front of the Mexico City Temple.  Always preaching the gospel. :)

So, I got a pretty nice stye in my eye this last week...But we just told everyone that Elder Frey got mad at me and hit me in the face jaja

Our moving adventures!  We helped our elders quorum president take everything out of the church and move it back to his house.

After the first move Hno Caceres took us in his truck to help some non member friends of his.  This is us in the back of his truck.

Me and Elder Frey making a hasbrown patty :)

Elder Frey during our weekly planning going over some former investigator records