Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 9 Nogoya

Another week in the field... ¡Vamos!

We were blessed with a new investigator this week, and we also were able to set a baptismal date for two of our investigators! It was a little sad, though, because neither of them were able to attend church yesterday. We still haven't had a single investigator attend church here in Nogoyá, so that's is our big goal right now. The branch here is growing, and it is such a privilege to be a part of the work here. The other elders had another baptism on Saturday, and it was so full of the Spirit. I was also able to sing Savior, Redeemer of My Soul in Spanish for the service, and it felt wonderful to bear my testimony through song again. We had two other investigators there in the service, and they were able to feel something special throughout the whole thing. The wife is ready to be baptized, but the husband is pretty hardcore Catholic. We are praying that his heart will be softened and he will be able to feel the veracity of our message.

Other than that, pretty normal week of teaching, finding, contacting, and visiting menos activos. I was thinking this last week about the mission, and what I'm doing each day, and I realized more than ever that the Lord knows so much better than we do how to be happy. We think that we know how to be happy, and where we can find it, but the truth is the Lord knows so much better. If we will give our lives to Him, turn our will over to Him and do what He asks us to do, we will always have more joy, more peace, more comfort, more confidence, and more love in our lives. There is no better way to be happy than to do the Lord's will. He knows best.

Hasta la próxima semana!
Elder Meyers

So...There's a super oferta in Grido right now, a kilo of ice cream is 2 for 1, so we definitely had to take advantage of that.  Here I am deciding which to try first jaja

A great picture of me eating breakfast that my companion took

My companion "milkeando" (sucking milk through an alfajor so it gets super full of milk)

Broke out the OHS choir sweatshirt for p-day today.  Unfortunately I can't wear it to proselyte, so only p-days and at nighttime.

Joseph Smith movie for p-day!

We finally put our mirror up in the bathroom with the help of Hmo. Arrua.  It's great having to hold the mirror while trying to shave or do your hair, so great that it deserves a picture.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 8 Nogoya

Transfers were this week! And.... our district all stayed the same. So no changes for us. But it's all good, because Elder Marquez and I are getting along super well, and we're having a great time together. They did transfer Elder Maynard, which is sad, but he became one of the new asistentes, which is awesome. Starting this transfer we now have four asistentes, so that should be fun.

This last week was super rainy, just like the week before. It rains all day every day, and if it's not raining it's cloudy, or there's this thing called llovizna, which is basically where it's misting from the sky. It's kind of weird, and I've never seen anything like it, but it happens all the time, so we're basically always wet. We also continue to walk in mud every day. It's a great adventure. Also, when it's not raining, it's ridiculously humid, and everything is always sticky or wet no matter what you do. You get out of the shower, and no matter how many times you dry off, you're still wet. It's awesome haha.

Unfortunately this last week we had to drop some investigators due to reasons beyond our control. One had their spouse get angry with them and prohibit them from listening to the missionaries, another moved, another we had to pass to the hermanas because her spouse didn't want to continue receiving lessons, and we can't teach women without another adult male present. So that was a bit of a bummer. However, on the bright side, we continue to find new people to teach through our menos activo friend Miguel. Every time we go to visit him he seems to have a new friend over, and we always invite his friends to listen to our lesson. We are starting to plan big group lessons now this week, with Miguel and his friends, and we hope to be able to progress from there. We are also starting to develop better relationships with the few members who are here and hope to involve them more in missionary work this transfer.

As a spiritual thought, this last week I was studying in the war chapters in Alma, and I realized as I was reading Alma that the whole chapter, which is about Amalickiah gaining power over the Lamanites, is an exact description of Satan and how he works with us. Lehonti and his men were on the mount, and would not come down, and as long as they didn't come down, no matter how many times Amalickiah sent a message to them, he couldn't do anything to them. However, once Lehonti came down just a tiny little bit, even though it seemed safe because he had his guards with him, Amalickiah began to have power over him, and eventually ended up killing Lehonti. We must not descend from the mount, even a little bit. Even the tiniest descension leaves room for Satan to begin working with us and bringing us lower and lower, until without realizing it, he's brought us all the way down the mount and begun to poison us. Stay strong on the mount, and don't descend!

I love you all!
Elder Meyers

Sweater weather!

Making a cake and experimenting with adding pudding powder

Our experiment turned out kind of interesting...We added too much milk so it was just like cooked pudding in the middle.  But it was still good. 

Had to take a "Dad is great, gives us chocolate cake" photo.

A funny picture of Elder Marquez

Us with the package of tootsie rolls (which by the way my companion loves them too now)

A cool sunrise (our one day of sunshine this week)

We also made a ton of torta frita (like scones kind of) because my companion loves it and it's tradition here to make torta frita when it rains.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 7 Nogoya

Hola familia y amigos!

This week was a week of miracles! After 6 weeks of lots and lots of contacting with very minimal results, the Lord blessed me and Elder Marquez with some fruits to our labors. We were able to put a new baptismal date for Maria Ines, our main investigator, and we were able to find 6 new investigators, 5 of which are couples or families! We have a lot of hope for the coming weeks as we work closely with each one to help them progress in their knowledge of the Savior, of God's plan for them, and how they can receive true happiness.

The theme for us has been to follow the promptings of the Spirit. Earlier this week, when my companion and I had a little extra time during siesta, we decided to watch the bio video of President Monson, On the Lord's Errand. After that, we decided that we were going to do everything we could to follow each prompting and thought we had while proselyting, no matter how small, to show the Lord our willingness to serve Him and do His will. Later, as we were out tracting, we were headed to the house of one of the contacts we had done the previous week, to try and set a date, and I had the thought that we needed to pass by a menos activo, Miguel Ceballos, a young adult (about 28) that we had been visiting and teaching and who had been showing lots of interest in returning to activity in the church. It was very small, and I almost threw it away, as we were planning to visit him later in the week, and because he lives super far away, and on top of it all, it was raining, and he lives in the villa, where all the roads are dirt, and my companion and I were already super tired of walking in mud. But I remembered the goal we had set, and I said to my companion, Let's go visit Miguel. He looked at me and said, Seriously? In this weather? I reminded him of our goal, and he immediately said ¡Vamos! (he's a great companion). We walked about half an hour to his house, only to find that he wasn't there. However, his friend Ramón of about the same age was watching the house, and after a short chat, agreed to receive our message. Fast forward two days. We went to the house of Ramón to teach him, and he wasn't there (that always seems to happen). We felt yet again that we needed to go visit Miguel. We followed the prompting and went to the house of Miguel, where we found him with his family. We began teaching the Plan of Salvation to Miguel when lo and behold, Ramón shows up! He sat down with us and Miguel, and we had a fantastic lesson with the four of them. We have plans to continue teaching both of them, and they both want to come to church together. My companion and I were super excited, and hope we can continue to help them. I have such a testimony of the Holy Spirit, and how when we do the littlest things to follow the Spirit, the Lord will bless us. Even if it was just a thought, if it was good, and you were trying to follow the Spirit, the Lord will bless you and help you to recognize the Spirit more in your life.

As far as other things go, I'm starting to realize that my pants are getting a little tighter... This Argentine diet is starting to get to me. All the breads and pastas all the time don't help you maintain your weight. This week we bought more vegetables and fruits, so hopefully that will help. Also, it has been raining all week long, and we can't quite remember what dry dirt looks like. I've given up on cleaning my shoes because they just get muddy and dirty every day jaja. Other than that, everything is going great! Remember your Savior Jesus Christ, who gave everything for you!

Elder Meyers

These two pictures were after a super rainy day when we got caught in a downpour and were absolutely soaked.  The streets were literally rivers.  It was great.


Conference with the three gringos in the branch president's office

Priesthood session with Hmo Arrua at his house

Our Conference breakfast (with facturas of course)

All the missionaries with la familia Arrua, and the mom of Hermana Arrua, Hermana Farias, in the house of Hermana Farias for Conference lunch on Sunday

Other picture from lunch (with jello with whipped cream!  It's been so long since I've seen whipped cream!)

Pday especial in Victoria with all the missionaries in our Zone (minus the hermanas from Nogoya who couldn't come)

All the Elders in Zona Parana Sur
Divisions with Elder Maynard!  He wanted a selfie with the Goldfish jaja

Making milkshakes with Elder Maynard

Purple tie for fast Sunday

The other Elders had a baptism this last weekend!  It was awesome!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 6 Nogoya

What a week! Not sure if I can even begin to explain the things that happened. I do want to first express how grateful I am for the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ and its absolutely critical role in our development as disciples of Christ and as children of our Heavenly Father. I invite all to ponder how you can apply His Atoning Sacrifice in your life more than ever before.

Ok, to start, Wednesday we had Gira de la Misión with Elder Di Giovanni of the Seventy. They did it in two days, so the half of the mission in the province of Entre Rios all got together for the conference on Wednesday in the stake center in Paraná to be instructed by Presidente y Hermana Perez and Elder and Hermana Di Giovanni. It was a great conference, and we learned especially how to better utilize our area books to care for each child of God that we are teaching in our area.

This week with la Gira and General Conference, it was difficult to do all of the teaching we wanted, but things are slowly, little by little, beginning to bear fruit. This week we contacted two families who both expressed interest in learning about the church and attending our services. My companion and I are praying fervently that they will feel of the Spirit and have their hearts softened as we begin to teach them this week. We also developed a new plan with our less actives that we hope will help more people become truly converted and help hasten the work here in the branch of Nogoyá.

General Conference was of course absolutely awesome. We watched the conference all together as a branch and were able to watch every session. The three gringo missionaries were also able to watch each session in English, which was a great blessing for us. We watched General Conference on the computer in the branch president's office while the others were in the main area watching it on a projector screen, and then during the intermediate hymns we would go out and sing with all the branch members. Conference has never passed by so quickly for me. I found myself saying to my companion after each session,"How did that go so fast? I still want more!" I am incredibly grateful for the blessing of living prophets who give us truly inspired messages, helping us understand exactly what our Father in Heaven needs us to do to become successful disciples of Christ.

I would like to finish with something I learned in my scripture study yesterday. If you are looking for something to study in your daily study, I would recommend Alma 34:15-41. To quote just a little bit of this section, it says:

"And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name;...which... bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance... therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption. Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would have mercy upon you; Yea, cry unto him for mercy; for he is mighty to save." (v.15-18)

I know that "through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved" (AoF 3), and that if we will exercise our faith, even unto repentance through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be saved, because He is mighty to save.

Thank you to each of you for your prayers, letters, and support. I am learning so much each day and hope that I can share something that will help you to come closer to our Savior as well, because He is calling. I know it.

Elder Meyers