Saturday, July 9, 2016

Week 4 Santa Fe Rural C/Oficinas

Another packed week! This week we had our two mission conferences to celebrate el primer aniversario de la Misión Argentina Santa Fe (the first anniversary of the Argentina Santa Fe Mission)! We spent a lot of time preparing and organizing the conferences, it all turned out great. The conferences were very uplifting and inspiring, and the lunches afterwards were super fun. The conferences were Monday and Wednesday, Monday for missionaries in the 5 zones in Santa Fe, and Wednesday for the 4 zones from Entre Rios. In both of the conferences, Presidente and Hermana Perez spoke, as well as the four asistentes. We also had testimonies from missionaries, and watched a slide show with pictures of all the converts since the beginning of the mission, as well as some videos of them bearing their testimonies. The mission choir turned out really well, singing Creo en Cristo (I Believe in Christ), and A Donde Me Mandes Iré (I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go). Presidente loved Creo en Cristo (I Believe in Christ), as that's his favorite hymn. He was smiling the whole time. :) I also sang Salvador, Redentor de Mi Alma (Savior, Redeemer of my Soul) as a prelude, and as an intermediate hymn, we all sang Called to Serve, which brought the Spirit in a powerful way. Afterwards, Presidente and Hermana Perez gave each of us a chocolate bar and a little booklet that we made that has a picture of every missionary in the mission right now (basically like a little yearbook), and then we headed into lunch. The cultural hall was all dedicated with pictures of missionaries and things that have happened in the mission, balloons, etc. It was awesome seeing all the missionaries again. There were three big cakes, and we lit the candles and sang Feliz Cumpleaños (Happy Birthday) to the mission- Monday, since it was the 4th of July, we also sang the Star Spangled Banner, and took a picture with all of the North American missionaries. Wednesday, after we sang, the missionaries who are going home this Monday (Monday is transfers) had to bite the cake. Lots of great memories and great moments. :)

Thursday, we had a giant group of missionaries who had tramites (mission business) in Rosario for DNI (our legal ID in Argentina), almost 40, so we rented two big vans and all went to Rosario together. We were there almost the whole day, but that was fun to get to know another part of Argentina. Rosario is a lot bigger than Santa Fe, so it was cool to spend some time there.

As far as work in the office goes, we still have a lot on our plates, but we continue to organize, file, and register everything, and we're working closely with Presidente and Hermana Perez to make sure everything is done correctly. It has been a great blessing so far being in the office, to be able to get to know Presidente and Hermana Perez better. They are incredible people, who are full of faith and confidence in the Lord, and who love everyone unconditionally. They are amazing examples for me, and I hope someday I can be more like them.

Something from the conferences this week that struck me were some questions that Elder Maynard asked in his talk. He invited us to ponder each of the following questions in our studies:
  • How can we invite the Spirit to be present with us all day, every day? 
  • What am I doing right now to accomplish that? 
  • How can I invite the Spirit more in my life, and what do I need to change to do that?
Along with that was an example that Elder Robles gave in his talk. He showed us a monkey trap that he had made out of paper-mache, and he had put a banana inside. He then had Elder Blackmon come and try to take the banana out, but he couldn't take out his had while he had the banana in his hand. It's an example lots of us have seen before, but it is just as instructive every time. Elder Robles asked us, what are our bananas in the mission, or even more broadly, what are our bananas in our lives? What are we holding on to that is keeping us from progressing, keeping us from being the missionary (or student, or parent, or friend, or disciple) that we want to be? Each of these questions helped me a lot to really think about what I am doing with my time, the choices I am making, and what I can do to change and be better. As President Monson taught us in the last conference, "Our goal is to obtain celestial glory, and the choices we make, in large part, determine whether or not we reach that goal." The choice is ours, all we have to do is continually re-evaluate and re-examine our lives, so that we can continually improve the choices we make and recommit ourselves to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.
I love you all! Have a fantastic week full of great choices that bring the Spirit!

Elder Meyers

Presidente and Hermana Perez lighting the cakes for the 1st anniversary celebration
All of the missionaries from the United States in the conference on the 4th of July

Lunch was pollo relleno (stuffed chicken, with sauces, chesse, ham, etc...) and garlic mashed potatoes, along with a salad beforehand, and ice cream and cake

Elder Gomez, Elder Fajardo, and me (Elder Gomez was my DL in Nogoya and Elder Fajardo was my MTC companion)

Me and Elder Marquez (Elder Marquez was my companion in Nogoya)

Me, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Marquez, and Elder Rocha (Elder Gonzalez and Elder Rocha were my ZL's in the Parana Sur Zone)

Elder Garibay, me, Elder Fajardo, and Elder Jaramillo (Our MTC district)

Happy 4th of July with Elder Thompson, Elder Blackmon, and me

Me, Elder Ramos, Elder Blackmon, and Elder Clayton with the cakes

Elder Maynard with his America socks and tie, and Elder Blackmon's little flag

A picture of Presidente Perez now and when he was a young missionary

Picture with a bunch of Elders from Entre Rios

Happy 1st Birthday Argentina Santa Fe Mission!
A bunch of missionaries in the office after the celebration.  Elder Hanson (5th from the right) has completed his mission and is heading home.  His parents were here to pick him up and took this picture.

Me, Elder Huerta (my first companion), and Elder

                            Picture of all the missionaries during lunch in a capilla in Rosario

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