Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 5 Nogoya

Happy Easter to all! Also, happy General Conference week, and I invite all of you to prepare for this wonderful opportunity to learn from prophets of the Lord!

This week was definitely a week of ups and downs. Things are still moving slowly for us in our area. Sometimes it can be a little frutratring as well, because the other elders in Nogoyá are having a lot of success in their part of the city, and already have three people who will be baptized the 10th of April. Of course, we are super excited for them, and we love their investigators a lot, but sometimes, it is easy to ask yourself why you aren't having the same success. However, I know that this is not my work, or the work of me and Elder Marquez, or of Presidente Perez. This is the work of the Lord, and He will run it how He pleases. We only have to make sure that we are doing everything that we need to in order to be worthy of His Spirit, and then work, work, work. This past week my companion and I spent a lot of time contacting, knocking doors, talking with people in the street, visiting less actives, and whatever else we could do to find people. We've had countless people tell us that we could come back to share our message, but every time, either they aren't home, or they pretend they aren't home. Those ones are funny, because they look out the window, make eye contact with you, then hurriedly close the window and turn out the lights. My companion and I always laugh after that and just say ¿que va a hacer?

Huge highlight of the week, we had zone conference on Friday in Victoria. We spent the majority of the day in the church in Victoria with Presidente and Hermana Perez, Elder Heredia and Elder Blackmon (asistentes), and our little zone of 12 missionaries, six from Nogoyá and six from Victoria. I learned a lot, and afterwards we each had interviews with Presidente, which are always uplifting and inspiring. My companion and I have a lot of goals going forward, and hope to be able this week to truly be instruments in the hands of the Lord, and bring about His work. We also ate super well at the conference (salads, empanadas, facturas, torta, frutas, jugos, dulces, etc.), and especially since we so far have had two lunches from members this whole transfer, it's nice to not have to worry about food for once.

Something that Presidente Perez encouraged us to do this week is to work with firm minds. Many times we have lots of goals that we have set in the pension, and as we leave the pension we are determined to contact every single person and knock every single door, but as we get out there, we see that the house has a super nice car and garage, or that it smells like smoke, or that there are a ton of kids playing soccer out front, and we start to doubt ourselves. We have to have firm minds when we set our goals and not allow Satan to play games with our determination, but press forward with steadfastness in Christ. (see 2 Nephi 31:20, Jacob 3:1-2 for further study)

I know that this is the work of the Lord, and that He directs His church! Again Happy Easter and watch General Conference!

Elder Meyers

Our district on the bus after Zone Conference

We live above this cleaning building

Zone Conference in Victoria
Presidente Perez at Zone Conference
Zone Conference

Zona Parana Sur

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Week 4 Nogoya

Sorry about the delay, we had last minute tramites in Santa Fe on Monday, and we had teaching appointments last night when we got back, so that's why I'm emailing today.

¡Feliz Semana Santa a todos!

This last week was great! We finally had a normal week here in our area, without any meetings, traveling, or tramites. We spent a lot of time out contacting, and trying to find new investigators. We also set a baptismal date for our investigator Maria Ines! We are planning for April 9th right now, and are working with her to attend church so she can be baptized. It's a little difficult, because she has a disabled and autistic daughter in a wheelchair, so it's hard for her to travel. We're going to try and get some members to help them out. We haven't had a whole lot of luck with contacting. Wednesday we literally spend the whole day contacting people and knocking doors, and only ended up with one callback. But we just keep moving forward and doing our best to always open our mouths and share the gospel with everyone.

It's starting to cool down a little bit now. It rained a couple of days, and so all the dirt roads in our area turned into mud for a couple of days. And more than half of our area is dirt roads. Needless to say, we're pros at walking in mud now. If anyone ever needs someone to walk in the mud for them, call us. We've got it down haha.

Elder Marquez and I are getting a lot closer now, which is good. We talk a lot more in the streets now while we're walking. I often tease him, because he's from Colombia, right on the Caribbean, so this "cold" is really getting to him (it's maybe 65F at the lowest). He's always blowing on his hands to warm them up and saying, Ooo, hace frío hoy! Haha, but we're all good. I'm learning a lot more about video games, since that's kind of the main thing that Elder Marquez and Elder Huerta did before the mission. Pretty sure by the end of this transfer I'll be a pro.

This week I was studying in Alma 5. What a chapter! I would invite anyone who hasn't studied it in a while to study it again. Also, everyone who thinks that they are doing everything right in their life, or that they are just succeeding at everything, read it. It will humble you, I promise, because it definitely humbled me. It's important to always remember in whom we trust and how only through the Savior can we really do anything. And anything we are doing well, is only through His help. In this Easter time, it's crucial to remember the Savior, His sacrifice and Atonement on our behalf, and how only through His sacrifice can we become clean, pure, and worthy of the blessings of heaven.

Until the next week!
Elder Meyers

A park in Nogoya that we went to on P-day
Me and my comp at a park in Nogoya on P-day

Having fun at a park in Nogoya on P-day

A photo for you you know we eat at least somewhat healthy, and that we do in fact buy fruits and vegetables and eat them. haha

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 3 Nogoya

Things never seem to slow down around here. This week was supposed to be normal, but we ended up having a ton of things to do. Turns out, my companion never got his patriarchal blessing. He was supposed to get it in the MTC in Buenos Aires, but things got messed up somehow, so on Tuesdaywe had to travel to Santa Fe to have an interview with Presidente Perez for his blessing, which is about three and a half hours of travel one way. SoTuesday was blown. Wednesday we did splits with the zone leaders, so Elder Marquez went to Victoria with Elder Maynard, and I stayed here with Elder Gonzalez. We were able to work a lot that day, and we got some good contacts. We also had some good lessons with incomplete families, so hopefully those will turn into investigators as well. Splits with zone leaders are always awesome, because you get to learn so much from an awesome missionary. It was especially great this time because I didn't feel so much responsibility and was able to take a little break from training to learn from another missionary. Elder Gonzalez is an awesome missionary from Mexico with 18 months in the mission, and I learned a lot from him.

Thursday, I ended up having to go back to Santa Fe in the evening so that I could do tramites Friday morning (official business). We had to go to a government building of some kind to start making everything official for my residence in Argentina, since technically I'm still on a tourist visa. When we finally got back on Friday later in the evening, there wasn't much time left to proselyte, so we were only able to teach one lesson to a less active. My companion also broke his glasses, so Saturday morning we had to go find an optica and get him new glasses so that he could see and read. Yesterday during church I sat there thinking,"Where in the world did the week go?" It's a little frustrating because when we don't have much time to proselyte we don't find many people and we can't spend as much time as we would like finding investigators. So hopefully this week we will actually have a normal week. Last night we were able to find two new investigators who seemed at least a little more interested than most people, so hopefully we can go forward with them. They're a husband and wife, and they have 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren. The wife is more or less an active Catholic, but they committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray, so we're praying for them and hope that they'll be able to feel the Spirit.

Not much else going on here in Nogoyá. Still super tranquilo. Sometimes I just can't understand people here, who seem to literally live their entire life in the exact same place, drinking mate every single day. Not sure if I'll ever understand that.

I know that Christ directs this work, and even though sometimes it doesn't go exactly how we want it to, if we have faith in Him all things will always work together for our good. With Easter and General Conference coming up, now is the perfect time for all of us to reflect a little more on the Savior, on His life, death, Resurrection, and Atonement, and what we can do to better follow Him. I know He lives, and hope to become a little more like Him every day. This church is true!

Elder Meyers

Where we slept for the first week or so (other Elders pension)

Picture of our church (a building rented for church, since we don't have a chapel)

Various pics of our new pension

Us milking alfajores.  It's something you have to do as part of the training of a new missionary.  You take the alfajor, bite a little bit on each end, then put one end in the milk and suck milk through the alfajor until it's saturated with milk.  Then you eat it.  You feel pretty ridiculous doing it, but it tastes good. 

Me cooking pizza.  I felt pretty accomplished.

The view from our pension

Selfie during lunch with the other Elders.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 2 Nogoya

Hola todos!

This week was super crazy. We didn't get to work very much because we had a lot of stuff to do for our pension and tramites take FOOOREEVEERRR. We had to register our pension with the inmobiliaria, and then with the city, and then get the light turned on, and the water, and then move in, and then oh wait we don't actually have water we have to go to the other pension to shower, and now we're going to sit here and wait for the guy from the inmobiliaria to come install the cocina, oh wait he decided he didn't want to today, etc. AY. But everything is good now, so this week should be normal, and hopefully we can progress a lot. Unfortunately because of this there's not a ton of news. We only have one new investigator, so we spend most of our time contacting still. We did have a great lesson with a menos activo who's an exmisionero. It was great because the Spirit taught, not us, and we were able to help him hear and feel exactly what he needed. He had to start working on Sundays and went inactive, but we had an awesome lesson with him and he's going to start exercising his faith more so he can come back to church. His testimony is still so strong so hopefully he will follow through. Just goes to show that the Spirit is the best teacher.

Training is still super hard, and I feel like that one scripture that says the blind are leading the blind. I feel super bad for my companion that he got stuck with me, but he's being helpful and not judging me too much for all of my weaknesses. Hopefully he can learn at least half as much as he is helping me learn.

Also, new ZLs here are Elder Maynard and Elder Gonzalez! We met them Tuesday in district meeting. Super excited for that. We won't see them much because they are in Victoria but nonetheless. Elder Maynard is my age, but already has 10 months in the mission because he left back in May (graduated early). He's a super stud, and my mom found his blog before I left so I feel like I already know him haha. Elder Gonzalez has a year and a half, and previously was in Terminal for 6 months earlier in his mission! We spent a ton of time talking about Terminal. I remember all the members there always talking about Elder Gonzalez and how he was such a great missionary because he was so humble, and I can see that. I know I can learn a lot from him. And Elder Maynard. Both of them are super humble and obedient missionaries, and I hope I can be like them some day.

Spiritual thought: Look up Moroni 8:25-26. I have officially named this the Process of the Gospel. It's the perfect if then statement of how to achieve exaltation and eternal happiness. I won't spoil it for you all, so go look it up.

Until next week! Remember that Christ knows us and always wants to help us. He is there to lift us, and we only need turn to HIm with a sincere heart.

Elder Meyers